Genealogy Institutes Expand in Recent Decades

By James M. Beidler

There was a time not too many decades ago when genealogy education in general and German genealogy specifically was…well, let’s just say “limited” is a kind term. There is the venerable Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), which has been held every summer on the campuses of several Southern colleges, and Brigham Young University (owned by the genealogy-as-theology Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has offered a bachelor’s degree in family history for a long time, with German courses anchored by the legendary Roger P. Minert.

But times have been a changing and those who wish to expand beyond the hobbyist level—professionalize, so to say, whether you choose to earn a living from genealogy or not—now have some great options. A side benefit of the Covid pandemic has been the migration to an online format (at least temporarily), allowing participants to save time, expense, and lessen the hassle of travel. As a matter of fact, 2021 created a “land office” business for many institutes when an influx of online registrations crashed their websites.

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