IGHR Logo with photos donated by the Samford University Library family

June 8-13, 2014

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Director: Lori Northrup
Secretary: Eric Allen
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Birmingham, Alabama 35229

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Welcome to the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Man studying, circa turn of the century The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators.  Students choose one of the offered courses that last throughout the week and that range from a course for beginners to courses on specialized topics.

The institute is academically and professionally oriented and is cosponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.  The faculty is composed of outstanding nationally known genealogy educators. Begun in 1962, the institute regularly enrolls over 200 students from around the country.

Please select a link in the column to the left for more information. Also, be sure to bookmark this site for information updates as they will be posted here first.

The 2014 Institute begins at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 8, and concludes at 12:00 p.m. Friday, June 13.

IGHR Updates:

  • Registration for 2014 is now open. A link is available on the IGHR Registration page -- if you are unable to see the link even after refreshing the page and clearing your browser cache, please send an e-mail to ighr@samford.edu so that we may send you the direct link.
  • The list in which the courses will open when registration begins on the 21st has been posted on the IGHR Registration page. Please check to see when your desired class will open and be sure to be wherever you have your fastest internet connection when it opens.
  • We are pleased to announce that Angela Packer McGhie has been named the new coordinator of the Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies course. More information can be found on its course schedule page.
  • The cost of tuition has been updated and is no longer dependent upon the date of registration. More information can be found on the IGHR Tuition page.
  • The cost of on-campus housing has been updated. More information can be found on the IGHR Housing page.
  • The policies for payments/cancellations/refunds have been updated. More information can be found on the IGHR Policies & Deadlines page.
  • The IGHR website is being updated to include all information we currently have available for 2014. Course schedules will be posted as they become available on the IGHR Courses page.
  • Registration for the 2014 Institute will open at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time (10:00 a.m. Central) on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. A link will be provided on the IGHR Registration page at that time. Those seeking updates as we get closer to the registration date should consider subscribing to the IGHR-L listserv if they have not done so already.
  • Elizabeth Shown Mills has retired from the Samford University IGHR faculty. For Elizabeth, the close of IGHR-2013 marked 35 years of service to the Institute -- 30 of them as a course coordinator. It also marked Elizabeth's retirement from the IGHR faculty. "Samford has been a part of my life for most of my adulthood," Elizabeth told IGHR Lori Northrup in filing her retirement request, "but a bucket-list of research and writing projects will help me through the withdrawal pains." Elizabeth's Course 4, the Advanced Research Methodology track that she introduced to IGHR in the mid-1980s, has been a rite of passage for many of today's leading genealogists. She credits Samford itself, however, for creating the environment that has instilled scholarly principles into modern family-history studies. "For nearly a half-century," Elizabeth notes, "Samford has provided the premier forum for genealogical study on an academic level. To be a part of Samford for so many of those years has been an honor and an education for me as well."
  • Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck has retired from the Samford University IGHR faculty. He has provided us with the following statement:
    It was early in the spring of 1973 that I met Prof. W. Wilbur Helmbold when he was visiting the Dallas Public Library. I had been working there but a few months and did not know of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. He said that I should consider attending. Financial conditions seem to preclude any such possibility on my part. My prospects changed when one of the Dallas Genealogical Society members told me that she was planning to attend, and she offered me the opportunity to ride with her to Birmingham. The Friends of the Dallas Public Library gave me some funds to cover registration and tuition. I enjoyed the week tremendously because I met nearly every American genealogist of national reputation except Donald L. Jacobus. After returning home, I sent Prof. Helmbold my critique. He must have seen some merit in my comments because he invited me back the next year for a couple of sessions in exchange for auditing other courses. Over the next several years he continued that practice until retirements of other faculty put me in Course II as coordinator.

    Classes were held morning, afternoon, and night, and one of my earliest memories was my presentation on names. It was an evening class and shortly before the class was to begin John Insley Coddington, Milton Rubincam, and Virginia Pope Livingston, all Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists, entered and sat in the front row right under my nose. I was nearly petrified but survived the episode. A couple of years later Helen Leary enrolled in my class at her first appearance at IGHR so I have had students of whom I am duly proud. One student at the Institute told me that I had taught her grandmother so the Institute has its own genealogy.

    Serving in a genealogical collection in a public library caused me to become acquainted with all sources and how to manipulate them. Of course, it did not detract from the fact that my forbears lived in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Barbados, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Maine.I have watched the field evolve and have tried to become one who knows something about every aspect of genealogy in western civilization. I had the opportunity to become a renaissance genealogist, and I believe I did. Without the Institute and its dedicated faculty, my life would not have been so enriched.
  • All prospective IGHR attendees are strongly encouraged to review the downloadable online registration guide available on the IGHR 101 page prior to the start of registration so as to ensure the smoothest possible registration experience. A general overview of IGHR is also available on this page for prospective attendees seeking to get a better idea of what to expect during the institute.
  • Please note that IGHR will no longer be mailing printed postcards announcing the opening date of registration. If you wish to receive updates from IGHR (including registration dates) please subscribe to the IGHR-L listserv.

    Samford University Library Board for Certification of Genealogists     Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research
    Click on the above logos to visit the organizations' websites.

    Photos donated by the Samford University Library family