Posted by William Nunnelley on 2005-05-26

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--More than 200 genealogists from 32 states will attend Samford University's annual Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research June 12-17. A 31-member faculty will lead an in-depth study of how to research family ancestry and participants will have the use of the Samford library's extensive genealogy collection.

The week-long program is comprised of 10 courses delving into genealogy techniques, technology, evidence analysis, research in the South, government documents, military records, land records, Irish genealogy and other areas.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, longtime editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and immediate past president of the American Society of Genealogists, will lead a course in advanced methodology and evidence analysis.

A member of the Institute faculty since 1979, Mills has appeared on radio and television talk shows discussing genealogy on three continents. An extensive lecturer and writer of genealogical materials, she was featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation 20th anniversary special on the novel, Roots. 

Other faculty members who have written widely on genealogy include Lloyd Bockstruck, supervisor of genealogy for the Dallas (Texas) Public Library; Claire Bettag, an expert on French, Acadian and Spanish families of Louisiana; Thomas Jones, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.; and John Colletta, author of They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans. 

Jean Thomason, director of Samford's University Library, serves as director of the IGHR. Samford's genealogy institute has been held annually for more than 40 years.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.