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The National Institute on Genealogical Research (N.I.G.R.), at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and College Park, Maryland, is an intensive program offering on-site examination of federal records. Designed for experienced researchers, it is not an introduction to genealogy.

The program focuses on commonly used records such as immigration, military, land, African American, and naturalization. Complementing those core lectures will be presentations on lesser-known federal records useful to family historians. The group spends one day at Archives II in College Park, Maryland, and there are optional evening sessions at the Library of Congress and the DAR library.

Enrollment is limited. Application brochures will be mailed early February 2015. The class fills very quickly. Tuition is $400 for applications postmarked on, or before, 15 May 2015, or $450 thereafter. Scholarships are available. Add your name to our mailing list to receive a brochure by either filling out the
Mailing List Form; e-mailing us; or writing to NIGR, P.O. Box 118, Greenbelt, MD 20768-0118.

NIGR has been a leader in genealogical education since its founding in 1950. It was incorporated in 1989 as a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. Trustees are representatives of the American Society of Genealogists, Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists, Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, and the institute's alumni association. The National Archives, a non-voting member, provides strong support.

Patricia O’Brien Shawker, CGSM, FMGS

The National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) and the larger genealogical community are mourning the loss of Patricia O’Brien Shawker, CGSM, FMGS, who died on January 16, 2015, after a battle with cancer. Patty was widely known as the Director of  NIGR for the past seven years, guiding hundreds of attendees during their first research endeavors at NARA in Washington, D.C.She is being remembered for her expertise, generosity, ready smile, and remarkably broad career. Her specialties were Maryland research, federal records, lineage applications, and methodology.

Patty was actively involved at every societal level. Her undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Maryland made her a valued organizational volunteer. Certified by the Board of Certified Genealogists® since 1999, she was a trustee of the BCG Education Fund and its treasurer. She was the treasurer of the National Genealogical Society from 2003 until 2006.She served on the board of the Maryland Genealogical Society for several years, including one term as treasurer. She became the registrar of the Prince George’s County Genealogical Society in 1998, a position she still held at her death. She had been a volunteer staff aid at NARA since 2005 and served as a mentor for the ProGen 6 study group.

Patty lectured nationally, including at NGS conferences, and continued to present locally.She wrote Research in Maryland of the NGS Research in the States Series, authored several guides published in the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, and was a long time contributing editor to The PGCGS Bulletin. She received the Jane Roush McCafferty, CGSM, Award of Excellence from the Prince George's County Genealogical Society in 2009. In May of 2014, she was named a Fellow of the Maryland Genealogical Society for her outstanding scholarship, contributions to MGS, and the genealogical community.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Thomas Shawker, with whom she shared a passion for genealogy, her mother, four siblings, and six nieces and nephews.

Information about upcoming NIGR programs will be posted here soon.

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