MAAGI, what’s it all about? It is the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI pronounced “maggie”).
Is it just for African Americans to attend?
No, it is for anyone who wants to learn and engage in good sound genealogy research focusing on African Americans records and resources and more.
MAAGI offers court tracks with twelve fabulous classes over 3 days at the wonderful Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana . The classes for the institute offers nationally recognized instructors who are authors, bloggers and teachers. We believe that any researcher, scholar, family historian no matter who they are researching will benefit from MAAGI.
At MAAGI, we can promise an experience, not a typical lecture, but we provide some hands on assignments, even pre-assignments to get you prepared.
We want to turn on your thinking skills.
If you are not African American, you might think, “why attend an African American Genealogy Institute:? Remember, we are all researching individuals who were born, married, owned and worked land, worked jobs, went to church and lived in communities. There is no color to that aspect, all researchers have to follow the evidence. During the slavery era those researching ancestors who were enslaved, must learn other records that were created by slaveholders, due to the various laws and more to follow those ancestors. So, records like wills, probate records, estate inventories are to be used to find their ancestors.
I also consider all who use those records to be the idea candidates for MAAGI. You will learn things that are not typically involved in your research. Our classes reflect who our instructors are. So, we urge you to challenge yourself to learn more! MAAGI wants to educate and provide you with tools you might not see at a conference or referenced in a public talk.
Institutions are becoming more popular each year and I believe they are the wave of the future of genealogy vs. a conference. Researchers are looking for more hands on and strategies to help move their research along.
Are there other institutes? Sure there are. At this point MAAGI is not seen at the same level as GRIP or SLIG, in their eyes. I am saddened with this thought. But we are just as good if not better than any other institute. MAAGI is going into her 5th consecutive year. We pride ourselves on maintaining the small classroom sizes to maximize the learning for individuals.
Part of the 2016 MAAGI Track 1 Class
When researching ancestors and they are people of color you will have to take a few more twists and turns to find them. They are not always in the typical places where others find records. In addition, there are some strategies needed to combat the challenges that follow all genealogy research.
Of course, this does not mean that researching your Irish or Native American won’t have some of the same challenges, but at MAAGI you will learn and be able to use those tools with any of your research. MAAGI wants you to have good sound practices and tools for success. We help you to develop a timeline and a research plan.
Learning new skills or enhancing your skills will help further your research and tell the stories. MAAGI offers special topics within the 4 tracks, such as researching for civil war soldiers, USCTs, it’s not just looking at fold3, could be certain records sets, like Record Group 105, Freedmen Bureau, or Land Records, pension records, specific slave research topics, and much more. Military is highlighted in Track 3, so it how to attack the wealth of information. The access to records at the Allen County Library is another perk. Take a peak at the sessions for each track to obtain an idea of which one you want to attend. (www.maagiinstitue.org)
One tradition that I want to highlight at MAAGI is the Wednesday evening brick wall session. They are held in the lobby of the hotel. Everyone gets a chance to tell about their brick wall and everyone is involved helping to solve the brick wall and then it moves on to the next person. We have fun and it’s a great team effort seeing everyone contribute to helping others where they are stuck. You just never know what happens when a bunch of good minds come together focusing on an issue. We have great successes and discoveries. One of the most memorable ones can be heard via an interview Angela Walton-Raji on her African Roots Podcast. (http://africanrootspodcast.com/african-roots-podcast-episode-275-july-11-2014/)
2017 MAAGI Registration opens Jan 13, 2017, you have time to join as a member (see member benefits on the webpage) and save some costs. There is a hotel block at the Marriott. Think about what you need in your research journey at this time. Figure out which track you want to experience and register. The MAAGI Coordinators, Angela Walton-Raji, Bernice Alexander Bennett, Janis Minor Forte and of course me hope to see you in Ft. Wayne. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
EDUCATION, RESEARCH, RESOURCES