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.
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.
In view of the recent death of
Patricia Shawker, CG, director of NIGR, 2007–2015, the board
of directors has postponed the 2015 institute until July 2016.
on how to register for 2016 will be announced by December
1, 2015. Please check back for updates.
NEW DIRECTOR APPOINTED
Malissa Ruffner, J.D., CGSM
The board is pleased to announce the appointment of Malissa
Ruffner, J.D., CGSM,to succeed as director of NIGR, effective immediately.
She will assume responsibility for the institute in July 2016
and future years. The National Archives, through its
representative on the board of directors, has expressed strong
support for the continuation of NIGR and will work with the new
director to assure success in coming years.
Malissa, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, earned a Bachelor of
Arts from Goucher College and a law degree and a Master of
Library Science degree, both from the University of Maryland. In
addition to genealogy, she has worked as a lawyer, and in
schools, libraries and archives. Her genealogical pursuits
include client work, writing and blogging, lecturing, and
participation in conferences and institutes, including NIGR, the
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Institute of Genealogy and
Historical Research at Samford University, the Genealogical
Research Institute at Pittsburgh, Forensic Genealogy Institute,
ProGen, and “Come Home to New England” at the New England
Historic Genealogical Society. Malissa currently serves on the
Maryland Genealogical Society Board of Directors and on the
Intellectual Property Committee of the Board for Certification
Additional information about the next institute will be
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
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
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.