My AppGen Experience: Half Way Through the Class

In early February, I wrote about my pleasure and excitement when I was successfully enrolled in Advanced Swedish Research offered by the relatively new (second semester) virtual education opportunity, the Applied Genealogy Institute.

AppGen, for short, provides genealogical education opportunities described as “Learn by Doing.”

I promised to share my thoughts and impressions part way through the class and then provide an overall review when the class ended.

First, each of the classes offered by the Institute consists of four sessions, which in reality in 3 weeks long since Class 1 is Day One with three remaining weeks.

Advanced Swedish Research meets on March 14, 21, 28 and April 4 from 3:00-6:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). This afternoon, I will attend Class 3.

What to expect in terms of format and material covered was clearly outlined in the class summary posted before the enrollment process began.

My Impressions

Instructor Jill Morelli clearly defined expectations and requirements for this class. Given the Scavenger Hunt/Homework assignment each week, my current thought is that 4 sessions is a good amount of time.

Class has begun promptly at 3:00 with 14 participants. (Class limit is 15.) An updated agenda has been provided each morning before class. I really liked that Jill added a lesson on Probate Records after many of us noted in the pre-class questionnaire that we’d like to know more about them.

Each session is a blend of lecture and hands on research, finding persons and details in early Swedish records, which can be found either on the Swedish National Archives (free) or ArkivDigital, by subscription and the company provided an extremely inexpensive subscription for the duration of the class – US$16!

Given that this is an advanced class, the work load isn’t insignificant, which I expected and with which I am comfortable. I am retired and do genealogy for hours every day, so this isn’t an issue.

The Scavenger Hunt takes me a few hours; the remaining hours of the homework is dedicated to our own (guided) research. I have to admit that I found a great rabbit hole this week on ArkivDigital and spent so many hours poring through records that, although I finished the Scavenger Hunt and began writing up my personal research, I didn’t have time to finish it before emailing it in yesterday morning.

I probably spent around 25 hours last week – maybe even 30 –  working on the assignment – but, bear in mind that many of those hours were of my own choosing to follow the BSO (bright, shiny object).

My initial stated research goal was to find where and when my 5X great grandfather Anders Molin (1740-1786+) died. That’s idealistic as a number of his descendants have been hunting for years without success.

My second goal is to develop skill using more advanced Swedish records, which this class is providing.

In summary, I’m very pleased with my class at the mid-point. It’s a small group and, although we don’t socialize much, there is plenty of opportunity to have good class discussions and to ask as many questions as necessary.

Jill Morelli, the instructor, is also available during the week in between class sessions and has promptly answered my email queries.

More to come after the class concludes on 4 April 2022, but I am more than happy with my experience so far.


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