This list of lecture topics and summaries has been updated as of 1 September 2021. If you are interested in booking me for an event, lecture, or webinar, please contact me by email at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Grandpa Got Hit by Freight Train & Lives to Tell the Tale: Best Tips for Newspaper Research Newspaper research is something every good research log should include. From birth announcements to death notices and everything in between, they are a wealth of information. Though they may not be the most accurate of record sets, newspapers can give you the enriching details of your family’s history and reveal stories you never heard! Let’s dive into the best tips and strategies for finding newspapers online, on-site, and how to source them. NEW LECTURE
The 3 Vitals: Strategies for Finding Elusive Birth, Death, and Marriage Information The three most important records for our family tree include a birth, marriage, and death record. But what happens when these vital records cannot be located? Let me share with you some fantastic strategies for finding elusive birth, death, and marriage records in the United States and substitute records for when the records cannot be found. NEW LECTURE
African American Research in the United States: An Overview African American research in the United States can be tricky. To begin, you need a solid overview of what records exist, what records do not exist, how and where to find records, and how to piece together your family tree. This lecture is for beginners and will cover laws that impacted African Americans who were enslaved, manumitted, emancipated; Free People of Color; special collections and more. NEW LECTURE
Discover the Power of Digitizing Your Family History & How to do It! Are you ready to move all that paper you’ve collected into something digital that can be easily shared with family? I can show you how! We will discuss how to turn your charts, notes, and even pictures into the best quality digital scans and how best to store your finished product.
FamilySearch: More Than Meets the Eye Maybe you have been using FamilySearch for a long time and really enjoy finding censuses and vital records, but did you know there is much, much more? We will look at some unique and often overlooked collections like naturalization records, probate estate files, guardianships, and negro registers and how to access them. Then, we will learn to utilize the digital library for books and reference material you may not find anywhere else. Lastly, I will introduce you to the free online consultations with a Family History Library expert. FamilySearch will become your new favorite place to research your family tree!
Finding Your Story: Adoption and Family History Are you ready to find your birth family? Do you wonder what makes you…you? Let’s talk about what to expect on your journey, what first steps are necessary to find answers to your questions, and some additional places to look for information regarding your birth family ties. NEW LECTURE
Genealogist Turns Private Eye: Tips for Finding Living Relatives When you think of genealogy or family history, you might be thinking – “dead people”. In reality, it’s the living people who help you overcome your biggest obstacles in putting together your family tree. Whether you are adopted and looking for your birth family or just trying to get through the next brick wall, finding living relatives is key. Learn all the tips for finding your living family today! NEW LECTURE
FamilySearch Family Tree App: It’s a Snap FamilySearch Family Tree app is a snap! Learn about all its special features and tools to make preserving, sharing, and learning your family history an enjoyable experience. This lecture is especially geared toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and includes tips on how to find names to take to the temple. [Note: This lecture can omit the church topics for a general audience] NEW LECTURE!
State, County, and City Censuses, Oh My! Federal censuses are a foundation for creating a timeline for our ancestral families, but they are only taken every decade. And, what about the missing 1890 census?! The answer for filling in the gaps are state, county, and even city censuses. I will share what information they hold and exactly where you might find them.
DNA Testing Ethics: Things to Consider: DNA testing is the future of genealogy, but sadly, we may not be prepared for the many ethical questions it brings to the forefront. In this lecture, we will utilize the Genetic Genealogy Standards document of 2015 to learn what is considered sound ethical practices in our field. We will also discuss some case studies to help you consider what your own ethics and principles are when considering who to test, asking a person to test, revealing unexpected results, and more. This lecture will NOT take a right/wrong approach or try to change anyone’s opinions, but strives to bring attention to things you may not have considered.
Genealogy 101: Learn the right way, the FIRST time! This class can easily be turned into a workshop. We will start at the very beginning discussing genealogy vocabulary, charts, websites, and software. You will get a nice overview of what genealogy is and the resources and tools you need to begin. Next, we will go step-by-step to learn how to record and find new family history data for your family tree. We will focus on using free resources, such as RootsMagic Essentials and FamilySearch.org. Attendees will leave with a firm grasp on how to begin their genealogy research from home.
Get ‘Twitterpated’ with Twitter for Genealogy: Twitter for genealogy? Yep! Learn how to tweet, what to tweet, who to follow, Twitter etiquette, and the power of hashtags. Twitter is a social media tool taking genealogy research or society to the next level. Twitter is a news feed of constant happenings in our community, such as: new record sets, conference news, webinars, genealogy tips, bargains, and more. Whether you’re a beginning researcher, a genealogy professional, or a society board member, this lecture will help you harness the power of Twitter for genealogy.
Habits of the Effective Genealogy Strategist: If you feel like you are going around in circles or distracted by every bright shiny object in your research, you are not alone! You just need an S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure). Join us as we discuss what tips and strategies make an effective S.O.P. and how to incorporate the Genealogical Proof Standard. We will also dig deeper into the research process and overcoming brick wall problems.
Finding Answers in Naturalization Records: Immigration research can begin right here in your own back yard. In fact, many researchers may feel inclined to “jump the pond” too quickly and overlook some wonderful sources. This lecture will cover two case studies using naturalization records and passenger lists in the 1930s and in the 1830s. Jump aboard as we discover your immigrant roots!
Enriching Your Family History through Pictures and Stories: What does it mean to have an enriching family history? Pictures and stories add that special piece to your family story. Learn where and how you might drag up old photos and stories about your own ancestors. We will be discussing some familiar websites and techniques, as well as some that you may never have known existed!
Rooting Out Your Native American Ancestry: Many families have a Native American tradition in their family story. Let’s get to the bottom of it. Learn the basics of tracing Native American ancestry, particularly the Southeastern American tribes and discuss the pros and cons of DNA testing for the purpose of proving your Native ancestry.
Crowdsourcing with Social Media to Overcome Brick Walls in Genealogy Research: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are not just for the teenagers anymore. These are just three of the many social media apps and websites that you need to utilize for your family history. Answers to brick walls are waiting! Using social media as a type of crowdsourcing will amaze you, so join us for this fun and informative topic.
Trolling Virtual Cemeteries and Using Cemetery Records: And you thought it was scary to go trolling through the cemetery on a dark and foggy night! The real scare is when you don’t know about all the online sites dedicated to viewing a cemetery without ever leaving home. Troll along with us as we talk about these virtual sites and discuss the often overlooked cemetery records and where to find them.
Google Your Way to Genealogy Success: You’ll never believe how many wonderful tools exist on Google these days! From successful keyword searches, mapping, books, translating documents, and much, much, more! Googling your way to genealogy success is simple once you know a few key points. You will be a Google guru in no time!
Have You Seen Me? Missing Children and Proof of Parentage: Eventually, we all lose the trail of our ancestors or their families. Whether a child was born and died between censuses, or lived and married before 1850, there are ways to root out these missing individuals and prove their parentage. Learn sound techniques for finding birth and death records, using probate records to establish relationship, children’s home records, guardianship records, and more. This class also focuses on advanced search techniques for using browse-only databases at FamilySearch.
“Deed” You Hear About These Underutilized Records?: Deeds are just one of many underutilized record sets genealogists need to use. Warranty and quit-claim deeds hold vital information that will lead you to great discoveries in your family tree. We will also discuss estate packets, guardianship records, civil case files, and more.
Secrets and Clues Hidden in the 1790 – 1840 U.S. Censuses: The US has taken a federal census since 1790 and they have been invaluable to your genealogy research. However, there are secrets hiding in nearly each one. Do you know them all? These hidden findings are brick wall busters for sure! This lecture covers little known facts about each of the US censuses from 1790 to 1860.
1850 to 1900 U.S. Federal Census Secrets Revealed: Learn the many hidden treasures found in the U.S. censuses between 1850 and 1900. We will discuss the different types of schedules including population schedules, slave schedules, and the mortality schedules. Censuses are the foundation of our genealogy research, so make sure you are getting everything out of them!
1910 – 1940 Federal Censuses & State Censuses to Fill in the Gaps: The U.S. censuses for the 20th century are overflowing with amazing clues. Learn what you might be missing if you are not familiar with the questions and the enumerators instructions. We will end this discussion with the often overlooked state censuses and the brick wall busting information they hold.