Class Descriptions

A Brick in the Wall

Advanced

Misplaced ancestors got you down??  A Brick in the Wall class provides for open question and discussion, to move those bricks from your walls to a path in your ancestor’s journey. Please bring the specific Brick Wall and be prepared to discuss your own personal trials. This class is for advanced genealogists that want to explore and inspire others with advanced searching techniques.  Please bring a writing utensil and your Brick Wall, questionnaire will be provided.

Heidi Taylor
Heidi has always enjoyed family history and research. Now she is thrilled to be able to help others finding their family bloodlines.  With 30 yrs (and loving every minute of it) of experience and having some of the best research facilities in the USA right here in her backyard, she can’t wait to see who is in her family. Owner, A Positive Genealogy, Adoption/DNA Researching, MGC Brick Walls Group Instructor,  Midwest Genealogy Center Volunteer, Genealogy KC Class Instructor 2018, Kansas City Irish Festival Genealogy Volunteer, Former Board Member of the Jackson County Genealogical, DAR/SAR application assistance

Accessing Worldwide National Archives and Libraries for Genealogy

Intermediate

We all know how helpful our own National Archives and Library of Congress can be for genealogical research, however the same resources in many foreign countries are so rarely considered for genealogical research.  Together we will explore what can be found in the online offerings of a number of these archives and libraries and how you can access them – even if you do not speak even a single word of the native language.  

Angela Fields 
Angela is the VP of Communication for Johnson County Genealogical Society and is their DNA special interest group leader.  She is currently working towards a master’s degree in Genealogical, Palaeographic, and Heraldic Studies, having recently completed her first year (earning a Post-graduate Certificate) with the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.  Angela is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Census Records Research

Beginner

The U.S. Federal Census is a great place to start tracing your ancestors. The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and a census has been taken every 10 years since that date. Learn what census years are available, what information they contain, and how to access them. One will also learn what different information was included on each federal census and how to access that information.

Midwest Genealogy Center
Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) is one of the nation’s preeminent resources for family history, providing access to almost three-quarters of a million on-site materials. MGC features 52,000 square feet of space to house all the free resources and technology needed to research family history. The MGC is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) system.  MCPL has a long history of providing outstanding genealogy resources, and MGC has been a major step in the growth of the system.  Among its many features, MGC houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks.  New technology is also a major attribute of the building.  Microfilm reader-printers, a self-digitization station, and significant database access allow researchers to use today’s technology to assist their investigations.  (Classes will be taught by professional staff from the MGC in Independence, Missouri.)

Beginning Internet Genealogy

Beginner

Discover the best genealogy websites for your research. This is a beginner-level class for adults. Basic computer literacy is needed to follow along.

Midwest Genealogy Center
Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) is one of the nation’s preeminent resources for family history, providing access to almost three-quarters of a million on-site materials. MGC features 52,000 square feet of space to house all the free resources and technology needed to research family history. The MGC is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) system.  MCPL has a long history of providing outstanding genealogy resources, and MGC has been a major step in the growth of the system.  Among its many features, MGC houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks.  New technology is also a major attribute of the building.  Microfilm reader-printers, a self-digitization station, and significant database access allow researchers to use today’s technology to assist their investigations.  (Classes will be taught by professional staff from the MGC in Independence, Missouri.)

 

Beyond the Draft Card: Researching Your Great War Ancestor

Intermediate

The draft card is one of the most well-known resources for researching your Great War ancestors. But once you’ve located your ancestor’s draft card (or haven’t located it!) where do you look next? Resources highlighted in this presentation will include resources for both military personnel and civilians and will vary from those available online to some lesser-known repositories and museums that attendees may find helpful. Though the primary focus of the presentation will be on resources available for Great War research in the United States if time allows, we will also discuss resources in other countries involved in the war.

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell
Dannell “Danni” Altman-Newell is a native Kansas Citian. She began her family history research at an early age, courtesy of spending summers watching her maternal grandparents indexing at the local Family History Center. Danni is currently employed as Director of Operations at the National Storytelling Network and serves as a volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen, Danni loves to gain new knowledge and is passionate about sharing her knowledge through speaking engagements. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com

 

Digging Deeper with FamilySearch

Intermediate

Learn how to search records in FamilySearch using the advance search tools and other techniques in FamilySearch to dig deeper into the roots of your ancestors. Learn how the BYU Virtual Pedigree can help you find names for temple work in five minutes or less. Learn how to use RecordSeek to record sources in the Family Tree of FamilySearch from other websites.

Char Mitts
Char is the owner, principle researcher, and lecturer for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society, and is the leader of the Kansas City Area Legacy Family Tree Users Group. Char has been researching her family history for over forty years and is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen.

 

DNA Results: More than Ethnicity Results

Individuals who have taken a DNA test and want to take advantage of using their DNA results to find family  

Have you taken or are considering taking a DNA test? Did you know there is much more to your DNA results than the “ethnicity” results? Have you reviewed your “ethnicity” results and are wondering “now what do I do?” Learn the basics of using your DNA match results and the tools provided by the DNA testing companies to learn more about your family.

Rebecca Christensen
Rebecca began researching her family history in her teens and now assists others in learning about their family history in both a volunteer capacity and professionally. In 2001 when DNA testing for genealogy was in its infancy, she began co-administering a DNA surname project and now manages three surname DNA projects. She gave her first presentation on using DNA in genealogy in 2005. Rebecca is a graduate of ProGen and completed two Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) courses: “Advanced Genetic Genealogy” (2017) taught by CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger and “Chromosome Mapping” (2018) taught by Karen Stanbary and Blaine Bettinger. Currently, Rebecca is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists Heartland Chapter and director of the Lawrence Kansas Family History Center. 

 

Family History Consultants- How to provide a personal finding experience.

Class geared toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are family history consultants

TBA

TBA

 

Family History That Won’t Make Your Kids Fall Asleep

Beginner

Ever struggled with engaging ALL of your family in genealogy? What if there was a way to engage the young and old alike with simple and effective tools. Recently the Family Tree App has rolled out new family history activities designed to engage the whole family with simple and fun activities. These activities entertain and inform. In this course we will introduce you to some of our favorites and explain how and why they can be used by anyone to help with family history.

Jodi & David Leski
Jodi and David are novice family historians and the parents of five children who know what it is like to struggle sitting together longer than 10 minutes! In this class, they will share their experiences with the Family Tree App and say, “If we can do it…then anyone can!”

 

Growing Your Family Tree with FamilySearch

Beginner

FamilySearch continues to make finding and documenting your ancestors faster and easier. Record you ancestors, then search for records and attach to your ancestors in the Family Tree in FamilySearch. Discover FamilySearch for the first time or take another look into its newer features. Learn how this sites will help you grow your Family Tree. 

Char Mitts
Char is the owner, principle researcher, and lecturer for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society, and is the leader of the Kansas City Area Legacy Family Tree Users Group. Char has been researching her family history for over forty years and is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen.

 

How to do Descendency Research?

Beginner

Learn how to use the consultant planner to do your own descendancy research (no consultant needed!)

The class will focus on optimizing your use of hints, sources, and ancestry/family search interface. We will also discuss how to refine the search information to access more records for your ancestors. 

Vicki Petersen
Vicki is currently serving as a full-time family history records preservation missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has previously served as a service missionary for FamilySearch/family tree and VROC (virtual records operation center). She also has served many years as a family history consultant, and she has also been the director of the Houston Texas Family History Center.  She is a wife, and a mother of 5 children and 13 grandchildren. She and her husband live in North Kansas City, Missouri.

 

 

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad…Research

Intermediate

For more than 100 years railroads have been changing landscapes, communities, and lives throughout the United States. Bringing together rich and poor, young and old with the promise of adventure and sights unseen. Owners, laborers, engineers, and firemen are just a few of the positions employed by railroads. Genealogists often discover records for railroad employees can be elusive. Once found, however, these records often prove to be genealogical goldmines. 

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell
Dannell “Danni” Altman-Newell is a native Kansas Citian. She began her family history research at an early age, courtesy of spending summers watching her maternal grandparents indexing at the local Family History Center. Danni is currently employed as Director of Operations at the National Storytelling Network and serves as a volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen, Danni loves to gain new knowledge and is passionate about sharing her knowledge through speaking engagements. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com

 

I Want to Take a Name to the Temple, Now What?

Class geared toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Learn how to use FamilySearch to find your relatives’ names in your family tree that have not yet received the ordinances of the temple.  In this class you will learn a few simple techniques to find, reserve, and print family name cards in FamilySearch and where to turn for help when you don’t know what to do next. This class is geared to the beginning user of FamilySearch.

Jenny Rebecca Truman 
Jenny is a seventh generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband of 25 years have raised 8 children in the gospel.  Her love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel has led her to a love of all things family history.  Jenny’s clear and patient instructions have taught many people the basics of FamilySearch from obtaining a church account, to building a family tree, to taking family names to the temple to obtain the needed ordinances. 

 

Missouri Land Grant Records

This session will explore the various land grant records available from the French and Spanish era to the U.S. Land Sales and everything in between, including what records are available online.

Christina Miller
Christina is the Senior Reference Archivist at the Missouri State Archives, where she has assisted researchers for over 10 years. Christina holds a Masters of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia School of Library, Archival and Information Studies a Bachelor of Arts in History from Truman State University.

 

One Hour Family History

Beginner

If you only have an hour here and there to dedicate to family history, what are some ways you can contribute? This class focuses on ideas you can do in an hour or less to verify information, find new discoveries, preserve memories, and educate yourself and others in genealogical topics. 

Kelsee Jackson Walker
Kelsee completed family history internships in Austria, England and in the Family History Library (international floor) before receiving a bachelor’s degree in family history and genealogy from BYU. She worked for FamilySearch in 2016 and has since moved to Kansas, where she works as a research contractor.

Overview of Third-Party DNA Tools

Intermediate

Take analysis of your DNA results to the next level using third-party DNA tools. We will explore a variety of DNA tools created to help analyze and visualize your DNA data in new ways. Learn what tools are available, where to find them and why you might want to spend time using them to analyze your DNA results as part of your family history research process. 

Rebecca Christensen
Rebecca began researching her family history in her teens and now assists others in learning about their family history in both a volunteer capacity and professionally. In 2001 when DNA testing for genealogy was in its infancy, she began co-administering a DNA surname project and now manages three surname DNA projects. She gave her first presentation on using DNA in genealogy in 2005. Rebecca is a graduate of ProGen and completed two Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) courses: “Advanced Genetic Genealogy” (2017) taught by CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger and “Chromosome Mapping” (2018) taught by Karen Stanbary and Blaine Bettinger. Currently, Rebecca is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists Heartland Chapter and director of the Lawrence Kansas Family History Center. 

 

Ready, Set, Routine: Organizing and Daily Habits for Busy Genealogists

Beginner

As a genealogist — who hasn’t felt overwhelmed with volumes of paper, a steady flood of daily emails, and projects that have been started but never finished? This presentation will tackle dealing with these issues. You will learn how to set up daily routines that ensure you make the most of the time in your day. You will also discover ways to set up filing systems that work across platforms both digital and conventional. Attendees will be provided a “Tool Kit” of good ideas to take back and implement in their business and personal life. 

Cynthia K Patton
Cynthia has been chasing down elusive ancestors since 1987 when her husband wanted to find out more about his biological father. Dozens of cemeteries and courthouses later she is choosing to be a Professional Genealogist. Cynthia served 24 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves, worked as a Defense Contractor, and has owned her own business – Patton Leadership Consulting since 2009. She teaches and consults on topics such as Work-Life Balance, Organization and Time Management, and Women in Leadership. She is a BU Certificate holder and member of the National Genealogy Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Daughters of the American Revolution, and numerous local historical and genealogical societies.

Researching Your Great War Ancestor at the National World War I Museum

Intermediate

Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, America’s official museum dedicated to the Great War. With a world-renowned collection of artifacts and a wealth of information, it’s a little-known research gem. Come learn about the resources available in the Museum’s Research Center, as well as how the Museum’s website and exhibits can assist you in researching your Great War ancestor and provide historical context for your research.

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell
Dannell “Danni” Altman-Newell is a native Kansas Citian. She began her family history research at an early age, courtesy of spending summers watching her maternal grandparents indexing at the local Family History Center. Danni is currently employed as Director of Operations at the National Storytelling Network and serves as a volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen, Danni loves to gain new knowledge and is passionate about sharing her knowledge through speaking engagements. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com

 

Secrets of the Past: Using Language and Translation in Geneology

Beginner

The purpose is to give attendees a basic knowledge of how to understand and use language and translation in geneology research to find missing links, understand documents and preservation of information

Amanda Kontz
Amanda is a certified teacher in the field of foreign languages, and has been studying languages and linguistics as a hobby since 2002.  Amanda branched out as a translator in 2017 and recently started her 
freelance business specializing in translating documents and teaching languages — Lyrical Linguistics.

 

Skills to Grow Your Genealogy Business

Intermediate

Being a professional genealogist requires more than genealogy skills.  You are an entrepreneur.  Do you have the skills needed to operate and grow your business?  Do you know where to turn for assistance?  Kansas City has an abundance of resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses ready to help.  This session will discuss the skills needed to grow your business along with some free and inexpensive ways to acquire the skills to make your genealogy business a success.

Lauri Jean Swett
Lauri is a professional genealogist.  She is a presenter, researcher, writer and volunteer.  She is a graduate of ProGen and has a certificate in Written Storytelling.  She volunteers at the Platte City Family History Center and is program chairman for the Heartland Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.  Her ancestors have provided 40 years of research experience in the Midwest and Southern United States, Canada and Scandinavia.  

 

The FamilySearch Wiki: Are you getting the most out of it?

Beginner

Are you stuck on a family history problem? Try the FamilySearch Wiki, a resource updated daily by people who have experience with the records and research methodologies. This class will cover the kind of information you can find in the wiki, how to properly search the wiki for answers to some of your genealogical questions, how you may be able to contribute to this “online help desk,” and much more.

Kelsee Jackson Walker
Kelsee completed family history internships in Austria, England and in the Family History Library (international floor) before receiving a bachelor’s degree in family history and genealogy from BYU. She worked for FamilySearch in 2016 and has since moved to Kansas, where she works as a research contractor.

Organizing with Evernote

Intermediate

Discover the computer/tablet/smartphone application Evernote and its useful features that will help you keep your genealogy research organized. Learn tips and advice to maximize Evernote’s versatility. 

Midwest Genealogy Center
Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) is one of the nation’s preeminent resources for family history, providing access to almost three-quarters of a million on-site materials. MGC features 52,000 square feet of space to house all the free resources and technology needed to research family history. The MGC is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) system.  MCPL has a long history of providing outstanding genealogy resources, and MGC has been a major step in the growth of the system.  Among its many features, MGC houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks.  New technology is also a major attribute of the building.  Microfilm reader-printers, a self-digitization station, and significant database access allow researchers to use today’s technology to assist their investigations.  (Classes will be taught by professional staff from the MGC in Independence, Missouri.)

 

Tracing Immigrant Origins

Intermediate

The hometowns your immigrant ancestors came from in the old country often appear in the records found in their new country. Learn the steps to tracing your immigrant’s origin through records.

Midwest Genealogy Center
Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) is one of the nation’s preeminent resources for family history, providing access to almost three-quarters of a million on-site materials. MGC features 52,000 square feet of space to house all the free resources and technology needed to research family history. The MGC is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) system.  MCPL has a long history of providing outstanding genealogy resources, and MGC has been a major step in the growth of the system.  Among its many features, MGC houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks.  New technology is also a major attribute of the building.  Microfilm reader-printers, a self-digitization station, and significant database access allow researchers to use today’s technology to assist their investigations.  (Classes will be taught by professional staff from the MGC in Independence, Missouri.)

 

Your DNA Testing Plan

Individuals determine which DNA Test to take

Y-DNA, X-DNA, mtDNA, autosomal DNA, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, LivingDNA and others? Confused? How does a person decide what type of DNA test to take and which company to test at? And who should you test? Learn the basics of DNA testing so you can build your own DNA testing plan to solve your family history questions and to test efficiently to minimize testing costs.

Rebecca Christensen
Rebecca began researching her family history in her teens and now assists others in learning about their family history in both a volunteer capacity and professionally. In 2001 when DNA testing for genealogy was in its infancy, she began co-administering a DNA surname project and now manages three surname DNA projects. She gave her first presentation on using DNA in genealogy in 2005. Rebecca is a graduate of ProGen and completed two Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) courses: “Advanced Genetic Genealogy” (2017) taught by CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger and “Chromosome Mapping” (2018) taught by Karen Stanbary and Blaine Bettinger. Currently, Rebecca is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists Heartland Chapter and director of the Lawrence Kansas Family History Center.