Class Descriptions & Presenter Bios

Click on the links below to read complete class descriptions & presenter information.

Are You Creating Your Own Brick Walls

Char Mitts

Basic, Intermediate

A genealogy brick wall often is a difficult research problem or dead end that prevents you from going further in your research. There are many different reasons for brick walls; some are out of your control. Many times there are brick walls in our research that we can do something about. Don’t give up on searching too early. During this class you will learn the many ways that we may be creating our own brick walls, how you can prevent them and how you may be able to fix some of those you already have.

Char Mitts

Char Mitts is a researcher and presenter for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple and Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost thirty years. Char is a graduate of the ProGen Study Group, an 18-month Professional Genealogy course, and was the leader for two other ProGen Study Groups. She was the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society for eight years, in 2010 started and currently leads the Legacy Family Tree Users Group and in 2020 started and leads the FamilySearch Users Group for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She has lectured locally and nationally. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen. In 2021 Char and her husband, John, sold their house and became full-time RVers traveling around the country, doing their genealogy and helping others along the way.

Basic Courthouse Research

Char Mitts

Basic

The courthouse is full of records rarely used by genealogists because most have to be viewed in person at the courthouse. Searching and studying these records compiled when your ancestors lived can break down brick walls. Learn how to prepare for a courthouse research trip, what to bring on the trip, tips on what to do while in the courthouse and what records you can find while there.

Char Mitts

Char Mitts is a researcher and presenter for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple and Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost thirty years. Char is a graduate of the ProGen Study Group, an 18-month Professional Genealogy course, and was the leader for two other ProGen Study Groups. She was the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society for eight years, in 2010 started and currently leads the Legacy Family Tree Users Group and in 2020 started and leads the FamilySearch Users Group for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She has lectured locally and nationally. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen. In 2021 Char and her husband, John, sold their house and became full-time RVers traveling around the country, doing their genealogy and helping others along the way.

Be Your Family’s Yarn Spinner

Alexis Mayo

Basic

This class is a guided journey through the collection of family information and photos, use of digital recorders for recording relatives’ stories, organization of materials and writing stories of your family. We will also talk about Story Corps, how to do a limited publishing at Woodneath Library in Kansas City, and learning how to be a storyteller.

Alexis Mayo

Alexis Mayo holds a secondary teaching certificate in French and Spanish as well as a Master’s degree in Education. She has taught middle school, high school and college for over thirty years. During that time, she has been a board member of the Foreign Language Association of Missouri and has worked as a liaison for foreign exchange students. She has also trained interpreters and translators at Maple Woods Community College and ran her own business from 2000-2009.

From 2012-2014 Alexis served a church mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a director of a church center for employment and self-sufficiency, a polylingual instructor of career workshops and English classes.

She and her husband, Hays (deceased) have six children, twenty-two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She enjoys knitting, writing and doing family history work.

Before Rosie: The Women of the Great War

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

The advent of war in Europe opened a doorway for women to step through and experience war as they had never experienced it before. While men had their guaranteed places of service as they had in past wars, women were entering into new areas of service on the home front, and overseas, because of the high demand for fighting forces in Europe. From raising funds at home to serving as “Hello Girls” and nurses, many women fervently stepped up to support, fight in, or fight against the war effort with as much patriotism and enthusiasm as their male counterparts. This presentation will explore the different areas women participated in during the Great War and the records that may provide information a genealogist might find helpful during their 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 an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.

Beginning Ancestry

Kim Alberg

Basic

Research your family history with Ancestry Library Edition. Search the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940 as well as immigration, vital, military, court, church, and ethnic records. Basic computer literacy is required.

Kim Alberg

Kim Alberg is a Genealogy Research Associate at the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) in Independence, Missouri. A genealogy enthusiast since her early childhood, Kim blends her passion for genealogy with her 39 years of classroom instruction to assist and educate MGC customers seeking to learn more about their heritage.

 
Born in Illinois, Kim is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia, with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, and certifications in elementary, middle school, secondary social studies, and gifted education. Prior to joining the staff at MGC, Kim taught 31 years in the Blue Springs (Missouri) school system and an additional 8 years at William Jewell College and Blue River Community College in the greater Kansas City area. Now, she enjoys developing classes and teaching MGC customers new ways to uncover their family’s past.

Beginning Genealogy

Shari Golden

Basic

Find out the fundamentals of beginning your genealogical research project. We will discuss organization, census information, vital records, and where to look for information. This is a beginning level class.

Shari Golden

Shari Golden is a Genealogy Reference Associate at the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) in Independence, Missouri.  Genealogy, research, and storytelling has all held her interest in one capacity or another her entire life.  

 
Shari was born in Kansas City, Missouri but has made her home in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Minnesota.  She is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas and the University of Missouri – Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri.  Prior to her employment at MGC, Shari worked in various facets of Social Services for roughly 15 years. She has transitioned those skills to her work in genealogy studies related to Orphans, Intergenerational Trauma, Boarding Schools, Poor Farms, Indigenous research, and finding female ancestors.
 
Shari is the proud auntie to five nieces and nephews.  She is also an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which has helped propel her studies in Indian Law, Treaty Rights, and general native cultural research. When she has time off, she appreciates spending it in nature, gardening, painting, taking photographs, traveling, listening to music, attending powwows, and learning new skills.   

Beyond the Draft Card: Researching Your Great War Ancestor

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Beyond the Draft Card focuses on resources available for researching your Great War ancestor. The presentation will begin with a very brief history of the beginning of World War I and the entry of the United States into the war. A review of World War I draft specifics and draft card details will be shared to assist attendees in familiarizing themselves with this resource. Though the primary focus of the presentation will be on resources available for World War I research in the United States, time will be dedicated to resources available for research in other countries involved in The Great War as well as a discussion regarding border changes in Europe during the period immediately preceding and following The Great War. While there is a heavy emphasis on resources available for researching military personnel, this presentation will not focus solely on military personnel during World War I and does not provide an in-depth discussion of military personnel records. Resources highlighted in this presentation will vary from those available online to some lesser-known repositories and museums that attendees may find helpful.

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 an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.

Boomer Sooner! The Run for Land in Oklahoma

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Depicted in various popular culture mediums ranging from books to movies, the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 heralded the opening of the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma for settlement. The decision to open the Unassigned Lands for settlement had a history of its own, stretching over approximately a 20-year period, which eventually led to the official opening of the Unassigned Lands for settlement. The events that ensued changed the United States forever. There were a total of four additional land runs held in Oklahoma, each dissecting a different piece of the Unassigned Lands and each creating records which can provide genealogists with detailed information about the people and land involved. This session will provide a summary of the catalyst for the beginning of the land runs, a brief discussion of each land event (from the first land run in 1889 to the final land auction in 1906), and will discuss records available for researching during these events.

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 an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.

Búsquedas en Español!

Loraine McCall

Basic

En esta clase navegaremos técnicas básicas para comenzar tu árbol genealógica. Aprenderemos cómo comenzar nuestras búsquedas, qué buscar, y cómo hallar nuestros ancestros. Para ser eficaces, será importante tener el nombre más antigua que tengas de su ancestro, si tienes abuelos o padres todavía en vida, pregúntales lo más que puedas en los ancestros, pregúntales los nombres, dias de nacimiento, pueblo de crianza y/o nacimiento, o fecha y lugar de defución. Con éstos datos vendrás a la clase con información de donde podremos hacer búsquedas básicas y cómo animarse a buscar más ancestros.

Loraine (Mojica) McCall

Loraine (Mojica) McCall emprendió su viaje genealógico en el 2003 en la biblioteca de Historia Familiar en Salt Lake City como estudiante universitaria. Le encantó la genealogía desde el momento que ella leyó los nombres de sus bisabuelos en un índice del acta de matrimonio del 1909 de Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Mientras seguía sus estudios universitarios en la Universidad de Brigham Young en Provo, Utah, ella decidió tomar clases genealógicas para refinar y aprender a organizar su búsqueda genealógica. Tomó un semestre general y otro curso enfocado en búsquedas hispánicas. La búsqueda de Loraine comienza en Puerto Rico y ha encontrado ancestros que nacieron en España. Aunque no se considera una profesional, ella espera ayudar a varios individuos a encontrar a sus ancestros y ayudar a adiestrar a otros cómo organizarse y encontrar detalles en sus búsquedas genealógicas. Loraine fue fotógrafa por más de una década y se promovió a ser ama de casa para estar más con su familia en el 2019. Hoy en día aún Loraine encuentra documentos de sus ancestros y de sus familias extendidas, hallando piezas adicionales de la gran rompecabeza que ayuda identificarse con su orígen como un individuo. Ella está tremendamente agradecida por los rasgos en su carácter que ella reconoce haber recibido de sus ancestros, y siente que ella es la mujer que es hoy por la influencia de ellos a través de las generaciones.

Can You Remember Your Grandmother's Voice

Mark Nye

Basic

Older family members often believe that their children and grandchildren don’t want to take time to “hear their stories” and life experiences. Let’s fix that! It’s easy, short, and VERY fun. Learn about several creative ideas for capturing audio Memories in FamilySearch.

Mark Nye

Mark Nye has been active in documenting family history – for my his family as well as for dozens of friends and acquaintances – for the past 30 years. Over the past 10 years, he has made more than 300,000 contributions to FamilySearch. From 2019-2021, Mark served together with his wife Shelli as an Area Temple & Family History Consultant for their church, assisting people throughout eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Maryland. During that time, they also hosted weekly “live” (and recorded) instructional genealogy sessions on Facebook and YouTube. Their Facebook Group – “Family History in Greater Philadelphia” has more than 900 members. Both Mark & Shelli have also taught genealogy sessions at local libraries.

Colonial Research: Proving/Disproving an Undocumented Family Line

Patti Todd Gillespie

Intermediate

Many families take great pride in their ancestral colonial lines. This presentation examines the research plan and process of proving such a family line from Ohio back to the Colony of New Hampshire and then to Massachusetts Bay Colony. Online research is always helpful, but it is the results of offline research at archives, repositories, and libraries that provide the thrill. Anyone who is interested yet reluctant about beginning colonial research, this presentation hopes to take away the worries and replace them with wonder.

Patti Todd Gillespie

Patti Todd Gillespie brings energy and humor to her classes. She is a huge believer in lifetime learning and inclusive presenting. An avid hobby genealogist for 30 years, Patti formed Family Lines & Stories, her own research company, seven years ago. She stays busy researching for clients and speaks to groups, small and large, in and out of Texas—usually virtually now. She presented two sessions at RootsTech 2019 and RootsTech Connect 2021; in 2020 she presented several sessions for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); she has spoken several times at Texas State Family History Conference. She continues as 5th term president of Wise County Genealogical Society while waiting for a willing soul to step up. A former teacher of French & English, Patti very much enjoys presenting. She watches as many genealogy webinars as possible when not attending to her husband, children, grandchildren, landscaping, and rescue dog. Eventually Patti plans to continue her blog for the 25 avid readers she treasures.

Discovering Ancestors Using the FamilySearch Research Wiki

Daniel Scott

Basic, Intermediate

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a comprehensive online genealogy guide containing thousands of resources to help you find and connect with your ancestors. It has information about various genealogical records to help solve the easiest to the most difficult research problems. In addition, our optimized Guided Research tool takes you directly to the best places to find your ancestors’ records.

 
This class covers how to find records using Guided Research, Wiki pages, and other resources. As you search for birth, marriage, and death information, learn some of the unique research strategies for your ancestor’s homeland and boost chance of success.

 

Daniel Scott

Daniel Scott has a background in operations and project management, and have been employed at FamilySearch since November of 2018. During that time, he has managed projects with the North America and Global Operations teams providing support for FamilySearch Community, Help Center, Image Capture and Indexing Projects. Daniel lives in historic Lexington, Missouri with his wife, Holly, and their five children.

DNA Matches - What to do with them?

Lauri Jean Swett

Basic

You’ve taken a DNA test and your results are ready. Now what?  Learn how to prepare your family tree, understand relationship estimates, and identify how you and your matches are related.

Lauri Jean Swett

Lauri Jean Swett is a presenter, researcher, writer and volunteer with a certificate in written story telling. Current president of APG’s Heartland Chapter and ProGen graduate. She researches in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia. Specializes in the Midwest and Sweden.

East European Research

Iveta Blahútová

Basic

In this class, you will learn which countries are considered to be part of Eastern Europe and when they were established. You will explore the history of the region, discover the history of the Slavic people, their settlements, and their three ethnic groups. You will learn when and why people emigrated from these countries. This class will also cover how to start and focus your research, explore the records available, and which U.S. websites may be helpful in your quest. We will also learn how to overcome a language barrier and learn which MGC books and periodicals are helpful for this research.

Iveta Blahútová

Iveta Blahútová is a Genealogy Research Analyst in the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) in Independence, MO. She has been a presenter to many groups on ethnic genealogy. She also moderates the German SIG. Iveta is a graduate of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, Faculty of Law. She embraced this direction in her career because of interest in history, languages, old manuscript, and etymology.

FamilySearch: Finding What You Need and What You Didn’t Know You Wanted

Patti Todd Gillespie

Basic, Intermediate

Before Ancestry, there was FamilySearch—yet FamilySearch continues today as a free, thriving and regularly updated website for researchers. While many researchers are fond of the FS Wiki and many are fond of the main research page, this presentation focuses on the hidden gems of FamilySearch’s unindexed but digitized records.

Patti Todd Gillespie

Patti Todd Gillespie brings energy and humor to her classes. She is a huge believer in lifetime learning and inclusive presenting. An avid hobby genealogist for 30 years, Patti formed Family Lines & Stories, her own research company, seven years ago. She stays busy researching for clients and speaks to groups, small and large, in and out of Texas—usually virtually now. She presented two sessions at RootsTech 2019 and RootsTech Connect 2021; in 2020 she presented several sessions for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); she has spoken several times at Texas State Family History Conference. She continues as 5th term president of Wise County Genealogical Society while waiting for a willing soul to step up. A former teacher of French & English, Patti very much enjoys presenting. She watches as many genealogy webinars as possible when not attending to her husband, children, grandchildren, landscaping, and rescue dog. Eventually Patti plans to continue her blog for the 25 avid readers she treasures.

Finding an Immigrant’s Family Members with Clues from an Ancestor’s Journal

Shelli Nye

Basic

My ancestor’s journal talked about a man and his family who had lived in the same Welch village as he did, who had the same last name and was about the same age. They both immigrated to America separately. I took the clues from the journal and discovered the details of the story of the man and his family and learned how to research using multiple sources. Not all facts are found online! I also think I found how they came to meet again in America. I was humbled by the dedication and love to their families of both of these men. I hope you come and share this story with me!

Shelli Nye

Even though Shelli Nye was born in Utah and is a descendant of early Utah Mormon pioneers, she has lived in 15 states and has several Mayflower ancestors including her 10th great grandfather, Governor William Bradford. She has five children and 11 grandchildren. She recently moved from Philadelphia to KC to be close to her grandchildren. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Communications and Interior Design. Following family history traditions, her volunteer service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes serving for 12 years as a director of a family history center and a regional training consultant in eastern PA, NJ and Delaware. She taught many classes helping others to understand and access the benefits of FamilySearch.org. She is also a frequent instructor in local libraries and other conferences.

Following the Streams of History: the Tributaries of Life

Lyle Gibson

Basic, Intermediate

This presentation will examine primary and secondary source information and how to contextualize information. Historical methodologies will provide the foundational tools necessary to research and document your family history. Importance will also be given to creating timelines and properly annotating your research. Information will also be given on how to adapt your research strategies; organizing and managing your research; what to do with your research; and the importance of genealogical discernment, knowing what is historically sound versus historically inaccurate.

Lyle Gibson

Lyle Gibson is a genealogist with 31 years of experience and a historian with over 24 years teaching experience, Lyle developed an interest in history and genealogy while serving in the Air Force stationed in Greece. He holds memberships in the SAR and local genealogical societies. Lyle authored a book about a multiracial American family from the time span of the colonial period to the early twentieth century entitled Black Tie White Tie. He also adapted and produced a historical documentary that shares the same title. He has also worked on the award winning documentary series An American Story. Lyle founded The Elijah Adkins Reed Historical Preservation Society, a non-profit organization geared towards preserving America’s history through film. He serves as history professor at the Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City and he is a Fulbright Scholar (1999 Senegal, West Africa). He is the father of son Camron and daughter Cynae (pronounced sin-ay).

Forensic Genealogy: Case Study

Juli Whittaker

Basic

Forensic Genealogy and examples of how it is used. Walk thru a case study of a repatriation case.

Juli Whittaker

Juli Whittaker is a Credentialed Forensic Genealogist (FGC) with over 25 years of family history research and 10 years of forensic genealogy experience. Her primary focus is Military Repatriations, Next of Kin research and Probate work.

Fraternal Organizations: The Original Social Network

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Social networks have been around since before the digital age. Fraternal organizations were among the original social networks and were a large part of many of our ancestors’ lives. This session will look at some of the fraternal organizations your ancestors may have been a part of, will review some of the symbolism associated with the organizations, and will discuss clues you can look for to determine if your ancestor was a member of a fraternal organization and where to locate resources that may assist the researcher in discovering information about their ancestor’s fraternal life.

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 an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.

From Tobacco to Bitcoin - A History of US Currency

Heather Jenkins

Intermediate

Have you ever wondered what currency your ancestors used to purchase goods and services? The United States dollar was not issued until 1792 and the currency used during the colonial times was dependent on the state and territory. This session will explore the history and the different types of currency in the United States from colonial times to today. We will also look at some documents and learn how to identify the type of currency and why it is important.

Heather Jenkins

Heather Jenkins has traced her own family history for over 25 years through Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, and Canada. She is the author of the Balanced Genealogy blog and she currently serves as the treasurer for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She worked as a federal program auditor where she developed her research and analytical skills. Using that experience, she researches our ancestors’ financial footprints across the United States from colonial times to today. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting and Finance and is currently working towards the American and the Professional Development Certificates through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. She is also a member of the National Genealogy Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Genealogy & Family History-Perfect Social Media

Claire V. Brisson-Banks

TBA

TBA

Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS AG®, is the CEO of Timeless Genealogies providing ancestral, descendant, and forensic research services. An International and National lecturer and researcher, a published author accredited in England and the U.S. Mountain States Region. Her areas of expertise in connection with Genealogy and Family History are Technology Advances, social media, US, Canadian, England, Scotland, Brick Walls, and Working with and Involving Youth in Family History and Genealogy. She is a Grand Canyon University doctorate learner working on her dissertation to bring Family History to the colleges.

Get Involved in Family History!

Jenny Truman

Basic

FamilySearch.org has something for everyone. Learn the ins and outs of indexing, and other volunteer opportunities. Discover in-home and online activities designed for the whole family.  It’s family history in a whole new way!

Jenny Truman

Jenny Truman has been a volunteer indexer on the FamilySearch website for 10 years. She has taught classes and given instruction on indexing and family history activities to people of all ages and abilities. 

Getting Started with Military Research

Pam Miller

Basic

Research into military service can yield valuable information. The first question is, was your ancestor the right age to serve. The answer may be in home resources, the census, and books. Important clues are in online draft registrations and government land records. In addition, websites such as Fold3 and the National Archives may lead a researcher to request individual military records. This class on basic military research will cover all this and more.

Pam Miller

During the 1950s and 60s, Pam Miller’s mother introduced her children to the importance of family during visits to various elderly family members. About 1995, Pam started adding to her mom’s research, and the two enjoyed summer research trips together. After retirement in 2012, she had more time to focus on building her research skills through the Johnson County Genealogical Society (JCGS), online classes at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS), Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and attending institutes and conferences

How to Date Old Photographs

Kim Alberg

Basic

Most genealogists have a box full of unidentified photographs, usually passed down from generation to generation. Dating your photographs can possibly help you identify who the people are and where they were. We will give you tips on using items in the photograph, as well as the photograph itself, to determine the time period in which it was taken. Bring in one or two photographs for our team to help you date. This is a beginner-level class.

Kim Alberg

Kim Alberg is a Genealogy Research Associate at the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) in Independence, Missouri. A genealogy enthusiast since her early childhood, Kim blends her passion for genealogy with her 39 years of classroom instruction to assist and educate MGC customers seeking to learn more about their heritage.

 
Born in Illinois, Kim is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia, with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, and certifications in elementary, middle school, secondary social studies, and gifted education. Prior to joining the staff at MGC, Kim taught 31 years in the Blue Springs (Missouri) school system and an additional 8 years at William Jewell College and Blue River Community College in the greater Kansas City area. Now, she enjoys developing classes and teaching MGC customers new ways to uncover their family’s past.

How to ‘Harvest Like a Combine’ with Newspapers.com. Your Great Aunt Didn’t Have Access to Today’s Digital World

Mark Nye

Basic

Many of us have the “proverbial Great Aunt” who is the genealogy or record keeper for our family. She has shelves full of three-ring binders, boxes of old letters, newspaper clippings, etc. This was my “Aunt Donna.” Learn how I approached the task of preserving and sharing the treasures she had so meticulously kept over decades – including how I augmented her records by using Newspapers.com. Learn the standards for properly uploading Memories to FamilySearch.

Mark Nye

Mark Nye has been active in documenting family history – for my his family as well as for dozens of friends and acquaintances – for the past 30 years. Over the past 10 years, he has made more than 300,000 contributions to FamilySearch. From 2019-2021, Mark served together with his wife Shelli as an Area Temple & Family History Consultant for their church, assisting people throughout eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Maryland. During that time, they also hosted weekly “live” (and recorded) instructional genealogy sessions on Facebook and YouTube. Their Facebook Group – “Family History in Greater Philadelphia” has more than 900 members. Both Mark & Shelli have also taught genealogy sessions at local libraries.

How to Conduct an Oral History (Virtual Presentation)

Ben Baumann

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Historian Ben Baumann talks about his experiences conducting oral history interviews for the Indiana Legislative Oral History Initiative and what he has learned to be the best practices for a successful oral history interview. In this presentation, attendees will learn about the various aspects of conducting an oral history interview, including oral history ethics, what types of equipment to use, as well as what questions to ask and how to ask questions that will provide the best answers.

Ben Baumann

Ben Baumann is a Historian at the Indiana Historical Bureau, a Division of the Indiana State Library. He is in charge of the Indiana Legislative Oral History Initiative, which was created to conduct the oral history of the Indiana General Assembly.

How to Think Like a Researcher Part 1

Shelli Nye

Intermediate

Come with some experience in looking at records. This class will stretch your thinking skills! We are looking to prove identity by understanding relationships using “If…Then” inferential thinking. Family relationships are easier to understand using an expanded family chart to include more generations. We will explore an expanding vertical and horizontal mind mapping model. This kind of model allows for other possibilities when you include multiple marriages and various generations as you search for clues. We will apply the model to a case study where we need to find more information as we discuss questions to ask and clues to look for.  It is easy to overlook a clue! Let the records tell you what you know about your family rather than searching for an elusive fact that was never true in the first place!

Shelli Nye

Even though Shelli Nye was born in Utah and is a descendant of early Utah Mormon pioneers, she has lived in 15 states and has several Mayflower ancestors including her 10th great grandfather, Governor William Bradford. She has five children and 11 grandchildren. She recently moved from Philadelphia to KC to be close to her grandchildren. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Communications and Interior Design. Following family history traditions, her volunteer service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes serving for 12 years as a director of a family history center and a regional training consultant in eastern PA, NJ and Delaware. She taught many classes helping others to understand and access the benefits of FamilySearch.org. She is also a frequent instructor in local libraries and other conferences.

How to Think Like a Researcher Part 2

Shelli Nye

Intermediate

We will apply the mind map model explained in part 1 to a different case study. You do not need to attend Part 1 to understand Part 2. The model will be reviewed and applied to a different case study where we have more information than we need! We will study a family with 18 children and discover who is the mother and father of each child. The model helps to clarify the relationships beyond a Person Page in FamilySearch.org. It helps you sort out the information you have and answer questions like, If this is true then is that true too? Make an assumption and prove it or not. And what about all those southern nicknames!?

Shelli Nye

Even though Shelli Nye was born in Utah and is a descendant of early Utah Mormon pioneers, she has lived in 15 states and has several Mayflower ancestors including her 10th great grandfather, Governor William Bradford. She has five children and 11 grandchildren. She recently moved from Philadelphia to KC to be close to her grandchildren. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Communications and Interior Design. Following family history traditions, her volunteer service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes serving for 12 years as a director of a family history center and a regional training consultant in eastern PA, NJ and Delaware. She taught many classes helping others to understand and access the benefits of FamilySearch.org. She is also a frequent instructor in local libraries and other conferences.

How to Trace Your Irish Ancestors Back to the Homeland

John Manning

Basic, Intermediate

In Irish research, starting with what you know and working from that baseline is a common strategy and a vital methodology used to identify the clues and information needed to solve the identity of ancestors and their native County, townland, city, or parish. Join us as we discuss these strategies and sources of information for Irish family history.

John Manning

John Manning, the principal researcher of the Country School Genealogist LLC, has more than three decades of research experience. Retired after 40 years as a US Army officer and Federal employee, John brings a wealth of knowledge to enrich the experience of genealogy research and family history storytelling. John writes, lectures, and consults on various genealogy topics, including Irish research, military records, and immigration and naturalization records. John is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). His genealogy training and education include the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Writing Logical Proof Arguments Practicum, and attending the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Additionally, he has completed the Boston University Certificate of Genealogical Studies, the 18-month ProGen Study Group and attended numerous local, regional, and national genealogy conferences.

Introduction to DNA for Genealogy

Lauri Jean Swett

Basic

DNA and traditional genealogy work together to identify our ancestors and to tell their stories.  We need to understand what DNA can and cannot tell us, which test to take, and which company to use.  There are also terms we need to know.

Lauri Jean Swett

Lauri Jean Swett is a presenter, researcher, writer and volunteer with a certificate in written story telling. Current president of APG’s Heartland Chapter and ProGen graduate. She researches in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia. Specializes in the Midwest and Sweden.

Introduction to the Missouri State Archives

Michelle Brooks

Basic

As the official repository for state government records, the Missouri State Archives holds an abundance of genealogical resources. This session will provide you with an overview of the records available for research at the archives, as well as provide information on how to do distance research at the archives by using online databases or submitting research requests.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks is a research analyst at the Missouri State Archives. After 25 years as a newspaper reporter, she earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Lincoln University (MO.) with emphasis in anthropology and history. She has published four books on Jefferson City history.

Introduction to the Missouri State Archives

Michelle Brooks

Basic

As the official repository for state government records, the Missouri State Archives holds an abundance of genealogical resources. This session will provide you with an overview of the records available for research at the archives, as well as provide information on how to do distance research at the archives by using online databases or submitting research requests.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks is a research analyst at the Missouri State Archives. After 25 years as a newspaper reporter, she earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Lincoln University (MO.) with emphasis in anthropology and history. She has published four books on Jefferson City history.

Introduction to the Swedish Church Books

Kathy Meade

Basic, Intermediate

The Swedish church books are usually the first Swedish records that one uses when tracing one’s Swedish roots. These records are a “gold mine” because they are so complete and contain detailed information. This lecture will give an overview of the Swedish church records: births, marriages, deaths, household examination records, and records of movement. You will learn that one doesn’t need to know Swedish to research your ancestor from birth to death or birth to emigration in these wonderful records!

Kathy Meade

Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to Swedish historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for nearly twenty years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy and had genealogy articles published in the Swedish American newspaper (Nordstjernan). Kathy serves on the advisory board for the Nordic Family Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

Introduction to the Swedish Estate Inventory Records

Kathy Meade

Intermediate, Advanced

This class focuses on mastering the Swedish estate inventory records (bouppteckningar). These records are very similar to probate records. The estate inventory records include genealogical information and information about the deceased’s estate. The class will focus on how one can quickly identify the genealogical information in an estate inventory without knowing Swedish and identify supplementary resources for working with these records.

Kathy Meade

Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to Swedish historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for nearly twenty years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy and had genealogy articles published in the Swedish American newspaper (Nordstjernan). Kathy serves on the advisory board for the Nordic Family Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

Irreconcilable Differences in Research

Colleen Battle

Basic, Intermediate

Online research tools have been a game changer for genealogy research, but they have also become a kind of gamer nightmare for serious research. In this course you will learn techniques for:
– Recognizing incongruent data and how to evaluate its relevance
– Evaluate a document in its larger context
– Alternative approaches to finding answers that confirm or deny a research find as relevant
– The impact of family stories on research strategy

Colleen Battle

Having done serious family research since 2009 and fascinated by the people stories she uncovered, combined with a desire to pursue a next career, Colleen Battle began studies at the University of Boston for genealogy. While she is still “in training” (and no doubt will be for the rest of her natural life), Colleen has been able to help her clients look for and find additional information through careful evaluation of known facts vs. assumed facts. Her experience has largely been in 19th century families in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri, following the migration after the Revolution, through the Civil War and beyond.

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad…Research

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

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 an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.

Key Websites to Help with Your Irish Research

John Manning

Basic, Intermediate

When tracing your Irish immigrant ancestor, we begin by trying to determine their origin in Ireland. Many people believe that researching Irish ancestors is difficult because of the Public Record Office’s (PRO’s) destruction in1922. Extensive genealogical materials have recently come online, and the growing list of Internet options has resulted in many more people finding their ancestors in Ireland. This discussion will provide you with a list of online resources to assist your Irish research.

John Manning

John Manning, the principal researcher of the Country School Genealogist LLC, has more than three decades of research experience. Retired after 40 years as a US Army officer and Federal employee, John brings a wealth of knowledge to enrich the experience of genealogy research and family history storytelling. John writes, lectures, and consults on various genealogy topics, including Irish research, military records, and immigration and naturalization records. John is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). His genealogy training and education include the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Writing Logical Proof Arguments Practicum, and attending the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Additionally, he has completed the Boston University Certificate of Genealogical Studies, the 18-month ProGen Study Group and attended numerous local, regional, and national genealogy conferences.

Military Pensions: Vital Records in Disguise!

Patti Todd Gillespie

Basic, Intermediate

Military pension records are an amazing source of information. This presentation puts “flesh on the bones” of several individuals whose military records are reviewed from various historical wars involving the United States. It also goes through the steps of retrieving pensions from various repositories while demonstrating how to utilize and link family lines through these documents.

Patti Todd Gillespie

Patti Todd Gillespie brings energy and humor to her classes. She is a huge believer in lifetime learning and inclusive presenting. An avid hobby genealogist for 30 years, Patti formed Family Lines & Stories, her own research company, seven years ago. She stays busy researching for clients and speaks to groups, small and large, in and out of Texas—usually virtually now. She presented two sessions at RootsTech 2019 and RootsTech Connect 2021; in 2020 she presented several sessions for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); she has spoken several times at Texas State Family History Conference. She continues as 5th term president of Wise County Genealogical Society while waiting for a willing soul to step up. A former teacher of French & English, Patti very much enjoys presenting. She watches as many genealogy webinars as possible when not attending to her husband, children, grandchildren, landscaping, and rescue dog. Eventually Patti plans to continue her blog for the 25 avid readers she treasures.

Native American Research: The Five Civilized Tribes

Shari Golden

Basic

Do you have Native American ancestors that lived in Oklahoma? If so, they may have been members of one of the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, or Seminole. Learn how to research your ancestors using U.S. Census and Dawes Rolls records.

Shari Golden

Shari Golden is a Genealogy Reference Associate at the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) in Independence, Missouri.  Genealogy, research, and storytelling has all held her interest in one capacity or another her entire life.  

 
Shari was born in Kansas City, Missouri but has made her home in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Minnesota.  She is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas and the University of Missouri – Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri.  Prior to her employment at MGC, Shari worked in various facets of Social Services for roughly 15 years. She has transitioned those skills to her work in genealogy studies related to Orphans, Intergenerational Trauma, Boarding Schools, Poor Farms, Indigenous research, and finding female ancestors.
 
Shari is the proud auntie to five nieces and nephews.  She is also an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which has helped propel her studies in Indian Law, Treaty Rights, and general native cultural research. When she has time off, she appreciates spending it in nature, gardening, painting, taking photographs, traveling, listening to music, attending powwows, and learning new skills.   

Q & A Discussion 1: for Ward Temple and Family History Consultants

Char Mitts

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

This class is for specifically geared towards members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who serve as ward temple and family history consultants wanting to know more about their callings and learn what others in the surrounding areas are doing. All those supporting temple and family history are welcome to attend to gain insights into working with the ward temple and family history consultants.

The class will start with a brief presentation period regarding supporting temple and family history callings in the stake or ward, followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel of ward temple and family history consultants, leaders and ward leaders supporting temple & family history, including a past bishop.

Char Mitts

Char Mitts is a researcher and presenter for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple and Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost thirty years. Char is a graduate of the ProGen Study Group, an 18-month Professional Genealogy course, and was the leader for two other ProGen Study Groups. She was the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society for eight years, in 2010 started and currently leads the Legacy Family Tree Users Group and in 2020 started and leads the FamilySearch Users Group for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She has lectured locally and nationally. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen. In 2021 Char and her husband, John, sold their house and became full-time RVers traveling around the country, doing their genealogy and helping others along the way.

Q & A Discussion 2: for Ward Temple and Family History Leaders

Char Mitts

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

This class is for specifically geared towards members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who serve as ward temple and family history leaders wanting to know more about their calling and learn what others in the surrounding areas are doing. All those supporting temple and family history are welcome to attend to gain insights into working with the ward temple and family history leader.

The class will start with a brief presentation period regarding supporting temple and family history callings in the stake or ward, followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel of ward temple and family history consultant, leader and ward leaders supporting temple & family history, including a bishop and Relief Society leader.

Char Mitts

Char Mitts is a researcher and presenter for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple and Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost thirty years. Char is a graduate of the ProGen Study Group, an 18-month Professional Genealogy course, and was the leader for two other ProGen Study Groups. She was the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society for eight years, in 2010 started and currently leads the Legacy Family Tree Users Group and in 2020 started and leads the FamilySearch Users Group for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She has lectured locally and nationally. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen. In 2021 Char and her husband, John, sold their house and became full-time RVers traveling around the country, doing their genealogy and helping others along the way.

Q & A Discussion 3: for Stake and Ward Priesthood and Relief Society Leaders supporting Temple and Family History Callings

Char Mitts

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

This class is for specifically geared towards members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who serve as stake and ward priesthood and Relief Society leaders supporting temple and family history who want to know more about their callings and learn what others in the surrounding areas are doing. All those with temple and family history callings are welcome to attend to gain insights into working with their stake and ward leaders.

The class will start with a brief presentation period regarding supporting temple and family history callings in the stake or ward, followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel consisting of Daniel Scott (FamilySearch), Jay and Bonnie Nielsen (Regional FamilySearch Missionaries), a stake president, high counselor and stake and ward priesthood and Relief Society leaders.

Char Mitts

Char Mitts is a researcher and presenter for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple and Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost thirty years. Char is a graduate of the ProGen Study Group, an 18-month Professional Genealogy course, and was the leader for two other ProGen Study Groups. She was the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society for eight years, in 2010 started and currently leads the Legacy Family Tree Users Group and in 2020 started and leads the FamilySearch Users Group for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She has lectured locally and nationally. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen. In 2021 Char and her husband, John, sold their house and became full-time RVers traveling around the country, doing their genealogy and helping others along the way.

Let's Play Genealogy! Getting Your Youth Involved!

TBA

Basic

More and more young people are doing genealogy. This class explores fun ways to help your young people get to know their ancestors and start their genealogical journey. Activities will include games, to field trips ideas, creating a garden with cutting from grandma, eating a dinner with recipes from the extended family, having a day without technology, dressing up in historical costumes, or playing “Our Family Trivial Pursuit”. This and more fun with your ancestors!

TBA

TBA

Naturalization Records at NARA

Elizabeth Burnes

Basic, Intermediate

Did your ancestors pursue US citizenship or maintain immigrant status after arrival in the United States? This session will offer a brief history of naturalization laws and proceedings and describe the related records and resources available through the National Archives (NARA). Participants will learn how to follow citizenship clues, understand special cases (i.e. minors, veterans, women), and submit a successful request for naturalization records from the National Archives.

Elizabeth Burnes

Elizabeth Burnes is an Archivist for the National Archives at Kansas City who serves as NARA’s Research Services division Subject Matter Expert for Immigrant Records and is the lead archivist for Alien Files (A-Files) reference. She received a Bachelor’s degree in History at Truman State University, and a Master’s degree in History and Museum Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Preserving Family Pictures and History (Prerecorded)

Elaine Hepburn

Basic

This presentation will provide quick and easy tips to protect your photographic memories and stories to pass on to generations to come. We will discuss industry standards for backing up your photos and options on how to organize your photos. We will show ways to enjoy those memories.

Elaine Hepburn

Elaine Hepburn has 20 years’ experience in supporting enterprise customers with their Telecom and IT requirements. Elaine has held positions of Account Manager and Senior Account Manager for a telecom manufacturer as well as Account Manager for a I.T. computer and network technology company and Senior Account Manager for an application development company. Ten years ago, Elaine made a career shift to start her own business of her passion – helping to inspire others to preserve their memories, photographs and stories. Elaine has partnered with various organizations and recommends products and services to suite her customers’ memory keeping requirements. As an Executive Ambassador with FOREVER, Elaine’s commitment to her clients is to bring the best of the best to them!

Quest for English Ancestors

Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Intermediate, Advanced

During this presentation you will develop a better grasp of researching in England. You will gain a better understanding of how to conduct research in England for ancestors born or living there before 1837. You will learn how to access, use, and know the differences between the following record types: Census Returns, Civil Registration, Parish Registers, Marriage Indexes, Licenses, Bonds & Allegations, Monumental Inscriptions, Cemetery/Burial cloth records, Military Records, Probate Records, Poor Law Records and Internet Resources. This will require additional skill but there is a large number of little-know and internet resources that can bring you back to the 1600s and beyond.

Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS AG®, is the CEO of Timeless Genealogies providing ancestral, descendant, and forensic research services. An International and National lecturer and researcher, a published author accredited in England and the U.S. Mountain States Region. Her areas of expertise in connection with Genealogy and Family History are Technology Advances, social media, US, Canadian, England, Scotland, Brick Walls, and Working with and Involving Youth in Family History and Genealogy. She is a Grand Canyon University doctorate learner working on her dissertation to bring Family History to the colleges.

Researching Your Civil War Soldier

Mary Dempsey

Basic

Ever wanted to know more about that famous ancestor who served in the U.S. Civil War? Discover the sources you need to find ancestors that served in the Civil War as well as general information about the political, social, and cultural forces that affected their lives.

Mary Dempsey

Mary Dempsey has been doing her own genealogy research for more than 20 years, enjoying every minute of discovery, especially finding her roots in England and Wales. She has worked at the Midwest Genealogy Center for six years as a Genealogy Reference Associate, helping others discover their family roots.

Researching at Your Public Library

TBA

Intermediate

Researching at your public library can provide you with many resources if you know where to look. Public libraries provide reference materials, city directories, local history and private collections and databases to help you with your genealogical and historical research. This presentation will show you how to use a library for research and give you examples of resources you may find in your local library and in libraries around the county.

Sherri Camp

Sherri Camp, a genealogist and historian, received her undergraduate degrees in history and sociology, a Master’s degree from Washburn University and a Certificate in Genealogy from Brigham Young University. She is founding president of the Kansas Network to Freedom-Educating the public on the Underground Railroad (UGRR) in Kansas. This group was responsible for the UGRR Conference in Topeka in 2010. Sherri is the founder and president of Kansas Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) 2011 and served four years as the AAHGS National Vice-President and two years as its President along with other positions on the AAHGS Board. She is also president and founder of Family Artifacts and Cultural Exchange, a research group specializing in African American history and genealogy records.

Researching the Swedish Church Books Using ArkivDigital

Kathy Meade

Basic, Intermediate

ArkivDigital is an online site that provides access to newly photographed images of the Swedish historical records. ArkivDigital’s online archive includes all the church books from the earliest times (the 1600s) until the mid-twentieth century. In this class, you will learn how to research the Swedish church books using archival search methods and name searching. Learn how easy and fast it is to find your ancestor using the new name searching indexes. Using a case study, a demonstration will show how one can use ArkivDigital to research the Swedish church books.

Kathy Meade

Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to Swedish historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for nearly twenty years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy and had genealogy articles published in the Swedish American newspaper (Nordstjernan). Kathy serves on the advisory board for the Nordic Family Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

Rich or Poor? Clue into Your Ancestor’s Financial Well-Being

Heather Jenkins

Intermediate

Our ancestors had jobs, owned property, borrowed funds, and spent money on goods and services. The daily activities of our ancestors left many records for us to explore. This session will discuss the different types of records that can identify their assets and liabilities to estimate their net worth. We will also review some of the events that had an impact on our nation’s economy as well as our ancestors. Lastly, disasters, such as fire and flood, destroyed records but they also created new records about our families that may contain clues about their financial well-being.

Heather Jenkins

Heather Jenkins has traced her own family history for over 25 years through Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, and Canada. She is the author of the Balanced Genealogy blog and she currently serves as the treasurer for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She worked as a federal program auditor where she developed her research and analytical skills. Using that experience, she researches our ancestors’ financial footprints across the United States from colonial times to today. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting and Finance and is currently working towards the American and the Professional Development Certificates through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. She is also a member of the National Genealogy Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Scotland Research Strategies

Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Intermediate, Advanced

This case study will be using a set of records, in a step-by-step process, to unravel a family legend and extend a family pedigree. ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, FamilySearch.org, Scan and other Scottish websites. will be used. It will shows how to unravel and solve family legends through research, sorting through the various tales passed down through the generations and getting to the actual facts.You will learn to pay attention to details of a family legend, learn how to separate facts from fiction and learn what really happened with your ancestors. You will gain detective like skills, organizing found information in a logical way so as to plan continuing research.

Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS AG®, is the CEO of Timeless Genealogies providing ancestral, descendant, and forensic research services. An International and National lecturer and researcher, a published author accredited in England and the U.S. Mountain States Region. Her areas of expertise in connection with Genealogy and Family History are Technology Advances, social media, US, Canadian, England, Scotland, Brick Walls, and Working with and Involving Youth in Family History and Genealogy. She is a Grand Canyon University doctorate learner working on her dissertation to bring Family History to the colleges.

Searching Spanish Records for Non-Spanish Speakers

Loraine McCall

Basic

What do you do when your ancestors came from a background where you do not speak the language? Reading pre-modern script is daunting as is the learning curb. Having it in a different language than your own adds a whole new level of challenge to your research goals. In this class, we will navigate basic vocabulary in several kinds of documents from Hispanic records. Additionally, we will find extra gems that typically appear in Records from Hispanic-decent countries that may give you additional clues to find more than two or three ancestors in a single record!

Loraine (Mojica) McCall

Loraine (Mojica) McCall started her genealogical journey in 2003 at the Salt Lake Family History Library as a college student. She was bitten by the genealogical bug the moment she laid her eyes on her great-grandfather and great-grandmother’s names on an 1909 marriage index from Gurabo, Puerto Rico. While pursuing her studies in Brigham Young University, she decided to take a more sophisticated approach to genealogy and learn as much as she could taking two semesters of general and Hispanic genealogy. Loraine’s genealogical research begins in Puerto Rico and has found ancestors in Spain. Although she considers herself a hobbyist more than a professional, she hopes to help as many individuals as she can to learn ways to discover clues in their family history research. Loraine pursued a career as a photographer for over a decade and then promoted herself to stay-at-home-mom in 2019. To this day, she still finds records from her ancestors and extended ancestors and loves piecing together parts of the puzzle of the family who helped pave the road for her to become the woman she is today.

Sharing Your Research Through Paper Crafts

Heather Jenkins

Basic

As the family historian, it is your responsibility to share your genealogy research with your family. There are many different ways to present your family tree to others. This session will focus on using paper crafts to show your genealogy. This can be as simple as a card or as complex as an elaborate box with a waterfall album. Paper crafts are for all ages as an activity to do together or a gift to a family member.

Heather Jenkins

Heather Jenkins has traced her own family history for over 25 years through Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, and Canada. She is the author of the Balanced Genealogy blog and she currently serves as the treasurer for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She worked as a federal program auditor where she developed her research and analytical skills. Using that experience, she researches our ancestors’ financial footprints across the United States from colonial times to today. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting and Finance and is currently working towards the American and the Professional Development Certificates through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. She is also a member of the National Genealogy Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Steps to Take to Find Your Elusive Irish Ancestor

John Manning

Basic, Intermediate

Irish genealogical research is often complex because of the lack of available records. Many researchers with Irish ancestry often become frustrated as they encounter brick walls. Brick walls should be recognized as part of Irish genealogy research. Many critical records needed by genealogists have been destroyed over the years. Ireland has had its share of wars, famine, natural disasters, fires, and even the deliberate destruction of records, which impact our research. Let’s examine some research techniques that can be used to help break through your brick walls.

John Manning

John Manning, the principal researcher of the Country School Genealogist LLC, has more than three decades of research experience. Retired after 40 years as a US Army officer and Federal employee, John brings a wealth of knowledge to enrich the experience of genealogy research and family history storytelling. John writes, lectures, and consults on various genealogy topics, including Irish research, military records, and immigration and naturalization records. John is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). His genealogy training and education include the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Writing Logical Proof Arguments Practicum, and attending the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Additionally, he has completed the Boston University Certificate of Genealogical Studies, the 18-month ProGen Study Group and attended numerous local, regional, and national genealogy conferences.

The 1950 Census: The Wait is Over

Heather Jenkins

Basic

The National Archives released the 1950 US Census to the public on April 1, 2022. The United States conducted the first census in 1790 and continued to do so every 10 years. These records are an important part of our genealogical research. The census has evolved over the years to reflect the various characteristics of the United States. This presentation will discuss the history of the 1950 US Census and what a researcher may find. We will also learn how to prepare our research and how to locate our ancestors in the 1950 US Census.

Heather Jenkins

Heather Jenkins has traced her own family history for over 25 years through Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, and Canada. She is the author of the Balanced Genealogy blog and she currently serves as the treasurer for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She worked as a federal program auditor where she developed her research and analytical skills. Using that experience, she researches our ancestors’ financial footprints across the United States from colonial times to today. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting and Finance and is currently working towards the American and the Professional Development Certificates through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. She is also a member of the National Genealogy Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

The Art of the Tombstone: Cemetery Art and Symbols

Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Cemeteries are among the most popular field trips for genealogists. Jokes abound about genealogists braking for cemeteries and disturbing the dead while irritating the living. A genealogist who successfully locates and photographs an ancestor’s tombstone is a happy genealogist because often, a tombstone will contain information that can add to or help corroborate names and dates on a family tree. But trips to the cemetery can yield more gold than simply names and dates. Often tombstones will also contain a symbol or other artwork. Now known as Iconography, the symbols or artwork on a tombstone were typically carefully chosen by the family of the deceased as a representation of their dearly departed. Understanding the meaning of symbols you find on an ancestor’s tombstone may provide clues about your ancestor’s life, beliefs, or activities and can help you add to your ancestor’s story.

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 an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter. Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.

The Census Taker Said What? Basic Census Research

Char Mitts

Basic, Intermediate

The census shows a snapshot of individuals, businesses and organizations from decade to decade. Learn how the census has evolved through the years, how to find these snapshots of information of your family and how to interpret the clues they contain.

Char Mitts

Char Mitts is a researcher and presenter for C & J Genealogical Services. She is a Temple and Family History Consultant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost thirty years. Char is a graduate of the ProGen Study Group, an 18-month Professional Genealogy course, and was the leader for two other ProGen Study Groups. She was the president of the Johnson County Genealogical Society for eight years, in 2010 started and currently leads the Legacy Family Tree Users Group and in 2020 started and leads the FamilySearch Users Group for the Johnson County Genealogical Society. She has lectured locally and nationally. She is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of nineteen. In 2021 Char and her husband, John, sold their house and became full-time RVers traveling around the country, doing their genealogy and helping others along the way.

Using Findmypast

Mary Dempsey

Basic

Learn to search billions of records to find your ancestors from all over the world. Records include U.S. and U.K. censuses, Irish records, and parish records from England and Wales. This class focuses on search tips as well as the types of records that can be found in Findmypast.com. This is a beginner-level class for adults. Basic computer literacy is needed to follow along.

Mary Dempsey

Mary Dempsey has been doing her own genealogy research for more than 20 years, enjoying every minute of discovery, especially finding her roots in England and Wales. She has worked at the Midwest Genealogy Center for six years as a Genealogy Reference Associate, helping others discover their family roots.

Using Fold3

Iveta Blahútová

Basic

Learn how to use Fold3 to access U.S. military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who have served. This class focuses on search tips as well as the types of records available. This is a beginner-level class for adults. Basic computer literacy is needed to follow along.

Iveta Blahútová

Iveta Blahútová is a Genealogy Research Analyst in the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) in Independence, MO. She has been a presenter to many groups on ethnic genealogy. She also moderates the German SIG. Iveta is a graduate of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, Faculty of Law. She embraced this direction in her career because of interest in history, languages, old manuscript, and etymology.

Using Name Searchable Indexes in ArkivDigital

Kathy Meade

Basic, Intermediate

Learn about the name searchable indexes in ArkivDigital. ArkivDigital provides online access to the Swedish historical records and is available at Family History Centers. Learn how to use the new name searchable registers for the household/congregation records between1800-1947 censuses for 1950,1960, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, and the Swedes in the 1940 United States census, name searchable indexes for births, marriages, and death records, probate records, and other record types. The presentation will focus primarily on showing how to search in these indexes and highlight a few different registers available in the service.

Kathy Meade

Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to Swedish historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for nearly twenty years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy and had genealogy articles published in the Swedish American newspaper (Nordstjernan). Kathy serves on the advisory board for the Nordic Family Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

Ways to search for records on FamilySearch.org and using The Family History Guide

Shelli Nye

Basic

No research experience necessary. FamilySearch.org has a lot more than a worldwide family tree, come and see how you can find elusive records by using the map feature, historical images and the digital book library. FamilySearch has more than 24 billion images with several more being constantly added. In addition, learn about the best research guide on the internet! Thefhguide.com is truly amazing! It is a certified FamilySearch affiliate which helps you to learn about record searching and where to find worldwide records by location. It also teaches you how to use the 4 giant websites so you can navigate them like a pro!

Shelli Nye

Even though Shelli Nye was born in Utah and is a descendant of early Utah Mormon pioneers, she has lived in 15 states and has several Mayflower ancestors including her 10th great grandfather, Governor William Bradford. She has five children and 11 grandchildren. She recently moved from Philadelphia to KC to be close to her grandchildren. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Communications and Interior Design. Following family history traditions, her volunteer service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes serving for 12 years as a director of a family history center and a regional training consultant in eastern PA, NJ and Delaware. She taught many classes helping others to understand and access the benefits of FamilySearch.org. She is also a frequent instructor in local libraries and other conferences.

When Proof Isn’t Really Proof After All

Patti Todd Gillespie

Basic, Intermediate

Several individuals whose life information is culled from newspapers, censuses and family trees are examined closely. Logical flaws are noted, further research is introduced, and entirely different conclusions may be discovered. This presentation is helpful to beginning and intermediate researchers.

Patti Todd Gillespie

Patti Todd Gillespie brings energy and humor to her classes. She is a huge believer in lifetime learning and inclusive presenting. An avid hobby genealogist for 30 years, Patti formed Family Lines & Stories, her own research company, seven years ago. She stays busy researching for clients and speaks to groups, small and large, in and out of Texas—usually virtually now. She presented two sessions at RootsTech 2019 and RootsTech Connect 2021; in 2020 she presented several sessions for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); she has spoken several times at Texas State Family History Conference. She continues as 5th term president of Wise County Genealogical Society while waiting for a willing soul to step up. A former teacher of French & English, Patti very much enjoys presenting. She watches as many genealogy webinars as possible when not attending to her husband, children, grandchildren, landscaping, and rescue dog. Eventually Patti plans to continue her blog for the 25 avid readers she treasures.

Where do I begin? Basics of Swedish Research

Kathy Meade

Basic

Learn how to trace your Swedish roots. The presentation will cover naming
patterns, Swedish spellings, and Swedish geography. The presentation will focus on finding the key facts about one’s Swedish ancestors, such as Swedish name, parish of origin, and significant dates such as the birth date needed to use the Swedish records. We will review the various personal records, U.S. public records, Swedish-American unique records, and emigration records that can be used to discover these facts and locate these valuable resources.

Kathy Meade

Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to Swedish historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for nearly twenty years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy and had genealogy articles published in the Swedish American newspaper (Nordstjernan). Kathy serves on the advisory board for the Nordic Family Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

William Eckler and Charles Arthur: One Man, Two Lives

Patti Todd Gillespie

Basic, Intermediate

A free Black, William Eckler came to Texas to fight in the Indian Wars after the Civil War. After being honorably discharged, he disappeared. Shortly thereafter, Charles Arthur met and married his wife, started a family, and held his own as a free Black man in a largely Confederate community. Not until Charles Arthur applied for his federal military pension did the truth come out. Follow the facts, the documents, and the family truths of William Eckler and Charles Arthur in this presentation.

Patti Todd Gillespie

Patti Todd Gillespie brings energy and humor to her classes. She is a huge believer in lifetime learning and inclusive presenting. An avid hobby genealogist for 30 years, Patti formed Family Lines & Stories, her own research company, seven years ago. She stays busy researching for clients and speaks to groups, small and large, in and out of Texas—usually virtually now. She presented two sessions at RootsTech 2019 and RootsTech Connect 2021; in 2020 she presented several sessions for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); she has spoken several times at Texas State Family History Conference. She continues as 5th term president of Wise County Genealogical Society while waiting for a willing soul to step up. A former teacher of French & English, Patti very much enjoys presenting. She watches as many genealogy webinars as possible when not attending to her husband, children, grandchildren, landscaping, and rescue dog. Eventually Patti plans to continue her blog for the 25 avid readers she treasures.