By Patti Gillespie, BA, M.Ed
1. Kilts, Celts, and Scots: Researching your Scottish Ancestors on ScotlandsPeople.
Once our immigrant ancestor is found, ScotlandsPeople is the surest way to trace further family in Scotland. ScotlandsPeople is Scotland’s official government site with hundreds of years of documents just waiting to be found! This fun site features births and baptisms, deaths and burials, banns and marriages, wills and testaments plus much, much more. This presentation demonstrates how to best use the site with tips and tricks to assist the researcher while also demonstrating the process for tracking your family back in time.
2. Forgotten Treasures in the Texas Courthouse: Discovering the Miscellaneous Books
Are you looking for context and documentation? Do you have an ancestor that seems to have slipped between the cracks? Then this Texas gem hidden away in the courthouses of our counties may hold an answer for you. This presentation not only presents 3 fun Texan stories that have come to life with the information found in a Miscellaneous Book, but also abundant examples of assorted documents will be shown.
3. I’ve Got—Or I’m Getting—My DNA Report: Now What Do I Do? (Beginner)
Presented from a non-geneticist point of view, this presentation explains in a fun and visual way how to choose a company and a test, what to do while waiting for the report, and how to maximize the report results. Whether deciding who to contact, how to use the research within the DNA report, or just how to link our trees to our DNA results, this session will be helpful. Besides spending time reviewing the report, the potential use of raw data is introduced with visual step-by-step to uploading to other sites known as 3rd party tools.
4. I’ve Got My Ancestry DNA Report: Evaluating My Test Results For Connections (Intermediate)
This presentation takes understanding the DNA report to the next level. As a warm-up, we will touch on the DNA Ethnicity Report, the DNA Circles and the DNA Story; more importantly, we will calculate find matches, evaluate the degree of relationship, and compare DNA. This course is geared for those who are beyond beginner and looking to build a greater knowledge of the power of genetics in genealogy.
5. Wise County, TX Records: Repositories, Sites, and Secrets
Finding the original records is not always easy when storage, administrative decisions, staffing changes and courthouse fires cause the records to be scattered. This presentation graphically explains the 8 repositories with record examples that will assist in researching and proving your ancestor in Wise County.
6. Census Sense: Clues & Conundrums for Beginners
Using the federal censuses in researching our ancestors is full of mysteries and puzzles, and there is often more to know about the census than we think. This presentation introduces the census as a source and demonstrates how to use them more effectively in our research. The presentation will also ask and answer beginning research questions using the census as a basis for further research.
7. Census Sense: Clues & Conundrums for Intermediate Researchers
This presentation focuses on federal census headings and codes, alternate federal censuses, state censuses, and their use in our research. The partnership between the national census website and the use of state censuses in revealing information about our ancestors is demonstrated in story form. The value of a research timeline is also demonstrated.
8. Census Sense: Clues & Conundrums for Advanced Researchers (in development)
Location, location, location. This presentation demonstrates how Google Earth can be used to lay out the boundaries of earlier censuses over modern boundaries to find the ancestors’ properties. This course can also be demonstrated and taught as a workshop.
9. Hidden Stories Discovered in Just 3 Documents
The death of a young bride, the parentless pastor, a murdered husband cut down in his prime—all are stories that come to light with just 3 original documents. This presentation encourages researching beyond just one record; haunting stories from these records demonstrate that further information and breaking down brick walls can be done when we just keep looking for other sources.
10. Building a Life Story Beyond the Census: Edmund Marquis Ford
Starting with the census records of Edmund M. Ford, further research documents demonstrate insight into his life. By the end of the presentation a paragraph thumb nail life sketch is built using an historical outline. This is hands-on class closes with a tear jerker resolution and lots of twists and turns for the interested researcher who likes a good story while experiencing the value of many documents used in research.
11. Courthouse Records: One Stop Shopping for Family Secrets
Wonderful stories of individuals and families told in a well-paced introduction to documents found in courthouses. Birth, death and marriage certificates, probate & wills, land, court case documents and guardianship papers are part of these stories. The benefits of courthouse research become clear to the researcher not familiar with these documents.
12. 16 Death Records that Will Bring Your Research to Life!
Knowing where to look can sometimes be the most difficult part of research. This presentation is filled with stories and examples of the often unknown, unfound, and unused death documents.
13. Searching Newspapers: Tips, Tricks, Sites and Context
An up-to-date presentation of tips, tricks, and techniques using newspapers in our research. Several case examples are included as to the value of newspapers in our research as well as an online search of a variety of free newspaper search sites. This presentation will instruct and entertain every researcher.
14. New Research in Old Obits: A Strategy For Finding Further Research
Obituaries can be an amazing source of information with multiple leads for further genealogical research. In this presentation several obituaries are examined and analyzed for further research possibilities. As a conclusion a fun group activity is also included.
15. Solving Mysteries at Home with Old School Communication and New School Technology
This presentation offers abundant tips, tricks, and examples for a researcher who’s looking for answers far from home, but not finding them online. Often underused research and resource opportunities are just an email away—and sometimes still a phone call away! There are often successful means to resolving the mysteries of our ancestors using both online and offline sites and sources for information.
16. Chasing the Children to Find the Father’s Lineage: a Strategy with Stories
When a straight line pedigree is interrupted by a disappearing ancestor, there are several strategies that can help us in our search. This presentation will demonstrate these proven alternate strategies with fascinating stories and amazing information.
17. County Histories: Lost and Found Information
Beginning researchers are often unaware of the existence of county histories within the United States; intermediate researchers are often unaware of the process behind the submitted stories. Both groups benefit from using a county history as a jumpstart to their research. This presentation will demonstrate the abundant information just waiting to be found, proved, and included in our family histories.
18. Brickwall Busting Strategies: Hammering at the Wall
This is a fun presentation with strategies, sources and a variety of documents can hammer down that brick wall. Examples of brick walls broken down are demonstrated by using with vital records, military records, census, prison, land records, newspapers, passenger manifests and divorce records along with a complicated story tracking a woman who changed her name 3 times in public records.
19. Taking a Genealogy Trip: Ready, Set, Let’s Go!
Genealogy trips can be “the bomb”—or they can explode like a bomb. An unsuccessful trip is can most often be prevented by following the steps, cautions, and counsel in this presentation. A fun and lively presentation with stories of personal disasters and serendipity, this is a great way to get ready for that first (or second) genealogy research trip.
20. Researching in 3 Steps: Documents, Context, and Citation
Combining beginning and intermediate opportunities, this presentation combines fascinating stories of humanity paired with opportunities for compassionate context and an analysis of appropriate citation for the documents utilized.
21. Finding Our Scottish Immigrant’s Home with American Documents.
Robert Gillespie, husband, father, and miner emigrated to the United States in 1869; he never became a United States citizen. Without naturalization information it becomes more difficult to find the birthplace of the émigré before 1900. This presentation concentrates on looking for other sources and sites to find his hometown.
22. New Answers in Old County Histories
County histories written in the late 1800s and early 1900s were all the rage at one time, and many, many a prominent individual was flatteringly featured in the biographies included in these histories. Knowing which counties have histories, how to find them, and how to evaluate the details for accuracy is an often forgotten aspect of surveying our family names for preexisting records.
23. Military Records: Stories Found No Where Else!
Military records, both service and pension, are an amazing source of information. This presentation puts “flesh on the bones” of several individuals whose military records have been reviewed; it also goes through the steps of retrieving various records from various repositories and demonstrates how to link a family through these documents. (ready summer of 2018)
24. Proving Long-Lost Family the Indirect Way: Finding the Ancestors of F. N. Raymond
Sometimes we have to go all the way around before we can prove what is right in front of us; sometimes the censuses don’t tell us the relationships in a household, or even the names of the household. This is a presentation chock full of courthouse records and research with a resolution to a mystery that has been misunderstood for decades. Hold on for the ride as this “long way round,” indirect presentation offers hope for those with direct brick walls.