Stillagaumish Valley Genealogical Society

2017 Classes

Wednesday, August 16th:
  • Peggy Lauritzen
    Genealogy 101: A Course in Beginning Genealogy
    Genealogy is an adventure in researching your family’s history. This session will aid the beginner in starting the process and enjoying the journey.
    1. Identify what you already know.
      This will include home sources, oral interviews of older relatives, obituaries, appropriate charts and forms
    2. Filling in the blanks.
      Pedigree analysis will aid us in deciding where we need to go next.
    3. Learning how to obtain and read a record.
      After learning of the many ways to search for and obtain a record, we will analyze the information it may contain.
    4. Organizing what you have gathered.
      Organizing and preserving our data is essential. An overview of computer programs specifically for genealogy will be demonstrated, different filing systems, sharing information with online databases, and leaving a legacy for future generations will be included.
Thursday, August 17th:
  • Diahan Southard

    Key Presentations:
    • Let Your DNA Tell Your Story - Your DNA, by its very nature, is one of a kind. There is no one else on the earth exactly like you. In this class we will cover all three kinds of DNA test types and discover ways you can use this unique record to tell the story of your family history. We will strip down your DNA results into their essential parts, and learn together how to use this fascinating technology to tell an engaging story of your past, using tools you already have, so that even your most skeptical family member will want to hear more about your family history.
    • How DNA Made a Family Out of Strangers – a Case Study - My mom was adopted from an unwed mother’s home in Seattle, Washington. Come learn how we were able to use a combination of genetic and genealogical tools to connect with our biological family, and how it has affected our lives. Leave with concrete ideas on how to apply these same methods to your own personal genetic genealogy endeavors, whether you are looking for your father, or your 3X Great Grandfather.
    • Can DNA Tell Me Where My Ancestors Came From - Have questions about your ethnic origins?  Just want to know what all the maps and percentages mean? This is the place.
  • Michelle Goodrum
    • Digging for Ancestors at the Bureau of Land Management - The Bureau of Land Management website is a goldmine of information for your ancestors who settled the public land states. It can point you to their prior locations, help identify their neighbors, and much more. It also provides the information needed to order your ancestor's land entry case file from the National Archives.
    • Land Records: Using Indexes & Deeds to Move Your Research Forward - The local courthouse, auditor, or recorder holds records about purchases and sales of your ancestor's property. Often you can identify where they migrated to or from. The records may identify other family members and close associates. Learn how to locate and understand these genealogical documents.
  • Jean Hibben
    • German Research for Those Who do not Speak German - Finding ancestors in Germany can be a challenge, but the resources available are increasing as more and more records are released (in digitized form or on microfilm). Learn how to locate these relatives using a variety of resources in this one-hour class.
    • Dead Language, Dead People: Translating Latin Records - Catholic Church records are written primarily in Latin, regardless of the country of origin. If you are finding the deciphering of these documents difficult, this presentation will help simplify the process and reveal information about your Catholic ancestors. Most examples will be from German sources.
  • Peggy Lauritzen
    • “Ticked Off!” Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks - Those pesky tic marks seem to get in our way as we work to extend our pedigrees. It's exciting when we are able to find our ancestors on every census they appeared on, until we reach 1840 and beyond. This lecture provides a case study following an eastern Kentucky family back into the area of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
    • The Firelands, The Connecticut Western Reserve, and the Ohio Territory - The northeast lands of Ohio are named "The Fireland", and "The Western Reserve". Why are they called that? And, what connection do they have to the northeastern states? "Ohio fever" brought a lot of settlers to the state following the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. "The Western Reserve" will be of interest to those with ties to Connecticut.
  • Janice Lovelace
    • Did Your Ancestors Own Slaves? - Do you have Pre-Civil War ancestors? Might they have owned slaves? This presentation discusses researching prewar censuses, wills, court proceedings, business records and newspapers for information. What economic impact did owning slaves have on your family?
  • Jill Morelli
    • Angst-Free Citations--Really! - You know you should cite your sources! But, you may not. Whether you work on paper or a database, let's explore tricks for making the process of citation writing..well, maybe not painless, but nearly so! Citation writing is a two-way street of which only half is usually identified. We will explore the other half and how that can achieve your goals.
  • Katherine R. Willson
    • They Didn't All Come Through Ellis Island (Passenger Lists) - If as many ancestors came through Ellis Island as families are led to believe, the island would have sunk! Learn about the multiple points of departure from Europe, ports of entry into the U.S., how to find passenger records online and on microfilm, and how to analyze these lists as a means of filling in your ancestors' life stories.
    • Records of New York City's Emigrant Savings Bank - In 1850, officers of New York City's Irish Emigrant Society founded the Emigrant Savings Bank as a safe place for Irish and other immigrants to keep their money. Learn about the types of records kept for borrowers and depositors (containing detailed genealogical information), as well as how and where to access these records.
  • Christine Woodcock
    • Breaking Through Brick Walls in Scottish Research - When researching your Scottish ancestors, it becomes important to really pay attention to the key words on the documents so that you know what records you need to look at next in order to break through brick walls and learn as much as you can about your Scottish ancestors.
    • Criminals, Paupers and Lunatics - If your ancestor is listed as an Inmate, whether of a Poor House or an Asylum, they have left a paper trail that will give you a detailed look at their lives during that time. We will look at the records that are available, the information they provide and how to access the records.
Friday, August 18th:
  • Daniel Earl

    Key Presentations:
    • A Place for Caroline: A Case Study on Eastern European Immigrants - Finding the hometown of an immigrant ancestor is the 'holy grail' of genealogical research. Finding ancestral hometowns can be even more challenging in Eastern Europe, where years of communist rule made records unavailable to Western researchers. This presentation will follow how the presenter followed clues to find the hometown of his grandmother using a variety of different sources. Participants will learn what resources are available to trace Eastern European ancestors online and how to access archival information in Europe.
    • Ancestors in Context: Putting History in Your Family History - Our ancestors had rich, full lives between census years. They just didn't sit around doing nothing, waiting to generate another record for us to find! This presentation will teach participants how to leverage four different types of records: community histories, maps, city directories, and newspapers to flesh out their ancestor's lives and help them to know not just the 'texts' our ancestors left, but the context in which they lived their lives.
    • Timelines: Back to the Future of Your Research - Often times researchers fall into the ‘gathering information’ phase of genealogical investigation compiling dozens of census records, vital records, and other documents about their ancestors without pausing to examine what all of those documents mean. This lecture provides a beginner and intermediate researchers with a method for placing documents into a historical context and to help create the story of their family. This course will help participants learn how to use new web-based technology to create and use timelines to help them take the next step in their research.
  • Michelle Goodrum
    • Introduction to GEDmatch: Tools for Analyzing DNA - You've taken an autosomal DNA test with AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, or 23and ME. Upload your results to GEDmatch and take your analysis to the next level. Learn to analyze matches using the free One-to-One and One-to-Many tools.
  • Jean Hibben
    • The Devil is in the Details: Don't Overlook Minutiae! - Whether researching 20th Century American documents or resources from the earliest of times and other countries and languages, some of the tiniest details can hold the largest clues. Ignoring or overlooking these can lead to an incomplete or even completely erroneous genealogy project. Get some hints to avoid that in this class.
  • Peggy Lauritzen
    • Apprentices, Indentured Servants and Redemptioners; White Slavery - An estimated one-half of early immigrants came to America against their own will; some as indentured servants. It is frequently assumed that the only enslaved Americans were those brought on the slave ships from Africa. This lecture will examine the many different forms of slavery and indenture ship in early America.
  • Jill Morelli
    • Too Many Marys: Identity and Same Name Conundrum - Tweezing out which individual is our ancestor can be difficult, especially when there are multiple individuals with the same name or where there are immigrant "fragments." We will explore the types of identity issues we face in genealogy and strategies for success. Mary Coyne, an Irish immigrant, and two other case studies illustrate the points.
  • Janice Sellers
    • U.S. Immigration and Naturalization - When researching an immigrant ancestor, finding information here in the U.S. is the necessary first step. This class identifies resources and provides tools and strategies to help you make the leap to the old country.
  • Michael Strauss
    • Descendency Research: Another Pathway to Genealogy - Breaking through the challenges of brick walls in genealogy has never been more rewarding. This lecture assumes a new focus on doing genealogical research tracing descendants of an ancestral couple. Methodology and techniques are utilized in finding family members who may hold the key to unlock your family history research.
  • Pam Vestal
    • Migration: Why They Left, Where They Went, and What That Reveals! - Why did our ancestors dare to leave their homes? Why did they settle where they did? We'll see what secrets our ancestors' migrations can reveal as we track them from place to place, across the ocean, across the country, and even across town.
    • Voting Records: Genealogy’s Best Kept Secret - Looking for a date or place of birth? The date and court of naturalization? Where your ancestor disappeared to? His political outlook? Even what kind of house he lived in? Voting records may have the answer. These often-overlooked gems can be packed with genealogical information, and you won't believe what they can tell us about our ancestors!
  • Katherine R. Willson
    • Sources for Locating Photos of Your Ancestors - If you haven't inherited photos of your ancestors, learn about the 20+ potential sources that you may have overlooked, including printed media, organizations, digital/online sources, and even distant relatives that you may not know about (with tips on initiating contact that ensures a response).
    • Solving Genealogical Mysteries with Facebook's 10,000+ links - This presentation introduces Facebook as a genealogy tool and guides participants through creating an account while maintaining privacy, joining groups and efficiently utilizing Facebook for specific genealogical needs. Includes a link to a free PDF file of 10,000+ genealogy/history groups and pages.
  • Christine Woodcock
    • They Came to America - Whether sent for punishment, assisted by a society or specifically recruited, the Scots came to America and they came by the thousands. This talk will look at the ways and means that brought Scots to America. This talk will look at the Clearances, Jacobites, Covenanters and various Settlement Schemes.
    • In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors - This talk will get you started in researching your Scottish ancestry as well as how to make the most of your research.
      Topics Include:
      1. Starting Your Search
      2. Reaching Out to Others (GenesReunited, FamilySearch, Ancestry)
      3. ScotlandsPeople Website
      4. Scottish Naming Pattern
      5. Scottish Marriages
      6. Scottish Family History Societies
Saturday, August 19th:
  • Kenyatta Berry

    Key Presentations:
    • Where does your story start? - We all have a story but where does yours begin. This session will provide tips, tricks and resources for discovering your personal story. Including the Historical context of  Slavery in the US and Indentured Servitude.
    • Beginning Caribbean Research - This session will cover an overview of the slavery in the Caribbean including the Atlantic Slave Trade database.  We will explore the available record sets, slavery museums and gradual emancipation.
    • 1850 & 1860 Slave Schedules:  An untapped resource. - We will discuss what are slave schedules? Why were they taken? How to analyze the 1850 vs. 1860 Slave schedules to learn more about the slaves and the slaveholding family. This lecture is intended for all genealogists.
  • Jim Johnson
    • Mayflower and other Early Colonial Ships - Learn to find the resources available to trace our ancestors who came to Colonial America before 1640. Tips will be provided to find passenger lists, and other information about these early arrivals to Colonial America, including books available at HQRL and information on the internet. Information will also be provided for heritage societies available to those who have ancestors who arrived during this time period.
  • Mary Kozy
    • Can You Help Me Find My Cousins? Using atDNA for Family History - Autosomal DNA testing has become very popular and an important resource for family historians as new testees are added every day. In this session, you will learn what autosomal DNA is and what it can and can't tell you. We'll also discuss the various testing companies and examine some real-life questions that might just be answered using atDNA.
  • Janice Lovelace
    • Who Owned Solomon? A Case Study of African American Research - Many African American researchers struggle to break through the brick wall of slavery. This presentation looks at techniques to identify slave-owners through the use of land, probate and court records.
    • Becoming America: A Story of Immigration - strongWhat conditions existed for your ancestors to leave their home countries and make a journey to a new place? What conditions existed to encourage settlement in the Americas, especially the United States.
  • Jill Morelli
    • Making Timelines Work for You - Have a "brick wall" ancestor? Or, want to write a family history but don't know where to start? Consider building a timeline. We will review different uses for timelines, including storytelling and solving tough problems of analysis and correlation. Tools for how to build a simple timeline and commercial products will be explored.
  • Mary Roddy
    • Trails West: Crossing the Continent 1840-1869 - Before the transcontinental railroad was completed Easterners and Mid-Westerners began to settle the West. How did they get there and what was the journey like? Presentation covers overland and water routes with descriptions of the journey and using clues to discover how and when your ancestor traveled.
    • Spreadsheets 101: Excel-lence in Genealogy - Afraid of spreadsheets because you don't know how or where to start? Or are you comfortable with spreadsheets but think there might be a trick our two out there you don't know? Mary will get beginners up to speed and share with experienced users tricks she's learned in more than 25 years of spreadsheet use as an accountant, writer and genealogist.
  • Janice Sellers
    • Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy - Researching Jewish ancestry is in many respects like researching any other family history, but in addition some specialized online sources are unique to Jewish research. Learn about the most useful of these sites, what information you can expect to find, and how it can help advance your research.
    • Using Online Historical Jewish Newspapers for Genealogy Research - Many historical Jewish newspapers are now available online, with more being added regularly. Most are on free sites. This class gives an overview of what is online and where it is, suggests access strategies, discusses what to do if you don't read Hebrew or Yiddish, and shows sample search results.
  • Michael Strauss
    • Roosevelt’s Tree Army: Genealogy Research in the CCC - Thousands of young men came together to serve in the vanguard of FDR's New Deal program. The Civilian Conservation Corp operated from 1933 to 1942 and provided aid to many families. Numerous genealogical resources are seldom used by genealogists today. Tap into the wealth of materials during this time of crisis in our United States history.
    • Bankruptcy to Equity: Using Federal Court Records in Genealogy - Was Grandpa a bootlegger? Did Grandma pay her taxes? Records of the Federal courts are among the National Archives' largest holdings-and yet some of the least used records by genealogists. Open a new chapter in your family history and discover little known branches in your family tree as the records of the Federal Court system are examined.
  • Pam Vestal
    • Eastern European Genealogy: If I Can Do It, So Can You! - In spite of wars, boundary changes, and other disasters, an astonishing number of records exist for our Eastern European ancestors both here and abroad. We'll explore strategies to help us find their places of origin, uncover their original names, locate and request records, extract and understand their information, and deal with foreign languages.