Stillagaumish Valley Genealogical Society

2018 Classes

Wednesday, August 15th:
  • Amie Bowser Tennant
    Let's start off on the right foot!  - Learn how to begin your genealogy and family history research the right way, the first time! We will go step-by-step and take nothing for granted. This will be a great class for the beginner or those who think they need a review of the basic principles of sound genealogical research. We will begin with documenting what we know, then, learn what free and subscription resources are out there to help us in searching for records. Lastly, we will discuss the importance of organizing and citing our sources as we go along and how best to do that. The course will cover the following points:
    * The rules of recording names, dates, and places that we already know
    * How to start the research process from the very beginning
    * The difference between a primary record source and abstracts, transcriptions, indexes, and secondary sources
    * Record substitutes
    * The use of internet trees vs. genealogy software
    * How to use FamilySearch and other free resources to find records and more
    * What are source citations and how to create them
Thursday, August 16th:
  • Cece Moore
    Key Presentations:
    • Seven Key Concepts to Working with Autosomal DNA - Autosomal DNA has tremendous potential for addressing and knocking down genealogical brick walls, but to be successful in these goals we must understand a few key concepts. Learn what you most need to know and proven techniques to harness the tremendous amount of data that comes with this type of research. This session get you started in working with your autosomal DNA results if you are a beginner and provides more efficient tools and techniques to those with more experience, distilled into seven key concepts.
    • Autosomal DNA Theory: The Dos and Don’ts of Genetic Genealogy - This session will focus on the theory of working with autosomal DNA and understanding both the limitations and potential to help you go to the next level with your research. This will include realistic expectations of the depth of coverage, randomness of inheritance, company algorithms, what constitutes genetic evidence and the pros and cons of segment triangulation.
    • Breaking Through Genealogical Brick Walls with DNA - Genetic genealogy has tremendous potential for resolving age-old genealogical questions and extending our pedigrees. Learn how to use your DNA results to enhance your documentary research. We will explore the most successful techniques for identifying your lost ancestors through case studies.
  • Lisa Alzo
    • Dissecting Coroner’s Records for Genealogical Research - Coroner’s records are often untapped resources that contain essential information for genealogists. Learn how to determine if your ancestor appeared in a Coroner’s report, where to find it, and what details it may reveal. Detailed examples and/or case studies from the Northwest, as well as other areas, will be presented.
  • Daniel Earl
    • The Old Line State: Beginning Maryland Research - Maryland has a rich history spanning from the colonial era to the present. This course will cover the various record sets that a Maryland researcher needs to know about. It will include how to search slave records as Maryland was a slave state who stayed in the Union during the Civil War.
    • Researching the Great Lakes State: Beginning Michigan Research - For many of our ancestors Michigan was a stopping off point for territory further west. This presentation will look at great resources available for those who are researching in the Great Lakes State. Online and traditional resources will be discussed.
  • Kathy Meade
    • Discover Your Swedish Roots Using ArkivDigital - Learn how to research your Swedish Heritage using ArkivDigital. This product demo will familiarize you with the types of records that you will find on ArkivDigital including: the Swedish church books, estate inventories, military records, tax registers, passenger ship manifests,  and other types of records plus name searching features.
    • Swedish Genealogy in a Computer World - This lecture highlights the websites available for Swedish research including Swedish genealogy guides, dictionaries, maps, Swedish-American church records, emigration resources (ship passenger indexes), images of original Swedish records (church, probate, military and tax), Swedish census records, record transcription sites and message boards.
  • Lisa Oberg
    • Catholic Catechism: Researching your Catholic Ancestors - If you have European ancestry or their colonies, chances are you'll find you have Catholic roots. Catholic records can provide invaluable clues for genealogists. This session will provide insight into how Catholicism shaped history and discuss how to locate parish records, what you can expect to find and how to interpret records when you do find them.
    • Answering Columbia’s Call: Women’s Service During WWI - On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany plunging the United States into World War I. In the 18 months the U.S. fought in the war thousands of American women served at home and overseas in jobs vacated by men and other critical positions. This lecture will highlight ways in which they served and how to learn more.
  • Michael Strauss
    • Historical Maps: The World At Your Fingertips - For centuries maps have been the preferred choice of travelers. They serve as reliable guides to destinations. Beyond directions maps enrich the genealogist’s journey through the byways of personal history from fire insurance maps, panoramic maps, county atlases, and gazetteers that can provide little known details about our ancestors lives.
  • Amie Bowser Tennant
    • Habits of the Effective Genealogy Strategist - Join us as we discuss the tips and strategies to make an effective Standard Operating Procedure all your own, and how to incorporate the Genealogical Proof Standard. These strategies will help you become more organized in your research, more thorough in your research, and ultimately overcome brick walls.
    • Deed You Hear About These Underutilized Records? - Deeds are just one of many underutilized record sets genealogists need to use in exhaustive genealogy research. Warranty and quit-claim deeds hold vital information that will lead you to great discoveries in your family tree. In this class, we will also discuss estate packets, guardianship records, and civil case files.
Friday, August 17th:
  • Peggy Lauritzen
    Key Presentations:
    • Away, I’m Bound Away! - Migrations Into the Shenandoah Valley - Our ancestors were on the move a lot.  Land was precious to them, and influenced  when and where they lived.  This lecture will focus on the varied groups that populated the Shenandoah Region, the culture and customs, where they came from and what may have influenced them to stay or to move on.
    • Plain Folks - Researching Amish and Mennonite Families - The Amish and the Mennonites are often grouped together.  And, while they have some similarities, including their roots in religion, there are distinct differences.
    • School Daze - Locating school records can be an amazing way of putting our families into place, especially when there may be no vital records available in an area.  Not all of our ancestors had the opportunity for education, but those who did may have left behind valuable records.
  • Cece Moore
    Banquet Keynote:
    • Making History with Genetic Genealogy - Recent strides in technology have enabled genetic genealogy to play a leading role in both rewriting and making history, and CeCe has been along for the ride. She will share her behind-the-scenes experiences and research in this exciting presentation
  • Lisa Alzo
    • Ten Ways to Jumpstart Your Eastern European Research - Curious about your East European roots but don’t know where to begin? Learn ten key steps to jumpstart your genealogy on both sides of the ocean, and strategies for overcoming the most common pitfalls and problems.
    • Jumping Over Hurdles in Eastern European Research - Researching Eastern European ancestors can be a challenging process. Sorting out surnames, trying to identify ancestral hometowns, and deciphering old country records to connect families are just a few of the obstacles often encountered along the way. This session will demonstrate how to overcome the hurdles of names, places, languages, and more!
  • Daniel Earl
    • Coming To Your Census: Using State Census Records - Most genealogists are familiar with the US Federal Census, a once-every-ten-year snapshot of our ancestors. Many states conducted their own censuses between Federal Census years. These records can be a boon for genealogists! State census records are a great way to track migrating ancestors, immigrant ancestors, and more!
  • Kathy Meade
    • Introduction to the Swedish Church Books - The Swedish church books are a “gold mine” because they contain a wealth of information.This lecture will give an overview of the Swedish church records: births, marriages, deaths, household examination records and records of movement. Using a case study, a demonstration will show how one can use the church books to trace one’s Swedish heritage.
  • Judy Muhn
    • What's In A Name: Surname Variations & Clues to Ethnicity - Utilizing her own genealogy research, Judy offers the various degrees of surname variations, how to include these in your family history work and how to detect the signals that there may be a name change in your ancestors’ past. Clues to ethnicity are explored & examples as case studies as a teaching tool.
  • Barbara Randall
    • George Randall in WWII- Beyond the Military Record: A Case Study - As with many veterans, George Randall downplayed his military service.  His military record gave rank, awards, dates and places of service. But, what was his service experience really like? The journey uses WWII history, and many research sources to develop the experience of his military service.
  • Michael Strauss
    • Records of Invention: Your Ancestors in the Patent Office - The right to protect inventions is guaranteed under the United States Constitution. Patents historically have been both legal and scientific and contain information about everyday persons. This lecture focuses on ordering Patent Case files, Assignment Books, Law Suits arising from Patents, and Records of the Official United States Register.
    • Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors - Lecture will focus on a variety of materials covering the War for Independence. Records covered include Compiled Military Service Records, Pensions, and Bounty Land. Materials covering local militia rolls, Navy, and Marine Corp records will be discussed in addition to post war material will be examined on census and veterans photographs.
  • Rich Venezia
    • Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins: Exhausting Every Resource - Pin down your elusive immigrant ancestor’s place of origin using some well-known and lesser-known record sets, ideas, and techniques. This presentation delves into various and diverse records that are found stateside so as to narrow down the search for your ancestor's place of origin, as well as ideas for when the paper trail continually runs cold.
    • Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins: Digging Deeper - Expand the search to find your ancestor’s foreign origins in some lesser-used record sets – and in doing so, help contextualize their life in the United States. Some of the record sets covered include USCIS record sets, fraternal orders record sets, heat maps, passport applications, and military records.
  • Katherine Willson
    • 40+ Sources for Finding Females' Maiden Names - 40+ possible sources to consult when searching for a female ancestor's maiden name. Discussion will include search tips for locating these sources.
Saturday, August 18th:
  • Beth Foulk
    Key Presentations:
    • Colonial Immigration: The English Pioneers of Early America - Imagine leaving everything you and your family has known for generations for an unexplored, unfamiliar, possibly hostile “New World.” Who were these people of unbounded courage, faith, and resiliency who ultimately laid the foundation for the America as we know it? What stories they must tell! What do the records reveal of their immigration, voyage and settlements in America? We’ll look at what history has left us in passenger records and alternative sources – both primary and secondary – to peel back this riveting portion of our personal and national history.
    • Where did you come from, Missouri Settlers? - Whether traveling through or settling in Missouri, pioneers came from diverse locations and settled throughout Missouri looking for familiar topography. Understand better how and why these settlers came to Missouri and the records that tell their story.
    • The Battle for Bounty Land: War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars - Land given as a “Bounty” for military service has been an American tradition from the Colonial Era up to the Civil War when the practice saw its ultimate discontinuance. The Spanish-American and Mexican-American Wars and the battle waged by the veterans for their bounty land tell the story of a nation and a military in transition. Lucky for us genealogists, there is a “bounty” of both military pension and land-purchase records left behind to tell the story both nationally and personally.
  • Janice Lovelace
    • Grandpa Worked For the Railroad - My Grandfather worked for the railroad as did many men in the 19th and 20th centuries. Learn how to discover which company, what type of job and where they worked. This presentation will focus on railroad companies and how to access their records, including pensions.
    • Mining, Logging and Fishing: Early work in Pacific NW - Natural resources were abundant in 19th century when Europeans migrated to the Pacific NW. Learn more about the work in mines, forests and waters of the Northwest and how your ancestors were involved in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Judy Muhn
    • Native American, First Nations, Indian - Native Research - Family legends often tell of an ancestor who was the daughter of a chief or some other Indian relationship. Records repositories, categories of records and regulations by the government will be shared. Judy has researched her own family, connected to Crazy Horse(Lakota), and shares examples that demonstrate cultural practices, types of records.
    • Acadian & French-Canadians in North America - Francophones in North America: Follow the earliest French settlers ;as they move ;into and out of Acadia (modern day eastern provinces) and Quebec and out throughout North America. Learn about online resources, family societies and books as well as sharing online resources and key repositories around North America.
  • Barbara Randall
    • Genealogy Oops! Or How I Killed 17,000 People on My Tree - Simple mistakes in genealogy are so easy to make and can lead to huge, compounded errors in a family tree. Avoiding these ‘oops’ keeps an accurate family tree but we are human- so how do you fix the mess? There is a fix-it plan for you.
    • Beyond the Passenger List - Passenger lists are more than just a list of names. Further analysis of a passenger list may give you information on your ancestor. Additional research can lead to information about your ancestor’s life in port and at sea, as well as their friends and associates.
  • Rich Venezia
    • Emerald Isle Express: Researching Irish Ancestors - Discover the variety of Irish record sets available, where to find which records, and how to learn the stories of your Irish ancestors. Contrary to popular belief, not all of Ireland’s records were destroyed in the 1922 fire. This lecture breaks down which records survived and how to access them – both in the US and in Ireland.
    • Italian-Americans: Find Your Roots in the Old Country - Learn the basics of Italian records, what’s available and where, and tips and tricks for finding elusive ancestors. This lecture includes a little history lesson, and covers record availability, timeline of records, civil records, church records, military records, and tips and techniques. Discover your famiglia and make Nonna proud!
  • Katherine Willson
    • The Personal Effect of Financial Crises on Our Ancestors - Our ancestors were directly affected by financial crises such as bank failures, panics, recessions and the Great Depression.  Learn of the events leading up to these crises, their impact on our ancestors' day-to-day lives, and the sources that can shed insight into our ancestors' experiences during these times.
    • The Voyage to America - Learn about your immigrant ancestors' voyage to America - how did they prepare to travel to the U.S.? What immigration restrictions & quota laws did they face? How did they choose a port of departure and port of arrival, and what was the ticket cost? How long did the journey take, and what were the accommodations like on the ship?