Class Descriptions

1-1Telling Ancestors Stories by Writing, Verifying, and Sharing
Angela Packer McGhie
Preserve your research and your family heritage by writing biographical sketches of your ancestors. This can be done by verifying family stories with records, or by pulling details from records to put together a life story for an ancestor.
1-2Introduction to DNA for Genealogy
Andy Hochreiter
Genetic genealogy has emerged as an important tool for genealogists and family historians. This session will get you started on how to use DNA for genealogical research. We will explore the types of DNA tests (autosumnal, Y, X, and mitochondrial tests), admixture and ethnicity results, and testing companies.
1-3Family Trees: Personal and Online
Julia Coldren-walker
Getting your genealogy information into a software program,and then putting it online will make your research significantly easier and more productive. This class will cover facts, sourcing, and hints -- both in a personal genealogy program and on an online tree.
1-4Brag Books: Biographies and County Histories
Charles S. "Chuck" Mason Jr.
Biographies or county histories provide links to information about our ancestors and the problems we are trying to solve. Popular between the 1800s and early 1900s, they provide links to original and derivative sources. Often the biographical information covers more than one generation in the family.
2-1Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Your Ancestors
Angela Packer McGhie
Details such as age, occupation, religion, residence, birthplace, and names of family members can help us locate ancestors in particular records, or separate those of the same name. This session will demonstrate the technique through two case studies.
2-2Beginning Genealogy, Part 1
Lorraine Dutcher Minor
Learn the genealogical research process, how to record and evaluate information, cite sources used, maintain a research calendar and develop a research plan.
2-3Self-Publishing Your Family History
Natonne Elaine Kemp
From her experience publishing the award-wining book, There Is Something About Edgefield: Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy & Genetic DNA, Ms. Kemp provides a blue print for publishing one's family history. Topics include identifying your audience, establishing a budget, hiring consultants (editors, graphic designers, indexers), complying with copyrights/respecting privacy, and assembling the book.
2-4Follow the Witnesses: The Homestead Act of 1862
Bernice Alexander Bennett
This session will examine the value of following the witnesses and demonstrate through a case study why this strategy is useful to all family history researchers. The learner will understand why following the witnesses will create:
1. An opportunity to reconstruct the community
2. Provide insight into how your ancestor(s) interacted with others
3. Identify direct and collateral descendants
4. Expand your genealogy beyond your direct line
5. Prove or disprove a theory
3-11st U.S. Colored Cavalry: Private Lives, Public Records
Leslie Anderson
The 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry was organized at Fort Monroe in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation. It consisted of free men, freedmen, freedom-seekers and white officers from the United States and other countries. Research findings for a single ancestor, originally managed with an Excel spreadsheet, evolved into a WordPress blog launched on Veterans Day 2018. The pre- and post-Civil War lives of troops and officers are illuminated with highlights from pension applications, lesser-known sources, maps, photographs, and GoogleEarth.
3-2Beginning Genealogy, Part 2
Lorraine Dutcher Minor
Learn more about evaluating information with a case study and then how to get started with researching your family and where to do your research.
3-3The Silent, The Invisible, and the Unimportant: Finding Female Ancestors
Charles S. "Chuck" Mason Jr.
Our female ancestors lived in the shadow of her male relatives, her father, her husband and her sons. They were often Silent, creating few if any records of their own. Invisible, often mentioned only by title, (daughter, wife, and mother) or if we are lucky by their given name. More often, they were not mentioned at all, the Unimportant. Identifying female ancestors often presents a challenge to the genealogist, but it can be done.
3-4Wills and Probate Records: A Treasure Trove of Information, Part 1
Sue Mortensen
Using wills in your research can lead you onto unexpected paths. Wills can identify parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandparents, uncles and/or in-laws. Wills can give us insight into the economic and social life of the testator and his family. And because wills require the involvement of people not related to the testator or heirs, there is the opportunity to find valuable information about your ancestors in wills of friends, acquaintances and/or neighbors. Even if your ancestor did not leave a will, there is the possibility of finding important information in the wills recorded in the county where your ancestor lived.
4-1Using U.S. Records to Find Your Original Surname and Village of Origin
Carol Kostakos Petranek
Genealogical research in foreign countries demands that you have the original surname of your ancestor and his/her exact village of origin. Many immigrants Anglicized, shortened and even changed their names in the U.S. They usually gave their birthplace as the larger town or city closest to their village. This presentation will discuss which U.S. records can help you find these two facts which are vital for research in "the old country."
4-2Third-Party DNA Tools
Andy Hochreiter
Getting the most out of your DNA tests may require more than the tools provided by testing companies. There are an ever-expanding array of third-party tools that have been developed to help expand your understanding of your test results. This class will explore some of these new resources and describe how they can be used to further your research.
4-3Getting the Most from Hints in Online Trees
Julia Coldren-Walker
Now that you have an online family tree, how do you handle the many hints which will be coming? What is the best way to communicate/collaborate with others? This session will discuss these questions and other matters that arise from managing online trees.
4-4Wills and Probate Records: A Treasure Trove of Information, Part 2
Sue Mortensen
Probate and Probate Packets: what is found in a probate packet; probate records for those who didn't have a will; following mental illness through probate records.