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Wed, February 22 2023: 1:00 UTC
The Bengali and English Ancestry of Thomas Chapman: A Case Study with DNA
Wed, February 22 2023: 1:00 UTC
We often talk about historical context like a side dish: it adds color and life to our narratives and deepens the analysis in our client reports. Rarely, however, do we think of historical research as a main course, a proactive strategy. This case study demonstrates not only the potential of historical research as a tool, but how that tool can be effective in the most challenging cases. Thomas Chapman wasn’t typical of New York City immigrants at the turn of the nineteenth century. His reported birthplace of Bengal prompted more questions than answers, and FAN searches in New York produced no leads. Ultimately, a combination of historical research, DNA evidence, and traditional genealogical methods across three continents revealed the identities of his parents.
We often talk about historical context like a side dish: it adds color and life to our narratives and deepens the analysis in our client reports. Rarely, however, do we think of historical research as a main course, a proactive strategy. This case study demonstrates not only the potential of historical research as a tool, but how that tool can be effective in the most challenging cases. Thomas Chapman wasn’t typical of New York City immigrants at the turn of the nineteenth century. His reported birthplace of Bengal prompted more questions than answers, and FAN searches in New York produced no leads. Ultimately, a combination of historical research, DNA evidence, and traditional genealogical methods across three continents revealed the identities of his parents.
Wed, February 22 2023: 1:00 UTC
Wed, March 22 2023: 0:00 UTC
Uncovering Immigrant Origins Through Cluster Research
Wed, March 22 2023: 0:00 UTC
Descendants of an early Ohio family had no idea of their origins. Following an associated family brought success, even after wading into foreign- language documents. This presentation shows what to do when traditional records fail to reveal an ancestor’s place of origin and how to use cluster research to break through the brick wall. Discussion will include how to determine the place of origin using records found in the United States and what to do when no records exist on your direct line.
Descendants of an early Ohio family had no idea of their origins. Following an associated family brought success, even after wading into foreign- language documents. This presentation shows what to do when traditional records fail to reveal an ancestor’s place of origin and how to use cluster research to break through the brick wall. Discussion will include how to determine the place of origin using records found in the United States and what to do when no records exist on your direct line.
Wed, March 22 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, April 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Urban Mapping Tools
Wed, April 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
This presentation will suggest strategies to correlate large amounts of information often developed in urban research, with a significant emphasis on the use of cartographic resources. Generally, researchers of urban settings have an abundance of sources to consider. Many times, the challenge is to connect and analyze multiple, even overwhelming, amounts of information. A variety of resources will be discussed, especially, cadastral maps (land ownership), Sanborn fire insurance maps and city directories.
This presentation will suggest strategies to correlate large amounts of information often developed in urban research, with a significant emphasis on the use of cartographic resources. Generally, researchers of urban settings have an abundance of sources to consider. Many times, the challenge is to connect and analyze multiple, even overwhelming, amounts of information. A variety of resources will be discussed, especially, cadastral maps (land ownership), Sanborn fire insurance maps and city directories.
Wed, April 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, May 17 2023: 0:00 UTC
Name Changes and the Law
Wed, May 17 2023: 0:00 UTC
Names weren’t changed at Ellis Island, but in courts, legislatures and elsewhere both formally and officially — and on the fly. As genealogists, we need to know why names were changed, and how those changes might be recorded, if we want to have a chance at finding out what’s in a name.
Names weren’t changed at Ellis Island, but in courts, legislatures and elsewhere both formally and officially — and on the fly. As genealogists, we need to know why names were changed, and how those changes might be recorded, if we want to have a chance at finding out what’s in a name.
Wed, May 17 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, June 21 2023: 0:00 UTC
Finding Your One Among Millions: Methods and Tips for Urban Research, a New York City Case Study
Wed, June 21 2023: 0:00 UTC
Family history research in a large city can be richly rewarding as urban centers typically kept better records. However, when it is your ancestor who does not appear in the vital records, how do you find them? Searching among the plethora of people in a city such as New York can be challenging. This presentation will give attendees some ways to navigate research in urban areas using a case study in 19th-century New York City to illustrate the methods.
Family history research in a large city can be richly rewarding as urban centers typically kept better records. However, when it is your ancestor who does not appear in the vital records, how do you find them? Searching among the plethora of people in a city such as New York can be challenging. This presentation will give attendees some ways to navigate research in urban areas using a case study in 19th-century New York City to illustrate the methods.
Wed, June 21 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, July 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Andiamo! Finding Your Italian Family
Wed, July 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Why did your Italian ancestor have five cousins all named Joe? Why did married women travel under their maiden names? Was Sally really Serafina? This presentation explores the factors that pushed and pulled Italians to emigrate, what they found when they arrived, Italian naming patterns and name changes, and how to start your search. Knowing what their life was like in Italy helps us to understand their choices and behavior when they emigrated: why they were slow to naturalize, why the family was the most important institution, and why food was a source of celebration.
Why did your Italian ancestor have five cousins all named Joe? Why did married women travel under their maiden names? Was Sally really Serafina? This presentation explores the factors that pushed and pulled Italians to emigrate, what they found when they arrived, Italian naming patterns and name changes, and how to start your search. Knowing what their life was like in Italy helps us to understand their choices and behavior when they emigrated: why they were slow to naturalize, why the family was the most important institution, and why food was a source of celebration.
Wed, July 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, August 16 2023: 0:00 UTC
What Happened to Uncle Walter? Evidence Analysis and Correlation Uncover a Man’s Dual Identities
Wed, August 16 2023: 0:00 UTC
Walter’s family lost touch with him after his 1920 arrest. Learn how collaboration, evidence correlation, and predictive research solved the mystery of Walter’s fate more than a century later.
Sharon Hoyt, CG
Walter’s family lost touch with him after his 1920 arrest. Learn how collaboration, evidence correlation, and predictive research solved the mystery of Walter’s fate more than a century later.
Wed, August 16 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, September 20 2023: 0:00 UTC
Follow the Trail of Records and DNA from Ireland to Oregon (1810-1860)
Wed, September 20 2023: 0:00 UTC
A deep dive into the records narrates a family’s journey. Advanced methodology and DNA reconstruct the forgotten family.
A deep dive into the records narrates a family’s journey. Advanced methodology and DNA reconstruct the forgotten family.
Wed, September 20 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, October 18 2023: 0:00 UTC
Steamer Kate Explosion: Correlating Indirect Evidence to Identify and Correct an Error
Wed, October 18 2023: 0:00 UTC
What happens when the indirect evidence of a death occurring and a probate record don’t agree? The research begins in earnest! That’s what happened in the case of the death of Antoine/Anthony Lallament of Mobile, Alabama. Who is Antoine and what relationship is he to me? When did he actually die? Which record is correct? What would other available records reveal? How is the explosion of the Steamer Kate involved? We have more questions than answers. This case study provides the research methodology involved in solving this problem.
What happens when the indirect evidence of a death occurring and a probate record don’t agree? The research begins in earnest! That’s what happened in the case of the death of Antoine/Anthony Lallament of Mobile, Alabama. Who is Antoine and what relationship is he to me? When did he actually die? Which record is correct? What would other available records reveal? How is the explosion of the Steamer Kate involved? We have more questions than answers. This case study provides the research methodology involved in solving this problem.
Wed, October 18 2023: 0:00 UTC
Wed, November 22 2023: 1:00 UTC
Why Standards Are for Everyone
Wed, November 22 2023: 1:00 UTC
Adherence to standards is imperative for anyone who endeavors to reach credible genealogical conclusions. The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)publishes the field’s only comprehensive set of criteria(standards)for evaluating genealogical work products. Significantly, application of the standards set forth in BCG’s publication is not limited to those who aspire to obtain the Certified Genealogist® credential—they are community wide standards used in producing family histories, client reports ,blogs, and other offerings.
Adherence to standards is imperative for anyone who endeavors to reach credible genealogical conclusions. The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)publishes the field’s only comprehensive set of criteria(standards)for evaluating genealogical work products. Significantly, application of the standards set forth in BCG’s publication is not limited to those who aspire to obtain the Certified Genealogist® credential—they are community wide standards used in producing family histories, client reports ,blogs, and other offerings.
Wed, November 22 2023: 1:00 UTC
Wed, December 20 2023: 1:00 UTC
Finding Sophia’s Family: A Case of Fratricide and Forgotten Identity
Wed, December 20 2023: 1:00 UTC
A quarrel between brothers turns into tragedy. The murdered man’s young widow and children leave their rural home for city life, never returning. Former family connections are forgotten in time. This webinar illustrates the case of finding the birth family of a mid-nineteenth-century South Carolina widow who left her family’s homeplace. No record provides an exact birthplace or fully identifies her parents. Learn how widow Sophia’s forgotten identity was reconstructed by understanding the era’s social context, creating and testing hypotheses, and conducting whole family research.
A quarrel between brothers turns into tragedy. The murdered man’s young widow and children leave their rural home for city life, never returning. Former family connections are forgotten in time. This webinar illustrates the case of finding the birth family of a mid-nineteenth-century South Carolina widow who left her family’s homeplace. No record provides an exact birthplace or fully identifies her parents. Learn how widow Sophia’s forgotten identity was reconstructed by understanding the era’s social context, creating and testing hypotheses, and conducting whole family research.
Wed, December 20 2023: 1:00 UTC

Featured Webinars

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1:20:02
Document Analysis: Digging into Details
Analyzing documents for reliability, context, and information can help solve challenging research problems. Genealogists mine documents for information and clues to other records. They evaluate the details in the records looking for evidence to answer research questions. This session will demonstrate how to analyze documents and provide a list of questions to use in your own analysis.
Analyzing documents for reliability, context, and information can help solve challenging research problems. Genealogists mine documents for information and clues to other records. They evaluate the details in the records looking for evidence to answer research questions. This session will demonstrate how to analyze documents and provide a list of questions to use in your own analysis.
Wed, January 18 2023: 1:00 UTC
1:10:22
Wayward Girls: A Context Case Study
Young women who rebelled against nineteenth-century moral conventions were deemed delinquent. For some seeking social independence resulted in a reformatory sentence. This case study highlights strategies used to overcome missing records and the importance of historical context.
Young women who rebelled against nineteenth-century moral conventions were deemed delinquent. For some seeking social independence resulted in a reformatory sentence. This case study highlights strategies used to overcome missing records and the importance of historical context.
Wed, December 21 2022: 1:00 UTC
1:12:56
Their Mark Here: Signatures and Marks as Identifying Tools
Marks and signatures can be highly effective tools when researchers are attempting to untangle the identities of our forebears. But how do you know whether the signature in front of you is original? Can you still use it as evidence in your case even if it’s not? These questions and more are answered by looking at the fundamental concepts of source and evidence analysis. Once you know how to evaluate your sources, we’ll go over a few records to look at when searching for those marks and signatures in your own research. And finally, we’ll look at some examples of published articles which incorporate the use of marks and signatures.
Marks and signatures can be highly effective tools when researchers are attempting to untangle the identities of our forebears. But how do you know whether the signature in front of you is original? Can you still use it as evidence in your case even if it’s not? These questions and more are answered by looking at the fundamental concepts of source and evidence analysis. Once you know how to evaluate your sources, we’ll go over a few records to look at when searching for those marks and signatures in your own research. And finally, we’ll look at some examples of published articles which incorporate the use of marks and signatures.
Wed, November 16 2022: 1:00 UTC
56:20
945 views
CC
Misled by Records: Identifying Adam Cosner’s Parentage
Pennsylvania and Ohio records, correlated with those of a German immigrant who died in Virginia revealed Adam Cosner’s parents.
Pennsylvania and Ohio records, correlated with those of a German immigrant who died in Virginia revealed Adam Cosner’s parents.
Wed, October 19 2022: 0:00 UTC
53:28
1.0K views
CC
Hidden Stories: Using Analysis to Explore the Unexpected in Family History (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Tales of illegitimacy, divorce, and desertion aren’t limited to soap operas and modern reality television. Discovering trails that lead to unanticipated events can be shocking, confusing, and exciting all at the same time. This session will explore how genealogists can utilize the law, conflict resolution, and tools like date calculators and timelines to help build a clearer understanding of some potentially challenging historical situations.
Tales of illegitimacy, divorce, and desertion aren’t limited to soap operas and modern reality television. Discovering trails that lead to unanticipated events can be shocking, confusing, and exciting all at the same time. This session will explore how genealogists can utilize the law, conflict resolution, and tools like date calculators and timelines to help build a clearer understanding of some potentially challenging historical situations.
Fri, October 7 2022: 22:30 UTC
58:28
Finding Henrietta: Reconciling Conflicting Evidence to Reveal a Woman’s Identity (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Henrietta Dixon was never enumerated with individuals identified as her parents in a federal census. Records revealing her family members, including her father, are often conflicting and open up new questions. Additionally, multiple marriages further obscure her identity. This case study uncovers Henrietta’s maiden name and emphasizes the importance of a focused research question when attempting to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard.
Henrietta Dixon was never enumerated with individuals identified as her parents in a federal census. Records revealing her family members, including her father, are often conflicting and open up new questions. Additionally, multiple marriages further obscure her identity. This case study uncovers Henrietta’s maiden name and emphasizes the importance of a focused research question when attempting to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard.
Fri, October 7 2022: 21:15 UTC
50:04
553 views
CC
Consult via…Explore with…Discover through…Literature Reviews (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
What if you could consult with genealogical experts each time your work slows? Together you could explore options for new paths of discovery. The right approach to a literature review allows you to do that. Other experts have encountered the same challenges that you do, and they have written about them even if not overtly. These challenges could range from beginning work in a new geography to parrying with a difficult brick wall. Learn how to conduct a targeted literature review, cull the information you need, and advance your research. A case study on the use of the FAN Club will highlight the methodology.
What if you could consult with genealogical experts each time your work slows? Together you could explore options for new paths of discovery. The right approach to a literature review allows you to do that. Other experts have encountered the same challenges that you do, and they have written about them even if not overtly. These challenges could range from beginning work in a new geography to parrying with a difficult brick wall. Learn how to conduct a targeted literature review, cull the information you need, and advance your research. A case study on the use of the FAN Club will highlight the methodology.
Fri, October 7 2022: 20:00 UTC
1:02:16
914 views
CC
The Hub of the Wheel: How Tracing a Brother with no Children Connected Ten Siblings (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
A family from Ireland emigrated in a chain migration scheme to western Pennsylvania between 1825 and 1845. See how using the standards for researching connected the siblings and their descendants and led to their origins in County Tyrone.
A family from Ireland emigrated in a chain migration scheme to western Pennsylvania between 1825 and 1845. See how using the standards for researching connected the siblings and their descendants and led to their origins in County Tyrone.
Fri, October 7 2022: 18:00 UTC
52:53
Peeling the Onion: Getting to the Original Sources (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Genealogy Standards 38 and 58 strongly express a preference for using original sources. Diligent researching and a few tricks of the trade enable genealogists to find original sources that underlie authored narratives and derivative sources.
Genealogy Standards 38 and 58 strongly express a preference for using original sources. Diligent researching and a few tricks of the trade enable genealogists to find original sources that underlie authored narratives and derivative sources.
Fri, October 7 2022: 16:45 UTC