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1:07:24
482 views
CC
Steamer Kate Explosion: Correlating Indirect Evidence to Identify and Correct an Error
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
1:23:36
940 views
CC
Help! How do I separate genealogical fact from fiction?
We sit at our computer searching for information about our ancestors and … click … we find something new and intriguing. But wait: it contradicts something else we’ve found. Clearly, both pieces of information can’t be true. So which is true and which isn’t? Or are both untrue? HELP! Until recently, most researchers developed their evidence-analysis skills by a process of trial-and-error. Unfortunately, many researchers have erred more than tried and seem to be the ones most prolific in publishing the results of their “research” on the internet. Yet these errors can prove disastrous, gobbling up our precious time and money as we search in the wrong place – or worse, as we pursue the wrong ancestral line. So how do we ensure that our conclusions are accurate? This seminar will show you how to evaluate our ancestral information – that is, how to weight each piece of information to determine its accuracy – using a clear, logical, easy-to-follow system. After learning these skills you’ll easily be able to determine which information is reliable and which is like a virus that can destroy all your hard work.
We sit at our computer searching for information about our ancestors and … click … we find something new and intriguing. But wait: it contradicts something else we’ve found. Clearly, both pieces of information can’t be true. So which is true and which isn’t? Or are both untrue? HELP! Until recently, most researchers developed their evidence-analysis skills by a process of trial-and-error. Unfortunately, many researchers have erred more than tried and seem to be the ones most prolific in publishing the results of their “research” on the internet. Yet these errors can prove disastrous, gobbling up our precious time and money as we search in the wrong place – or worse, as we pursue the wrong ancestral line. So how do we ensure that our conclusions are accurate? This seminar will show you how to evaluate our ancestral information – that is, how to weight each piece of information to determine its accuracy – using a clear, logical, easy-to-follow system. After learning these skills you’ll easily be able to determine which information is reliable and which is like a virus that can destroy all your hard work.
Thu, October 12 2023: 0:00 UTC
1:04:36
I Hate Conflict! Mediating Sources that Don’t Agree
Sooner or later, every family researcher comes across information that conflicts with what was found earlier – a date, a name, a place. How can the conflict be resolved, and if it cannot, what to do?
Sooner or later, every family researcher comes across information that conflicts with what was found earlier – a date, a name, a place. How can the conflict be resolved, and if it cannot, what to do?
Wed, July 19 2023: 18:00 UTC
Advanced
1:21:34
Trousers, Black Domestic, Tacks & Housekeeping Bills: Problem-Solving with “Trivial Details”
The records we use are filled with “trivia,” bits and pieces of information that seem to have no “genealogical” value—at least not until we become more innovative in our research and analysis. Each piece of trivia in every document is an opportunity waiting to be connected to something else. Our ability to resolve problems depends upon our ability to make those connections. This class explores eighteen types of records and the kind of hidden clues each offers to help us resolve problems of identity, kinship, and origin. *** This class requires an active webinar membership to attend. ***
The records we use are filled with “trivia,” bits and pieces of information that seem to have no “genealogical” value—at least not until we become more innovative in our research and analysis. Each piece of trivia in every document is an opportunity waiting to be connected to something else. Our ability to resolve problems depends upon our ability to make those connections. This class explores eighteen types of records and the kind of hidden clues each offers to help us resolve problems of identity, kinship, and origin. *** This class requires an active webinar membership to attend. ***
Fri, January 27 2023: 19:00 UTC
1:17:43
1.7K views
CC
Right Place, Right Time, Right Person: Intersections of DNA and Document Evidence
While genetic evidence can aid in the resolution of research obstacles, at the end of the day, genetic genealogy is just genealogy and must be considered within the context of documentary evidence. Even so, the aims of documentary research to make sense of anomalies in genetic evidence often center around finding the right person in the right place at the right time to be an ancestor of a research subject. Learn how to creatively use documentary evidence to recognize and detect intersections of DNA and document evidence.
While genetic evidence can aid in the resolution of research obstacles, at the end of the day, genetic genealogy is just genealogy and must be considered within the context of documentary evidence. Even so, the aims of documentary research to make sense of anomalies in genetic evidence often center around finding the right person in the right place at the right time to be an ancestor of a research subject. Learn how to creatively use documentary evidence to recognize and detect intersections of DNA and document evidence.
Wed, November 2 2022: 18:00 UTC
57:22
Indirect Evidence, A Case Study: The Parents of Elizabeth Wingate in Maryland (1795–1860)
We all have lost Elizabeths in our tree. This lecture will discuss how the understanding and application of indirect evidence is such a valuable instrument in your methodology tool-kit. This case study will examine methods and sources that contributed to finding the parents of Elizabeth Wingate (1795-1860) of Baltimore, Maryland.
We all have lost Elizabeths in our tree. This lecture will discuss how the understanding and application of indirect evidence is such a valuable instrument in your methodology tool-kit. This case study will examine methods and sources that contributed to finding the parents of Elizabeth Wingate (1795-1860) of Baltimore, Maryland.
Fri, September 30 2022: 16:45 UTC
5:08
2.1K views
CC
How I survived a genealogy emergency
Don’t let this happen to you. Join Geoff Rasmussen for a quick look at how he overcame this genealogy emergency.
Don’t let this happen to you. Join Geoff Rasmussen for a quick look at how he overcame this genealogy emergency.
Thu, July 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
1:19:11
Negative Evidence: Making Something Out of Nothing
When is not finding a record nothing, and when does it signify something? Information that is not where you expect it to be may yield important evidence for your research question. Understanding the purpose of a source — who and what it records, and why — will help you determine if the missing person or event is negative evidence or merely a negative search. A series of examples demonstrate methodologies used to create something out of nothing.
When is not finding a record nothing, and when does it signify something? Information that is not where you expect it to be may yield important evidence for your research question. Understanding the purpose of a source — who and what it records, and why — will help you determine if the missing person or event is negative evidence or merely a negative search. A series of examples demonstrate methodologies used to create something out of nothing.
Wed, June 22 2022: 0:00 UTC
6:08
1.4K views
CC
How I Debunked an Online Tree Hint
Hints in online trees can provide genealogical treasures, but if you’re not careful they can lead to genealogical regret. In this quick video, Geoff Rasmussen shows why hints should be explored, scrutinized and evaluated.
Hints in online trees can provide genealogical treasures, but if you’re not careful they can lead to genealogical regret. In this quick video, Geoff Rasmussen shows why hints should be explored, scrutinized and evaluated.
Fri, June 10 2022: 0:00 UTC
1:03:56
1.3K views
CC
Indirect Evidence – A Case Study
This Connecticut-based, indirect evidence case study will highlight techniques for researching a woman whose maiden name is known, but her parents are unknown due to deficiencies in the vital records. Techniques will be demonstrated that rely on forming hypotheses and gathering evidence to test those hypotheses. Thorough research of neighbors and associates (the FAN principle) will yield enough evidence to tie this woman back into her family. Records used include pre-1850 census records, deeds, probate, church, and court. Death records of family members provide the final clues that tie them all together.
This Connecticut-based, indirect evidence case study will highlight techniques for researching a woman whose maiden name is known, but her parents are unknown due to deficiencies in the vital records. Techniques will be demonstrated that rely on forming hypotheses and gathering evidence to test those hypotheses. Thorough research of neighbors and associates (the FAN principle) will yield enough evidence to tie this woman back into her family. Records used include pre-1850 census records, deeds, probate, church, and court. Death records of family members provide the final clues that tie them all together.
Wed, May 18 2022: 18:00 UTC
1:21:02
Five Wives & A Feather Bed: Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Resolve Conflicting Claims
Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, 16 February 1699, to Thomas Brownell and Esther Taber. These conflicting claims raise significant questions about the makeup of Joseph Brownell’s family. Did he have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? The presenter will lead participants through reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records to demonstrate how proof can be constructed to answer these questions. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage will then enable his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, 16 February 1699, to Thomas Brownell and Esther Taber. These conflicting claims raise significant questions about the makeup of Joseph Brownell’s family. Did he have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? The presenter will lead participants through reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records to demonstrate how proof can be constructed to answer these questions. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage will then enable his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
Wed, May 18 2022: 0:00 UTC
56:18
206 views
CC
Using a Research Methodology for Family History
This webinar was presented live during the 2022 Surname Society annual conference. The sources we rely on for our family histories provide information, but the analysis of that information and formulation into proof requires a structured method. Currently there is little guidance on this for beginning and intermediate family historians, especially in the UK. This talk will discuss methodologies, what they are and why they are useful. It will introduce a research methodology and show how it can be used to successfully solve complex cases.
This webinar was presented live during the 2022 Surname Society annual conference. The sources we rely on for our family histories provide information, but the analysis of that information and formulation into proof requires a structured method. Currently there is little guidance on this for beginning and intermediate family historians, especially in the UK. This talk will discuss methodologies, what they are and why they are useful. It will introduce a research methodology and show how it can be used to successfully solve complex cases.
Sat, March 19 2022: 15:00 UTC

Upcoming Live Webinars

View all (147)
Wed, March 20 2024: 0:00 UTC
Maternal Threads Unwoven: Identifying Margareta’s Mother in 18th Century Sweden
Wed, March 20 2024: 0:00 UTC
In spite of birth entries for Margareta’s five siblings in Hishult, there was no record of her birth in the parish. Tax records quickly identified the father, and revealed multiple moves within a narrow span of time; however, identification of the mother remained elusive. No witnesses to births of the children provided clues; no household examinations existed. Coupling the understanding of broad context (naming patterns, inheritance laws, the calendar shift, etc.) with mtDNA and documentary evidence, the mother was identified and the lack of a records was explained.
In spite of birth entries for Margareta’s five siblings in Hishult, there was no record of her birth in the parish. Tax records quickly identified the father, and revealed multiple moves within a narrow span of time; however, identification of the mother remained elusive. No witnesses to births of the children provided clues; no household examinations existed. Coupling the understanding of broad context (naming patterns, inheritance laws, the calendar shift, etc.) with mtDNA and documentary evidence, the mother was identified and the lack of a records was explained.
Wed, March 20 2024: 0:00 UTC
Thu, April 4 2024: 18:00 UTC
Researching Family History at Your Library with MyHeritage Library Edition
Thu, April 4 2024: 18:00 UTC
MyHeritage Library Edition is one of the largest, most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind. Containing more than 19.5 billion historical records from all over the world, MyHeritage Library Edition leverages cutting-edge technology to make research fast and easy even across different languages, making it the most convenient genealogy product for libraries and institutions. Discover the advanced technology behind the scenes and learn how to take full advantage of the search engine’s robust features to explore the lives of your ancestors from your local library or the convenience of your home with your library card. Don’t take our word for it: come to the session and see for yourself!
MyHeritage Library Edition is one of the largest, most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind. Containing more than 19.5 billion historical records from all over the world, MyHeritage Library Edition leverages cutting-edge technology to make research fast and easy even across different languages, making it the most convenient genealogy product for libraries and institutions. Discover the advanced technology behind the scenes and learn how to take full advantage of the search engine’s robust features to explore the lives of your ancestors from your local library or the convenience of your home with your library card. Don’t take our word for it: come to the session and see for yourself!
Thu, April 4 2024: 18:00 UTC
Fri, April 12 2024: 4:00 UTC
Why can’t I find it? Locating surnames in online databases
Fri, April 12 2024: 4:00 UTC
Have you ever failed to find a surname in an online database search? Or have you been frustrated at having to undertake multiple searches to find surname variants, and have wondered why such obvious variants are not “grouped” together? Or perhaps you’ve wondered if you’ve missed entries because you don’t understand how these search engines do in fact “group” surnames. Surnames are like the other half of the DNA double helix. It’s all very well if we discover a DNA connection, but if we can’t link the two families together because we can’t find the relevant entries for our ancestors, much of our time and money is wasted. This webinar explains how online databases approach surname spellings, allowing us to maximise our use of their powerful search engines.
Have you ever failed to find a surname in an online database search? Or have you been frustrated at having to undertake multiple searches to find surname variants, and have wondered why such obvious variants are not “grouped” together? Or perhaps you’ve wondered if you’ve missed entries because you don’t understand how these search engines do in fact “group” surnames. Surnames are like the other half of the DNA double helix. It’s all very well if we discover a DNA connection, but if we can’t link the two families together because we can’t find the relevant entries for our ancestors, much of our time and money is wasted. This webinar explains how online databases approach surname spellings, allowing us to maximise our use of their powerful search engines.
Fri, April 12 2024: 4:00 UTC
Wed, April 17 2024: 0:00 UTC
French Emigrants: They Were Not All Huguenots, or Nobles, or from Alsace-Lorraine
Wed, April 17 2024: 0:00 UTC
One of the great difficulties for people researching their French immigrant ancestors’ roots is that so little is known outside of France about when and why the French left their country. This dearth of knowledge has led many family historians of the 19th century to presume Huguenot, noble émigré or Alsace-Lorraine ancestry for any ancestor with a French name. The supposition became a family legend that then became a research frustration as more recent family historians attempt to prove what was never more than a misguided supposition. This webinar looks at the many waves of French migration, as well as the three mentioned in the title, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The historical reasons for when, why and to where they emigrated will provide the key points to bear in mind when conducting research. The bibliography, in English and French, contains not only books and articles concerning French emigration but a list of websites to aid the researcher.
One of the great difficulties for people researching their French immigrant ancestors’ roots is that so little is known outside of France about when and why the French left their country. This dearth of knowledge has led many family historians of the 19th century to presume Huguenot, noble émigré or Alsace-Lorraine ancestry for any ancestor with a French name. The supposition became a family legend that then became a research frustration as more recent family historians attempt to prove what was never more than a misguided supposition. This webinar looks at the many waves of French migration, as well as the three mentioned in the title, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The historical reasons for when, why and to where they emigrated will provide the key points to bear in mind when conducting research. The bibliography, in English and French, contains not only books and articles concerning French emigration but a list of websites to aid the researcher.
Wed, April 17 2024: 0:00 UTC
Thu, May 9 2024: 0:00 UTC
Finding the records for “impossible” genealogy – lessons learned from a Chinese genealogist
Thu, May 9 2024: 0:00 UTC
Even now, genealogy for underrepresented populations can be considered “impossible.” In this talk you’ll learn which populations are considered so, why that is, and techniques for expanding your genealogical skills. I use Chinese genealogy but the lessons are applicable for all underrepresented genealogical groups.
Even now, genealogy for underrepresented populations can be considered “impossible.” In this talk you’ll learn which populations are considered so, why that is, and techniques for expanding your genealogical skills. I use Chinese genealogy but the lessons are applicable for all underrepresented genealogical groups.
Thu, May 9 2024: 0:00 UTC
Wed, May 22 2024: 0:00 UTC
Editing Your Own Writing – Part 1
Wed, May 22 2024: 0:00 UTC
Genealogists write. Their written narratives include stories of ancestral families, biographies of individual ancestors, and explanations supporting genealogical proofs. For their writing to succeed, genealogists—like all effective writers—repeatedly self-edit everything they write. The process results in polished products that the genealogist’s readers will understand, enjoy, and cherish. Emphasizing genealogical narrative, these two webinars will addresses the self-editing process. Part 1 will focus on “big-picture” editing, including stages of self-editing; focus; keeping the writer out of the narrative; editing the writing’s overall structure, organization, and flow; and improving major and minor subdivisions of written genealogical narratives, including paragraphing. Part 2 will focus on “nitty-gritty” editing, including capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word choice, and reducing word count.
Genealogists write. Their written narratives include stories of ancestral families, biographies of individual ancestors, and explanations supporting genealogical proofs. For their writing to succeed, genealogists—like all effective writers—repeatedly self-edit everything they write. The process results in polished products that the genealogist’s readers will understand, enjoy, and cherish. Emphasizing genealogical narrative, these two webinars will addresses the self-editing process. Part 1 will focus on “big-picture” editing, including stages of self-editing; focus; keeping the writer out of the narrative; editing the writing’s overall structure, organization, and flow; and improving major and minor subdivisions of written genealogical narratives, including paragraphing. Part 2 will focus on “nitty-gritty” editing, including capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word choice, and reducing word count.
Wed, May 22 2024: 0:00 UTC
Identity Crises: Right Name, Wrong Man? Wrong Name, Right Man?
Fri, May 24 2024: 18:00 UTC
What do we do with ancestors whose names don’t “match” from one record to the next? Or those who pose the opposite problem: too many men or women of the same name? This session examines a litany of social customs and naming patterns that cause ancestors to be known by different names—then offers techniques and strategies by which we can establish that any two records do or do not apply to the same person. A variety of case studies demonstrate the problems and the methods we can use to overcome them.
What do we do with ancestors whose names don’t “match” from one record to the next? Or those who pose the opposite problem: too many men or women of the same name? This session examines a litany of social customs and naming patterns that cause ancestors to be known by different names—then offers techniques and strategies by which we can establish that any two records do or do not apply to the same person. A variety of case studies demonstrate the problems and the methods we can use to overcome them.
Fri, May 24 2024: 18:00 UTC
Wed, June 19 2024: 0:00 UTC
Editing Your Own Writing – Part 2
Wed, June 19 2024: 0:00 UTC
Genealogists write. Their written narratives include stories of ancestral families, biographies of individual ancestors, and explanations supporting genealogical proofs. For their writing to succeed, genealogists—like all effective writers—repeatedly self-edit everything they write. The process results in polished products that the genealogist’s readers will understand, enjoy, and cherish. Emphasizing genealogical narrative, these two webinars will address the self-editing process. Part 1 will focus on “big-picture” editing, including stages of self-editing; focus; keeping the writer out of the narrative; editing the writing’s overall structure, organization, and flow; and improving major and minor subdivisions of written genealogical narratives, including paragraphing. Part 2 will focus on “nitty-gritty” editing, including capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word choice, and reducing word count.
Genealogists write. Their written narratives include stories of ancestral families, biographies of individual ancestors, and explanations supporting genealogical proofs. For their writing to succeed, genealogists—like all effective writers—repeatedly self-edit everything they write. The process results in polished products that the genealogist’s readers will understand, enjoy, and cherish. Emphasizing genealogical narrative, these two webinars will address the self-editing process. Part 1 will focus on “big-picture” editing, including stages of self-editing; focus; keeping the writer out of the narrative; editing the writing’s overall structure, organization, and flow; and improving major and minor subdivisions of written genealogical narratives, including paragraphing. Part 2 will focus on “nitty-gritty” editing, including capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word choice, and reducing word count.
Wed, June 19 2024: 0:00 UTC
How to Find the Truth about a Family Story
Fri, June 28 2024: 18:00 UTC
Oral history provides the foundation for all family research. Documentary evidence builds structure on that foundation. But documents often conflict with family traditions. How do we determine the core truths that are essential to understanding our own past? This class examines the causes of those conflicts and demonstrates how to peel away generations of confusion to find the real story that underpins family lore. Case studies include both Native American and African American traditions.
Oral history provides the foundation for all family research. Documentary evidence builds structure on that foundation. But documents often conflict with family traditions. How do we determine the core truths that are essential to understanding our own past? This class examines the causes of those conflicts and demonstrates how to peel away generations of confusion to find the real story that underpins family lore. Case studies include both Native American and African American traditions.
Fri, June 28 2024: 18:00 UTC