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1:09:11
1.6K views
CC
Why We Should Look at In-Laws When Doing Genealogical Research
Often, when the records of family members can’t be easily found, a review of fictive kin and other connections might bring those missing individuals into view. Let’s look at some cases when broadening our focus might bring the target directly into our view.
Often, when the records of family members can’t be easily found, a review of fictive kin and other connections might bring those missing individuals into view. Let’s look at some cases when broadening our focus might bring the target directly into our view.
Wed, July 26 2023: 18:00 UTC
Advanced
1:16:38
Okay, I ‘Got the Neighbors’—Now What Do I Do with Them?!
We’ve all heard the mantra Get the Neighbors! But exactly how do we use “other people’s” information to solve problems of identity, kinship, and origin for our own ancestors? This session teaches critical skills for building networks around problem ancestors, methods for analyzing and prioritizing associations, and strategies for milking clues from the records those neighbors created. All can be developed into solutions for our toughest research problems.
We’ve all heard the mantra Get the Neighbors! But exactly how do we use “other people’s” information to solve problems of identity, kinship, and origin for our own ancestors? This session teaches critical skills for building networks around problem ancestors, methods for analyzing and prioritizing associations, and strategies for milking clues from the records those neighbors created. All can be developed into solutions for our toughest research problems.
Fri, April 28 2023: 18:00 UTC
48:40
1.2K views
CC
The FAN Club Methodology, DNA, and Genealogy Lead Back to Lunatic’s Plantation
Utilizing the FAN Club method, DNA, and enslaved ancestral research, Collier finally found major clues to help solve a longtime mystery – who was the previous enslaver of his great-great grandmother, Polly Partee of Panola County, Mississippi, and where did she come from? Her last enslaver was Squire Boone Partee of Panola County, and Polly had been the head cook on his plantation during and after slavery, according to oral history. According to the censuses, she was born somewhere in North Carolina and sold to Squire by 1852, but her origins had been largely unknown. Collier will present a plethora of DNA evidence, in conjunction with genealogy research and the FAN Club methodology, to uncover Polly’s North Carolina origins. Collier will also argue how a court-investigated lunatic, Alfred Alston of Fayette County, Tennessee, was most likely her previous enslaver.
Utilizing the FAN Club method, DNA, and enslaved ancestral research, Collier finally found major clues to help solve a longtime mystery – who was the previous enslaver of his great-great grandmother, Polly Partee of Panola County, Mississippi, and where did she come from? Her last enslaver was Squire Boone Partee of Panola County, and Polly had been the head cook on his plantation during and after slavery, according to oral history. According to the censuses, she was born somewhere in North Carolina and sold to Squire by 1852, but her origins had been largely unknown. Collier will present a plethora of DNA evidence, in conjunction with genealogy research and the FAN Club methodology, to uncover Polly’s North Carolina origins. Collier will also argue how a court-investigated lunatic, Alfred Alston of Fayette County, Tennessee, was most likely her previous enslaver.
Fri, April 14 2023: 1:00 UTC
1:24:42
1.6K views
CC
Uncovering Immigrant Origins Through Cluster Research
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
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
50:04
626 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
1:03:56
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
1:01:33
Investigate the Neighborhood to Advance Your Research (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture)
This lecture reveals the most powerful methodology available to genealogists. Family historians often begin their genealogical quest by researching only their direct ancestors. For many reasons the direct ancestor they search for may have left few records. The records that survive may not shed light on where the ancestor came…
This lecture reveals the most powerful methodology available to genealogists. Family historians often begin their genealogical quest by researching only their direct ancestors. For many reasons the direct ancestor they search for may have left few records. The records that survive may not shed light on where the ancestor came…
Fri, October 8 2021: 17:30 UTC
49:59
418 views
CC
One Family, Many Connections: Using the FAN club in one Australian locality
Family historians know only too well the importance of researching the family/friends, neighbours and associates (the FAN club) of direct line ancestors. Any information we find does not become truly valuable until placed into a community or cluster or network context. Harvesting the clues in the FAN club gives us the potential to further advance our research as well as provide pointers to other records or fragments. So, what genealogical details would be found if the FAN principle was applied to one family in a locality? This presentation will show how one such network or cluster evolved in the Hunter Valley region; one which was to be hugely influential in the growth years of the New South Wales colony and in the development of Australia as a nation.
Family historians know only too well the importance of researching the family/friends, neighbours and associates (the FAN club) of direct line ancestors. Any information we find does not become truly valuable until placed into a community or cluster or network context. Harvesting the clues in the FAN club gives us the potential to further advance our research as well as provide pointers to other records or fragments. So, what genealogical details would be found if the FAN principle was applied to one family in a locality? This presentation will show how one such network or cluster evolved in the Hunter Valley region; one which was to be hugely influential in the growth years of the New South Wales colony and in the development of Australia as a nation.
Fri, September 24 2021: 0:00 UTC
1:24:50
2.0K views
CC
Cluster Research: Using Groups of People to Find Your People
Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They lived, worked, socialized, and married in the midst of a larger group of people. Those people included not just family members but friends, neighbors, employers and fellow employees, fellow churchgoers, and business associates. Genealogists often refers to this group with the…
Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They lived, worked, socialized, and married in the midst of a larger group of people. Those people included not just family members but friends, neighbors, employers and fellow employees, fellow churchgoers, and business associates. Genealogists often refers to this group with the…
Thu, September 23 2021: 0:00 UTC
32:32
2.2K views
CC
FAN Club in Action: a Simple Case Study
Sometimes the answers we seek will not be in the records of our ancestor. Turning to the records of their FAN Club – their Friends/Family, Associates and Neighbors – may have what we are looking for. Join Geoff Rasmussen as he walks you through a simple case study of using the FAN Club methods.
Sometimes the answers we seek will not be in the records of our ancestor. Turning to the records of their FAN Club – their Friends/Family, Associates and Neighbors – may have what we are looking for. Join Geoff Rasmussen as he walks you through a simple case study of using the FAN Club methods.
Fri, September 3 2021: 12:00 UTC
1:02:05
603 views
CC
Finding Jane Graham’s Parents: Using Clusters and Records in Three Countries
Tracking the woman who raised Jane’s youngest child leads from California through England to County Tyrone to identify parents. An Irish family case study. Brief Outline Jane Graham was born in Ireland in 1835. Unsourced family lore provided parents’ names. Twenty years of on-and-off research proved the lore was true. Jane and her husband and children were missed in the 1860 census. Her only census appearance was 1870, three years before her death in childbirth. Encountering Jane’s last child another family’s household led to extensive research on Ann Lockren and the discovery that Ann and Jane were sisters. Research on Irish-born Ann led to records of her marriage and children in County Durham, England. After Ann was widowed, she lived in the same household as another Graham family. Tracking those Grahams through clues in family trees to records in England and Ireland led to origins in County Tyrone. Catholic parish registers in Tyrone proved Jane and Ann were sisters, and who their parents were. Case involves multiple surname variants and use of cluster research.
Tracking the woman who raised Jane’s youngest child leads from California through England to County Tyrone to identify parents. An Irish family case study. Brief Outline Jane Graham was born in Ireland in 1835. Unsourced family lore provided parents’ names. Twenty years of on-and-off research proved the lore was true. Jane and her husband and children were missed in the 1860 census. Her only census appearance was 1870, three years before her death in childbirth. Encountering Jane’s last child another family’s household led to extensive research on Ann Lockren and the discovery that Ann and Jane were sisters. Research on Irish-born Ann led to records of her marriage and children in County Durham, England. After Ann was widowed, she lived in the same household as another Graham family. Tracking those Grahams through clues in family trees to records in England and Ireland led to origins in County Tyrone. Catholic parish registers in Tyrone proved Jane and Ann were sisters, and who their parents were. Case involves multiple surname variants and use of cluster research.
Fri, September 3 2021: 7:00 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
Tue, April 16 2024: 16:00 UTC
French Emigrants: They Were Not All Huguenots, or Nobles, or from Alsace-Lorraine
Tue, April 16 2024: 16:00 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.
Tue, April 16 2024: 16:00 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