BCG

Webinars focused on genealogy skill-building and standards, presented by certified genealogists. All webinars are sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

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1:20:00
932 views
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Ancestor’s Religions in the U.S.
Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestor’s religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.
Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestor’s religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.
Wed, July 20 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
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
1:10:04
Proving Parentage Two Centuries Later Using DNA Evidence
Proving immigrant origins may seem daunting, especially when the family lived hundreds of years ago. This presentation shows how to navigate multiple border crossings, name changes, and cultural challenges and apply DNA techniques to trace a family of Canadian immigrants from town to town. The right combination of documentary evidence and biological evidence, coupled with sound methodology, reveals the origins of this family.
Proving immigrant origins may seem daunting, especially when the family lived hundreds of years ago. This presentation shows how to navigate multiple border crossings, name changes, and cultural challenges and apply DNA techniques to trace a family of Canadian immigrants from town to town. The right combination of documentary evidence and biological evidence, coupled with sound methodology, reveals the origins of this family.
Wed, April 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
1:28:42
Identifying Unnamed Free Born African Americans – A DNA Case Study
Identifying unnamed individuals using a Research Plan incorporating genetic evidence takes creativity and patience. This session deconstructs a case study using Genealogy Standards to align and correlate DNA results and fragmentary records for African American families, beginning in 1812 in Virginia and North Carolina.
Identifying unnamed individuals using a Research Plan incorporating genetic evidence takes creativity and patience. This session deconstructs a case study using Genealogy Standards to align and correlate DNA results and fragmentary records for African American families, beginning in 1812 in Virginia and North Carolina.
Wed, March 16 2022: 0:00 UTC
1:12:30
1.2K views
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It Goes with the Territory! Find Your Ancestors in Pre-statehood Records
From the Old Northwest to the Hawaiian Islands, the United States has acquired and settled new lands. If your ancestor pioneered pre-statehood territories, they may have left records valuable to documenting and understanding their lives. Discussion includes a timeline of territorial settlement and governance, and strategies for locating and using territorial records.
From the Old Northwest to the Hawaiian Islands, the United States has acquired and settled new lands. If your ancestor pioneered pre-statehood territories, they may have left records valuable to documenting and understanding their lives. Discussion includes a timeline of territorial settlement and governance, and strategies for locating and using territorial records.
Wed, February 16 2022: 1:00 UTC
1:05:01
1.7K views
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Using Historical Fiction and Social History to Support Your Narrative
You’ve researched facts; you’re ready to write. How do you imagine ancestors’ lives? Family histories are dull and boring if they reflect only the factual information found in historical documents. Historical fiction and social history can provide context and enhance your writing.
You’ve researched facts; you’re ready to write. How do you imagine ancestors’ lives? Family histories are dull and boring if they reflect only the factual information found in historical documents. Historical fiction and social history can provide context and enhance your writing.
Wed, January 19 2022: 1:00 UTC
1:13:02
Planning Research
Genealogical proof requires the conduct of reasonably exhaustive research. The thorough research required by the Genealogical Proof Standard should not be undertaken in a haphazard manner. This webinar provides useful tips on developing an effective research plan, including the importance of crafting a focused research question and prioritizing potentially relevant…
Genealogical proof requires the conduct of reasonably exhaustive research. The thorough research required by the Genealogical Proof Standard should not be undertaken in a haphazard manner. This webinar provides useful tips on developing an effective research plan, including the importance of crafting a focused research question and prioritizing potentially relevant…
Wed, November 17 2021: 1:00 UTC
1:27:26
My 20 Year Mystery – Finding family origins with Y-DNA
Beginner genealogists often research their surname origins first, and get stuck at a certain point. The skills needed to surmount these early brick walls come in time, with study and practice, and the increasing availability of DNA and online resources. In this webinar, Shellee describes her brick wall ancestor, Samuel…
Beginner genealogists often research their surname origins first, and get stuck at a certain point. The skills needed to surmount these early brick walls come in time, with study and practice, and the increasing availability of DNA and online resources. In this webinar, Shellee describes her brick wall ancestor, Samuel…
Wed, October 20 2021: 0:00 UTC
Advanced
1:14:09
Private Land Claims—Complicated? Yes, but worth it! (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture)
When the United States acquired land that had been under the governance of foreign nations (Great Britain, France, Spain, and Mexico), the U.S. government agreed to grant title to landowners who could prove prior legal land rights from those foreign governments. This webinar shows how to access and use records…
When the United States acquired land that had been under the governance of foreign nations (Great Britain, France, Spain, and Mexico), the U.S. government agreed to grant title to landowners who could prove prior legal land rights from those foreign governments. This webinar shows how to access and use records…
Fri, October 8 2021: 22:00 UTC
52:57
Using Mind Mapping as a Visual Research Plan (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture)
Thorough analysis of each source document is how genealogists plan their next research steps. Including mind mapping as a visual method of analysis can help focus further research questions, point to missing sources, and support indirect evidence analysis.
Thorough analysis of each source document is how genealogists plan their next research steps. Including mind mapping as a visual method of analysis can help focus further research questions, point to missing sources, and support indirect evidence analysis.
Fri, October 8 2021: 20:45 UTC
59:46
1.6K views
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What am I missing? Recognizing Research Holes in Available Sources (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture)
Performing reasonably exhaustive research assumes researchers recognize the resources available to solve a research question. Genealogists must recognize pertinent resources available to solve a research question and understand the limits of each of those resources. This lecture helps to navigate the pitfalls.
Performing reasonably exhaustive research assumes researchers recognize the resources available to solve a research question. Genealogists must recognize pertinent resources available to solve a research question and understand the limits of each of those resources. This lecture helps to navigate the pitfalls.
Fri, October 8 2021: 19:30 UTC

Upcoming Live Webinars

View all (69)
Wed, August 17 2022: 0:00 UTC
Finding Fayette’s Father: Autosomal DNA Reveals Misattributed Parentage
Wed, August 17 2022: 0:00 UTC
Traditional documentation clearly identified Fayette’s father without conflict. However, the DNA results of Fayette’s descendants told a different story. Learn how DNA evidence combined with a trail of clues and the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard revealed a secret from the summer of 1913.
Traditional documentation clearly identified Fayette’s father without conflict. However, the DNA results of Fayette’s descendants told a different story. Learn how DNA evidence combined with a trail of clues and the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard revealed a secret from the summer of 1913.
Wed, August 17 2022: 0:00 UTC
Wed, September 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists
Wed, September 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
Every document that is used during genealogical research must be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. Abstracting is a fundamental part of this research and analyzing process. Yet many genealogists are not confident in their ability to perform this task effectively and efficiently. This causes researchers to avoid the abstracting process resulting in research errors. An abstract is a summary of all the important details in a document. This presentation will examine the abstracting process by using examples that show how to abstract a variety of documents, general guidelines for abstracting, what to include and what to eliminate when creating an abstract, and lastly will explore some problems that might be encountered while abstracting.
Every document that is used during genealogical research must be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. Abstracting is a fundamental part of this research and analyzing process. Yet many genealogists are not confident in their ability to perform this task effectively and efficiently. This causes researchers to avoid the abstracting process resulting in research errors. An abstract is a summary of all the important details in a document. This presentation will examine the abstracting process by using examples that show how to abstract a variety of documents, general guidelines for abstracting, what to include and what to eliminate when creating an abstract, and lastly will explore some problems that might be encountered while abstracting.
Wed, September 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
Fri, October 7 2022: 15:00 UTC
When Wrong is Actually Right: Constructing Proof Arguments for Counterintuitive Conflicts (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Fri, October 7 2022: 15:00 UTC
Name changes, enumerator errors, and terrible informants can combine to create major inconsistencies in documentation. Records that, at first glance, appear to be major mismatches can later turn out to be correct. Researching non-English-speaking immigrant families requires a comfort level with these layered conflicts-upon-conflicts. This session demonstrates how to use logic to confirm that a wrong-name, wrong-age, wrong-everything record can actually be right, with an emphasis on immigrant families. Participants will learn how to transfer that logic to a written proof argument.
Name changes, enumerator errors, and terrible informants can combine to create major inconsistencies in documentation. Records that, at first glance, appear to be major mismatches can later turn out to be correct. Researching non-English-speaking immigrant families requires a comfort level with these layered conflicts-upon-conflicts. This session demonstrates how to use logic to confirm that a wrong-name, wrong-age, wrong-everything record can actually be right, with an emphasis on immigrant families. Participants will learn how to transfer that logic to a written proof argument.
Fri, October 7 2022: 15:00 UTC
Fri, October 7 2022: 16:15 UTC
Peeling the Onion: Getting to the Original Sources (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Fri, October 7 2022: 16:15 UTC
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: 16:15 UTC
Fri, October 7 2022: 17:30 UTC
The Hub of the Wheel: How Tracing a Brother with no Children Connected Ten Siblings (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Fri, October 7 2022: 17:30 UTC
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: 17:30 UTC
Fri, October 7 2022: 19:30 UTC
Consult via…Explore with…Discover through…Literature Reviews (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Fri, October 7 2022: 19:30 UTC
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 use of negative evidence 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 use of negative evidence will highlight the methodology.
Fri, October 7 2022: 19:30 UTC
Fri, October 7 2022: 20:45 UTC
Finding Henrietta: Reconciling Conflicting Evidence to Reveal a Woman’s Identity (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Fri, October 7 2022: 20:45 UTC
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: 20:45 UTC
Fri, October 7 2022: 22:00 UTC
Hidden Stories: Using Analysis to Explore the Unexpected in Family History (a 2022 Reisinger lecture)
Fri, October 7 2022: 22:00 UTC
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: 22:00 UTC
Wed, October 19 2022: 0:00 UTC
Misled by Records: Identifying Adam Cosner’s Parentage
Wed, October 19 2022: 0:00 UTC
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