Were they Orphans at all? DNA and the Orphan Train: Finding Kathryn’s Family

Nancy Gavin Koester
Sep 15, 2021
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2m 23s
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Speaker's Introduction
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6m 19s
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1850s New York City
3m 44s
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Aid Societies
4m 46s
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Case Study
18m 19s
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What Really Happened?
11m 25s
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8m 57s
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19m 20s

About this webinar

Kathryn Paulus was an orphan train rider. Using modern techniques, can we find her family and answer the question — were they orphans after all?

About the speaker

About the speaker

Nancy Gavin Koester is a Western NY native, having grown up in Hamburg, NY. She has been involved in genealogy for over 40 years, starting at the age of 13. Nancy has been a professional genealogist for over 25 years. She has a certificate in Gene
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Comments (67)

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  1. MC
    Maureen Cole
    1 month ago

    What a story! Thanks for the photographs in trying to explain the generations – it was helpful.

  2. SS
    Stephen Schwartz
    1 month ago

    Excellent case study with a tons of research tips.

  3. TB
    Therese Beckman
    1 month ago

    Even though I have no familial connection to the Orphan Train children, I find it a fascinating and tragic story. The research process used was a great model to follow and I thank Ms. Koester for so generously sharing her methodology with us.

  4. KR
    Kathy Rieberger
    1 month ago

    Every webinar helps with ideas for mine family information gathering. Thanks

  5. BF
    Barbara Fisgus
    1 month ago

    I read the OrphanTrain book that she mentioned. Very interesting, as well as her presentation.

  6. CD
    Clara Draganowski
    1 month ago

    Interesting topic. Always enjoy learning new things.

  7. RD
    Rosalyn Dowling
    1 month ago

    I do not have a ancestor who rode the Orphan Train. I found Nancy’s Case Study using DNA, most interesting. Thank you!

  8. LB
    Lawrence Bagley
    1 month ago

    Well researched and presented. I couldn’t asked questions but I wanted to know the name of the reformatory on Rykers Island that began in 1855 and whether any records exist for the period from 1835 to 1855. I have investigated much of this time. My grandfather & siblings were on a train in 1857 to Albion MI.


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