All presentations are suitable for beginning and intermediate level researchers. Each is one hour in length, includes handouts and a Q&A section, and I bring my own projector and laptop to in-person presentations.  All topics are also available as a webinar if the sponsoring organization has the software to make that possible.  (New Topics are listed in Blue.)

Presentation Topics

Be A Good Ancestor – While you may feel there’s nothing important or noteworthy about your life, sometime within the next 100 years, someone who is researching their own history is going to want to know more about you. We’ll look at a few ways to leave them something to find.

DNA Results as a Research Option – Whether you’ve taken or are still considering a DNA test to determine your kinship with someone or trace your lineage, knowing how to work with the results you receive is crucial! Receiving the result is one thing, understanding them and using them as a research tool are totally different things.

Ellis Island – It’s history, other inspection sites, and a history of immigration to our country. The History of Ellis Island 1630-2012. Who was processed at Ellis Island and what did that involve? How did the Legislation of Immigration affect Ellis Island?

Focusing Your Research – You don’t have to be a professional to work like one. Discover how organization, questions, and knowledge of records can help you become a better genealogist and researcher.

Following the Trail of Shared Matches – DNA test results can be overwhelming. This case study shows how I used the shared matches within my DNA test results to narrow in on my maternal grandfather and fill in many holes in my family tree.

Immigration Finding where our immigrant ancestors came from is exciting and important. Reaching that goal often requires an understanding of the conditions and regulations surrounding immigration in a given time period as well as the experience of arrival in various parts of North America.

Internet Research for Genealogy –  Demonstration and discussion of search techniques that should make finding any type of information on the Internet easier. Both subscription and free sites will be discussed.

Julian to Gregorian: When and How our Calendar Changed – Dates are very important to genealogists but how well do you understand the relationship between the dates recorded and the calendar in use at the time? The switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar started in 1582, but lasted into the 20th century. Understanding the adoption process may impact your 18th to 20th century research.

NARA Boston – Who, Why, When, & How – The National Archives at Boston (Trapelo Rd in Waltham, MA) has an extensive collection of federal documents.  Join me in taking a look at the Why, When, and How of researching at this facility and some of the wonderful details you might uncover as part of your ancestors’ lives.

Naturalization – There are six ways to become a U.S. citizen.  We will review each, concentrating on the court option which produced a paper trail and can help with your family genealogical research. This presentation also covers ways in which citizenship was lost & perhaps regained at a later date.

Published Genealogies – Family Histories come in many styles. Review the top three to understand how to organize or read a published genealogy and find the many clues it may hold for your family history.

Sharing Your Research Results – Today’s technologies give us many ways to share results without writing a full book. Let’s discuss creative ways to share even small discoveries that might interest your living family members.

Starting Your Genealogy – Topics include basic genealogical forms, where to research,  tracking your research, and  questions to ask living relatives.

The Staff of the US. Census – Just who was creating the documents genealogists typically turn to first? What rules did they follow? How long did they have to complete their job? How big is an enumeration district? These questions and more probably occur to anyone doing extensive research in the U.S. Census reports.  This presentation tries to answer some of these questions, providing context for the data we turn to so often.

World War II – Letters To a From a Young Soldier – Over 300 letters found in my uncle’s attic tell a wonderful tale of WWII both at home and in Italy. Learn about or re-live the years 1943-45 as we travel through his time in the USA.

Working with Census Reports – The purpose of the census, the instructions and methods for the enumerators, and the hidden gems you find when reading the entire page and putting your ancestors’ information into historical context. Each leads to additional sources to be researched for verification and added information.

Writing Your Autobiography – Your words express the emotions of your life. Putting them ‘on paper’ helps paint a picture of you that no camera can duplicate.

Please ask us about the possibility of creating something on a topic of your choice.