Virtual: Genealogy Symposium

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Program Type:

Lectures, History/Genealogy

Age Group:

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Program Description


This virtual event features six video programs with a variety of topics and exciting speakers. Be sure to register for this program for access to the online programming.

Co-sponsored by the Central Texas Genealogy Society, Texas State Genealogical Society, and Genealogy Network of Texas.

Program of Events

10:00 – 10:50 am "NARA Mythbusters: Your Family IS in the Archives" (Difficulty: Beginner)
Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist Sponsored by: Friends of Corpus Christi Public Libraries
“All the military records were burned in the fire.” “There isn’t any birth, marriage, or death information in federal records.” “There aren’t any details about ordinary families at the National Archives.” These kinds of myth statements stop genealogists from breaking down all kinds of brick walls using the wealth of information that is available through the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). Learn about the family-history treasures that can be discovered among these records.

11:00 - 11:50 am "So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?" (Difficulty: Intermediate)
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG Sponsored by: Waco-McLennan County Library
Finding your ancestor’s town of origin can be exciting. Once this piece of information is found, you might be left wondering how to get records from the other side of the ocean. This lecture focuses on how to get records for German towns. Highlights include: verifying the location, strategies for identifying misspelled town names, finding historical jurisdictions, finding records for that town, useful aids for reading those records, and tips for hiring a professional genealogist in Germany when necessary.

12:00 – 1:10 pm "Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key" (Difficulty: Beginner)
Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF Manager, The Genealogy Center Senior Manager, Special Collections, Allen County Public Library
Explore how the concept of “America, the Great Melting Pot” may really be a flawed concept. Identifying the ethnic group of one’s ancestor or potential ancestor can pay some significant research dividends. Topics covered include how to build a historical context for one’s ancestor, studying population clusters, paying attention to patterns of all sorts (naming, migration, settlement, etc.), understanding the motivations of migration, and locating resource repositories.

1:25 – 2:30 pm "Attacking 18th and 19th Century Mysteries with DNA" (Difficulty: Intermediate)
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., The Genetic Genealogist Sponsored by: Waco-McLennan County Library
Did you know that you have an arsenal of Secret DNA Weapons at your fingertips? These tools can help you attack those mysteries from the 1900s and 1800s! Learn how to harness the power of Shared Matching to pull out matches related via a mystery ancestor, how to build Research Trees to quickly identify common ancestry, and more!

2:45 – 3:40 pm "Filling in the Family Stories" (Difficulty: Beginner)
Susan Kaufman, Senior Manager, Houston Public Library, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
This presentation, through examples of sources, will help you to understand the context in which your family lived, celebrated, cooked, listened to music, and other daily activities that all help provide the stories that make our families come alive. Stories in context go beyond just a name, date, and place on a pedigree chart. Social history helps us to better understand lives, provides context to our research, adds interest to the pedigree chart, and can also lead to additional records.

3:50 – 4:50 pm "Discover Genealogical Treasure Using Historic U.S. Maps" (Difficulty: Intermediate)
Hannah Kubacak, Genealogy Librarian, Genealogy Center Waco-McLennan County Library
Maps provide a valuable tool for understanding the world as it was when our ancestors were living. Explore a variety of resources for finding and using historic maps. A few of the maps to be discussed during this presentation will include Fire Insurance maps, county boundaries, Public Land Survey System maps, and land grants.


This program will be pre-recorded. Links to the videos will be sent out by e-mail on the day of the scheduled program. The links will not be viewable after the date of the event.