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Lectures and Programs

Webinars and Custom Lectures Available!

NEW!   Adventures with Lost Postcards: Using eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and CardCow to Break Down Genealogical Brick Walls

Online auction and resale sites don’t make finding genealogical treasures easy, but with a little persistence, you can discover lost family heirlooms for yourself or share item details with others online.

NEW!  Clever Gifts for Genealogists: Holiday Edition

A great overview of ideas and gift suggestions for genealogists of all experience levels.  Providing a mix of useful tech tools, subscription deals, unique finds, and do-it-yourself crafts, this is a perfect lecture for the fall/winter season.

NEW!  Spies Among Us: Tracing WWI Era Ancestors through FBI and American Protective League Records

Learn how a mass collective of middle class private citizens helped the FBI collect information on non-US citizens during the Great War, and how to track down the files these investigations left behind.

 

General Research

Internet Archive – The Amazing Genealogical Resource You’re Not Using!

Can’t find it on Ancestry?  Learn all about Internet Archive and its amazing collection of city directories, county histories, gazetteers, yearbooks, and family genealogies.  If you haven’t been on this site yet, you’re missing a lot of fantastic resources!

Beyond Ancestry

Not all your research online can be conducted with Ancestry.com.  There are many free and budget friendly resources which can assist you in conducting genealogy research on the web.  This program covers exciting and evolving websites from across the United States and parts of Europe.

Using Fold3 Library Edition

Love it or hate it, Fold3 is cornering the market on American military records online.  Learn how to navigate the site, browse resources effectively, and find the hidden gems on this fantastic database.

Try-It Illinois! (October & November)

The annual Try-It Illinois Database trial which runs from October 1-November 30, allows you to access a ton of free genealogy databases from home for free!  Learn how to navigate these resources successfully to fulfill your research goals!

 

Technology

Pinning Together Your Genealogical Past on Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest?  It's more than just tasty recipes and weight loss tips.  This site can help you sort, share, and promote your genealogy projects.  Learn how to create pins from your own research, collaborate with others on your projects, make a visual "to-do" list, save your must-have reads, and share your successes with other genealogists.

No Photo?  No Problem! -  How Slides and Negatives Capture the Past

Those photo negatives and slides aren’t useless!  Learn how new types of scanners and software can bring these forgotten photo collections back to life!  Program resources include software suggestions, books, and online resources.

 

Military

The Hunter of Tallulah - The Truth and Legend of an Indian War Ancestor

Adam P. Vandiver was small of stature but his exploits measured to giant proportions.  Vandiver was an extreme mountain man, veteran of the War of 1812 Indian Wars, and boasted to have over 30 children with three wives, though albeit, not at the same time.  In a story pieced together by historical and genealogical records, you can learn how to sort fact from fiction when researching a larger-than-life ancestor.

What's An 'Old War Pension' and Why Should I Care?

Old War Pensions are an under used resource for anyone with a male ancestor of military service age from 1816-1861.  Learn how to navigate the indexes and request records to explore your family's connection to smaller military campaigns and conflicts.

Civil War Genealogy: Tracing the service of Billy Yank and Johnny Reb

Did your ancestors take up sides during the Civil War?  Learn about the resources, research sites, and strategies for learning more about your veteran ancestors!

 

World War I

World War I Genealogy – Where Do I Start?

Start your journey towards learning more about your family’s connection to the war to end all wars. Using a fail-proof method of record gathering, you can begin to construct a large amount of information even if your ancestor’s official military records were destroyed in the NRPC fire. With thousands of resources available online, traditional archives, and in specialized museums, you'll be on your way to tracing your ancestor's Great War experience quickly and confidently.

Tracing Female Ancestors in World War I Military and Non-Combatant Records

Women were essential to the success of America’s troops in World War I. This lecture will outline a plan to locate and use a variety of local, state, and national records to discover the stories of female ancestors serving in military and volunteer roles.

Aliens in the Army

Non-citizens residing in the USA during World War I were drafted in the military, and with their induction into service, and the government responded by streamlining the naturalization process for these 'alien' servicemen.  Find out how you can research your WWI ancestors in records at the National Archives and discover more about their military service and personal path to citizenship.

Allied with the Allies

Examine the abundant resources, service files, and information for service men and women who served in Canadian, UK, Australian, and French forces during World War I.  The lecture will also examine Red Cross records and resources in the US and abroad.

Spies Among Us: Tracing World War I Era Ancestors through FBI and American Protective League Records

Learn how a mass collective of middle class private citizens helped the FBI collect information on non-US citizens during the Great War, and how to track down the files these investigations left behind.

The Diary of Wesley Peever – A World War I Genealogical Mystery

What happens when a dusty heirloom doesn't actually belong in the family?  Discover how a Great War diary was lost, found, and returned home.  This program will provide strategies, tips, and resources for Canadian & American peacetime and wartime records.

 

England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online: Websites and Resources for English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Ancestry

There is no such thing as "one stop genealogy shopping"! This program will lead you through the resources and search techniques for the three big UK and Irish databases: FindMyPast, ScotlandsPeople and RootsIreland. Learn what's new on these databases, how you can apply them to your research and how privacy and information rights impact your quest for records.

Piecing Together your UK and Irish Ancestry: Discovering Records on FindMyPast.com

Learn the ins and outs of FindMyPast – one of the largest online website for UK and Irish records.  This introduction to search and strategy techniques will help you locate, evaluate, and make sense of what’s available for your research.

Crime, Prison, and Punishment: Researching UK Criminal and Prisoner Records online and at the National Archives

Whether by choice or circumstance, some of your ancestors may have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.  The vast array of criminal and prison records available online and at the National Archives in Kew can offer researchers a great deal of information for their ancestors in a pre-census world.

Researching your Irish Ancestors Online

Learn online tools and resources to unpuzzle your Irish heritage.  This lecture will introduce you to a variety of online sites, new search strategies, and what steps to take to further your research objectives online and abroad.

 

Cemetery and Historical Burial

What’s the Buzz About BillionGraves?

BillionGraves is contending to be the top cemetery search site on the web.  Toting a hot new app and an easy interface, BillionGraves is making cemetery transcription projects and research information more accessible to tech-friendly users. Get a look at this site as a researcher, transcriber, and in-the-field data gatherer.

BillionGraves: Beyond the Basics

Move beyond the basic point and click concept of BillionGraves to a whole new level of usership.  Learn how to add cemeteries, contribute content, and what you can use with the BillionGraves Plus account.

Stories in Stone: Decoding the Sentiment Behind Cemetery Symbolism

Have you ever wandered through a cemetery and wondered about the meanings of the designs carved on old gravestones? The symbols found on headstones usually possess special meanings to those interred in their final resting place.  But what do they mean?  Take a virtual tour of several cemeteries and find out!

Victorian Mourning Customs - Lifting the Veil off Morbid Genealogical Treasures

Glimpse into the customs and rituals of death in Victorian Britain and North America.  Genealogists can thank the Victorians for the 'cult of mourning' which generated a fantastic assortment of keepsakes, mementos, and paperwork.  Discover how these materials and the cultural attitudes toward grief can be researched with the help of modern tools and new resources.

 

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Bolingbrook, Illinois

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