Below is a list of the current Genealogy Presentations. Requests for specific topics can also be made.
2023 New Presentations
- Within the Cemetery Gates – Our ancestor’s final resting place can help answer many of our genealogy questions. This presentation demonstrates strategies for locating where your ancestor is buried, examples of different cemetery records, definitions of select headstone iconography and symbols, correlating with other records of death, and much more!
- Genealogy Game Night! – Love genealogy and trivia? Then this presentation is for you! Genealogy Game Night is your chance to show off your knowledge of genealogy terms, methodologies, authors, websites, and more!
- Using the web-based game Kahoot, your members can play genealogy trivia games. They can play for bragging rights or you can provide prizes for the winners. You can submit questions to Jeanette to personalize the games or select from topics that she has put together.
- If in person, the participants will need an internet device to answer the questions (like their smart phone). For game night via Zoom, it is best if the participant signs into Zoom from a computer or tablet (to see the questions) and then have a second internet device (such as their smart phone) or browser window to answer the questions on.
- Between the Census Years – In addition to city directories and newspapers, there are many other records that you may find your ancestors listed in to help bridge the gap between censuses. This presentation will explore numerous sources such as: maps, voter lists, church records, membership directories, local government proceedings, and more!
Record Collection/Methodology Topics
- Navigating FultonHistory.com – FultonHistory.com, or Old Fulton NY Postcards, is a free, historic newspaper website that contains archives of over 50 million pages of microfilmed newspaper images (mostly New York State newspapers, along with collections from other states and Canada). This presentation will give an overview of the content and a variety of search strategies.
- A favorite presentation of Jeanette’s!
- Beefing Up an Ancestor’s Timeline – So often there are unanswered questions and brick walls surrounding a person on your family tree. This presentation focuses on techniques and good practices on how to obtain and organize all of the information that you can locate on a person and, hopefully, help to answer your questions and break through the brick walls. Topics include: home sources, online family trees, accepting hints, online collections, local repositories, and much more. Time to focus in on one person and see how much you can add to their profile!
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Genealogy – The Sanborn Map Company published many detailed maps of cities and towns around the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Using them, in conjunction with other sources, can help tell the stories of your ancestors and give you a picture of what their living conditions and communities were like during the time that they resided there.
- A favorite presentation of Jeanette’s!
- Getting Acquainted with the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) – Having a research plan is always a good idea when researching your ancestors. This presentation will introduce the audience to the Genealogical Proof Standard and demonstrate how following through the steps will help you solve your genealogy research questions and hopefully bust through some of the brick walls that you might have.
- The D in B-M-D – Death Records are very useful in tracing your family tree. So often, in genealogy, we need to start with a person’s death to move backwards in time to their birth and, hopefully, connect them to their parents. This presentation is packed full of examples of documents concerning records of death, when they began to exist, and where to find them. Some of the topics include: death certificates, death indexes, obituaries, funeral home records, church records, cemetery records, coroner’s reports and more!
- There are two different versions of this presentation: New York focused and United States
- They All Resided in the Same Area: Creating a Locality Guide – Genealogists often wish for more time to conduct their research. Creating a Locality Guide for an area where you are researching can help save time by organizing data (such as dates that vital records started being kept in the research area) and adding in links to collections, maps, repositories, and more for easy access. This presentation is a hands-on session where participants can work on creating their own Locality Guide for an area that they are researching.
- Newspapers: Above the Fold, Your Ancestors in the News – Newspapers are a fantastic source of research leads, information, and historical context for your family history. The stories of our ancestor’s lives can be found in the pages of archived newspapers. This updated presentation, given by Jeanette Sheliga, will help teach you how to better search for your ancestors in the news and how they can help lead you towards answering your genealogy research questions.
- Genealogy Lineage Societies – There are many different lineage and hereditary societies available that you can join and use their records to help research your family tree. This presentation will include an introduction to these types of societies, how to find their records online at the major genealogy websites, tips on how to join, and more!
New York State
- New York State Censuses: You Won’t Believe What’s Hiding In There! – New York State conducted 10 State censuses between 1825-1925. Some of the questions asked for the State censuses provide details prior to the beginning of civil registrations and decades before a similar question was asked on the Federal censuses. If you have New York State genealogy research to do, this is a record collection that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with!
Disclaimer: Please do not hold the speaker responsible for the records lost (including the State censuses) in the Capitol fire of 1911. She promises to help show you in this presentation where you can locate remaining local copies of the censuses and hopes that the ones you are looking for have survived.
- A favorite presentation of Jeanette’s!
- Courthouse Records of Western New York – Tour the Courthouses of all eight Western New York Counties (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming) to learn more about the records they hold and how to access their collections to further your genealogical research.
- New York State Vital Records – New York State can sometimes be described as a difficult place to research your ancestors in. This program will teach you when modern Vital Records of Birth, Marriage, and Death began to be kept, the information they contain, where to locate them, and how to order copies of them. Many examples of documents will be included along with indexes and where to find online record collections. (This program will not include New York City as they have a separate Vital Records system.)
Beginning Genealogy Topics
- Beginning Genealogy: Tips for Getting Started – It can be a bit overwhelming to start researching your family tree. Participants are encouraged to think of an easier question that they would like to answer and create a plan on how to answer that question. While doing so they will learn that many of the documents that genealogists use are everyday documents that are still used today! Common genealogical sources, organizational tips, research strategies, and more are weaved into the discussion throughout this presentation.
- This presentation can be given as a hands-on workshop or as a lecture.
- Beginning Genealogy: Ancestry.com – This presentation is geared towards those that are beginning their genealogy research and/or are new to using the website Ancestry.com. A tour of the website will be given along with demonstrations on how to add people to your tree, uploading media, accepting hints, and searching strategies.
- Beginning Genealogy: FamilySearch.org – This presentation is geared towards those that are beginning their genealogy research and/or are new to using the website FamilySearch.org. A tour of the website will be given along with demonstrations on how to add people to your tree, uploading media, accepting hints, and searching strategies.
- Beginning Genealogy: Vital Records – This presentation is geared towards those that are beginning their genealogy research and are interested in learning more about finding birth, marriage, and death records. A variety of samples will be shared and resources given that you can use to track down vital records.