Presentations

Getting Started Track (Wed., 15 Sep 2021)

Genealogy 101

Presenter: Crista Cowen

Brand new to family history? Join Crista Cowan as she guides you through the step to getting started with building a family tree and shares some basic genealogy standards.

Beginning Your Genealogical Journey

Presenter: Katherine Willson

Build your family tree as you discover how to gather basic information, fill in common charts, locate public records, and navigate Internet resources. Overcome obstacles and avoid common pitfalls with these resources that will guide you towards excellence in your research.

Location, Location, Location! Surveying the Places Your Ancestors Lived

Presenter: Jana Greenhalgh

Location is everything! Thorough genealogists understand the importance of taking time to survey the places their ancestors lived. Records are generally created and organized based on location, so a solid understanding of PLACE can dictate the success of your genealogical research. It can also give you a much broader understanding of the setting of your ancestors’ lives. This class will teach the importance and process of gathering geographical context to aid in our genealogy research (understanding where to find available records, local history, geography, jurisdictions, etc.)

Records, Rules, and Repositories

Presenter: Katherine Willson

Learn where to locate genealogical documents for your ancestors and his/her family members, as well as the methods for analyzing those records. Our discussion will include records such as birth, marriage, and death records; census forms; military draft registration forms; and passenger lists.

Beginning Strategies for Searching Online Records and Resources

Presenter: Cheri Hudson Passey

Searching records and resources is more than just filling out the form on a site and hitting search. Build your skills by learning the best practices for filling out a search form, locating the record collections you are looking for, and useful tips and tricks to help you as you begin researching online. From the big record repository websites to free resources like the FamilySearch Wiki, you will learn to use your time wisely and stop searching and begin researching!

Methodology Track (Thu., 16 Sep 2021)

Finding Ancestral Origins by Using Neighborhood Research

Presenter: Melinda Daffin Henningfield, CG

Neighborhood research is the most powerful methodology available to genealogists. Family historians often begin their genealogical quest by researching only their direct ancestors. For many reasons the direct ancestor they search for may have left few records. The records that survive may not shed light on where the ancestor came from or who his parents were—or any other question about an ancestor. The records that answer questions about an ancestor are sometimes only found by researching his relatives, friends, neighbors, associates, or enemies.

Using a case study, the birthplace of an immigrant is sought. No record identifying the immigrant identifies his origins. Step-by-step guidance is given to identify various neighborhoods, assemble neighborhood research, and to reach a conclusion.

Finding Descendants in Your Family Tree

Presenter: Diane Henriks

This presentation/lecture shows you the process of fanning out to find descendants and living people in your family tree. Being able to find descendants in family trees benefits in being able to break down brick walls in your family tree research, find relatives you never knew about, locate living relatives for DNA testing, find or return family heirlooms, find out more about your medical genealogy, find living relatives to an unclaimed estate, and so much more!

Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins: Exhausting Every Resource

Presenter: Rich Venezia

Immigrant ancestors can give us quite the challenge when trying to find their exact place of origin. The endless “Ireland” notations or “Italy” listed as place of birth can drive genealogists, both beginner and expert alike, mad. This presentation delves into various and diverse records that are found stateside so as to narrow down that search, as well as ideas for when the paper trail continually runs cold. The main suspects will be discussed, as will numerous lesser-known and lesser-used records. A (non-exhaustive) sample of some of the record sets covered: Ship manifests, Naturalization records. Vital records, World War I/World War II draft registration cards, Church records, County histories, and Probate files, Ethnic record sets.

Analyzing and Correlating Documents: Essential Skills for Genealogists

Presenter: Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA

As genealogists we spend time evaluating the reliability of genealogical records and comparing information from one record to another. For each record we locate we need to make sure the person named is the same person we are researching. We accomplish this by comparing known details about the person to those in the record. The challenge comes when there is little information to compare, or there are inconsistencies to resolve. This process is essential to accurately identify our ancestors.

Is My Brick Wall Really Record Loss?

Presenter: Kelvin Meyers

Sometimes that brick wall problem we are facing is due to record loss in the area where our ancestor resided. Dealing with the record loss we can solve the problem. Whether the courthouse burned, the clerk tossed them, the relative, autograph hunter, lawyer or surveyor took them, they succumbed to heat, humidity, insects or fading ink or war or distance from the courthouse which was a barrier to their creation – the records that we want – the records that could answer our questions aren’t there. The solution: In many cases it’s possible to overcome the problem, but it requires diligence, perseverance, and willingness to look beyond the obvious.

General Records Track (Thu., 16 Sep 2021)

Prepare for the 1950 Census by Reviewing the 1790-1940 Census Differences

Presenter: Crista Cowen

The United States started taking a federal census in 1790. The questions asked on the census have drastically changed over time. We will do a comparative analysis of the 1790-1940 census to learn what kind of information is available. Then we’ll discuss how to prepare for the 1950 census release in 2022.

Anatomy of Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

Presenter: Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Everyone knows about vital records, right? They are one of the first record sets you look for in the hunt for your ancestors. But do you know everything about those records you seek? What do you do when no records exist? This presentation looks at the history of vital records in the United States, variations of those records, and alternatives.

Church Records for Genealogical Researchers

Presenter: Rev. David McDonald, DMin

Church records, while varying by Christian denomination, can provide extensive information on the families we pursue in research. Jokingly referred to as records of "hatchings, matchings and dispatchings" congregational registers and records of infant baptisms, adult or believers' baptisms, marriages and deaths or burials often provide contemporary records of the events on which they report. Records may, or may not be, kept depending on the tradition and theology; some communities keep them in accord with church law. Some keep them for the sake of tradition. Some simply don't bother because the data is less important than the "saving grace of accepting the Spirit."

Beyond the parish registers, other business records may be accessible that can point to a research target's involvement in leadership of a congregation; financial records may give clues on matters of generosity and affluence; still others may give information regarding more devoted spiritual leadership roles in a church family.

Read All About It – A Guide to Online Newspapers 

Presenter: Luana Darby

Old newspapers reveal much more about our ancestors than just vital statistics. They provide a picture of their daily lives and add dimension to their stories. As more newspaper collections become digitally available online, we need to be able to know how to locate and use them.

Learn more about the U.S. Newspaper Program and many other exciting places to find these treasures.

Your Ancestor’s Life in Color: Social History and Genealogy

Presenter: Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

What is social history and what does it have to do with genealogy? Adding social history takes your genealogy from boring facts to a story your family will beg to know. In this presentation we will look at what is social history and resources that will help you add social history to your genealogical research.

Focus Area 1 Track (Thu., 16 Sep 2021)

Irish Land Records

Presenter: Paul Milner, MDiv, FUGA

Understand Ireland’s Land records and their importance to researchers, from the 17th through 20th Century. Learn what has survived in originals and transcripts, their strengths, weaknesses and how to access the originals and supporting indexes.

Finding the Correct Place: Maps and Gazetteers for Scottish Research

Presenter: Paul Milner, MDiv, FUGA

Learn the important history of map making and see examples of many different types of maps available, many now online and how they can be used to assist in your Scottish research, plus learn about the different gazetteers that will assist in finding the correct location.

Censuses and Census Substitutes for English and Welsh Research, 1690-1840

Presenter: Amy Harris, PhD, AG

Before 1841 there were no genealogically useful censuses with national coverage in England or Wales. There are some 1801-1831 census returns that survive, as well as parish-level censuses that were occasionally taken before 1800. There is also an array of documents that can be used as census substitutes for the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Tax, militia, and poor law records, along with directories and electoral registers can all be used as census substitutes.

English and Welsh Poor Law Records before 1834

Presenter: Amy Harris, PhD, AG

From the 1530s to 1834, Parliament passed numerous statutes establishing and governing a national poor relief system. After 1834 these were replaced by the New Poor Law that was based on “indoor relief,” i.e. workhouses. Before that date, however, most relief was “outdoor relief,” meaning the local parish collected poor rates (tax based on the value of one’s property) and then disbursed then to pay for food, housing, clothing, medical care, and, in some cases, training for the poor. Determining who the “worthy poor” were and what type of relief they had claim on, changed over time as various statutes refined who qualified and who managed the system. There are a variety of documents covering illegitimacy, migration, employment, and family relationships. We will review the major record types, their content, accessibility, and coverage, and how to use them in conjunction with other records.

Italian Research: Civil Registration Online and in the Archives

Presenter: Suzanne Russo Adams, AG

In the last few years Italian civil records have become more readily available online. This session will reveal the best records and resources for researching civil registration. We will explore the types of civil documents (birth, marriage, death, allegati, etc.), helpful tips for reading the records and where to locate them online and in the archives.

DNA Track (Fri., 17 Sep 2021)

DNA Types and Companies: Where and Why to Test

Presenter: Gretchen Jorgensen

This course will cover genealogical applications of autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-DNA testing, and the testing companies that offer these tests. Topics covered will include strengths and weaknesses of testing companies, along with research situations that warrant additional testing types and candidates.

Pedigree Triangulation: A Key Methodology for Genetic Genealogy

Presenter: Diane Elder, AG

Learn the power of pedigree triangulation in analyzing DNA matches and building your genetic family tree. Discover how to use company tools such as Ancestry's Thrulines and MyHeritage's Theory of Family Relativity to boost your efficiency and accelerate your discovery of common ancestors. We'll discuss the basic steps of analyzing the amount of shared DNA, then building incomplete trees, and comparing surnames and locations.

DNA Testing Plans

Presenter: Paul Woodbury, MEd

The Genealogical Proof Standard requires reasonably exhaustive research and as part of that DNA evidence should at least be a consideration. Further, reasonably exhaustive research relies on the best evidence from sources most likely to inform regarding a research objective including test results of additional descendants of a research subject. Targeted testing is often useful if not necessary to answer genealogical questions utilizing genetic evidence. In this session, learn to leverage multiple types of DNA tests, prioritize DNA testing candidates, and harness the power of DNA to break down your research challenges.

A Guide To Third Party Tools for DNA Testing

Presenter: Michelle Leonard

While all of the different DNA testing companies boast helpful internal tools, there are also many excellent third party tools that can be employed to aid you on your DNA testing journey. This session will provide an overview of the major and minor third party tools available at this time and will include practical hints and tips on how to get the most out of them. DNA Painter, GEDMatch, GDAT and Genetic Affairs are just some of the tools that will be demonstrated during the presentation. These tools can help with understanding, interpreting and organizing your DNA results and, ultimately, can contribute to how successful you are in identifying matches and making family history breakthroughs using DNA.

Into the Unknown: Methodologies for Adoption, Unknown Parentage and Misattributed Parentage

Presenter: Paul Woodbury

Genetic genealogy methodologies are ideal not only for overcoming challenging historic brickwalls but also for overcoming more recent obstacles in your family history. In this session, learn about some of the key methodologies, approaches, and considerations for exploring cases of adoption, unknown parentage and misattributed parentage.

Ethical Considerations: Using DNA for Genealogy

Presenter: Melinda Daffin Henningfield, CG

DNA has expanded the potential for genealogical discovery in ways we could not have imagined twenty years ago. In our enthusiasm for the promise of what might be revealed to us, we sometimes fail to consider the point of view of our potential test taker or of our match. After considering various ethical pitfalls, guidance for making ethical choices will be presented.

Legal Records Track (Fri., 17 Sep 2021)

Courting America: Using Court Records

Presenter: Judy Russel, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

The records created by all courts at all times offer what's often the best available evidence of the lives and times of our ancestors. But the sheer number of courts at all levels -- town, county, state and federal -- can be overwhelming. Where do we find our best bang for the research buck? What records can we hope to find, and where can we find them? And if we spend the time learning to understand the courts and their records, what's the payoff: what can those records tell us?

In this session we'll review the variety of courts created during the American colonial period, early statehood and the early years of the nation. We'll consider the jurisdiction -- the legal authority -- of each overall kind of court to help understand what kinds of cases we might find in the different courts. We'll gain an understanding of the three basic kinds of courts records (minutes, dockets and case files) and the value of each. We'll go over the kinds of genealogical questions where answers are often found in court records -- and we'll consider the ways court records can be used in our family histories even if the specific court record doesn't name our ancestors.

Naturalization Know-How: The Laws and Records of U. S. Citizenship

Presenter: Rich Venezia

Many records were created when immigrant ancestors became American citizens. Learn what they are and how to find them.

"To Dorothy my Dearly Beloved Wife”: Using Probate Records

Presenter: Judy Russel, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Where there's a will, there should be a probate: the legal process of settling an estate. Often when there isn't a will, there's still a probate. Understanding the legal process and finding the records created when our ancestors died can help break through the brick walls we all have in our research. And the records themselves not only can help us find out who our ancestors were but also can tell us much about their lives and their times. Well beyond just the wills, the trip through the dockets, the minutes and the loose papers recording an estate can be one of genealogy's most worthwhile journeys.

In this session we'll identify the courts that oversaw the legal processes of death -- how they operated and what records they created and how they were kept. We'll review the processes when the person died testate (with a will) or intestate (without a will), and the differences between the two. We'll consider the variety of records created during the probate process, how and where we might find them today and how to use them to answer a wide variety of genealogical questions.

Federal Land Records – A Goldmine of Kinship Information

Presenter: Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Federal Land records often provide key information to establish kinship. This presentation deals with the federal records establishing the first purchase of land in the public domain. The prospect of cheap land or even free land was a motivation to many individuals to move west.

The types of records are many and varied and have evolved over time. Although they are some of the most complete and important federal records, there are many challenges and complexities in using these records in genealogical research. The presentation will explain the process of federal land division, the various ways to acquire land such as cash sales, homesteads, and other authorities. The use and genealogical value of the General Land Office (GLO) website will be demonstrated. Procedures to access the records held by the National Archives will be demonstrated.

Puzzle Pieces: Understanding & Mapping State-Land States 

Presenter: Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

Our Mid-West ancestors often originated from State-Land States in the South and East Coast. Land records are vastly different there. In this lecture, we discuss understanding deed terminology, boilerplate language, measurements, and accessing deed records. Then we will look at techniques for mapping metes-and-bounds, tools used by ancestors to do that work, and why land platting is useful to our research now using case studies to illustrate.

Your Ancestor's Tax Records

Presenter: Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG

TNot unlike today, our ancestors were taxed on every turn. Tax records can provide a unique insight into their lives, possessions and coming of age. And they caused much anger and resentment.

Focus Areas 2 Track (Fri., 17 Sep 2021)

Lifting the Curtain on East European Family History Research

Presenter: Joseph B. Everett, AG, MLS

Eastern Europe is a region that defies precise definition, and misconceptions about its people, their history, and their records abound. Yet, after all its tragic history and diverse complexity the veil is lifting. This class will shine a light on Eastern Europe and help demystify the task of tracing family history in this part of the world.

It’s What They Answered To: Understanding Ashkenazi Jewish Names

Presenter: Emily Garber, MA

Name changes, both in adopted countries and in the old world, make determining Ashkenazic (central and eastern European) Jewish names a genealogical puzzle. Finding these people in the new world and the old is dependent upon not only seeking out but especially understanding the clues that may come from a variety of records. This presentation will provide some of the basic clues for a researcher to recognize the same person recorded under a variety of names.

Ashkenazic Jewish names were the result of a complex amalgam of family, business, social, and religious influences, as well as their interaction with the government. Unlike their Christian neighbors, many Jewish people only adopted permanent family surnames fairly late in eastern European history - when they were required to do so by the government. For some people, this was as late as about 170 years ago. Ashkenazi Jews, depending upon when and where they resided, may have answered to several different forenames in several different languages. Then, after they emigrated to a new country with a new language, they may have adopted new forenames and last names.

We will work through the challenges of understanding the contexts and origins of Ashkenazic Jewish names.

German Genealogical Research

Presenter: Fritz Juengling, PhD, AG

In this class you will learn of the many online resources available to help you in your research, including on FamilySearch, e.g. the Wiki, Learning Center, Community Archion, and Matricula.

German Paleography

Presenter: Fritz Juengling, PhD, AG

In this class you will learn the strategies that professional paleographers use when deciphering old handwriting.

Beginning Norwegian and Danish Research

Presenter: Jeffrey M. Svare, AG

This presentation will introduce the fundamental sources of church and census, and provide instruction on how to identify and access additional records of genealogical value including probate, land, tax, and military. The presentation will also address the laws that caused the records to be created and best practices for recording those confusing Nordic names.

Beginning Swedish and Finnish Research

Presenter: Jeffrey M. Svare, AG

This presentation will introduce the fundamental sources of church and census, and provide instruction on how to identify and access additional records of genealogical value including probate, land, tax, and military. The presentation will also address the laws that caused the records to be created and best practices for recording those confusing Nordic names.

Professional Topics Track (Fri., 17 Sep 2021)

Accreditation: An Overview of the Benefits and Process

Presenter: Jana K. Greenhalgh, AG

The Accredited Genealogist credential is awarded by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional GenealogistsSM (ICAPGen). There are many benefits and opportunities available to professional genealogists who hold this credential, including greater marketability, networking, and trust from clients. Additionally, the process of becoming an Accredited Genealogist provides researchers with increased skill and confidence in their region of expertise. Testing includes the submission of a 4-generation research project and other exams. Each level of the testing process will be discussed in this class.

Certification: My Journey to Earn the Certified Genealogist® Credential

Presenter: Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA

In this session, Angela will discuss her journey to prepare a portfolio to submit to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She will share personal advice on working to meet genealogy standards and tips for each portfolio element.

Career Paths for the Genealogist

Presenter: Kelly R. Summers, AG

You want to develop a career as a genealogist? Genealogists are some of the most brilliant and creative people. They are skilled at problem solving and analysis. These skills combined with natural talents and interests can be the basis for a career in genealogy. In this class we will introduce some of the many ways that a genealogist can bring their love of genealogy into a career.

A Genealogist's Guide to Social Media & Email Marketing

Presenter: Anne Merrell

Social media and email marketing are important tools for building a genealogy business brand and reaching new clients. This presentation will equip you with actionable strategies that will help you implement a digital marketing plan based on tested techniques developed for success.

Writing and Publishing

Presenter: Tristan L. Tolman, AG

Have you contemplated writing and publishing a family history, personal history, business history, or autobiography for yourself, your family, or a client? Learn tips for creating a finished product that you and your client will love. The class will discuss creating a blueprint for your project, the research and writing process, editing, designing, publishing, marketing, and more.

Public Speaking: Engaging with Your Audience at Home and In-person

Presenter: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

Connecting with your audience as a professional speaker is essential. This presentation provides ways to engage when making virtual and in-person presentations focusing on delivery, visuals, and other elements. Specific points include verbal and non-verbal communication skills, selecting appropriate examples and illustrations, balancing an audience’s skillsets with your presentation, and ways to adapt your presentation to multiple audiences.

Technology Track (Sat., 18 Sep 2021)

Beyond the Basics-Online Research Techniques

Presenter: Cheri Hudson Passey

Build your skills and move beyond the beginner level of search strategies. Learn to target your queries in search engines and search boxes to help return the best results. Use the power of the internet to help locate various types of records. The session will look at the large online record repositories, newspapers, and other collections to show the best methods of producing results that can lead you to more discoveries about your family history.

Spreadsheets for Genealogists: Five Ways They Can Help You in Your Research

Presenter: Mary Kircher Roddy, CG

Spreadsheets can help you in analyzing your data and keeping track of your research. Mary Roddy will present several examples of how to use this powerful tool to gain perspective and further your genealogy research. Along the way, even experienced spreadsheet users might learn tips on using color, ways to make data entry faster, how adding different fonts can make translations of foreign records easier, and how spreadsheets can help you with consistency in citations.

Digital Organization

Presenter: Lianne Kruger

Photos, digital documents and videos are wonderful for recording family history but where do you have them stored? Where are they backed up? How are you organizing them? How are you sharing them with family? This session will discuss a variety of locations to store these digital items online along with the pros and cons of each such as cost, ease of adding, organizing and sharing. Some of the ways and sites to be discussed are blogging, Google Drive, FamilySearch Memories, YouTube, DropBox, and Social Media.

Evernote for Genealogists

Presenter: Lianne Kruger

While researching at home or on location Evernote is available to grab and store your findings easily. Storing the information in Evernote allows access where you are. As well as becoming familiar with the screens, menus, and toolbars we will create notes in multiple ways. Notes will be created from typing, creating a tables, websites, files, emails, hyperlinks and pictures. Examples of each will be shown and illustrated on multiple platforms. This session will also go through how to organize and share notes with others.

Military Records Track (Sat., 18 Sep 2021)

Records of Military Service from the Colonial Era to Vietnam

Presenter: Michael L. Strauss, AG

Vital to any military ancestor is their service records which defines when an individual was mustered in and out of service. From the colonial era when individual colonies recorded muster rolls for men in their ranks. This was followed with the Revolutionary War through the Philippine Insurrection ending in 1902 with the cataloging and indexing of the Compiled Military Service Records under the direction of Colonel Fred C. Ainsworth. After 1902 a change was made in service files with the creation of the Official Military Personnel Files used through the Vietnam war.

The Smoking Bullet: Military Pension Records – Revolution through Civil War

Presenter: Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

The term "smoking gun” is a metaphor for an object that serves as conclusive evidence. Rarely in genealogy do we find a single document or file that lists an ancestor’s birth, marriage, and death, but that is exactly what we may find in military pension records. This lecture will discuss how to dissect and understand pension records in their historical context, compared to pension laws, and the conflicts they served. Pension records served to identify whole families and even communities in many instances.

Bounty Land Records – As good as a pension!

Presenter: Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Bounty lands were awarded by the federal government from 1788 to 1855 to encourage and reward service in the military. Nine individual states (Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia) also awarded land as part of Revolutionary War compensation. Eligibility for military bounty lands varied by the criteria in the authorizing legislative act. The award of bounty lands did, in fact, motivate some veterans to move west. The effect was considerably diluted because many individuals sold or assigned their bounty land warrants. Often these warrants were purchased by land speculators. Regardless, the applications for bounty land are often as valuable as pensions as it relates to finding kinship information. Also, many more veterans were eligible for bounty land benefits as opposed to pensions.

The presentation will cover the application process, the location of records, and the best way to access the records. The expected kinship information will be identified. Also, related records such as the land entry file will be described.

The Draft and the Selective Service System 

Presenter: Michael L. Strauss, AG

Draft records are invaluable to genealogists as they provide documentary evidence of men of eligible military age who served during periods of war. These records also account for men required to fill out the registration forms, but who might not have been mustered into service. The first national conscription passed by Congress was in 1863. Since then, congressional legislation through the passage of several Selective Service Acts in 1917, 1940, 1948, and 1967 have accounted for men who would serve between the Civil War and the Vietnam War. Also examined was the draft that affected the Confederates during the Civil War between 1862-1865.

Focus Areas 3 Track (Sat., 18 Sep 2021)

Finding your Ancestral Roots in Canada

Presenter: Jacqueline Kanyuck, AG

Do you have Canadian heritage and want to begin research? This class will help you to learn about Canada research to begin your ancestral hunt. It will include a brief history and important dates for Canada and the provinces. Censuses and civil registration will be examined in depth and there will be a brief discussion of other record types, including church, immigration, land, and military records. Along with these record types, this class will teach about different online record repositories and how to search through their databases as you research your ancestors.

Native American Tribal Genealogy

Presenter: Rick Fogarty

Native American Genealogy has a complex history that stems from many misconceptions about the records, why and how they were created, and what information can be found. With over 500 tribes in the United States, it is difficult to use the same research approach for all tribes. This presentation will help to highlight the contrasts and comparisons in the research of different tribes and provide practical research approaches to aid genealogists of all skill levels. Rick will demonstrate evaluating records pertaining to tribes and tribal citizens that will begin the deeper dive into clues that will take researchers to other resources that are often overlooked. This presentation will also help identify many of the common roadblocks researchers encounter and how to overcome them.

Researching African American Ancestors Who Came Out Of Slavery

Presenter: LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL

This lecture will focus on the application of the “reasonably exhaustive research” component of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS”) when the research involves African American families that came out of slavery. After a brief overview of the five components of the GPS, the lecturer will survey selected Federal and state sources relevant to identifying formerly enslaved ancestors in the first (1870) federal census that was supposed to include all African Americans with surnames. In addition to referencing other commonly used pre-1870 and antebellum records, the lecture will highlight important legal and historical context and interpretive guidance of particular relevance to African-Americans.

Dispensado por el Obispo: Affinity, Consanguinity and Other Marriage Complications

Presenter: Debbie Gurtler, AG

This presentation will begin with an explanation of the various impediments to marriage as mandated by the Catholic Church. This will be followed up by an explanation of the documents created during the pre-marital investigation process. Different document types will be shown and their content discussed.

The presentation will finish up with resources to locate these records and how to use them. These will include websites and databases from Mexico and Spain as well as other areas of Latin America. It will include online sites for the archdiocese of Guadalajara, Durango, and Valladolid, Mexico. Also included will be sources for Sonora, Mexico and expedientes matrimoniales for Granada, Spain. A demonstration will also be provided on how to locate these valuable records in the FamilySearch Catalog.