Got Ancestors?! 2011 Seminar Topics

Message from WMGS President – Don Bryant

The events of 150 years ago are an important focus for us in this sesquicentennial year recognizing the American Civil War. Arguably, the Civil War would never have happened if not for slavery. Many American families have direct connections to that hateful institution and the resulting war. For some, there is no desire to learn about the hardships of the past. Others have found where there is suffering there are heroes, stories of endurance, and inspiring examples. It is important to learn about our forebears who lived during that conflict, or experienced slavery, or even fought and died to end it. That knowledge fosters a personal connection to history and shapes our self-identity.

As an expert in African American genealogy and a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Tony Burroughs brings an important perspective to our annual genealogy seminar. Mr. Burroughs’ background as an educator, former board member of national genealogical organizations, and polished speaker make him an ideal choice to present this year’s GotAncestors?! Seminar – Genealogy in Black & White and Blue & Gray.

We have chosen 5 great topics to be presented by Tony Burroughs during the Got Ancestors?! Genealogy in Black & White and Blue & Gray seminar on 4 – 5 November 2011.


Voices of Freedom: African American Soldiers in the Civil War
How often do we hear from Civil War soldiers themselves? Not often. It is especially rare when we hear from African American Civil War soldiers when most were prohibited from reading and writing. African American soldiers did discuss their war experiences. Hear what they said.


The Nature of Genealogy

A successful genealogist is not one who knows all the records. The Nature of Genealogy dictates researchers must be adept at why records are created, what they were created for, how and when to use them, how they interrelate to the circumstances of their ancestors, and how to execute a successful strategy. This presentation will cover understanding history, research, repositories, records, theory development, results analysis and publishing findings. It is woven around a case study discovering a new ancestor by an experienced genealogist.

The Six Phases of African American Genealogy

This special extended session is an overview of the methods and sources in the six distinct phases that are the building blocks of African American genealogy. It progresses from beginning to more advanced research, highlighting some of the problems and complexities of African American genealogy along the way. It is designed for beginners, intermediates, and advanced researchers.

Did Your Ancestor Serve in the Civil War?

How can you determine if one of your ancestors served in the Civil War, or verify oral history that one served? Learn how to prove your ancestor served and learn how to investigate their Civil War experiences. This lecture demonstrates strategies for identifying Civil War ancestors, provides methods of proving genealogical relationships, illustrates Civil War records and resources, and discusses navigating through records at the National Archives.

Creating Order Out of Chaos

Have you searched in every courthouse, every library, and every archive and still haven’t solved your riddle? One of the keys to success in genealogy is doing more with what you have. Sometimes the pieces are there, we just need to look at them in different ways. Reorganizing and analyzing may solve your riddle.

We look forward to seeing you there!!



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