Archive for the ‘Topics’ Category

2013 Got Ancestors?! Are You Having Fun Yet?! Seminar Topics Announced

Monday, August 19th, 2013

We’e chosen a great lineup of topics for this year’s Got Ancestors?! Are You Having Fun Yet?! seminar.

Thomas MacEntee — will present these sessions:

Friday  11 October 2013 evening

  • Internet Killed the Family History Star: How Technology Has Changed the Face of Genealogy

Saturday 12 October 2013

  • Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching: Researching non-direct relations as well as those friends and neighbors in your ancestors’ network
  • Blog Your Ancestors: Read ’Em, Write ’Em, Find ’Em!
  • Mind Mapping Your Research Plans and Results: Creating a diagram or flow chart of ideas and concepts
  • 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Genealogy: Energize your research and be ready to hit the ground running.

Full details are available on the schedule page here.

We look forward to seeing YOU there.

Got Ancestors?! 2012 Seminar Topics

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Friday Evening 12 October 2012

Pain In The Access: Getting More From The Internet For Your Genealogy

Library, archive, government, and GenWeb internet sites have much to offer genealogists if one knows how and where to look–and it is not as complicated or painful as it might first seem. This presentation demonstrates various websites and creative strategies for getting information that is more meaningful from the web, and guides genealogists to using the Internet for more than just hunting for names.

Followed by Dessert & Coffee and Mix & Mingle.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key

This lecture explores how the idea of “America, the Great Melting Pot” may really be a flawed concept and that identifying the particular ethnic group of one’s ancestor or potential ancestor can pay significant research dividends. Concepts in this lecture include building a historical context for one’s ancestor, studying population clusters, recognizing patterns of all sorts (naming, migration, settlement, etc.), understanding the “push and pull” of migration (i.e. the motivations behind families or individuals migrating), and locating repositories for various ethnic groups.

Boot Camp & Roll Call: An Overview of Military Records and New Sites and Sources For Military Research

This extended session takes an in-depth look at military records, from the earliest times of our country’s history to the present day. Discussed are the five major types of military records; where one can find such documents; the typical data found in sample records; and contents of what one might call other “minor” military records. Then our presenter explores the growing number of consequential websites for military & family history researchers – from bibliographic databases to sites that provide copies of first-hand accounts and images of actual records.

All That Other Stuff!: Other Census Records Beyond The Population Schedules

Learn about the many census schedules that researchers often overlook when using federal population census records. Agricultural, manufacturing, mortality, slave, social and statistical censuses are among the types of census schedules explored in this talk. Using all these schedules in combination with the population schedules provide significant additional information about ones’ ancestors and his/her community.

Effective Use of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

By providing a detailed description of the holdings of the Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library, this lecture folds research methodology into an exploration of the resources of the nation’s second largest genealogical research facility. The presentation considers not only the materials available for research on-site but also how researchers can access data about the collection remotely.

Got Ancestors?! 2011 Seminar Topics

Friday, August 26th, 2011

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!!



2011 Seminar Title and Topics Announced

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

We are very pleased to now announce the title of this year’s Got Ancestors?! seminar with Tony Burroughs:

Got Ancestors?! Genealogy in Black & White and Blue & Gray

The title reflects the variety of topics we’ve chosen for Tony to present on Friday evening and Saturday, with some topics aimed at researchers of African American genealogy, some at beginners, some more advanced and of course in this sesquicentennial year of the Civil War, something about the Civil War. Several of the topics overlap more than 1 of these themes.

We look forward to seeing you there!!!

2010 Friday and Saturday Topics

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Friday Evening – Presentation and Dessert

The Friday Night event this year will be a presentation of “Michelle Obama’s Roots” by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak.

Megan shares how and why she researched the First Lady’s ancestry and what she discovered along the way. The talk highlights Mrs. Obama’s multi-cultural, seriously Southern (11 states), and Great Migration heritage, including the story of Dolphus T. Shields and his mother, Melvina McGruder, that was featured on the front page of the New York Times.

Saturday – 4 Sessions and Lunch

Saturday will be 4 sessions with our Speaker.

We’re looking for input from prospective attendees about what topics they’d like to hear on Saturday. Please fill out the poll so we can gauge the interest in Megan’s topics. The list of Megan’s topics can be seen here.

[poll id=”3″]

We will take the popularity of different topics as a guide when planning the 4 sessions.

Attendees will be able to choose to attend either Friday evening, or Saturday, or a “Combo Meal” of both at a reduced price.