Friday 5 November 2010 6:30 – 9:30 PM

Michelle Obama’s Roots
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.

Followed by Dessert & Coffee and Mix & Mingle. The evening is presented by:

Western Michigan Genealogical Society
Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society

Saturday 6 November 2010

The seminar will consist of 4 sessions during the day.

8:30 – 9:00 Registration
Session 1
9:00 – 10:15
Reverse Genealogy
Although genealogy is at its heart the study of long-deceased ancestors, connecting with living relatives has become almost as important to many family historians. Some seek living kin in an effort to track down family photos; others do it to find family history playmates or DNA project participants. A few pioneers have begun exercising their skills to save lives – to locate potential donors or warn of possible medical dangers. Whatever the motivation, one of the most addicting aspects of genealogy is the thrill of finding distant cousins, or in some cases, parents, children, or siblings. But this “reverse genealogy” (working from the past to the present) has its own special challenges and requires the researcher to be part genealogist and part private investigator. This presentation covers proven techniques for tracing 20th century friends and relatives from the past to the present.
10:15 – 11:00 Break
Session 2
11:00 – 12:45
Tracing Your Roots with DNA – an extended edition
With amazing swiftness, “genetealogy” (the marriage of genetics and genealogy) is graduating from pioneering research to standard practice. But what is it exactly and how can we use it to further our genealogical endeavors? Come hear one of the co-authors of Trace Your Roots with DNA discuss her own and others’ experience launching and managing a DNA project, including such considerations as test and vendor selection factors, privacy, and convincing others to participate. Surname studies using Y-DNA tests are a popular and obvious application of genetic testing for genealogical purposes, but are you aware of your other options? Come learn about mtDNA, SNP, BioGeographical and ethnic tests, as well as the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and the Genographic Project, and determine if one or more of them is right for you.
12:45 – 2:00 Lunch
Session 3
2:00 – 3:15
Right Annie, Wrong Annie
An Irish lass, Annie Moore, tripped down a gangplank and into the pages of history in 1892 when she became the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island. But less than a century later, an Illinois-born Annie Moore had somehow taken her place and was celebrated in song, statue and literature. That all ended when some stubborn genealogists decided to use their sleuthing skills to seek out the right Annie. Come learn how she and her true descendants reclaimed their rightful place in history when their reunion was featured on the front page of The New York Times.
3:15 – 4:00 Break
Session 4
4:00 – 5:15
Cases That Made My Brain Hurt
How could brothers also be uncle and nephew? How could the 1853 death of a toddler in Scotland help solve a Civil War history-mystery? And could there be any families with a pair of centenarians who knew each other and lived in four centuries between the two of them? Come and hear!