Friday 4 November 2011 6:30 – 9:30 PM


6:30 – 7:00pm Reception
7:00 – 8:30 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.

8:30 – 9:30 Dessert & Coffee and Mix & Mingle. 

The evening is presented by:

Western Michigan Genealogical Society
Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society

Saturday 5 November 2011

The seminar will consist of 4 sessions during the day.

8:30 – 9:00 Registration
Session 1
9:00 – 10:15
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.
10:15 – 11:00 Break
Session 2
11:00 – 12:45
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.
12:45 – 2:00 Lunch
Session 3
2:00 – 3:15
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.
3:15 – 4:00 Break
Session 4
4:00 – 5:15
Creating Order Out of Chaos
Have you searched in every courthouse, every library, and every archives 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.