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Appearance Calendar & Lecture Programs
Lecture Programs Available
- Unless otherwise noted, these lectures are designed to run approximately 40 minutes in length plus time for a question-and-answer period.
- Requests for customized topics will be considered.
- Honorarium and travel expenses per lecture are negotiable. Please include your normal policies for speaker compensation.
- Many of these lectures can be converted into "Continuing Ed"-style classes.
- Coordination of group trips to research sites in Harrisburg, Washington, and Salt Lake City is also available.
- Program management services (i.e., putting together a half or whole day program with various speakers, classes and/or panels) can also be quoted.
- If possible, please contact me well in advance to book dates.
- Tips For Beginning Genealogists
- A starting-point lecture talking about: primary vs. secondary sources; family traditions; spelling variations; the importance of time and place; and the proper place for Internet genealogy.
- Pennsylvania Family History: The Search for Identity
- Genealogy has changed radically in recent years. Today’s unprecedented access to records ranging from family diaries to business account books to obscure court documents is giving those interested in family history a new opportunity to add substance to their knowledge of their ancestors and how they lived.
- Beginning a Search for Pennsylvania Roots
- The "Keystone State" is chock full of records and repositories to help the genealogist with PA roots. A review of the chronology of PA records; their impact on genealogy; and where to find them.
- Exploring Pennsylvania’s State Archives and State Library
- The Pennsylvania State Archives and State Library of Pennsylvania are well worth a research trip, but even more worthwhile with advance planning.
- Courthouse Research in Pennsylvania
- Whether it’s commonly known records such as wills and deeds or less-used documents such as divorces or "Miscellaneous Deeds," Pennsylvania’s county courthouses hold the solutions to many genealogical problems. This lecture describes the types of records available there.
- Before It Was a County
- A custom-designed lecture that takes the Pennsylvania county of interest and profiles what types of records exist for that county from the time period before it was erected – and where those records can be found. Good for orienting genealogists to the "time and place" concept.
- Philadelphia Research: Repositories and Records
- Philadelphia is not only Pennsylvania’s largest city; it is also the home of some of its most important genealogical repositories. Profiled are Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Free Library of Philadelphia, City Archives, and the National Archives (Mid-Atlantic Region).
- Zigzagging Through German Church Records
- Explaining the methodology of using the baptismal, confirmation, marriage and burial records from German church registers most effectively. By utilizing the different bits of information found in each, researchers can zigzag their way to adding centuries to a pedigree.
- Searching for a Pennsylvania German Ancestor
- Applying genealogical basics to the peculiarity of searching for the rich records relating to America’s first large ethnic minority population.
- Germany to Pennsylvania: 18th Century OdysseyChronological Bibliography
- There are many stereotypes about the immigrants who came from German-speaking lands to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. This lecture uses the personal memoirs of the immigrants themselves to dispel the myths about why they came, what the voyage was like, and how they liked America.
- Pennsylvania German Church Records
- An in-depth lecture talking about one of the richest ethnic record groups – the baptisms, marriages, burials, and confirmations recorded by the pastors of the Germans who came to America in Colonial times.
- Contrasting German Migrations: 18th Century vs. 19th Century Waves
- The 1700s “Pennsylvania Germans” were a different breed than the “German Americans” who immigrated in the 1800s. This presentation shows the differences in geography, economic class, religion, and aspirations of – as well as sources about – the two great waves of German immigration.
- Success Story: Finding a European Village of Origin
- The case study of Johannes Dinius, a 1765 immigrant to Pennsylvania, is used to show how scraps of evidence properly deployed can lead to the discovery of a European hometown.
- German for Genealogists
- A skills course going over the basic vocabulary and formats to enable the participants to read tombstones, church records and simple documents of German-speaking people.
- What’s a Palatine Anyway?
- All about the area of Germany that has been an emigrant hotbed for three centuries. Handout of article by the same name from Family Chronicle magazine included with talk.
- Your Immigrants’ Germany: Microstates and Microbreweries
- A concise history of Germany; details of some types of records affected by disunity, major state by major state; Case studies of some microstates as examples.
- Internet Map Resources for Genealogists
- Genealogists are drawn to maps and gazetteers like moths to the flame. Learn about what Internet resources can be used by family historians.
- Hunting a Homestead Using Land Records
- Two options:
1) Three-hour session in which land records are described and the method for drawing land maps for a written description is explained and practiced;
2) A lecture and deed-drawing session followed by a second day in a courthouse or Pennsylvania State Archives to put theory into practice.
(Note: Session must be held in a classroom setting to allow participants room to draw the deeds)
- Newspapers and Genealogy
- Digitization has created a huge increase in accessibility of newspapers – making this is the “hot” record group for family historians. Learn the perils, pitfalls and frequent rewards of researching local and regional newspapers of general circulation for tidbits about your ancestors.
- Organizing (or Reorganizing!) That Family Reunion
- There’s no place as good for a family’s history as a reunion, but the gatherings come and go – learn how to organize one that will last or reorganize one that’s fading.
- Genealogical Roundtable: Case Studies and Discussion
- This is meant for a small group setting. Two case studies involving intermediate level genealogical methodology are presented followed by problems from the participants.
- Lineage Society Seminar
- Ever wondered how to get into Daughters of the American Revolution? Or Mayflower Society? Or more obscure groups such as the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick? This seminar goes over the qualifications for various groups and the types of documentary proof needed to complete applications.
- Preparing for National Archives Research
- Program is designed to orient researchers on the major resources of the National Archives.
(Note: Available either as a standalone lecture or as an orientation for a group trip to Washington, D.C.)
- Preparing for Salt Lake City Research
- This session goes over the major resources of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), including which ones can be used at home or locally as well as those that only exist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.
(Note: Available either as a standalone lecture or as an orientation for a group trip to Salt Lake)
- Secondary Uses for Primary Sources
- Learning how to use whole data sets rather than individual records can blast open genealogical roadblocks by exploring the interrelationships of a whole community. Case studies show how this works.
- "Duplicate" Documents That Aren’t the Same
- A discussion of how multiple sources may overlap but seldom duplicate exactly the same information – making it essential that researchers check records that may at first blush seem to be the same.
Librarians / Archivists
- Helping Genealogists with Pennsylvania Roots
- Learn about the "three types of genealogists," what resources to direct them to and what places to redirect them to.
- A Quarter Century of Chasing Ancestors Looks Short in the Rear-View Mirror
- Anecdotes and cautionary tales of the people and situations one encounters during 25-plus years of searching for roots on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Hints and Helps: My List of "Top Tens"
- A personal list of the best: ways to start; books to get; Web sites to look at; societies to join; habits to break!