2018 Class Descriptions

Some of our classes have more detailed descriptions below to help you choose.
The Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced are only a guide you are welcome to choose any classes you wish.

                                                                                                     *=new presenter or topic

CLASSES A-01 - A10

(9:00am -- 10:00am)

*A-01 - IN SEARCH OF COURTHOUSE RECORDS -- Jeff Mason (Beginner - Intermediate)

Anyone who has visited an old courthouse has probably experienced the amazing aroma of old records.  Those that haven’t visited a courthouse might find it a bit intimidating at first, but there are significant genealogical rewards awaiting those who take the time to look.  This course will provide an overview of all of the records available at a typical courthouse, along with tips on how to make the best use of your time when you visit.

 

*A-02 - Find-A-Record - The Best Tool for Cleaning Up Your FamilySearch Tree -- Gail Junion-Metz (Beginner - Intermediate)
If you've created your family tree in FamilySearch over the years, there are probably many individual records in your tree that need fixing up. Find-A-Record, which is an App that works along with FamilySearch, is a wonderful (and simple) way of locating those records that need fixing. This workshop will include step-by-step handouts. Covered will be 1) locating individual records that need dates and places standardized and other info. corrected 2) locating individual records that contain "record hints" you haven't yet added to them 3) locating individual records that may be duplicates (or contain duplicate information).... and if you are an LDS Church members, locating individual records that need ordinance work.  Come find out how easy it is to enhance your family's information!

 

A-03 - Dead End Problems – Bill Ruddock (Intermediate)

After a short presentation on some of the reasons we have dead end problems, we will ask members of the class to describe their brick walls. We will then suggest some research possibilities to get around the dead end. So come, bring your toughest problem to the meeting!

 

*A-04 – DNA/101: Beginning DNA Research – Dan Earl (Beginner)

So you got a DNA kit for the holidays. Now what? Not sure which company to test with? What's Y-DNA? What's mtDNA? This program will teach you what DNA is, how it's used in genealogical research, and how to interpret the results. The different testing companies and their strengths will be discussed. Different third tools, sites that can be used to help compare and interpret DNA results will also be discussed.

 

A-05 - LDS Family History Research 101: The Basics -- Harrison McKnight (Intermediate)

This course is designed for Latter-day Saints who want to make a good start but don’t know where to begin.  We teach how to use familysearch.org to start your tree.  Then we teach how to use ancestry.com and other basic tools to expand your tree.   We demonstrate how to computer draw a fan chart to identify what has been done in your direct lines.  We explore ways to connect with those who have already researched your family tree and who would love to help you with it.

 

*A-06 - Genealogy for Free: Free Web Sites for Researchers -- Kris Rzepczynski (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

With so much genealogical content now available online for free, researchers don’t have to break the bank to find information on their ancestors. This program will explore several of the most popular free sites, including FamilySearch and Cyndi’s List, as well as a number of the lesser-known, yet equally valuable, tools.

 

*A-07 - Military Record Research -- Katherine Willson (Beginner, Intermediate)

How can you determine which major conflict your ancestor might have served in?  Which records may have been generated during that time, and where are they held?  We’ll learn about the various places we might look to determine whether an ancestor served in the military and what we might expect to find in his or her military records.

 

*A-08 - Genealogy of a House -- Jill Arnold (Intermediate)

Are you interested in learning more about the history of your home or other historic building? This program will review a number of primary and secondary sources that can help you identify who originally owned the land, the age of the house, and more about the people who have lived there. The examples will be focused on the Lansing area, but the research strategies and principles can be applied to any geographic area.

 

*A-09 - Going Beyond Birth, Marriage, and Death in Your Research -- Brenda Leyndyke (Beginner, Intermediate)

Birth, marriage, and death records are what genealogists generally seek. Attendees to this session will learn about other unique, and not so unique, resources available to enrich one’s family history.  Find out what other sources are available when conducting research

 

*A-10 - Bounty Land Records -- Cindy Norton (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

"The federal government provided bounty land for those who served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, theMexican War, and Indian wars between 1775 and 1855. It was first offered as an incentive to serve in the military and later as a reward for service" (see FamilySearch Wiki US Military Bounty Land Warrants). Come find out just how bountiful bounty land records can be for your family history research.

 

 

CLASSES B-01 - B-10 

(10:15am    11:15am)

 

*B-01 - CEMETERY RECORDS – Jeff Mason (Beginner)
This course is intended to be an A to Z guidebook to cemetery records, including how to locate cemeteries and gravestones, proper methods of gravestone photography, locating burials where there is no gravestone, the difference between gravestones and cenotaphs, locating monuments for veterans, and participation in Find-A-Grave and BillionGraves programs.

 

B-02 - Ancestry Search & Research Tips - Part 1 -- Gail Junion-Metz (Beginner - Intermediate)
If you are new to Ancestry (or new to the latest version of Ancestry) this workshop is for you! Lots of folks use Ancestry to search for relatives and to build family trees. But few folks take the time to learn many of the nifty, and time-saving, features that Ancestry offers. If you've thought, "There must be an easier way to do this" you're probably right! The workshop will include detailed step-by-step handouts. Come learn how to 1) save time searching and researching for family members 2) use nifty new features, that are part of the latest version of Ancestry, that will make finding data about family members much simpler 3) add media to individual Ancestry records..

 

B-03 - Where Do I Start? Help! – Jim Linton (Beginner)

In this session, learn the who, what, why, when, where, and how of family history.

  • Who? Wondering where to start?  Start with yourself!  Then focus on getting the information you can from living relatives – while they are still alive.
  • What? Collect records, stories, and photos which document the lives of you and your ancestors – documenting birth, marriage, death, and other major life events.
  • Why? Need a reason to start?  There will be at least one reason to start your family history now!
  • When? There isn’t a better time than now to get started!
  • Where and How? Family history work used to involve extensive travel from cemeteries to courthouses, from libraries to family history centers.  While some information may still require travel, in today’s world, for much information you can now “let your fingers do the walking

There is no need to wait any longer.  Join the adventure in family history now!

 

*B-04 - Introduction to the Family Tree on FamilySearch.org -- Don Ward (Beginner, Intermediate)

This session is intended to introduce new people to the Family Tree on FamilySearch.org.  The “new people” may be new to family history research, or they may be experienced family history researchers but new to Family Tree.  (They may even be experienced with Family Tree and desire to better learn and understand more of its capabilities.)  Our goal is to explain and demonstrate how Family Tree works and how it can be very helpful in gathering, organizing and displaying the vast amounts of information we can find concerning our families and ancestors. soon

 

*B-05 - ABSTRACT FOR The Legacy of the Black Loyalists -- Gary Wilkes (Beginner)

Not quite three years before what is deemed to be the official start of the war that came to be known as the American Revolutionary War, there was a decision in an English court that there was no statute in England to support slavery. For many colonists, this ruling, which conceivably might lead to abolition of slavery, only antagonized them further about British rule. However, for many slaves, this ruling further fueled an idea that they might some day be set free from the institution of slavery. Part of the British strategy for winning that war was when the British won the war,  that the slaves who escaped from their slaveholders and joined them in their fight against the colonists would get the freedom and land. Those escaped slaves were called the Black Loyalists.  Their legacy was providing hope that slavery could end.

*B-06 - Researching Your Polish Ancestors -- Kris Rzepczynski (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Researchers interested in their Polish roots are faced with a unique set of challenges, from the language to the infinite spelling variations and the shifting boundaries on the map. This program will explore these challenges, important American sources, both print and online, and research strategies that can shed light on your ancestral town in Poland.

 

*B-07 - Resources For Genealogical Research in Foreign Countries - Katherine Willson (Beginner, Intermediate)

Once you’ve discovered your immigrant ancestor’s home country, how will you go about finding documents generated while s/he was still there, and how will you research his/her parents?  We’ll discuss available resources for beginning your research in foreign countries, including how to locate foreign language genealogy terms and online maps providing contextual information on shifting country borders.

 

*B-08 - The Role of Women in World War I -- Shirley Hodges (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

World War I marked a new era in the women’s movement from the home and into the public sphere as they battled both prejudice and enemy soldiers for their place in history. Many served as telephone operators and railroad workers, the Marine Reserves and Navy Nurse Corps. Learn how these brave women became war heroes on their own terms.

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*B-09 - Making French-Canadian Genealogy Easy Using the Drouin Collections -- John DuLong (Advanced)
Québec genealogical records are some of the best preserved and accessible records in the world.   Two databases, based on the work of the Institut Généalogique Drouin, makes it even easier to locate and access records, in particular, parish registers, online from your home: 

Using these subscription service indexes you can easily find baptism, marriage, and burial records, view the original parish register, and in the case of LAFRANCE you can link to the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) database to view Family Reconstructions.

While this lecture will concentrate on parish registers, it is important to realize that these collections also contain many of records of genealogical interest including Acadian records, Franco-American parish registers, notarial records, marriage files, obituaries, genealogical reports, etc.

 

*B-10 - FOUND BY A HUGUENOT! -- Roni Sionakides (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Huguenot Genealogy:  An introduction to the Huguenots, their origins, early centers, history of migrations, hiding places, famous Americans with Huguenot ancestry, and resources.

 

LUNCH TIME ACTIVITIES C-01 - C02

(11:15am 12:15pm)

 

C-01 - Work on Your Research in our FHC

Welcome to the Lansing MI Family History Center. Use your time looking at film that is available on indefinite loan Michigan Vital Records, Loiselle Marriage Index, Federal Naturalization Records-Wayne Co. MI, Ireland Vital Records, or spend time browsing film ordered by our patrons (maybe you will find some that you are interested in). Fiche are available on many countries & topics. There is also much good information in our book collection. Enjoy your visit. Need assistance? Ask a Librarian.

 

C-02 - Family History Center Tours -- FHC Staff

Go to the FHC and request a TOUR of the Family History Center. One of the Librarians on Duty will be happy to show you what we have & help is available in our FHC. The FHC is at the back (North) Entrance of the building. 

 

 

CLASSES D-01 - D-09 

(12:15am – 1:15am)

 

*D-01 - Introduction to FOLD3 Finding Military Records -- Dave Quarnberg (Beginner)
This is an introductory look at what is available in FOLD3 to enhance family history research. We will look at Military Records, Pentions and from the Revolutionary War to World War II and beyond.

 

D-02 - Ancestry Search & Research Tips - Part 2 (Intermediate - Advanced)
If you are already familiar with Ancestry (the old and/or new version) and want to learn about some of the best advanced "hidden treasures" found in the newest version of Ancestry, then this workshop is for you!  The workshop will include detailed step-by-step handouts. Come learn 1) how to customize Ancestry to best work for you 2 ) how to use new and enhanced tools to locate records input by other Ancestry members 3) how change the security settings of Ancestry to match your preferences for information privacy 4) and lots more!


D-03 - New York Research – Bill Ruddock (Intermediate)

Will discuss what resources are available for conducting research in New York. Since New York has almost no vital records until very late, Bill will show where to find church, census, tax, court, manorial, military, lease records, merchant, estate papers, and other records.

 

*D-04 - City Directories: Not Your Average Phone Book – Dan Earl (Beginner)

Many beginning genealogists stay close to census, birth, marriage, and death records and largely ignore a valuable resource: city directories! These records are not your average phone book to be sure. This presentation will teach participants what city directories are available online and where hard copies are located near them. The speaker will use a case study from his own family using city directories to solve a brick wall problem.

                         

D-05 - Building a Scottish Pedigree -- Harrison McKnight (Intermediate)
Teaches how to use the basic Scottish records and which tool works best for accessing each of the key records for Scottish research --- birth-marriage-death certificates, census, parish, poor relief, property, and cemetery records.  Provides examples of how to build a Scottish pedigree using three primary tools: scotlandspeople.gov.uk., ancestry.com, and familysearch.org. Shows how easy Scottish research is! 

 

*D-06 - English Church Records -- Laressa Northrup (Intermediate)

A presentation on the history of English church records, the information to be found in them including the expected and unexpected and where to find the records. 

 

*D-07 - Using Online Resources -- Cindy Grostick (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Has your research hit a brick wall?  Are you searching online databases?  Are you getting ready to head out to a research repository / courthouse?  It is always good to do a little homework before tackling that database or record group in order to make the most of your valuable time.  Before you give up in frustration, we will look at online resources to help you advance your skill set so you can make the most of your genealogical research.

 

*D-08 - Researching Your Family History at the Archives of Michigan -- Jill Arnold (Beginner)

An introduction to the Archives of Michigan, this program will explore the genealogical collections available there, including original source records, published resources, and online tools at Seeking Michigan. One of the larger family history collections in the United States, the Archives' holdings emphasize Michigan, the Great Lakes states, New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as Ontario and Quebec.

 

D-09 - Discovering Your German Heritage – Chris Schafer (Beginner)

This session is a beginner survey at finding your German Ancestry.  We will look at what information you need to gather in order to find the location of origin for your German ancestors, and what sources you may draw on to find this information.  We will then look at what resources are available to help you find that location within the many states and political entities that make up Germany.  Finally, we will take an overview look at what research resources are available to help you find your German ancestors, including FamilySearch and the FamilySearch Research Wiki.


CLASSES E0-1 - E-10

(1:30pm – 2:30pm)


*E-01 - BREAKING DOWN BRICK WALLS & REAWAKENING DEAD ENDS – Jeff Mason (Intermediate, Advanced)
Ancestry – the far from final frontier.  As a genealogist, your mission is to explore the unexplored, to seek out new places – and previously unknown ancestors, and to boldly find the records that no family historian has uncovered before.  If you have “lost” ancestors or do not know what to look for next, this may be the session for you.  The first half of the hour will be devoted to search strategies, with the second half devoted to answering questions from participants.

 

E-02 - Scandinavian  Research (Swedish Emphasis) -- Linnea Shaw (Beginner, Intermediate)
This session will touch on how to bridge the gap between the United States and Sweden.  Then we will concentrate on how to find and make use of the plentiful records that are preserved in Swedish Archives.                                                                                            

 

E-03 - Where Do I Start? Help! – Jim Linton (Beginner)

In this session, learn the who, what, why, when, where, and how of family history.

  • Who? Wondering where to start?  Start with yourself!  Then focus on getting the information you can from living relatives – while they are still alive.
  • What? Collect records, stories, and photos which document the lives of you and your ancestors – documenting birth, marriage, death, and other major life events.
  • Why? Need a reason to start?  There will be at least one reason to start your family history now!
  • When? There isn’t a better time than now to get started!
  • Where and How? Family history work used to involve extensive travel from cemeteries to courthouses, from libraries to family history centers.  While some information may still require travel, in today’s world, for much information you can now “let your fingers do the walking

There is no need to wait any longer.  Join the adventure in family history now!

 

*E-04 - Introduction to the Family Tree on FamilySearch.org -- Don Ward (Beginner, Intermediate)

This session is intended to introduce new people to the Family Tree on FamilySearch.org.  The “new people” may be new to family history research, or they may be experienced family history researchers but new to Family Tree.  (They may even be experienced with Family Tree and desire to better learn and understand more of its capabilities.)  Our goal is to explain and demonstrate how Family Tree works and how it can be very helpful in gathering, organizing and displaying the vast amounts of information we can find concerning our families and ancestors.

 

*E-05 - ABSTRACT FOR What DNA Centimorgans Can Tell us -- Gary Wilkes (Intermediate)

All known living organisms are made of dioxyribonucleic acid, which is better known simply by its acronym of DNA. Human DNA is a very large and complex molecule that is composed of billions of four specific and smaller molecules combined in certain ways. The arrangement of these combinations of the smaller molecules within the DNA molecule are generally unique to each human, except that identical siblings have the same DNA pattern. Comparisons of the DNA from two people to determine how much DNA they share are generally reported in units of centimorgans.  The centimorgans value can often, but not always, confirm that a known biological relationship between two individuals exists, but may not always precisely determine what that relationship is.


*E-06 - Finding Records of your Detroit and Wayne County Ancestor -- Tom Koselka (Beginner, Intermediate)

Many of us who live in Michigan have ancestors who came through Detroit and Wayne County. What records did they leave behind – and how can I access them? This session examines the records created by, for, and about our ancestors in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan. We will explore who created them and when, what information is in them, why they were created, and where they can be located today.

 

*E-07 - Why A Family History Center is Still Needed – Melinda McIntosh (Beginner, Intermediate)

FamilySearch is working to have all microfilm digitized by 2020.Will there still be any reason to visit a Family History Center? The answer is “Yes. Yes. Yes!” This class will cover resources available specifically at the Lansing Family History Center; Digital resources available at any Family History Center; and tips on preserving records that you find, in digital and in paper formats. We will talk about collaborating by bringing family, friends, and or groups to the FHC, and the expertise of consultants at the Lansing FHC. Everyone is welcome.

 

*E-08 - The Role of Women in World War II - Shirley Hodges (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

World War II found women playing a very large part in the war effort both at home and abroad. Nearly 350,000 American women served in uniform.  Many women also worked in a variety of civil service jobs. Others worked as chemists and engineers, developing weapons for the war. Learn how the lives of your woman ancestors changed during this period.

 

*E-09 - Yankees Trekking the Trail to Michigan -- Brenda Leyndyke (Beginner, Intermediate)
Yankee migration is a rich part of Michigan history.  Yankees Trekking the Trail to Michigan will provide attendees with the reasons for this migration, the effect this migration had on the state, the modes of transportation (including migration trails) taken to get here, and the influence New England had in Michigan.

 

E-10 - Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs) - Cindy Norton (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Did your ancestor or relative serve in the military during the Civil War? Which side did he serve with - Confederate or Union? How would you find out whether he served or not? What records were created as part of that military service? What can I find out about my ancestor or relative from their military service? Come learn about the treasures found in Compiled Military Service Records and how you can use them in your family history research.

 


CLASSES F-01 - F-10

(2:45pm – 3:45pm)


*F-01 - ORGANIZATION, SCHMORGANIZATION – WHO NEEDS IT?  WE DO! – Jeff Mason (Beginner, Intermediate)
There are almost as many ways to organize your genealogy as there are ancestors, but we all have to do it to avoid confusion and duplication of work.  It seems like a daunting task, but once it is done, it is relatively easy to maintain.  Besides tips and tricks to keep your documents nice and tidy, we’ll review some computer file structures that will give you quick and easy access to your digital information.

 

*F-02 - Merging Duplicate Records in FamilySearch -- Gail Junion-Metz (Intermediate - Advanced)
FamilySearch is unique in that it contains only one family tree, into which folks add their ancestors. Over the years, some individuals in the tree have more than one record in the tree. The process of getting rid of these duplicates is called "merging". Getting rid of duplicate records, when you find them, is very important so that the FamilySearch tree is as accurate as possible.  This workshop, which will include step-by-step handouts, will cover 1) how to find out if an individual in the tree has more than one record 2) how to properly merge those records so that only a single record remains 3) if you are an LDS Church member... how merging records will affect a person's ordinances.  Come find out how to merge and help make the FamilySearch tree the best it can be!

 

F-03 - Dead End Problems – Bill Ruddock (Intermediate)

After a short presentation on some of the reasons we have dead end problems, we will ask members of the class to describe their brick walls. We will then suggest some research possibilities to get around the dead end. So come, bring your toughest problem to the meeting!

 

*F-04 – Funeral Homes and Family History: They Are Dying to Meet You! – Dan Earl (Beginner)

Most genealogists know to look in a cemetery to find their ancestors, but what about the funeral home? Funeral home records can provide loads of genealogically rich information. This presentation will teach participants what types of records are typically found in funeral homes, how to locate these resources online and "in the field", as well as provide real life examples of how to search for ancillary clues in funeral home records.

 

F-05 - Creating Your Personal History:  A Legacy to Remember! (Intermediate)
Learn how journals and other documents help build an outstanding personal history. Learn the impact of creating your own personal history and the histories of your predecessors. Winston Churchill said there exist  those “sharp agate points” or life changing events on which a person’s life and destiny turns. An effective personal history helps people understand what life events were crucial to what one became.  Strategies for creating such a personal history are discussed. The roles of journals and interviews in developing a personal history are highlighted.


*F-06- Early New England Records (prior to 1776) -- Laressa Northrup (Intermediate)

Who the early immigrants to New England were and the records they left behind.

 

*F-07 - We Want You! World War I & II Military Records -- Cynthia Grostick (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

In this class we will lean a brief history of both conflicts, the various types of records that are available, alternative sources available if access to the records is not an option, and what we can do to remember these brave men and women who answered their nations call to arms..

 

*F-08 Our Ancestors in History -- Cassie Quarnberg
We will discuss events throughout history that may have had an influence on our ancestors: their occupations, the places they lived & relocated, and other possible factors that molded who they were and possibly who we are.    History and family history weave together to create a very interesting fabric. Maybe we can unravel some interesting fibers in the lives of some of your ancestors.

 

*F-09 Getting Young People Involved in Family History with LDS Family History Tools -- Rick Winder

The path for youth to get involved in family history is the same for them as it is for all of us. It may seem logical that of the “who, what, why, when, where and how” of family history, the most important for youth is the why. But all of these elements can contribute to a rich experience for them and for those who help them.

  • Who? Family history starts with “me” – front and center – and grows from there. It allows youth to see their place by first getting information from living relatives – while they are still alive, and then searching records to fill out the picture.
  • What? Young people can collect stories, photos and records which document the lives of them and their ancestors – documenting birth, marriage, death, and other major life events.
  • Why? Do they need a reason to start? Of the (at least) seven reasons to be involved in family history, there will be at least one reason for a young person to start his or her family history now.
  • When? There isn’t a better time than now to get started! The tools are already in place!
  • Where and How? Family history work used to involve extensive travel – from cemeteries to courthouses, from libraries to family history centers. Youth have learned to “let their fingers do the walking” on smart phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Their adeptness with technology tools provides a perfect match for them to use the tools now available for family history research.

The “how” continues with instruction in creating a family tree on a free web service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (www.FamilySearch.org). You will learn how to help youth:

  • Register on FamilySearch.org
  • Search for ancestors to fill in their family tree
  • Find records about their ancestors
  • Document sources of information for their ancestors
  • Add photos, stories and documents to share with their relatives
  • Create a 9-generation fan chart showing them and their ancestors

 
There is no need to wait any longer. Help the young people in your life to join the adventure into family history now!

 

*F-10 Family Search Research Wiki and The Family History Guide – Don Hinkle

Think of the Wiki as a Google for Family History Research. 

The FamilySearch Wiki is a tool people can use to learn how to find their ancestors by searching in geographical areas.  The Wiki is one of the most valuable tools for doing genealogy research on the internet.
The FamilySearch Wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found. It is a vast record depository of the paper trail that people leave behind long after they are gone. When you search in the Wiki, you search for places your ancestors lived and records you think they may have been included in. You will not find a Wiki page about your particular ancestor, but you may find a database that contains records about your ancestors.
The Wiki has records from the United States, as well as from more than 100 other countries. Here you will be able to find the location of documents such as census records, marriage records, birth records, death records and much more.

Being familiar with the Wiki can greatly help your genealogy research.

 

THE FAMILY HISTORY GUIDE
www.thefhguide.com

The Family History Guide is an official training partner of FamilySearch.

The Family History Guide contains lessons about FamilySearch as well as for Ancestry.com, findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.  In addition, it contains lessons on how to do country research.
By itself, The Family History Guide is an outstanding tool.  When coupled with the Research Wiki, they are unbeatable resources.