2017 Class Descriptions

Some of our classes have more detailed descriptions below to help you choose.

                                                                                                     *=new presenter or topic

CLASSES 201-209 

(9:00am – 10:00am)

201. Discovering Vital Records and Church Parish Records in England & Wales – Jeff Mason

It has never been easier to obtain the records you need to find your English and Welsh ancestors.  The class will show you how to order birth, death and marriage certificates from as far back as 1837, and church parish records dating back to the early 16th century.  Join us as we walk through the processes via the internet.  By the end of the class, you should have the skills needed to search for a person’s vital records, order certificates online, and view parish records or order parish record films through the FamilySearch website.

 

*202. Researching Your Family's History at the Archives of Michigan – Kris Rzepczynski

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.

 

*203. Finding Those Elusive Maiden Names – Katherine Willson

Use a comprehensive checklist (provided) to locate the documents most likely to contain a female ancestor’s maiden name.  Search tips for locating the listed documents is included in the discussion.  Handouts provided.

 

204. Building a Scottish Pedigree  --  Harrison McKnight
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: Scotlands people.gov.uk,  ancestry .com, and family search.org.  Shows how easy Scottish research is!

 

205. The Wolfram Cometh: The Computation Knowledge Engine and Your Research – Dan Earl

All of us have ancestors with common names. Just how many John Smiths were there in 1901? This course will show participants how to use the computation knowledge engine called Wolfram Alpha in the genealogical research. This course will use a genealogical inquiry posted in a Facebook group and show how using Wolfram Alpha can help in prioritizing genealogical inquiry. The course will also look at other genealogical applications of the Wolfram Alpha website. 
Learning Objectives:
1.      Participants will learn about the computational knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha
2.      Participants will learn how to use Wolfram Alpha to their advantage in creating research plans and in their research in general
3.      Participants will learn about other genealogical applications utilizing the Wolfram Alpha website.

 

206. Family Search and Premium Web Sites Available at the FHC (Parts 1 and 2) – Dave Quarnberg

Did you know at any Family History Center, besides Family Search, you have access to several Premium Websites via the Family Search Portal?

Ancestry, My Heritage, Find My Past and Geneanet to name a few.

In our Premium Websites Class, come explore the possibilities in a hands on Lab.

 

207. Why Should I Join a Genealogical Society? -- Tom Koselka

Researching is like solving any other puzzle.  The buddy system works, and many hands make light work. By becoming a member of a genealogy society where you live, one can take advantage of the educational opportunities and mentorship of experienced family historians near your home. Joining a genealogical society where your ancestors are from unlocks many of the hidden treasures known to those who live and conduct research in your area of interest.  Yes, you can do research from a distance with the right helping hands.  The road to the treasure of your family history can best be traveled by those who know and understand what local and unique resources are available – and how to find them! The second part of this program is designed for beginning genealogists. Rookie Mistakes and how to avoid them.

 

*208. Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) – Cindy Norton

Compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. They will provide you with your ancestor's rank, unit, date mustered in and mustered out, basic biographical information, medical information, and military information.  Come learn how to find your ancestor in the CMSR (see https://www.archives.gov/research/military/genealogy.html).

 

209. Ancestry Search Search & Research Tips Part 1 -- Gail Junion-Metz

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.

 

CLASSES 301-309 

(10:15am    11:15am)

 

*301. Genetic Genealogy 101 – Jeff Mason

Have you had your DNA tested or are you thinking about testing?  Your DNA contains information that has the potential to confirm your connections to known ancestors and to connect you to ancestors that were previously unknown.  Now that testing has become more affordable, why not try it?  The course will begin with a brief overview of the biology behind DNA research and the testing process. It will also focus on techniques in comparing test results with others that have varying degrees of relationships to you.  DNA genealogy is one of the fasting growing ways to aid and confirm your documented family history research.

 

302. Coming to America: Research with Ship Passenger Lists – Kris Rzepczynski
This session will explore the available U.S. passenger lists and indexes, the genealogical information typically found in them, and strategies for finding arrival records of your immigrant ancestors.

 

*303. Where Do I Start? Help! – Jim Linton

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!

 

*304. Little Known Facts about the Census – Shirley Hodges

The lecture is an in-depth look at census records and gives participants an expanded knowledge of what is available other than the Federal Population Census.   There will be a discussion of the DDD schedules as well as the Agricultural, Manufacturing, Mortality and Slave Schedules.

 

305. Family History Leadership Training: (Recommended for Members of the LDS Church) -- John & Aloma Custer 

This is the former Family History Center Directors' meeting. This meeting has been expanded to include Family History Center Directors and Assistant Directors, Family History Consultants, Librarians, and leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Family History responsibilities (Stake Presidency, High Council, Bishopric, Branch Presidency, Elders Quorum Presidency, High Priests Group Leadership, Relief Society Presidency and other auxiliary leadership with interests in Family History). The first part of the class will be an outline of the Family History program as outlined by Salt Lake and how it is used as a resource for wards and branches in strengthening members, assisting in missionary work, activation, new member retention. We will discuss this year’s Family History theme of “FIND, TAKE, and TEACH”. There will be time available for open discussions and questions.

Topics and Handouts for the class:
Name Change Family History – “Temple and Family History Consultants”
Frequently Asked Questions about recent changes

LDS Focus in Family History
“Family History in Your Leadership Calling”
Where do I fit in the “Family History Picture?”

What’s new in 2017
New Reporting
The Consultant Planner – A FamilySearch Tool for Helping Others
Indexing
Apps
Partner Websites

Home Page – To Do List

https://familysearch.org/blog/en/whats-familysearchjanuary-2016-2/

 

*306. Collateral Lines – Cindy Grostick

So many of us focus our attention on our direct lines and fail to look at the collateral lines. This is a great mistake.  Learn what collateral lines are and why it is important not to forget or ignore them.

 

*307. Preparing to Go to Salt Lake – Laressa Northrup

 A talk on how to prepare for a trip to Salt Lake City to do research.  This includes prep at home, libraries and your local family history center so that you know exactly what you are looking for when you get there.  We will also touch on what to do while you are there and some of the special resources the library has.

 

*308. Civil War Union Pensions – Cindy Norton

The National Archives also has pension applications and records of pension payments for veterans, their widows, and other heirs. The pension records in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. are based on service in the armed forces of the United States between 1775 and 1916. Pension application files usually provide the most genealogical information. These files often contain supporting documents such as: narratives of events during service, marriage certificates, birth records, death certificates, pages from family Bibles, family letters, depositions of witnesses, affidavits, discharge papers and other supporting papers (see https://www.archives.gov/research/military/genealogy.html).  Come learn how to find your ancestors in the Civil War Pension Files (Union).

 

309. Ancestry Search Search & Research Tips Part 2 -- Gail Junion-Metz

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

   

LUNCH TIME CLASSES 401-409

(11:45am 12:45pm)


*401. Finding your German Ancestry– Chris Schafer

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.

 

*402. Every Stone Tells a Story: The Cleaning and Care of Headstones – Dan Earl

We've all seen dirty damaged headstones in need of repair. Even more recent headstone can be in need of a good cleaning. This presentation is designed to be a primer to debunk common myths and to help participants to learn proper cleaning techniques that have been approved by the Federal Government for the cleaning and care of veteran's headstones. Additionally, participants will learn the basics of cemetery safety.
Learning Objectives:
1.      Participants will learn common myths regarding the care and cleaning of headstones.
2.      Participants will learn proper headstone cleaning techniques.
3.      Participants will learn the basics of cemetery safety.


403. Cemeteries:  Another View, the Things Not Seen! -- Roni Sionakides
40-50 slides of various cemeteries with interesting gravestones, epitaphs, monuments, entrances, and small buildings.  There will be an assortment of tree stump markers, cobblestone and dressed stone buildings, unusual monuments.  Also included are eye-catching trees and vines in the cemeteries and along walls.  There will be a grouping at the end of problems in today’s cemeteries from neglect and vandalism.  There will be time for commentary.

 

404. LDS Family History Research 101: The Basics -- Harrison McKnight                                   

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 make a difference in the world.  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 of the work that has been done in your direct lines.  We explore ways to connect with those who have already researched parts of your family tree and who would love to help you with it.

 

*405. Men's and Children's Clothing in Photographs -- Laressa Northrup

A discussion on men’s and children’s clothing from 1840-1900.  This is a discussion so that you can date your photographs and possibly identify who is in them.  Discover the little changes that can identify when a photo is taken.  Bring your mystery photos. 

 

406. Dead End Problems – Bill Ruddock

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!

 

407. 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.

 

408. 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.   

 

#409  ??? Question Time ??? & Answer Times!! – Rick Winder - Moderator
A Panel of our PRESENTERS will try to answer your QUESTIONS!  It is an opportunity for you to learn from others questions, if you don’t have a particular question of your own to ask.


CLASSES 501-509

(1:00pm – 2:00pm)


*501. Genetic Genealogy 202 – Jeff Mason

Now that you have your DNA test results, what can you do with them?  The focus of the class will be how to identify matches and potential matches to your DNA, whether you have taken a “Y-DNA”, “MtDNA”, or an autosomal test.  Various websites to be discussed include familytreedna.com and gedmatch.com.

 

502. Ireland Research Prior to 1860 -- John/Becky Bell

  • Sources we used to get back to Ireland                                                                                                                       
  • Griffith’s Valuation is more than a census substitute! How to use it along with the other valuable resources
  • The 4 Courts FIRE didn’t destroy all of the records

 

503. Scandinavian  Research (Swedish Emphasis) -- Linnea Shaw
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.

 

504. The Orphan Trains – Shirley Hodges

The Orphan Train movement, centered in New York City, began in 1854 and continued until 1930.  Orphans ... Foundlings ... Waifs ... Half-Orphans ... Street Arabs ... Street Urchins ... were all terms used to describe the children who rode the Orphan Trains. Thousands of children were transferred from the overcrowded orphanages and homes in the large cities in the northeastern United States, to live with families on farms throughout the middle West. 

 

505. Family History Leadership Training: (Recommended for Members of the LDS Church) -- John & Aloma Custer 

Class Information: *Family History Leadership Training: (Recommended for members of the LDS Church) -- J/A Custer This is the former Family History Center Directors' meeting. This meeting has been expanded to include Family History Center Directors and Assistant Directors, Family History Consultants, Librarians, and leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Family History responsibilities (Stake Presidency, High Council, Bishopric, Branch Presidency, Elders Quorum Presidency, High Priests Group Leadership, Relief Society Presidency and other auxiliary leadership with interests in Family History). The first part of the class will be an outline of the Family History program as outlined by Salt Lake and how it is used as a resource for wards and branches in strengthening members, assisting in missionary work, activation, new member retention. We will discuss this year’s Family History theme of “FIND, TAKE, and TEACH”. There will be time available for open discussions and questions.

Topics and Handouts for the class:
Name Change Family History – “Temple and Family History Consultants”
Frequently Asked Questions about recent changes

LDS Focus in Family History
“Family History in Your Leadership Calling”
Where do I fit in the “Family History Picture?”

What’s new in 2017
New Reporting
The Consultant Planner – A FamilySearch Tool for Helping Others
Indexing
Apps
Partner Websites

Home Page – To Do List

https://familysearch.org/blog/en/whats-familysearchjanuary-2016-2/


*506. African American Freedman's Bureau Records– Gary Wilkes

What make African American Genealogy So Difficult?
What African American Genealogy Records are There?
What are the African American Freedmen's Bureau Records?
What is in the African American Freedmen's Bureau Records?
How can we use the African American Freedmen's Bureau Records?

 

*507. Putting It All Together – Jim Jackson

Most lectures focus entirely on a particular type of record or research methodology, i.e. family records, church and civil records, census research, land records, military service, etc.  This presentation follows one pioneer family (Laura Ingalls and Almonzo Wilder), through their travels 'Out West', examining the many records that were generated and left behind.

 

508. Michigan Research Facilities   --   Tom Koselka

Researching in Michigan is a challenge if your goals do not match the available collections at the facility where you plan to conduct your search. Your presence here indicates you are aware not everything is available online. Michigan has a wealth of libraries, archives, and local historical collections. Taking those extra few minutes to determine what type of records are available can save you hours and lots of frustration. This class will cover the major libraries and archives where you can conduct on-site research. We will also do a quick review of online resources available with Michigan records.  By preparing ahead of time, you can best utilize your onsite research time.

 

509. Colonial New England Research – Cindy Grostick

Do you have colonial ancestors from the states that make up what we call New England? If so, then this is the class for you. Learn about the resources available on both sides of the pond to help in researching your colonial ancestors.


CLASSES 601-609

(2:15pm  –  3:15pm)


*601. Census Records (1841-1911) and Other Miscellaneous Records of the United Kingdom – Jeff Mason

If you are fortunate enough to have had ancestors in the United Kingdom as recently as 1841, you may be able to locate them on one or more of the census records.  The focus of the class will be on locating individuals in the census records, locating specific parishes, and brief mention of other miscellaneous records such as poor law, wills, ships lists, military, and manorial records.

 

602. Deciphering Gravestone Symbolism   --  John/Becky Bell
“Decoding the Stones” – Clues to the symbols and inscriptions on tombstones.   Have you ever wondered about the art work on tombstones in cemeteries?   We will share our discoveries on the meanings of the symbols that are shown on the stones.

 

*603. Ancestry Accounts for LDS Members: Getting Started / Linking Ancestry & FamilySearch Information – Gail Junion-Metz

This workshop is designed for three groups ... 1) those who already have an Ancestry account that they are paying for - who need to switch from that account to a free LDS account 2) those who have not yet set up an LDS account through Family Search, and 3) those who have already set up an LDS account who are interested in how Ancestry and FamilySearch link up  with each other (in order to share information from one database to the other). The workshop will include detailed step-by-step handouts. If you've been wondering how to best use the unique features your LDS Ancestry account, or how to start linking ancestor information on both Ancestry and FamilySearch, this workshop is just what you need!

 

604. War of 1812 – Jim Jackson

Information on soldiers' military experience and later life is available from federal, state and local records. Some of these records have been reproduced on CDs or available online. Many useful internet research sites are presented.

 

*605. Becoming a Genealogy N.I.N.J.A.: A New Look at Research Methodology and Brick Walls – Dan Earl

All genealogists have hit a brick wall at one point or another. For the new researcher this can be a painful and frustrating experience. Using sound genealogical research methodology is the first step in overcoming brick walls. The lecture will introduce learners to the NINJA approach to doing genealogical research. NINJA is an acronym that stands for Needs, Investigation, Notation, Justification, and Assessment. This approach represents a fresh look at the Genealogical Proof Standard that is designed specifically to assist beginner and intermediate researchers with overcoming brick wall problems in their research faster than guess work or haphazard research. This course will utilize real-world examples to demonstrate how the presenter used the NINJA method to overcome brick walls in his own research. 
Learning Objectives:
1.      All genealogical researchers hit brick walls in their research
2.      Many brick wall problems can be overcome
3.      Using sound research methods helps overcome brick walls
4.      Using the NINJA approach can help overcome brick walls faster than guesswork

606. Family Search and Premium Web Sites Available at the FHC (Parts 1 & 2) – Dave Quarnberg

Did you know at any Family History Center, besides Family Search, you have access to several Premium Websites via the Family Search Portal?

Ancestry, My Heritage, Find My Past and Geneanet to name a few.

In our Premium Websites Class, come explore the possibilities in a hands on Lab.

 

*607. New York Research – Bill Ruddock

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.

 

608. Creating Your Personal History:  A Legacy to Remember! -- Harrison McKnight
Creating your Personal History: A Legacy Worth Remembering!  Winston Churchill  said there exist  those “sharp agate points” or life changing events on which a person’s life and destiny turns.  Explains the importance of creating your own personal history and the histories of your predecessors.  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 is highlighted.

 

*609. Citizen Archivists – Cindy Norton

Help the National Archives make their valuable records available to ALL!  There are many opportunities to serve!  If you are in the D.C. area come to the National Archives and scan Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR), Pension Files, Bounty Land Records and Carded Medical Records for FREE.  You will get a copy of your files and the National Archives will upload those files to their website for others to access.  If you are NOT coming to D.C., you can still do some VERY important work.  Service opportunities include tagging images and records, transcribing historical documents, uploading and sharing your photos, and contributing to articles.  Come learn how you can become a Citizen Archivist.