GENEALOGY PRESENTATIONS - (Scroll down for Workshop Offerings)
Brick Wall Session - Is your society looking for something different? Maybe a more interactive experience? In this session, Mary Roddy will try to tackle participants’ genealogical brick walls.She will provide a new pair of eyes on long-standing problems, and perhaps bring new perspectives which will lead to solutions.Whether Mary works on your puzzle or someone else’s, at the end of this session you will come away with some new approaches, methods, strategies and resources to solve your ancestral quandaries. Inquire on Contact page for more details.
A World of Clues - Using County Histories to Find your Family - Hundreds of county histories were created in the late 19th and early 20th century. They are filled with valuable information about the counties where your ancestors lived and include biographical and genealogical detail about some of the prominent citizens in the area. Learn where to find these books, and use them to explore your ancestor’s life and community. Even if your ancestor wasn’t featured in a biographical sketch, a county history can be a great resource for discovering your ancestor’s story. New Presentation!
Flying Under the Radar - Discovering Charles Olin's Alias - Charles Olin disappeared from his Nebraska roots about 1908,. The DNA in the descendant of an out-of-wedlock child born in 1919 point to Charles as the father, but no records place him there. Case study proves the alternate identity Charles used for 40 years.New presentation!
Fraktur und Fremdwörter*: Hacks for Reading Foreign Books & Newspapers (*foreign words) - Many 19th- and early 20th-century German language newspapers were printed in a Fraktur font. And not only that, they were written in a foreign language! This combination of an archaic font and a foreign language creates two significant hurdles for the 21st century genealogist, perhaps with limited foreign language skills, to overcome. But don’t despair. Modern technology has provided solutions. Learn how to "crack the code" and discover where your favorite newspaper sites have hidden the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text. Translation tools will quickly make those foreign words readable for even the most die-hard English-only speaker.
Really??? - Proving and Refuting Family Lore - Many genealogists have heard handed-down family stories. How can you separate truth from fiction before you pass those yarns along to the next generation? Learn ways to dig deeper and find corroborating evidence to support (or refute) the tales. Friends don’t let friends share myths. New presentation!
Not Who He Once Was: Tips for Finding Your Name-Changing Ancestor - Do you have an ancestor or relative who just disappeared? Or one who seems to have been deposited by aliens, with no background here on earth? Perhaps his story involved a complete change of name. Using case studies of identity shifts, learn strategies to discover who the young man became in later life, or who Great-grandpa was “before you got to know him.”
Just the Ticket to Find Your Railroad Ancestors - If Gramps was working on the railroad, what railroad was it? What did he do? How can you learn more? Discover the many different kinds of records a trainman's life might have created.
Bagging a Live One: Reverse Genealogy in Action - Mary will show you how to find distant relatives, perhaps ones you never knew existed. You will come away with the skills to target specific people and to find their contact details. Great for finding missing friends and cousins or for locating family members to fill out your DNA "dance card."
I Remember Mama - But Not Her Maiden Name - Women can be hard to identify. If they married, they probably changed their names. See more than 20 great strategies for finding the maiden name of "troublesome" women in your family's past - and a few more strategies for discovering married names for those sisters, daughters and aunts who have "disappeared."
If These Walls Could Talk - House and Neighborhood Histories - I don’t know of many genealogists who aren’t also historians. It’s in our natures to be curious of what went on before, to understand our family’s history. But it’s also interesting to learn more about that place where we spend our daily lives – our homes. Who was here before me? How might they have used this home? What tales did they bring home from their work or school at the end of the day? Who were their neighbors? Has my house always looked this way? Learning about your house and neighborhood can increase your sense of place and help you to connect on a deeper level with that place you call “Home.” New presentation! Look below under "Workshops" for more details about "If These Walls Could Talk - Hands-on Workshop"
Read 'Em or Weep - Promise and Pitfalls in Newspaper OCR - Learn where to find free and pay newspaper sites online. Understand how to put OCR mistakes to work for you to increase search results. See a method to make sure you do thorough searching in every newspaper every time.
Direct Link to the Past - City Directories for Genealogy - City Directories are a tool for genealogists to fill in gaps between census years and learn more about ancestors. But if you’re just searching for a name, you’re missing out! In this presentation see many sources to find directories. Mary will show you what to look for in them, including understanding the “anatomy” of a directory and what might be in one. Learn some tips for getting the most out of them by using address searches, alternate spellings, advertisements and more to understand your ancestors’ world and their movements within it. Directories are also a source for historical images that might not be available elsewhere. See how to track your searches and results using spreadsheets. And learn how directories will lead you to clues for further follow-up research.
FamilyBrowse - FamilySearch.org has millions of images on its website, many of which are unindexed and not searchable. But if you know how to get into the catalog and browse around, you can find images of birth and death certificates, naturalization papers, deeds, wills, estate inventories and more. And FamilySearch is adding more and more such images every month. To take advantage of this ever-increasing bounty, it’s important to know how to find these types of records.
A Nose for News - Sniffing Out Stories in Newspapers - More than a baker's dozen useful tips for searching in old newspapers. Each suggestion will be accompanied by real-life examples to cement the ideas.
A Decree of (Temporary) Divorce - My Life Without Ancestry.com - My bank balance was thin and my patience with paying the faceless corporate entity was even thinner. Learn how I found free substitute records for many of the records I used to pay for at Ancestry.com, and how I discovered some new sites as well. My temporary "divorce" forced me to examine my genealogy from a different viewpoint with a fresh perspective. You, too, can recharge your genealogy, and save a few pennies as well.
Censational Census Strategies - The US Federal census and its “little brother,” the state census, are among the major workhorses of genealogical research. But are you getting the most out of them? This presentation presents 20+ tips for finding missing ancestors and mining the census for more clues for follow-up research. Writing the Story When They Left No Stories - You've spent years (or decades) working on your genealogy. Now it's finally time to take all that data and put it together into a story that your relatives - yes, even your spouse and children! - will want to read. Mary Roddy will show you how to take your data and "fluff it up" with the kinds of details that draw your reader into the story of their ancestors' lives.
Spreadsheets 101: Excel-lence in Genealogy – Are you afraid of spreadsheets because you don’t know how or where to start?Or are you comfortable with spreadsheets but think there might be a trick our two out there that you don’t know?In this talk, Mary will get the beginners up to speed, and share with experienced users tricks she’s learned in more than 25 years of spreadsheet use as an accountant, a writer and a genealogist.
Spreadsheets 201: Excel-lent Examples - Spreadsheets can help you in analyzing your data and keeping track of your research.Mary Roddy will present several examples of how to use this powerful tool to gain perspective and further your genealogy research.
Spreadsheets 301: un-Excel-ed Tips and Tricks - Learn new ways to make data entry faster and easier and a few things that will make your spreadsheets more attractive. See how quickly Magic Fill will help you complete a list and watch Mary turn a spreadsheet “on its ear" to flip rows and columns. Learn how to “add” words (and a few numbers, too.)
Spreadsheets 401: Excel-lent Inspiration - Take a trip with spreadsheets to the lands of your ancestors. Learn how spreadsheets can help as you learn to read foreign language newspapers. Use spreadsheets as a translation tool for your ancestors' vital and religious records. Create a spreadsheet to track your ancestors and those great ethnic or locality websites – when you find a new ancestor or a new website you’ll be ready to dive in. Create a spreadsheet to connect your DNA matches, and another to chart those matches for publication.
Using Spreadsheets in Genealogical Research - Spreadsheets can help you in analyzing your data and keeping track of your research.Mary Roddy will present several examples of how to use this powerful tool to gain perspective and further your genealogy research. This class provides genealogical examples for those who have a basic knowledge of how to use Excel. (For lectures on instruction of how to use Excel, please see Spreadsheets 101, 201 and 301 lectures.)
Where There’s a Will – (There’s a Way to Find New GenealogicaI information) – Wills can help you establish genealogical relationships, prove a theory, or just get to understand your ancestors and their world a bit more.This talk will help you find wills and abstracts, understand the difference between them, and learn what to do with the will once you find it.
World War II Heroes: Telling Their Stories - World War II is the earliest war where we can actually speak to the veterans themselves, the men and women who served.This talk presents a case study, fleshing out a basic story of a pilot and crew of a B-17 shot down over Germany, illustrating how to find and access multiple sources to learn about the experiences of these heroes.
Crafting History: Creating Keepsakes to Preserve Family Memories - Sharing your family history can mean more than writing a book. Sprinkle your ancestors into your daily life! Learn how to create jewelry, holiday ornaments and decorative items using ancestral photos and stories. When your friends and relatives see your ancestors, they will want to know them, too. Live presentation will have samples of some projects, slides of others, and provide instructions and details for creating many of these items.
Time Will Tell - Using Timelines to Understand Your Ancestors - Are you using this tool to analyze your data? It's a great way to organize dates and places for specific ancestors and puts a different perspective on the information you've gathered.
The Evergreen State: Researching Your Washington State Ancestors - This talk covers the basics of Washington State history, geography, ethnic groups and where to find Washington State genealogical records both online and offline. I'll cover research strategies and some of the unique collections that can be found in the Evergreen State.
Basics of US Genealogical Research – This talk give a basic rundown of US history and how that affects our ancestors and the type and location of records generated.A survey of different records and what kind of information they contain is presented, with ideas of where to look for more clues.Perfect for beginning genealogists or intermediate and advanced genealogists from outside the US. Trails West: Crossing the Continent 1840-1869 - Before the transcontinental railroad was completed Easterners and Mid-Westerners began to settle the West. How did they get there and what was the journey like? Presentation covers overland and water routes with descriptions of the journey and using clues to discover how and when your ancestor traveled.
If These Walls Could Talk - Hands-On Workshop - Do you ever wonder who lived on your house or street before you did? In this 3-hour workshop I'll guide participants into learning more about their own homes or neighborhoods. Who was here before me? How might they have used this home? What tales did they bring home from their work or school at the end of the day? Who were their neighbors? Has my house always looked this way? Venue should have adequate wireless bandwidth for participants to use. Attendees will bring their own laptops and a healthy dose of curiosity. We'll explore census records, city directories, newspapers, maps and more. By the end of the workshop participants will have created a basic website about their home or neighborhood that they can share with friends and family. See an example of a basic website here. Workshop is also suitable for teachers looking for ways to engage students in using primary historical resources for social science research.
Spreadsheets 101/201 - An Excel-lent Hands-On Tutorial - In this 3-hour workshop I will work with novice spreadsheet users who want to learn how they can use spreadsheets in genealogy. I'll cover setting up a worksheet and some basic commands including formatting, adding rows and columns, adjusting column widths and row heights, and setting up worksheets for printing. As they gain skills and become more comfortable navigating the world of Excel, we can work on stepping up their game by utilizing color in worksheets, splitting columns, wrapping text, freezing panes, sorting, filtering, and more. Participants should bring their laptops loaded with Excel.
Spreadsheets 201/301 - An Advanced Excel Workshop Tutorial - In this 3-hour workshop I will work with experienced spreadsheet users who want to learn more tricks to utilize spreadsheets in genealogy. We'll work on stepping up their game by incorporating color in worksheets, splitting columns, wrapping text, freezing panes, sorting, filtering, and more. We will discuss work-arounds for date issues in Excel. And we'll cover importing data from websites including Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and other sites. Participants should bring their laptops loaded with Excel. Venue should have wireless internet available for participants.
Will develop new lectures and workshops as requested