Noeth Family, Buffalo, NY, 1901
Every family has stories about their roots, but are they true? Professional genealogist John Colletta provides practical information and time-saving advice to get you started on the adventure of discovering your personal history. Unraveling the past from scraps of evidence in old records, maps, newspapers, and photographs is fascinating detective work, but linking generation to generation is only half the challenge. Learning about your ancestors as human beings filled with goals and aspirations, personality quirks, and character flaws is the other half. By reconstructing their lives, you learn about who you are and why—because it’s all in the genes.
9:30–10:45 a.m. Essential Groundwork
Interviewing relatives; exploiting family sources, such as photographs, birth, marriage, and death certificates, family Bibles, and mementoes; utilizing the Internet; and making the most of the Library of Congress.
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Our Fabulous National Archives
Population censuses, military service records, and records of immigration and naturalization.
12:15–1:30 p.m. Lunch (participants provide their own)
1:30–2:45 p.m. Exploring Ancestral Territory
Marriage and real estate records; probate files and legal records in the county courthouse; cemetery and religious records.
3–4:15 p.m. Honing Your Skills
Evaluating evidence found in old records, determining kinship, and assembling your materials for a final narrative on paper or online.
Colletta, a faculty member of two leading genealogy institutes, conducts workshops and lectures nationally on genealogy topics.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)