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Researching Your Genealogy: A Journey of Self-Discovery

All-Day Program

Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Code: 1M2055

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)