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Upcoming Events

March 21 - 23 2013 RootsTech Genealogy Fair SLC

Mar 16, 2013 - Portland Area PAF Users Group Presents "Blogging and Genealogy Part 2"

Mar 16, 2013 - Oregon Historical Society Presents "Ask a Professional: Question & Answer Session"

April 6, 2013 - Clark County Genealogical Society Spring Seminar.


1940 Census: Searching with and without an Index - Stephen P. Morse 

When the 1940 census was released in April 2012, it did not have a name index. So finding people in the census involved searching by location instead. Now that a name index is available, there are still many reasons for doing locational searches. The census is organized by Enumeration Districts (EDs), so the location needs to be converted to an ED before the census can be accessed. The One-Step website contains numerous tools for obtaining EDs. This talk will present the various tools and show circumstances in which each can be used. It will also demonstrate a tutorial quiz for determining the best tool to use in each specific situation.

Beginning Records and Methodology - Hannah Z. Allan 

Have you just begun to research your family and don't know what records to look at? Perhaps you know your ancestors lived in Oregon in 1880 but you can't find them in the census. This workshop will cover the basic genealogy record types and how to access them, and tricks to finding what you're looking for. Topics Include: Censuses, Vital Records, Cemeteries, and Obituaries.

Breaking Through Brick Wall - Using Timelines in Genealogical Research - Beverly Rice 

Why we use Timelines; how they fit into your genealogical research and the how-to develop the timeline.

Bury the Dead, Not the Living: Organizing and Preserving Records - Hannah Z. Allan 

Have you inherited boxes full of genealogy materials you don't know what to do with? Or perhaps you are in the middle of your research and realize you need tools to help you organize your thoughts and records? Let technology do the work for you! Come learn about various tools and methods to organize it all and free up your brain and office to be a better genealogist and researcher.

Cemetary Research Strategy - Susan LeBlanc 

No two cemeteries are alike. They maintain their records in various methods and processes. Some will willingly share information and others guard information as if their lives depended on privacy issues. How you approach, the staff has a large bearing on the success that you will have.

Censuses: How to Find Them and How to Squeeze Every Bit of Information From Them - Connie Lenzen 

Censuses are one of the first "real" documents that genealogists seek out. They are easy to find on a number of websites. What in the world does it mean "squeeze every bit of infomation from them?" Censuses are good for a lot of things. They can tell the composition of a family, successive places of residence, approximate birth dates, the state or country of birth, approximate marriage dates, the number of children born to a mother, the immigration and naturalization of foreign-born persons, occupations, value of property owned, home ownership, military service, education and disabilities. Even those censuses with mere tally marks have a story to tell.

Church Records in England, Wales and Scotland - Richard Halliday 

A description of the records kept by the Church of England and the Presbyterian (Scotland) Churches. Describe the organization of Parishes and the COE Hierarchy. An averview of the Civil Records subsequently required by the Parliment for the United Kingdom. Also how to research the free civil records indexes and how to order copies of the birth, marriage and death.

Citing Sources; A vital but Neglected Necessity - Richard Halliday 

Genealogy without sources is simply gossip (hearsay). Unless you enter them immediately as you enter the data, you will be doomed to repeat your work. Documenting your genealogy gives you the high ground -- you have proof of what you present.

Colonial Migration Routes - Judith Scott 

Long before the Oregon Trail, colonists followed paths first traveled by animals, Indians, and adventurers, to settle new frontiers. Worn out land, overcrowding, new immigrants and most importantly, the availability of free or low cost land led to surges of migration and mandated new roads through frontier areas. Roads through Virginia, especially the Shenandoah Valley, were the major routes for colonial expansion. Knowing these migration routes and some of the reasons they were traveled may help fill gaps in your ancestors' story and give you a better understanding of their lives.

Computerizing Paper Records & Organizing Computer Files - John Rudnick 

Broad coverage illustrating two topics: (a) converting paper records into computer files, and (b) how to organize computerized records which are easy to maintain and easy to explain to others. (2) Interactive demonstration of presenter's actual organization using examples from his 8,900+ computer files of large range of family history subjects. Questions are encouraged.

Conquer the Challenge of Finding Female Ancestors - Cindy Webb 

Finding females can be the most challenging task in tracing our family history. We will explore different avenues to put you on the road of piecing your family together. Examples will show successful findings of my female ancestors.

Courthouse Records: The Genealogical Value in Dusty Old Books & Files - Keith Pyeatt 

A wealth of genealogical information is crammed between the covers of oversized volumes stacked to the ceilings of courthouses, most of which has never been microfilmed or digitized. These records were created to keep track of events involving your ancestors.

Discovering the Treasures of FamilySearch - Part 1 - Tom O'Brien 

Tom shows you how to make the most out of this free online genealogy research website.

Discovering the Treasures of FamilySearch - Part 2 - Tom O'Brien 

Tom shows you how to make the most out of this free online genealogy research website.

Documenting Sources - Pay me now or pay me later - Brian McCann 

Learn how to annotate sources in computer software or with paper Family Group Sheets. Also learn how annotating sources from the beginning will save you time, energy, and headache in the long run

Family Reunions: Binding Our Families Together - Susan Baird 


Finding Your Ancestor' Stories - Discovering Sources for Biographical Information - Megan Wright 

Learn how to find biographical information on ancestors and use photos and artifacts to obtain genealogical information.

Footprints of Our Wanderers (America to Germany) - Gerald Lenzen 

Careful acquisition and examination of records on this side of the ocean helps determine where your ancestors may have originated on the other side. Learn how to scrutinize oral traditions and correspondence. Identify record types that point to family origins. Backtrack on the trail your ancestors left to their original home.

From DNA to Genetic Genealogy: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask - Stephen P. Morse 

The study of genetics that started with Gregor Mendel's pea experiments in 1865 has now entered the genealogy field with Megan Smolenyak's coining of the term "genetealogy" in 2000. To understand the genealogical aspects requires an understanding of some of the basic concepts. This talk introduces genes, chromosomes, and DNA, and goes on to show how DNA is inherited. That knowledge of inheritance can be used for finding relatives you didn't know you had, learning about your very distant ancestors and the route they traveled, and determining if you are a Jewish high priest (Kohan). Examples presented include Genghis Khan's legacy, the Thomas Jefferson affair, and the Anastasia mystery.

Genealogy Beyond the Y Chromosome: Autosomes Exposed - Stephen P. Morse 

Classical genetic genealogy deals with the Y chromosome and the mitochondrial DNA. The Y chromosome test is for males only and traces the direct male lineage. The mitochondrial DNA test is for everybody and traces the direct female lineage. Recent advances in genetic genealogy make it possible to trace all lineages by testing the autosomes. Although the autosomes can be used to find ethnic mixes as well as recent cousins, it has some limitations.

Genealogy Education - Learn How to Enhance your Research - Susan LeBlanc 

The changing world of genealogical research requires that we continually update our knowledge and skills. To meet this need, there is a wide variety of educational opportunities available, some for no financial cost and some at substantial cost. In this discussion, we will explore what these opportunities are and how to take advantage of them as you discover your family history.

German Migration in the Maelstrom of History - Paul Work 

German settlements in Poland and German emigrations from Germany proper to areas in Poland from 1775 to 1806 and how dramatic historical events influenced the emigration of the German settlers both to and from Poland.

Gone to See the Elephant: The Oregon Trail - Connie Lenzen 

Sights along the Oregon Trail were so fantastic that the travelers often said they were off to see the elephant--another fantastic sight. Topics covered: background, statistics, travel on the Trail, what the emigrants found, biographies, how to find records for your Trail ancestor.

Grand Parenting - Nurturing our Posterity - Susan Baird 


Grandpa Couldn't Take It With Him, So Who Got It? Introduction To Probate Records - Keith Pyeatt 

Records created by the death of an ancestor can provide valuable information to family historians. Probate records are court documents created while settling a decedents estate and have been recorded in America since the first permanent settlement. Learn the genealogical value these records contain and some basics for researching them.

Hard Drive Management - A place for everything and everything in its place - John Rudnick 

Basic concepts and simple examples of how to create family history data files, and how to organize them with easy to understand techniques. Includes 7 rules of hard disc management, basic definitions, naming suggestions for folders & files, max. length for files names, and lastly, characters which are not allowed in naming files. Simple illustrative examples are provided.

Heading to the Courthouse - What to Expect in County Research - Beverly Rice 

An introduction to the different records groups that are held at the county level and how they can benefit your genealogical research.

HELP! I Need to Tame the Papers and Get Organized - Connie Lenzen 

Genealogy produces paper - lots of it. This class addresses the question of what is a simple way of organizing all of the "stuff" so that you are in control. When you know what information you have, it's easier to see what you need.

History for the for the Genealogist: How to Include General History and Use Historical Societies - Hannah Z. Allan 

Unsure how to put the "History" in Family History? Or is the disappearance of your ancestor in 1850 causing you stress at night? General history is the key you're looking for! Come learn tips and tricks and the advantages of nourishing your roots by digging up the past. Topics Include: Solving genealogy road blocks through general history; Adding historical context to your genealogy research; Writing biographies; Resources at the Oregon Historical Society.

How to Begin the Quest of Family History - Barbara Hovorka 

A look at how to get started in family history and genalogy work.

How to Start Your Family Tree and Not Get Overwhelmed - Hannah Z. Allan 

Committed to starting that New Year's resolution of working on your family history? Come learn basic tools and methods for unearthing your family history and starting in the right direction. (Warning: You might enjoy it so much, you won't complete any other new year's resolutions!) Topics Include: Research Steps, Terms & Definitions, FamilyTree Software, Research Logs, Organization, and Where To Start Your Research.

Immigration/Naturalization - Susan LeBlanc 

Questions to answer about your ancestors: When did they come? Where did they come from? How did they travel? With whom did they travel? Where were they going? Why did they come? What did they do when they arrived? Learn where to research for answers and important records to utilize

Indentured Servants - Judith Scott 

Many people attempt to trace their lineage to royalty; they claim they are descendants of Indian princesses, clan leaders of Scotland or Charlemagne himself. The truth is those of us with colonial ancestors are more likely to be descendants of the indentured servants who poured in to the colonies in large numbers. The group we refer to as indentured servants includes those who came willingly to the colonies, and many not-so-willing: convicts, the poor taken off the streets, and many children. Indenture was a way to settle colonies, provide cheap labor, and rid Britain of unwanted citizens. We'll explore their influence on the colonies, and some research resources.

Jewish Genealogical Research - Barbara Hershey 

There are certain quirks that make the same old sources not so helpful when working on Jewish family history. Learn some of the particular circumstances that will make you more effective in your research.

Looking at Census Schedules "Through the eyes of a Beginner" - Beverly Rice 

Are you just beginning? Are you getting the most from census schedules? This lecture starts at square one in the use of census schedules in your family history. The census schedule is an essential resource in genealogical research. This lecture will keep the topic simple and focused to individuals who are "just beginning". The focus will be on the what, when and why of the census schedules and above all how they enrich family history research.

Making Family History Accessable to Children - Elaine Butler 

Learn about the game and filing system we created to store the data, and paper dolls of family members, so children can literally play with those ancestors and build the brain "hooks" to absorb and remember their stories.

Mistaken Identity-How Do I Know I Have the Right Family? - JoAnne Haugen 

Not sure how to determine if you have the "right" family? Careful analysis and interpretation of evidence leads to sound kinship theory. Guidelines for pedigree analysis, a discussion of how to evaluate various kinds of evidence and case examples will demonstrate productive and reliable research methods and how to build a solid case with the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Old News is Good News - John Rudnick 

Accessing, understanding, evaluating old newspapers for their genealogical content. Includes using time saving techniques, and research strategy for microfilmed newspapers. Vast numbers of searchable newspapers are not yet on the Internet! Contains many scanned examples of family data not available anywhere else including all the other traditional research sources.

One-Step Webpages: A Hodgepodge of Lesser-Known Gems - Stephen P. Morse 

This is a sequel to the Potpourri talk (see abstract for that talk). There are too many utilities on the One-Step website to be covered in a single talk, so many of them found their way to the cutting room floor when the Potpourri talk was being edited. However several of those are quite useful. This talk describes those gems that you might not otherwise be aware of. They range from problems with genealogical searches to problems with identity theft to problems with DNA.

Orphan Trains - Judith Scott 

In 1892 or 1893 a little girl about four years old, named Gertrude, was put on a train bound for Nebraska. Gertrude told family members that she was sent to Nebraska on an "orphan train" and was subsequently adopted by a couple in Lincoln. Her story is a compelling mystery for the family to unravel. Even more, it is the story of an estimated 250, 000 children in the United States, who were taken off the streets or from their families, between 1850 & 1930, and sent "west" to be placed out, a social experiment devised by Charles Loring Brace. The history of orphan trains, ways to identify orphan train children, and research resources will be discussed.

Phonetic Matching: An Alternative to Soundex with Fewer False Hits - Stephen P. Morse 

Searching for names in large databases containing spelling variations has always been a problem. One solution, known as soundex, is to encode each name into a number such that names that sound alike will encode to the same number. The search would then be based on finding matching numbers, which results in finding all names that sound like the target name. The "sounds-alike" criteria used in soundex is based on the spelling, with no regard to how the name might be pronounced in a particular language. The phonetic encoding described here incorporates rules for determining the language based on the spelling of the name, along with pronunciation rules for the common languages. This has the advantage of eliminating matches that might appear to "sound alike" under the pure spelling criteria of soundex but are phonetically quite unrelated.

Planning a Successful Genealogical Research Trip - Keith Pyeatt 

Not all records necessary for your research are available on the internet. As costs for fuel and accommodations rise, your ability to plan well becomes increasingly important. Learn how to plan an effective and efficient genealogical research trip to get the most bang for your research buck.

Ports and Shipping Lines - Duane Funk 

Learn about what immigrants into this country experienced in making the journey to and across the US

Preserving Your Priceless Family History & Heirlooms - Shawna Gandy 

Are you the caretaker of your family's historical documents and photographs? This seminar will help you learn how to preserve these special items for future generations. > This workshop is suitable for all levels.

Repairing, Preserving and Archiving Photos - Part 1 - Scott G Edwards 

Using Lightroom 4 and Photoshop to repair, convert, catalog, and archive your photos and scanned documents for use in your family history documentation.

Repairing, Preserving and Archiving Photos - Part 2 - Scott G Edwards 

Using Lightroom 4 and Photoshop to repair, convert, catalog, and archive your photos and scanned documents for use in your family history documentation.

Research Strategies - Tracking Your Family - Susan LeBlanc 

Fast, accurate, and efficient research, is essential in compiling your genealogy. Research strategies ensure a well-organized, thorough, documented family history. Look for the least expensive way to obtain the information you need. Determine what you can do at no cost first, and then select which records you want to obtain.

Scanning Photos and Documents for Use in Family History - Part 1 - Scott G Edwards 

Exploring the equipment and software resources available to successfully sort, scan, organize, and preserve your family history documents and photos. (Discussion prerequisite to hands-on classes).

Scanning Photos and Documents for Use in Family History - Part 2 - Scott G Edwards 

Using VueScan to take the mystery out of scanning photos and documents for use in your family history documentation. (Hands on class - Bring a photo or document that can be used for demonstration).

Shrewd Internet Strategies: Diving Deeper - Peggy Baldwin 

Solve the problems of finding what you looking for, remembering where you found it, and keeping track of the information you find. Learn how search engines work, how to browse when searching doesn't work, capture where you find information using, and capture what you find using Evernote.

Source Sleuthing - Getting more from your sources - Brian McCann 

Extracting more than you thought from the sources you find. Using multiple sources to piece together a bigger picture of your genealogy.

Staying on Track with Research Logs - Hannah Z. Allan 


The Personal Touch - Using Letters & Journals in Your Research - Beverly Rice 

The diaries and letters created by an individual can record vital events or add a personal point of view to your genealogical research. They can open doors to new avenues of research or break down that brick wall. This lecture will provide clues and options for finding these documents, whether in the attic or archives, and then using them in your research.

U.S. Land Records: The Public Land States, or Homage to the Square - Keith Pyeatt 

An introduction to public land states and the Public Land Survey System, a uniquely American creation. When you discover that your great grandfather owned the NE1/4, Sec. 5, T3W, R12E of the 6th P.M., understand what it means. Learn how land records can solve genealogical problems.

Using Collateral Lines - Create a New Picture of Your Family By Using Collateral Lines - Cindy Webb 

A collateral line is a sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin of your direct ancestor. By following collateral lines, we are often given a new picture of our family. Learn why and how to follow other family members lines.

Using maps and Gazetteers to find towns, villages and hamlets - Jewell Dunn 

Using maps and gazetteers to pinpoint a town's location in present and former lands across the pond.

Using Uncommon Sources to Find German Village Origins - Jewell Dunn 

Using records which can be overlooked which are a treasure trove of possible clues to finding an ancestral village. Importance of using all available U.S. sources to gain information on finding an immigrant town location. Using newspapers, photos, state & federal census, and other unconventional records to find vital immigration records.

Wagons Westward - Major Migration Trails of the US - JoAnne Haugen 

What started as a trickle of settlers, turned into a torrent as people made their way west on wagon trails into Oregon and California. How does one find records for these pioneers who traveled the Oregon and California Trails? Important record collections will be discussed such as Territorial Records, State Census,Voter Registration, Donation Land Claims, Historic Newspapers, and the Oregon and California Trail Associations. Other western trails will also be addressed such as the Mormon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Gila Trail, and the Bozeman Trail.