I give programs for local groups, societies, and libraries on a variety of family history topics. Here is a list of available programs:
Becoming American: Research with Naturalization Records
Although one of the most important tools in family history research, naturalization records can often be very difficult to locate. This program will explore naturalization records, the many tools available to assist you in your research, and successful strategies to locate citizenship records, utilizing both online and print resources.
Beyond Names and Dates: Adding the “Story” to Your Family History
Our ancestor’s lives are so much more than just names and dates on a pedigree chart. This program will explore record collections and examples beyond the basics that can provide rich detail and reveal fantastic stories about your ancestors’ lives.
Big City Blues? Researching Urban Ancestors
Using case studies from Chicago, Detroit, and other cities, this program will explore successful strategies for researching ancestors in large urban centers across the U.S.
The Buckeye State: Researching Your Ohio Ancestors
This session, aimed at researchers whose ancestral trails extend to and from Ohio, will provide an overview of the rich and abundant genealogical resources available in print and online.
The Circle of Life: Research with Vital Records
This program will explore records of birth, marriage, divorce, and death, their genealogical content, research strategies to identify exact event dates, and give specific examples of online indexes and records from across the United States.
Collateral Gold: A World War I Case Study
Don’t forget the collateral lines! This case study program will explore the records of a collateral World War I veteran and the amazing stories revealed about the life of the direct-line ancestor.
Coming to America: Research with Ship Passenger Lists
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.
Continuing Your Ancestral Search Offline
Despite the ever-increasing amount of information available online, researchers still need to utilize libraries, archives, courthouses, cemeteries, and other locations. This program will explore resources not typically found online as well as onsite research strategies for identifying and locating them.
Fraternal Organizations: Records and Resources
Fraternal memberships are an often overlooked part of our ancestors’ lives. This session will explore the secret societies and their records, particularly the Masons and the Grand Army of the Republic.
Genealogy for Free: Free Web Sites for Researchers
With so much genealogical content now available online for free, researchers don’t have to break the bank to find information on their ancestors. This program will explore several of the most popular free sites, including FamilySearch and Cyndi’s List, as well as a number of the lesser-known, yet equally valuable, tools.
Getting Started: Researching Your Family’s Heritage
With so much information available online and at the library, getting started on your family history has never been easier. This program will explore key resources, including census records and newspapers, online tools and databases to assist you in your research, and successful strategies for finding your elusive ancestors.
Michigan Online: Family History Tools for the Great Lakes State
This session will explore key Michigan online genealogy resources, including both popular and lesser-known sites, as well as effective search strategies for Michigan research.
Midwest Repositories & Online Collections
The Midwest is full of archives and libraries bursting with genealogical records and online content. This session will explore some of the key research institutions and their collections.
Mitten Roots: Family History Research in Michigan
Drawn by high-paying manufacturing jobs and inexpensive land, thousands of people from all over Europe and the United States, including the Deep South, New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, migrated to Michigan during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This session, aimed at researchers whose ancestral trails extend to and from Michigan, will explore these migration patterns and provide an overview of the rich and abundant genealogical resources available in print and online.
Navigating the 1890 Gap: Research with State Census Records
Given the near-total loss of the 1890 U.S. Census, state census records frequently serve as an effective substitute. This program will explore these underutilized resources, focusing primarily on the available schedules from across the United States from that time period.
Over the Top: Researching Your Michigan World War I Ancestor
This program will explore the fabulously rich record collections and resources, many of them state-specific, available for Michigan World War I servicemen.
Perilous Assumptions: Revisiting Those First Finds
Despite the best of intentions, many family history researchers – particularly as beginners – make incorrect assumptions about records that don’t “fit.” This program will explore false assumptions, revisiting those mistakes, and the family history discoveries that may await.
Researching Your Family’s History at the Archives of Michigan
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.
Researching Your Polish-American Ancestors
Researchers interested in their Polish roots are faced with a unique set of challenges, from the language to the infinite spelling variations and the shifting boundaries on the map. This program will explore these challenges, important American sources, both print and online, and research strategies that can shed light on your ancestral town in Poland.
Settling the Midwest: Migration to the Great Lakes Region
This session will explore the migratory paths to and from the Midwest, the many ethnic groups that settled here, and what records are available that help tell their story.
Stuck? Research Strategies for Those Brick Wall Ancestors
We all have them, those ancestors that resist discovery. Using successful examples, this program will discuss research strategies, using print and online resources, to employ in locating those elusive ancestors.
Utilizing Fold3 at the Library and from Home
Fold3 is an interactive repository of images of original documents, many from the National Archives, including naturalization records, city directories, and Civil War service records. Named after a traditional flag folding ceremony in honor and remembrance of veterans, the database now emphasizes its outstanding collection of military records and indexes.
Utilizing Newspapers to Locate Obituaries
Obituaries are among the most important resources in family history research, yet they often prove to be the most difficult to find. This program will explore how to identify existing print indexes for local newspapers, take advantage of online resources, and utilize other resources that can serve as an alternative stuff to provide with a lack of an index.
Wills, Thrills, and Chills: Digging into Probate Records
This session will provide an overview of probate records, the different types of records created, including wills, inventories, and calendars, the family history content to be discovered, and where to find them online and onsite.
Are you interested in something not listed above? Let me know, I’m always working on something new!
kris [dot] rzepczynski [at] gmail [dot] com