FxGS Annual Spring Conference

Each year, FxGS holds a 2 day conference in the spring.  These conferences have traditionally been well-attended and well received with nationally known speakers, special interest tracks, mini-lectures and various vendor booths. Usually held at a nearby hotel, meals and rooms are easily obtainable by the attendees.  The cost of the conference is reasonable, running $75.00 to $100.00 for both days. 
 
We also have opportunities for you to have one-on-one consultations with some of our speakers and other experts.  See Consult the Experts on the left margin.
 
The date for the 2015 conference is March 27 and 28 at the Fairfax Marriott at Fair Oaks.
 
Tips and Tricks for Researching the Mid-Atlantic and European Connections
 
The following is a tentative Conference Program:
 
Friday, 27 March 2015
Using Genealogical Evidence to Break Through Research Barriers – Tom Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F11) The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames.  This case study will explain how missing, erroneous, and altered records were overcome to identify the parents of an orphan named Jones. Attendees will learn research strategies that they can use to solve their own common-surname problems.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
 
(F12) Can a Complex Research Problem be Solved Solely Online? Step by step, attendees will suggest online sources and research strategies for tracing an ancestor who seems to disappear and reappear. The interactive case study will show both how such cases can be solved online and the limits of material online today.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F15) Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and HowLearn essential principles and structures for documenting both genealogical research in progress and finished products. The session will describe five characteristics making a citation “complete and accurate,” showing the basis for conclusions and facilitating backtracking.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F16) Elements Essential for a Polished Family History.  Attendees will learn about clear and structured writing, genealogical organization and format, and other aspects giving family histories meaning, respectability, and lasting value.
 
Pennsylvania Research – Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, MLS
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F21) Rooting for Your Roots in Pennsylvania.  An introduction to resources for family history research in Pennsylvania, beginning with an overview of Pennsylvania record-keeping and focusing on sources for vital records, church and cemetery records, newspapers, and city directories. Repositories such as courthouses, state archives, and libraries will be reviewed
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F22) Genealogical Resources in Western Pennsylvania.  An introduction to research and repositories for family history in Western Pennsylvania, beginning with an overview of Pennsylvania records and focusing on sources for vital records, church and cemetery records, newspapers, and city directories. Major libraries and depositories will be highlighted, as well as specialized collections in local historical societies, colleges, and universities.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F25) Research in the Courthouse.  A discussion of the variety of records available at the county courthouses in Pennsylvania and how to access them.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F26) PA Vital Records.  A discussion on locating and accessing vital records in Pennsylvania in local, county, and statewide repositories.
 
Continuing Genealogical Research in the 21st Century – Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., CG
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F31) Organize and Manage Your Research or It Will Overwhelm You.  Researching our ancestors produces a lot of information and often a lot of records.  Managing both the information and the records is not hard; it just takes a little effort.  Ways to manage research include paper-filing systems, computer programs, and record forms.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F32) Don’t Make These Mistakes.  Often researchers cause their own research problems by making assumptions.  These assumptions are the reason they may not look at records.  They incorrectly assume they will not find the answers they seek in the records.  In other cases they limit the records they search.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F35) Understanding the Records and What are They Telling You.  If you attend a church today, you will usually sit in a “pew.’  But did the word “pew” mean the same thing to your colonial ancestor as it does to you?  Over time the definitions of words have changed and to understand our ancestor’s lives we need to understand the meaning of the words they used.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F36) Help!: Where Do I Go from Here?.  Planning the next steps in your research is critical to saving time and researching successfully.  Those just getting started doing genealogical research often are unsure how to proceed with searching for their ancestors.  Today, they may purchase a genealogy program and believe it will help them to keep track of their research and plan future research.  Although they may be helpful, genealogy programs may not be the best way to plan your research.
 
North Carolina Research – Diane L. Richard
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F41) North Carolina Research Overview.  Understanding context is critical to knowing what records might have been created in or regarding North Carolinians, what records might survive and where/how these records might be stored.  This talk examines select elements of history, geography and administration which can greatly impact your NC research.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F42) North Carolina County Records.  Much research in NC takes place in records created by each county. The talk covers the various types of county records created (though not necessarily extant for all counties). These records are invaluable and the cornerstone to any NC research plan. Though "many" county-created NC records are held centrally at the State Archives of NC (often short-handed to NC Archives, NCA), not all records are held by NCA.  Some records are still held in the county (courthouse or register of deeds office).  Some records are online.  Some are not. The talk will discuss where these records are available. 
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F45)  North Carolina Repositories.  Though many records have become available online, many, many, many more records are available offline.  As discussed in the North Carolina County Records talk, some North Carolina county (as well as state & colonial records) are online though many more are not.  There are several other large repositories in the state which hold unique record collections of interest to researchers.  The talk covers the holdings of a few of these repositories, what is online, and what requires an in-person visit.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F46) Let's Not Forget NC-Specific Native and African-American Records.  As a state with a history of native and enslaved individuals, many descendants of whom still live in North Carolina, though many migrated elsewhere, find that they have roots in North Carolina’s native and/or enslaved populations.  There are some NC records unique to those who were identified as "Indian" or enslaved and many more which have a particular utility to discovering such ancestry. 
 
Military Research – Craig Scott, CG, FUGA
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F51) Researching an Ancestor with Service in the Mexican War.  How to properly research a Mexican War ancestor during the war and after.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F52) Virginia in the Civil WarHow to properly research a Virginian Civil War ancestor during the war and after
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F55) Researching an Ancestor with Service in the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection. How to properly research a Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection ancestor during the wars and after.
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F56) Researching an Ancestor with Service in the World WarsHow to properly research a World War ancestor during the wars and after.
                                                                                                               
 
Online Genealogy - Lisa A. Alzo, MFA
2:00-3:00 p.m.
(F61) The Interactive Genealogist.  Genealogical research in the 21st century is no longer just a solitary activity performed in the dark corner of a library or courthouse. Technology and the Internet have opened up the world to family history sleuths. This talk will demonstrate how to utilize the new interactive components of some of the major genealogy sites to build family trees, find cousins and share information. Specific tips for how to “make the Web work for you to advance your family history research will be emphasized.
3:15-4:15 p.m.
(F62) The Evidence! Following Online Clues to Solve Your Family History Mysteries.  The Internet can often be the place to start searching for clues to our family history mysteries. This talk will illustrate a step-by-step research plan to search the Internet and get results, how to set realistic expectations and work through false leads and online pitfalls, and how to recognize the shortcomings for relying on the Internet for genealogical information and work around them to follow the clues and track even your most elusive ancestors. Sample case studies will be presented.
6:00-7:00 p.m.
(F65) Websites You Might be Missing.  Just about everyone in the genealogical community knows about the commercial sites and other “heavy hitters” for online research. This session will discuss some useful family history web sites or databases that typically fly “under the radar” and a few cool tools and applications to help make the research more productive (and fun)! Talk will include a demonstration of several selected sites (as many as time permits).
7:15-8:15 p.m.
(F66) Timesaving Apps for Busy Genealogists.  “So many ancestors; so little time.”  If you find yourself repeating this mantra, come learn about the best timesaving apps and tools to help you get a handle on those backed-up research or photo-scanning projects, society meetings and conferences, and never ending “to-do” lists! Session will include a broad review of online tools, as well as apps for Android and iPhone/iPad platforms.
 
 
 
Saturday, 28 March 2015
Pennsylvania Research, A View from the State Archives - Jonathan R. Stayer
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S11) Genealogical Resources at the Pennsylvania State Archives.  Located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital city, the Pennsylvania State Archives holds a wealth of resources for those researching their family history.  Learn about vital records, county records, state censuses, military rolls, land warrants and patents, maps, colonial ships’ lists, naturalization documents, occupational records and many other helpful materials available at the Archives through an engaging presentation illustrated with original documents
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S12) Pre-1790 Oaths of Allegiance and Naturalizations in Pennsylvania. For the colonial and Revolutionary periods, the Pennsylvania State Archives holds lists of Germanic immigrants arriving in the port of Philadelphia, records of naturalizations authorized by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and records of oaths taken by those swearing loyalty to the new Revolutionary government.  The available sources and their accessibility will be discussed.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S15) Military Records at the Pennsylvania State Archives & Some Related Resources. From the time of the French and Indian War, Pennsylvania contributed troops to serve in the wars of the United States.  Learn about records at the Pennsylvania State Archives that document this service and about how to access them in original and digital form
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S16) Understanding the State Land Records of Pennsylvania –Warrants, Surveys & Patents.  Pennsylvania land warrants, surveys and patents provide evidence of an ancestor’s settlement.  These “records of original title“ document the sale of land from William Penn and the Commonwealth government to the first owners of property in Pennsylvania.  The records and their indexes as well as methods for accessing them will be discussed.
 
German Research – Michael D. Lacopo D.V.M.
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S21) Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants. If all you know from conventional records is “Germany” as a place of origin, then this lecture will help you mine other resources to locate WHERE in Germany your ancestor came from.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S22) How to Overcome Brick Walls in German-American Research Part 1. Several case studies will be presented showing lesser-utilized research tactics, repositories and resources used to find information about our German-speaking ancestors.  Information presented will be associated mostly with 19th and 20th century Germans.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S25) How to Overcome Brick Walls in German-American Research Part 2.  Several case studies will be presented showing lesser-utilized research tactics, repositories and resources used to find information about our German-speaking ancestors.  This lecture mainly covers research tactics for 18th century (colonial) Germans.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S26) German Genealogy and the Internet. The Internet age has brought genealogy to our fingertips over the last two decades, and subsequently we can find our German ancestors easier. But it still takes some digging and some know-how. This lecture will discuss some online sites that all German genealogists should be aware of. American sites will be covered, but a strong concentration on lesser used German sites will be discussed, as we are missing vital clues by not being truly “international” in our Internet research endeavors!

Finding Your Irish Ancestors – Joseph Buggy
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S31) Finding your Irish Townland of Origin: Research in the U.S. and Ireland.  The millions of Irish who came to the United States in the 19th century did not make it easy for their descendants to find where they came from in Ireland. Finding their townland of origin is the ultimate aim of anyone with Irish ancestry. If you have already combed through the census, searched vital records, written away for Church records, and scrutinized the city directories, only to find "from Ireland", then this talk is for you.  Firstly, the focus is on Irish genealogical research in America. Relevant strategies for breaking through brick walls will be discussed in detail. This will be coupled with records and sources where you can find the Irish place of origin. Then the focus switches to Ireland, with an explanation of the main genealogy record sets: civil registration, parish registers, tax records, censuses, and criminal/legal records. This important focus on the past will be coupled with current developments in Irish genealogy, in the shape of the best books, blogs, and websites.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S32) Advanced Irish Genealogy: Delving Further into Irish Sources.  Irish genealogy has a reputation for being difficult. When a researcher begins to grapple with sources in Ireland, they focus on census, vital (birth, marriage, death), parish register, tax, and criminal/legal records. But what is available when these sources have been exhausted? Are there other records to conducted research in or did the infamous Civil War explosion and fire in 1922 take care of all that?  This advanced Irish genealogy talk will outline what other records are available and where you can find them, both online and in an archive. If you have not heard about the Reproductive Loan Funds, Cancelled Land Books, Chief Secretary's Office Registered Papers, or George Bassett's county directories, then this talk is for you.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S35) Cemetery and Headstone Research in Ireland.  One of the best local resources for Irish genealogy is cemetery/headstone research. However, being in the U.S. presents the quandary of not being able to visit a particular cemetery in Ireland with ease. With that in mind this talk focuses on resources to overcome this problem. You will be shown how to find both new and old graveyards anywhere in Ireland, what comprehensive and area specific headstone transcriptions are available, how you can get the headstone transcriptions, and how to access burial registers. Nothing can surpass the feeling of standing at the burial place of an ancestor in Ireland and this talk will provide you with the tools to find the information to do just that.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S36) Planning a Genealogy Trip to Ireland.  Getting on a plane and traveling to Ireland to conduct genealogy research has the potential to be immensely rewarding or incredibly frustrating. It's somewhat a step into the unknown, with many researchers needing a number of trips to find their ancestors. This talk aims to help you extract the maximum amount of worthwhile research, leaving you more time to see the spectacular landscape and get to know the Irish people. How can archaeological societies be good for your genealogy research and bank holidays be bad? How can you find that ninety year old woman who knows the history of all the families in the parish? The answers to these questions, and more, will be provided.
 
 
Eastern European Research – Lisa A. Alzo, MFA
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S41) Ten Ways to Jumpstart Your Eastern European Research.  Curious about your East European roots but don’t know where to begin?  This session will show you how to “jumpstart your genealogy!” Learn the basics of how to investigate your family’s history using both traditional and online sources. Discover which records to tap into to identify your ancestral village, and how history impacts genealogical research. Tips for contacting possible relatives and writing to foreign archives, as well as strategies for overcoming the most common pitfalls and problems, will also be discussed
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S42) Crossing the Pond: Successful Strategies for Researching Eastern European Ancestors in Foreign Records and Repositories.  Many people get interested researching their Eastern European ancestors because they want to learn more about where their family came from—specifically, to find out which ancestors came over from the “old country” and when. To “cross the pond,” you need to know the name of the town or village where your ancestor lived. This session will review how to identify your ancestor’s place of origin, and how to begin exploring resources in the home country and find your family in foreign records. A brief overview of how to locate and access records in various Eastern European churches, archives, and other repositories will be provided.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S45) Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present and Future.  There are a handful of “cluster” immigrant communities throughout the United States that blossomed during the immigration influx of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Exploring “cluster genealogy”—the process of researching those relatives, friends, and neighbors who lived near an ancestor—can often break down brick walls in the search for individual family lines and help to place our ancestors’ lives in historical context. For those descendants who’ve moved away from such traditional immigrant enclaves, 21st-century technology can be used to rebuild “cluster communities” in the virtual world. This lecture will cover: How to identify chain migrations/cluster communities using key records; ways to share and collaborate with other researchers, and the benefits, pitfalls, and obstacles associate with a shift to “virtual” cluster communities; and how to use tools such as social networking sites, Wikis, etc. to build online genealogical communities.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S46) How to Overcome Brick Walls in Eastern European Research.  Research in Eastern Europe can be a challenging process.  Sorting out surnames, trying to identify ancestral hometowns, and deciphering old country records to connect families are just a few of the obstacles often encountered along the way. Through sample case studies, this session will demonstrate lesser-utilized research tactics, and discuss repositories and key resources used to locate information about your elusive Eastern European ancestors.
 
I Didn’t Know Those Records Were There- Sharon Hodges
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S51)  School Days, School DazeSchool may not have been your favorite place, but uncovering what these records may hold could change your mind.  This session will describe the types of school records you may find, what they may hold (each locale may have different information) and where to find them.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S52) Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work I GoSmall business owners to large corporations, professionals and the self-employed, even Southern plantation owners had to keep records.  Private businesses have created a variety of records which in turn lead to records created about them by others. The information contained in these records can be useful in adding more historical content to your family tree.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S55) The Poor, Misplaced and Misunderstood (Institutional Records).  Sometimes our ancestors seem to go “missing.”  We don’t want to believe they may have been in some sort of distress, financial or otherwise, but these types of records should not be overlooked as they may supply the answers to finding “missing” ancestors.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S56) Behind the Ivied Walls.  Genealogists use courthouse records, go to archives and to libraries, but often forget that colleges and universities may hold the answer too many questions.  Learn what types of records might be found behind the ivied walls.
 
African-American Research – Char McCargo Bah
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S61) Researching the Descendants of African Americans in a Civil War Cemetery.  This lecture will highlight the research processes in locating Descendants of African Americans in a Civil War Cemetery.  The lecture will focus on some of the genealogical tools in locating 21stCentury descendants in an Urban Civil War Cemetery.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S62) Community Research –Researching Urban African Americans From the 18thCentury to the 20th Century in their Neighborhood Part 1. This lecture will focus on researching an Urban African American neighborhood over a period of 200 years.  A variety of genealogical tools will be used to research this neighborhood and the people who lived there.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S65) Community Research –Researching Urban African Americans From the 18thCentury to the 20th Century in their Neighborhood Part 2. This lecture will focus on researching a Rural African American neighborhood over a period of 200 years.  A variety of genealogical tools will be used to research this neighborhood and the people who lived there.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S66) Developing a Genealogical Profile on Your Ancestors. This lecture is focused on developing a time-line into a genealogical profile of your research. This profile will enhance your research as well as prepare you to write about you ancestor. A systematic case study will be used to show the audience the methods of developing a time-line into a genealogical profile.