2019 VGA Conference

The Program (registration links at bottom of page)

  • Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 8:45am Eastern to 6:00pm Eastern
  • Registrants will have access to the recordings and handouts for all sessions for 6 months following the conference (until May 3, 2020). Watch any time, any place, on any device.
  • Socialize & network with fellow attendees during the conference via a private Facebook group
  • Conference is held via GoToWebinar. All registrants will receive an emailed link.
  • Closed captioning via Rev.com will be added to recordings of all sessions and will be made available to registrants within 7 days of the live broadcast.
  • Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancellation request is received before October 18; no refund after October 18, 2019.

The Presentations:

(pre-recorded) Judy G. Russell: The Seanachie: Linking Life and Law through Storytelling (Judy explains how rambling through the statute books and other legal records can help us tell the stories of our families with rich detail that won’t be forgotten.)

(pre-recorded) Julie Goucher: How European Surnames Can Help in Genealogical Research (Julie discusses the broad elements of researching European surnames, including factors such as culture, geography, religion, languages (including alphabets and dialects), naming patterns, the merging of surnames, and the benefits of DNA projects.)

Friday, November 1, 2019

8:45am Eastern Katherine R. Willson: Friday welcome
9:00am Eastern Blaine T. Bettinger: Identifying Your DNA Matches’ Secret Identity (Who is that new match with the weird username and no tree? Learn new tricks to identify your matches and build their trees.)
10:30am Eastern Helen V. Smith: Discover Your Family History in Australia (Australia has many resources available for researching your family history but it is essential to know the specific time and place, as this influences what records are available and in which jurisdiction they are held. Helen reminds us that, while many of the most used records for family history have been digitised, many of the specialist or lesser used records are only available in specific repositories, and these records add great depth to your family history.)
12:00pm Eastern Denise May Levenick: Preserving the Past: Archiving & Digitizing Your Family Keepsakes (Denise provides an overview of preservation and digitization techniques for family historians, including best practices for archival storage and fundamentals of digitization of family history papers.)
1:30pm Eastern Ari Wilkins: Incorporating Oral History Into Your Research (Ari demonstrates how oral history can dramatically enhance our genealogical research by providing information that traditional records may not: names, dates, and places of life events, as well as motives for migration, explanations of brief marriages, or descriptions of an ancestor’s personality.)
3:00pm Eastern Bernice Bennett: Writing and Telling Your Story (Do you have a story to tell but don’t know how to write or tell it? Bernice’s session will explore how you can turn your genealogical research into a compelling and engaging family story.)
4:30pm Eastern Daniel Earl: The Next Generation: 5 Tech Tools to Get Your Kids Involved in Family History (Dan combines his experiences as a parent & youth leader, and his professional background in developmental psychology, to examine 5 tools for inspiring the next generation of genealogists, as well as the ‘peak’ times to involve them.)

Saturday, November 2, 2019

8:45am Eastern Katherine R. Willson: Saturday welcome
9:00am Eastern Blaine T. Bettinger: Using DNA Shared Matching for Success (Shared matching is the most powerful tool the testing companies provide. Learn what this tool does and how you can use it to explore your matches.)
10:30am Eastern Lisa Alzo: Timesaving Apps for Busy Genealogists (Lisa gives us a broad review of the best time-saving apps & tools for Android and iPhone/iPad platforms to get a handle on backed-up research or photo-scanning projects, society meetings and conferences, and never ending “to-do” lists.)
12:00pm Eastern Christine Woodcock: Online Sources for Scottish Research (Christine shares the many online resources for finding your Scottish ancestors.)
1:30pm Eastern Peggy Clemens Lauritzen: Hidden Gems in the FamilySearch Wiki (The FamilySearch Wiki is one of the best-kept secrets of FamilySearch, containing tens of thousands of pages to assist you in researching your family history. Peggy shows us how this powerful and robust tool can bring the world to your fingertips.)
3:00pm Eastern Nicka Smith: BlackProGen LIVE! (Nicka shares the history, the platform, the challenges, and the rewards of running BlackProGen LIVE!)
4:30pm Eastern Gena Philibert-Ortega: Finding Images to Tell the Story of Your Ancestors (Even if you were not lucky enough to inherit pictures of your ancestors, you can illustrate their story with images as Gena reveals places to find images and how to incorporate them into your ancestral stories.)

Sunday, November 3, 2019

8:45am Eastern Katherine R. Willson: Sunday welcome
9:00am Eastern Marcel Elias: The Myths of German Research (Were all German records destroyed? Was there a Germany before 1871? Is it easy or hard to find a Heinrich Müller from Germany? Join Marcel as he discusses the myths of German research.)
10:30am Eastern Michelle Tucker Chubenko: Eastern European Ancestry in Galicia and Bukovina (Michelle helps us discover resources & records for researching the Austro-Hungarian Empire Provinces of Bukovina and Galicia [today’s Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine]).
12:00pm Eastern Ursula C. Krause: On This Day Appeared Before the Registrar: German Civil Records (Ursula guides us on where to find (and how to access) the German civil records established in January 1876. We will look at the information they hold, the importance of looking at the handwritten side remarks, and dealing with the strict German privacy laws.)
1:30pm Eastern Colleen Robledo Greene: Researching Hispanic Genealogy (Colleen’s overview explains Hispanic genealogy concepts, immigration to and migration within the U.S., researching their lives in the U.S. and in the homeland, and key reference tools.)
3:00pm Eastern Audrey Collins: Introduction to English Civil Records (Everyone researching ancestors in England or Wales since 1837 needs to use the civil registers of birth, marriage and death. Audrey explains how the records were created so we can make the best use of them – ideally without spending too much money!)
4:30pm Eastern Jen Baldwin: Findmypast: Your Source for British and Irish Records (Jen provides a beginner’s guide to the Findmypast website and historical records collection.)

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