You’ve got some time yet… It’s still Family History Month, which means there are tons of genealogy educational opportunities stretching right into November. And (yes, you’ve heard this from me before) I strongly encourage everyone to get out and attend as many of them as you can. I always, always, learn something new—whether I’m attending or presenting.

For example, I had a wonderful experience presenting in Fort Wayne as part of ACPL’s Genealogy Center’s 31 days of genealogy programming last week, but my evening session looking at my experiences and approach to researching my African American ancestry led to a total change in my research plans for the next day when one of the attendees pointed out a resource I hadn’t realized the Center held—Thank you Roberta, Melissa, and Cynthia each for pointing me in the right direction! I will be transcribing Bradley County slave related court documents for weeks.


Then, on Saturday, I attended Western Michigan Genealogical Society’s annual Got Ancestors! program. This year’s featured speaker was Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List and I got a great deal out of her programs “Striking Out on Their Own: Online Migration Tools and Resources” and “Building a Digital Research Plan.” The first offered a neat list of mapping resources I haven’t tried while the other offered a nice focused approach for laying out a research plan. But the day was also just a fun one for connecting with people and trading ideas.

I have no doubt that you can look around your community and find genealogy events, but if you’re in my neck of the woods here’s a sampling of some of the great family history related programming you can still catch:

On Saturday, October 23rd, CADL South Lansing Library will be hosting “Family History Hunt” a Genealogy Roadshow-inspired presentation with patrons tapping your friendly local librarian’s for suggestions on where to turn next in their research.

Consider the possibilities offered by a two hour drive down to the ACPL’s Genealogy Center… There are still 14 more days of programs including, “A  Day with Juliana Szucs” (from this Saturday, October 22nd, or their Midnight Madness extended research hours on October 28th including three 30 minute classes. For more information on programs, check out their calendar.

Western Wayne County Genealogical Society has a day seminar on November 5th with topics including organizing your records and planning a research trip.

The Michigan Genealogical Council’s annual fall seminar will feature DNA expert, Blaine Bettinger speaking on assorted genetic genealogy related topics, along with bunch of other great presenters.

Take advantage of these great programs! Step away from the computer and go learn something new!

Happy hunting!


I am a woman of my word… Last year I posted that if the Archives of Michigan hosted a Genealogy Lock-in I’d be there in a heartbeat… and I was.

Yesterday was day one of the annual Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar. I started the afternoon delivering what I  hope was a though-provoking and humorous session basically on mistakes I’ve made so other people wouldn’t have to. It was a fun and responsive group and I hope even the veteran researchers got something out of it.

After my session I dropped in on Lori Fox’s session on “Filling in the Blanks” which offered good advice about getting the stories behind the names and dates. I have a list of family stories I’m always meaning to get written down. Some of them make it into this blog, but others I haven’t written up and I know I should. I’m also one of those people that has felt that I have time to work on my part of the family story later. But we never know what will happen day to day. So I’m going to try and take Lori’s advice and get some of my stories down for my family.

And this evening I attended the Archives of Michigan’s first Genealogy Lock-In which went off great from my perspective. We had a pizza dinner down in the lounge where I got to connect with some of my fellow WMGS bus trippers and then I spent a lovely evening largely working on my Grove/Long families from Summit Co, Ohio surrounded by fun and amusing fellow researchers. I think the staff spent a lot of time running around but they were attentive and it never really felt like there were excessive backups in getting help. There probably were a few technical hitches (somehow there’s never enough plugs for all our gadgets) but it felt like a very successful evening. I hope they do it again!

And I hope everyone got some rest. We’re in for another day packed with information!

Happy hunting!