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Presentations

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100 Things Genealogists Get Wrong and Why: The Northwest Ordinance opened North America to what became Oregon and Washington. When using search engines include as much as you know for certain about an ancestor. Handwritten information is more reliable then typed information. These other misperceptions can do more than just waste time, they can hang the wrong branch on your tree. JVW

Sharing the Family’s Stories: Many relatives think genealogy is B-O-R-R-R-ING! Unless we capture their interest, we may never know, and they may never recognize, their part in the family’s history. Let’s explore ways to make them allies in gathering the family’s story. BBW

Family History on the Cheap: This presentation demonstrates real world tools and tips for cutting the cost of researching your ancestors. Examples include using eBay, free software, free online resources and collaboration with other researcher. JVW

Capturing Memories in a 3-Ring Binder: A Collaborative Family Project Want to make sure that all your children have copies of important photos? Want to make sure that your grandkids know some of the family stories? Want to share your genealogical research? Can’t afford to publish a “real” book? Here’s what we and our associated families have done toward solving this problem. JVW and BBW

Curlicues & Chicken Scratch: Reading Yesteryear’s Handwriting: Penmanship styles, shortcuts and dialect sometimes make old documents look like chicken-scratch—but these tips will help you read that handwriting. BBW

Migration - Knowing Why Will Help You Learn the Who, When and Where:
This lecture outlines and demonstrates the value of understanding the fundamental motives for migration, immigration, and emigration. Also addressed are the laws, economics and customs for people moving from one place to another, plus where to find sources. JVW

Researching Methodist Records: We're Not Called METHODists for Nothing! Methodist records are better than those of many mainstream Protestant denominations. Learn what records are kept, where to find them, how to access them, and how to decipher the unique terminology used in these records. BBW

What the Pros Know – Tips from 20 Years Working on Other People’s Lines:

This talk is a collection of tips and tricks that I’ve learned in over fifteen years of full-time researching. Some of them save time; others save money, many relate to finding lost or obscure records, but most show how to glean the most from the records we encounter most often. Using real-world examples, I include an open Q&A so you can ask for help with your brick wall. JVW

Identifying Norman's Mother --Overcoming Hazy Memories and Conflicting Records: She was never with a parent or sibling when the census taker came. Vital records are missing, wrong, or in conflict with other data. Her papa's probate didn't name his children. This case study demonstrates how a determined researcher can succeed despite these bumps in the road. BBW

Lost in the Census: Learn how to search more effectively using indexes, search engines, and plain old common sense to find that ancestor who is lost in the census. BBW

Way Down in Missouri: Understanding the Ozarks: Who were the early settlers of the Ozark Mountains? How were they unlike many of their fellow Missourians farther north? Where did those who left go? Helpful background information and tips for all who research Missouri and the Ozarks. BBW

A Systematic Approach to Evidence: The presentation introduces improved concepts for analyzing evidence by the typical genealogist. Learn why thinking of primary and secondary sources isn’t as effective as understanding primary and secondary information. Using “cheat sheets” to learn to think in terms of direct vs. indirect evidence and original vs. derivative sources, this talk is based on material in the special ‘Evidence’ issue of the NGS Quarterly and other readings. An extensive handout and worksheet are included for all who attend. JVW

Was Your Grandmother a Relict? What Do Those Old Words Mean? * If your ancestor had a "good sister," were his other sisters bad? How could a woman have a father-in-law if she never married? Some terms describing kinship, legal status and occupations don't mean now what they meant then. BBW

"Kodak Moments"--Finding the Vital and Not So Vital Events in Your Ancestor's Life: Vital records research basics. Learn where to look for these powerful and fundamental sources, what they can tell, how to spot obscure clues and how to avoid pitfalls. JVW

Indexing is More Than A-B-C: * If it isn't indexed carefully, researchers may miss valuable information in your book. Learn how to create a helpful index. BBW

Rats in the Family Tree: * Every family has a few shady characters, the kind who get hauled into court, chased out of town, thrown out of church and written about in the newspaper. Use the trail these rats leave to gather information about them and your more respectable ancestors as well. BBW

A Pig In a Poke -- Misleading, Misunderstood and Misused Resources: I found her!! ...but is the source right? Sources can be accurate, helpful, misleading, false, and impossible to evaluate. And one source can be all of these. But, which is which? Knowing how to practice healthy skepticism, especially on the Internet, can save time and trouble. Using examples, we'll learn how to glean the gold from the glitter and how to assign surety to our conclusions. JVW

Is It All for Naught? Ensuring That Your Work Survives You: * You’ve documented your ancestors and gathering family memorabilia, but are you doing enough to preserve all of that? Unless we understand which improper practices can destroy our “old stuff,” and unless we learn the computer's strengths and weaknesses, all our effort and much of our family history will be lost. This lecture presents strategies for preserving these resources. JVW

Ya Gotta Know The Territory! *Take a tip from the "The Music Man," "Ya Gotta Know the Territory!" Use the many research aids (no-tech as well as high-tech) to learn about your ancestor's time and place so you can discover where he's hiding. BBW

It Ain't Necessarily So--Myths We Want to Believe: * Myths and truths about using computers in family history research. An update and expansion of the NGSCIG Luncheon speech at NGS97 Valley Forge, this talk lays out useful truths about the value and utility of computers in genealogical research, while addressing some of the shallow myths that need debunking. JVW

What Genealogical Authors Need to Know About Style: Choosing a title, developing a consistent style, formatting pages, dealing with silly sentences produced by genealogy software, coding and collating the index, compiling the front matter--publishing houses have professionals to guide these decisions. Most genealogists don't. These are skills we must learn to make our work present well. This session also suggests where to go for help, questions to ask the printer, and ideas for low cost advertising. BBW

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JVW = Lectures presented by John Vincent Wylie
BBW= Lectures presented by Barbara Brixey Wylie
* = Lectures that have been presented at national conferences (titles and some content may have changed over time)
All lectures are presented using our own digital projector.  
Presentations may be combined for day long seminars.

Please contact us for fees and scheduling.

Last updated 4 Apr 2013