I would love to have the opportunity to speak to your group! Below is the list of presentations currently available. Presentations can be personalized to your group and allotted time frame, whether you’re looking for a short meeting presentation, webinar, or full-day workshop. Contact me for more information on fees and arrangements. If you’re looking for a presentation topic not currently listed, contact me and we can discuss your groups needs.

Military

The draft card is one of the most well-known resources for researching your Great War ancestors. But once you’ve located your ancestor’s draft card (or haven’t located it!) where do you look next? Resources highlighted in this presentation will vary from those available online to some lesser-known repositories and museums that attendees may find helpful.

When the men were called to war, what was a girl to do? Roll up her sleeves and show the world the power of women! The advent of war in Europe opened a doorway for women to step through and experience war as they had never experienced it before. They began entering into new areas of service on the home front, and overseas, because of the high demand for fighting forces in Europe. This presentation will explore areas of service women participated in during the war and the records that may provide information a genealogist might find helpful.

Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, America’s official museum dedicated to the Great War. With a world-renowned collection of artifacts and a wealth of information, it’s a little-known research gem. Come learn about the resources available in the Museum’s Research Center, as well as how the Museum’s website and exhibits can assist you in researching your Great War ancestor and provide historical context for your research.

Fraternal Organizations

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…these are the social networks of our century. But social networks have been around since before the digital age. Fraternal organizations were among the original social networks and were a large part of many of our ancestors’ lives. This session will discuss some fraternal organizations your ancestors may have joined along with some of the symbolism associated with the organizations. We will also discuss clues you can look for to determine if your ancestor was a member of a fraternal organization and where to locate resources that may assist you in discovering information about your ancestor’s fraternal life.

Midwest

Situated “smack dab” in the middle of the Midwest, Kansas has a rich history. The journey from lonesome prairie land to bustling metropolitan area has been filled with excitement, discord, and discovery. Its central location ensured that Kansas became a central transportation hub, both for those transporting items East and those who were heading West, some of whom became permanent residents instead of continuing to their intended destinations. A history full of heated politics, frontier living, war, and exploration provides a variety of records. In this session we’ll discuss some of these records, and the repositories where they’re located.

Known as the “Gateway to the West” Missouri has seen people of all ages, from all walks of life, who came west looking for a better life. Some were interested in moving further west and simply passed thru. Many stayed and built their lives in Missouri. From riverboats to ruffians, back roads to bustling cities, and everything in between, Missouri is a state whose history is as varied as its people. This session will explore Missouri’s records and the repositories where they’re located.

The Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 heralded the opening of the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma for settlement. There were a total of four additional land runs held in Oklahoma, each dissecting a different piece of the Unassigned Lands, and each creating records which can provide genealogists with detailed information about the people and land involved. This session will provide a discussion of the catalysts for the beginning of the land runs, each land event (from the first land run in 1889 to the final land auction in 1906), and will discuss records available for researching during these events.

Other Topics

Genealogists often wonder, “why did my ancestor do THAT?!” If you find yourself asking that question during your research, adding historical context to your research may reveal the answer to the question of why. Genealogy and history are not independent of the other, rather they are closely intertwined. But you don’t have to be an expert historian to add context to your research, you simply need to know what resources to look for and where to look for those resources at.

As part of the federal government and having roots all the way back to the Second Continental Congress, records of the United States Postal Service can provide information and context about your ancestor and their community. They are also some of the most under-utilized records in genealogy research. And although it is the most well-known mail service in U.S. history, there’s more to the story of the postal service in America than the USPS as we know it today. From British beginnings to steamboat travels and Pony Express excitement, mail service in the U.S. has an extensive history…and the records to go with it!

For more than 100 years railroads have been changing landscapes, communities, and lives throughout the United States. Bringing together rich and poor, young and old with the promise of adventure and sights unseen. Owners, laborers, engineers, and firemen are just a few of the positions employed by railroads. Genealogists often discover records for railroad employees can be elusive. Once found, however, these records often prove to be genealogical goldmines.

Project management isn’t simply a popular catch-phrase or fancy job title. It’s a practice that can be applied to many areas of our lives…and it’s a perfect tool for genealogy research. In this session we’ll take a look at the basic structure of project management and how to implement it in genealogy research so that it compliments your current organization and documentation structure. A discussion of some of the more popular tools currently being used for project management will be included in the presentation to introduce attendees to a variety of platforms and templates they can utilize in their research.

Cemeteries are among the most popular field trips for genealogists. Tombstones may contain information that can add to or help corroborate names and dates on a family tree. But tombstones can yield more gold than simple facts; they can also contain symbols or other artwork. Known as Iconography, the symbols or artwork on a tombstone were typically carefully chosen by the family of the deceased as a representation of their dearly departed. Understanding the meaning of symbols found on a tombstone may provide clues about your ancestor’s life, beliefs, or activities and can help you add to their story.

Presentation Schedule

5 April 2019
Fraternal Organizations: The Original Social Network
Topeka Genealogical Society 2019 Annual Conference – Topeka, KS

4 May 2019
Beyond the Draft Card: Researching Your Great War Ancestor
Northlands Genealogical Society – Kansas City, MO

10 May 2019
Boomer Sooner! The Run For Land In Oklahoma
National Genealogical Society 2019 Annual Conference – St. Charles, MO

11 May 2019
Footprints on the Plains: Researching Your Kansas Ancestor
National Genealogical Society 2019 Annual Conference – St. Charles, MO

5 August 2019
Fraternal Organizations: The Original Social Network
Scott County, Iowa Genealogical Society – Davenport, IA

2019 – Date TBD
Beyond the Draft Card: Researching Your Great War Ancestor
Johnson County Genealogical Society – Overland Park, KS

27 August 2018
Researching Your Great War Ancestor at the National World War I Museum
Association of Professional Genealogists PMC Webinar Series

7 September 2018
Before Rosie: The Women of the Great War
Genealogy KC – Kansas City, MO

The Art of the Tombstone: Cemetery Art and Symbols
Genealogy KC – Kansas City, MO

Footprints on the Plains: Researching Your Kansas Ancestors
Genealogy KC – Kansas City, MO

8 September 2018
The Art of the Tombstone: Cemetery Art and Symbols
Genealogy KC – Kansas City, MO

Before Rosie: The Women of the Great War
Genealogy KC – Kansas City, MO

Footprints on the Plains: Researching Your Kansas Ancestors
Genealogy KC – Kansas City, MO

10 December 2018
Fraternal Organizations: The Original Social Network
The Villages Genealogical Society Webinar – The Villages, Florida

9 February 2019
Beyond the Draft Card: Researching Your Great War Ancestor
National World War I Museum and Memorial – Kansas City, MO

Testimonials

After attending your presentation, I realize I should be promoting both the National Archives as well as referral to state archives and explain that there are benefits in being thorough with searching for military records. I do appreciate your thorough approach to genealogy.

Lynn W.

Regarding "Beyond the Draft Card: Researching Your Great War Ancestors," presentation given 9 September 2017 at Genealogy KC 2017