Archives to Offer Genealogy Workshop

Annual Genealogy Workshop

Join us in the Archives on October 15, 2021 for one or all of eight streamed genealogy programs organized statewide by the Waco Public Library. This will be the fifth year for the Museum and Archives to host the event in La Grange. Registration is required in advance. Please contact us at to register or for more information.

10:00 – 10:50 am
NARA Mythbusters: Your Family IS in the Archives, 
Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL, The Legal Genealogist  
Sponsored by: Friends of Corpus Christi Public Libraries
Difficulty: Beginner
“All the military records were burned in the fire.” “There isn’t any birth, marriage or death information in federal records.” “There aren’t any details about ordinary families at the National Archives.” These kinds of myth-statements stop genealogist from breaking down all kinds of brick walls using the wealth of information in NARA records. Join the mythbusters with the treasures the National Archives holds for your family.

11:00 – 11:50 am
Methodology: Using Timelines to Focus Your Research
Susan Ball, President TxSGS
Difficulty: Beginner
The most important tool you can use to research your ancestor is a timeline. Learn how to construct a timeline for your ancestor and use it to uncover previously overlooked avenues for research.

12:00 – 1:15 pm
Beginning Genealogy Workshop
Kathy Huber, MLS, Director of the Tulsa Genealogy Center, Hardesty Public Library
Difficulty: Beginner
This workshop will explain the steps necessary to begin your family history research and introduce useful records that will assist you in getting started on the right tract.  Exploring some basic genealogy research records, we'll discuss how to locate and use them to your advantage.  Bring lunch and join us for this informative and fun workshop.

1:25 – 2:30 pm
So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG  
Sponsored by: Waco-McLennan County Library
Difficulty: Intermediate
Finding your ancestor’s town of origin can be exciting. Once this piece of information is found, you might be left wondering how to get records from the other side of the ocean. This lecture focuses on how to get records for German towns. Highlights include: verifying the location, strategies for identifying misspelled town names, finding historical jurisdictions, finding records for that town, useful aids for reading those records, tips for hiring a professional genealogist in Germany, when necessary.

2:40 – 3:35 pm
Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key
Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF Manager, The Genealogy Center Senior Manager, Special Collections, Allen County Public Library
Difficulty: Beginner
Explore how the concept of “America, the Great Melting Pot” may really be a flawed concept. Identifying the ethnic group of one’s ancestor or potential ancestor can pay some significant research dividends. Topics covered include how to build a historical context for one’s ancestor, studying population clusters, paying attention to patterns of all sorts (naming, migration, settlement, etc.), understanding the motivations of migration, and locating resource repositories.

3:45 – 5:00 pm
Attacking 18th and 19th Century Mysteries with DNA,
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., The Genetic Genealogist
Sponsored by: Waco-McLennan County Library
Difficulty: Intermediate
Did you know that you have an arsenal of Secret DNA Weapons at your fingertips? These tools can help you attack those mysteries from the 1900s and 1800s! Learn how to harness the power of Shared Matching to pull out matches related via a mystery ancestor, how to build Research Trees to quickly identify common ancestry, and more!

5:10 – 6:00 pm
Filling in the Family Stories
Susan Kaufman, Senior Manager, Houston Public Library, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
Difficulty: Beginner
This presentation, through examples of sources, will help you to understand the context in which your family lived, celebrated, cooked, listened to music, and other daily activities that all help provide the stories that make our families come alive. Stories in context go beyond just a name, date and place on a pedigree chart. Social history helps us to better understand lives, provides context to our research, adds interest to the pedigree chart and can also lead to additional records.

6:10 – 7:00 pm
Discover Genealogical Treasure Using Historic U.S. Maps
Hannah Kubacak, Genealogy Librarian, Genealogy Center Waco-McLennan County Library
Difficulty: Intermediate
Maps provide a valuable tool for understanding the world as it was when our ancestors were living. Explore a variety of resources for finding and using historic maps. A few of the maps to be discussed during this presentation will include Fire Insurance maps, county boundaries, Public Land Survey System maps, and land grants.