Free Legacy Family Tree Webinar Oct 25: State level censuses of the Midwestern and Plains States

Mark your calendar, sign up for free, and join me for an October 25th afternoon webinar titled:

Midwestern & Plains States Level Census Records

Many Midwestern and Plains states have superb state census records. Learn about the indexes, the many personal details these censuses include, locating the censuses, and alternate sources. The lecture includes many specific examples from these enumerations, provides an overview of state censuses for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, and indicates where they may be found. Does your state have a 1945 state census? The personal details vary but may include names of children, maiden names, military service, religious denomination, mother of how many children, occupation, value of real estate, and other helpful details.

These censuses have many cool details helpful in our research. I wish all were the same for all these states, but some are not up to par with others. But even without the magnificent ones that some states took, the others can still provide help. This webinar includes an extensive handout.

Wednesday, October 25 2017


Can’t join us that day or the few days the recording is freely available? Become a Family Tree Webinar member to view this webinar later and the many others that have been presented. If you later need to review one or more, a membership gives you unlimited opportunities!

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More presentations for Family History Month in CA, WI, WA, and a webinar!

My blog has been pretty quiet recently. All is good, though. A fun house guest, time with a descendant, doing presentations, intense client work, and getting ready for many upcoming presentations to close out Family History Month.

Yes, that last one is in November, but we can still celebrate Family History!

Click on the links in the lines above to register.



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Join me in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for two days of genealogy education with the WSGS

In addition to the fun time at the North Star Conference, I began to think about the October 28th Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Fall Seminar that will take place in Eau Claire. A whole bunch of genealogists that were at MGS will also be at the WSGS Seminar.

On Friday, October 27th, I am doing a workshop What Next? Developing Step-by-Step Research Plans. Yes, I have done this at several seminars in the area, however, this one will be different. Totally different, in that I have all new record examples for the in-session projects.

On Saturday, I will be doing four presentations:

Developing Successful Research Habits

Successful research takes planning time, experience, and patience to be effective. Learn steps and tools for becoming a better researcher both at home and in repositories, and for developing good habits that make the most of your genealogy time budget.


Subscription Databases: Gems That Are Worth the Money

There is an abundance of information on the Internet, and it’s difficult to know which of the paid websites are best for you. That question is always being asked. Learn tips for sorting these out, determining accuracy, digging deeper for some gems, and keeping up on the changes. You will get more for your buck!


Your Anytime Library: Success in the Virtual Stacks

Rather research than count sheep? Peruse books at any hour without starting the car or breaking into the library? County, town, and family histories, record abstracts, and more await. Digitized, photocopied, excerpted, abstracted, OCR’d, and indexed books provide a strong likelihood of success via your computer and that medium called the Internet. Add newspapers, documents, family trees, pension records, periodicals, and more to the accessible items and you might be housebound for days (months?). During this session we will concentrate on books. Finding books online might be as simple as typing the title in your favorite search engine and enclosing it in quotation marks. Your search engine (i.e., Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) is your best friend. The majority of the material listed in the handout for this lecture are links to FREE sites.


What’s the Problem?  (So What Do I Do Next? Some Problem Solving Ideas)

Most professional genealogists and well-seasoned family historians realize that “dead-ends” or “brick walls” aren’t always final. They have learned to analyze their materials, put the problem onto paper, network with other researchers, learn about new tools, resources, and techniques, and never give up. You will leave this session ready to absorb yourself in the proven methods you learn.

To register for either day visit

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Family History Month continues with 200 of my closest friends and maybe a new relative!

I write this while at the 10th Annual Minnesota Genealogical Society North Star Conference. I was privileged to be a speaker all day yesterday and do the banquet presentation last night. I wasn’t tired, I was high on adrenaline. Mostly because I spent the day with 200+ fellow genealogists and also some other speakers. Interesting questions and comments, a great lunch, yummy banquet, and plain ol’ genealogy immersion kept me on that high.

More specifically, I renewed acquaintances with a woman who attended from Florida, a man who traveled from Arizona, a client I had done work for many years ago, and a woman who hasn’t been at an MGS event for ten years, others from the UP of Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. A long time friend from MGS reacted when I mentioned a specific county in southern Indiana. We need to compare notes!

At the banquet, a woman heard me mention the surname Reinhardt and came up to me after the banquet. My Edward Reinhardt is an enigma. He married Clarinda Copping on 3 November 1835 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Montreal, Canada. He died sometime between 1941 and December 21, 1847 when she, as a widow, married John Jones.

I told her I didn’t know much about Edward but that I had seen a John Reinhardt that might be connected to him but I hadn’t worked much at this. Guess who she is descended from! We need to do more work.


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October is important to family historians for several reasons

I live in the U.S. so this is from that viewpoint. It’s amazing to see how many different days and months are celebrated around the world.

For me, the best is October 4th when I will celebrate what would have been my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary.  That’s important to my family history.  I have a few challenges below for other October designations.

October is Family History Month. This is an easy one to challenge each other about. We need to do some intensive family history research this month.  Alternately, review some material that you gathered a few years ago. What clues did you miss?

October is also American Archives Month. I have two challenges for this.

  • Spend some time investigating the state archives website for one of your ancestral states. Is there a catalog, online finding aids to collections, are any records digitized, does the archive encompass more than state and county records?
  • Spend at least a day researching at a county or state archive. Family history gems await you. Most of the material in these great repositories is not online.

October 9 is Columbus Day to some. However, I choose to celebrate the date as Native Americans’ Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Several states and cities now call this day by one of those names to honor those who originally lived on the land we now call the U.S. The challenge for this day is to learn more about the history of treaties, invaders, soldiers, and others that took the land from them. The U.S. National Archives, historical societies, and many publications are full of the sad details.  Original military, missionary, and Bureau of Indian Affairs records are full of prejudicial comments and details.

For me, Family History month encompasses all of the above and I wish for everyone to learn more about their personal ancestry, religions of our ancestors, countries of origin, and DNA. We will thus learn that we are all humans who need to behave better toward each other because we are all made up of so many parts and many of our parts match each other!


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Just two weeks till the MGS North Star Genealogy Conference. Details galore!

Two weeks from today is the start of the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s North Star DNA Day. It had a limit to the registration so that more people could get direct help. It filled almost immediately.

Don’t be disappointed, the MGS North Star Conference takes place the following two days, October 6 & 7. You do need to register to attend these days.  The conference is being held at The Earle Brown Conference Center in Brooklyn Center (adjacent to Minneapolis), right off I-694 and Highway 100. It is brimming with Minnesota heritage – it is an historic family farm converted to a modern conference center.

Register now. Why register before that time? Let’s look at the reasons:

  • There will be enough chairs and tables set up.
  • Presenters will have a better idea of the audience numbers as that sometimes affects how a presentation is done.
  • Any presenters bringing extra handout material will have enough.
  • The best reason: advance access to the electronic syllabus (that includes the handouts of the presenters) and you can then print out the sections for the sessions you plan to attend.
  • Free parking  (ok, you can still get free parking if you register at the door but you will not have had a chance to review the syllabus).
  • October is Family History Month!

Two keynote speakers, 20 breakout sessions, vendors of genealogical and historical materials, a Q & A panel, door prizes, networking, and more. I happen to know both of the keynote speakers and they are in cahoots with some special planning. Those speakers are Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List fame and Paula Stuart-Warren. That latter person is me. I double-checked the name and bio to be sure. I get to be a keynote presenter just 20 minutes from my apartment!

The conference has something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced genealogical researcher, this event is for you. No Minnesota ancestry? The presenters include general methodology and resources plus specifics from a wide variety of localities. Need technology education? It’s covered. Need DNA info? Covered. Need more land records education? Covered.  Take a peek at the MGS website to see all the topics.

One more thing, join MGS and save $40 on the full conference cost! That’s a good deal. Join us at the Friday evening banquet, too. As the banquet speaker, I promise humor with some messages and will not let you fall asleep!  All details and online registration are on the MGS website.

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My upcoming genealogy presentation locations: please join us

I am in Pittsburgh attending and lecturing at the 2017 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference. I have already been asked the question about where do I go next.  This is my list of upcoming presentation locations. I am booked pretty full this fall but could do a few more. I am available for much of 2018 other than my presentations in Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, near Buffalo, and Frankfurt, Kentucky,



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Laura Prescott’s Big Move Back Home Needs Assistance

My fellow genealogists are a caring and sharing bunch. Laura Prescott is one of those people who never asks for help. She has been amazingly strong throughout her cancer battle. She can make me smile, laugh, and cry at the same time as I admire her. One of my favorite stories about her is from a genealogy conference. It was GenTech in Boston, January 2002. We arrived at the conference as attendees not as speakers. Neither my husband or I had remembered to register! Laura went home that night and made us nice typed name tags so it wouldn’t look like we just registered. That’s Laura’s warm heart.

One of her Utah friends, Liz Bell, writes this on Gofundme:

“My dear friend, Laura Prescott, is battling cancer and has recently made the decision to move back home to be closer to family.   She will be making the move from Utah to New Hampshire on September 16th.  Hiring a moving (more…)

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The Minnesota State Fair, Genealogy, WCCO Radio, and the Lennon Sisters

I bet that’s a combination you may be surprised to hear. It does not involve the Lennon Sisters performing at the fair. Minnesota has one of the largest and best state fairs in the country. I have lived a few miles from the state fairgrounds most of my life but that’s not part of the story. I am reminded of my story every year at this time. The 2017 Minnesota State Fair opened yesterday. The 2016 attendance at the 12-day fair was 1,943,719 people!

It was the early 1990s and I was listening to the radio. One of the on-air personalities was again mentioning his connection to the Lennon Sisters. Being a dedicated genealogist, I decided to call the station and explain what common ancestor they needed to have in order for the cousin relationship to be what he said. The producer asked if I would go on the air to explain it to the host. I protested but then gulped and said ok. Tim Russell was that host and (more…)

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