Saint Paul: Family History Conference at MHS, Feb. 16


Join a great lineup of experts at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul on Saturday February 16, 2019 for a full day of learning. The day’s theme is Preserve & Organize Your Family History. 

Attend this day packed with sessions led by renowned professional genealogists, speakers, and researchers, plus a keynote by award-winning author Paula Stuart Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. (That would be me and I blushed a bit at the publicity from MHS,)

The day includes a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the massive MNHS archives. That’s a real eye-opener. Learn more and register now! Click here for full details.

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) Registration Opens Soon!

Yes, it’s January and many of us are seeing snow and cold temperatures. Let’s plan for summer. Join your fellow genealogy enthusiasts for two weeks of quality and extensive education this summer. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh is fun, too.  There is a course that will fit your level of interest and experience.

I am the coordinator of a July course and have three other excellent instructors, Melissa Johnson, CG, Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, and Debbie Mieszala, CG.

The course is titled “Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills.” Ask yourself these questions and if you answer yes to any of them, this is the course for you. Have you moved beyond the beginning stages of researching your family history? Maybe you have researched online but know there must be more to be done elsewhere or that you have missed some online resources? Do you need a firmer foundation before taking advanced or specialized courses? Are you not yet comfortable with in-depth evaluation of documents and setting up research plans?  For more about the course and the individual sessions, check here.

Registration is next month (February) for all the courses:

  • 23-28 JUNE 2019 (REGISTRATION OPENS Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at 11 AM Eastern (9 AM Pacific) for the nine courses in June)
  • 14-19 JULY 2019 (REGISTRATION OPENS Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at 1 PM Eastern (11 AM Pacific) for the eight courses in July)

Click here for full info on the location, courses, and instructors.

Board for Certification of Genealogists Announces Free Webinars for 2019

For Immediate Release: 18 December 2018 from BCG

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) is excited to present the following free webinars through Legacy Family Tree Webinars in 2019:

January 15 – Margaret R. Fortier, CG, “Visualizing Information for Genealogists”

February 19 – Melissa A. Johnson, CG, “Applying Evidence to Genealogical Research Questions”

March 19 – Debra S. Mieszala, CG, “The Five-story Fall: Correlating Indirect and Direct Evidence to Extend the Pedigree”

April 16 – LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, J.D., LL.M., CG, CGL, “Transcribing Documents: There Is More Than Meets the Eye!”

May 21 – Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “Valid and Unsound Assumptions: What Was She Thinking?”

June 18 – Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL, “Using Another Library Source: The Government Document Section”

July  16 – Yvette Hoitink, CG, “Lesser Used Records for Research in the Netherlands” **

August 20 – Harold Henderson, CG, “Ten Tools for Genealogical Writing”

September 17 – Claire Bettag, CG, FNGS, FUGA, “Civil Law Concepts and Genealogy” **

October 15 – Claire Bettag, CG, FNGS, FUGA, “Civil Law Records in Genealogical Research: Notarial Records” **

November 19 – Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, “Native American Research: Things You May Not Know”

December 17 – J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, “Marriages Here, There, and Nowhere: Finding Gretna Greens and Borders”

BCG’s webinars are normally held on the third Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. Eastern time. In order to accommodate those who might have schedule conflicts, most webinars can be accessed by the public at no charge for a week after each live broadcast. BCG webinars are always free to BCG-certified associates.

** Please note that Yvette Hoitink’s July 16 webinar will be broadcast at 2 p.m. Eastern time. In addition, the two webinars by Claire Bettag on September 17 and October 15 will not be recorded and will be available only via live stream.

BCG receives a commission if you register by clicking our affiliate link: register for more than one webinar at the same time, use our affiliate link:

“We are pleased to sponsor these high-quality educational webinars by BCG associates,” said President Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. “We are delighted to work again with our partner Legacy Family Tree to make these offerings available at no charge. The Board for Certification of Genealogists promotes public confidence in genealogy by supporting uniform standards of competence.These webinars are part of our effort to provide educational opportunities to family historians of all levels of experience.”

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information
View BCG’s past Legacy webinars using our affiliate link at

Again, BCG receives a commission if you register by clicking and buying via our affiliate link. For more information on educational opportunities, please visit:

 The words Certified Genealogist and the designation CG are registered certification marks, and the designation CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

January travel: SLIG and Mississippi Genealogical Society

January 2019 starts a new travel year for me. The first trip is to Salt Lake City to do client research and teach 3 sessions in the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy’s Native American course. Then I am excited to be off to Jackson, Mississippi to do a day-long seminar on 19 January for the Mississippi Genealogical Society. The flyer for that event is below. 

Legacy Family Tree Webinars has added closed captioning!

In case you haven’t see this  exciting news over the past few days!

Legacy Family Tree Webinars has announced the addition of closed captioning to its services. This includes my November 2018 webinar,  Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking.

From their press release: “Implemented as a full human-curated transcription via synced subtitles, closed captioning is now available as an option for all live and members-only webinar recordings released since May 1,2018. In addition, the most popular 50 webinars on the platform and all MyHeritage-specific webinars have been captioned. Legacy will add captioning to all new webinars going forward.

We are committed to providing the best genealogy and DNA education for all,including people who are hard of hearing,” said Geoff Rasmussen, founder and host of Legacy Family Tree Webinars. “Captioning is an excellent way to make online education more accessible, and is also a benefit to non-native English  speakers who struggle with spoken English but have an easier time with written English.

Legacy has exciting plans for 2019, which include the hosting of webinars in non-English languages as well as the translation of English captions to select foreign languages.

When we acquired Legacy last year, we promised to invest resources to improve the webinar platform and increase its reach, while maintaining its high quality and unique character”, said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “The addition of closed captioning makes good on this promise and, with translated captioning coming up soon, will help make the webinars accessible to millions of people in Europe and other countries, true to MyHeritage’s goal of making genealogy and DNA testing available to huge consumer audiences worldwide”.

To access closed captioning, click on the blue CC icon in the lower right-hand side of the video you choose to view. 207 webinars are already captioned! Those from the MyHeritage live 2018 conference in Norway are already captioned.

To access the closed captioning requires a subscription to the webinars. The low cost of $49.95 for one year of unlimited access to all the 800+ webinars.

This post includes affiliate links.

Railroad records webinar Free for a week for genealogists and historians

I had an enjoyable time this afternoon presenting “Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking” for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. If you wish to watch it again or missed it today, it’s now online for free for a week.

The extensive handout is available to LFTW members. In the intro to today’s webinar, Geoff Rasmussen said there are now more than 800 webinars on the site for members. That’s a lot of handouts, too!  This is an affiliate membership link to join for the next 12 months in order to view all these.

Geoff also announced that with the support of MyHeritage, captioning is debuting soon!

See more about the webinar content in my earlier blog post on November 19th.

NEWS: this webinar is in the top ten for November!



BIG sales on genealogy software, subscriptions, and DNA tests.

If I shared all the press release emails and social media notices I have received in the last few days, I would be posting for several days. If you aren’t on social media such as Facebook, you are missing announcements of sales of genealogical software, subscriptions, and DNA tests galore. BIG sales. Some are ending this weekend or on Monday, the 26th. Go check all the company websites and see which offers suit  you and your budget. The DNA sales are especially great.

Hint: What wonderful gifts for all the upcoming holidays and family events!



Black Friday + means Legacy Family Tree Webinars subscriptions 50% off

From 20-26 November, a Legacy Family Tree Webinar membership is 50% off. You read that correctly!

That means:

  • 12 months of 24/7 access to 800 full-length genealogy classes
  • PLUS all 3,500+ pages of instructors’ handouts.
  • For only $24.98

That means:

Join today! Renew today!


p.s. That is an affiliate link and the few cents I received help to keep this blog going

FREE webinar: Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking

Yes, the pun in the title is intended.  🙂

Join me and Legacy Family Tree Webinars online on Wednesday, November 28, at 11:00 a.m. PST, Noon MST, 1:00 p.m. CST, and 2:00 EST for this presentation. For other time zones, when you click on the link below, you can check for your time zone.

Have a railroad worker in your background? Grandpa, grand-aunt, or uncle? Did a wandering relative work for a railroad? Which railroad and where did it run? Learn about railroad records which may provide some personal details or at the very least prove the relative’s connection to that railroad. Visuals and references demonstrate the wealth of historical materials available all across the U.S. I’ll share the locations of the records for many railroads. When this lecture is over you will know where to turn to find out more about the railroad, its records, and where to find them. The presentation is accompanied by an extensive handout.

A bit about the word free is necessary. The presentation is free on November 28th. Shortly after that it will be available for about a week, also for free. Then it becomes part of the Family Tree Webinars Library available for a fee or to members. A membership allows you to view any of the webinars at any hour and also gives you access to some that are available only to members. Join today for only $49.95 per year.


Register now “for Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking”


Note: this is not the same presentation as my Online & On Track: Railroad Records, Indexes, and Finding Aids on the Internet” that I did in February 2018. The handout is also different with some exceptions. To view that one, click here.


The links above are affiliate links.





Family genealogy: red lipstick, a price sticker, some humor, and passing on a family story

Today I drove past 486 So. Hamline Avenue in Saint Paul and smiled up at the corner apartment. I had to do that today because it’s Grandma’s birthday. Great Grandma Gert, Dirty Gerty, Granny Grapefruit, and just Grandma. Those were all names of love. More on her names another time.

She would have been 118 years old today. She lived to 98.5 years old. That’s some feat! Speaking of feet, one of my favorite stories about her is one she told on herself. She was widowed at age 67 and lived alone for almost 32 years. She lived in a second-floor apartment with no elevator and steep stairs until a nursing home became a necessity. After Grandpa Mike died, she lived only on Social Security and the help of her daughters and grandchildren. She never learned to drive a car and took the city bus to do some of her shopping for many years.

The feet story is related to a pair of shoes. She purchased a pair of shoes at a thrift store and wore them to church. She attended Holy Spirit Catholic Church and this was still a time when those receiving communion would kneel at the communion rail. She came home from church and was putting her “new” dress-up shoes away and noticed that the price sticker was still on the bottom. She was mortified to know that she knelt for communion and let everyone see the price on her cheap shoes. But she laughed and so did I. We had many more good laughs about this over the years.

This was a woman who was born into money, lived well, but then her father lost everything. Her accountant husband didn’t do a great job with their finances either. She raised her daughters in a one-bedroom apartment. She had bad arthritis and other aches and pains. She never really complained. I wish I could hug her today. Instead, I am wearing red lipstick as I write this. She always reminded her daughters and granddaughters to wear red lipstick.