GRIP syllabus prep: genealogy hints for myself

I spent many hours the last couple of weeks working on my syllabus material for the July week of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. I coordinate and teach in the course Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills. I’ve made a few changes in this course over the years but it still remains mostly at the intermediate level. Along with the other three instructors, we talk about analysis, research planning, standards, delving deeper into records, and improving our skills in these and other areas. Why am I telling you all this right now? During my work on my sections of the extensive syllabus, I had several moments when I did some self-reprimanding.

You may cheer that I am admitting some things. None of us should ever be stagnant in our research, education, or in reviewing what we already have discovered. As I updated a ton of links, record discussions, and PowerPoint slides for the sessions I am teaching, I realized that I had neglected to check several things on parts of my own extended family. I need to go back to other military records for several uncles. I need to understand more about one uncle and why he was in New York city when he died in a subway accident. The death certificate is not pretty. Why was this young man only a few years out of the army not back in Winona or Saint Paul with his mother and siblings?

Where is the family bible that was supposedly in the hands of Great Great Grandfather James Stuart (1815-1899) who was living with one of his sons in Chicago at the time of his death. How do I know about this bible that had been handed down for several generations and that originated in Scotland? I’ll save that story for another post. I need to do some follow-up with a few distant cousins.

As I teach throughout the week and help solve mysteries and record locations with the students in the course, I’ll probably be reminded of some more loose ends I need to work on. Oh, I do have a list of things to do as far as family history, but when records do exist, I need to push myself to practice what I preach. Have you reviewed your paper and computer files lately? What should you be checking? If you don’t know, you can always join us in this course. It really does make us all analyze what we have, learn more about specific records that take us beyond basics, and adds to ways to figure out who that doggone DNA second cousin match really is!

June 13, Hudson WI library: “Major Midwestern Archives & Their Records.”

Please join me this Thursday, June 13, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. for my free presentation that is accompanied by a handout plus time for Q&A. Room 219, free parking, Hudson, Wisconsin main library.

“Major Midwestern Archives & Their Records.” Presented by Paula Stuart-Warren. This lecture will highlight some major Midwestern archives and their holdings, finding aids, websites, special indexes, and available assistance for those not visiting in-person. An overview of each state archive will be covered, but some will be covered in greater detail. For the ones covered in greater detail, some special aspects of the place will be shared. The class will also include some detail on other archives in the Midwest – including universities, religious, and possibly others. Learn about the wealth of material available, how to access it, and why the on-site experience can be so rewarding.

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Announce Genealogy’s Unsung Heroes Awards

At last weekend’s Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California, the Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix gave MyHeritage Ltd. its highest Unsung Heroes Award for extraordinary service to the genealogy community.

Genealogy Guy Drew Smith said in his presentation, “MyHeritage has been involved with numerous pro bono projects over the years. We are here today to recognize the completion of their unprecedented five-year project to digitize every cemetery in Israel. MyHeritage employees, friends, and volunteers systematically photographed and transcribed almost every grave. The company specifically recruited full-time employees to complete the work.” Read the full press release on the Genealogy Guys Blog to see more on the well-deserved award and others that were presented.

The Genealogy Guys, George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, co-hosts and producers of the oldest continually produced genealogy podcast, and Rick and Randy, creators of Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE photo and document restoration software, will continue their partnership to acknowledge and celebrate those members of the genealogy community who digitize or index photos and other documents of value to genealogical researchers.

Due dates for future nominations will be announced on The Genealogy Guys Podcast; The Genealogy Guys Blog; the Unsung Heroes Blog at the Vivid-Pix website, but all nominations will remain in the running for future quarters. Details and links to the nomination form can be found at the website for Aha! Seminars, Inc., producer of The Genealogy Guys Podcast.

SCGS Genetic Genealogy 2019 live streaming registration opens

The Southern California Genealogical Society’s annual Jamboree has a special separate part that is devoted to DNA! This year Genetic Genealogy 2019 takes place on 31 May in Burbank. If you can’t make to the DNA day in person, you can sit at home and view it. Of course, I’d rather see you in person in Burbank and hope you can sign up for both the DNA and Jamboree events.

SCGS has shared this news on the live streaming. The cost for live streaming? $20 – Individual sessions can be viewed for $20 each. BUT for $99 – The BEST deal, you get the full-day subscription that provides access to all five sessions Includes syllabus materials for all the classes. Can’t watch it Live?  Watch at your convenience through July 31, 2019!

Genetic Genealogy Streaming Schedule for Thursday, May 31, 2019 

8:30 – 9:30: TH005 Convincing Family and Strangers to Test and Why by Emily D. Aulicino, MEd

10:00 – 11:00: TH010 DNA ABCs: Getting from “Unknown New Match” to “Known Cousin”  by Blaine T Bettinger, PhD, JD 

11:30 – 12:30: TH015 Taking Your Use of GEDmatch to the Next Level  by Tim Janzen, MD 

2:00 – 3:00: TH020 Using DNA and GWorks for Solving Unknown Parentage Cases  by Kitty Munson Cooper 

3:30 – 4:30: TH025 Finding Missing Persons with DNA Testing  by Diahan Southard 

Payment is made by credit card, debit card or PayPal on the Subscription and Viewing Portal. 


You do not need to be a member of SCGS to view Live Streaming.

The Genetic Genealogy Live Streaming program is separate from the Jamboree Live Stream Program and requires a separate subscription.

The streaming videos will not be shown on the SCGS website.

Live Steaming content will be available through July 31, 2019

Questions? Email

Be sure to watch the Jamboree Blog for all the latest news. Hint: the separate Jamboree availability of Live Streaming will be announced on the Jamboree blog first!

Family History Library in Salt Lake City extends hours

A press release this morning tells this great news.

“The FamilySearch Family History Library, one of Salt Lake City’s top attractions and the world’s largest genealogy library, will extend its hours of operation beginning Sunday, June 2, 2019. For the first time, the main floor of the library, including the FamilySearch Discovery Experiences, will be open on Sundays, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and extended to 9:00 p.m. on Mondays. Regular library hours will be Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.”

This means access to databases, images, subscriptions, and more on the library computers on the main floor on Sunday afternoons. On Mondays we don’t have to leave the FHL at 5:00 p.m. Thank you FHL! Read the full press release here.

A quality new Facebook group: The Genealogy Squad

What could go right with a Facebook help page that is headed by Blaine Bettinger, Cyndi Ingle, George Morgan, and Drew Smith? Easy answer: EVERYTHING.

The stated mission is “The mission of the Genealogy Squad Facebook group is to provide a positive space for the sharing of appropriate and reliable methods and resources to assist genealogists at all levels. We focus on answering questions and solving problems, while demonstrating best practices in all aspects of genealogical research.”

It is a closed and moderated group so that keeps out the spammers complainers, belly-achers, and to gently correct misinformation. To join in on the activity, you must respond to two simple questions. It’s a perfect place to ask questions, get great answers, and to share what you know. Check it out!

MyHeritage FREE access to Danish and Finish records

Do you have ancestors and origins in Denmark or Finland? I have one Danish great grandfather. A nice press release gave some details on free access to records.

MyHeritage recently added the 1940 Denmark Census to its historical records database, “making MyHeritage the world’s most comprehensive online resource for Danish historical records.”

“To mark this milestone, we are opening up access to ALL 105 million Danish records on MyHeritage for FREE, starting today and until May 12, 2019 (inclusive). As a bonus to delight our users with Nordic roots, we are also providing FREE access to ALL 48.6 million Finnish records on MyHeritage.”

As Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage said: “No registration needed, no credit card required, simply search, find and enjoy.”

My next two genealogical presentation locations

I have been asked about this several times this week while at the Ohio Genealogical Society annual conference. It’s always a great conference. My next two presentations are in Minnesota and California.

May 21: 12:00 Noon, Owatonna, Minnesota, Steele County Historical Society, Brown Bag Session. Bring your lunch!
The Farmer in the Dell – and in Many U.S. Records: Paula Stuart-Warren will work with attendees seeking information about ancestral farms. Name 20 places to seek information about ancestral farms. 25? 30? This session and accompanying handout demonstrate the extensive records and places for learning more about ancestral farmers and farms. No matter the present status of the property, there are ways to learn more about the farmers, farm, and related activities.

May 30-June 2: Southern California Genealogical Society Annual Jamboree, Burbank. A conference full of DNA and general in-depth genealogical education. I am doing presentations on Thursday and Friday. My presentations:

What Are My Next Steps? Hands-On Research Planning Workshop

The Three Rs: Reading, ‘Riting, and Research in School Records

On the Clock! Demystifying the BCG Portfolio Process

Major Midwestern Databases and Indexes for Family History Research

DNA Day is April 25 and that means discount sales for genealogists

Tomorrow, April 25th, is DNA Day. What this means for genealogy is that the testing companies are having big sales. Check the websites of the various companies, their social media outlets, and social media pages for various consumer genetic help pages such as ISOGG and Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques.

Updated genealogy presentations calendar

Twice in the past week, I have been asked whether I was still doing genealogy presentations. Easy answer to that: definitely yes! I have been entrenched in a couple large research projects and thus have been pretty quiet on social media in recent months compared to earlier.

I have now updated my presentations calendar and can still schedule more presentations for 2019 and into 2020. My topics, descriptions of those, and my scheduled presentations are listed under the Speaking tab above. If your organization would like information on details and costs for single lectures, workshops, or full-day seminars, please contact me at PaulaStuartWarren at

I hope to see many of my readers in the next few months at presentations in Owatonna, Minnesota; Mason, Ohio; Burbank, California; Hudson, Wisconsin; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.