Lecture Topics

Topics that I can Present to your Organization  

 Finding Elusive Females  Locating females in our culture can present special problems when single woman disappear under her husband’s surname.  Finding that key information can be a challenge, but careful, methodical research can result in successful results. Happily there are many documents and web sites that can aid in our search.

 Tips and Tricks for Using Ancestry.com in Researching Your Family   In this lecture I show how to research efficiently and successfully using this powerful site.  I share helpful tips in finding those elusive relatives, which parameters to use, and how to prevent looking at thousands of names in search of the one person you are trying to find.  Also included are often overlooked options and the newest cool features that have just been added.

 Putting Flesh on the Bones of Your Ancestor   While we all love to go back many generations, as well as going sideways, it is just as important to bring a special relative alive with an in depth study of his or her life.  I break the project up into small steps and give guide lines, give ideas for various topics and chapters, then show how to put the work into a book format with designed papers, input photos and charts, and include other hints to produce a wonderful book future generations will love to read and treasure.

 Research Problems that Made My Eyes Cross   I discuss difficult researching problems and how to solve them.  Ancestors have a way of hiding in genealogy records.  I will show the tricks I use to locate difficult relatives using many different date bases in my case studies.

Your Electronic Bible: Keeping Track of Your Family Information with Family Tree Maker    One of the best ways of keeping track of all your family names, dates, and facts in one place is by  using Family Tree Maker.  Learn how once entered, information can be retrieved as reports, charts,  graphs, and stories.  The program has many special features to aid in your research and keep you organized.

Growing Your Family Tree  How and where to begin doing your family research, important basic sites, helpful materials, establishing a system, etc.  This lecture presents helpful suggestions to beginners.

Navigating the Ship’s Manifests  Take a really close look at ALL the information that these important records can provide.  Directed to those who have been research for a long time and those just beginning. Find out what information is needed to locate manifests, find the markings to learn which immigrants were detained and why, who they left behind, the address where they were headed, and who they were coming to see.  I begin the presentation with a short, moving power point presentation on the immigration process set to music.

Becoming An American  Learn the valuable information naturalization records contain, who became naturalized and why, the three steps involved in the naturalization process, the rules for women and why you can’t find them, and the special handling of men serving in the military.

The Vitally Important Vital Records  I discuss types of birth, marriage and death records, what clues they hold, how to find and obtain these records, helpful web sites, and how to use them to find other records.

United States Military Records  In this presentation I cover what documents are available, the information they contain, how to find them, and how to use them for further research.  I include an informative handout which lists helpful military sites.  As a special bonus, I begin with a lovely power point presentation of historical WWI and WWII posters and present the lecture in an authentic WWII military jacket.

 Letting the City Directories Work for You   Learn how and where to find these records, the important and surprising clues they hold, filling the gaps between census records, and how they help in finding those missing relatives whose names have been misspelled in census and vital records.

 Digging Up Cemetery Records   I will discuss tips on how to find your buried ancestors: when and where they were buried, various helpful internet sites and data bases with providing possible clues, and then what to bring to the cemetery for a successful outing.  In addition, I have developed two helpful charts that I share: one to help you record your cemetery information, and the other to keep tract of who is buried in which cemetery.

Acquiring Italian Records   I walk you through four possible methods to locating foreign documents, what you will need to know before “hopping the pond”, how to read them, translation tips, and how to determine what these documents really tell us.  The research principles are also valid for other nationalities.

Intermediate Genealogy  In order to keep track of the increasing amount of documents that you have already found, and to know what to do next, you need a system.  I will show you proven methods to organize what you have and where to go to find what you still need.  This will include a genealogy tree program, helpful sites, and handouts.  This lecture is helpful for all levels of genealogy research.

Files, Folders, or Piles of Papers?  Organizing Your Research  Researchers often have difficulty organizing their documents, keeping track of what they have, what they are still looking for, as well as the best ways to file their precious finds.  This lecture will offer suggestions on how to sort their information, the kinds of documents they should include in their research, and provide helpful charts to record their results.

The Immigrant Experience  I will be discussing what it was like for immigrants to have to leave their home towns, why they left, how they got to the large port, the difficult journey across the Atlantic, the process through Ellis Island, and the difficulties they faced once they arrived.  It is a very moving and powerful story.  You will see some interesting documents for the first time.  I end on a high note and show how in spite of (or because of) these difficulties they prospered and gave so much back to their new adopted country.

Using FindaGrave Effectively in your Genealogy Research  This powerful free site is a goldmine of information if used correctly and to its fullest.  Ancestors can be found and relatives can find you.  Find out how.

 Toni McKeen     (203) 431-9973      tonimckeen47@hotmail.com