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To schedule a lecture, please contact us and inquire for details and schedule availability.


Download a printable file.

Case Studies

Hopping From Rehm to Maier to Fränkle And Then Some

Germany Here We Come! This case study targets those crossing the ocean blue for the first time.  Following the surnames of Rehm and Maier, their German roots are unlocked across the continent. In the process, we will explore strategic research techniques, understand geography, and evaluate evidence that enables the lineage to grow a few more generations.


The Man Who Lived as Marcus Folderman

Who was Marcus’ mother?  Trying to answer that question only leads to more questions and more conflicting evidence.  It soon becomes clear that Marcus named Marcus at birth, so who is he?   This case study evaluates multiple sources of evidence on a path from New York back to Germany to find the answers and reveal Marcus’ identity.

You Said David Was Your Daddy.  Is That True?

We want to believe family traditions and stories we were told. Esther Goddard’s daughter, Harriet left a note outlining her lineage, citing David Edwards as her grandfather. This case study is built upon a pile of indirect evidence that tackles multiple possible fathers for Esther. Tracing Esther’s parents proves to be more of a challenge when records in the early 1800s in New England are not available. Did I prove my case? NOTE: This lecture is interactive and requests audience participation to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.

Proving the Parents of Willis Ballenger

Willis Ballenger died 1912 in Texas with records suggesting he was a native of Kentucky. However, tracing his life back to Mason County leads to a trail of questions, mainly who were his parents? This case study of indirect evidence is built upon examining and eliminating several possible fathers and evaluating tax, land, court, and vital records.

Methodology & Analysis

The Art of Transcription

Transcribing and abstracting a document requires time, patience, and practice. Old writing is difficult to read but we need to understand the content of the document and all the clues that lie within. Sometimes vital information is lost in the process. A variety of strategies will be shared to transcribe and then edit a document into abstract form, keeping it true to the original intent by the author of the document.

The Serendipity of the GPS and Research Plans

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and research plans complement each other in conducting our research. We need to utilize focused research plans to be productive, but we also need to follow the GPS to ensure an extensive search. What exactly are the differences between direct, indirect, and negative evidence? Does every research step require using the GPS? The methodology of the GPS initially can be daunting but is an essential practice to incorporate into our routine.


Using Tax Records in Genealogy

Tax records are often overlooked but can provide insight into the details of our ancestors’ lives. Sometimes we just need that one record to help us prove residency, age, or relationships and you might be surprised just how tax records can make those connections. Tax records can also reveal economic clues to community status as well as lead to land to records.  





Genealogy: An Introduction

New to the world of genealogy? Although it can be overwhelming at first, all it takes is a little bit of learning new genealogy research skills and some determination and you will soon discover just how addicting genealogy can be! Learn how to take the first steps of organizing your family tree, basics tools to assist you, understanding the genealogy language. (Can be 30 minutes or more.)


Genealogy For Posterity

You are the keeper of all family records. What is their destiny after you pass? Are your records paper or digital – in folders, binders or boxes?  Are they organized? Who wants them? Do you have a plan to ensure that your many years of collecting work will be preserved?

Writing the Family Story

Every family has a story and any good writer knows the 5Ws: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. But our family members are not always genealogists who share the same level excitement of our discoveries. Bring your ancestors to life in ways that everyone will appreciate.



Record Groups


Immigration: Welcome to America!

From the moment our ancestors left their native country and set foot upon American soil for the first time, records were created that tracked their movement. The process of becoming an American citizen is not complicated but finding those records and determining how to access them can be a challenge. This program will explore the immigration experience and how to locate those records.


Maps: Time and Place!

Locating ancestors can be frustrating. It is essential to place them in the correct geographical area at the right time, but county and state borders changed. Our country expanded. Families moved. Sometimes families appeared to have moved but did not. Using maps, both historical and current can assist you in search and understanding where to look for records. This session will explore the various types of maps, how to use them to locate your family as well as how to access them.


Migration Trails West Using Maps

How did our ancestors end up out west? Why did they choose the trail they chose? Were they pushed for religious reasons or were they pulled by the daring exploration of the unknown and the possibility to strike it rich? Various routes in which pioneer families trekked west will be explored using maps and how to use them in your research. Maps are often an overlooked resource that offers insights as to the how and the why our ancestors opted for one trail over another.


Newspapers: Beyond Vital Records

There is so much to learn about your ancestors’ lives than just collecting birth, marriage, and death data. Newspapers were the hot ‘social media’ of the Victorian Era. This presentation demonstrates how newspapers can build our ancestors' life stories. Discover newspapers across the country and what secrets they could reveal about family members! 




Workshop length varies depending on the material covered. In-depth study and practice.


  • Abstracts and Transcriptions

Practice your art of transcribing and abstracting records. Methods will be explained in a presentation (above) and then attendees can use their own documents.

  • U. S. Census Records
    Many of us only utilize census records for family units, birth, and origin but there is so much more to explore in these records. While census records we created for government purposes, they have additional value for family researchers. Sessions can be divided into various groups or presented all as one. Suggested:

  1. 1790 - 1840

  2. 1850 – 1880

  3. 1900 – 1940


  • Tax Records in Genealogy

Explore various tax records as they relate to your family, mainly southern states.


  • Genealogy For Posterity

As the designated family historian and keeper of all family records, you will develop a plan to ensure the preservation of your records.

  • Research Plans and Research Trips

If you are planning to go on a research trip, whether for a day or a week, whether locally or across the country, preparation is key!  Avoid digging in rabbit holes…expect the unexpected.  Preparation and organization can help ensure success.  A focused research plan saves time! The format and topics are flexible.

  1. Prepare for Any Research Trip

  2. Salt Lake City:  Getting to Know the Family History Library (Overview)

  3. The Family History Library Card Catalog

  4. Research Plans: The Road Map to Success 


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