Genealogy Presentations

These are my upcoming genealogy presentations.  If you are interested in having me speak to your group, please look over the list of my available talks at the bottom of the page and contact me at  I can also create new talks, if you would like a topic that is not on the list, or customize an existing presentation.

Sunday, July 23
Live! Jewish Genealogy:  How Is This Research Different from All Other Research?, 3:00–4:15 p.m.
Tuesday, July 25
Live! Using Online Historical Jewish Newspapers for Genealogical Research, 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 26
Online Doesn’t Mean Free: Copyright Issues for Genealogy, 8:15–9:30 a.m.
Thursday, July 27
Isaac Joseph of South Carolina and Daniel Joseph of Virginia, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
Friday, July 28
Immigration and Naturalization Records, 8:15–9:30 a.m.
IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, July 23–28, 2017
Walt Disney World Swan Resort, 1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Friday, August 18, 2017
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization, Part 1, 10:15–11:15 a.m.
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization, Part 2, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy, 10:15–11:15 a.m.
Using Online Historical Jewish Newspapers for Genealogical Research, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Northwest Genealogy Conference, August 16–19, 2017
Byrnes Performing Arts Center and Arlington High School, Arlington, WA

Thursday, September 14, 2017, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Using Finding Aids for Jewish Records to Help Research Non-Jewish Ancestors
Contra Costa County Genealogical Society
LDS Church, 1360 Alberta Way, Concord, CA

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
Immigration and Naturalization Research
Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society
Margie Edinger Room, Santa Clara City Public Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA 95951

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Freedmen's Bureau 2.0:  A Better Way to Do Slave Research
African American Genealogical Society of Northern California
Dimond Branch, Oakland Public Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602

Available Presentations
• Read All about It!:  Using Online Newspapers for Genealogical Research
• Using Online Historical Black Newspapers for Genealogical Research
• Using Online Historical Jewish Newspapers for Genealogical Research
• Using the Subscription Newspaper Web Sites at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries
• Follow a Family for 150 Years through Newspapers
• Introduction to Genealogy:  Family History to Share with Your Family
• Introduction to Jewish Genealogy
• Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy
• Jewish Genealogy:  How Is This Research Different from All Other Research?
• Finding and Following the Paths of My Cuban Cousins
• Freedmen's Bureau 2.0:  A Better Way to Do Slave Research
• Finding Family Members in Freedman's Bank Records
• Irish Research Online
• Reconstructing Family Information When You Start with Almost Nothing: A Case Study
• Vital Records and the Calendar Change of 1752
• So You Found Them in the Census:  That's Only the Start!
• Get Me to the Church on Time:  Finding Religious Records
• Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust:  What's Buried in Cemetery Records
• Where There's a Will:  Probate Records Can Prove Family Connections
• They Died in San Francisco:  A Little Used Source of Pre-1906 Deaths
• Grandma, Who Are You?:  Finding the Maiden Names in Your Family Tree
• Anybody Home?:  Using City (and Other) Directories in Your Research
• Immigration and Naturalization Research
• Reading and Transcribing American Colonial Handwriting
• Why Would They Put It Online If They Didn't Want Me to Use It?:  Copyright Issues for Genealogy
• What Is Forensic Genealogy Really?
• Using Finding Aids for Jewish Records to Help Research Non-Jewish Ancestors

• A Tale of Two Brothers:  The Patriot and the Outlaw
• Amazing Things You Can Find in the Newspaper about Your Relatives


  1. Hi Janice, My family genealogy, when I get a chance to work on it, has been really enjoyable, but my husband's family not so much. An african-american family with the two primary surnames of Smith and Johnson. I know that there are african-american genealogy sites. Do you have any recommendations? My Mormon almost-daughter-in-law has access to Mormon sources, but since there were not African American Mormons until relatively recently I don't if that would be useful. Any help appreciated, Lisa Pondsmith

    1. Hi, Lisa,

      The first thing to do is the same basic research as everyone else, which means starting with whatever family members were alive in 1940, finding as many of them as possible in the census, and then going back methodically every ten years to find them in as many censuses as possible. The best site to search the census is, available free to use in all FamilySearch Centers and Libraries and also at many public libraries.

      Ideally, you want to be able to take at least one line back to 1870, at which point you should start looking for those family members in the Freedmen's Bureau and Freedman's Bank records. These are both available free online. Bureau records can be most effectively searched at Bank records are online at If your not-quite-daughter-in-law hasn't done a lot of research herself, the aforementioned FamilySearch Centers and Libraries have lots of helpful volunteers who can help you. There has to be at least one center/library close to you.

      And if all else fails, I'll be moving up to the Portland area soon, and I can come by and help you in person. :)



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