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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 7:30–9:00 p.m.
Online Doesn't Mean Free:  Copyright Issues for Genealogy
Jewish Genealogical Society of British Columbia
Temple Sholom, 7190 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
Read All about It!: Using Online Newspapers for Genealogical Research
Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society
Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051

Saturday, May 19, 2018
Finding and Following the Paths of My Cuban Cousins
Genealogical Forum of Oregon
2505 SE 11th Avenue Suite B-18, Portland, OR 97202

Sunday, May 27, 2018
Using Online Historical Jewish Newspapers for Genealogical Research
Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland
Pikesville Library, 1301 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD

Sunday, June 3, 2018
Amazing Things You Can Find in the Newspaper about Your Relatives
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington

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 through 150 Years of Newspapers
• Introduction to Genealogy:  Family History to Share with Your Family
• Introduction to Jewish Genealogy
• Jewish Genealogy:  How Is This Research Different from All Other Research?
• Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy
• 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?
• Isaac Joseph of South Carolina and Daniel Joseph of Virginia:  Brothers?
• Using Finding Aids for Jewish Records to Help Research Non-Jewish Ancestors
• Cite This:  Citing Your Sources in Genealogical Research
• 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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