FGS 2017 Conference Workshops

Get practical, hands-on experience at workshops

Conference workshops allow attendees to get hands-on experience in specific topics. The FGS 2017 National Conference offers four two-hour workshops covering caring for keepsakes, research planning, storytelling, and transcripbing and analyzing. Two special four-hour DNA workshops are also on the program—one for beginner/intermediate level and one for intermediate/advanced level.
Workshop Registration
Advance registration is required for all workshops. You can register for workshops when registering for the FGS 2017 conference. If you have already registered for the conference and received a confirmation email, then you can use this form to add registration for any workshop to your schedule. Workshop seating is limited so register now!

T-234: Caring for Keepsakes

by Denise May Levenick MA

Bring your questions to this hands-on preservation workshop to learn how to archive family Bibles, photo albums and scrapbooks, quilts, documents, and memorabilia. Explore best practices for digitizing photos, documents, and awkward artifacts. Learn how to construct simple archival containers to hold books and fragile documents.
“Caring for Keepsakes” will be held Thursday, August 31, 2017, from 2:00-4:00. Tickets are $25. Skill level: Beginner, intermediate, advanced.
Denise May Levenick, MA (English Literature), is a writer, researcher, and instructor specializing in archiving and sharing personal and family artifacts. She is the creator of the award-winning blog, The Family Curator.

F-344: Connecting the DNA Dots

by Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD, Angie Bush MS, Diahan Southard

“Connecting the DNA Dots” is a beginner-to-intermediate level workshop. It will help participants maximize the use of their DNA test results to answer genealogical questions. There will be discussion of types of DNA tests available and examples of genealogical questions they may help to answer.
Participants will also learn how to review and evaluate their own results, join appropriate surname or haplogroup projects, and upload their data to other testing services and websites. Lastly, participants will determine other family members to test and how those tests may benefit their genealogical research.
“Connecting the DNA Dots” will be held on Friday, September 1, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Tickets are $60.

F-345: What Next? Hands-on Research Planning

by Paula Stuart-Warren CG, FMGS, FUGA

Analysis of information, recognition of detail gaps, and the creation of research goals form the basis for excellence in our quest. Success improves with careful planning, small group discussion, and proven techniques to develop step-by-step research plans. This hands-on workshop involves a variety of records and geographic areas.
“What Next? Hands-on Research Planning” will be held Friday, September 1, 2017, from 2:00-4:00. Tickets are $25. Skill level: Intermediate.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, works internationally in genealogical and historical research, lecturing, and consulting. She is a course coordinator for SLIG and GRIP and former board member of APG and FGS.

S-446: Using Genetics and Genealogy to Smash Through Brick Walls

by Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD, Angie Bush MS

“Using Genetics and Genealogy to Smash Through Brick Walls” is for genealogists with intermediate-to-advanced DNA experience. This is a four-hour, hands-on workshop designed to help participants maximize the use of various third-party tools and websites for autosomal DNA.
We will discuss the in-depth use of spreadsheets for organization, the tools available at DNAGedcom (ADSA, GWorks), Tier 1 tools available on GEDMatch, and Kitty Cooper’s Chromosome Mapper. Workshop participants should have accounts with GEDMatch and DNA GEDcom and have multiple sets of autosomal raw data to work with. Each participant should come to class with a research goal in mind.

Pre-requisites for “Using Genetics and Genealogy to Smash Through Brick Walls”

Since this is an advanced workshop, pre-requisites are required. If you do not meet all of the pre-requisites, you won’t get the most from this workshop and should not register.
  • Must bring a laptop to the workshop. (This cannot be an iPad or tablet.)
  • Must have a minimum of three close, known family members tested, with access to their resultsT
  • The raw data for these tests must be uploaded to GEDmatch.
  • For visual mapping, these three family members should be siblings.
  • For segment mapping, these close family members should be cousins. Ideally, attendees will have a mix of cousins and siblings tested so they can do both types of mapping, but one or the other is acceptable. 
  • Must have the DNAGedcom Client (http://dnagedcom.com/doc/welcome-to-the-dnagedcom-client) installed and working on your computer.
  • The DNAGedcom Client works primarily with AncestryDNA tests.
  • Attendees should have at least one test at AncestryDNA. 
  • Must have a basic knowledge of spreadsheets (e.g., Excel). 
“Using Genetics and Genealogy to Smash Through Brick Walls” will be on Saturday, September 2. Tickets for this workshop are $60. Advance registration is required. 

S-447: Preserve Your Roots Through Storytelling: James Leech’s 1763 Passport Unlocks Leech Family Migration Story

by Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, PhD

This workshop will cover the process and application of storytelling to family history research and working through an exercise that will allow the participants to begin working on the creation of their own stories. Bring results of prior research with you.
“Preserve our Roots Through Storytelling” will be held on Saturday, September 2 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. It is sponsored by the Ulster Historical Foundation. Tickets are $25. Skill level: Beginner, intermediate.
Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, PhD, recently retired as professor of political science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She developed and taught a university-wide, upper-level synthesis course, Climbing Your Family Tree.

S-448: Transcription & Analysis: Getting the Most Out of Your Research

by David McDonald, DMin, CG

How does a researcher find the gems buried in a document and use the information to advance their research efforts? A workshop-style session to analyze handwritten documents, develop research plans, and analyze the material contained therein.
“Getting the Most Out of Your Research” will be held on Saturday, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Tickets are $25. Skill level: Intermediate.
David McDonald, DMin, CG, is a trustee and past president of BCG. He has presented at multiple national conferences since 2005. Particular interests: migration, religions and their records, US Midwest, British Isles, and Germanic research.