My Live Webinars in 2021

My live webinar topics include: 

  • New for 2021: Unlock the Power of Find a Grave for Genealogy - The basics and beyond of using the free site to research and memorialize burial places of your ancestors. Learn to use special features such as linking family members, posting biographies to share family history, and personalizing your member profile as genealogical cousin bait. Tips and tricks for getting the most from this website, a rich source of genealogy clues. Also see, step by step, why and how to create a virtual cemetery for your ancestors--and how to share this important information so relatives will know exactly where the bodies are buried! 
  • Insider's Guide to Genealogical Cousin Bait - Want to expand your family tree and connect with cousins? This how-to talk is packed with practical, creative ways to find possible cousins and enable cousins to find you on Find a Grave, Family Search, Ancestry, My Heritage, and DNA websites. Step by step, learn tips and tricks for locating cousin bait such as personal photos, family stories, and unique family-history details. Don't just "take the bait"--see how and where to post irresistible cousin bait, keeping privacy in mind while encouraging relatives to get in touch. (intermediate and advanced)
  • Bring Family History Alive in Bite-Sized Projects - Learn an easy process for bringing family history to life in practical, bite-sized projects that can be shared and repurposed. See why and how to narrow your focus to one ancestor, occasion, heirloom, or photo. Limiting the scope guides your research and keeps up enthusiasm for uncovering and telling the story. Like a sprint rather than a marathon, each project takes a short time and gives you flexibility to be creative in spotlighting one aspect of family history to share with relatives now. Ideas include brief ancestor bios and booklets, heirloom stories, ancestor coloring books, photo books, and video-based family history.  (all levels)
  • UPDATED for upcoming 1950 release! Finding Ancestors in US and State Census Records - Get fresh ideas for finding the many valuable genealogy clues buried in federal and state census records from 1790-1950. This presentation demonstrates a variety of "search and browse" techniques for locating ancestors in federal population schedules, state census records, and special U.S. schedules covering agriculture, veterans, mortality, and industry. For more effective research, learn how enumerators' instructions affected what was recorded in Census records. Includes a sneak preview of the 1950 U.S. Census, to be released in April, 2022! (all levels)
  • Using HeritageQuest Online for Genealogy - Learn to search for your ancestors in the FREE HeritageQuest databases, accessible from home with your local library card (in many states). Tips and tricks for researching in the U.S. Census population schedules and special schedules (veterans, mortality, agriculture, and more). Look for ancestors in city directories, Revolutionary War records, wills/probate records, Soc. Sec. Death Index, and other useful databases available free through HeritageQuest. (all levels)
  • Free (and Almost Free) Genealogy - Find out how to locate family-history information online and through non-digital sources without spending a fortune. In addition to using the big-name websites, see how to search for clues about ancestors by checking Linkpendium, the Ancestor Hunt, state and local genealogy societies, and asking local historians, archives, and libraries. Learn tips for deciding when it pays to pay for a document, based on what's missing from your family tree, what your family already has in hand, and how unique that document really is. (beginner and intermediate)
  • Curate Your Genealogy--Before Joining Your Ancestors!Old family photos, documents, and heirlooms are important to your family's past. Learn how to plan ahead, organize items within your collection, and keep special keepsakes safe for the future. Step by step, see how to make decisions about what to retain and what to give to relatives and institutions--including ideas for when you have no obvious genealogy heirs. Also learn how to prepare written instructions for preserving your family's history, with future generations in mind. (all levels)
  • Updated! Planning a Future for Your Family's Past - Ancestors' photos, stories, documents, and heirlooms are part of your family's past, and they deserve to be protected to share with future generations. No heirs for your genealogy? Get ideas for paths forward. The PASS process can help in organizing and storing family history materials; setting priorities for keeping key items and finding new homes for other items; writing a "genealogical will" to safeguard your collection for the future; and sharing your family's history now. (all levels)
  • Click and Connect: Using Social Media for #GenealogyTwitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are fun, free, and great places to gain family history knowledge, find useful and timely information, and connect with researchers and possible relatives through posts and live chats. Practical tips for how to lurk and learn or participate by asking questions, requesting assistance, and adding comments. Once you see how to decode #Genealogy, #FamilyHistory, #GenChat, and other hashtags, you can join the conversation! (all levels)
  • Do the "Write" Thing for Genealogy - Whether you know a lot about your family tree or you've just embarked on your genealogy journey, you can begin to write your family's story right now. Get practical, creative ideas for planning, organizing, and writing a personalized family history that focuses on one ancestor or family, one heirloom or photo, or one occasion. Learn how to look for the dramatic moments that reveal turning points and show the context of your ancestors' lives. You'll be inspired and encouraged to tell your family's story with a clear, engaging narrative and finishing touches like old photos, timelines, and maps. (all levels)
  • Genealogy 101: Building Your Family Tree - New to genealogy or want a refresher on the basics of building a family tree? Learn how to trace your family’s history in five easy steps, starting with what you know about parents and grandparents. Identify gaps in your family tree, focus your research direction, and set priorities. Find out about useful free resources that can help you move backward in time to identify older ancestors, and use handouts to start climbing your own family tree. (beginner and intermediate)
  • From Clues to Conclusions: Can You Prove It? - To go from clues to answers for tough family history challenges, find out what it means to "prove" something in genealogy. With lively interactive case studies, this how-to presentation defines and demonstrates the use of the Genealogical Proof Standard for planning research, analyzing sources and details, resolving conflicting clues, and coming to a credible solution. Seeing the proof process in action can provide insights and ideas for turning clues into provable conclusions. (intermediate and advanced)
  • NEW for 2021: Get Ready for the 1950 US Census Release! - If your parents, grandparents, siblings, or other family members were counted in the 1950 US Census, you'll want to be ready when records are released in April, 2022. Find out about the detailed questions asked, important quirks in the enumeration instructions, how this mid-century Census will benefit your genealogy, and how to prepare so you can quickly search for family (or your own name!) when records are released.  (all levels)
Please email ( for more information and scheduling!

Marian B. Wood
PS: Looking to organize and curate your genealogy collection, analyze documents, write a "genealogical will," and share family history with future generations?

Please check out my very affordable best-selling genealogy book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past. Available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon and in paperback at the New England Historic Genealogical Society book store in Boston (plus its catalog).