MY GENEALOGY PRESENTATIONS

Marian Wood teaching family history writing workshop
Need a genealogy speaker? My topics include:

  • Insider's Guide to Genealogical Cousin Bait - Want to connect with cousins and expand your family tree? Come and learn a series of lesser-known but extremely useful tools you can use to find possible cousins and enable cousins to find you on Family Search, Ancestry, Find a Grave, and DNA websites. Go home with practical ideas for easy and often free ways to leave genealogical "bait" for cousins and "take the bait" that potential cousins leave online.
  • IN DEVELOPMENT: Did Your Northeastern Ancestors Catch Ohio Fever? -After the Revolutionary War, thousands from the Northeast caught "Ohio fever" and pioneered settlements near the Ohio River. Some wanted fresh, fertile farmland, while others wanted a fresh start at the frontier. Mini-case studies offer ideas for putting flesh on the bones of early 19th century Ohio settlers, your ancestors, by seeing them in the context of this historical movement.
  • All About the Census - Researching U.S. ancestors? Learn about details in freely-available federal and state census records, which are filled with valuable genealogy clues. This presentation shows what you can discover from population schedules (from 1790 through 1940), state census records, and special U.S. schedules covering agriculture, mortality, industry, and more. Plus a sneak preview of the 1950 U.S. Census, to be released in 2022!
  • Get the Most Out of HeritageQuest Online - Learn to search for your ancestors in the FREE HeritageQuest databases, accessible from home with your local library card (in most 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. 
  • Free or Fee Genealogy - Birth, marriage, death, naturalization records can be costly. Refocus your research strategy by going beyond the well-known sites to free and low-cost sources such as Linkpendium, The Ancestor Hunt, historical and genealogical societies, and many more. Decide when to pay for a record, based on details in the record, time and distance from source, the uniqueness of the record, and documentation for genealogical proof.
  • Curate Your Genealogy--Before Joining Your Ancestors! - Old family photos, documents, and heirlooms are important parts of your family's past. Learn how to plan ahead and keep these 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. Also learn how to prepare a "genealogical will" for preserving your family's history for the sake of future generations. 
  • 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 and adding comments. Once you see how to decode #Genealogy, #FamilyHistory, #GenChat, and other hashtags, you can join the conversation!
  • 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.
  • Genealogy 101: Back to Basics - 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 your parents and grandparents. Identify gaps in your family tree, focus your research direction, and set priorities. Find out about useful free research sources that can help you move backward in time to identify older ancestors, and take home free handouts for a quick start on climbing your own family tree.
  • From Clues to Conclusions: the Genealogical Proof Standard - 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.
  • IN DEVELOPMENT: 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, 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 but not yet indexed.
Please email (marianbww@netscape.net) for more information and scheduling!

Wally and Marian Wood - Do the "Write" Thing for Family History
2020 Speaking Schedule

  • February 13: All About the Census - Heritage Village Genealogy Club, Southbury, CT. A close look at what you can discover about ancestors in America by researching freely-available U.S. and state Census records. This presentation examines what can be found in population schedules from 1790 through 1940, state census records, and special schedules covering veterans, agriculture, mortality, and businesses. Also included: a sneak preview of the 1950 U.S. Census, to be released in 2022!
  • February 28: Apres Vous/After You - #GenChat on Twitter. Guest expert on one-hour Twitter chat about how we can keep genealogy materials safe for future generations (planning for before we join our ancestors). To join the conversation, log onto Twitter on Friday, 2/28, at 10 pm EST and follow the #GenChat hashtag. For more topics on alternate Friday nights, see the full schedule.
  • March 8: Click & Connect: Social Media for #Genealogy - American-French Genealogical Society, Woonsocket, RI. Twitter, 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. Step by step, see how to search, "lurk and learn," or join the social-media conversation to improve your #Genealogy and #FamilyHistory skills. 
  • March 14: Insider's Guide to Genealogical Cousin Bait - Naugatuck Valley Genealogy Club, Prospect, CTCome and learn a series of lesser-known but extremely useful tools to find possible cousins and enable cousins to find you on Family Search, Ancestry, Find a Grave, and DNA websites. Go home with practical ideas for easy and often free ways to leave genealogical "bait" for cousins and "take the bait" that potential cousins leave online.
  • November 24: Curate Your Genealogy Collection - Before Joining Your Ancestors! - Virtual Genealogical Association webinar. To keep documents, photos, and artifacts safe for future generations, curate your genealogy collection now. Get practical ideas for deciding what to retain and what to consider giving to relatives and institutions. See how to research repositories that accept family-history materials and understand each step in the donation process through mini-case studies. Curating your collection now and through written instructions for the future will keep your family’s history safe and out of the rubbish.
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Major Conference Presentations
  • Family Tree Live, London (2019) - two lectures, one panel discussion
  • New England Regional Genealogy Conference, Springfield (2017)
  • International Jewish Genealogical Conference, Orlando (2017)
NOTE: Looking to organize your genealogy collection, analyze documents, write a "genealogical will," and share your family's history with future generations?

Please check out my very affordable genealogy book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past. It's a Kindle genealogy best-seller. Also available in paperback via Amazon and at the New England Historic Genealogical Society book store in Boston.