Educational Programs People Want

Early Registration Ends Monday, September 5, 2016

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At the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Springfield, Illinois this week, Curt Witcher spoke about the large gap between the current number of active members in genealogical societies and the millions of people currently involved in online family history research.  Seeking to narrow this gap, the Dallas Genealogical Society strives to align our educational services and programs with the interests of our members and with the needs of others in the community who are interested in genealogy, yet are not involved in a local genealogical society.

To that end, the DGS offers: (a) three seminars each year –  one or two all-day events with nationally known genealogical speakers; (b) eight monthly programs – one-hour talks from regional and local experts; and (c) several special interest groups – topical discussion groups led by society members. (You can get more information about these on the DGS website.)

On Saturday, September 17, 2016, Curt Witcher, a prominent genealogist, will present four lectures at the DGS Fall Seminar:  Sources & Methods for Family History Research.

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Session 1.            Historical Research Methodology:  Engaging the Process to Find all the Answers

Session 2.            German Migration into the Midwest

Session 3.            Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key

Session 4.            Native American/First Nations Research

Session Descriptions and Seminar Information

The lecture topics address the interests of our Society members as well as the interests of others engaged in family history research. A survey of our members indicated they would like to have research methods topics included in our seminars, as well as ethnic group research topics. The Fall Seminar includes two methodology lectures and a talk about German migration. The fourth topic is about Native American/First Nations research, an interest we heard from several persons who stopped by the DGS booth last March at the North Texas Irish Festival. Curt Witcher has the breadth and depth of expertise to address this range of research topics.

Not sure this seminar is for you?

Don’t be deterred if some topics aren’t a match for your interests! Be excited about:

  • Learning some unexpected knowledge nuggets;
  • Engaging in rewarding conversation with fellow researchers;
  • Supporting a genealogical society that strives to serve!

Please help us welcome Curt Witcher to Dallas for this special event!

Register Now   –   Mail in Registration

Early Registration Ends Monday, September 5, 2016

Fall Seminar with Curt Witcher

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Register Now   –   Mail in Registration

Early Registration Ends Monday, September 5, 2016

The Dallas Genealogical Society has a wonderful Society Newsletter archive available on its website. I wondered how Curt Witcher’s last visit with the DGS had been reported. He was the featured lecturer in February 2002 in the Discovering Genealogical Sources lecture series. I found this article in the archive (Volume 25, Number 10, Issue 224, page 183):

DGS_Newsletter_2002_January_Vol_25_Num_10_Iss_224_003_witcher

Source: 2002-01 | Volume 25, Number 10, Issue 224 (January)

Curt Witcher is now the Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN where he manages The Genealogy Center, the institution’s Rare and Fine Book Collection, and the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection of Abraham Lincoln materials. Curt is the project lead on many of the library’s digitization initiatives–initiatives that include partnerships with the FamilySearch International, the Internet Archive, ProQuest, Ancestry, Fold3, and WeRelate–as well as growing a site of free, searchable data files at GenealogyCenter.org.

In addition to the more than five hundred record and methodology articles he has penned for genealogical periodicals, Curt has participated in many family history conferences and seminars across the country, presenting ideas and strategies to help individuals find and tell their family stories. He was honored in May of 2007 with the National Genealogical Society’s P. William Filby award for outstanding, life-time contributions to genealogical librarianship. (I note that the first Filby award was presented in 1999 to Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck of the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, Texas.)

On Saturday, September 17, 2016, Curt is presenting four lectures at the DGS Fall Seminar,  Sources & Methods for Family History Research.

CurtBWitcher

Session 1.            Historical Research Methodology:  Engaging the Process to Find all the Answers

Session 2.            German Migration into the Midwest

Session 3.            Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key

Session 4.            Native American/First Nations Research

Session Descriptions and Seminar Information

The seminar will be held in the first floor Auditorium of the Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street in Dallas. This beautiful facility seats 179 persons – not quite the 240 seats available to family history researchers in 2002, but still a good number!

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Auditorium at the Dallas Public Library

In 2002, the DGS Newsletter reported that Curt’s lecture was a sell-out (Volume 26, Number 1, Issue 225, page 7)! The article notes Curt’s graciousness in answering all questions during breaks and lunch. It describes the lecture as both a “good time” and “information-packed”. I expect no less graciousness or expertise on Curt’s part when he joins us on September 17th.

DGS_Newsletter_2002_February_Vol_26_Num_1_Iss_225_007_witcher

Source: 2002-02 | Volume 26, Number 1, Issue 225 (February)

Please help us welcome Curt Witcher back to Dallas for this very special event!

Register Now   –   Mail in Registration

Early Registration Ends Monday, September 5, 2016

It’s a Privilege

For this Midwesterner it’s hard to imagine in our current 100-degree Dallas heat that Fall is actually coming. But one thing the approach of Fall means is that the Dallas Genealogical Society is once again offering a Fall educational seminar.

Curt Witcher, a nationally prominent genealogical speaker, is our featured speaker on Saturday, September 17, 2016. Registration is open and offered at a discounted rate to both members and non-members through midnight September 5, 2016.

Register Online      Register by Mail

CurtBWitcherYou may recognize Curt Witcher as the Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he manages the Genealogy Center. His is also a former president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.

I first encountered Curt Witcher when he delivered a keynote speech in 2011 at the first RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. He spoke about genealogical societies and said things right-out-loud that inspired many and risked derision from others. I was inspired.

This respected member of the national genealogical community simultaneously chastised and uplifted societies. I thought: Here is a leader with a message of hope and solid ideas for the genealogical societies of the future.

At RootsTech that year he shared the keynote stage with a truly distinguished group:

  • Shane Robison – Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, 
Hewlett–Packard Company;
  • Brewster Kahle – Founder of the Internet Archive; and
  • Jay Verkler – CEO, FamilySearch International.

The second time I heard Curt speak was at the annual awards banquet of the 2012 Texas State Genealogical Society Annual Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. He stepped in as the banquet keynote speaker for Lloyd Bockstruck, who was unable to attend at the last minute. Curt admirably retooled a talk about the outreach efforts of the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, interleaving real life  stories of library patrons. It was a warm and touching speech that resonated with many hearts in that audience.

I most recently heard Curt speak in March of this year at the Williamson County Genealogical Society’s Annual Seminar in Round Rock, Texas. He did not disappoint.

His introductory remarks included: “I’ve always been a contrarian” and “I get snarkier with age”. Delightful: A man of immeasurable competence who makes no apologies for his intelligent analysis and critique, while delivering solid guidance to family history researchers.

When I found myself in a position to engage speakers for the Dallas Genealogical Society, Curt definitely made my short list. What a privilege to have him join us September 17, 2016, when he will deliver four lectures under the umbrella theme of Sources & Methods for Family History Research.

Session 1. Historical Research Methodology: Engaging the Process to Find all the Answers

Session 2. German Migration into the Midwest

Session 3. Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key

Session 4. Native American/First Nations Research

Please Join Us for this Wonderful Event!

Register Online      Register by Mail

Walk-Ins Invited to Dr. Lacopo’s Seminar this Saturday

Registration has closed for Mike Lacopo’s seminar this Saturday, October 24 – Thinking, Assessing, & Storytelling: Genealogy Beyond Birth, Marriage, & Death – but there are still seats available. Don’t hesitate – join us in the first-floor auditorium of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas for an excellent program. Map. Check-in begins at 9:30 am and the seminar starts at 10.

Program details

EthnicThe cost is $55 for members; $65 for non-members – cash or check only. Although a box lunch won’t be available, you are welcome to bring your lunch or go out to one of the many eateries around the Library.

An all-day discount rate of $1.50 is available for attendees who parking in the Library’s underground parking garage, accessed from Wood Street.

A bonus event – Lloyd Bockstruck, retired head of the Library’s Genealogy Division, will staff a table of used genealogy/family history books and other materials for sale. These have been gathered from several sources and the money collected will be donated to the Genealogy Division. Many of the titles are Texas-related, but a wide variety of family histories, methodologies, etc. are included.

We look forward to seeing you.

Only One Week Until Our Fall Seminar With Mike Lacopo!

DGS is excited to present Thinking, Assessing, & Storytelling: Genealogy Beyond Birth, Marriage, & Death, Dr. Lacopo’s all-day seminar on Saturday, October 24, to be held at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas. Map

Michael_LacopoHis four sessions:

1. She Came From Nowhere – A Case Study Approach to a Difficult Genealogical Problem.
2. Deconstructing Your Family Tree: Re-Evaluating the “Evidence”.
3. Incorporating Social History Into Your Research.
4. Medical Genealogy: A Primer of Diseases That Killed Our Ancestors and the Epidemics They Lived Through.

  • Members – $55
  • Non-members – $65
  • Lunch (optional) – $12

Dr. Lacopo was born and raised in northern Indiana. Michael completed his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1991, at the same time that he was honing his research skills. He treats his genealogical research as he does medicine – carefully, methodically and completely. Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has developed a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales or our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past. Dr. Lacopo has presented lectures and programs at several NGS and FGS conferences, as well state genealogical societies, the Palatines to America Conference, and many local and regional family history meetings.

Please join us for this informative and engaging program.

Who is Dr. Michael Lacopo?

Dr. Michael Lacopo is the featured speaker at our 2015 Fall Seminar to be held on Saturday, October 24, at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas.

He was born and raised in northern Indiana surrounded by extended family always willing to tell tall tales. Intrigued by his maternal family’s claim to be kinfolk of Abraham Lincoln, and his paternal family’s stories of murder and mayhem, he took to genealogical research in 1980 to substantiate these family stories. His first major challenge in the world of research was tackled by finding his adopted mother’s birthparents in 1982. You can read about this adventure at his blog at Roots4U.blogspot.com with some engaging story-telling, plot twists, and new findings!

Michael has retired from his veterinary medical career to pursue genealogical research full-time as a profession. He has contributed to numerous periodicals and has helped numerous people in their quests to locate their relatives – living and dead. His national lecturing began in Sacramento, CA, at the National Genealogical Society’s national conference in 2004, and has continued with several local, state, national, and international conference speaking engagements to this present day.

Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales or our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past.

“I’ve heard Mike speak twice – at the Texas State Genealogical Society in 2014 and at RootsTech in 2015. I greatly appreciated his expertise and found his delivery very engaging.”—a Dallas Genealogical Society member.

Details about his all-day program: Thinking, Assessing, & Storytelling: Genealogy Beyond Birth, Marriage & Death.

Michael_Lacopo

DGS Fall Seminar on 24 Oct: Understand Your Ancestors in the Context of Place and Time

The Dallas Genealogical Society’s Fall Seminar will be held Saturday, October 24, at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas. Titled “Thinking, Assessing, & Storytelling: Genealogy Beyond Birth, Marriage, & Death”, the program will offer four presentations by featured speaker Dr. Michael Lacopo:

  • She Came From Nowhere – A Case Study Approach to a Difficult Genealogical Problem.
  • Deconstructing Your Family Tree: Re-Evaluating the “Evidence”.
  • Incorporating Social History Into Your Research.
  • Medical Genealogy: A Primer of Diseases That Killed Our Ancestors and the Epidemics They Lived
    Through.

“The “Social History” and “Medical Genealogy” topics are…related to my desire for genealogists to tell a story and to understand their ancestors in the context of the place and time and location in which they lived.” states Dr. Lacopo.

Early Bird registration (by October 1) will save you $10.00; the price for all four lectures is only $45.00 for Members and $55.00 for non-Members. The optional box lunch is $12.00.

Program details and registration instructions are available on the DGS web site.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo was born and raised in northern Indiana surrounded by extended family always willing to tell tall tales. Intrigued by his maternal family’s claim to be kinfolk of Abraham Lincoln, and his paternal family’s stories of murder and mayhem, he took to genealogical research in 1980 to substantiate these family stories.
Although a budding genealogist in the 1980s, Michael completed his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1991, while still spending time honing his research skills. As befitting a doctor, Michael treats his genealogical research as he would medicine – carefully, methodically and completely. In 2013, Michael retired from his medical career to pursue genealogical research full-time as a profession. He has contributed to numerous periodicals and has helped numerous people in their quests to locate their relatives – living and dead.
Michael’s interests and strengths include Mennonite research, German and Swiss research, especially as it pertains to the 18th century immigration to America, among many other topics. Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales or our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past.
He has presented lectures and programs at several National Genealogical Society Conferences and Federation of Genealogical Society conferences, as well state genealogical societies, the Palatines to America Conference, and many local and regional family history meetings.

Visit Michael’s blog Hoosier Daddy
Visit Michael’s web site
Visit Michael’s Facebook page

DGS Fall Seminar on 24 Oct

The Dallas Genealogical Society is excited to announce that its Fall Seminar will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2015.  “Thinking, Assessing, & Storytelling: Genealogy Beyond Birth, Marriage, & Death” will feature nationally-known speaker and genealogist Dr. Michael Lacopo.  The event will be held in the Auditorium of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, TX from 9:30 am – 4:45 pm. Directions.

Dr. Lacopo’s four topics will be:

1.  She Came From Nowhere – A Case Study Approach to a Difficult Genealogical Problem.  See the Genealogical Proof Standard in action, as well as how to look at a genealogical quandary from a social history perspective.

2.  Deconstructing Your Family Tree: Re-Evaluating the “Evidence”.  Make sure you are beating your head against the proper brick wall….when, where, and how can facts, records, and evidence be wrong?

3.  Incorporating Social History Into Your Research.  Learn to think outside the box and discover research methods to tell your ancestor’s story in a broader historical context — and you may just find some genealogical gems along the way!

4.  Medical Genealogy: A Primer of Diseases That Killed Our Ancestors and the Epidemics They Lived Through.  Life before vaccinations and antibiotics was no picnic. Discover the meaning of the archaic medical terms we skim over on mortality schedules and death certificates, and understand the medical history of your ancestors.

Dr. Lacopo was born and raised in northern Indiana.  Michael completed his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1991, at the same time that he was honing his research skills. He treats his genealogical research as he does medicine – carefully, methodically and completely.  Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has developed a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales or our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past. Dr. Lacopo has presented lectures and programs at several NGS and FGS conferences, as well state genealogical societies, the Palatines to America Conference, and many local and regional family history meetings.

Visit Michael’s blog Hoosier Daddy
Visit Michael’s web site
Visit Michael’s Facebook page

Program details and registration instructions are here.