Lisa Louise Cooke | Sunny Morton | Diahan Southard

    Walk-ins Welcome (see note below)

Friday, August 4, 2017

  • Session 1: Google Tools & Procedures for Solving Family History Mysteries – Lisa Louise Cooke: In this session we will put Google to the test. Discover Google tools and the process for using them to solve the genealogical challenges you face. You’ll walk away with exciting new techniques you can use right away.
  • Session 2: Write Your Life Story – Sunny Morton: Every life is fascinating when it’s well shared. As the author of My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories, Sunny will teach attendees how to write their personal histories in an engaging way. Attendees will learn how to bring vague old memories to the surface and freshen them up. This session includes: the anatomy of a good story; what kinds of details are interesting; and how to give stories a personal flavor.
  • Session 3: Genetic Genealogy: Here’s What you Need To Know – Diahan Southard:  YDNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA. Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and LivingDNA. Do 3 test types + 5 testing companies = 8 times the confusion? This accessible lecture will cover only exactly what you need to know about this exciting science and how it can lead to important discoveries in your family history. In a fun, upbeat and non-sciency way, important questions will be answered: Who should be tested? Which test should I take? What will I receive? Will the DNA results help me? You will be entertained and enlightened, and leave with a better understanding of your next steps.
  • Session 4: Get the Scoop on Your Ancestors with Newspapers – Lisa Louise Cooke: Yearning to “read all about it?” Newspapers are a fantastic source of research leads, information and historical context for your family history. Learn the specialized approach that is required to achieve success in locating the news on your ancestors. Includes 3 Cool Tech Tools that will get you started.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

  • Session 1: Why We Care Where Grandma Went to Church: An In-Depth Look at U.S. Religious Records – Sunny Morton: Church records can reveal US ancestors’ vital events, family relationships and prior/subsequent residences (including overseas birthplaces!). From the author of the forthcoming book How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records, learn what church records look like, how to identify an ancestral church and locate and access its records.
  • Session 2: 10 Ways to Enhance Your Genealogy with Video – Lisa Louise Cooke: A recent Nielsen Study shows Internet video is experiencing explosive growth. Don’t let the video revolution pass you by! In this class Lisa Louise Cooke of the popular Genealogy Gems YouTube channel will give you ten ways that online video can enrich your family history. Genealogists can use video in countless ways to learn more about their ancestors, enhance their online presence to attract others researching the same family lines, and create intriguing projects to share their family stories.
  • Session 3: The Combined Power of YDNA and Autosomal DNA: A Case Study – Diahan Southard: DNA is certainly helping to shape our modern definition of family and to expand our views of our own personal and extended relationships. These waters can be difficult to navigate.  A case study will illustrate how YDNA and autosomal DNA testing helped one family better understand their own past, and gave them incentive to reach out and connect with others. The session will cover methodology as well as the sociology of this kind of situation and best practices for you and your family as you strive to forge bonds with others in a non-traditional way.
  • Session 4: How to Create Exciting Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth – Lisa Louise Cooke: Google Earth is much more than just a mapping program. In this presentation you will learn how to harness Google Earth’s capabilities by using is as a multimedia way to tell your ancestor’s story and leave a legacy for future generations. Learn how to incorporate images, videos, genealogical documents, and historic maps and bring it all together in a unique virtual family history tour that you can share on  logs, websites, by email and more, as well as use to further your research through geographic analysis.

Our Speakers

Lisa Louise Cooke is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy and family history multi-media company.  She is Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, the popular online genealogy audio show available at, in iTunes, and through the Genealogy Gems app.   Her podcast brings genealogy news, research strategies, expert interviews and inspiration to genealogists in 75 countries around the world, and recently celebrated 1.5 million downloads!

Lisa is the author of a variety of multi-media materials including the Genealogy Gems Premium website subscription, and four books: Turn Your iPad into a GenealogyPowerhouseHow to Find Your Family History in Newspapers,  The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, and  Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies, and the video series Google Earth for Genealogy.

More about Lisa


Sunny Morton is a genealogy writer whose work is read by thousands in magazines and online. As a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems, she frequently posts on the news, but also loves to share quick research tips, reveal little-known resources or take genealogists for an exhilarating dive into deeper research topics and techniques. She’s also the author of My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories.



More about Sunny

Diahan Southard is Your DNA Guide at Genealogy Gems! She has worked with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, and has been in the genetic genealogy industry since it has been an industry. She holds a degree in Microbiology and her creative side helps her break the science up into delicious bite-sized pieces for you. This busy mom of three is also the author of our series of DNA quick reference guides.



More about Diahan


Friday, August 4, 2017

  • Registration – 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Program – 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Saturday, August 5, 2017

  • Program – 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM


1st floor Auditorium
J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
1515 Young Street
Dallas, Texas 75201


Cost (Includes parking in the Library garage.):

By July 23 After July 23
Member: $125 $140
Non-Member: $140 $160
Lunch (each day): $12
Lunch Descriptions

Refund Policy

  • By July 23: Requests for refunds will be granted (less a $10 handling fee).
  • After July 23: No refunds will be issued for cancellations (although we will provide a copy of the syllabus).

* Walk-in registrations on the day of the event are welcome with the following caveats:

  • Payment must be cash or check… we cannot process credit card payments at the seminar.
  • We cannot provide a lunch for you. However, you are welcome to bring your own food and join us in the lunch area (we will provide drinks).
  • We cannot guarantee that you will receive a printed copy of the seminar workbook. However, you will be able to access a online PDF version of the workbook.
Feedback from Previous DGS Seminars
I’ve been thinking about her lectures for the last two days.
The information was relevant to both beginners and experienced family historians.
Very engaging with a good dose of humor!