Genealogy Classes

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

At only one time in our history did our country fracture at the seams as it did in the Civil War. Because of the issues of states rights, competing cultures, and the seminole issue of slavery did families, towns, and states turn on each other to the point of death. What role did my family play? Which side of the debate did we support? Did we lose family members? Civil War genealogy takes us back in time to see how our family helped forge this pivotal moment in history – changing the course of our country forever. Discover research tools among the soldiers’ records that will give rich meaning and texture to your family history. Click here to view online.

AMERICAN REVOLUTION

What possessed a people to throw tea in a harbor and risk life and limb, land and livelihood to get the right to vote? ..the right to control their own destiny? In defending their own property, with personal resources, out manned, out gunned they ousted the world’s most powerful Power. It’s a story about which we want to know more. Did my ancestor help? …even a little? Let’s go in search of answers using the soldiers’ service and pension records and unit narratives.  Click here to view online.

AN ARMY OF ORGANIZED WOMEN

Civil War Era Organizations

We think of women today being politically, socially, and civically active as a matter of course. Not so in 1860. Women were given the role of “Women’s Work” in life, and in war. This era marks a subtle but significant change, and some would say, the basis for the suffrage movement and the birth of the “Modern Woman.” Through the records, resources, and repositories, we’ll examine their role in anti-slavery organizations, soldier’s aid organizations, lineage societies, and freed slave support societies.

CAPTURE HISTORY NOW

As genealogists we zero in on finding the wonderful treasures of our past – as we should. However, oh so often we neglect capturing the family history being created now, in the 21st Century. We forget that our current events are our children’s family history. Break open the can of “memory catcher” and learn how to save today for tomorrow.

COLONIAL LAND

New Life, New Land in the New World

Colonial immigrants came to America searching for a means to support their family, church membership, and citizenship. Whether 50 acres or 5,000 acres, granted, purchased or earned, in the north or south, land was the common pursuit that bound most immigrants. This lecture explores the ways our Colonial Ancestors acquired land and the documents they created in the process. Specifically, we will discuss Company Grant Land, quit rents, military bounty land, deeded land, headrights, and land acquired through indentured service. With a search plan and the right tools, you’ll be equipped to find “land,” as your ancestors did. Click here to view online.

COLONIAL IMMIGRATION

The English Pioneers of Early America

Imagine leaving everything you and your family has known for generations for an unexplored, unfamiliar, possibly hostile “New World.” Who were these people of unbounded courage, faith, and resiliency who ultimately laid the foundation for the America as we know it? What stories they must tell! What do the records reveal of their immigration, voyage and settlements in America? We’ll look at what history has left us in passenger records and alternative sources – both primary and secondary – to peal back this riveting portion of our personal and national history.  Click here to view online.

COOL TOOLS AT MIDWEST GENEALOGY CENTER

It’s a big library with lots of materials! Make the most of this valuable repository by attending this class. You’ll learn what’s at the library, where to find it, and how to use it. Plus pick up a few insider tips. Excellent overview for all skill levels.

“IF I’D ONLY KNOWN”

Beginning Mistakes

We all know that awful feeling of “ugh!” when we’ve wasted our time, messed up the tree, or found a better, faster way to the results we wanted. This class outlines – with personal examples – many mistakes that you can now avoid. Laugh, learn, and love the new ideas you’ll come away with knowing how to more effectively build your family tree. Click here to view online.

IMPORTED TO AMERICA

Immigrants as Indentured Servants; Convicts

It may be surprising to some that not all Europeans came to America seeking the land of “milk & honey.” Some were “transported” as the sentence for their crime of stealing, prostitution, or other non-capital offense. Others paid for their passage with years of uncompensated labor. It’s a revealing story, and an eye-opening look at a not often told side of Colonial America. In this class we break open the stories of 50,000 or more immigrants through the history and documents they’ve left behind.

INTRODUCTION TO GENEALOGY

“I don’t know where to start?” If this sounds like something you’ve said, well, welcome to the fraternity of genealogists. We’ve all been there, and oddly, that’s why we’re still with it. There is so much to learn, so much to do, so many ways to grow. Join us, will you? Take the first steps to a rich and rewarding passion. We’ll start out easy in this fun-filled look at the best places to start, the best resources to use, and the best questions to ask. Remember, nothing is hard, once you know how.

INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC (FEDERAL) LANDS

In 1785 Congress passed the Land Ordinance Act and opened the lands beyond the colonies to settlement. Millions of acres were now in the Public Domain ready to be auctioned off to new immigrants to homestead. The good news for genealogists is that there is a bounty of records to be had that point to not only property ownership, but relationships, immigration status, migration routes, level of wealth, military experience, and much more. This class tells the story of the opening of the west and introduces the genealogist to the many, many records that a wait.

KANSAS SETTLERS

Land Acquisition Pre-1900

The settling of Kansas is a tale woven with Indian settlements, railroad grants, the Homestead Act, Pre-emption, and agricultural school grants.  With this many players, settlers – and genealogists – have their work cut out.  This class breaks open the fascinating story and records left behind.

PLACING YOUR ANCESTOR IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT

A Tale of Two Franks

Why did your ancestor settle here? How did he get there? What was life like there? What prompted him to move? At the heart of genealogy – for me – is the answer to all of the decisions that played out to ultimately shape my life. True, many decisions are very personal – moving with family – but our ancestors lived in an ever changing world with forces pushing and pulling on their lives. We’ll look at the wonderful world of background sources, and their cousin, finding aids, to give depth, dimension, and meaning to our family stories.

THE BATTLE FOR BOUNTY LAND
Spanish, Mexican-American Wars

Land given as a “Bounty” for military service has been an American tradition from the Colonial Era up to the Civil War when the practice saw its ultimate discontinuance. The Spanish-American and Mexican-American Wars and the battle waged by the veterans for their bounty land tell the story of a nation and a military in transition. Lucky for us genealogists, there is a “bounty” of both military pension and land-purchase records left behind to tell the story both nationally and personally.


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