What are GenTalks?

GenTalks are less formal, genealogy-related presentations that take place at the GFO library several months per year, generally on the third Saturday at 2 p.m.  GenTalks are free and open to the public (i.e., you do NOT have to be a GFO member to attend). And they are a great opportunity for us to learn about not only genealogy, but also historical and cultural topics that permit us to better understand our ancestors and the eras in which they lived. Check out our Calendar page, and come spend an hour or so with us on a Saturday afternoon!

Upcoming GenTalks:

Finding James: A WWII Repatriation Project

Saturday, Mar. 17 @ 2 p.m.

Presenter: Kate Eakman, MA

It sounded like an average assignment for professional genealogist Kate Eakman: uncover as much information as possible about a U.S. serviceman who died on Utah Beach on D-Day during WWII.  What followed was a study in dead ends, perseverance, and one of the most meaningful projects it has ever been her privilege to work on...

Kate Eakman holds an M.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to her career as a professional genealogist, Kate spent 20 years as a college history professor. Today she is a Senior Researcher for Legacy Tree Genealogists. Kate’s article “Writing the Professional Research Report: Style and Format” was awarded the APGQ Excellence Award for 2016. She currently serves as the co-editor of the GFO Bulletin.

Getting from Then to Now: Locating People in the Last Century

Saturday, April 21 @ 2 p.m.

Presenter:  Leslie Brinkley Lawson, FCG

Do you find it easier to find a person in 1880 than in 1980? If your answer is "yes," then this is the presentation for you. Learn the skills you need to find those missing people in the 20th century...how to reassemble their lives; figure out where they went and where their children are today. We’ll touch on databases available on the internet, as well as other reference sources. 

Leslie Brinkley Lawson is a full-time professional genealogist specializing in forensic genealogy (missing/unknown heirs and probate research). She is credentialed by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG), and is a past president (2010-2015). She is the current president of the Oregon Chapter of the Assn. of Professional Genealogists (APG), and is a member of the GFO.

My Cuban Cousins

Saturday, May 19 @ 2 p.m.

Presenter: Janice Sellers

“I was always told that I had cousins who had immigrated to Cuba, but no one could remember their names or even which branch of the family they were from.  And Cuba is a difficult country to research.  As more records have become available online, I was able to uncover enough clues to find and contact some of my Cuban cousins. In the summer of 2015, I traveled to Cuba to see what traces I could find of my family there.”

Janice Sellers is a professional genealogist who specializes in forensic, Jewish, black and newspaper research. She has presented numerous talks to diverse audiences at local, regional, state, and national events. She is the editor for ZichronNote, the journal of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS); The Baobab Tree, the journal of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC); and the CSGA Newsletter. She is also the vice president and publicity director for SFBAJGS, a board member of AAGSNC, and was on the staff of the Oakland FamilySearch Library for over 15 years.

The Family Photo Collection & Its Uses in Visualizing Your Personal Family History

Saturday, June 16 @ 2:30 p.m.

Presenter: Harold Hinds, Ph.D.

Most of us hope to illustrate our personal family histories with family photographs. But what should be collected? Which deserve to be preserved and identified for posterity? What types of photos might you find in typical family albums or shoe boxes? What guidelines might you apply in selecting items from your collection for inclusion in a family memoir? This lecture tackles these important questions.

Harold Hinds, Ph.D., was Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Minnesota-Morris, and is the author of several books, including Crafting a Personal Family History: A Guide Plus A Case Study, and A Basic Guide to Genealogical and Family History Resources for Essex County, New York.

Some of the GenTalks we have offered in the past:

January 2017 
Making the Most of Your DNA Holiday Gift
Presented by: Lisa McCullough

December 2017 
Personal Archiving
Presented by: LauraDenise White, MARM, GFO Resident Archivist

November 2017 
Paper & Spit: Making First Contact with a Match
Presented by: Don Anderson

October 2017 
Write It Up!
Presented by: Marti Dell, Co-Editor, GFO Bulletin

September 2017 
Switched at Birth: Unraveling a Century-Old Mystery with DNA
Presented by: Alice Collins Plebuch

June 2017 
Capturing and Bringing to Life Your U.S. Farm Ancestor
Presented by: Harold Hinds, Ph.D.

May 2017 
Presented by: Zita Podany, author

March 2017 
French Prairie Oregon Settlement & The GFO's French-Canadian Collection
Presented by: Gerry Lenzen and Susan LeBlanc, AG

January 2017 
Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery
Presented by: Linda Werts, Board Member, Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery

November 2016
What the U.S. Census Tells Us about Your Potential Native American Ancestors
Presented by: Kate Eakman, MA

September 2016 
Map Guides to German Parish Records
Presented by: Keith & Darlene Pyeatt

June 2016
Church Records: Their Location & Value for Family Historians
Presented by: Harold Hinds, Ph.D.

May 2016
Buttons, History...and Genealogy?
Presented by: Dorothy Krugner

April 2016
Beyond Names & Places: Filling in the Stories of Our Female Ancestors
Presented by: Pam Vestal

March 2016
From Native American to Scottish: The Journey to Find My First Parents 
Presented by: Don Anderson

February 2016
Research in Eastern Canada
Presented by: Thomas Higgins

January 2016 
Discover Your House History
Presented by: Connie Lenzen, CG