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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, so, member or not, check out our Calendar page and come spend an hour or so with us!

Upcoming GenTalks:

Using Civil War Pension Records

Sat., July 18 @ 2 p.m.

Presenter: Tricia Oberndorf

Join us online for a free live webinar!
Meeting link coming July 10.

Many of us have located an ancestor who served in the Civil War, for either the Union or the Confederacy. In both cases, the records associated with their service can yield an amazing wealth of genealogical information about the soldier or sailor and his family. This class will cover how to locate these records and how you can make use of all they may reveal.

Tricia Oberndorf has been engaged in genealogy research for 30 years, the last six years professionally. Her research has spanned most of the United States, from the colonial period to the 20th century. Living in Columbia County, Oregon, she has also become engaged in local history and research there, volunteering with the Columbia County Historical Museum.

PERSI: Go Online to Find It Offline


Presenter: Kristin Parks

Before the internet, genealogy periodicals functioned as a pre-internet internet ... and the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) was the search engine. Today, PERSI is online and available to lead you to less-common record sets that are published and out there waiting in genealogical and historical society journals. Learn how to tap into the most extensive genealogy and local history subject index on the planet.

Kristin Parks is a GFO research assistant, as well as Chair of the Education Committee. She has a BA in History, a Certificate in Genealogical Research, and has attended numerous national institutes and conferences.

Some of the GenTalks we have offered in the past:

June 2020
Digging Deeper into FamilySearch
Presented by: Janice Sellers

February 2020
Intro to Excel for Genealogy
Presented by: Laurel Smith

January 2020
Panel Discussion: DNA and Genealogy for Crime Solving
Panelists: Portland Police Bureau Detective Brendan McGuire, genetic genealogists Dr. Tim Janzen and Emily Aulicino, and crime victim advocate Laurel Smith 

November 2019
Scanning & Archiving Your Family Photos and Documents
Presented by: Lori Washburn

October 2019
Discovering Your Ancestor's Life in Records of Death
Presented by: Pam Vestal

September 2019
Evernote for Genealogy, part 2
Presented by: Dale Deatherage

August 2019
Another Look at the Women in Your Family Tree
Presented by: Barb Schrag

June 2019
Locating Land with the GLO, HistoryGeo and GFO
Presented by: Kristin Parks

April 2019
Computer Lab: InDesign
Presented by: Jay Fraser, Retired Layout Editor, GFO Bulletin

March 2019
Following American Migrations: The First 100 Years
Presented by: Patricia Oberndorf

February 2019
Google Searching for Genealogy
Presented by: Kristin Parks & Joann Taylor

November 2018 
Research & Writing: A Pulitzer Winner's Tips
Presented by: Tom Hallman, Jr.

October 2018 
Digging for Ancestral Gold
Presented by: Laurence Overmire

September 2018 
Analyze Your Ancestor's Handwriting
Presented by: Joyce Brizendine

August 2018 
Getting Ready to Check Out: End of Life Planning
Presented by: Leslie Lawson, FCG

July 2018 
Voting Records: Genealogy's Best Kept Secret
Presented by: Pam Vestal

June 2018 
The Pre-Digital Family Photo Collection & Its Uses in Visualizing Your Personal Family History
Presented by: Harold Hinds, Ph.D.

May 2018 
My Cuban Cousins
Presented by: Janice Sellers

April 2018 
Getting from Then to Now: Locating People in the Last Century
Presented by: Leslie Lawson, FCG

March 2018 
Finding James: A WWII Repatriation Project
Presented by: Kate Eakman, MA

January 2018 
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