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GenTalks


Gen(ealogy)Talks are less formal, genealogy-related presentations that now take place online live several months per year, on the third Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific). 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!

Some handouts from previous GenTalks can be found here, for a limited time.

Upcoming GenTalks:



Documenting the Historic Columbian Cemetery

May 18, 2024 @ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenter:  Laurel Smith

What happens when a genealogical library becomes the custodian of a pioneer cemetery archive? The GFO holds the records for the Historic Columbian Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Learn what we’ve been doing to make the records available to family historians and about our efforts to document the burials and photograph the markers. Attendees will also hear about upcoming GFO field trips to the cemetery where they can try out tips and tricks for taking good photos of cemetery markers with their smartphone.

Laurel Smith is a long-time researcher and a volunteer at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon (GFO). She is well known in the GFO community for her Beginners Bootcamp classes and her bi-monthly Access to GFO Resources presentations. In addition to serving as the organization’s president for more than six years, she has volunteered as a research assistant, publications editor, and as the library director since 2018. Laurel is also an avid Find a Graver and has been presenting how-to classes about the site since 2012.


Let the Tower Lights Be Burning: Genealogical Research for the Imprisoned

Jun. 15, 2024
@ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Annual Membership Meeting (per GFO bylaws)

  • Induction of officers elected in 2024 (President, Secretary, Director at Large)
  • Hall of Fame awardee (if any)
  • Adoption of budget for 2024-2025

@ 2:45 p.m. PT (online)
GenTalk immediately following the GFO General Meeting.  Both the General Meeting and GenTalk will use the Zoom link below for registration.

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenters:  Keith and Darlene Pyeatt

An informative presentation of how one couple's passion for genealogy led to their life-changing experience conducting family history research for inmates within the Oregon Department of Correction's prison system.

Keith is a fifth-generation Oregonian while Darlene a native of Indiana. Both are graduates of Brigham Young University. Keith is a former member of the board of directors of the GFO and creator and past chair of the Italian Special Interest Group for that organization. They recently served a mission for their church, digitizing genealogical materials for FamilySearch at the Allen County Public Library located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They now serve as volunteers at the FamilySearch Center in the Mesa Temple Visitors Center located in Mesa, Arizona, where they teach and assist patrons with their family history research.


Record Types for Mexican and Spanish Colonial Genealogy Research

Jul 20, 2024 @ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenter:  Moises Garza

Where do you start if you are tracing ancestry to Mexico? Learn the most helpful record types for Mexican and Mexico Spanish colonial genealogy research and where to find them. This class will also address tips for dealing with the language barrier.

Presenter Moises Garza’s passion for genealogy started in the cotton fields of west Texas. As a migrant worker, he worked in the fields next to his father, Lauro Garza, who had a sharp memory and told countless stories about his own ancestors. Moises has pursued genealogy since 1998, first with his own family and then helping countless others in their own quest to find their ancestors. He has published 60 books on genealogy and he continues with this passion by publishing and creating resources to help clients in their own search.

THIS MEETING MAY BE RECORDED.


Friedrich Eiler: Building an Identity from Scant Clues

Aug. 17, 2024 @ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenter:  Jill Morelli, CG, CGL

When we are offered little information, how do we proceed? Research planning, research strategy development, and the importance of collaboration are all illustrated in this case study, which focuses on methodology of identity. Not all our ancestors were exemplary individuals!

Jill Morelli, CG, CGL, loves to share her passion for genealogy with others. She is a writer, lecturer, and researcher specializing in methodology, the American Midwest, and Scandinavia. Jill is the founder of the Certification Discussion Group and a co-founder of the Applied Genealogy Institute, a practicum-based educational opportunity for intermediate and advanced learners. Jill has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the Swedish American Genealogist, and many others. Jill is past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society and contributes to many local genealogical societies.

THIS MEETING MAY BE RECORDED.


19th Century Women Settlers Confront the Far West

Sep. 21, 2024 @ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenter:  Dr. Janice Lovelace

Women settled the Far West along with their male family members, although we don’t learn about them as much. This session will help you learn more and delve deeper into the lives of White, Asian, and Black women ancestors who settled in the Far West pre-1900. We will look at women’s lives through their own lenses in letters, diaries, and photos as well as what records were generated during their lifetimes.

Dr. Janice Lovelace is a genealogical researcher, educator, author, and lecturer, with over thirty years of experience. She completed the Genealogy and Family History certificate at the University of Washington in 2012, the certificate program in genealogy at Boston University in 2013, and ProGen in 2014. Dr. Lovelace is a frequent speaker at international, national, and regional genealogy conferences as well as local societies on health and genetics, ethnic minority genealogy, and research methodology. She is an instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI). A retired college faculty member, Dr. Lovelace authored the National Genealogical Society’s online continuing education course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective. She is also a member of the Seattle Genealogical Society and has served in several board positions there.

 


The Hub of the Wheel: How Tracing a Brother with no Children Connected Ten Siblings

Oct. 19, 2024 @ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenter:  Mary Kircher Roddy, CG® 

A family from Ireland emigrated in a chain migration scheme to western Pennsylvania between 1825 and 1845. See how using the standards for researching connected the siblings and their descendants and led to their origins in County Tyrone.

Mary Kircher Roddy, CG®, has a Master's in Accounting from the University of Texas and a certificate in Genealogy and Family History at the University of Washington. She was credentialed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists® in 2019. She is a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is a former treasurer for the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is co-editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Mary has published articles in many publications and frequently lectures in Washington State as well as at conferences across the US on methodology and records. She is one of the founders of the Applied Genealogy Institute.

THIS MEETING MAY BE RECORDED


Finding Your Family in Norway and Sweden

Jan. 18, 2025 @ 2:30 p.m. PT (online)

Click here to register and obtain a Zoom link to this live presentation.

Presenter:  Jill Morelli, CG®, CGL 

Preparation in the US is key to successfully “crossing the pond.” Country-wide indexes are now readily available and allow us to more easily identify our ancestor’s parish of birth, but problems arise with so many same-named individuals. This session covers techniques that are critical to Scandinavian research.

Jill Morelli, CG®, CGL, loves to share her passion for genealogy with others. She is a writer, lecturer, and researcher specializing in methodology, the American Midwest, and Scandinavia. Jill is the founder of the Certification Discussion Group and a co-founder of the Applied Genealogy Institute, a practicum-based educational opportunity for intermediate and advanced learners. Jill has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the Swedish American Genealogist, and many others. Jill is past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society and contributes to many local genealogical societies.

THIS MEETING MAY BE RECORDED