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2021 GFO Open House

2024 Open House: March 16-24

  • Join us for 20 free classes online and 3 free classes in-person!
  • The research room will be open every day throughout the event
  • Library tours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons
  • Beginning research help is every afternoon in the GFO Library

All Open House events are free - a great chance to see what GFO is all about!

Please invite your friends.

CLASSES PRESENTED ONLINE || ACTIVITIES AT THE GFO LIBRARY

Online classes require advance registration -- click the "Register" links below. You will receive a separate confirmation email with the link to join for each class you desire.

Presentations will not be recorded unless indicated otherwise when you register.

!!!   Please note that all class times are Pacific Time.   !!!

Please click here to get our flyer and share it with your friends and other genealogical organizations. 


Online Classes

Saturday - March 16, 2024

12:00pm to 1:30pm African American Special Interest Group
Janice Sellers
GFO’s African American SIG meets monthly to focus on the unique challenges of researching Black ancestors and the data sets that are even now emerging, especially for the 19th century. Join us for a look at this specialized area of research.
Register Here

No Handout

Sunday - March 17, 2024

1:00pm to 2:30pm RootsMagic, the Swiss Army Knife of Personal Genealogy Software
Barry Wolff
Do you prefer to record your data on your computer and then decide what to put online? Or, do you prefer to work online and keep a copy on your computer? Would you like to manage hints from all 4 major online sites in one place? In this session you will learn what RootsMagic can do to help you via a features overview, live software demonstration and open Q&A.
Register Here

No Handout
4:00pm to 5:00pm Getting Started with Family Tree Maker
Johnna Waldon
Join the Family Tree Maker SIG for an overview of the FTM software. We will look at how to start building a tree, the People Tab, Places Tab, and the Web Search Tab. Email Johnna at ftm@gfo.org if you have any questions.
Register Here

No Handout

Monday - March 18, 2024

10:00am to 11:00am Germans in America
Jalyse Ortiz
Nearly 6 million Germans immigrated to the U.S. by WWI, making this a key ethnicity. Learn about the history of German immigration to the United States, German communities in the US, German newspapers, German Historical Societies, and German church records in America.
Register Here

No Handout
1:00pm to 2:30pm Lineage Society Panel
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Sons of the American Revolution (SAR); and Sons and Daughters of Oregon Pioneers (SDOP)
Have you ever wondered what documentation you need to join one of the major lineage societies? We have the privilege of hosting a panel of three experts representing three different lineage societies. Learn the basics of documenting your ancestry and the process to find the data and, in some cases, get help from the society.
Register Here

No Handout
4:00 to 5:00pm Using the FamilySearch Catalog
Janalee McBride
As one of the most useful tools in family history research, the FamilySearch Catalog is extremely valuable. Come learn about some tips and tricks to using the FamilySearch Catalog to help in your family history research.
Register Here

No Handout

Tuesday - March 19, 2024

10:00am to 11:00am Find a Grave: Fabulous and/or Frustrating?
Laurel Smith
Learn about the world’s largest (virtual) graveyard, with more than 226 million memorials around the world. Whether you are a site viewer, contributor, or memorial manager, you’re sure to learn something new during this live demonstration of Find a Grave that will have you leave saying, “fabulous!” Please send your most important questions a few days (or more) before the presentation to findagrave@gfo.org.
Register Here

No Handout

Wednesday - March 20, 2024

10:00am to 11:00pm Military Bounty Land: 1776-1855
Judi Scott
Bounty land was awarded by governments as an incentive to encourage enlistment and as a reward for that service. In this session we will discuss bounty land grants from the colonial era through the Indian Wars in the 19th century. Topics will include eligibility for both state and federal bounty land, the process to obtain the land, and where it was located. Most importantly, we’ll look at how the records help with our genealogy research, and how to access them.
Register Here

No Handout
1:00pm to 2:00pm Getting Started with AncestryDNA
Lisa McCullough
Did you receive an AncestryDNA kit as a holiday gift and don’t know how to interpret your results? If so, this session will help you learn how to navigate the AncestryDNA portion of the Ancestry website and what to do next to get the most from your gift. The presentation will also expose you to some of the tools offered at other DNA testing companies that AncestryDNA does not offer.
Register Here

No Handout
6:00pm to 7:00pm Getting Started with Latin American Research
Maren Burgess
This class will focus on basic research methodologies, key record types, and useful resources fundamental to Latin American research.
Register Here

No Handout

Thursday - March 21, 2024

10:00am to 11:00am Finding German Church Records at Archion and Matricula
Gina Palmer
Church records are a key resource when conducting German research. Find out how to access parish records from Germany (and some other parts of Europe) using two key online databases.
Register Here

No Handout
1:00pm to 2:00pm Following Your Ancestor Through Swedish Church Records
Colette Hokanson
Following your Swedish ancestor is easier than you think! This class will introduce you to tools and skills that will help you trace your family back generations.
Register Here

No Handout
4:00pm to 5:00pm English Civil Records
Lori Montague
This class is an introduction to England Civil Registration records with an emphasis on how to access the GRO Index and search strategies for effective research.
Register Here

No Handout
6:00pm to 7:00pm Records and Research in New York State, 18th-19th Centuries: Looking Beyond Vital Records
Amy Rose Ward
How do you research a family when vital records do not exist? This presentation will go beyond the conventional focus on vital records by exploring other types of documentation that exist for New York State. Come discover effective strategies and hidden gems that hold the key to tracing your ancestors.
Register Here

No Handout

Friday - March 22, 2024

1:00pm to 2:00pm Introduction to the Great Lakes Special Interest Group
Kim Thurman
The Great Lakes region has a rich ethnic and political history, providing a gateway to Western migration for many of our New England ancestors. Join us to learn about the Great Lakes Interest Group and how our collaborative discussions may help with your personal research.
Register Here

No Handout

Saturday - March 23, 2024

10:00am to 11:00am Genealogy Problem Solvers Special Interest Group
Brick Wall Team
The GPS Special Interest Group is a monthly support group where we help each other tackle brick-wall problems. This session will introduce the group, focus on the process of developing a research plan, and discuss how to submit your own "brick wall" problem.
Register Here

No Handout
1:00pm to 2:00pm Introduction to British Records, and Where to Find Them
Duane Funk
Learn what genealogical records are available in the United Kingdom, what repositories there are, and how to go about accessing them. Hint: don't try to do research on the same weekend as a coronation.
Register Here

No Handout

Sunday - March 24, 2024

11:00am to 1:00pm Access to GFO Resources from Home
Laurel Smith
Learn about the abundant resources the GFO provides for everyone researching their family history: A library with more than 60,000 holdings, 1.5 million digitized pages, an online library catalog, a robust website with indexes and links, and the members-only destination known as MemberSpace.
Register Here

No Handout



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Activities at the GFO Library

Saturday - March 16, 2024

10:00am to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
11:00am to 12:00pm Open House Reception
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (six sessions available each afternoon).
1:30pm to 3:30pm Getting Started with Your Genealogy
A special presentation by GFO President, Geoff Smith.

Sunday - March 17, 2024

1:00pm to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).

Monday - March 18, 2024

9:30am to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).
1:30pm to 2:15pm GFO Library Tour
Join us in person at the library for our introductory tour. Learn how the library is organized, resources we have to offer, and discover our special collections.

Tuesday - March 19, 2024

9:30am to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).

Wednesday - March 20, 2024

1:00pm to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).
1:30pm to 2:15pm GFO Library Tour
Join us in person at the library for our introductory tour. Learn how the library is organized, resources we have to offer, and discover our special collections.

Thursday - March 21, 2024

1:00pm to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).

Friday - March 22, 2024

1:00pm to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).
1:30pm to 2:15pm GFO Library Tour
Join us in person at the library for our introductory tour. Learn how the library is organized, resources we have to offer, and discover our special collections.
4:00pm to 5:00pm Learning about Enslaved Individuals from Genealogical Records: Research for the 10 Million Names Project
A special in-person presentation by Chris Knutson.

Saturday - March 23, 2024

1:00pm to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).
1:30pm to 2:15pm GFO Library Tour
Join us in person at the library for our introductory tour. Learn how the library is organized, resources we have to offer, and discover our special collections.
4:00pm to 5:00pm Discover the History of Your House
A special in-person presentation by Michael Schmeer.

Sunday - March 24, 2024

1:00pm to 5:00pm GFO Library Open
for research during Open House with no day-use fee!
1:00pm to 5:00pm Beginning Research Help
Consult our research assistants for help in starting your research (Six sessions available each afternoon).

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