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Wisconsin STate Genealogical Society

December 2021

The 1950 U.S. Federal Census: Are You Ready?

  • Presenter: Thomas MacEnteeThomas MacEntee
  • Date: December 21, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Many genealogists remember the amount of excitement in April, 2012 around the release of the 1940 U.S. Census. Following the “72 Year Rule” for records at the National Archives, the results of the 1950 U.S. Census will be made public on Friday, April 1, 2022. It’s never too early to prepare for this valuable data related to U.S. genealogy research! Participants will get up to speed on the history of the 1950 U.S. Census, why the 1950 U.S. Census form is radically different than previous forms, and how the data will be accessed. In addition, we’ll cover what you can do NOW to prepare for the release of the 1950 U.S. Census as well as volunteer projects related to indexing and finding aids. Finally, we’ll cover how you can always get the latest information related to the release of the 1950 U.S. Census data!

November 2021

Norwegian Naming Customs Pre- and Post-Immigration

  • Presenter: Dana Kelly, Norwegian American Genealogical Center - Naeseth LibraryDana Kelly
  • Date: November 16, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Norwegians often followed a very specific naming pattern during the 1700s and 1800s that genealogists can take advantage of to grow their family trees. This webinar will include examples of common first and last name customs. Since Norwegian families didn’t typically have an inherited surname prior to the 1920s, this webinar will discuss the misunderstandings many researchers have about Norwegian last names by explaining the patronymic naming system and the farm name Norwegians often used as a last name. We will explain how patronymics and farm names worked in conjunction with each other and how those different traditions played out in the United States after immigrants arrived and had to adapt to the American surname system. We will discuss how some customs differ from our contemporary traditions and the common misconceptions genealogists have when beginning to search for their Norwegian ancestors.


October 2021

No More Excuses: Ten Tips to Finally Write that Family History

  • Presenter: Lisa AlzoLisa Alzo
  • Date: October 19, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Often the most difficult part of writing a family history is getting started. If you feel stuck due to information overload, lack of time, or writer’s block, you are not alone. In this webinar, learn ten simple tips to stop procrastinating and start writing! The session will cover: * How to organize your project with outlines and storyboards * Tips for overcoming writer's block * Starting your story and engaging your reader * Methods for sticking to a writing schedule.


September 2021

Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin: Dutch Colonies in the mid-1800s

  • Presenter: Mary RisseeuwMary Risseeuw
  • Date: September 21, 2021
  • Webinar Description: This lecture will examine the reasons for emigration from the Netherlands in the 19th Century and the establishment of three major Dutch colonies in the Midwest. The Dutch were not unlike other ethnic groups in that they stuck together and sought each other out after arrival in the U.S. But, who were leaders of these emigration groups and why were these locations chosen? Comparisons between the three colonies study the religious leaders, or lack thereof, and what shaped and sustained them. The formation of these colonies was the basis for migration within Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin; but also a catalyst for the migrations west. Understanding the basis for this emigration group can be critical to researching your Dutch ancestors.

August 2021

Shaky Leaf Syndrome: Using Website-Generated Hints More EffectivelySara Cochran

  • Presenter: Sara Cochran
  • Date: August 17, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Indexing, optical character recognition, and computer algorithms make finding obscure records about our families easier than ever! Unfortunately, computers can’t distinguish between people of the same name who lived in different places or in different times. Using real examples, we’ll practice evaluating hints and attaching the keepers to our trees.

July 2021

10 Things a Genealogist Should Do Before Leaving a Library or Archives

Melissa Barker

  • Presenter: Melissa Barker
  • Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
  • Time: 7:00 PM Central
  • Webinar Description: Have you ever gotten home from a genealogy research trip and said to yourself, "I forgot to do that!"  Learn the 10 things genealogists should do before they leave a library or archives to make their research trip a success.

June 2021

Luxembourger - Not German

  • Presenter: Bryna O'SullivanBryna O'Sullivan
  • Date: June 15, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Midwestern Luxembourger families are often mistaken for German. Yet the two groups have different cultures, different history, and different record keeping practice. This presentation will introduce attendees to Luxembourger research. It will begin with techniques for identifying families as Luxembourger and locating their place of origin, before moving to an overview of major sources in Luxembourg, including the census, church records, and civil registration.


May 2021

Karen Fortin

Orphan Trains and the Children Who Rode Them

  • Presenter: Karen Fortin
  • Date: May 18, 2021
  • Webinar Description: The story of the orphan trains, which relocated children from Eastern cities to rural farmlands, has become a part of American popular culture.  This presentation explores the facts behind the legends; follows a group of children "placed out" to Nebraska in 1880, and provides information on what resources are available for learning more abut the orphan trains and their riders. 



April 2021

Donna M. Moughty

It's More Than Just Names: Finding Your Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation

  • Presenter: Donna M. Moughty
  • Date: April 20, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Fire and government destruction of early census records left a void for Irish researchers.  Griffith's Valuation is one of the only lists of where people lived before, during and after the Famine, however many researchers don't understand how to use it.  This lecture explains its importance to Irish researchers and explains how to use it. 


March 2021

Lisa Lisson

Trello - A Perfect Tool for Creating Your Genealogy Research

  • Presenter: Lisa Lisson
  • Date: March 16, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Trello is a task manager or project management program and perfect for your genealogy research!  Learn how to organize your genealogy research plan and keep track of your research progress. 


February 2021

NUCMC And Its Cousins: Keys to Lost Ancestral Records

  • Presenter: Paula Stuart-WarrenPaula Stuart-Warren
  • Date: February 16, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Where might Great Aunt Sadie’s diary be today? What ethnic or religious organization records have survived for our immigrants? What repository houses the business records of an ancestor? Where might you find the files of a relative who was working on a lineage society application? As our families migrated westward, whether by foot, wagon, or train, the records associated with them may have been left in several places. Many genealogists think that there may be no records for part of the family. However, there may be substantial information buried away in a manuscript collection. There are many FREE finding aids online and off that lead to these nuggets that represent hundreds of years of material. The Minnesota and Wisconsin historical societies are home to thousands of manuscript collections.


January 2021

Drew Smith

Your Ancestor's FAN Club: Using Cluster Research to Get Past Brick Walls

  • Presenter: Drew Smith
  • Date: January 19, 2021
  • Webinar Description: Our ancestors were each surrounded by family, associates, and neighbors. By researching them, we discover additional records pointing to our own ancestors.


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