Building upon my education degree and years of experience in teaching, I offer engaging and interactive classes that use high-interest case studies to demonstrate research tools and methods. My background in theater allows me to present with passionate enthusiasm and lots of visuals. I always include handouts with practical resources and action points that students can immediately begin applying to their own research. If your group is interested in scheduling an event, please contact me to discuss topics, fees, and availability.
Speaking samples: two brief video clips from "Location, Location, Location!" recorded April 2019.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Discover Your Family’s Stories in Historic Newspapers
Discover why newspapers can be the best source for understanding your ancestors’ lives. Master search tips and tricks to maximize your discoveries.
Location, Location, Location! Using Maps, Deeds, and Other Land Records to Place Your Family in History
Learn how to use historic maps, county deeds, and federal land records to make significant family history discoveries.
The Sensational Census: Mining for Gems in Census Records
Are you mining census records for all they are worth? Learn how to pull clues for further research from federal and state census records. Explore the gems hiding in fascinating non-population schedules!
Strategies for Success in Pre-1850 U.S. Research
Pre-1850 research can be challenging! Discover research methods and prioritized record groups to help you find success and break down those brick walls! High interest case studies provide examples of how to use tick mark censuses, lesser-known record sets, and indirect evidence to reconstruct pre-1850 families.
Finding Females and that Elusive Maiden Name
Description: Women represent half of our ancestors; yet, their identities and life stories often prove much more difficult to find than those of men. In this engaging and interactive session, we’ll learn why females can be challenging to research and walk through a step-by-step plan to uncover more information about the mysterious ladies in your family tree. Full of interesting record examples, photographs, and methodology demonstration, this presentation will equip and inspire you to find the stories of your female ancestors!
Pinpointing Immigrant Origins
All of us want to find our immigrant ancestors and "jump the pond" to the country of origin. But knowing that Patrick Kelly came from Ireland is not going to cut it. Success in foreign records first requires thorough research in the U.S. and picking up every clue to uniquely identify your ancestor and a specific town or region of origin. Learn how to leave no stone unturned in the U.S. and then develop a toolbox for how to continue your research in a new country with unfamiliar records, geography, language, and more.
Cluster Research: The Ultimate Brick Wall Buster
When records simply don’t exist for an ancestor, how can we overcome the resulting “brick wall?” Learn how cluster research (AKA the FAN Club) can provide the clues necessary to solve the puzzle and break through to the next generation.
Tools of the Trade: Tables, Timelines, and More
We’ll dive into intriguing case studies to demonstrate how tables, timelines, lists and other tools can bring clarity and conclusion out of confusion!
Level Up: Design an Education Plan to Upgrade your Research Skills!
Want to make more family history discoveries? Learn how to create a personalized education plan that fits your goals, budget, time, and learning style.
Revamp Your Research Process
Frustrated by brick walls? Discover how focused research with a step-by-step work flow can help you stop spinning your wheels and start making progress.
Genealogy for Beginners: First Steps to Your Family History
Want to explore your family history but don’t know where to start? These 10 steps will guide your path of discovery!
Navigating with the GPS: The Genealogical Proof Standard
Confused by sources, information, and evidence? What about correlation, analysis, and resolving conflicts? We’ll sort out the elements of the GPS and run our research through “quality control.”
Meet the Müllers, a Moravian Family
This fascinating case study highlights resources for reconstructing an 18th century family’s life in the Pennsylvania Moravian communities of Lititz, Nazareth, and Bethlehem.
Anabaptist Ancestors: Mennonite and Brethren Research
Learn about the rich resources and repositories for reconstructing the lives of your Anabaptist ancestors in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and beyond.
Writing and sharing:
Write Your Family History with a Bite-Size Blog
Want to share and preserve your family history discoveries, but feel overwhelmed by writing a book? I’ll share a method that worked for me and easy steps to get started.
Sensitive Subjects: How to Handle the Family Secrets you Uncover
Murder, suicide, divorce, domestic violence, alcoholism, incest, adultery, mental illness, slaveowners… When we uncover painful secrets, should we preserve and share these family stories?
"This was a superb program from every perspective. Thank you!"
"Thank you so much for an excellent presentation. It really whetted my appetite to do more of this kind of research."
"The information given was fantastic and extremely helpful. Now I must find time to explore using the new techniques I've learned. Thanks so much!"
"One of the best Zoom presentations I've participated in. Great use of the chat feature!"
"Clean, concise handout and provided a good outline of everything that was covered. Thanks for the links to the resources."