Past Meetings

  • 21 November 2020

    Speaker: C. Ann Staley, CG, CGL

    Topic: Slave Narratives: Telling the Story of Slavery and Families

               — Virtual Meeting —
    Please register for the presentation at
    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    Brief Description: The WPA Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) of the late 1930s provides us with more than 2,300 first-person accounts of former slaves. This collection provides autobiographical experiences of the slavery institution. But how can we use this rich resource? Can they be relied upon? The slave narratives, with their autobiographical accounts, can provide insight into the institution, and rich context and clues for family research.

    Speaker Bio: Ann is an educator and consultant. Her specialties are Methodology, Research Sources, Computer Resources, Vital Records and their Sources, and Conference Planning. She is the author of several articles for the NGS Magazine and the co-author of the NGS Research in the States Series-Florida.

  • 17 October 2020

    Speaker: Michael John Neill

    Topic: What it Does Not Say

    Brief Description: Many times, a record only scratches the surface of what was going on when that record was created. This lecture looks at why a record was created and how state statute, common practice, economic situations, family issues, and other factors may be the “real story” behind any document. Also discusses how to determine (when possible) what those “unwritten” issues were.

    Speaker Bio: Michael John Neill has been researching his genealogy since the early 1980s. His roots lie in most US states east of the Mississippi, as well as the Midwest, and includes Mayflower immigrants and more recent arrivals. He has written on genealogical topics since the late 1980s and has lectured nationally at a wide variety of local, regional, and national conferences and workshops. He maintains five blogs including Genealogy Tip of the Day, Genealogy Search Tip, and Casefile Clues. Michael leads annual research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He is a community college mathematics instructor with a master’s degree in mathematics.

  • 19 September 2020

    Speaker: Judy Fambrough-Billingsley

    Topic: “Researching, Writing and Publishing Your Family Legacy”

    Description: Judy shares her experience searching for her roots. She will share what she has learned about leveraging resources when researching your family tree, whether found on the Internet or offline, and how to verify the information you discover. Participants interested in writing their own biography or family history will receive plenty of ideas to help them create their own unique story in a way that they will be proud to share it. Judy will also offer helpful publishing and marketing tips when choosing to make it public. The discussion will also cover how to prepare yourself emotionally for what you might unexpectedly discover while doing your research.

    Bio: Judy was born in Germany shortly after the end of World War II and is the daughter of an African-American soldier and a German woman.  She was placed in an orphanage in Germany before being adopted by an American Couple.  Judy is the author of the book “Too Brown to Keep: A search for Love, Forgiveness, and Healing.”

  • 15 August 2020

    Speaker: Thomas MacEntee

    Topic: Internet Archive: A Gold Mine for Genealogists

    Place: Online 1:30 p.m. (EDT)

    Brief Description: The Internet Archive ( is a free, on-line repository rich with genealogy source documents including census images and e-books. Learn how to navigate the Internet Archive and leverage the best search strategies to download a variety of materials including archived web pages, e-books, video, audio and more. 

    Speaker Bio: 

    What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional based in the United States who is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas has over 42 years of experience researching family history

    Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Currently Thomas shares many of his articles and videos for free at Genealogy!

    Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

    Please register for Internet Archive: A Gold Mine for Genealogists on Aug 15, 2020 1:30 PM EDT at:

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

  • 18 July 2020

    The July meeting has been canceled. Stay tuned for information on our next meeting.