SCGS Spring Conference

 "Genealogy Basics: Fundamentals for Family Historians"
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave., Ames, Iowa
Presenter: Alice Hoyt Veen, CG


This full day session is free but preregistration is required.  Catered box lunch is available for purchase ($15) ONLY at the time of registration.   No lunches will be sold the day of the conference.  However, you may preregister (free) and bring your own lunch.

To register, please print this form and mail to: Story County Genealogical Society, PO Box 692, Ames, Iowa   50010.  If requesting a lunch, indicate your menu choice and enclose a check made payable for $15 to Story County Genealogical Society.     

You may also use PayPal to purchase your lunch.  (PayPal accepts bank/debit cards, Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards.)

Conference Sessions


Come, enjoy the day, and enhance your genealogy skills!

Session 1          10 AM - 11 AM Introduction to Genealogy

Every family has a story to tell.  Learn the basics to begin your family history project: glean clues from home and family, organize information using charts and software, and document your discoveries.  Hands-on activities include charting your family, identifying "what's missing," and constructing a starting-point research plan to answer your questions.  Learn to choose the best quality sources for reliable, accurate results.

Session 2          11:15-12:15 PM  Research Plans & Logs: Where are you going?  Where have you been?

Just as it's necessary to map the route for a road trip, your genealogical journey will be more satisfying and successful if you set out with a solid research plan and record progress as you go along.  Discussion includes why research plans and logs are a necessary part of every project, formats and templates to organize your search, and how to use a research log to document your sources.  Hands-on activities will work through the research process to answer a typical genealogical question.

Lunch                 12:15-1:00 PM     
Catered box lunch available for purchase only with preregistration.  No lunches sold the the day of the conference, however you may opt to bring your own lunch.

Session 3         1:00-2:00 PM    Federal Census Records: Pathway to the Past

The federal census is one of the first sources genealogists consult in their family history research.  We'll explore basic census terminology, the benefits and limitations of census research, and resources for accessing the records.  Learn how to locate your family, what you might find, and how to evaluate and use the findings.  Although primary focus is the population schedule, special schedules such as agricultural, industrial, mortality and statistical are introduced.  Hands-on activities will compare and contrast census findings for a case-study and use results to construct a follow-up research plan.

Session 4        2:15-3:30 PM    Courthouse Research: A Treasure Trove for Family Historians

The courthouse is a treasure trove of information for family historians.  Discover the types of records available at a county-level: vital records, property, court records, and more.  Discussion includes strategies for courthouse research and the differences in out-of-state jurisdictions.  Learn how to plan a courthouse visit and resources for accessing the records online or on microfilm.  Hands-on activities will work through the process of identifying and accessing county-level records for a typical family.