Webinars on YouTube

Case Studies:

Researching with a Purpose

Researching with a Purpose – Tracing the Roots of Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James (39:36): This episode demonstrates how to conduct focused family history research that addresses a specific genealogical question by targeting research towards those records most likely to answer that question. I use a case study based on my research into the family history of Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James, the first African-American four star general.

Documenting a Legend
Four part series based on the case study “A Love Story Proved: The Life and Family of Laura Lavinia (Kelly) Combs of Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia” by Paul K. Graham, published in National Genealogical Society Journal, December 2013. 

Part I – Focus on Land (25:18): Resources related to land records, including county deeds, city directories, and historical maps. The lesson also highlights use of popular magazines, academic journals, published local histories, and the tools for accessing those materials online.

Part II – Identifying People (24:52): Use of census records, land records, city directories, and historical maps, and demonstrates the process of planning and implementing a research strategy.

Part III – African American records (30:17): Examines how records from the Freedman’s Bank, the Register of Free Persons of Color, and Georgia Tax Digests confirm the details of the legend of the first person of color to own land in Atlanta, and her selling that land to buy her husband’s freedom.

Part IV – Law (33:07): Incorporating research into relevant state statutes to understand their impact on our ancestors’ lives. In this case study, laws regarding slavery and free persons of color in antebellum Atlanta explain the records (and absence of records) that relate to Laura and her husband John.

The Parberry Case Study   

Three part case study based on the research of John P. Colletta in “Tracking a Loner on the Move: J W Parberry Exposed by the Genealogical Proof Standard,” published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (June 2005). 

Part I J W Parberry and the Genealogical Proof Standard (42:17): Focuses on framing a research question, evaluating records, and confirming conclusions, with special attention to locating newspapers, land records, and gravestones.

Part II The Origins of James Wood Parberry (53:53): Illustrates using maps and Google Earth, analyzing and correlating records and resolving conflicts, and navigating the website.

Part III – Parberry’s Wife (37:37): Illustrates developing and executing a research plan, and demonstrates how to locate necessary records (census, vital, land, and city directories).



Getting Started Finding Your Family (34:48): Getting Started outlines how to get off to a good start on your family history research: assembling the information you have, citing your sources, and laying the groundwork for your research.

Census Research Tips and Tricks (1:05:39): How to locate and analyze census records. Includes detailed instructions for searching on the FamilySearch and HeritageQuest websites, and describes how to use the Family Tree on FamilySearch to support collaborative research by making your discoveries available to other researchers.

Locating Unindexed Images (47:01): Describes how to locate the images of original documents on Family Search when the source collections have been indexed but the record images themselves have not been indexed.

Searching Strategically (12:41): A short review of tools and tips for searching strategically on FamilySearch and Ancestry.

Making Sense of Autosomal DNA Results (38:14): Provides an introduction to examining autosomal DNA test match results, showing examples that illustrate matches with varying degrees of relationship.

Google Earth for Genealogists (40:51): A “mad dash” through the Google Earth desktop application, providing an overview of the program’s tools (navigating the home screen, and inserting points, paths, polygons, and image overlays) as well as tips for increasing functionality for genealogical research. Includes examples of how I have used Google Earth in my family history research. 

Google Earth Overlay Tutorial (12:51): This tutorial walks you through the process of adding an image overlay to Google Earth. I strongly recommend that you use the map described in the tutorial to gain familiarity with the process, before overlaying maps of your own choosing. The map I’ve selected for this tutorial is one that is easy to align, and so will give you a positive first experience.


Navarre Genealogy Group 

26 June 2020 Zoom Meeting: Case study on Antone Ferdinand Wortmann


Handouts and PDF files of Presentations:

Skill-Building for Genealogists

Presentation: Skill-Building Tips for Genealogists
Handout: Skill-Building Tips for Genealogists Syllabus

Getting Started

Presentation: Getting Started
Handout: Getting Started Handout
Video: Getting Started Finding Your Family (34:48)



Citations Part 1

Citations Part 2

Organizing Your Research

Presentation: Organizing Your Research

Evidence-Based Research

Presentation: Evidence-Based Genealogy

FamilySearch Website

The website is an invaluable resource for genealogists, and includes many tools that may be overlooked by some researchers. The presentation GPS Your Family Tree With FamilySearch provides an overview of the tools available on the FamilySearch website and Family Tree that support quality research up to the Genealogical Proof Standard. (GPS Your Family Tree handout)

For tips on searching records online, see Tips and Tricks for FamilySearch

Handout: Handout (2014)

Presentation: FamilySearch Digitized Resources

Skill-building exercise: Catalog Scavenger Hunt Overview

Skill-building exercise: Catalog Scavenger Hunt Place Search

FamilySearch Indexing

Presentation: Family Search Indexing Website

For tips to getting the most out of without a subscription, including  resources available for free on your home computer and tips for navigating Ancestry Library Edition, see Tips and Tricks

Recommended websites for online research

Presentation: Gold Mines for Experienced Genealogists 2020
Handout: Gold Mines 2020 handout

Presentation: Favorite Online Genealogy sites
Handout: Rest of the Best handout

Legacy Genealogy Software

Presentation: Legacy Software

Gathering Evidence

Gathering Evidence covers my favorite sources for records, including online, the West Florida Genealogical Library, and microfilm from the Family History Library.

Census Research

Presentation: Census Research
Handout: Census Research

Presentation: Census Analysis Tips

Presentation: Advanced Census Search Techniques

Video: Census Research Tips and Tricks (1:05:39)

Federal Census Data Table

Vital Records

Presentation: Vital Records

Advanced Search Tips

Presentation: Computer Search Tips

Google Earth for Genealogists

Presentation: Google Earth for Genealogists

Probate Records

Presentation: Probate Records
Handout: Researching Probate Records Outline Handout

Church Records

Presentation: Church Records

Local Land Records

Presentation: Land Records — Pittsylvania

Social Security Applications

Presentation: Social Security

Online Newspaper Research

Presentation: Newspaper Research

Presentation: Newspaper Research (2014)

Presentation: Newspapers: where to find them (2016)

Law in Genealogy

Presentation: Law in Genealogy

Presentation: Finding Compiled State Statutes and Annual Session Laws
Handout: Finding Statutes and Laws Handout

Tracking Family Migrations in the United States

Presentation: Tracking Family Migrations in the US

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Presentation: NARA Website and Finding Aids, Part I

Presentation: NARA Finding Aids Part II

Presentation: NARA research strategies

DNA and Genealogy


Presentation: Confirming a son’s origins with Y-DNA (part 1)

Presentation: Confirming a son’s origins with Y-DNA (part 2)

Autosomal DNA:

Presentation: Understanding Autosomal DNA

Presentation: Autosomal DNA Helps ID a G-G-G-G-Grandfather

Autosomal DNA Analysis:

Instructions on uploading raw data to GEDMATCH and FTDNA

Presentation: DNA results analysis

Video: Making Sense of Autosomal DNA Results (38:14)

Computer Skills for Genealogists

Presentation: Computer Skills for Genealogists

Presentation: GEDCOM Files

Presentation: Smorgasbord 1
• ordering microfilm
• transcribing and analyzing records
• creating a research log
• separating incorrectly merged profiles
• navigating Family Tree source attachment screen

Presentation: Smorgasbord 2
• editing FamilySearch Family Tree
• transcribing records

Presentation: Smorgasborg 3 (Sam Vilen case study, part 1)
• maintaining the Family Tree
• managing your browser settings
• adding citations to image files
• Record Seek
• fold3 tips


Case Studies (pdf files of slides)

Presentation: Albert Brejcha land records


Case study based on “Tracking a Loner on the Move: J.W. Parberry Exposed by the Genealogical Proof Standard” by John Philip Colletta; National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (June 2005): 94-109

Presentation: J W Parberry and the Genealogical Proof Standard

Presentation: Origins of James Wood Parberry

Presentation: Parberry’s Wife


Case study based on “Crossing the Continent with Common Names: Indiana Natives John and Elizabeth (Smith) Smith” by Harold Henderson; National Genealogical Society Quarterly 103 (March 2015): 29-35.

Presentation: Origins of John and Elizabeth Smith

Presentation: Finding John Smith


Case study based on “Mothers for Sophie (Kanetski) Howe of Scranton, Pennsylvania” by Melissa A. Johnson; National Genealogical Society Quarterly 103 (June 2015): 105-113.

Presentation: Sophie Howe

Presentation: Sophie’s Mother 2

Presentation: Sophie’s Mother 3


Case study based on “Finding a Father for Isaac Young; A Virginia Native in California” by Shirley Langdon Wilcox; National Genealogical Society Quarterly 102 (September 2014): 177-188.

Presentation: A Father for Isaac (part 1) (focus on locating newspaper obituaries)

Presentation: A Father for Isaac (part 2) (tips for confirming identities)

Presentation: A Father for Isaac (part 3) (focus on locating local published histories)

Presentation: A Father for Isaac (part 4) (focus on probate records)


Case study based on “Identifying a Son for John Temple of Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama” by Rachel Mills Lennon, National Genealogical Society Quarterly 103 (June 2015): 139-150.

Presentation: Identifying a Son (part 1)

Presentation: Identifying a Son (part 2)

Presentation: Identifying a Son (part 3)


Case study based on “Parentage of Martha Smith of Alabama and Mississippi: Overcoming Inconsistent, Incorrect, and Missing Records” by Laurel T. Baty; National Genealogical Society Quarterly 101 (June 2013): 85-102

Presentation: Who were the parents of Martha Crosby?


Case study based on Ian’s research:

Presentation: Who were Isadore Stern’s maternal grandparents?


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