Genealogy Research Network

Forensic Research Services


Methodology Lectures

Women’s Suffrage: Their Rights, Roles, and Limitations:

Life for early American woman was often burdened with setbacks.  Limited by society without voting rights, limited educational opportunities, and virtually no legal identity, woman sought to be equals in society.  This lecture focuses on the history of woman and the Suffrage Movement from the colonial times to the early twentieth century. Numerous genealogical records are examined in this lecture from the Anti-Slavery movement, to the Temperance Movement, and later as woman gained the right to vote.

Gravestones and Epitaphs of Our Ancestors

Locating the graves of our ancestors can solve mysteries that might otherwise remain unknown. This lecture focuses on gravestone symbols, markings, and carvers as ways to discover new information. Methodology is employed on how to read old tombstones using mirrors, and the use of epitaphs on tombstones to bring us closer to our ancestors.

Every Ballot Counts: Your Ancestors in Voter Records:

The right to vote hasn’t always been granted to all individuals.  Early voter records excluded woman, blacks, and other minorities. Often times Freeholders were the only persons permitted to cast votes in elections. Time periods in history including the end of the Civil War through the end of Reconstitution Era limited the rights of some against constitutional amendments.  Voter records can provide details about our ancestors that other records may not list-including; naturalization status, political stance, ages, marital status, domicile, changes of addresses, and death dates. Often overlooked by genealogists these records can prove to be a wealth of new information.

Following the Rails: You’re Ancestors on the Railroad

Railroads for nearly two centuries have been the preferred mode of transportation for many of our ancestors. Their rich history includes details on when lines started, ceased, merged, or filed bankruptcy. Records including employee, manuscripts, directories, pensions, social security, and other organizations including the Pullman Porters and Harvey Girls are examined.

Business & Industry: Researching Your Entrepreneurial Ancestors:

Corporations, Sole Proprietors, and Partnerships have long been central to industry and the prosperity of the United States since the earliest days of Republic. This lecture focuses on occupations, businesses and employment records that could provide clues and details about how our ancestors lived, earned a livelihood, and strove to support their families. Examining Federal, State, and local resources is the key to unlocking details about businesses that our ancestors built over generations.

All in a Day’s Work: Occupational Genealogical Research:

What did our ancestors do for a living? Did they have gainful employment? Many of our ancestors changed their vocations regularly in order to support their families. Tapping into records of employment will offer new avenues to approach family history and build the life of a specific ancestor. Old occupations and terms that no longer in use are central to discovering one’s family history.  Learn the methodology to researching your ancestors work history.

Descendancy Research: Another Pathway to Genealogy:

Breaking through the challenges of brick walls in genealogy has never been more rewarding.  Genealogists are often taught the way to doing research is to search backwards through time; going back as far as you can. This lecture assumes a new focus on doing genealogical research on tracing all the descendants of an ancestral couple to present. This class examines the methodology and techniques to find living relations who may hold the key to your family history research. Focus is given to provide actual case studies of doing this kind of research.

Historical Maps: The World at your Fingertips:

For many centuries, maps have been the preferred choice of travelers the world over. They not only serve as reliable guides to desired destinations, they also assist the user in getting his or her bearings straight.  But beyond direction and bearing, maps enrich the genealogist’s journey through the roadways and byways of personal history. From fire insurance maps that provide minute detail of our ancestors’ homes, to election maps that detail boundaries of registered voters in large cities, you’re sure to find a research path not yet considered.

More than just Obituaries: Genealogical Newspaper Research:

Learn to research your ancestry in valuable newspaper sources that can add clues to your family history. This lecture will focus on where to find newspapers resources online and with the use of microfilm or textural records and all of the genealogical records gleaned from them.

Photographic Treasures: Bringing your Research into Focus:

Discover the untapped treasures of photographic collections held by government, local agencies, as well as private collectors. Learn photographic history from the advent of the Daguerreotype to the twentieth century to the history of Postcards and how to properly date old photographs-from any number of ways including the clothing worn to the photographer benchmark used on the paper stock.

Prisoners, Thieves, and Scoundrels: Discover your Black Sheep Ancestors.

Was there a horse thief in your family tree? Are there skeletons in your closet? If so, then this lecture is for you as it focuses on many genealogical records of men and woman who may have led more colorful lives. Discover valuable genealogical resources in Federal, State, and local records as you glean details about black sheep members of your family.

Secret Societies: Finding Your Ancestors in Fraternal Organizations.

Were your ancestors members of the Masons? Did your family have membership with the I.O.O.F. or another secret society.  Discover the rich history and genealogical material that await you with membership records, historical research, and photographs of your family who may have belonged to one or more of these secret societies.

Decoding Secret Societies: Finding Your Female Fraternal Ancestors:

Do you have ancestry with membership in the Eastern Star? The Daughters of Rebekah? or another woman’s fraternal organization. This lecture counters the above lecture, and focuses on the rich genealogical material of family members who may have belonged to one or more of these female auxiliaries and secret societies.

Work Skills of Old: Justice of the Peace Records:

One of the more interesting old occupations was that of the Justice of the Peace.  This was an important and worthy position to hold as the JP was literally the keeper of the peace. Discover your ancestors in the records of the JP. Long overlooked by Genealogists these records are a wonderful source of genealogical information that will prove to be a treasure of information for any researcher.

Genealogy Speaker Strauss