Education Topics

Over the last few years I have offered an assortment presentations aimed at sharing experiences that I suspect may be useful to others. Here is information about these presentations.


  1. Introduction to Genealogy (120 min) - Includes traditional genealogy and family history research. (120 min) - See example handouts.
  2. Genetic Genealogy (120 min) - Supplementing family history research with genetic tools. See example handouts.
  3. Mapping & Genealogy (120 min) - Incorporation of historical maps in research. See example class handouts.
  4. Effective use of FamilySearch https://www.familysearch.org. (120 min) - Start by visiting the wiki. See example class handouts.
  5. Publishing your genealogical work. (120 min) - See example class handouts.
  6. Digitizing Slides and Organizing Images (120 min) - Scanning techniques, using digiKam for color correction and organization, and using Google Photos for sharing and automated facial recognition. See example class handouts.
  7. Many researchers struggle to manage the volume and diversity of artifacts (e.g., documents and photos) that they encounter. I am creating a presentation on Organizational Techniques and a couple of software applications that can potentially help. A draft white-paper is available. I invite your comments.
  8. Gramps software usage. (approx. 60 min) - Start by visiting the wiki. Custom presentations on demand. Or, you can find YouTube tutorials like this one - https://youtu.be/RUFULVnWqvQ .
  9. From a technical point of view, much of what I do hinges on the use of open source software that is free or low cost. I have come to really appreciate and favor Linux operating systems over proprietary offerings. If you'd like to know more about the Ubuntu-Mate operating system environment, I offer a short presentation. I'd be glad to talk with you about this.
  10. If you are interested in extracting information from an Ortssippenbuch for a town in Germany, you might be interested in my notes from such a project.
  11. I have had significant recent experience researching 17th and 18th century ancestors in largely Catholic areas of current day Alsace, Baden, and Pfalz. Some lessons learned are presented here.
  12. My efforts to trace an Ohio Snyder family back to PA in the first half of the 19th century have resulted in a presentation that describes an example of the benefits of "oblique" research techniques in conjunction with DNA analysis.
  13. If you would like to participate in a discussion group that meets near Plymouth, MN, to share information about genealogy research topics, please see the section below or contact me.
  14. And lastly (and this has nothing to do with family history research), if you have an interest in real world experience with a residential solar photovoltaic system, you can find a record of my first year with a solar array here.

Scheduled Sessions

  • Genealogy/Family History classes online. Visit Robbinsdale Community Education or Wayzata Community Education for more information. A guide for participating in online classes is here.
  • The discussion group ("The Westside Genealogy Group") sessions mentioned above are scheduled for the second Sunday of every other month, starting January. The location was originally a local library conference room, but to accommodate the virus we have had on-line meetings. We have continued the on-line meeting format, and this has proven convenient for participants. It has also allowed participation by people connecting from as far away as the UK and a ship in the North Sea! Topics are driven by the interests of participants and their willingness to share research techniques and findings. Add your voice to the discussions! Use the form below to join or see the group site.

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281connections Wiki:South Dakota Families:Loy-Allen:Snyder Family Research