Classes, Instructors and Class Descriptions Finding Your Roots 2018 

(After Oct 7, 2018 Click on the class title to download a printable handout for the class)

“Being of Sound Mind…”: Using Wills, Probates, and Administrations to Expose Family Relationships
Brenda L. Smith

End of life records can be rich sources of family eccentricity. Consider the range of revelation contained in wills and their codicils, and property values in probates. Examine administrations to learn about family circumstances uncovered when your research subject passes on without instructions.

“Never heard from again…”: Where to look when an ancestor disappears
Brenda L. Smith

Poor man’s divorce, whereabouts unknown, and other euphemisms cloak the realities of missing persons cases. Examine the reasons for unexplained disappearances and some of the places where the family historian might search to solve these puzzles.

Advance Your Eastern European Research with a Baker’s Dozen of Unusual Sources
Xenia Stanford

You have searched on Ancestry, FamilySearch and even Googled to find your Eastern European ancestors. You have found their vital records in North America and even found them on passenger arrival lists. You may be giving up hope of ever finding more from North American record sources and even less certain about finding records in Eastern Europe. Learn how to advance your research with sources you haven’t thought to try at home and from abroad in your ancestors’ Eastern European country of origin. After this lecture, you may find emigration (departure) passenger lists and overseas vital records, cemeteries, business directories, census records and even local family histories. Practically every type of record you can find in North America, you can find in Eastern Europe and perhaps more if you know how and where to track them down.

Advanced England
Rob Whitlock

Census and civil registration in England and beyond: This course will look at both primary and secondary records in the 1800s in England in a detailed manner as well as a review of current online access to these sources. This will demonstrate effective techniques for tracing English ancestors from the late 1700s to the early 1900s.

Basic FamilySearch Family Tree
Jeannie Vance

Learn how to work together with extended family using the shared Family Tree on This free website allows you to build a family tree, record your ancestors’ life facts, stories, documents, audio memories and pictures.  Find family connections from millions of records stored within the Family Search databases. An introduction on how to add people, do basic editing and add sources and memories will be included in the class. Also, included will be some LDS information during the last 15 minutes of class. (If you are not LDS you may enjoy the exhibit hall during the last 15 minutes of class when it is not crowded.)

Beginner England
Rob Whitlock

This course will explore the major sources of civil registration, census and passenger records in both Canada and England as an effective means of tracing English ancestors and their movements from England to Canada.

Combining a One-Name Study with the Family Tree DNA Family Finder Autosomal DNA Test
Peter Whitlock

Learn how One-Name Studies can help you connect with cousins and distant cousins researching the same part of your family that you are.  Many clues are provided by researching collateral families and knowing more about that ancestor who is part of a One-Name Study may provide you with new information about other ancestors.  In many cases connecting with a One-Name Study through autosomal matching makes that ancestral line a much more interesting part of your ancestry.

Learn to do chromosome matching and understand the advantages and limitations of chromosome matches offered by Autosomal tests.”

Digging into Alberta Records at Cloverdale Library
Jamie Brown

Having trouble locating records for your Alberta ancestors?  The staff and resources at Cloverdale Library can help! Discover how to find Alberta vital records both in print and online.  Recognize the value of records in print: local histories, cemetery records and various Alberta related indexes. Discuss and learn how to find other sources such as newspaper, census and land records. Let’s go digging together!

DNA Tests, Buzz, Hype and Reality
Gayel Knott

DNA testing is popular, but what do you really know about it.  We’ll look at why there are problems with Ethnicity Estimates, why Health Reports are only half the story, and what you can expect to find with a DNA test.  We’ll also look at some of the issues around privacy; some of the things to consider when choosing a testing company; and what you should and can do with your results.

Explore your German Ancestry
Eva Gremmert

In this class you will learn how to uncover records documenting your ancestors’ lives.  We will discuss the unique challenges of German research including deciphering German-language records and German script, as well as the shifting political boundaries throughout much of Germany’s history.

Talk to Me: Techniques for conducting a successful oral history interview
Karen Inkster Vance

Interviewing relatives and strangers can be a rewarding way to gather genealogical clues and make your family history come alive. Avoid frustration and pitfalls by knowing which tools to use, how to prepare in advance, which questions to ask (or avoid), and how to share the interview with others. This hands-on session will help give you the tools and confidence to conduct your own oral history interview.

Family Storytelling 101: Write * Share Your Short Family Stories
Karen Inkster Vance

Family history research is more than just tracing names and dates; it’s finding, preserving and sharing the personal stories that go along with each person on your family tree. Feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire book or not sure that you have enough material? Come and be inspired by examples, tips and ideas for writing and sharing short family vignettes and essays. If you are your family’s story keeper and are worried these stories might be lost, then this class is for you!

“FamilySearch & Family Tree (Mandarin speaking only) –  尋根 中文班課程內容簡介
Steve & Ruth Kao


  1. 家譜的重要性
  2. 中文家譜涵蓋內容
  3. 那些資料可供使用
  4. 如何利用教會資源
  5. 如何利用電腦建立「家譜樹」
  6. 家譜與聖殿教儀”


  • The importance of Genealogy
  • What is covered in Chinese Genealogy
  • What resources you can use to collect information
  • How to use Church resources (Family Search) to collect information
  • How to use the computer to build up a ” Family Tree ” on the “FamilySearch Website”
  • Genealogy and preparing “”Temple Ordinances Cards”


FamilySearch: Advanced Family Tree
Mary Kathryn Kozy

The FamilySearch Family Tree can be fantastic “cousin bait” and a great way to collaborate with fellow researchers! However, some researchers find the “one tree” concept a bit overwhelming and even frustrating. In this lecture, we’ll learn about some of the more advanced features of the Family Tree, how to know who else is working on your ancestors in the tree, and a few tips to discourage others from changing hours of research willy-nilly (and what to do when this does happen!).

Find Elusive Eastern European Records Using Advanced Techniques on FamilySearch
Xenia Stanford

Finding Eastern European records through may be frustrating because when you do the basic search, you either retrieve zero results or dozens of records but mostly of Americans. You may have given up, thinking there are no Eastern European records on this website, but there are millions if not billions available if you know how to go beyond the basic search techniques. Learn how to power search and navigate the many records available on FamilySearch for your ancestors. This is especially important because The Family History Library films are no longer available through loan and you can’t always get to Salt Lake City but if you know how, you can access them online from the comfort of your home or from any Family History Center. Level All

Find the Women Hiding in Your Family Tree
Diane Rogers

Researching women can be frustrating since women’s names and activities are often missing from official sources. Learn how to use cluster genealogy to locate women, and about locating and interpreting lesser known records relating to women’s relationships and lives.

Genealogy at Library and Archives Canada – Discover your Heritage
Susanne Sulzberger

LAC now has a presence on the West Coast with an office in Vancouver and Service Desk at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch.  Learn how the Vancouver office can help you with your genealogy research.  This presentation will point out LAC’s new initiatives and explore highlights of LAC’s main online genealogy collections as well as what researchers can expect to find within those databases to further their goals in creating their family tree.

Genealogy by Google
Mary Kathryn Kozy

Google has been recognized for several years now as a great search engine for genealogy, but it is so much more! It also provides several other tools that can be of great help to family historians. In this presentation, we’ll examine several and discuss how to:  Use Google Earth and Google Maps to unearth information about where your ancestors lived. Learn how you can educate yourself, meet others, and ‘hang out’ with those who are like minded (and maybe even related!) using Google’s social media tools. Discover how to carry your research with you and kick your research into gear through collaboration on Google Drive.

How Do I Know That’s Right? Evaluating Genealogical Evidence
Mary Kathryn Kozy

What does a genealogist do when there is so much data and some things conflict? Or what does one do if there are only a few data points and they don’t agree? How do you know which one is right? In this presentation we’ll define the various types of evidence and discuss ways of evaluating them to come to a sound conclusion. A case study will help illustrate how points of evidence can come into conflict and demonstrate methods for resolving that conflict.

Irish Online Genealogy Records Available
Eva Gremmert

In this class we will discuss both free and subscription-based Irish genealogy databases available online.  You will learn research techniques to effectively utilize these new resources that might begin to break down your Irish “brick wall.”

Irish Research – Not Everything Was Burned
Eunice Robinson

Most researchers with Irish roots have been told it is impossible to find anything, and that all the records were destroyed.  This session will discuss the records that do exist, and how to access them.

 Is there a Loyalist Hiding in Your Family Tree?
Linda Nygard

If your ancestors go back to the early 1800s in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes – you may have a Loyalist in your family tree. Loyalists lived in the original 13 colonies of British North America during the American Revolution which started in 1776. They supported Britain in the Revolutionary War. The Patriots – who opposed British taxes (Boston Tea Party) – fought for an independent nation. The Loyalists lost this war and fled to Upper and Lower Canada, and the Maritimes. The Patriots signed the Declaration of Independence and became the United States. Those Loyalists who fled to what is now Canada, were granted land for their allegiance to the King.

I will provide a Hand Out with online resources for Loyalist research. The former Vancouver Branch Library is now part of the BCGS collection at the Walter Draycott Library in Surrey. For a small fee, this library is open to non-members.

I’ve Had My DNA Tested – Now What?
Mary Kathryn Kozy

DNA testing has really come to the fore as a way of helping us to break through brick walls in our genealogical research. Many people have had their DNA tested only to get some rather confusing results that they don’t understand, much less know how to use to advance their research. This lecture will briefly review what DNA testing is and what it can—and can’t—tell you. More specifically, we’ll be discussing autosomal DNA in this lecture and the tools available online from the testing companies, as well as third-party entities, to help you interpret your results.

Navigating Your Computer: Computer Basics & Vocabulary
Tiffany Harvey

This class is to help you navigate your computer.  Come learn tricks and shortcuts to get the most out of using your computer. Together we will learn to use and understand computer vocabulary.  By being able to use correct computer terms you will be better able to communicate about computers with those you work with. We will cover finding and saving files and how to use file explorer to see documents, hard drives and USB sticks.  We will look at both Apple and Windows systems.  This class is not to troubleshoot or repair computers.

ORGANIZE: The Second Prime Directive
Brenda L. Smith

s the paper and Web site visits accumulate, the frustration deepens. A tidy workspace, a research log, and coherent files support the family historian’s search for ancestors. Learn to create tools for organizing research activities and results.

Philippines: An Introduction to Indexing, Reviewing and Researching Records
Bela Jahn & Juliette Clemente

In this class you will be shown how you can assist in the work of indexing and reviewing Philippine records.  You will also be instructed on how to use Family Tree on Family Search and the Wiki on the Philippines. It is recommended that you bring your laptops to the class and names that you might have collected over the years.

Researching Your Military Relatives
Colin Stevens CD

Most families have had members who served in the military. Fortunately, military forces generate a lot of paperwork and many of these records were saved. Finding information is one thing and understanding it is another. This talk will present an overview of where to find military records, the types of records that one might find and how to understand them. The emphasis will be on Canadian, British and American resources, but the principles apply to many counties and time periods.

RootsMagic Genealogy Database Program: Getting Started
Sally Haysom

Learn about an excellent program for organizing your family history on your computer. You can add pictures, sources, print out various reports and even keep a To-Do List and Research log for each person or family in your file. RootsMagic is easy to use and updated all the time with lots of free online webinars for you to view and learn.  This program has a free version called RootsMagic Essentials which you can download and try.

RT Video: Finding Elusive Records on FamilySearch
Robert Kehrer

Did you know that 77% of the records on FamilySearch can’t be found using a basic search? Learn how to tap into these hard-to-find records with resources like the FamilySearch catalog, unindexed image collections, and advanced search techniques. In this presentation from RootsTech 2018, Robert Kehrer provides detailed instructions and examples.

RT Video: Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve and Share
Michelle Goodrum

Google Photos is a powerful, free app for storing, organizing and sharing. Users can also edit and create photo projects and automatically add their photos to the app from their digital devices.

Scottish Genealogy – Advanced
George Caldwell

This talk will focus on Scottish legal documents & their importance to your genealogical research in Scotland: Record collection – Wills, Testaments, Sasines & other legal documents; Information Contained in these records and how to use this information to trace your Scottish ancestors; Tips & techniques for accessing these records from digitized microfilm records available on the FamilySearch website.

Scottish Genealogy – Introduction
George Caldwell

This talk will focus on starting your genealogical research in Scotland. It will include: Record collections – Old Parish Registers, Civil Registration, Census & more; Typical information contained on the records and how this information can be used to trace your Scottish ancestors; Where these records can be found; Internet sources such as ScotlandsPeople, Ancestry, FindMyPast & FamilySearch with an emphasis on digital material available on the FamilySearch website.

Starting or Jump Starting Your Research
Eunice Robinson

So you want to trace your family tree, but where to start, how to record your findings, and who to research first.  This session will talk about genealogical methodology, some of the Where and Why certain records are of value.  What pitfalls you may encounter, and some hints for successful research.

The Elusive Daniel Doyle
Andrea Lister

Daniel Doyle died in the battle of Jutland, going down with the H.M.S. Indefatigable in 1916 or was he in the British army during the First Hazara Expedition in India? Why isn’t he in the census? Searching through a variety of records brings more questions and maybe some answers. Join me on the case of the elusive Daniel Doyle.

Where Else Can You Look When You Can’t Find Records?
Lil Heselton

A collaborative listing of “Where to look” combined with on the spot problem-solving. Come prepared with a clearly stated single problem and let’s see what we can do together.  We will not spend a great deal of time on any one person, so be brief and concise. A list of resources will be provided at the end of the hour.

World War I: The Stories Around Us
Karen Inkster Vance

Karen will present a compelling narrative on how seeking out our distant WWI family stories is critical to understanding both our ancestors who served in the conflict and those who remained at home. The session will cover her own personal journey discovering nearly-forgotten family tales, researching a small Vancouver Island town through the Great War years and her attempts to discover why this is still so relevant today. Attendees will leave the session with a deeper appreciation of the decisions and sacrifices made 100 years ago and inspiration to pursue their own family research.