Speaking Services

Below is a partial list of available topics however, with 30 days notice I can customize for your group.  I am available for travel or via online services.

The Tax Man Cometh: Do not overlook the wealth of information found in the tax records.  As Daniel Defoe is credited for saying in a book in 1726, “Things as certain as death and taxes…,” we simply cannot avoid them.  Up until the early 1900s, people were taxed on their land and other possessions and these can help in the research of your ancestors.  We will examine several sets of records from around the U. S. and see what we can learn from them.


Tying History to Your Research: Do you know how to interpret your findings on an ancestor in light of history?  Are you looking at what was happing in the area, the country, and the world for the time-period being researched?  How often do we hear that a family immigrated from Ireland in the 1830s due to the potato famine which did not start until 1845?  We need to examine history very closely so we can better understand our ancestors and how they lived their lives.  We will examine several situations you should be aware of that will aid you in telling their story.


Build Your Case at the Courthouse:  This is a 1-hour overview of researching courthouses for estate records, land records, and other court papers in learning more about our ancestors.  While judicial methods vary from state to state and community to community, they all process the same types of records.  Therefore, this presentation is more about the records than the structure of the court system in any one location.


How Civil War Pension Packets Told a Different Story – A Case Study:  A Case study of the life of Edmund T. Manning, A Company, 16th Iowa Infantry.  We will explore the Civil War Pension application process for both the soldier and the wife and how together they can tell the real story your ancestors chose to ignore.


Telling their stories:  This is a 1-hour presentation taking the listener beyond the birth, marriage, death, and maybe occupation of an ancestor and getting to know the person and what their life was like.  We will look at places to search for additional information on them and how to put their ancestors into proper historical context.


How not to do genealogy: A look at common mistakes beginners (and some experienced) make in conducting their research:  This is a 1-hour look at many of the common errors and a bunch which are not as common but still can cost you valuable time and effort if you avoid them to start with.  Whether it is believing the family tree that your mom or Aunt Mary wrote or a record attached to someone else’s tree on the internet, each piece of evidence must be broken down and evaluated for accuracy.


Running a Successful Genealogical Society Board: Tips from a Retired Army Officer:  This is a 1-hour presentation to help those serving on genealogical society boards or who are considering doing so.  You might not think a career military person can advise running a genealogical board successfully. However, many of the leadership traits transition into running boards.  There are many great leadership tips that we will discuss as well as bad traits to avoid.  We will examine signs that there is trouble in the board and how to avoid them or eliminate them as needed.


Two Colonial Georgias: Understanding History Helps Find Records: Most people know Georgia was originally a Trusteeship; but what did that mean?  Understanding a state’s pre-statehood government will help you locate & understand records.  This 1-hour presentation will explain the two distinct government entities that controlled Georgia before the American Revolution and where to find records.

Download the complete list HERE.