Kick off your Genealogy Resolutions With Free Webinars this Month!

Looking at your genealogy New Year goals and don’t know where to start? Our Genealogy Club has two great webinar sessions coming up this month to kickstart your research and help you break through some of the brick walls you have in your family tree!

All our genealogy club webinars are free and open to researchers of all experience levels. Thanks to the generosity of our presenters, our sessions are available for viewing for either 7 or 30 days on YouTube following the program. A program link is sent to registrants one day prior to each session, with a reminder email sent one hour before the session goes live. Recordings of each program are available on our YouTube channel.


Coming up on Wednesday, January 13 at 11 a.m., our club will host its first program of the year, “One-Name Studies: What They Are & How They Help Research,” with Michael Cassara. If you are new to DNA and surname research, a one-name study is a methodology of merging your DNA matches and surname studies into a new avenue of research. In this talk, Michael explores the different types of one-name studies/surname projects, including the latest software and methodology as well as DNA/technology. If you need help sorting out ancestors with the same first and last names or want to document living relatives from a common surname ancestor, you’ll want to attend this session! You can register for this event online.

Later in the month, on Wednesday, January 27, 11 a.m., Pam Vestal will present “Voting Records: Genealogy’s Best Kept Secret.” From the e-mails and phone calls we received last year, voting records was one of your most requested topics, so we are really excited to host this session. Looking for a date of birth or death? When and where your ancestor became a citizen? Where he disappeared to or where he came from? Voting records may have the answer. Pam will show you how these often-overlooked gems can be packed with genealogical information, and you won’t believe what they can tell us about our ancestors! You can register for this event online.

To read and register for our full list of upcoming 2021 Genealogy Club programs, read our previous blog post. Don’t forget to bookmark the page, add our events to your calendar and share our upcoming sessions with your friends and family.


Need extra help? Our one-on-one genealogy research sessions are free and available to Fountaindale Public Library cardholders via Zoom throughout the year. You can book an appointment by phone 630.685.4201 or by email at I’m always happy to look over your research problems, find some resources and records to help you along and create a custom research plan for you to move forward with your projects.


As the access to free genealogy webinars has absolutely exploded since the events of 2020, I’ve begun subscribing to a few mailing lists and looking for events mentioned on a few sites such as Conference Keeper and Eastman’s Online Genealogy Calendar. I highly recommend attending these upcoming webinar sessions hosted by our friends at other libraries and genealogical societies:

Bristol Public Library
  • “Using Ancestry Library Edition”
  • Date: Saturday, January 16, 9 a.m.
  • Description: The Bristol Public Library is proud to offer our patrons access to, one of the largest online genealogy databases. Join us as we discuss how to use Ancestry Library Edition to search for your ancestors, the different types of genealogical records available, and additional resources ancestry offers to help facilitate your research.
  • Registration
Colorado Genealogical Society
  • “Getting and Staying Organized” by Rebecca Kichta Miller
  • Date: Saturday, January 16, 10:30 a.m.
  • Description: Once you’ve gotten started gathering your genealogy and recording everything that you’ve found, how do you get a grip on the “mess” you’ve created? Rebecca Kichta Miller will walk you through how to simply organize your research, on paper or digitally, and keep it that way. Then she’ll teach you how to organize your mind with a technique called mind-mapping.
  • Registration
Castle Rock Colorado Genealogical Society
  • “Managing the Genealogy Data Monster” by Thomas MacEntee
  • Date: Saturday, January 16, 11 a.m.
  • Description: It is so easy to let the large amounts of data involved with genealogy overwhelm you – to the point that family history research is no longer fun! Learn how to tackle the three main problem areas of genealogy data: research data, project data and file data so you can put the fun back in your research! Attendees will learn the basics of working “smarter” instead of “harder” when it comes to managing genealogy data. We’ll cover setting up genealogy projects and tracking them to completion, using a research log to track research, and how to better manage your genealogy data files.
  • Registration
Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
  • “Strategic Searching on Findmypast” by Jen Baldwin
  • Date: Tuesday, January 19, 1:30 p.m.
  • Description: Make the most of your valuable time on Findmypast after learning best practices, different ways to search, and utilizing the site to your greatest advantage through this presentation.
  • Registration
Florida State Genealogical Society
  • “Land Barons or Dirt Farmers: Finding Land Transactions” by J. Mark Lowe
  • Date: Thursday, January 21, 7 p.m.
  • Description: In most cases, the purchase of a home and land is the largest expenditure of a lifetime. Following the land will often identify the ancestor and family. Learn how to trace an individual through property records and how to trace a specific property. Although it is possible to locate an individual’s land from historical records, we will focus on working backward from a current deed.
  • Registration
Oakmont Genealogy Club
  • “Researching Women in the 1800s in the US”
  • Date: Monday, January 25, 3 p.m.
  • Description: Women are often very difficult to research in the US in the 1800s, particularly before the 1850 census. They are often referred to as “daughter” or “wife.” Because the laws of the time dictated that women rarely could engage in legal transactions directly, their names and origins are often lost to history. Researching women, therefore, means using indirect methods, most typically by following the men in their lives. We’ll look at what can be found in vital records, church records, census records, gravestones and cemetery records, newspapers, wills and probate, naturalization, pensions, federal land records, and other court records. In recent years we’ve been able to add DNA testing as a way of tracking and confirming our maternal ancestry.
  • Join the Zoom Meeting
  • Meeting ID: 878 4023 9042
  • Passcode: 315487
Irondequoit Public Library
  • “Overview of Family Tree Maker”
  • Date: Wednesday, January 27, 6 p.m.
  • Description: Join us for an overview of Family Tree Maker, genealogy software by MACKIEV (for Mac and Windows) and originally created by ancestry. Those new to family history will appreciate how this intuitive program lets you easily grow your family by integrating hints from Ancestry and Family Search. Experts can use more advanced features, options for managing data, and a wide variety of charts and reports.
  • Registration
Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
  • “Tracking Your Illinois Ancestors” by Sara Allen
  • Date: Thursday, January 28, 5:30 p.m.
  • Description: Learn about the essential websites and important physical repositories for Illinois genealogical records.
  • Registration

See You At The Next Webinar!