Wisconsin State Genealogical Society

2021 Virtual Gene-A-Rama

Investigating Your Roots ~Pedigree Sleuth Genealogy Guys Logo
Becoming a Genealogy
Super Sleuth!
Featuring The Genealogy Guys
George G. Morgan
& Drew Smith
The Genealogy Guys - Drew Smith & George G. Morgan
Friday & Saturday, April 9 & 10, 2021

George G. Morgan
George G. Morgan is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents in numerous countries and though webinars. He is the co-host of the longest running genealogical podcast, The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe. His company also produces the Genealogy Connection podcast, and The Genealogy Guys Blog. He is co-founder and content provider of the Genealogy Guys Learn genealogy education subscription website., and one of the administrators of The Genealogy Squad Facebook group. George is also a prolific writer, with fourteen books to his credit including the fourth edition How to Do Everything: Genealogy and a chapter in Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. He is a regular writer for the Association of Professional Genealogists QuarterlyFamily Tree MagazineInternet Genealogy, and Your Genealogy Today. He has won numerous writing awards, including from the Association of Professional Genealogists and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.
George's Lectures
  • ‚ÄčThe Genealogist as CSI: Modern genealogists are much like the crime scene investigators - CSIs - that we see on television. They must be skilled investigators. They must use all available tools to locate clues and evidence. And they must employ proven methodologies and their critical thinking skills to document and evaluate every type of resource they find. They must be able to communicate their findings. This seminar analogizes genealogists with CSIs and describes the genealogical research and evaluation process. It provides a methodological framework for all types of research.
  • Sidestep Genealogy: Brick wall research blocks are inevitable. We strive to start with ourselves and work backwards, but sometimes there are impediments that stop us in our tracks. It is then that we must use our most creative research skills, and it is essential that we move to their family members. That means researching our ancestors' siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and the collateral lines with which they are connected. Sidestep genealogy means researching these alternative individuals, their records, the places that they lived, and other resources. This lecture will make you stop and think about what alternative research paths you might use, and point you to new resources you may never have considered.
Drew Smith
Drew Smith is the genealogy librarian with the University of South Florida Tampa Library, and is the 2016 winner of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship, presented by the National Genealogical Society. He is a popular speaker at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, host of the Genealogy Connection podcast, and co-host of The Genealogy Guys Podcast. He is a co-founder and content provider of the Genealogy Guys Learn genealogy education subscription website, and one of the administrators of The Genealogy Squad and The Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Facebook groups. Drew's books include Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques and Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher. He has written extensively for several genealogical print and online magazines, is a past president of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa, and has served on the boards of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Florida State Genealogical Society.
Drew's Lectures
  • Using AncestryDNA Today: AncestryDNA continues to add new tools to help with matching other testers, categorizing the matches into groups, and discovering the right relationships. This presentation focuses on how to use the latest AncestryDNA tools (ThruLines, groups, etc.) to identify relatives near and distant.
  • Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process: The research process includes goals, questions, sources, information, evidence, and conclusions. Learn to use task management software, research logs, and other tools to keep track.
George and Drew will also jointly present The Unexpected Side of Podcasting: Successful podcasting requires a lot of planning, but sometimes the most entertaining things happen that were never planned. 
George and Drew's The Genealogy Guys Podcast is in its 16th year and is the longest-running genealogical podcast in the world. For the past 5 years Drew has also been hosting Genealogy Connection in which he interviews leaders in the genealogical community. Since 2018 the guys have also been writing a blog with news stories and announcements, research methodologies and tips, and guest posts. Most recently they introduced the Genealogy Guys Learn subscription site which presents well-designed, well-tested training on everything from beginning research to focusing on particular records so that you make progress with your family history. New content is added every month including written courses and multiple lessons, video webinar lessons, products and services, and book and resource links. Attendees will have the opportunity to subscribe to Genealogy Guys Learn at a discounted price.

Also Featuring
Deb AndersonDeb Anderson
Sleuthing Out Family History Through the Wisconsin Area Research Center Network
Deb Anderson, Director of the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center, will provide insight into records available to researchers through the Wisconsin Area Research Center Network. The rich array of historical records held throughout the Area Research Center Network will provide researchers with a wealth of clues for their genealogical detective projects.
Deb has served as the director of the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center for nearly thirty years. Prior to this role, she served as an archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society. She also regularly serves as a mentor and consultant for local county historical societies and libraries. Deb is passionate about helping researchers use archival records to find clues for their family histories.
Wisconsin Maritime Museum LogoHannah Patten & Carol Gibson
Subs, Sailors and Ships: Genealogy Research at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum
The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is home to more than just model ships and a submarine. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum preserves an archive with a wealth of primary source documents, records and personal papers including records and memorabilia from Great Lakes shipping and transportation companies and the personal papers and diaries of sailors, captains and submariners. The museum's archives and research center is often contacted by researchers for assistance with genealogical history projects. These researchers are usually interested in finding information about an ancestor who sailed the Great Lakes or traveled to the region by boat. In this talk we will explore the resources the Wisconsin Maritime Museum uses to fulfill these requests and discuss two institutional projects that involved genealogy research: tracking down the family members of submariners lost on USS Lagarto and researching the members of the USS Cobia's crew.
Carol Gibson is a retired librarian who worked for many years at the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System. In retirement she served as coordinator and researcher for a collaborative project in which the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc County Historical Society, and area libraries developed their digital collections called "The Home Front, Manitowoc County in World War II" which is now maintained as part of the UW-Madison "State of Wisconsin Collection." Carol has volunteered at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum for over 10 years.
Hannah Patten is the Registrar at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and has been with the museum since 2018. She has a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Loyola University Chicago. Hannah is currently studying to earn a master's degree in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has completed a Museum Studies Graduate Certificate. Hannah's primary focus is historical archaeology in the Midwest region.
Russell HortonRussell Horton
Old Abe or Old Abigail? Using DNA to Determine the Gender of the Famous Civil War Eagle
Old Abe was the famous bald eagle mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Following the war, the eagle lived in the State Capitol and became a nationally known symbol of the Union, appearing at veterans events around the country. But twenty years after Old Abe died, a controversy arose as to whether the eagle was male or female. Witnesses recounted seeing Old Abe lay eggs while others vehemently denied the possibility that the eagle was female. Newspapers around the country picked up on this story, but there was no way to resolve the issue. Find out how the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and University of Wisconsin scientists used twenty-first century technology to finally answer this question.
The son and grandson of Army veterans, Russell Horton is the Reference & Outreach Archivist at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. He earned his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and master’s degrees in history and library science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Russ began working at the WVM as a graduate student in 2001 and has worn many hats, processing manuscripts and cataloging objects before accepting his current position in 2008. 
Lori BesslerLori Bessler
How to Find Genealogical Collections Anywhere
This presentation will help you understand how many places hold parts of the family history. From online sources to institutions, there are many, many places to check for collections that may show you something more about the lives of your ancestors. This presentation provides a method for finding these resources.
Lori has worked at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library Archives since 1988 where she is the Reference Librarian and Outreach Coordinator. Lori has lectured throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest on genealogical topics for over 30 years and has been researching family history for over 40 years. She specializes in breaking down brick walls and finding hard-to-find resources.
Karen Vencent HumistonKaren Vincent Humiston
The Sky Was Brass, The Earth Was Ashes: The Great Peshtigo Fire
On October 8, 1871, the deadliest wildfire in United States history swept through a large part of northeastern Wisconsin. This presentation will explore the circumstances of the fire and the stories of some of the families caught up in it.
Karen Vincent Humiston is a long-time family historian, who has spent two years intensively researching the Peshtigo Fire and the families caught up in it. Her book on the topic, Northern Inferno, will be released in 2021.

2021 Gene-A-Rama Agenda
Friday, April 9th
8:30-9:00 AM President's Welcome, WSGS Annual Business Meeting
9:00 AM
Deb Anderson, Sleuthing Out Family History Through the Wisconsin Area Research Center Network
10:00 AM Break
10:15 AM George G. Morgan, The Genealogist as CSI
11:30 AM Lunch
12:30 PM
Hannah Patten & Carol Gibson, Subs, Sailors and Ships: Genealogy Research at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum
1:30 PM Break
1:45 PM Drew Smith, Using AncestryDNA Today
2:45 PM Break
3:00 PM
Lori Bessler, How to Find Genealogical Collections Anywhere
4:00 PM Break
4:15 PM
George G. Morgan & Drew Smith, The Unexpected Side of Podcasting
Saturday, April 10th
9:00 AM Russell Horton, Old Abe or Old Abigail? Using DNA to Determine the Gender of the Famous Civil War Eagle
10:00 AM Break
10:15 AM George G. Morgan, Sidestep Genealogy
11:15 AM Lunch
12:15 PM
Karen Vincent Humiston, The Sky Was Brass, The Earth Was Ashes: The Great Peshtigo Fire
1:15 PM Break
1:30 PM Drew Smith, Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process

Pedigree Sleuth WSGS Logo
Members may register via the registration brochure you will receive in the mail or online. All mail-in registrations must be postmarked by March 8th. If you would like to register after that date, you will need to use the online registration. The general public can register online using this site.
Please note that membership in an Affiliate Society does not qualify as WSGS membership.  You can become a member and pay the WSGS Rate at the time you register.
All attendees will receive an e-mail confirmation from the WSGS Office. You will also receive an e-mail with the link to attend the event from the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society via GoToWebinar for each day you are attending. Please keep any e-mails as this will be your ticket to get logged in.
No refunds will be given after March 26, 2021
  March 9-April 7 - ONLINE ONLY
Full 2-day Registration
   WSGS Member Rate
   Regular Rate
Friday or Saturday Only
   WSGS Member Rate
   Regular Rate
WSGS Membership
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Online Registration is Now Closed
WSGS Gene-A-Rama
PO Box 5106
Madison, WI 53705-0106