Wisconsin State Genealogical Society

2020 Gene-A-Rama Archival

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 3 & 4, 2020
Holiday Inn
4601 Calumet Avenue, Manitowoc, WI
Hosted by the

George G. Morgan
George G. Morgan is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents in the U.S., Canada, England, on cruise ships, 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 a co-founder and content provider of the Genealogy Guys Learn genealogy education subscription website. He is 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 Quarterly, Family Tree Magazine, Internet Genealogy, and Your Genealogy Today. He was 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. 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. He is the 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.  He is the host of the Genealogy Connection podcast, and the co-host of The Genealogy Guys Podcast. He is a co-founder and content provider of the Genealogy Guys Learn genealogy education subscription website. He is one of the administrators of The Genealogy Squad and the Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Facebook groups.
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 give an after-dinner presentation, 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 15th year and is the longest-running genealogical podcast in the world. Their podcast hosting service, Libsyn, rates it in the top 10% of podcasts.

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, Karen Duvalle, 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 research 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.
Karen Duvalle is the Submarine Curator at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. She has been with the museum since 2001 and has a degree in History from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
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. She is a 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.
Andy BarnettAndy Barnett
Using Google Maps in Your Genealogical Search and Self-Publishing Your Family History
This presentation will look at using Google Books for research, Google Maps as a presentation tool, and Kindle Direct Publishing for self-publishing. Alternatives to these tools will also be covered.
Andy Barnett is the Director of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids. He is author of Libraries, Community, and Technology, editor of George Barnett, Marine Corps Commandant: A Memoir, 1877-1923 and re-publisher of Grit, Grief and Gold: A True Narrative of an Alaska Pathfinder. 
John L. BergJohn Berg
Intersection of History and Genealogy
This lecture will examine how history is connected with our family histories.
John Berg is a retired Wisconsin Rapids teacher with an interest in Wisconsin history and railroads. He has published two books, The Lake Shore & Eastern: A Logging Railroad in North Central Wisconsin and The Pike Lake Chain: A Collection of Historical Documents and Photographs, and several articles on these topics.

2020 Gene-A-Rama Agenda
Friday, April 3rd
8:00 AM Registration, Vendors Open
8:30-9:30 AM Leadership Session (For leaders of WSGS Affiliates)
10:00 AM President's Welcome, WSGS Annual Business Meeting
10:30 AM George G. Morgan, The Genealogist as CSI
11:30 AM Lunch, Vendors Open
1:00 PM
Breakout Sessions
  • Deb Anderson, Sleuthing Out Family History Through the Wisconsin Area Research Center Network
  • Hannah Patten, Karen Duvalle, Carol Gibson, Subs, Sailors and Ships: Genealogy Research at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum
2:00 PM Break, Vendors Open
2:30 PM Drew Smith, Using AncestryDNA Today
3:30 PM Break, Vendors Open
4:00 PM Russell Horton, Old Abe or Old Abigail?: Using DNA to Determine the Gender of the Famous Civil War Eagle
6:00 PM
Evening Reception and Banquet
George G. Morgan & Drew Smith, The Unexpected Side of Podcasting
Saturday, April 4th
8:00 AM Registration, Vendors Open
9:00 AM
Lori Bessler, How to Find Genealogical Collections Anywhere
10:00 AM Break, Vendors Open
10:30 AM George G. Morgan, Sidestep Genealogy
11:30 AM Lunch, Vendors Open
1:00 PM
Breakout Sessions
  • Andy Barnett, Using Google Maps in Your Genealogical Search and Self-Publishing Your Family History
  • John Berg, Intersection of Genealogy and History
2:00 PM Break, Vendors Open
2:30 PM Drew Smith, Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process

General Society of Mayflower Descendants Logo
Ask a Genealogist Sessions
Sponsored by The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Wisconsin
Is your research at a dead end? Are you stuck trying to find one connection that could unlock the secret to multiple branches of your family tree? The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Wisconsin invites conference attendees to bring their brick walls, missing relatives and dead ends to an Ask a Genealogist session. You'll be paired with a professional genealogist for a free private 20 minute consultation. Pre-registration will be required for these sessions.
Ask a Genealogist Session Dates and Times
2:00-4:00 PM             Friday
10:00 AM-3:00 PM   Saturday
Information on how to pre-register for a timeslot will be available soon.
The Society of Mayflower Descendants
Members of the Society have proven their descendancy from passengers who sailed on the merchant ship Mayflower from England to Plymouth in  1620.  The Society is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower this year with many activities in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Think you might be a Mayflower descendant? Historians from the state society will be in the vendor area at the conference to answer questions and help you start your lineage journey.

Hotel Accommodations
Holiday Inn Manitowoc
4601 Calumet Avenue
Manitowoc, WI
Reservations: 920-682-6000
To receive the discounted room rate of $99.00 plus tax per night for a single/double queen room, please mention the group code WG2.  Reservations must be received by March 2, 2020, to ensure the conference rate. Reserve early as accommodations are based upon availability.

Pedigree Sleuth WSGS Logo
Registration fees are lower if postmarked by March 8. 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. Print syllabi will also only be available for purchase until March 8.
No refunds will be given after March 8, 2020.
Meals are all pre-paid ticketed events and cannot be purchased after March 8 or onsite. Meals include coffee, tea or milk.
Friday Lunch ~ Salad & Soup Buffet with two lettuce options, assorted toppings and dressings. Fresh baked rolls, chicken noodle and tomato bisque soup, and fresh baked cookies. $14.00
Friday Banquet Buffet ~ Buffet consisting of beef Bourguignonne and fresh haddock with a creamy dill sauce, potato, mixed salad greens with dressings, fresh vegetable tray, fresh fruit tray, assorted seasonal salads, seasonal vegetables, rolls and butter along with a dessert bar. $23.00
Saturday Lunch ~ Choice of Grilled Caesar Wrap in an herb tortilla which includes potato chips, pickle spear and a cookie. $14.00
OR Chef Salad with rolls and butter plus a cookie. $12.00
  Postmarked By March 8 Postmarked After March 8
Full 2-day Registration
   Regular Rate
   WSGS Rate
Friday or Saturday Only
   Regular Rate
   WSGS Rate
Friday Buffet Lunch $14.00 N/A
Friday Banquet $23.00 N/A
Saturday Lunch
   Grilled Caesar Wrap
   Chef Salad
Print Syllabus $10.00 N/A
WSGS Membership
   Youth (Under 25)
   Print Newsletter
If you prefer to register via U.S. Mail, please print the attached registration form and mail it with your payment to the WSGS office:
WSGS Gene-A-Rama
PO Box 5106
Madison, WI 53705-0106
If you have ADA or special dietary requirements, please e-mail the office at wsgs@wsgs.org.