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Session One: Finding Your Roots In the Library of Virginia

Thursday, August 5, 2021
7:00 pm8:00 pm

The Library of Virginia houses a vast collection of materials and records documenting the lives of Virginians. Delving into those records to explore your family’s history can be an immensely satisfying and rewarding experience. In addition to state and county records, the Library of Virginia holds nongovernment papers such as Bible records, family papers, letters, organization records, and business records.

Ashley Ramey is the Community Outreach Specialist for the Library of Virginia, where she coordinates the genealogy workshop series, genealogical programs, and community outreach for the Library. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor's degree in History and a Master's degree in History with a concentration on early/colonial Virginia, African & Indigenous Slavery, and 19th and 20th Century race relations in Virginia. Prior to work at the Library of Virginia, she was the Site Coordinator at Preservation Virginia's John Marshall House.

Session Two: Cemetery Crowdsourcing

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
7:00 pm8:00 pm

Cemeteries frequently provide genealogists with clues that exist nowhere else. In recent years, even the most remote cemeteries have become accessible to researchers worldwide, thanks to the internet. This talk explores the future of cemetery research – including BillionGraves, FindAGrave, and other apps and databases – highlighting different strategies and approaches to make the most out of cemetery research.

Speaker: Michael Cassara has spoken on a variety of topics at major genealogical conferences, society meetings and in classroom settings. As a professional genealogist, Michael brings over 25 years of experience in genealogical research to his presentations and is comfortable with groups of any size and ability. A member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Michael is based in New York City, and travels regularly to present on a number of different topics.

Session Three: How to Reopen & Work a Genealogical Cold Case

Thursday, August 12, 2021
7:00 pm8:00 pm

Cold Case files are as common in genealogy as they are in criminal investigations. So it seemed a no brainer to me that family historians could incorporate some of the same techniques that cold case investigators use. And that is how my presentation How to Reopen and Work a Genealogical Cold Case was born.

Lisa Louise Cooke is CEO of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy education company featuring The Genealogy Gems Podcast, available at in iTunes, and the Genealogy Gems app. Her books include Mobile Genealogy, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Second Edition, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and she has published 100+ videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel. She also produces The Family Tree Magazine Podcast, regularly writes for the magazine, and teaches for Family Tree University.

Session Four: Descendants of Enslaved Communities Project at the University of Virginia

Thursday, August 19, 2021
7:00 pm8:00 pm

Learn more about this special project that is researching and locating descendants of UVA free Black and enslaved laborers.

Dr. Shelley Murphy aka @familytreegirl, a Descendant Project Researcher, has been an avid genealogist for over 30 years. As an national speaker, she provides interesting problem-solving methodology lectures sure to help your toughest cases.

Session Five: 10 Steps to a One-Place Study

Monday, August 23, 2021
2:00 pm3:00 pm

This talk describes ten steps that you might take in pursuit of this exciting branch of historical research, wherever your place.

Janet Few is an experienced and qualified family, social and community historian who lectures regularly on these subjects throughout the UK and overseas. She has spoken at international genealogical events and is a well known author.

Session Six: My DNA Brought Me to the Forest, But Where Are the Trees?

Thursday, August 26, 2021
7:00 pm8:00 pm

Genealogical DNA tests are bringing thousands of new cousins to
our attention, but many of them don't have trees yet, or the trees
aren't attached to their test. Learn some new techniques for figuring
out where how these individuals connect with you.
(Focus is on results system).

Sara Cochran is a full-time professional genealogist with over 25 years of research experience.