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GenealogyClassBlog » Tulsa City-County Library

The Genealogist’s Camera

April 15th, 2011 Posted in Photographs, Tulsa Events | Comments Off

Desmond Walls Allen will be in Tulsa to present a workshop for the Tulsa City County Library on Saturday, 23 April, and I am very excited. I had a chance to meet Desmond at the FGS Conference in Little Rock in 2009, and I have always been a huge fan. She is a very witty and bright speaker and she has such a wonderful depth of knowledge about any of her topics that I always learn when I attend one of her lectures. Desmond is a professional genealogist from Arkansas, who has published numerous books for genealogists to use to find Arkansas ancestors. I found 42 in the library’s catalog, most of which can be found at the Genealogy Center. She is the author of First Steps in Genealogy: a Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your Family History, which is available for check-out to library cardholders at several of the branches.

by Desmond Walls Allen

by Desmond Walls Allen

The workshop will be at the Hardesty Library, in the Frossard Auditorium, from 9:30 to 4:30. I hear that she will be taking questions at the end about Arkansas research among other topics, but the focus for most of the day will be digital images, which we all need to understand better. Here is a description from the library’s Event Guide:

Discover how you can use your digital camera to document your family history research. Learn how to photograph records, cemeteries, heirlooms and old photographs, as well as touch up old photographs to make them a great addition to research notebooks and scrapbooks.

I haven’t heard whether she will have any of her books for sale, but you might want to bring some money along, just in case. I look forward to seeing you there.

Second Season of “Who Do You Think You Are” Begins Friday

January 29th, 2011 Posted in In the media | Comments Off
Who Do You Think You Are on NBC Website

Who Do You Think You Are on NBC Website

Be sure to set aside all of your Friday evenings for the next several weeks at 7:00 CST to watch “Who Do You Think You Are” on NBC. This seasons celebrities will be:

  • Vanessa Williams (on Feb. 4)
  • Tim McGraw (on Feb. 11)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Ashley Judd
  • Kim Cattrall
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Lionel Ritchie
  • Steve Buscemi

The new season, a sweepstakes, a trivia game, a link to sponsor, and more are featured at on the NBC Website.

While these programs make family history research look much simpler than it is (the genealogists who do the behind-the-scenes work rarely are shown), it would be hard to do so in such a short program. Instead they focus on the successes, showing the viewer the most remarkable finds, along with the hoped-for look of surprise and pride on the faces of the celebrities. Rarely do genealogists have a way to connect what we find in documents to historical resources in a multimedia format. It’s all inspiring and great fun.

By the way, you can watch last year’s episodes from this site, until 2/5/11. The six stories from last year were those of Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, and Spike Lee.

Remember that if you want to start finding out who you are, library cardholders can use Ancestry Library Edition (not the same as, but similar) at any branch of the Tulsa City-County Library.

Deutsche Vorfahren (German Ancestors)

January 18th, 2010 Posted in Events, Speaking, Tulsa Events | Comments Off

Berwangen, Baden, Germany

Berwangen, Baden, Germany

Mark Saturday, March 6, on your calendar for a chance to learn about German genealogy research, and about some German genealogy resources at the Tulsa City-County Library’s Genealogy Center.

I have been teaching myself to research using German genealogy resources for a while now. I have also been trying to learn to speak a little German and have learned to read some of the old Gothic print that was used in pre-World War II records. I have located and studied parish registers for Berwangen, the small town in Baden where my great-great-grandfather, John George (or Johan Georg) Mayer was christened in 1826. The parish registers were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1978 and 1982, and so I have accessed them through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, by way of the New Haven Family History Center.

There are three Family History Centers in Tulsa now — two in churches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a new one at the Genealogy Center. While anyone can order genealogical records on microfilm for a reasonable price through any of the three, the Genealogy Center has also been collecting German resources in print which anyone can use to help locate small towns like Berwangen. The location of the records is closely tied to the place where your ancestor lived. I have learned to use both the multi-volume resource, Map Guide to German Parish Registers, a great new resource, and Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs, an important resource written in German, which was first published in 1913, and I’d like to explain the process of using both of these to anyone else who is interested.

Last spring I visited Berwangen. Although I didn’t actually do any genealogy research while in Germany, we met some wonderful people. The day that my daughter and I spent in Berwangen was the best day of our two-week trip around Europe. Before the trip, I learned to use maps on Google and while there we took pictures and video. Now that I have been there, I am anxious to learn more about the history of my ancestors in this town.

The Genealogy Center is located at 2910 S. Harvard in Tulsa. The free program will be in the Harmon Foundation Meeting Room from 2:00 – 3:30. I hope to see you there.

FGS Conference in Little Rock

October 4th, 2009 Posted in Events, Speaking | Comments Off

I have been initiated into the fraternity of national genealogy speakers! I presented two lectures at the 2009 Federation of Genealogical Societies National Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, which was held Sept. 2-5. The first lecture was How To Be a Power Hitter, which was about getting better results when searching in online genealogy databases. I had presented an earlier version to the Tulsa Genealogical Society as the first part of a mini-workshop in May 2009. I really enjoy doing this lecture and presenting examples of how you and I won’t be able to find what we’re seeking until we have conquered the limitations of the index.

The second lecture was one I had proposed because of Little Rock’s proximity to Oklahoma, because attendees often decide to attend conferences in areas relating to their geographic area of interest. This one was called Oklahoma’s Settlement: Territorial Homestead and Allotment Records, and was one I had presented for the Tulsa City-County Library in July. I had updated the graphics on my slides with maps from the Historical Atlas of Oklahoma, 4th edition, (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006), with the permission of the University of Oklahoma Press. For those with an interest in tracing individuals or families in pre-statehood Oklahoma, this is a great resource.

Recordings of the audio portion of each lecture are available for purchase through JAMB Inc..