Southern Heir Ways

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Member, Association of Professional Genealogists

Lectures

Jack Butler is an experienced speaker and former college instructor who can provide lectures, classes or workshops on any of the topics below for your next seminar or society meeting. Please email Jack to discuss your program needs. Here are some of his previous engagements.

The Tombstone Just Said "Wife of..." - Finding the women in your family history
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

The title came from a woman's grave marker that I once came across in a family plot. There was no name - it just said “Wife of" ...whatever the husband's name was. Women make up half of our genealogy, but because of things like this stone, it is often a hidden half. This lecture addresses a wide variety of records that often contain information about our female ancestors, along with how to find them.

Genealogical Research - Working Around The Edges
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

In family history research, there are many records and techniques that routinely get overlooked, especially by newer genealogists. Tax Records, School Records, Employment Records, Personal Correspondence, Manuscript Collections, and a wide range of home and family sources of genealogical information are covered,
Click here for a PDF copy of the Home Sources Checklist.

Making Sense of the Census
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

When our founding fathers wrote the requirement for an enumeration of the American people every 10 years they had no idea that they would be creating the single largest group of records to be used by future genealogists, but that is exactly what they did. This lecture provides the good, bad, and ugly aspects of the census. It identifies the kinds of genealogical information that can be found on the various census reports (including that most frequently missed by many genealogists), discusses Internet census searches and how to find your ancestors - sometimes even when it appears that "the census taker missed them." It also touches on common errors found in census records.
Click here for a PDF copy of the lecture syllabus.

Coming Back to Our Census - a new look at an old friend.
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

A study of the information (immigration, naturalization, occupations and industries, military, etc.) contained in those census columns that few amateur genealogists ever look at or even know exist - with additional info on things like official enumeration periods ( or why great uncle Jim, who was born in 1899 might show up on the 1900 census) and such odd things as the meaning of various tick marks one sees on the census reports.

"Died Suddenly on Friday Last, of a Gunshot" - Finding Kin in Early Newspapers
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

Since the first multi-page American newspaper was published in Massachussetts in 1690, newspapers have not only been sources of the traditional dates sought by all genealogists, but they have also served to put our ancestors lives into context. They tell us not only when and where they were born, married and died, but they also provide us insight into how they lived. This lecture discusses, with examples from newspapers from around the country, what kind of information is provided and how to find it. Also discussed are sources for online images of early newspapers, newspapers on microfilm and other sources of early news.

“And Now…The Rest of the Story” – getting beyond the statistics in our ancestors lives
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen Discusses finding and using timelines, journals, diaries, newspapers, local histories and other non-typical records that take us beyond the usual birth, marriage and death dates and gives us a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors.
Click here for a PDF copy of the lecture syllabus.

Before They Were States...Finding and Using Territorial Records
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

The United States was born owning territory outside the 13 original states and the thirty two U. S. States that were carved out of that original excess land and the other territory gained over the years had Territorial governments before they became states. Territorial records are those records generated by the organization and settling of those 32 territories held by the U. S. prior to their eventually achieving statehood.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye - Genealogy and the County Courthouse
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

Court records should probably be thought of as County records as they are the local records generated during the course of our ancestors’ day to day lives: Marriages, deeds, wills and estates, mortgages, civil and criminal court cases, taxes, naturalizations, and even business contracts were all recorded at the local courthouse. Also includes planning tips for courthouse visits.

Land Records - an Under Utilized Resource
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

Land records existed in America for more than 160 years before the first U. S. Census was taken.Taken together, land records are second only to the Census both in the volume of records available and in potential genealogical information the records provide. The variety and richness of family information provided by this resource will likely astound you.
Records From the Indian Wars
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

There were six major Indian wars in the southeastern U. S. that left genealogically significant records. Most of them lasted between one and two years, and one of them lasted more than seven years. This lecture briefly discusses each of the Indian wars and then uses examples to describe each of the record types generated by the wars. Where to find the records in online, microfilm, and print resources is also discussed.

Wills & Estates - Genealogy's Gold Mines
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: a screen

Wills, administrations, inventories, inheritance, settlements and trusts – the types of records generated by the probate process are a wonderful source of genealogical information. This lecture covers the types of estates, examples of the documents found in them, and where to find them.
Click here for a PDF copy of the lecture syllabus.

Organizing Your Genealogy in the Computer Age
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: Internet access and a screen

Virtually all modern genealogists use computers and some sort of specialized genealogy to record, track and report on the data that we collect on our ancestors. Yet few of us are taking full advantage of what our computers can do to help up with our genealogy. This lecture presents the how and the why of not only using modern genealogy software, but also the digitization of the mass of records that we collect over the years.

Genealogy Through the Internet
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Length: 1 hour
Equipment required: Internet access and a screen

This lecture uses live online research with names provided by the audience to demonstrate a variety of the better online genealogy sites and a range of tips for successful online searching. This lecture is easily expanded into two hours through a more in depth review of sites and search techniques.

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