Events

Special Interest Group (SIG) Book Discussion The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide by James Beidler

On Thursday, October 3rd, 2019, fifteen NCGS members got together to discuss the book The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide by James Beidler.  This was our very first Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting.  A SIG is a chance for members to get together to talk, share, ask questions, and make connections.  It is different than a Program Meeting where a guest speaker is giving a presentation and there is little time for members to interact.

Many genealogy societies have SIGs.  Some are a repeating topic where they meet once a month just to talk about DNA.  The Rochester Genealogical Society has a few Interest Groups: Computer, DNA, and a Writer’s Group.  You can read more on their website: http://www.nyrgs.org/index.php.  The Ontario (Canada) Genealogical Society also has SIGs.  You can read more here: https://ogs.on.ca/branchessigs/special-interest-groups/.

I wasn’t sure of our membership’s interest in starting a SIG, so I wanted to start with a single topic rather than a recurring one.  I decided to create a SIG that was a Book Discussion group.  That way I could gauge the interest based off of attendance and feedback from our first meeting.  With this format, we could select a book, read it, discuss it, then choose a new book to discuss the next time meeting 3-4 times a year.

I was very pleased and excited with the attendance!  Thank you to those members that were able to join us on the 3rd!  We began with going around the table to introduce ourselves and where in Germany our ancestors were from.  Then we discussed how, if we knew, the area in Germany.  Many of us have yet to find the home village, but those of us that did know had learned it from family telling us, church records, and immigration records.

We discussed things that we learned from the book such as if our German immigrants were first-wave or second-wave immigrants (the majority were second-wave).  We then shared the part of the book where you learned something new.  For me, the section on page 102 where the author talks about Rufnames and naming patterns really hit home with me and made me race to my tree to see if my German family followed the naming patterns as they certainly used Rufnames.  We had time for questions to help share our collective knowledge and then, before we knew it, the hour was over.  It went by so fast!

The group picked out our next two books for discussion.  In March 2020 we will discuss The Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide by Claire Santry and in June 2020 we will discuss The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy (Second Edition) by Blaine T. Bettinger.  

We hope that you can join us!  The SIGs are for members only.  If you are not a NCGS member, please see our website and consider joining: http://niagaragenealogy.org/membership.html.

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

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Events

The D in B-M-D

Death Records are very useful in tracing your family tree. So often, in genealogy, we need to start with a person’s death to move backwards in time to their birth and, hopefully, connect them to their parents.

Join us on Wednesday, Sept 25th at 7:00 pm at 215 Niagara St. Lockport, NY as Jeanette Sheliga packs this presentation with examples of documents concerning records of death, when they began to exist, and where to find them. Topics will include: death certificates, death indexes, obituaries, funeral home records, church records, cemetery records, coroner’s reports and more!

Jeanette Sheliga is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.

Events

Using Land Records & Sanborn Maps for Genealogy

We hope you can join us on Wednesday, June 19th from 7-8:30 pm at 215 Niagara St, Lockport NY as Jeanette Sheliga explains how she finally broke through a brick wall by using land records. In this presentation you will learn how to find land records (both online and at County Clerk’s offices), be given an introduction to Sanborn Maps and how they can help you determine where properties are and the structures located on them, and then tips on putting it all together to help tell the story of your ancestors. It is a jam packed session full of local examples.

We’ll be going LIVE on Facebook for this month’s program! We hope to see you there but if you’re not local, check us out at 7PM as we work out the kinks live.

Jeanette Sheliga is the Niagara County Genealogical Society Vice President as well as a board member and the organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club. She is a music teacher by day and spends much of her free time on her favorite hobby of genealogy. She has been a genealogy guest lecturer for many local organizations and libraries since 2011.

Events

Using Land Records & Sanborn Maps for Genealogy

Join us on June 19th @7:00pm, 215 Niagara St., Lockport NY as Jeanette Sheliga explains how she finally broke through a brick wall by using land records. In this presentation you will learn how to find land records (both online and at County Clerk’s offices), be given an introduction to Sanborn Maps and how they can help you determine where properties are and the structures located on them, and then tips on putting it all together to help tell the story of your ancestors. This free program is a jam packed session full of local examples.

Jeanette Sheliga is the Niagara County Genealogical Society Vice President as well as a board member and the organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club. She is a music teacher by day and spends much of her free time on her favorite hobby of genealogy. She has been a genealogy guest lecturer for many local organizations and libraries since 2011

Events

Using Land Records & Sanborn Maps for Genealogy

We hope you can join us on Wednesday, June 19th from 7-8:30 pm at 215 Niagara St, Lockport NY as Jeanette Sheliga explains how she finally broke through a brick wall by using land records. In this presentation you will learn how to find land records (both online and at County Clerk’s offices), be given an introduction to Sanborn Maps and how they can help you determine where properties are and the structures located on them, and then tips on putting it all together to help tell the story of your ancestors. It is a jam packed session full of local examples.

Jeanette Sheliga is the Niagara County Genealogical Society Vice President as well as a board member and the organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club. She is a music teacher by day and spends much of her free time on her favorite hobby of genealogy. She has been a genealogy guest lecturer for many local organizations and libraries since 2011.

Events

Join us Wednesday for ‘Finding your Birth Parents’


An early adoptee, c. 1940s (International Social Services / National Archives)

More and more genealogists find themselves having to learn to navigate between a birth family and an adopted family. Join us at the Niagara County Genealogical Society, 215 Niagara St in Lockport NY on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:00pm as Ward Bray, APG shares his expertise in adoption research. Ward will give us his step by step guide to begin the process of finding birth families.

Ward R. Bray, APG, has been an LDS Family History Center volunteer librarian for over thirty (30) years and has a weekly shift. He is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG) performing research for clients for over twenty (20) years. He is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo (Business Management) and Niagara Community College (Computer Technology). 

Ward specializes in Western New York as well as Welsh and English genealogical research. Ward is experienced with Kinship Report preparation for cases in Erie and Niagara County New York Surrogates Court. Ward has helped to reunite families who were separated due to adoption using research and DNA.

Ward has presented various genealogical-related topics to organizations including Church Records, Land Records, Adoption and Forensic Genealogy (expert witness efforts for Surrogates Court cases).

Everyone is welcome at this free program!

Events

Upcoming Event – Finding your Birth Parents


An early adoptee, c. 1940s (International Social Services / National Archives)

More and more genealogists find themselves having to learn to navigate between a birth family and an adopted family. Join us at the Niagara County Genealogical Society, 215 Niagara St in Lockport NY on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:00pm as Ward Bray, APG shares his expertise in adoption research. Ward will give us his step by step guide to begin the process of finding birth families.

Ward R. Bray, APG, has been an LDS Family History Center volunteer librarian for over thirty (30) years and has a weekly shift. He is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG) performing research for clients for over twenty (20) years. He is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo (Business Management) and Niagara Community College (Computer Technology). 

Ward specializes in Western New York as well as Welsh and English genealogical research. Ward is experienced with Kinship Report preparation for cases in Erie and Niagara County New York Surrogates Court. Ward has helped to reunite families who were separated due to adoption using research and DNA.

Ward has presented various genealogical-related topics to organizations including Church Records, Land Records, Adoption and Forensic Genealogy (expert witness efforts for Surrogates Court cases).

Everyone is welcome at this free program!

Events

Join us Wednesday for ‘DNA Testing for Genealogy’

Are you considering taking a DNA Test to learn about your heritage? Have you taken a test and want to learn more?

Join us at 215 Niagara St., Lockport NY on Wednesday, April 24th from 7-830pm as Rhonda Hoffman teaches us the basics of genetic genealogy. Her program will include the types of DNA testing, what testing can tell you, how DNA can be applied to genealogy research, and DNA testing for adoption/unknown parentage.

Rhonda Hoffman has been a genealogy librarian for 17 years and currently serves as the Genealogy Specialist for the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System, NY. She has a Master of Library Science degree from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts in History from SUNY Geneseo.

Rhonda has been researching her own genealogy for two decades and previously owned a part-time genealogy research business. Rhonda is the editor of the Western New York Genealogical Society’s JOURNAL and volunteers for Search Angels, a nonprofit organization which helps reunite adoptees with their birth families through the use of DNA testing and traditional genealogy research