Understanding Your ...

About Leslie:
Lecture Topics

Below are my available lecture topics. See lecture schedule for a schedule of upcoming and past lectures. for more information.

  • NEW!
    The Journey Takers

  • Learn some new sources, new approaches to methodology, and new insights into our immigrant ancestors’ lives as you follow along through some case studies that are included in the soon-to-be released book, The Journey-Takers. Enjoy some stories that will remind us why we find genealogy research so fun – and so meaningful.

  • NEW!
    Writing a Page-Turning (But True) Family History

  • Tired of reading family histories that put you to sleep after one page? Learn some research and writing techniques that will make your family history a page-turner – without consigning it to the fiction section.

    Beyond Names and Dates: Uncovering Your Ancestors’ Stories

  • Are you ancestors destined to live on only as names and dates on your family charts? No! Dig deeper in the records and learn to place them in their historical context and you can gain a new and fuller understanding of their lives.

  • Research and Writing Your Ancestors’ Stories
    (this two hour workshop combines materials from two lectures: Beyond Names and Dates and Writing a Page-Turning Family History)

  • Can you create an interesting story of your ancestors when all you have are a few bare-bones documents? Yes! Learn how to dig deeper in the records, create the context, and bring it all together to write a story that will leave your family sitting on the edges of their seats!

  • Online Sources for Western European Research

  • Every day, Western European research gets a little easier as more records come online. Learn about parish, census, civil registration, and other records that are only a click away.

    Are you ancestors destined to live on only as names and dates on your family charts? No! Dig deeper in the records and learn to place them in their historical context and you can gain a fuller understanding of their lives.

  • Understanding Your Western European Ancestors Can Help You Trace Them

    Learning about the demographic, religious, and occupational trends that shaped the lives of your Western European Ancestors can be more than interesting – it improve your research results.
    * This lecture can be further focused to: Understanding Your German Ancestors or Understanding Your Swedish Ancestors

  • Get Organized! Take Control of Your Research Projects

  • Whether you’re spending a week at an archive or an afternoon at your computer, you can’t be effective without taking time to get organized – before, during, and after your research session.

  • Eight Ways to Cross the Ocean

  • You need one key piece of information to trace your European ancestors: the name of their hometown. But, locating it can be tricky. Learn about eight types of records that might solve your mystery.

  • Crossing the Ocean with the Internet

  • With more sources coming online all the time, tracing your ancestors across the ocean to their European hometowns has never been easier. Familiarize yourself with some important websites for making your cross-continent connection.

  • Voyage to America

  • For genealogy researchers, immigration can be a high hurdle. But for our ancestors, it was a life changing experience. Find out what setting sail to America was like during the 1800s.

  • Smith or Schmidt? Keeping Track of Name Changes

  • Our surnames are the most basic piece of genealogy information we have. But, they might not be the simplest. Learn about some of the most common name changes.

  • Jumping Over Hurdles in German Research

  • Has your German research run into a hurdle? Find out how to jump over some of the most common hurdles such as immigration, access to records, language, and handwriting.

  • Getting the Most out of Familysearch.org

  • Already familiar with familysearch.org? There might be more there than you thought. Find out how to get the most out of its incredible resources including the IGI, FHLC, country and state Research Guides, and new Records Search that make familysearch.org a site no genealogist can afford to do without.

  • 300 Years of German Immigration

  • Three hundred years ago, the arrival of the Palatines began the first real large-scale arrival of Germans to the U.S. Since that time, the tide of German arrivals has continued, making German the most claimed ethnic heritage in the census. Learn more about our German immigrant ancestors – where they came from, why they left, and what happened to them after they arrived. Then, take a peak at the trail they left behind that can help us trace them.

  • Get Published in Magazines!

  • Many people dream of seeing their words in print but don't know how to go about getting them there. Others write occasionally for small-scale publications for free - but aren't sure how to take the next step to better paying and more widely circulated publications. This lecture will provide the information necessary to be more successful as a freelance writer. The focus will be on genealogy publications but will also cover history magazines and other general-interest magazines.