In recognition of Family-History Month in October, Fort Bend County Libraries’ Local History and Genealogy department at George Memorial Library will join the Genealogy Network of Texas (GNT) in a state-wide, collaborative Genealogy Lock-In for family-history buffs on Friday, October 18, from 10:00 am to 5:15 pm, in the Meeting Room of the library, located at 1001 Golfview in Richmond.

Spearheaded by the Genealogy Center of the Waco-McClennan County Library, the GNT is a state-wide initiative to provide educational and research opportunities for libraries and genealogists.

A series of programs with up-to-date topics of interest to family-history researchers will be live-streamed throughout the day. Participants may attend all the sessions, or they may choose to attend individual sessions. Lunch is not included, but those attending the workshop are welcome to bring a lunch with them.

The schedule is as follows:

• 10:00-10:50 am – “Technology-Enabled Collaborations for Genealogists,” presented by Tony Hanson. This presentation will examine three collaborative-research tools that enable different parties to share information on a common project – the FamilySearch Family Tree, Ancestry.com’s ThruLines DNA tool, and self-published family-history blogs or websites. Learn the benefits provided by each and how to effectively incorporate them into a personal research methodology.

• 11:00-11:50 am – “Finding Elusive Records on FamilySearch.org,” presented by John Huff, FamilySearch Experience Manager. Hear about all the features available in this 2-billion-image database, and develop advanced research skills to take full advantage of everything the database offers. This tutorial will provide step-by-step instructions for utilizing the FamilySearch catalog, its unindexed image collections, and more.

• 12:00 noon-1:30 pm – “Genealogy Basics: Getting Started on Your Family Tree,” presented by Carl Smith, Genealogist with the Montgomery County Memorial Library System. Beginning researchers will learn the basics they need to get started researching their family tree. Smith will provide an overview of the types of records that are useful for genealogical research, and where they can be found. Get tips on how to get started with home sources and ways to stay organized with paper charts and forms or computer software.

• 1:40-2:40 pm – “Probate: More Than a Will,” presented by Kelvin Meyers, a researcher with Ancestry ProGenealogists. Ancestors who lived to adulthood oftentimes left some type of an estate to be administered after their death. Some of these ancestors left wills, while others did not. Probate records can be some of the most fruitful sources of information for genealogists.

• 2:50-3:50 pm – “Roll Call: New Sites & Sources for Military Records & Research,” presented by Curt B. Witcher, senior Genealogy Center manager at the Allen County Public Library. This presentation explores the growing number of consequential websites for the researcher interested in military history and military ancestors. From bibliographic databases to sites that provide copies of first-hand accounts and images of actual records, this talk highlights key sites and strategies for locating increasing amounts of meaningful military data on the internet.

• 4:00-5:15 pm – “Introduction to GEDmatch,” presented by Sarah Allen, Genealogy Center librarian at the Allen County Public Library. GEDmatch is a free, third-party website that one can use to compare DNA results with other participants who have taken an autosomal DNA test from any of the major testing companies and shared them to the site. GEDmatch includes a variety of tools and utilities (some free, and some by subscription only) that help one analyze their DNA results.

The workshop is sponsored by the Genealogy Center of the Waco-McLennan County Library and the Central Texas Genealogical Society, and it is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. Registration will open on September 13. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Events,” select “George Memorial Library,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library’s Local History and Genealogy Department at 281-341-2608.

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