2020 Heartland Family History Conference
Presentation Descriptions 
 
Plenary Sessions: Keynote Speaker John P. Colletta, PhD will provide 4 sessions:
 
Discovering the REAL Stories of Your Immigrant Ancestors 
The immigrant experience was not the same for every one of the millions of English, Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, and others who came to America. Each immigrant’s story is unique. Using three 19th-century case studies, this lecture describes the original records and published materials available to discover the particular facts of your own ancestor’s story. It discusses how to evaluate those facts and assemble them into a story that conveys both the drama and individuality of your ancestor’s emigration/immigration experience.
 
Assembling and Writing a Narrative Family History
For experienced genealogists as well as beginners, this lecture addresses the joys and challenges of producing a written account of their discoveries. Whether a genealogy (record of descendants) or family history (record of ancestors), the work has a dual nature: reliable record and readable story. This lecture addresses both aspects. Fundamental considerations include deciding the form, content and style of the account, selecting a numbering system, and documenting the work. Narrative techniques include putting ancestors into historical context and describing their lives, rather than simply relating facts. Editing, illustrating and indexing are discussed to equip genealogists to commit their discoveries to writing... before it’s too late! 
 
Passenger Arrival Records, Colonial Times to Mid-20th Century
This lecture begins with a discussion of sources for discovering the arrival time and place—and perhaps the ship—of an immigrant to colonial America. It then explores U.S. passenger arrival records, especially 1820-1957, available on microfilm and the Internet. It suggests what facts you need to begin your search and explains step-by-step how to conduct that search. Specific examples illustrate how to use Web sites, National Archives microfilmed indexes, book indexes, and other research tools.
 
How to Prepare for Successful Research in European Records
This lecture discusses how Americans can prepare for successful genealogical research overseas, whether that research is conducted through correspondence or in person. Using numerous examples, it addresses the facts that are needed to get started on European research, how to break through language barriers, become familiar with the records of the target country, and learn to read the old script. It explains the importance of writing letters of introduction and knowing the historical and cultural context in which the old records were created.
 
Luncheon Presentation on Friday, April 3rd 
 
Dr. Leo E. Oliva - Why Family History Matters – How Personal Family Stories Shape American Memory and History: Dr. Oliva will lead this discussion.  Options for the format of this presentation are currently being explored – it may be in the form of a panel discussion including other speakers, and may also include input and ideas solicited in advance from conference participants.
 
 
Luncheon Presentation on Saturday, April 4th 
 
Fashions Through the Ages: Nancy Harms from Topeka’s Findables shop, and Jenny Coss, Conference Chair, will present a historic fashion show highlighting clothing styles from early America to more modern times.  
 
 
Breakout Sessions:
 
Danni Altman-Newell - Show Me the Records: Researching Your Missouri Ancestor: With some of the most navigable waterways, central location, and varied terrain, Missouri became a perfect “jumping off” point for emigrants headed west. From riverboats to ruffians; back roads to bustling cities, Missouri’s history is as varied as its people. We’ll explore Missouri’s records and repositories. (Audience level: All) 
 
Danni Altman-Newell – Before Rosie: The Women of the Great War: When the men were called to war, what was a girl to do? Roll up her sleeves and show the world the power of women! Come explore the different areas women participated in during the Great War and the records that genealogists may find helpful. (Audience level: All) 
 
Elizabeth Burnes - Immigrant Records: Navigating the National Archives: The breadth of immigration records available online and in archives can seem overwhelming.  This session will identify what original records you can find at the National Archives and what you can discover online.  Records discussed will range from passport applications, naturalization documents, passenger arrival lists, and more! (Audience level: All) 
 
Kevin Cassidy - Female Connections are the Best Road to Research Success: This presentation details what researchers must do to maximize the knowledge provided by their female family members over the years. Strategies are discussed to develop the fullest possible picture of their family story.  Topics will include: widows, spinsters, divorce records, poor house records, cookbooks, quilts, voting records,1922 Cable Act. (Audience level: All) 
 
Kevin Cassidy - Follow Your Family Through Chain Migration: This presentation details what researchers must do to maximize the knowledge provided by their immigrant family members over the years. Topics include: oral family tradition, vital records, church records, city directories, cemetery records, newspapers, passenger lists, naturalization records, voter rolls and comparison of ethnic groups and their migration patterns. (Audience level: All) 
 
Kevin Cassidy - Getting Ready for Irish Research: This presentation details what a researcher must do before he can expect to have success in Irish records. Researchers must turn every stone in their North American records set to discover: the names of their Irish immigrants, the names of the immigrants’ parents and their place of origin in Ireland. (Audience level: All) 
 
Gary W. Clark - Digitize Vintage Photos & Documents NOW! : Insure against original loss of valuable image and create copies you can share with others. Scanning & camera copying techniques for photos, slides, and documents. Examples & short demonstrations included. (Audience level: Beginner) 
 
Gary W. Clark - Restore Damaged Photos & Documents: Restoration: What is possible? Digital techniques bring photos back to life. (Audience level: Intermediate) 
 
Don Daniels - The Separatist Way: Nov. 22, 2020 is the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower. Modern understanding of who the passengers were and in what they believed is largely a 19th century interpretation. Don Daniels (as Deacon Samuel Fuller) will present the 17th century story. (Audience level: All) 
 
Stephen Egbert - Uncovering Little-known Native American Records in the National Archives: Beyond the Dawes Rolls and Indian Censuses, the Office of Indian Affairs collected volumes of data on Native Americans living on reservations. Allotment records, Family History Registers, Industrial Surveys, Revision of Names rolls, and many others contain valuable information on relationships and family life. Examples will be used to illustrate.  (Audience level: Intermediate) 
 
Janis Minor Forté- Researching the Digital Library on American Slavery: The Digital Library on American Slavery (DLAS) is an on-line database of abstracted court cases and state legislative actions. This presentation examines the six projects that are included in the DLAS and demonstrates their value to African-American research. (Audience level: All) 
 
Janis Minor Forté - Seven Proven Strategies for Identifying Slave Ownership and Reconstructing Families: This is a problem-solving lecture that presents techniques and strategies to solve the problem of slave and owner identification and reconstructing families. (Audience level: All) 
 
Del Kahre - How Geocoding Transformed My Genealogy Research: Geocoding can uniquely transform your research and make it more rewarding.  It offers a systematic way to do FAN club research, a methodology developed by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Learn more about this new technique and how it can help you discover genealogical gold. (Audience level: All) 
 
Del Kahre - Passing on Your Research to the Next Generation: Do you have difficulty interesting your family in their ancestry?  Will others be able to carry on your research in the future?  What will happen to all of the heirlooms you have collected? We will discuss strategies for passing on your research. (Audience level: All) 
 
Jan Kimbrell - After the Shackles Were Gone: The story of migration of black pioneers to Dunlap, Kansas, in 1878- discovered while doing other research. The separate, ignored cemetery found for “the colored families” lead to many more discoveries affecting descendants of those first pioneers. A town all but forgotten is now a hot topic. (Audience level: All) 
 
Julia Langel - Your Genealogy Shot List: Photos to Leave for the Future: Professional photographers use a “shot list” to make sure that they get all the important shots.  Genealogists can use their own shot lists to capture their own lives, families, and communities.  What pictures should we capture, and what can we do to ensure they make it to the future safely? (Audience level: All) 
 
Shannon Lewis - Googling Your Genealogy:  Google is a powerful search engine that indexes data on the internet and provides a user-friendly application that allows anyone the ability to find information relevant to almost any topic. This presentation will explain how Google’s search engine can be used to research genealogy. (Audience level: Beginner) 
 
Shannon Lewis - Using Burial Records to Dig Your Family Tree: Burial permits, plot registers, monument orders and funeral records may hold key components to your family’s history. This presentation will discuss how to determine where our ancestors are at rest, what records may exist in connection to that life event, and how we can go about finding that information. (Audience level: Beginner) 
 
Shaunese Luthy - Keeping Track of Your Research by Using Research Logs: Research logs are one of the keys to a successful research project. The use of a research log is to keep track of records already searched while saving time from searching through them again. This class will help create a research log while adding the gathered information. (Audience level: All) 
 
Shaunese Luthy - Who is Your Ancestor's F.A.N. Club? :  Ever wonder who your ancestor’s Friends, Associates and Neighbors were? By using different records such as Censuses, Vitals, Land, Church, and Probate will help build your ancestor’s F.A.N club. The importance of having a F.A.N club will also be discussed. (Audience level: All) 
 
Leo Oliva - Women Writers on the Santa Fe Trail: The stories of five remarkable pioneer women who traveled the Santa Fe Trail and wrote of their experiences (Susan Shelby Magoffin, Marion Sloan Russell, Katie Bowen, Julia Archibald Holmes, and Lydia Spencer Lane), including family history as well as their experiences and observations. (Audience level: All) 
 
KelLee Parr - Kansas City: Adoption Hub of America: This presentation will explore the well-kept secret of Kansas City being known as the “Adoption Hub of America” in the 1900s. Thousands of unmarried women arrived to stay at a home for unwed mothers, have their babies, give them up for adoption and return home empty handed and heartbroken. (Audience level: All) 
 
Elizabeth W. Saadi, Ph.D - Genealogists’ Access to Vital Records: Ins and Outs: Vital records are important resources for genealogical research, but getting access is not always easy.  In this session, Dr. Saadi will discuss the need to balance privacy protection and fraud prevention with public access to vital records, and discuss how Kansas and other states have met these challenges. (Audience level: All) 
 
Susan Schlichting - DNA for Genealogy - There's no EASY Button - YET! :  Wouldn’t it be great if there was an EASY button to push and all of your DNA matches would fall into place on your family tree?  We’re not there, yet!  Come learn DNA basics for genealogy.  We’ll explore practical approaches and new automated tools to help you. (Audience level: Beginner) 
 
Kim Stanley -Moment by Moment: Family History Writing Workshop  (2 hours): Family history tells us who we are and where we come from. But genealogical records often lack the stories that we love to tell. In this workshop, participants are encouraged to find their stories: capture family lore, find the characters and places that shape us. (Audience level: All)  (This session is sponsored by a Humanities Kansas Speakers Grant) 
 
Patty Ann Taylor - Discover the Technological Path for Digging Up Your Roots: Begin with the name of a grandparent, then continue discovering ancestors via FREE Family Search website. This session introduces and explores the fun of discovering family history using online databases such as Census information and Find A Grave. Bring along a few names and dates to begin exploring your past. (Audience level: Intermediate) 
 
R. Glenn York - 19th Century Quakers (Friends) in Kansas: Quakers (Friends) started moving into Kansas before statehood. They established over 80 meetings for worship before 1900, but today there are only 41 active meetings in Kansas. Where did these people come from?  Why did they come to Kansas?  Where did these people go? (Audience level: All) 
 
R. Glenn York - Finding the Birth Mother – A DNA Case Study: A case study of a woman that was adopted at birth in the early 1950s. She appeared to be related to my 2nd great grandparents. I discuss the steps used to analyze her DNA matches and then using DNA matches and Family tree information to identify her birth mother. (Audience level: Intermediate) 
 
R. Glenn York - Using Tree Information Provided by DNA Testing Companies: This presentation will look at the three different approaches DNA testing companies are using to help users find the family relationships.  We will explore Ancestry “Thru-lines”, MyHeritage “Theories of Family Relativity”, and 23andMe “Your Family Tree” (beta).  We will discuss how each can be useful to advance your research. (Audience level: Intermediate)