Family History Days Lecture Schedule

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Family History Days Lecture Schedule

Schedule of Events: 

"Breakfast for Beginners"  -  Enjoy coffee and a light breakfast as volunteers from the Genealogy Society of Pennsylvania present a lecture discussing the best ways for starting your family history. This lecture is offered on both Friday or Saturday at 8:00 a.m. The cost is $15 and available for purchase at checkout.

Personal Consultation with a Professional Genealogist - Members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists will be available to discuss your research. The forty-five minute consultation can help get the answers you need, find your long lost ancestor, develop a research plan, or break through that brick wall research problem. Space is limited so reserve your consult today! The cost is $40 and available for purchase at checkout.

Friday, March 6

  • 9:00-10:00: "Getting Started with your Genealogy at HSP"
    • Presented by Lee Arnold, Senior Director of the Library at HSP.
  • 10:30-11:30: "Genealogical Resources at the Pennsylvania State Archives"
    • Presented by Linda Ries. 
    • Linda worked for thirty five years as head of the Processing Section at the Pennsylvania State Archives before retiring in August, 2014. She is also the editor of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, published by the Pennsylvania Historical Association.
  • 12:00-1:00: "Searching Your Family Tree at the Delaware Public Archives"
    • Presented by Thomas Summers, Manager of Outreach at the Delaware Public Archives. 
    • Thinking about looking up your family tree at the Delaware Public Archives?  This workshop will provide an excellent starting point for researching your family genealogy.  Among the numerous types of resources to be presented are vital statistics, probate records, and orphans court files.  In addition, this program will include some of the unique genealogical collections held at the Delaware Public Archives along with the free online resources that are available at the facility. 
  • 2:00-3:00: "Colonial New Jersey Research"
    • Mr. Joe Klett will provide an overview of genealogical resources at the New Jersey State Archives relevant to the colonial period, including records of the East and West Jersey Proprietors. He will also discuss proprietary-period New Jersey geography, which is the topic of an upcoming publication he has prepared for The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. One colonial-period case study will be included as well.
    • Mr. Klett has been an avid genealogist since the age of 12. He has many family lines in early New Jersey, with direct ancestry in nearly all of New Jersey’s counties. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University. Before joining the fulltime staff of the New Jersey State Archives in 1989, he was the archivist for the Lindbergh Kidnapping investigation and evidence files at the New Jersey State Police Museum for a year, and was also a graduate assistant at the Rutgers University Archives for two years. He was collection manager at the State Archives from 1989 to 2000, then chief of operations until 2012, when he was promoted to Executive Director. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey since 1987, and in recent years as a vice president. He is also a past editor of both the GSNJ Newsletter and The Genealogical Society of New Jersey.
  • 3:30-4:30: "Colonial Records in the Mid-Atlantic"
    • Presented by Michael Hait.

Saturday, March 7

  • 9:00-10:00: "Getting Started with your Genealogy at HSP"
    • Presented by Lee Arnold, Senior Director of the Library at HSP.
  • 10:30-11:30: "Family History In China Today: Cultural Heritage, Economic Development, Pop Culture"
    • China has a long tradition of kinship studies, including the compilation of genealogies.  During the Cultural Revolution, Mao had many such records burned and ancestral temples destroyed because they glorified individual families and harkened to the “feudal” past. Since China’s reforms from the 1980s, there has been a outpouring of work on family history and genealogy in new ways. The uses of Qian family history today may shed light on contemporary Chinese society, economy, and state. Presented by Dr. Cecilia Chien.
    • Dr. Cecilia Chien is Associate Professor and Acting Chairperson of the History Department at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.  Her research interests include the regional history of middle-imperial China, kinship and genealogy, and development in the Yangzi River delta today.  She teaches courses on pre-modern and modern East Asia, world civilizations, and the Asian-American experience.
  • 12:00-1:00: "Urban Maps and City Directories: Correlating Family History into Space And Time"
    • Presented by Frank Soutcott, a professional genealogist who specializes in historic Chester County, Pennsylvania.  He is currently the President, Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists, and Secretary, International Society of British Genealogy and Family History.
    • Philadelphia has been widely documented with maps and city directories over the years.  However, we often take our city directories, find a name and address, and then move on to census or other family data without correlating that information to the geography of the land.   This presentation will help you understand the importance of extracting and correlating all the data maps and directories provide.  It will aid in visualizing your family and the neighborhoods in which they lived and placing them in the context of the time.
  • 2:00-3:00: "Resources for Family History in Greater Philadelphia"
    • Presented by Sandra M. Hewlett, CG, a professional genealogist experienced with projects in eastern Pennsylvania, the mid-Atlantic states, England and Northern Ireland. Sandi served on the boards of the New England Historic Genealogical Society where she enjoyed 10-years as a board member and as vice president, 1992-2002, and the National Genealogical Society. Currently she is an HSP board member.
    • There are a wealth of libraries, archives, and historical societies in the Greater Philadelphia area that can assist you with your family history search. Coupled with the growing collections of online databases for the mid-Atlantic states, and covering 17th to 20th century records, this lecture will outline the resources available that might lead you to your family story.
  • 3:30-4:30: "Genealogical Databases at HSP"