Randy's Presentations

Chula Vista, CA.
email: randy.seaver@gmail.com 
phone: 1-619-422-3397, cell: 1-619-565-5475
Website: www.geneamusings.com 

Researching in Historical Newspapers (60 minutes) -- NEW

In this presentation, Randy will describe the information types that can be found in historical
newspapers; where you can find information about which newspapers have been published in a specific locality; and where you can find historical newspapers in print, on microfilm, or in digital image collections. He will describe how he has solved some of his genealogy mysteries using historical newspapers.

Genetic Genealogy and DNA Testing (60 minutes) -- NEW

 This presentation discusses DNA testing for, and analysis of, Y-chromosome, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA. Tests available from FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA and    23andMe will be covered and analysis details offered by each company for each type of                DNA test described. We will also discuss third-party tools like GEDmatch, Genetic Affairs, and DNA Painter.

"Randy's Top Ten Genealogy Search Tips" (60 minutes) -- NEW!

Every genealogy record provider has a different set of search fields and formats for their collections, and users must consider their strategy for using them effectively.  After a review of the major record providers, Randy provides ten tips for getting the most out of your searches on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilySearch, and several other providers.

"Using Collaborative "BIG" Family Trees" (60 minutes) -- NEW!

Not "your tree," not "my tree," but "our tree!"  Each historical person should have one profile in a collaborative tree, and the goal should be to make that profile complete and accurate with sources, notes and media.  In these trees, any registered user can add, edit or delete content and a reason for doing so.  This presentation discusses the features, use, benefits, and drawbacks of WikiTree (free), Geni.com ($$), and FamilySearch Family Tree (free).

"Descendancy Research"  (60 minutes) 

Most of us have performed ancestral research - discovering the records and stories of our ancestors.  Descendancy research is discovering the descendants of our ancestors, or of a specific person or couple.  You may want to write a book or article about the descendants of a specific ancestor, or perform a one-name "surname" study, or find all of your cousins descended from a specific ancestor.  This presentation describes how you can perform this using standard research methodology, and taking advantage of modern genealogy software tools.

"Discovering George W. Seaver's Life Story" (60 minutes) 

According to a newspaper article, George W. Seaver disappeared in 1899 in Los Angeles.  Where did he go?  Who was his wife?  Did he have children?  Who were his parents?  Did he have siblings?  When was he born? Where did he die?  What is his life story?  With help from collaborators, George's life story emerges through records found online from a number of sources, and the life of a Civil War soldier emerges.

"Genealogy Learning Opportunities" (60 minutes)

The 21st century genealogy world has been energized by technology using digital resources - we can do much more search and research online than in previous years, and there are many more research opportunities.  Genealogy education has also migrated to online venues.  This presentation will discuss genealogy learning opportunities in local classes and seminars, in online webinars, hangouts and websites, at conferences, institutes, and certificate and degree programs.  

"Using FamilySearch Digital Microfilm to Find Genealogical Records" (60 minutes) 

FamilySearch has almost 2,000 record collections, and many of them are not indexed and cannot be searched using search fields.  They are digitized from FHL microfilms.  Think of them as "digital microfilm" - you have to browse these records.  There are finding aids to help the researcher find records for their ancestors - waypoints, volumes, volume indexes, etc.  This presentation will demonstrate how to find records for your ancestors in probate, land, town, tax and other unindexed records.  

"Social Media and Networking for Genealogists" (60 minutes)  

Genealogists want and need to collaborate and have contact with their family members and other genealogy or family history researchers in order to discover and share information and family stories about their ancestral families.  In addition, ongoing genealogy education is important for all researchers.  Social media can be used for these discovery, education and sharing processes - on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, YouTube, webinars and many more social media websites.  Networking with genealogists is important, and is the key to learning more about genealogy resources and methodology through conferences, seminars, societies.  This presentation will describe how genealogists are using social media and networking in the 21st century.

 Probate Records: My Favorite Record Type! (60 minutes)  

Probate records are my absolute favorite record type for identifying and proving family relationships.  This presentation describes the overall probate process, the different kinds of probate records, and how to find and obtain probate records in repositories and online record collections.  

"The Best Ten FREE Genealogy Websites" (60 minutes)    

Which free genealogy websites give the "most bang for the minute?"  This talk will highlight genealogy education, data portal, and record collection websites that all researchers can use to improve their research skills, find online records, and improve their family tree.  Plus ten more!

"Discovering Your Pennsylvania Ancestors" (60 minutes)  

Pennsylvania has a rich history, and a diverse trove of genealogical and family history records in their towns, counties, and state archives.  In this presentation, Randy will describe the sources for vital records, land records, probate records, town records, family history books and periodical articles for Pennsylvania resources, including significant brick-and-mortar repositories and online research opportunities.

"Crafting Great Source Citations" (60 minutes)  

We all know that we should cite our sources, but it's hard to remember what goes first, what to include, punctuation, and more.  Then the Internet came along and it's really complicated now.  This presentation will cover source citation guides for genealogy, using content provider source citations, and using source citation templates in genealogy software programs to cite our sources.

“Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England.” (60 minutes)

In this presentation, Randy will explore the research journey to find the ancestors of his wife's great-grandmother, Jane (Whittle) McKnew (1847-1921). She married in Gold Country, had a family of 11 children, survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and died in San Francisco. Jane was born in Australia to parents who were born and married in England. Most of the research was done with online resources and in a collaborative environment. Come watch Randy unveil a fascinating family history worthy of a “Who Do You Think You Are?” television episode.

 “ Genealogy and Cloud Computing” (60 minutes)

Can we do all of our genealogy research, data organization, analysis, collaboration, and writing online – in the “cloud” on remote servers and computers rather than on our desktop or laptop computers? What about using smart phones and tablets for genealogy? This talk will discuss the elements of cloud computing, including mobile devices, and their application to genealogy tasks, along with an evaluation of the benefits and drawbacks for these exciting new and pervasive technologies.

“Exploring FamilySearch - The Very Best FREE Genealogy Website” (60 minutes or 90 minutes)

FamilySearch (owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) has completely revised their website (
https://www.Familysearch.org) to host all of their past and future online offerings.  There is a wealth of FREE historical record collections on the site, with more being added every month as a result of image processing and volunteer indexing.  The online Research Wiki, which replaces the paper Research Guides, provides educational material about genealogy research techniques, historical record collections, and localities (countries, states, counties). The Family History Library Catalog has been improved with links to online books and records.  Many online Research Courses (video presentations) have been provided for continuing education, with more added regularly.  This talk does not cover the FamilySearch Family Tree.

"FamilySearch Family Tree - A Unified Source-Centric, Open Family Tree" (60 minutes) 

FamilySearch has created and populated the FamilySearch Family Tree and designed it to be collaborative so all researchers can work on one tree, based on evidence in records and sources.  Are you in it yet?  You should be!  There are wonderful research tools in it, including searching online record collections, finding descendants of an ancestor, and more. This talk will demonstrate how to add persons, event data, document images, sources, discussions, photos, stories, and life sketches to the Family Tree.

 “Searching Ancestry.com Effectively” (60 minutes or 90 minutes)

Ancestry.com has many wonderful features--a lavish buffet where it is hard to choose what to use and how to use it. Randy will discuss the effective use of such features as new or old search algorithms, basic or advanced search forms, exact or ranked matches, full names or wild cards, specific or all databases, restricted or whole collection, and site navigation.

 "Growing Your Ancestry Member Tree" (60 minutes) 

There are over 46 million Ancestry Member Trees with over 4 billion person profiles.  They are useful as an online backup for your tree, for finding records for your ancestors, as "cousin bait," and to enable you to find matches with AncestryDNA.  In this presentation, Randy will describe how to create a FREE Ancestry Member Tree, how to find pertinent records, add stories and media, sync with Family Tree Maker 2014, create a coffee table book, and much more.  

“Finding Your Elusive Ancestor:  The Genealogical Proof Standard, and Doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search” (60 minutes or 90 minutes)

Are you familiar with the five elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)?   It deals with information, sources, evidence, analysis and proof, and was developed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).  It is the "standard" methodology for professionals proving assertions of genealogical facts.  The first element of the GPS is "to do a reasonably exhaustive search." 

In this presentation, Randy Seaver will explain the GPS, take a whirlwind tour through traditional and online resources that should be included in a search, discuss his favorite search strategies and techniques, and describe several Case Studies of his still elusive ancestors that illustrate the concepts of the GPS.

“Overview of New England Research” (60 or 90 minutes)
New England has a rich trove of genealogical and family history records, starting with the founding of each town, county or colony in the six present states. In this presentation, Randy will describe the sources for vital records, land records, probate records, town records, family history books and periodical articles for Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, including significant brick-and-mortar repositories and online research opportunities.

 “Wikis for Genealogy Collaboration” (60 minutes or 90 minutes)

What is a wiki, and why do I care? A wiki is a website that permits easy creation and editing of interlinked web pages using a markup language or WYSIWYG text editor. Wiki software is used to create collaborative and community websites, corporate intranets and knowledge management systems. The origin of the word: "Wiki-wiki" in Hawaii means something quick and fast. The best online example is Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org) - the online collaborative encyclopedia.  

In this presentation, Randy will show and demonstrate some of the currently available wikis for genealogy that permit collaboration on genealogy information and family trees. The benefits and drawbacks of contributing to, and participating in, collaborative efforts will be discussed.

Genealogy is Fun! Seriously -- (60 minutes)

Believe it or not, there is a lot of humor in genealogy research – names, epitaphs, wills, cartoons, videos, poetry, apparel, wisdom, genealogisms, etc. This presentation takes a light hearted look at the best of the genealogy humor sites.

Genealogy Blogging – What? When? Why? Where? How? (60 minutes)

What is blogging about genealogy all about? Randy will tell all, with examples of genealogy blogs, and a basic how-to of starting one and writing one for you to share your family history and genealogy knowledge with the world.

Genealogy --  Be An Ancestry Detective! (suitable for non-genealogists, 30 or 60 minutes)

Have you always wondered what information is available in records and on the Internet about your family? How much do you really know about your family? Now is the time to find the answers to questions about your ancestors: where they lived, how they lived, how they came to the U.S. and lots more. Knowing your ancestors is knowing yourself.

Updated December 2019 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Randy,

The genealogy books you show on line made with "My Canvas" look beautiful. It would be so helpful to learn if you know of a nice landscape size 11 x 8.5 binder? I would like to print my own pages, but cannot find the right size binder. Unfortunately pages will only print from "My Canvas" 11 x 8.5 landscape size. I wish this program was designed to print portrait 8.5 x 11 so there would be more binders / books to hold the pages. Thanks for all your info. and help. Sally