Birdie Holsclaw photo Lecture Topics

Birdie Monk Holsclaw, CG, FUGA
Now scheduling lectures starting in August 2006

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New! Blogging for Genealogists. Blogs and bloggers are in the news, and we genealogists can tap in to this tool. Learn about this low-cost method of storing and sharing information on the Internet, and the add-on tools which allow you to keep family and fellow researchers up-to-date on new discoveries. (Computer projector. Intermediate, Experienced)

New! Extreme Googling for Genealogists. The Google™ search engine has become so popular that "google" is a new verb in our vocabulary. Obviously many of us are using Google, but are we getting the most from our searches? Learn tricks and techniques that will help you avoid getting too many or too few results, plus tools that will put Google to work for you around the clock. (Computer or overhead projector. Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced)

New! Getting the Most From the Online Bureau of Land Management Database. One of the most popular Web sites for genealogists is the online BLM database, but are we using it fully? Go beyond the first level of searching, and learn how to exploit more features of the database, where to find more information on the BLM site, and how expand the data to gain even more knowledge about your ancestors. (Computer or overhead projector. Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced)

New! Finding the Story in Your Ancestors' Lives. A winner of the NGS Family History Writing Contest tells how to find stories in your ancestors' lives. Learn how to see everyday documents in a new light, and how to turn cold facts into biographical information about personality, historical events, and social conditions. (Overhead projector. Intermediate, Experienced)

Tracking Down Treasures With Online FirstSearchTM. Genealogists who have heard of “OCLC” over the years have generally considered it a tool primarily used by librarians for interlibrary loan. Recently, in more and more locations, the public has been given direct access to the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) through FirstSearch, and it is now feasible to use this huge catalog and collection of databases as a genealogical research tool. Note: This talk is most useful to audiences whose local repositories offer free public access. (Computer projector. Intermediate/Experienced)

Following Up: Turning Internet Databases Into Real Sources. How to find and use various resources, on and off the Internet, to follow up after you find an ancestor's name in an Internet database. A series of short case studies will follow up on Ancestry databases, the IGI (International Genealogical Index), and other popular Internet databases.

Neighborhoods: Correlating Land and Census Records. Census records and land records are two record categories which can work especially well together. Case studies and examples will show how clues found in one record can lead to additional findings in the other. (Overhead projector. Intermediate, Experienced)

5 Documentation Myths. It's easy to misunderstand "rules" about documentation, but that can sometimes lead to less effective research, exchange, and publishing. This lecture will take an irreverent look at some common misconceptions about documentation, and suggest some techniques to avoid those documentation pitfalls.

How to Turn a Clue Into a Usable Source. Genealogists find lots of clues in their research, and this lecture will suggest some approaches to help get the most out of every clue. How do we turn a clue into a source? When is a clue not a clue? What if this clue really IS the end of the road? (Computer projector. Novice, Intermediate)

Stop, Look, and Listen: Relatives Are Hiding in Records of the Deaf and Blind. Using examples from the surprisingly rich records involving deaf and blind individuals, this lecture will demonstrate how exploiting an exceptional situation could provide the key to solving your genealogical problem. (Overhead projector. Intermediate, Experienced)

Computer Issues in Abstracting and Indexing. Computer tools provide obvious advantages in indexing, abstracting, and other genealogical publishing projects. But it is a challenge to produce the best possible product without having expertise in both computers and genealogy. This lecture and discussion will focus on ways individuals and societies can use word processors, databases, and indexing software to get the best results. (Overhead projector. Intermediate, Experienced)

Hands-On Land Platting Workshop. A one-to-three part workshop with instruction in manual drawing of tracts of land from land descriptions. Students will need to bring the necessary equipment and materials, or have the items furnished as part of their fee. Various aspects can be covered: (1) Drawing rectangular survey tracts and matching to topographic maps; (2) Drawing metes and bounds land descriptions; (3) Matching metes and bounds drawings to topographic maps. Attendance should be limited to approximately 30. (Overhead projector. Intermediate, Experienced)

"Beginning at a Black Oak": Reconstructing Your Ancestor's Neighborhood with Plat Maps. This popular lecture uses a brick-wall case study to show the technique of using tract maps to add dimension to land records. In addition to brief instruction on making a typical map and solving mapping problems, the presentation shows how reconstructing a neighborhood can uncover valuable genealogical facts and clues. (TWO slide projectors. Intermediate, Experienced)

Digging Deeper: Case Studies from Government Publications. This lecture highlights the Government Publications departments found in many libraries, but seldom used by genealogists. The discussion explains the various types of publications to be found, from published records containing our ancestors' names to finding aids which help us locate original documents. Case studies from the speaker's own research are used to demonstrate the gems to be found when genealogists exploit government publications. (Overhead or slide projector. Intermediate/Experienced)

Homestead and Related Records. Not everyone who settled on the frontier got a "homestead," even if they got land from the federal government! This lecture will help genealogists understand the various means by which the federal government disposed of its public domain lands, including but not limited to the 1862 Homestead Act. Genealogists can learn how to identify, locate, and use the state and federal land records that pertain to their ancestors. (Overhead projector. Intermediate)

An Introduction to American Land Records. This lecture presents an overview of land records in America, beginning with identifying the original distributors - colonial and state governments or the federal government - and how to locate the original records in each case. The discussion demonstrates common types of land records and the information which can be found and used by genealogists. (Overhead projector. Novice class.)

To arrange for a lecture or seminar, contact:
Birdie Monk Holsclaw, 7472 Mt. Sherman Road, Longmont, CO 80503-8678. <>
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Presentations at Past Meetings and Conferences

National Genealogical Society Conferences
Federation of Genealogical Societies Conferences
Homestead National Monument Land Records Symposium
GENTECH Conferences
Allen County Public Library Conference
Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois
Dallas Genealogical Society
Wisconsin State Genealogical Society
American Family Records Association
New England Regional Conference
Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research, Samford University
Kansas Genealogical Society
Colorado Genealogical Society
Palatines to America
Houston Genealogical Forum
... and numerous local Colorado genealogical societies

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<> Last revised 1 April 2006.