Southern California Genealogical Society
SCGS PROGRAM - 2023 Webinar Series
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Archived broadcasts are available 24/7 to all SCGS members.
For frequently asked questions, click here.


Webinars offer Jamboree-style seminars for up to 500 attendees per session, at no charge.

These original webcasts are available to all genealogists for free. Archive sessions are available to SCGS members in the SCGS members-only section of this website approximately three days following the webinar.

These one-hour webinar presentations are given each month and are conducted by professional genealogical speakers and expert lecturers. To view the webinar, you will need a computer with audio speakers or a headset. Those persons with a fast Internet connection (either broadband or DSL) will have the most satisfactory experience.

Register by clicking the links below.

  • You MUST Register to participate.
  • Click on the Webinar Title you want to attend listed below.
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  • Enter your name and email address and answer a few questions. You will receive confirmation of your registration by email.
  • You will also receive reminders before the webinar. The reminder email will have information on accessing the handout material.
  • On the day of the session, click the link that you received in your invitation to to join the online session. (More Info)

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Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, March 15 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Let's Get Lost in Ledgers: Much Genealogically-Leverageable Data Waiting to be Discovered
by Diane L. Richard

Have you explored "small business" ledgers? You can learn so much about your family and neighborhood through these records. Store, business (e.g., hotels, livery, stable, distillery, blacksmith, etc.), and health-related (e.g., Physician, Insane Asylum, etc.) ledgers can link family members and provide content invaluable to your family history narrative.

Diane L. Richard has been a professional genealogist since 2004. She researched for the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" She has authored over 500 articles for such publications as Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today, and is editor of the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal. She has spoken nationally about the availability and richness of southern records, genealogical research techniques and tips, as well as under-utilized resource collections.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, April 19 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern

Canadian Genealogy Online in 2023
by Dave Obee

Many Americans have ancestors or cousins in Canada, and research north of the border can be rewarding. It is important to understand the differences between research in Canada and the United States - and to know what is new. Canada has hundreds of websites of prime value to genealogists, and the sites to use will depend on which of the 10 provinces and three territories your family called home.

Dave Obee holds an honorary doctor of laws degree awarded by the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in recognition of his work as a journalist, historian and genealogist. He is editor-in-chief of the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria. He is author of Destination Canada - Guide to Canadian Immigration Records, and Counting Canada - Guide to Canadian Census Records. He was a member of the services consultation committee at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa for four years. He is also a former member of the board of Canada's History Society. He has been researching his own family history since 1978.

Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, May 17 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern

Why Didn't We Match
by James M. Baker

This presentation explores questions about why we have DNA matches with some distant cousins but not others. Case studies show how we can define whether different cousins are true matches and expand our number of matches, using different DNA companies and with collaboration from key cousins.

James Marion Baker, PhD, has been an active genealogist for the past 15 years. He specializes in German, Midwest US, Early American, and DNA research. He has written articles for the NGS Magazine, NGSQ, and Der Blumenbaum. Baker has given over 200 presentations during the past five years to over 40 genealogy societies. He is retired from an aerospace and business management career. Baker also was an adjunct professor at UCLA and USC.

Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, June 21 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern

Preparing Our Dough Boys to Win "The Great War"
by Edward Swierczewski, Jr.

What was life like for our ancestors preparing for "The Great War" - WWI? We'll visit the training grounds of the storied 42nd "Rainbow" Division, which included the already famous "Fighting Irish"of the 69th Infantry Regiment. We'll look at what life was like in the camp - the desertions, a suicide, several marriages, the previously mortal enemies who had to learn to live together, We'll review the methodologies of using timelines and correlational analysis, together with combining multiple and diverse sources, to re-create several months of the lives of the men who would soon go and fight, and eventually help win, the Great War to Save Civilization! Learn how to find your war hero!

Edward John Swierczewski Jr. has been a professional educator for over 30 years, researching and lecturing in Psychology and Human Services at several major universities and government agencies in New York City. He has attended many webinars and conferences, completed several SLIG and GRIP courses, is currently in ProGen 53, and plans to earn the CG and CGL credentials. He has been researching his family history for over 25 years, and he has a deep passion for sharing his knowledge with others.

Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, July 19 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
National Archives at Riverside: A Virtual Tour
by Sara Cochran

Tucked into an unassuming building off a major freeway in Riverside County are the Federal agency records from Arizona, Clark County Nevada, and Southern California. In this virtual tour, we'll visit the NARA website, plan a trip to the archive, and meet just a few of the genealogically rich record sets held here.

Sara Cochran has been conducting genealogical research for over 25 years, and her research has taken her into nearly every state in the USA as well as Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britain. She holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Library Science. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, August 16 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Introduction to Tracing Your Roots in Eastern Europe
by Amy Wachs

This presentation will address the challenges involved in tracing ancestry in Eastern Europe by providing an overview of how key historical events changed borders and influenced migration and the availability of records. Historical maps will be used to trace the influences of history on borders and the records available to researchers today. I will also explain, and show samples of, the types of records available.

Amy L. Wachs, JD, specializes in Eastern European and Jewish genealogy. She taught law in Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar and in Moldova as a Fulbright Senior Specialist. She has traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe, conducted research on-site at state archives in Lithuania and Poland, and visited archives in Ukraine, Moldova, and other countries.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, September 20 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Landholders: Ranches to Land Grants
by Leslie Carney

Knowing the history of acquiring land and the conflicts of different political powers can lead to information about your landholder ancestors.

Leslie Carney, a Professional Genealogist and Speaker specializing in the Southwestern United States, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Native American Indian and Sonora Mexico. Over 30 years experience researching in various repositories, archives and documenting family history. A Speaker who enjoys educating others in the understanding of Social History, Genealogical issues and promoting the interest in genealogy. Leslie holds a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and an alumnus of the ProGen Study Group. A long-time member of Pima County Genealogical Society and past Board member.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, October 18 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Nellie Was A Rebel: Using Unusual Sources to Find Her Child's Father
by Mary Risseeuw

A case study in how to utilize unusual, and little used sources, to unlock the stories of your ancestors. This lecture examines the use of County Board Proceedings as a greatly underutilized source that provides leads to fascinating details about your ancestor's lives. Examples show how a 5 cent discarded book provided clues that helped solve a mystery and provided more context to a family tragedy. Serendipity can happen to anyone!

Mary K. Risseeuw is a genealogist, historian, writer and lecturer with an emphasis on 19th and 20th Century Dutch emigration and Wisconsin history. She has been a researcher for over 30 years. She serves on the Board of the Association for the Advancement of Dutch American Studies. She organized the 2008 Dutch in Wisconsin Conference which was the first conference about Dutch immigration to Wisconsin.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, November 4 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
Family History Activities and Storytelling with Children and Grandchildren
by Karen A. Fortin

Passing on family stories and traditions can help strengthen family bonds and the self-identity and well-being of the children. This presentation looks at the importance of family storytelling and provides activity ideas that parents and grandparents can use to make learning family history fun.

Karen A. Fortin has degrees in History and Library and Information Science and a passion for research. She is a member of various local, state, and national genealogical societies, and loves to help people explore their family history so that they can better understand their ancestors and the world in which they lived. One of her goals is to help people explore historical periods, places, and events so that they can better understand their ancestors and the world in which they lived.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, December 2 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
Social and Civic Clubs: What Archived Records are Available for Your Ancestor Who Volunteered
by Melissa Barker

In every community there were dozens of social and civic clubs to be a part of and volunteer. The Garden Clubs, Home Demonstration Clubs, Historical Societies, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and so many more. Were your ancestors part of one of these clubs? Learn about the records that could be available in archives for genealogists to learn about their ancestor who volunteered.

Melissa Barker is a Certified Archives Manager at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives. She is a professional genealogist and lectures, teaches and writes about genealogy research, researching in archives and records preservation. She has a website,, and a blog at