Southern California Genealogical Society
SCGS PROGRAM - 2016 Webinar Series

Webinar Series - SCGS is there for you, no matter where you live. Join our twice-monthly webcasts with knowledgeable genealogists to help grow what you know.

The initial broadcast is free and open to the public.Register for any of the 2016 programs by clicking the links below.

  • You MUST Register to participate.
  • Click on the Webinar Title you want to attend listed below.
  • Register with our partner website,
  • 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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These one-hour webinar presentations are given twice monthly, on the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month and are conducted by professional genealogical speakers and expert lecturers.

Download 2014 Webinar Brochure Now!
Archived broadcasts are available 24/7 to all SCGS members.
For more info and answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, June 15 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Finding a German Home Village Online
by James M Beidler

Securing the name of your ancestral Heimat is crucial to research in Germany. There are many resources on American and German websites to help you.

James M. Beidler, the author of Trace Your German Roots Online: A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites and The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide, writes “Roots & Branches,” an award-winning weekly newspaper column on genealogy that is the only syndicated feature on that topic in Pennsylvania. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and is editor of the MAGS journal, Der Kurier. He is also an instructor for the online Family Tree University.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, July 20 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Organizing Your Genealogical Research Process
by Drew Smith, MLS

As you move from goals to questions to sources to information to evidence to conclusions, learn how to use the right kind of tool at each step, including research logs and database programs.

Drew Smith, MLS, is a librarian at the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa Library. He is co-host and co-producer of the award-winning Genealogy GuysSM Podcast. He is author of the 2009 GPC book Social Networking for Genealogists, and co-author of the 2013 McGraw-Hill book Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques. He is a past Secretary of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a past Director of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, August 6 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
Five Reasons the Records Aren't in the Courthouse
by George G. Morgan

U.S. courthouse records have been damaged, destroyed, moved, or stored over the centuries. Prepare yourself in advance for on-site and online research by consulting authoritative sources. Learn why records may not be available in the courthouse, what may have happened to them, and where they (or replacements or substitutes) may exist today.

George G. Morgan is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents in the U.S., Canada, England, on cruise ships, and webinars. He is the prolific author of hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites internationally. His twelfth book, the fourth edition How to Do Everything: Genealogy, was released in January 2015. He is co-host of The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast, the longest running genealogical podcast with thousands of listeners worldwide.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, August 17 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
What’s In a Name? Every Surname Tells a Story
by Teresa "Tessa" Keough

Surnames tell a fascinating story about our ancestors’ past. From origin to meaning, migration to frequency, come learn how to find and include that story in your own family history.

Tessa Keough is a genealogist in transition (not her day job). She works on her own family history and special projects. These include a one-place study in Newfoundland, a one-name study of the Keough surname, a Google+ community (Legacy Virtual Users' Group), and a YouTube channel (TessaWatch). Tessa blogs at The Keough Corner and Scandia Musings. She contributes to Worldwide Genealogy and the May I Introduce To You feature at Geneabloggers.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, September 3 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
Discover Family History in Historical Newspapers Online and Off
by J. H. Fonkert, CG®

Read all about it! Learn to locate microfilm or searchable online images of historical newspapers and the tricks of successful searches. Discover family events and the communities your ancestors lived in.

Jay Fonkert is a Minnesota-based genealogy researcher, educator, and writer, focusing on 19th-century Midwest research. His favorite research target is the Fawkner family of Kentucky and Indiana. He is a trustee of the BCG Education Fund, a past-director of APG, and a past president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. He has published more than 60 research and teaching articles in Minnesota Genealogist, The Septs, Family Chronicle, NGS Magazine and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, September 21 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
How Did My Pennsylvania Ancestor Get There?: Migration Trails West
by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG®, CGL®

Considering the trails and reasons why your ancestor left Pennsylvania will give you some clues as to where you might search for his origins there.

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG®, CGL®, is a western Pennsylvania researcher and co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She is the immediate past-president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists; an instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate course; coordinator of Samford University’s IGHR “Professional Genealogy” course and co-coordinator of SLIG’s 2013 “Credentialing: AG, CG®, or Both?” course.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, October 1 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
Trails West: Crossing the Continent 1840-1869
by Mary K. Roddy

Covering the period 1840s-1869, this talk covers routes to the Pacific, a description of the journey and resources to find ancestors and their stories.

Mary Roddy, a Certified Public Accountant, earned a certificate from the Genealogy and Family History program at the University of Washington. She is an active member of the Seattle Genealogical Society and speaks frequently in the Seattle area. On a recent sabbatical she had the chance to join up with the Botany Bay Family History Society in Australian and speak to their members. Mary is a frequent contributor to YourGenealogyToday and Internet Genealogy magazines.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, October 19 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Genealogical Pits I've Fallen Into and How to Avoid Them!
by Pam Vestal

Genealogy is a great treasure hunt, but sometimes the clues are easy to misunderstand, or to miss altogether. Learn to dodge some of the pitfalls that can keep you from reaching your goals.

Pam Vestal is a professional genealogist and speaker from West Linn, Oregon, and the owner of Generations Genealogy, LLC. When she isn’t giving presentations or researching on behalf of her clients, she offers private training to those seeking to improve their research skills. She is currently writing a book about voting records and has an article on the subject that will be published in the December, 2015 issue of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, November 5 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
Weaving the Research Quilt
by Barbara Randall

Your research can weave the story of your ancestors and piece the quilt together. Ancestor lives are not isolated in the separate documents you've collected but are in the whole of your research.

Barbara, an SCGS board member, is active in SCGS activities including moderating the Jamboree Extension Series Webinar series. Barbara is a member of APG, NGS, Genealogical Speakers Guild, NEHGS, NYG&B. She is editor of the British Isles Family History Society- USA Journal and president of the British Isles Family History Society-USA. Barbara is a DAR volunteer genealogist/consultant. She is a special education middle school teacher/coordinator.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, November 16 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
The Ancestor Deep-Dive: How You Can Find Out Everything There Possibly is to Know About Your Ancestor
by Tammy Hepps

Too often our research is driven by sources. We look for an ancestor in all the sources we've heard about, and we only break new ground when we hear about new ones. How do we assess how comprehensive our search has been? How do we know if we're even on the right path to get the answers we long for? This class will teach a methodology for creating a research plan centered around the *discoveries* we want to make, not the *pathways* we think are available for getting there. The first half of the presentation will cover how to generate an answer-centric research plan, in which we brainstorm what we want to know. The remainder will show how we work backwards from our desired answers to determine what sources might contain the elusive information. The class will be driven by case-study of a real ancestor for whom such a deep-dive was performed, showing how surprising information really can be surfaced from unexpected places.

Founder of and a past winner of the RootsTech Developer Challenge, Tammy Hepps is a Harvard-educated technologist, storyteller, and life-long genealogist.  Her research into her family’s history in a once-famous steel town, available online at, has received national press coverage.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Saturday, December 3 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern
The Case of the Broken Link: Decoding the URL
by Cyndi Ingle

Web site addresses appear to be long, complicated, and mysterious. Navigating through the web leads you from link to link, web page to web page, site to site, and server to server - all in a matter of a few clicks. How can you sort out separate web sites? How can you track down a new URL for a broken link or a broken bookmark? What happens when your source citation for a web site contains a URL that suddenly disappears? We will break down this technical topic to help you easily hunt down the URL you need.

Cyndi Ingle, a genealogist for more than 35 years, is the creator of Cyndi’s List; author of three books for genealogical research on the Internet; a past-member of the board of directors for the National Genealogical Society and active member in several other genealogical groups.
Date Start time is always Pacific Time
Wednesday, December 21 6:00 PM - Pacific, 7:00 PM - Mountain, 8:00 PM - Central, 9:00 PM - Eastern
Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving
by Dr. Michael D. Lacopo, DVM

Although most researchers are aware of tax records, they are seldom utilized and dismissed as boring and insignificant. Tax records can solve MANY genealogical dilemmas and should be a primary record source to utilize. Clues to family relationships, further research, vital information, migration, and more can be found within these amazing records. This lecture will show you how they can help you!

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo is a retired small-animal veterinarian born and raised in northern Indiana. He takes a scientific approach to his research as he does to his profession. Researching since 1980, he has lectured internationally and written for numerous periodicals and journals. A self-described “all-American mutt,” his research skills cover a broad range.