October 28, 2017 Workshop – Lisa Alzo

Crossing the Pond:
In Search of Eastern European & Immigrant Ancestors

 9:15-10:20 a.m. — Crossing the Pond:  Successful Strategies for Researching
Eastern European Ancestors.
A vast number of immigrants came to America from Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Border changes, language differences, political considerations, and exotic-sounding surnames often complicate the search for Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Rusyn, Slovak, Ukrainian, and other Eastern European ancestors. Traditional methods and online resources for tracking ancestors both in the U.S. and the old country will be discussed, as well as techniques for overcoming some of the most common obstacles and problems faced during the research process.

10:40-11:45 a.m. — Researching European Archives from Your Easy Chair. With more information coming online and greater access to records, there’s never been a better time to research your Eastern European ancestors. This session will cover:
-How to locate and access online archival records from Eastern and Western
Europe from the comfort of your home
-Overview of free, subscription, and “freemium” databases and websites
-Collections on FamilySearch and on individual archival sites from countries
such as Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia
-Additional databases published by genealogical societies and other
-Database search tips for finding elusive ancestors

1:00-2:05 p.m. — Immigrant Cluster Communities:  Past, Present, and Future.  There are a handful of “cluster” immigrant communities throughout the United States that blossomed during the immigration influx of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Exploring “cluster genealogy”—the process of researching those relatives, friends, and neighbors who lived near an ancestor—can often break down brick walls in the search for individual family lines and help to place our ancestors’ lives in historical context. For those descendants who’ve moved away from such traditional immigrant enclaves, 21st-century technology can be used to rebuild “cluster communities” in the virtual world. This lecture will cover: How to identify chain migrations/cluster communities using key records; ways to share and collaborate with other researchers, and the benefits, pitfalls, and obstacles associated with a shift to “virtual” cluster communities; and how to use tools such as social networking sites, Wikis, etc. build online genealogical communities.

2:20-3:25 p.m. — Silent Voices:  Telling the Stories of Your Female Immigrant Ancestors.  While most historical records have been created for and/or about men, making it more challenging to research and write about female ancestors, this session will demonstrate: effective ways to discover your female ancestors and how to document the important roles their lives played in culture/society, various methods for writing about your female ancestors (from short, informative bio-sketches or profiles, to writing a complete book), along with options for publishing your family history will be discussed.

To download the flyer:  GOGS fALL WORKSHOP 10-28-17


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