Do You Have an Artificial Brick Wall?
Robyn N Smith

MAY 26, SUNDAY 3 pm

Genealogists are famous for their brick walls. However, many of the things we call “brick walls” are more likely the result of some common errors, such as relying too heavily on the Internet, not reviewing original sources and focusing too closely on only the person or couple of interest. These create what Ms. Smith calls “artificial” brick walls and in this lecture, Ms. Smith describes these errors along with others. Developing better practices and learning new skills will go a long way towards solving many of our genealogical problems.

Some of the ways to prevent artificial brick walls are:

  • Redouble your efforts to finding ancestors in the census
  • Always examine the original source
  • Analyze and correlate the records that you have found
  • Find living descendants
  • Search the “cluster” of people associated with your ancestors
  • Research all siblings in every generation

 

Robyn N Smith:
Robyn Smith has been researching her family and others for 20 years. An engineer by day, Robyn applies those research and problem-solving skills to the field of genealogy. She specializes in Maryland research, African-American and slave research and court records. Robyn promotes the documentation of communities and emphasizes the use of proper genealogical standards. Robyn taught an Advanced African-American Genealogy part-time at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD from 2008-2015. She also lectures and writes about family history research. She is the author of numerous genealogy articles and a popular genealogy blog called Reclaiming Kin (www.reclaimingkin.com). In 2015, Ms. Smith published the book version of her blog, “The Best of Reclaiming Kin.”


GUESTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME AT OUR MEETINGS.

WEATHER RELATED CLOSINGS → VISIT THE BCGS HOME PAGE.

For detailed directions and a map, select → PLANNING A VISIT.


THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE ON MEETING DATES:

  • The LIBRARY is open from 12 – 2 pm.
  • The GENERAL MEETING followed by refreshments takes place from 2 – 3 pm.
  • THE GUEST SPEAKER PRESENTS FROM 3 – 4 pm.

 

INTEREST GROUPS MEET IN THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE OF THE LIBRARY:


 

P R O G R A M   O F   S P E A K E R S
2 0 1 9

Research Day

JANUARY 27, SUNDAY, 12 – 4 pm

Everyone is invited to use all of the research assets of our Library from 12:00 Noon until 4:00 PM.

The Eastern European Interest Group meets from 11:45 am – 1 pm.
The Computer Genealogy Interest Group meets at 1 pm.

  • We will be scanning Bibles and historical documents.
  • Bring in what you have and have it copied to digital media. Please bring a USB drive to make a copy of these scans.

 


 

Baltimore Prohibition – Wet & Dry in the Free State
Michael T. Walsh

FEBRUARY 24, SUNDAY, 3 pm

For a period of thirteen years (1920-1933) during the Roaring 1920s and Jazz Age, national Prohibition was the law of the land.

Though the 18th Amendment had its share of supporters and opponents, there was perhaps no region more opposed to Prohibition than Baltimore and Maryland.

The Free State was defiant in its protest from thoroughly wet Governor Albert Ritchie to esteemed Catholic Cardinal James Gibbons.

Maryland was the only state to not pass a baby Volstead enforcement act.

Speakeasies emerged at Frostburg’s Gunter Hotel and at Baltimore’s famed Belvedere Hotel, whose famous owls’ blinking eyes would notify its patrons if it was safe to indulge in bootleg liquor.

Rum-runners were frequent on the Chesapeake Bay as bootleggers populated the city streets.

Journalist H.L. Mencken, known as the “Sage of Baltimore,” drew national attention criticizing the new law.

Author Michael T. Walsh provides a fascinating journey into the history of Prohibition in the “Free State”, from its origins in the 19th century through its repeal in 1933.

Michael T Walsh:
Dr. Michael Walsh, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is a historian who specializes in both twentieth-century U.S. History as well as local history. Michael majored in History and received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University Maryland. He obtained a Master’s degree in Historical Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and subsequently earned his Ph.D. at UMBC in Public Policy with a concentration in Policy History.

Michael currently teaches U.S. History as an Adjunct History Professor at the Community College of Baltimore County and is also a Grants & Contracts Manager/Training Coordinator at UMBC. You can be certain to find him at many events and live music venues throughout Maryland as he rumbles on his bass guitar and provides vocals with two regional rock and roll bands, Whisky Train and The Agitators. Michael currently resides with his wife Jennifer, daughter Elizabeth and pet Australian Shepherd Mugsy in the Parkville community in Baltimore County.


Exploring Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Barbara Henry

MARCH 24, SUNDAY 3 pm

Sanborn fire insurance maps are a genealogy resource often overlooked by genealogists.

Although originally developed to assist insurance companies assess risk of coverage, these maps contain a wealth of information useful in family research.

This presentation will cover the history of Sanborn maps as well as where you can find them, how to read them and how to use them in your research.

Barb Henry:
Barb has been researching since 2000 and has very deep Maryland roots, with several lines dating back to the late 1600s/early 1700s. She is a member of BCGS (vertical file manager), Historical Society of Baltimore County, Historical Society of Harford County, the Maryland Genealogical Society and the Maryland Historical Society. She is also active in several local discussion groups where she presents on various genealogical topics. She has an A.S. in Civil Engineering from CCBC and is currently Corporate CADD Manager for Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson. In her free time she enjoys cruising, golf and doing family research.


The Next Step: Using Technology to Share Your Family History
Amanda Hughes

April 28, SUNDAY 3 pm

Join Amanda, Assistant Manager of the Pratt Library’s Maryland Department, for a discussion of various technologies and platforms available to help genealogists in sharing their research.

You will learn about various programs and platforms including wikis, websites, and social media, along with a few simple ways to self-publish your family history both digitally and in print.

Amanda will also give a short talk on the genealogical resources at Enoch Pratt.

Amanda Hughes
For the past ten years, Amanda has worked in museums, archives and libraries in Virginia, North Carolina, California and Maryland. Her current home is the Maryland Department of Enoch Pratt where she is the Assistant Manager. Amanda’s special passions are women’s history and the personal stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. She read incessantly and indiscriminately but especially loves science fiction, graphic novels and memoirs, usually all at the same time. In her (very little) spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, baking and knitting. Amanda currently lives in Baltimore County with her husband, three cats, two daughters, one dog and a partridge in a pear tree.


Do You Have an Artificial Brick Wall?
Robyn N Smith

MAY 26, SUNDAY 3 pm

Genealogists are famous for their brick walls. However, many of the things we call “brick walls” are more likely the result of some common errors, such as relying too heavily on the Internet, not reviewing original sources and focusing too closely on only the person or couple of interest. These create what Ms. Smith calls “artificial” brick walls and in this lecture, Ms. Smith describes these errors along with others. Developing better practices and learning new skills will go a long way towards solving many of our genealogical problems.

Some of the ways to prevent artificial brick walls are:

  • Redouble your efforts to finding ancestors in the census
  • Always examine the original source
  • Analyze and correlate the records that you have found
  • Find living descendants
  • Search the “cluster” of people associated with your ancestors
  • Research all siblings in every generation

 

Robyn N Smith:
Robyn Smith has been researching her family and others for 20 years. An engineer by day, Robyn applies those research and problem-solving skills to the field of genealogy. She specializes in Maryland research, African-American and slave research and court records. Robyn promotes the documentation of communities and emphasizes the use of proper genealogical standards. Robyn taught an Advanced African-American Genealogy part-time at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD from 2008-2015. She also lectures and writes about family history research. She is the author of numerous genealogy articles and a popular genealogy blog called Reclaiming Kin (www.reclaimingkin.com). In 2015, Ms. Smith published the book version of her blog, “The Best of Reclaiming Kin.”


Research Day

JUNE 23, SUNDAY, 12 – 4 pm

Everyone is invited to use all of the research assets of our Library from 12:00 Noon until 4:00 PM.

The Computer Genealogy Interest Group meets at 1 pm.
The Eastern European Interest Group does not meet in June.

  • We will be scanning Bibles and historical documents.
  • Bring in what you have and have it copied to digital media. Please bring a USB drive to make a copy of these scans.

 


Using DNA Results With Family History Research
Shannon Combs-Bennett, QG

SEPTEMBER 22, SUNDAY, 3 pm

Alright, you have tested with a DNA company to learn more about your ancestry…now what?

Creating and using research plans for genealogy is an excellent habit to have, but you should also do this for DNA testing.

In this presentation learn how to combine traditional genealogy research with your DNA results for greater success with your research.

While a basic understanding of DNA testing is not needed for this presentation, it is helpful as only a brief explanation of the tests will be covered.

By the end of the talk you will know which test to take for a genealogical question, how to write and follow a research plan which includes DNA testing, and pit falls to watch out for.

*Lecture will assume audience understands basic DNA testing

Outline of lecture:

  • Brief overview of what tests will answer which type of DNA questions
  • Steps in a research plan
  • Ask questions
  • Look for information
  • Speculate about the answer
  • Establish the facts
  • Explore what else should be researched (like DNA)
  • How to integrate DNA and genealogy questions
  • Who do you need to test – ask and be ethical
  • Which tests should they take – important if more than one needs to be taken
  • How are you going to analyze the results
  • Which company(s) offer you the best answers
  • Case Studies

 

Shannon Combs-Bennett, QG
Shannon is a professional genealogist based out of Northern Virginia. She is a graduate of the Boston University Certificate program, ProGen, and in 2016 Shannon was awarded her PLCGS in American Studies from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Shannon is also recognized as a QG, Qualified Genealogist, through the Register of Qualified Genealogist of the United Kingdom for completing her Post Graduate Diploma in Genealogical, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Biology from Indiana University with an emphasis in human genetics and is currently working toward her Masters of Science in Genealogical, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Shannon lectures and writes on a variety of topics from methodology to genetic genealogy both nationally and internationally and her book “Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes” won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award in 2017 . Her next book, “The DNA Guide for Adoptees,” will be released May 30th. Shannon is as a columnist for the Federation of Genealogical Societies magazine Forum and the Southeast Regional Director for the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors


* * * VIEW THE ARCHIVE OF PAST SPEAKERS * * *

(The image next to “Research Day” courtesy of http://www.vintagekin.com/)