OUTSTANDING SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKERS
Twice a year AGS brings you the opportunity to hear experienced, informative, and entertaining speakers at two locations in the state. The spring seminar is typically held in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The fall seminar is typically held in Montgomery, Alabama.
Link to 2023 AGS Spring Seminar Series Brochure
Event Registration Link – AGS 2023 Spring Seminar Series
Previous Seminars Workshops, and Speakers
Summer/Fall Seminar – August 13 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speakers: Elizabeth Wells, Jennifer Maier, Meredith McDonough, Jeh Jeh Pruitt, Jessie Hearle
Theme: Breakthroughs & Techniques To Enhance Genealogy Research
Topics: Genealogical Research in Southern Records; Their Names Need to be Said; Volunteer Projects at the Alabama Department of Archives and History; What Family History Means to Me; Maximizing the Use of Family Search Apps
Spring Seminar – Beginning March 7 – Online
Speaker: Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
Theme: A Day of DNA: Furthering Your Genealogy with The Latest Tools
Topics: Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to Explore Your Ancestry; Harnessing the Power of Shared Matching; Using DNA Painter to Map Your DNA; Evaluating a Genealogical Conclusion Including DNA
Fall Seminar – Beginning August 28 – Online
Speaker: Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL
Theme: Over, Around and Through Genealogical Problems
Topics: After the Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History through DNA; Roadblocks, Red Lights and Detours: Records Access for Genealogists; No Vitals? No Problem! – Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence; Polls, Personalty and Property – Making Sense of Tax Lists
Spring Seminar – Beginning March 6 – Online
Speaker: David E. Rencher
Theme: The RENCHER SYSTEM: Strategies and Methods
Topics: Strategy for a Sound Beginning; FamilySearch Historical Collections – Tips and Tricks; Finding Irish Records on FamilySearch & other Major Genealogy Websites; Methodology for Irish Immigration and Emigration
Summer/Fall Webinar – Beginning August 18 – Online
Speaker: Diane L. Richard
Theme: Paths to Remote Ancestors
Topics: Research in our Jammies – 50 Overlooked Genealogical Resources in 50 Minutes; Ancestor Hunting the Modern Way – Mapping Resources Help Us Visualize African American History; Tracking Tar Heels – Born in NC: Making the Connection Back to NC; Tactics, Tools, Tips and Tempting Resources – The Genealogical Gems Found in Ledgers
Spring Seminar – March 7 – Moody Civic Center
Speakers: Dr. Dallas Hanbury and Dr. Liberty Evanko
Theme: Hidden In Plain Sight
Topics: The Records of Slavery at the Local Level; Now What: Unexpected Discoveries in the Archives (A Guided Discussion); Who’s hiding in your DNA?
Summer/Fall Seminar – August 9-10 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Alabama Family and Local History Workshop (A Bicentennial Event)
Day One: For leaders or potential leaders of genealogical and historical societies. Two tracks will cover topics for strengthening societies for the 21st century.
Day Two: For anyone who wants to do history—family and/or local. Two tracks that discuss the skills of doing history well and getting that history to the public.
Spring Seminar – March 9 – Samford University
Speaker: Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL. Theme: Proving Your Case with Law and Standards
Topics: More Than Just Names: Advanced US Census Research; Revelers, Hogkillers and Disobedient Children: Early State Laws; Separate but Unequal: Slave Laws and their Records; When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records
Spring Seminar – March 24 – Samford University
Speaker: David Rencher. Theme: Online and Offline, Records are Windows to the Past
Topics: Alabama Research on the Highways and Byways; Using All the Features of FamilySearch; FamilySearch Collections – Tips and Treats; Coming Forward, Descendant Research
Fall Seminar – October 13 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: J. Mark Lowe. Theme: When the easy stuff runs dry
Topics: Alabama Records & Migration: From Waldo Semon to Rosa Parks to Tallulah Brockman Bankhead; Selling Spirituous Liquor without a License and Other Wonderful Court Records; Finding Uncle John by Talking to the Neighbors; Dower, Dowry, and Detinue: Women and Their Men’s Property
Spring Seminar – March 25 – Samford University
Speaker: Diane L. Giannini. Theme: Telling Family Stories that are Complete and Convincing
Topics: Where’s the Proof?; I Found a Document, Now What?; Research Using Contemporary Records; Confirming Family Stories Using Special Collections
Fall Seminar – October 14 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Drew Smith. Theme: 21st Century Tools and Methods
Topics: Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process; Crowdsourcing Your Brick Walls; Cloud Computing for Genealogists; Organizing Your DNA Testing
Spring Seminar – March 12 – Samford University
Speaker: George G. Morgan. Theme: IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Topics: The Genealogist as CSI; Bring ‘Em Back to Life; Clues in the News; Getting Past Brick Walls
Fall Seminar – October 8 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Nancy DuPree. Theme: Your Alabama Department of Archives and History Preserves our Past and Saves our Future
Topics: Preparing for Research at the Alabama Archives; Accessing the Records, Finding Answers; History of Land Records and How to Access; Finding and Understanding your Ancestor’s Participation in WWI
Spring Seminar – March 28 – Samford University
Speaker: Michael John Neill – Theme: RESEARCH REFOCUS
Tried and Tested Tidbits; Researching the Entire Family; Organizing Online Research; I Found It – Now What?Fall Seminar – October 10 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speakers: Paul Boncella, Nancy Dupree. Theme: FamilySearch and General Questions/Individual Research Help
Topics: Loving the LDS: In–Depth Guide to Using FamilySearch.org; The FamilySearch.org research Wiki: The Best Tool You Didn’t Know You Had; Panel: General Research Questions – Where, How, Why; Individual Consultations – Brick Walls
Spring Seminar – April 5 – Samford University
Speaker: Judy G. Russell, JD – Theme: GENETICS, ETHICS & ANTEBELLUM LAW
Topics: ABC’s of DNA, Part I; Beyond X and Y: Autosomal DNA Testing/Promise & Pitfalls, Part II; From the White Lion to the Emancipation Proclamation–Slavery & the Law, Part III; The Ethical Genealogist, Part IV
Fall Seminar – October 11 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Ann Staley, CG – Theme: SEARCHING, SHARING AND SOLVING
Topics: Overlooked Research Sources: A Gold Mine to be Discovered Part I; Organizing, Analyzing, and Sharing: Using Technology to Your Advantage, Part II; Claws or Clues: Scratching for the Elusive Ancestor, Part III; Genealogical Research: Online Resources – For Free, Part IV
Spring Seminar – April 20 – Samford University
Speakers: Dorothy Williams Potter, Elizabeth Crabtree Wells, Yvonne Crumpler – Theme: Pathways to the Past: How to Locate Original Records, On Site & Online Topics: Sources & Research Methods for the Old South, Part I; Sources & Research Methods for the Old South, Part II; Online Resources: College/University Library of Congress and More; Searching NARA’s web site & Documenting/Citing Sources
Fall Seminar – October 12– Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Susan Sloan – Theme: NCIS: Names, Clues, and Indirect Sources Topics: Genealogical Proof Standard: Harness the Power of Indirect Evidence, Part I; Genealogical Proof Standard, Part II; Using Pre–1850 Censuses in Research: A Case Study
Spring Seminar – March 31– Samford University
Speaker: Linda Woodward Geiger – Theme: Data Mining the Records Topics: U.S. Territorial Papers, 1789–1873; More Than Land Descriptions: Treasures Among the Deeds; Using Tax Lists to Solve Genealogical Problems; Estate Records: More Than Just Wills
Fall Seminar – October 13 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Robert Scott Davis, Jr. – Theme: Military Records Topics: War of 1812 Records; Bicentennial Research; World War I Research and Other Military Records After the St. Louis Fire
Spring Seminar – April 16– Samford University
Speaker: Dr. Thomas W. Jones – Theme: Disappearing Ancestors
Topics: Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor; Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was; Going Beyond the Bare Bones: Reconstructing Your Ancestors’ Lives; Finding Unfindable Ancestors
Fall Seminar – October 8 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speakers: Jim Anderson, Yvonne Crumpler, Jyl Hardy, Jason Kirby – Theme: A Smorgasbord
Topics: Plotting Our Ancestors Land; Researching the War of 1812; What You Need to Know to be a First Family of Alabama Member; U.S. Non–Population Censuses
Spring Seminar – March 27– Samford University
Speaker: Dr. Joan Kirchman Mitchell – Theme: Tracking Your Genetic Roots
Topics: Up Close and Personal; From a Distant Perspective; Putting It All Together
Fall Seminar – October 2 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Robert Scott Davis –Theme: Soldiers, Settlers and Brick Walls
Topics: Strange World of Revolutionary War Records for the Old South; Creditors, Soldiers, Homesteaders: Federal Lands in the Old Southwest; Gone for a Soldier: Military Records of Georgia and the Old Southwest; What You Might do When You Hit a Brick Wall
Spring Seminar – May 2 – Samford University
Speakers: Dorothy Williams Potter and Elizabeth Wells – Theme: Southeastern Pioneers in the 18th & Early 19th Centuries.
Topics: Too Early for the Census? How to Locate Your Ancestor; Hidden in Plain Sight: Little Known Sources for Tracking Early Southern Pioneers; Researching the Mississippi Territory & Alabama Frontier, Parts I & II>
Fall Seminar – October 17 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: J. Mark Lowe – Theme: CSI: Collecting, Selecting, Identifying Your Ancestors
Topics: Using the Internet for Research; Land Barons or Dirt Farmers; Finding Your Landless Ancestors
Spring Seminar – May 3 – Samford University
Speaker: Henry Z. “Hank” Jones – Theme: Sources/Origins/Traditions/New Millennium
Topics: When the Sources are Wrong; Tracing the Origins; Family Tradition; Genealogy in the New MillenniumFall Seminar – October 4 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Richard “Rick” Sayre – Theme: Using Maps in Genealogical Research
Topics: Urban Mapping Tools; Topographic & Other Maps for Genealogists; Maps of the Southern United States; Google Earth for Genealogists
Spring Seminar – May 5 – Samford University
Speaker: Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck – Theme: The Grass is Always Greener
Topics: Settlement Patterns and Principles of Migration; The French and Spanish Experience; Federal Land Sales; The South in the 19th CenturyFall Seminar – October 13 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: Craig R. Scott – Theme: A Potpourri of Military Conflicts
Topics: Revolutionary War Records; Indian Wars; War of 1812; Mexican War
Spring Seminar – May 6, 2006 – Samford University
Speaker: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack – Theme: Flesh on the Bones: Putting Your Ancestors into Historical Perspective
Topics: Flesh on the Bones: Putting Your Ancestors into Historical Perspective, The Silent Woman: Bringing a Name to Life, Oral History: Use It or Lose It, and Cryptic Clues in the Bone Yard.Fall Seminar – October 7, 2006 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speakers: Dr. Leah Rawls Atkins, Jason Kirby and Alden Monroe – Theme: Research and Records to Find Alabama’s “Johnny Reb” and “Billy Yank”
Topics: My Great Grandfather’s Civil War, Genealogy and History Working Together, Sources for Researching the Civil War, ADAH’s Holdings of Civil War Material.
Spring Seminar – May 7, 2005– Samford University
Speaker: Sandra MacLean Clunies, CG – Theme: Improving Research Success Onsite and Online
Topics: Research in Washington DC from Home, Evaluating Web Resources, Keeping Track of Your Resources, and Yankees, Come Home!Fall Seminar – October 1, 2005 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speakers: Debbie Pendleton, Frazine Taylor, Mark Palmer, Norwood Kerr, Nancy Dupree, Tom Turley – Theme: The Alabama Archives: A Researcher’s Goldmine! Getting the Most out of a State Archive
Topics: Getting Ready for an Archives Research Trip – What You Can Do From Home, You’re at the Archives – What Now? Accessing the Records (Part I), One–of–a–Kind Guided Tour –– Accessing the Records (Part 2), and Explore the Archives’ Rare, Unusual and Little–Known Resources.
Spring Seminar – 1 May, 2004– Samford University
Speaker: Sharon Tate Moody – Theme: Georgia on Your Mind
Topics: They Claimed Indian Blood: Using Guion Miller Rolls to Research Ancestors Who Weren’t Native Americans, And the Winner Is…Keys to Treasures in Georgia’s Land Lotteries, The State vs Your Ancestors: Using Georgia’s Court Records, and No Ring? No License? Are They Married?: Applying Common Law to Marriage.
Fall Seminar – October 16, 2004 – Alabama Department of Archives and History
Speaker: LaRae Free Kerr – Theme: Writing Your Own History – The Secret System That Makes It Easy
Topics: The Memory Jar: A Simple System for Remembering, Organizing, Documenting and Writing Memoirs; Write Word Pictures: Make Family Histories Lively Through Language; SOS: Making Sense from Opinions and Sources, and Twentieth Century Research: If 70% of Pedigrees are Wrong in the 20th Century, is Yours? How Do You Know?2003
Spring Seminar – May 3, 2003 – Samford University
Speaker: Curt B. Witcher –– Theme: Eclectic Genealogical Sleuthing
Topics: Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins As A Genealogical Research Key, Using Government Documents For Genealogical Research, An Ancestor’s Death –– A Time for Reaping, and Pain in the Access – Getting More From The Internet For Your Genealogy.
Fall Seminar – October 18, 2003 –– Alabama State Capitol
Speaker: J. Mark Lowe – Theme: A Seminar On Genealogical Research
Topics: Land Barons Or Dirt Farmers: Finding Land Transactions, Finding Your Landless Ancestors, Locating The Wanderer, and Smith vs. Jones, etal., A Closer Look At Court Records.
Spring Seminar – May 4, 2002 – Samford University
Speaker: Margaret M. Hofmann – Theme: Unlocking Secrets Found In North Carolina Land Records
Topics: 300 Years Of NC Land Patents And Grants, Genealogical Uses Of Some Early NC Land Records, and Tracing A Family Where No Records Exist Except Land Records
Fall Seminar – October 19, 2002 – Alabama State Capitol
Speaker: George G. Morgan – Theme: An October Adventure –Join A Genealogical Safari! Locate And Visit Your Ancestors!
Topics: Genealogical Orienteering: Using Maps To Find The Right Place, Bring ‘um Back To Life: Developing An Ancestor Profile, Bits About Obits: Reading Between The Lines, and Planning Is The Key: A Very Successful Genealogical Research Trip.
Spring Seminar – May 5, 2001 – Samford University
Speaker: Christine Rose – Theme: Following A Genealogical Paper Trail
Topics: Successful Courthouse Research, The Evidence Conflicts… What Shall I Do?, Transcribing And Abstracting: The Technique And Legalese, Using Little Known And Neglected Sources: A Potpourri.
Fall Seminar – October 20, 2001 – Alabama State Capitol
Speakers: Dr. Craig Mann, Mark Dauber, Jeffrey C. Benton, and James H. Walker, Jr. – Theme: And They Came To Alabama
Topics: The Federal Road, Along The Federal Road, The Very Worst Road, and The Huntsville Road
Spring Seminar – May 6, 2000 – Samford University
Speaker: Leslie Smith Collier
Topics: Sherlock Holmes & The Write Way To Research, In Deeds I Trust (And So Should You), and How Lay The Land?
Fall Seminar – October 21, 2000 – Alabama State Archives
Speaker: Jimmy B. Parker
Topics: What Did Your Ancestors Do And In Which War: U.S. Military History And Sources, Mining familysearch.org For Genealogical Resources.
Spring Seminar – May 1, 1999 – Samford University
Speaker: James J. McSweeney, Dr. Charles Reeves, Suzanne Dewberry – Theme: National Archives And Records Administration, Southeast Region
Topics: Seminar On Genealogical Resources
Fall Seminar – October 16, 1999 – Alabama State Archives
Speaker: Marilyn Miller Morton – Theme: Migratory Routes From The British Isles And Europe Into The United States, With Emphasis On Alabama
Topics: Emigration From The British Isles And Rest Of Europe – Specifically Immigration Into The American Colonies And Migration Specifically To Alabama, and Migration From Alabama And The Eastern Parts Of The Nation.
Spring Seminar – May 2, 1998– Samford University
Speaker: Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck – Theme: Colonial Virginia And Related Topics
Fall Seminar – October 17, 1998 – Alabama State Archives
Speakers: Mildred Kent, Patrick Henry, and H. Kent Lewis – Theme: Help! How And Where Can I Find It!
Topics: Alternative Records At The Archives, PERSI and SAR, Genealogical Sites On The Internet, Tour Groups To View Sites Of Alternative Records.
Spring Seminar – April 19, 1997 – Samford University
Speakers: Maxine Alcorn and Margaret J. Harris – Theme: Gone To Texas: Tracing Your Ancestors Who Went West
Topics: Anglo Settlements Of The 1820s Through The 1850s Civil War Period, Texas Land Office Records And Early Spanish Land Records, Republic Of Texas Military Records, Courthouse Records, Texas Genealogical Societies, and Other Genealogical Resources And Research Opportunities.
Fall Seminar – October 11, 1997 – Alabama State Archives
Speakers: Ken Tilley, Becky Nall, and Col. Bill Rambo – Theme: Montgomery: The Cradle Of Confederacy
Topics: People & Events Of The Confederacy and An ADAH Civil War Records Update, How To Identify & Date Your Ancestors Civil War Attire, Tour of First White House of Confederacy, Tour of State Capitol Building and Confederate Monument, Tour of Historic Oakwood Cemetery.
Spring Seminar – April 20, 1996– Samford University
Speaker: John Philip Colletta – Theme: Our Ancestors From Overseas: Finding Them & Writing Their Stories
Topics: Passenger Arrival Records, Naturalization Records, How To Prepare For Successful Research In European Records, and Writing The Family History
Fall Seminar – October 19, 1996 – Alabama State Archives
Speakers: H. Kent Lewis, Debbie Pendleton, Andie Zorn
Topics: Overview Of Various Computer Genealogy Programs, Alabama Archives On The Internet, Creative Memories Photo Albums
Spring Seminar – April 29, 1995– Samford University
Speaker: Jo White Linn – Theme: North Carolina Lineages – The State’s History, Records And Laws
Topics: North Carolina Historical Development & State Records, NC State, Genealogical & Religious Records, NC County Records As Primary Source Materials, and NC Laws And Constructing Your Lineages.
Fall Seminar – October 21, 1995 – Alabama State Archives
Speakers: Col. Bill Rambo and Archives Staff – Theme: An Overview Of The Civil War, Its Participants, Equipment, Uniforms, And Flags
Topics: Weapons, tactics, Uniforms, Equipment, Flags, And Personalities Of Alabama Soldiers In The Confederate Army, How To Research Your Civil War Ancestors Using Sources At The Alabama Department of Archives And History
Spring Seminar – April 30, 1994– Samford University
Speaker: Dr. James R. Johnson – Theme: Alabama And Tennessee – The Ties That Bind
Topics: Tennessee Genealogical Resources, Lyman Draper Collection, Using Land Records, Local Publications& Newspapers As Genealogy Sources, and Migration Routes How To Use Them To Solve Genealogy Problems.
Fall Seminar – October 15, 1994 – Alabama State Archives
Speaker: Everton Publishers Workshop – Theme: Climbing Your Family Tree Can Be Fun
Topics: Southern U.S. Research, Unusual Record Sources, Beyond Vital Records, and Immigration, Emigration & Naturalization Sources.
Spring Seminar – May 1, 1993– Samford University
Speakers: Marilyn Miller Morton and Elizabeth Crabtree Wells – Theme: Tracing Your British And Irish Ancestors: From Their Homeland To The United States
Topics: British And Irish Emigration, Immigration, and Migration, British And Irish Genealogical Research Highlights, Research Sources Found In The Samford University Library, Field Trip To Samford Library
Fall Seminar – October 16, 1993 – Alabama State Archives
Speakers: Frazine Taylor, Dr. Mike Breedlove, and Mark Palmer – Theme: Getting To Know Your State Department Of Archives & History
Topics: State Census Records, 1850, 1855 & 1866, Civil War Records, and Local Government Records
Spring Seminar – May 2, 1992– Samford University
Speaker: Mary Bondurant Warren – Theme: Georgia Research – State & County Records
Topics: Colonial Georgia & The revolution, Early State Records, County Records.
Fall Seminar – October 10, 1992 – Huntingdon College
Speaker: Annie Crenshaw – Theme: A Truly Southern Experience
Topics: Southern Tradition In Communications: What You Can Learn From Letters, Stories, And Artwork, Understanding Souther Dialect: Our Words Are From England?, A Southern Soldiers Story: Confederate Letters To Home, and Planning Your Southern Family Reunions: Enjoy The Knowledge And Fun Of Yesterday With Your Family Today.
Spring Seminar – May 11, 1991 – Howard Johnson, Birmingham
Speaker: Mary Rhinelander McCarl
Topics: Before The 1790 Census
Fall Seminar – October 19, 1991 – Madison Hotel, Montgomery
Speaker: Gayle P. Peters
Topics: Genealogical Research Resources at the National Archives, Southeast Region
Spring Seminar – May 5, 1990 – Holiday Inn, Hoover
Speaker: Bill Simpson
Topics: Historical And Genealogical Resources At The Wallace Junior College Library, Specifically The Records Of Participants In The War Between The States.
Fall Seminar – October 13, 1990 – Alabama State Archives
Speaker: Ann Gregath
Topics: Researching And Publishing A Family History Manuscript