Ancestry US


Cyndi's Speaking Calendar - Available Topics

—More topics can be created upon request, with advance notice.

—The topics below can also be customized to fit the needs or the theme of your seminar. Each are meant to be 1-hour presentations.

  • Accessing Ancestry: The Roots, The Branches, and The Trees
    Are you getting everything you can from Ancestry? Are you using the advanced search parameters? Are you using all the tools and materials available to you? Or do you just scrape the surface of the website? We will do a deep dive into Ancestry's site to make sure you are extracting every last bit of useful material for your research.

  • Advanced Googling for Your Grandma
    Chances are that you are using Google on a daily basis. Chances are even better than you aren't using it to its full potential. Learn about Google's advance search options, as well as several more tools offered by Google that will enhance your research. We'll dig deep into a variety of Google's free resources and learn how to make them work for you.

  • Back to Basics: Research Planning and Execution Online
    You've been researching for years, but you find yourself repeating searches and looking at the same things over and over again online. You're either spinning your wheels or reinventing the wheel, but either way you go round and round. We will discuss some strategies for planning your research and executing it efficiently, while keeping track of what you are currently doing and plan to do in the future.

  • Be Your Own Digital Archivist: Preserve Your Research
    Are you doing everything you can to safeguard your genealogical research? Your documents? Your data? Your scanned images? We will talk about the importance of taking charge of your own materials and making sure they aren't going to disappear.

  • Best Practices for Success in Facebook Groups for Genealogy
    With well over 12,000 Facebook groups for genealogy it's easy to get lost in the masses. We will discuss tips and tricks and help you develop successful strategies for getting the most out of these valuable sources for research help, education, and so much more.

  • The Case of the Broken Link: Decoding the URL
    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.

  • Crafting Genealogical Proof
    An introduction to The What, the Why and the How of writing a genealogical proof statement, summary, or argument. How to take your research and deductions from documents (and your brain) and put it together on paper for future generations and researchers.

  • Crafting Successful Searches (2-hour workshop)
    Whether you're using Ancestry, FamilySearch, Google, or any other searchable database online, there is an art to a well-crafted search. We will cover search strategies, tips, and tricks to make your time online more productive for your research. (Requirements: We need wifi access for the attendees. Workshop attendees should bring a laptop or tablet to try out real-time examples during the workshop.)

  • Cyndi's List in Practice
    Sometimes overwhelming to beginners and sometimes underused by veterans, Cyndi's List is a research tool that is robust with resources helpful in everyone's research. Using specific examples for beginners, as well as more advanced researchers, we will explore the site and point out how to make the most of the categories and the links found within.

  • Foreign Language Tools for English-Speaking Genealogists
    Whether you're reading an old letter, a record on microfilm, or a web site in a foreign language, don't despair. There are several tools and options available to help you get a basic idea of what it is you're reading, without taking a foreign language class. We'll explore various ways to use these tools to help decipher key words and special alphabet characters, moving you a bit further along in your research.

  • Genealogy and the Internet – A Match Made in Heaven
    The Internet was made for genealogy. It really was. All the cool things we can do online make our life much easier and our research more productive: searching, sharing, publishing, and more. But, the Internet is also filled with pitfalls that hinder us: searching, sharing, publishing, and more. The trick is to learn to be savvy about using all the online tools available to us to make this truly a match made in heaven.

  • Genealogy Online in Pursuit of ________________
    NOTE: This topic requires 4-6 months of prior notice in order to have it properly prepared for your conference or seminar.
    Fill in the blank and this topic can be prepared for a location, a record type, research methods, or special topics. We can showcase resources online that will aid the audience and point them in the right direction for their genealogical research.

  • The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper
    When Google and traditional search engines don't return useful information, don't stop there. We will explore resources that are invisible to Google and hidden deep within web sites and proprietary databases. The "hidden web" lies buried within the collections for commercial web sites, libraries, archives, and museums. We will also talk about the importance of indexes that deep-link into web sites online, thus uncovering hidden gems of information that may not be found easily through a search engine query.

  • How the Homestead Act Shaped My Family . . . and Maybe Yours
    The Homestead Act of 1862 helped shape not only our nation, but also the future of so many families that would participate. The western states were populated through this program that allowed the common farmer and rancher to own large parcels of land as long as they could meet the requirements of the act. We will explore homestead records from the U.S. National Archives and online resources for researching your homestead ancestor. Learn how to bring all of this together into a vivid picture of the hard, but fruitful, life that your homestead ancestor lived.

  • Life Cycle of a Record: From Clerks and Clerics to You, The Digital User
    What are you looking at? Where did it come from? Why was it created? How did it get online? Records from the past didn't just show up digitally one day as if by magic. From record creation to storage to archiving and (hopefully) preservation, records made their way through various formats and institutions before showing up online. Understanding the history of a source, its life before the Internet, and the context in which it exists online today can help you discover more about the genealogical information it contains and the quality of that information, propelling your research forward.

  • Maintaining an Organized Computer
    Files here, programs there, lost bits and bytes everywhere. Are you tired of searching your computer fruitlessly? Frustrated when you can't find the notes you created in your word processor? Learn how to set up a foolproof filing system and an electronic workbook to correspond with your offline research.

  • Mastering Digital Filing for Genealogists
    Every genealogist feels that digital filing is out of their control. It can be an overwhelming process to keep track of all of the documents, images, and files that end up on our computers and devices. How do we even start to tackle this virtual pile of filing? What tools and processes will work best for you? We will discuss all of this and how to maintain digital filing as we research.

  • Navigating Your Way Through FamilySearch
    FamilySearch is so much more than just a family tree hosting platform. FamilySearch is a massive web site that is made up of dozens and dozens of different research tools. The site includes tools for learning and for reference. It is home to the world's largest digitized collection of records and sources for our research. And all of this is free for everyone to use. We will explore each of the features that FamilySearch offers and we will hone in on how to dig through the site from a variety of entry points to find what we need.

  • Newspaper Tools Online: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
    Explore both free and commercial newspaper sites to learn what is available for your own research. We'll talk about the how to search, browse, view, print, and save copies for use in personal records.

  • Nurturing Your Family Trees: Online or On Your Device (or Both)?
    There's a lot to think to about when it comes to deciding how you will store your family tree database. Online? Offline? Both? We will discuss all the options for online trees, software, and apps. And we will go over what things you should be cautious about, including syncing, record storage and filing, privacy, and more.

  • Off the Shelf: The Unexplored Potential for eBooks in Genealogy
    There is a treasure trove of untapped research sources online: the electronic book or ebook. Repositories are digitizing publications and putting them online for us to use without having to leave the comfort of our homes. We will explore all the options that are out there to move your research forward.

  • The Path to Digital Libraries and Archives
    Today every nook and cranny of the Internet is filled with hidden gems in digital library and archive collections. Often part of a special project or a larger web site, these collections aren't always easy to find and explore. We will discuss methods for locating them and, once found, methods for using them to answer specific research questions.

  • Pin Your Ancestors Down with Google Maps & Google Earth
    Google Maps and Google Earth provide two wonderful sources for geographical assistance in tracking your ancestors and pinning them down for your research. Combined with other mapping resources online we will demonstrate how using these Google tools can give you a visual aid for your research. Follow migration paths, historical routes, and your own family’s path, marking them on the maps with information, photos and documentation.

  • Record As You Go, Cite As You Go, & File As You Go
    Genealogists tend to get very excited about new records and sources they come across in their research. So much so that they grab a quick copy, download it to default folders, and move on to the next item without thoroughly exploring the source first. All too often they don't take the time to evaluate the source, to write the citation(s) for the source, or to file it in the correct spot. We have to slow down and take the time to think, to file, and to create notes about the source that make it easy to find that source again if needed. Doing this keeps our research more organized, but also keeps our research brain tidy as well. We are much more productive when we can easily put our hands on what we've found in the past. We will explore different options for accomplishing all of these important steps.

  • Remedies for Copy & Paste Genealogy
    Family trees and the information they contain are easily copied and re-published by others online. This means errors are duplicated many times over. We will discuss solutions for dealing with these issues.

  • Smarter Searching: Refining Search Parameters for Genealogists
    Are you still using only the basic search options available on your favorite genealogical research sites? Do you get a lot of less-than-helpful search results? We will explore features and strategies you can use to tighten up the searches and make your online research more productive.

  • Ten Resources I Use Every Day: Miscellaneous Tips for the Online Researcher
    From Internet tools to specialty databases and tools, you’ll learn about some of the things I use each day in my research online.

  • Timelines: The Straight Line Between You and Your Ancestor
    Using online tools and software we will learn how important a timeline can be to breaking through a research problem.

  • Tracking Your Digital Bread Crumbs: Bookmarks, Toolbars, Notes, and Other Applications
    Clicking links means you can start off on a web site for one specific topic and end up dozens of web sites away on many different topics. It’s easy to get lost and lose focus on what you were trying to find in the first place. And with so many web sites to use in your research, how do you keep track of them all? How do you organize what you use regularly? How can you get back to a site at some point in the future? We have several ways to help you gain control of your digital bread crumbs.

  • Trendy Tech Tools for Your Research: Yay or Nay?
    Everywhere we turn we hear from someone recommending the latest and greatest apps and tools to use in our research. But should we try to use all of them? Some of them? None of them? How do you choose what is best for you? We will go over the research process and help you decide which of your own activities need special tools and which work well with the standard tools we all should use.

  • Question and Answer Session
    We invite the seminar attendees to ask questions about any aspect of using the Internet for their genealogical research. A Q&A session at the end of any all day seminar will give people a chance to clarify anything that they learned during the other sessions presented that day.

Looking for a speaker for your seminar or conference? 
Email: [email protected]