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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.


  • A Guided Tour of Cyndi's List 2.0
    This begins with a brief history of Cyndi's List, followed by an overview of how to navigate the newly updated site and how to tell when the site is updated. Learn how to effectively use this valuable resource tool to as your jumping-off point onto the Internet.

  • 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.

  • Building a Digital Research Plan
    Using Internet databases and catalogs we will build a research plan to answer a specific research question. We will walk through the process of planning, researching for the plan, and keeping track of what has been researched.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Diligence Online: Keep Looking Everywhere
    The Internet is piecemeal. It isn't clean and neat and tidy with everything in its place. With the exception of the U.S., U.K., and Canadian censuses (and perhaps a couple of other datasets) there is no one complete database or collection of everything you need for one place or one record type. The answer to this is thorough, detailed, relentless searching across multiple repositories and collections. Finding aids and researching the origins of the records offline can help you pinpoint if and where they exist online, even in multiple places.

  • Evaluating Web Sites - What to Trust and What to Question
    In 2000 I presented a new lecture titled Evaluating Web Sites. All these years later several things have changed, while many things have stayed the same. How can you know whether what you find online is accurate and reliable? We’ll discuss how to delve into online datasets and determine the original source of the materials, and then how to evaluate the material you find there.

  • Evernote for Every Genealogist
    Evernote is a free software tool that is a dream come true for the online researcher. Clip notes from the web, write notes, record audio or webcam notes, and more. Sync your research notebooks on the web, with your computer and every mobile device you own so that your research notes are with you everywhere you go. Learn the ins and outs of this valuable tool for your daily research routine.

  • Find the Silver Lining In the Cloud
    The cloud is becoming home to many tools and functions that make our computing life easier every day. Learn which tools are useful for your genealogical research and how to implement those tools for optimum productivity.

  • 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 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.

  • Go West, Young Man: Online Resources for the Western United States
    Cowboys, ranchers, miners, & pioneers with wanderlust led to colorful history and lifestyles. Learn about traditional & unique records found in the Wild West.

  • 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.

  • The Internet: Lower Your Expectations to Raise Your Research Potential
    People say, "I've looked everywhere," "That site doesn't have anything useful," and "I've hit a brick wall" all because their expectations aren't met for what they assume should be available online. Genealogists should never assume anything in their research. That goes double for research on the Internet. We will explore several examples that demonstrate research success by moving beyond your expectations and using the Internet as it truly is.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Plotting, Scheming, and Mapping Online
    The Internet is a source for a variety of maps and geographical tools that will help you in your research. From new maps and atlases with online driving directions to old gazetteers with county lines and ancient place names, the Internet has them all. We'll explore those resources, ideas for using them, and integrating them into your research routine.

  • 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.

  • Striking Out on Their Own: Online Migration Tools and Resources
    Migration resources online for the U.S. are extensive and varied depending on the time period and the place. We will explore sources for maps, trails, roads, and waterways.

  • 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.

  • Unappreciated Treasures: Libraries, Archives & Digital Collections
    We will explore various library web sites looking for special collections, including WorldCat, ArchiveGrid, and NUCMC.

  • 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: seminars@cyndislist.com


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