Events Calendar/

Beyond Genealogy: Fall Conference

You've identified basic names, dates, and maybe even some additional context about your family history. Now what? Our virtual genealogy conference can help you take the next steps in your research. This half-day conference features several programs focused on grounding your genealogical work in good overall history practices. 

This conference is $20 for members and $40 for non-members.



10:00 – 11:00 Keynote with Scott Andrew Bartley: “Good Genealogy is Good History” 

Scott Andrew Bartley (“Drew”) is a genealogist, archivist, librarian, and editor specializing in Vermont, Mayflower lineages, and colonial New England. He was formerly the manuscripts curator at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and later librarian/archivist for the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and editor of their journal, Mayflower Descendant. He also edited Vermont Genealogy (the journal of the Genealogical Society of Vermont) for ten years and a Wiki Content Specialist creating research guides on Massachusetts, her counties, and Boston for He was the editor of The Descendants of Elder William Brewster, part 1 (2014), the last “silver” book to the published on the descendants of Mayflower passengers. He was the fact-checker for the show “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates Jr. on PBS. Drew is currently the genealogist for the Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 Study Project for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and consulting editor for The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. He is slowly researching and writing a genealogy of the descendant of George Lamphere of Westerly, R.I., with several articles in the pipeline.

11:00 – 12:00 Elise Guyette: “The Accidental Genealogist” 
Many years ago, Elise Guyette began researching an old and crumbled Black cemetery on Lincoln Hill in Hinesburg, VT. To discover who was buried there and the details of the community that surrounded it, she necessarily used the methodologies of various areas of study: History, geography, archaeology, and the like. She also discovered the processes of genealogy, learning as she went along. In 2010, her research resulted in?Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburg, 1790-1870. In this talk, she details her experiences and the resources she used to uncover this previously unknown Black community in early Vermont. 

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break

1:00 – 2:00 Beth Kanell: “I Could Write a Book!”: Fiction Based on Family Research 
At some point in your family history research, the thought will hit you: “I could write a book about this!” Hold onto that thought, and let it feed into creative opportunities. Bringing genealogical details into focus through the excitement and frustrations of the surrounding history can lead to writing historical fiction that both entertains and informs its readers. 
Where do you start? With the facts, of course! But also with asking questions that take you beyond “born and died at” research, into perspectives, conflicts, and delights. Beth Kanell, author of five historical novels set in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and hundreds of related nonfiction pieces, shows how to buff up your research skills, what to look for, and how to map out what you can do with your gems, from a three-paragraph blog-style contemplation to a short story and even to a full-length novel. Learn how to mine your research for lively and meaningful historical fiction, as well as fresh insight on what else you might discover about your ancestors and distant cousins, in this resource-filled presentation 

2:00 – 3:00 Wiz Dow: “Weeding Your Attic: Getting Rid of Junk, Preserving History” 
Most of us have family collections of some kind – whether objects, photographs, papers, books, or even our own research papers. What can you do when nobody in the family wants them? How do you know what might be valuable to a museum or archive? How can you approach the daunting task without feeling overwhelmed? Join experienced archivist Elizabeth Dow, co-author of How to Weed Your Attic: Getting Rid of Junk without Destroying History, as she guides you through the process of analyzing your own collections so you can make informed decisions. 

This conference is provided at low rates thanks to the support of a generous donor whose passion for genealogy spans over 35 years. 


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