2018 Seminar Lecture Descriptions


John Hannigan

Genealogical Resources at the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Library

Karen Mauer Jones

  1. Records Created by New York’s Towns, Counties, and CIties: Uncommonly Rich Resources
    Local-level records are filled with information of genealogical value: town court records, supervisor’s minutes, overseers of the poor, police and fire departments, orphanages, and much more. We will study the jurisdictions, what records exist and how to find them.
  2. New York Land Records: Patroonships, Manors, Patents, Rent Wars and Land
    This lecture examines the various land systems and records of colonial New York as well as their lingering effects following the Revolutionary War. Manorial records, patroonships, quit rents, tenants and landlords, grants and patents, deeds and mortgages, military tracts, land companies, and more will be discussed.

Dr. Thomas W. Jones, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Saturday (Individual MGC Members Only):  Developing Research Questions and Hypotheses:  Planning an Exhaustive Search


  1. What is the Standard of Proof in Genealogy?
  2. Maximizing Your Use of Evidence
  3. Systematically Using Autosomal DNA Test Results to Help Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls
  4. When Sources Don’t Agree, Then What?

Kathleen Kaldis


David Allen Lambert

  1. Researching Revolutionary War Veterans
  2. Researching Civil War Veterans

Jean Maguire

Genealogical Resources in the Digital Commonwealth Collections

Barbara Jean Mathews


Clifford A.  McCarthy

Genealogical Resources at the Springfield History Library and Archives 

From the papers of Springfield’s founding fathers, William and John Pynchon, to last year’s high school yearbooks, the Springfield History Library and Archives contains our region’s most extensive historical record. This program will introduce the audience to the fantastic array of historical and genealogical resources held within its walls. We will explore early Springfield manuscripts, Indian deeds, old maps, as well as the birth of the industrial era that made the Springfield area a leading manufacturing center.

Teresa Scott


Kimberly Toney

Genealogical Resources at the American Antiquarian Society

A national research library of American history and culture through the nineteenth century, the American Antiquarian Society houses nearly four million items in Worcester, Massachusetts. Known for its collection of early American primary source materials – including newspapers, books, pamphlets, broadsides and manuscripts – the Society is also home to a wealth of primary and secondary materials related to family history; these items are often available both physically and digitally. This presentation will explore the breadth and depth of the American Antiquarian Society’s collection as it relates to genealogical sources. It will also introduce genealogists to how to use these sources both at the Society and remotely.

Jennifer Armstrong Zinck

  1. DNA & Your Family Tree

Have you heard about DNA testing for genealogy but you’re not sure what it can do for you? Need help deciding which test to take? Learn about the different types of DNA tests and how they might help you to knock down tough brick walls and connect branches of your family tree.

  1. After the Test: Exploring Ancestry DNA Results)

Many people take DNA tests but once the results come in, they don’t know what to do with all of the names and numbers. This presentation will explore the information provided AncestryDNA results, investigate methods to manipulate the results, and introduce third-party tools that turn DNA into a powerful tool for genealogy. We will also discuss the most successful methods for contacting and collaborating with DNA matches.

  1. DNA & Genealogy Ethics (working title)

I am a member of the Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee and have encountered many sticky situations. I think that a topic around what happens when your DNA results are not what you are expecting would be great. All of my DNA talks to have a section at the start about ethics (it’s that important!) but I could pull that out, expand it, and put it into something with the unexpected results as one topic.

  1. Identifying misattributed paternity (working title)

For a 4th, I could create a talk around the case I solved yesterday — my grandmother’s misattributed paternity. I just *finally* solved it Friday night. I have had an adventure to find it and kept notes along the way with the specific intent of sharing the story. I think that would be well-received.