Lectures at the 2017 Bucks County Ancestry Fair


BASTARDS, BRIDGES, AND BAWDY HOUSES: Using Quarter Session Court Records for Genealogical Research
Presented by: Gerald (Jerry) Smith
Track: B
Time: 1:30 - 2:30
Location: Room 011

Court of Quarter Session Records are an under-used genealogical resource. These courts existed in much of the early Unites States and had broad juristiction over oaths of office, licenses, illegitimate children, crimes & punishment, roads, rangers, and administrative matters. The presentation discusses how to read, interpret, and seek out genealogical information in these records. Case studies show how these records can knock down a brick wall or unscramble a difficult family tree.

BEYOND THE BASICS OF IRISH RESEARCH
Presented by: Claire Keenan
Track: A
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Room 121

If you’ve researched in Irish census, vital, and church records, and are familiar with Griffith’s Valuation and the Tithe Applotment, but would like to go deeper with your Irish research, this is the course for you. This presentation covers the First Valuation, Tithe Applotment, Tithe Defaulters, Griffith’s Valuation, and the Cancelled Land Books / Annual Revisions in depth, then moves on to estate records. Learn about landlords and their records, the Land (Purchase) Act, Landed Estates / Encumbered Estates, as well as wills and administrations before and after 1857.

DIVING DEEPER INTO GENETIC GENEALOGY
Presented by: Melissa A. Johnson, CG(SM)
Track: C
Time: 1:30 - 2:30
Location: Room 156

Learn more than the basics about DNA testing and how it can be useful to supplement the traditional paper trail for genealogical research. Discover more about using the testing companies’ websites to analyze and compare test results, how to use third party tools for analysis, and how to develop targeted testing plans to solve genealogical problems and brick walls.

ENGRAVED: The Meanings Behind 19th-Century Tombstone Symbols
Presented by: Tammy Schane
Track: B
Time: 3:00 - 4:00
Location: Room 011

The early 19th century saw the birth of the cemetery, which began in Paris and spread to the United States by 1824. Tombstone memorials also experienced great change throughout the 19th century, as Americans thought about death in new, more emotional and evocative ways. Tombstone carvers were tasked with carving symbols that illustrated a softer, aesthetically pleasing and more hopeful way of viewing death as not an endpoint, but rather a step on the path to a better and glorious afterlife where family would be reunited. Tammy Schane has photographed and studied 19th century tombstone carvings in Pennsylvania and surrounding states and will present the meanings behind them. These symbols were a language of sorts in their time and still speak to us today.

FINDING LAND-LESS ANCESTORS
Presented by: Gerald (Jerry) Smith
Track: B
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Room 011

Some ancestors died poor and without land, depriving genealogists of two commonly used record sets: deeds and probate. Learn techniques & resources for researching your land-less ancestor in both rural and urban environments. Includes case studies.

GENETIC GENEALOGY: A Beginner's Guide
Presented by: Melissa A. Johnson, CG(SM)
Track: C
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Room 156

This lecture covers the basics of genetic genealogy and how it can be used to supplement traditional documentation for genealogical research. Learn about the three basic types of DNA testing that are useful for genetic genealogy: Y-chromosome, autosomal, and mitochondrial DNA tests, the key testing companies, how to understand the test results, and resources for learning more about genetic genealogy.

IT STARTED WITH A SAMPLER: Finding Genealogical Gems in Unexpected Places
Presented by: Sydney Cruice Dixon
Time: 9:30 - 10:30
Location: Room 121

Discover unique or unknown resources by using tips and tools that aren’t taught in the books or the classroom. Get the most out of your genealogy research and road trips. Learn how you can access records that are behind closed doors, uncover genealogical gems, and find records that aren’t supposed to be there. Learn methods and strategies that will keep you from walking away empty handed.

MAKING THE MOST OF INDIRECT EVIDENCE
Presented by: Sydney Cruice Dixon
Track: A
Time: 3:00 - 4:00
Location: Room 121

For some genealogy questions, there is no record that will provide the answer. That’s when indirect evidence comes to the rescue. Learn how to use indirect evidence and apply it to your most difficult family research problems.

STRATEGIES FOR RESEARCHING IN THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES: When Records are Scarce
Presented by: Sydney Cruice Dixon
Track: A
Time: 1:30 - 2:30
Location: Room 121

As you progress with your family history, researching becomes harder as certain record sets become less frequent and eventually stop. Learn what are the most prevalent and reliable record groups for researching in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Learn to extract vital record information from other available sources.

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAKE: A Local Slovak Legend Turned Genealogical Case Study
Presented by: Karen Melis
Track: C
Time: 3:00 - 4:00
Location: Room 156

Eastern Europe developed a rich history of oral tradition during the first half of the nineteenth century. Folk narratives branched out into various genres such as tales, anecdotes, jokes, and legends. A legend is a story that both the narrator and the audience believe in and one that is considered to be highly probable. Typically, the story takes place one to two hundred years in the past and includes the names of real persons and places, thus making parts of the legend true. Often in performing Slovak family history research, we learn of family folklore passed down from generation to generation. Was our ancestor truly the legendary character in the village as described? This lecture will take the serendipitous discovery of a local Slovak legend through the rigors of a reasonably exhaustive search in an attempt to distinguish fact from fiction. All types of documents discovered along the journey will be used to support the findings.


Handouts for all the lectures will be available on-line only. There will be no paper copies of the handouts provided on the day of the Fair. For those who pre-register, the link to the handouts will be provided as soon as their registration is confirmed, so that they can download and print them. Other attendees will receive the link in the Ancestry Fair program upon registering on the day of the Fair, so that they will be able to access them with a tablet or smart phone while at the Fair. The link to the online handouts will remain active for the two weeks following the Fair.