Free genealogy conference & heritage celebration

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the latest genealogy tools and family research tips at Identity Quest, a free conference with national and regional genealogy experts. You can register to attend the Sat, Nov 12, 2022, conference in person at the library or by Zoom. On Sun, Nov 13, 2022, celebrate heritage and culture through heritage societies, music, dance, crafts and art. Four lucky winners will receive a free DNA kit from AncestryDNA during our two-day event!

National genealogy presenters

Identity Quest keynote presentations will be from national speakers Kathleen Brandt and Dan Debenham. Brandt is an international genealogist and private investigator. She has researched for Who Do You Think You Are? and PBS Finding Your Roots. Brandt has extensive experience in DNA analysis, international and nationwide documentation retrieval, free-colored research, military record retrievals, tracing slaves, and Irish, Swedish and German records.

Debenham is the creator and host of Relative Race, the award-winning family history-based reality competition program, now in its 9th season. People from all over the country race to find their new relatives, even in Topeka!

Classes from regional presenters

Representatives from historical societies will be available to help you learn about your heritage with individual consultations. The classes will feature a track of DNA classes to help you learn how DNA works. You can learn how to use the various AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, DNA Painter and GedMatch tools.

Connection people around tree.Other classes will cover genealogy tools to research your family tree, write family stories, digitize photos, conduct oral histories and learn how to use FamilySearch. Genealogy and historical societies will teach you about the orphan trains, Mayflower descendants, Daughters of the American Revolution, Exodusters, and Irish, Mexican, Swedish and Native American history and culture. Visit the Identity Quest webpage for a full list of presenters.

Heritage celebrations

Mario Campo

Sunday will feature heritage celebrations with music, art, dance and cultural activities. Watch feature performances by the Driscoll Dancers, flutist Mario Campo, hammered dulcimer player John Reb and Boys of the Prairie Celtic Roots Band! You can also participate in 3 sessions of heritage crafts on Saturday and 2 sessions on Sunday. Crafts will include Kente cloth sheets, native bread bracelets and origami tigers.

KTWU genealogy reveals

As part this year’s celebration eight local people were selected to have their family research completed by volunteer researchers from Topeka Genealogical Society, Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies and FamilySearch. The family history reveals, filmed by KTWU with host Kenyatta Berry (Genealogy Roadshow) during Identity Quest, will be shown on KTWU in spring 2023.

As a veteran genealogist, I love teaching and sharing digital family history and genealogy techniques and helping people solve genealogy problems. Being the Genealogy Librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is so much fun! I work to promote a greater knowledge of family, history, and heritage.