|Keynote Recording||Kenyatta Berry||Researching Your African American Ancestry||Beginning your genealogy research can be overwhelming for anyone but even more so for those with African and enslaved ancestry. Kenyatta will provide you with a roadmap to help you navigate your genealogy journey. She will discuss breaking down the 1870 Brick wall, Enslaved Genealogy, Reconstruction, DNA and sharing your story. Attendees will walk away with resources for African American Genealogy, understand the impact of slavery on discovering your ancestry and how DNA can help in your research.|
|Blaine Bettinger||Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to Explore Your Ancestry||Y-DNA and mtDNA testing have helped genealogists break through thousands of stubborn brick walls. Learn about the unique inheritance of Y-DNA and mtDNA in your family, how these tests can be used to explore your ancient ancestry, and how the results can identify your relatives both close and distant. Handout – Using Y|
|Cherie Bush||25 Free Genealogy Websites||Subscription websites are great and have many offerings but can be expensive. However, many free websites are available for family history research. These free websites can be a robust and an incredible resource for beginning and advancing genealogical research. An overview of some of these websites will be introduced or act as a reminder of resources available. Handout – Beyond Subscriptions|
|Dr. Phillip Baker||Palatine Genealogy||Palatine and German immigration to America 1700 to 1730 as between 40-50,000 persons. The German group and especially the Palatine region was the largest ethnic group coming to America. They came mainly to Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and the Carolinas. The reasons for this emigration will be discussed. Handout – Palatinate Migration|
|Debbie Gurtler||Hispanic Genealogy||Learn the basic research steps needed to begin a search for Hispanic ancestors. Among these steps will be: how to identify the locality, what record types are most useful, and how to find help reading Spanish handwriting and understanding the documents. Handout – Intro to Hispanic Research|
|Blaine Bettinger||Introduction to Autosomal DNA||For years, genealogists have focused on Y-DNA and mtDNA, unable to access the wealth of information in the remainder of their DNA. At long last, new autosomal DNA tests reveal this hidden information. Genealogists can use autosomal DNA for ethnicity estimates, finding long-lost cousins, and examining specific genealogical problems. Handout – Intro to Autosomal DNA|
|Jenny Coss||Heirloom Preservation||Learn key conservation principles so you can safeguard your family’s treasures and avoid deterioration of your photos, documents, letters, and memorabilia. Handout – Preserving Family Heirlooms|
|Barbara LaClair||Native American Genealogy||Many people have family stories that an ancestor was Native American, but don’t know how to verify or disprove the story. In other cases, some people know for certain that they have a connection to a Native American tribe, but don’t know where to begin in researching and documenting their ancestry. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the steps for getting started in genealogy research, how to identify possible tribal affiliation if it is not known and look at examples of records and resources that might be helpful in researching Native American ancestry. Handout – Researching Native American|
|Craig Foster||Irish Genealogy: Getting Started||Irish genealogical research is known for being difficult because of unknown localities, lost and destroyed records. But Irish research doesn’t have to be difficult and not all records are missing. This presentation will discuss how to get started, what you need to know, and important records to search when doing Irish genealogy. Handout – Irish Research|
|Blaine Bettinger||Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries||Even though our 18th and 19th century ancestors have been dead for decades, their DNA still survives in their descendants. Learn how to use autosomal DNA to attack and potentially solve genealogical mysteries and brick walls for ancestors who were born or lived in the 1800’s, 1700’s, and beyond. Handout – Autosomal DNA Mysteries|
|Barbara LaClair||Resources at the Topeka Genealogical Society Library||Many people do not realize that there is another genealogical library in Topeka, which includes an amazing collection of records and source materials. This session will highlight some of the records and research resources that are available at the Topeka Genealogical Society, in Topeka. Handout – Topeka Resources|
|W. Todd Knowles||Getting Started With Jewish Genealogy||In this presentation we will discuss how to get started in researching Jewish families. We will discuss the various types of Jews and the records associated with each. Also, we will go through the records that will be helpful as we search for our ancestors. Handout – Beginning Jewish Research|
|Thom Reed||10 Steps to Reclaiming Your African Roots||The desire to navigate one’s African identity and heritage can be easily overwhelmed by an onslaught of information and resources. Tackling your family history does not have to be complicated if you follow the right steps. This presentation is designed to help you follow a step-by-step process to get started with African American genealogical research. Handout – Reclaiming African Roots|
|Blaine Bettinger||Chromosome Mapping||DNAPainter is an easy-to-use third-party tool that enables you to assign segments of DNA shared with cousins to a map of your chromosomes. Together we’ll look at this powerful new tool, and how you can use it in your research. Handout – Chromosome Mapping|
|Sherri Camp||Getting Started in Finding Your Identity||Get started to find your identity. Learn how to use the print and online resources from the library and from other sources. Receive links to a free pedigree chart and other helpful forms for keeping records as you research your family tree. Handout – Getting Started|
|Marty Flannagan||Breaking Through Brick Walls||Do you feel there’s hope available to break your brick wall and find your family? Attend this class to learn different skills and find what tools you might be missing. You will be introduced to the four “Ws”: Why, When, Where and Whom. Handout – SKILLS|
|Kathy Meade||Basics of Swedish Research||Learn how to trace your Swedish roots. The presentation will cover naming patterns, Swedish spellings, and Swedish geography. The presentation will point out on how to find the key facts about one’s Swedish ancestor such as Swedish name, parish of origin and a significant date such as a birth date that are needed in order to use the Swedish records. We will review the key Swedish records to trace one’s Swedish heritage such as the Swedish church books and where one can find these records. Handout – Basics of Swedish Research|
Kenyatta Berry is a contributor to the groundbreaking “1619 Project” published by the New York Times. She was the 2019 Honorary Chair for Preservation Week and was recently named a “Newsmaker” in American Libraries magazine a publication of the American Library Association. Berry is an author, attorney, lecturer, professional genealogist and television personality. She ignites the genealogy world with a bigger than life personality and an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years of data collection, in-depth genealogical research and historical content in the discipline of genealogy. Berry’s vast knowledge in the areas of African American Genealogy, Enslaved Ancestral Research and DNA have made her an invaluable “go to” source for information from all parts of the world. She has had features in publications such as Black Enterprise, Good Housekeeping, Spartan Magazine, Real Simple, Wall Street Journal and Woman’s World.Berry’s TV host job on Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) (which received more than 1.5 million viewers per episode) generated enormous buzz surrounding her insight, understanding and expertise by colleagues, genealogy organizations, experts, media and supporters alike. She was featured on The Real (FOX), revealing the DNA results of the hosts in a segment entitled “Who Am I?” The videos of this segment have received more than 9.5 million views on YouTube.
Passionate about her work, Berry’s sharp wit, cool demeanor and smart fashion choices invite fans and followers across the globe as she ignites the desire in others to connect to their pasts to find out who we really are. As demand grows for people to learn more about their lineage and DNA, Berry continues to innovate, transforming the world of Genealogy by making it more accessible to the masses.
Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD, is a professional genealogist specializing in DNA evidence. In 2007 he started The Genetic Genealogist, one of the earliest blogs on the topic. Bettinger is the author of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, and co-author with Debbie Parker Wayne of the award-winning Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the world’s first genetic genealogy workbook. He also co-authored “Genetics for Genealogy” with Judy Russell in 2018’s Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (ProGen PPS) (Elizabeth Shown Mills, author and editor). Bettinger is or has been an instructor for genetic genealogy courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research. He is a graduate of ProGen Study Group 21, a trustee for the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s Board of Trustees, and a board member for the Association of Professional Genealogists.
W. Todd Knowles is an accredited Genealogist who specializes in English and Jewish research. For the past 20 years he has been a member of the staff at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, where he currently serves as a Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer. He is past President of the Utah Jewish Genealogy Society (UJGS). Knowles has lectured all over the world and his articles have been widely published. His own genealogical search began at the age of 12 with the desire to find more about his family. Knowles’ quest to find more about his great great grandfather, a Polish Jew, has led to the creation of the Knowles Collection, six databases that contain records of the Jewish people. It currently (as of Jan 2020) contains the records of more than 1.4 million people.
Thom Reed is a Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch International. His area of emphasis is African American records, research and experiences. Reed also manages relationships with community, genealogical and historical organizations for people of African descent. He currently serves on the Board of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) — Utah Chapter.
In 2015, Reed led FamilySearch’s largest African American records project culminating in the free online access of Freedmen’s Bureau records. The initiative garnered 25,550 online volunteers who made 1,781,463 names of formerly enslaved individuals freely searchable online in just one year. In addition to being accessible on DiscoverFreedmen.org, these records are included in The Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Reed developed the curriculum for training workers facilitating FamilySearch’s oral genealogy program in 14 nations on the African continent. Local contractors have now conducted more than 7,000 interviews year-to-date with griots in villages leading to the documentation of more than 6,000,000 tribe members — all of which will be published and made searchable online free of charge at FamilySearch.org.
Currently, Reed is working in partnership with Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University on “Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade”. The project aims to bring together the growing number of archives, databases, and collections of records of the Trans-Atlantic and American slave trade through a constellation of software and services. The records will be freely and readily accessible for scholarly and public consumption.
Thom Reed received his Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Japanese from Illinois State University and received his Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Brigham Young University. He and his wife are the parents of five children and reside in South Jordan, Utah. To contact Mr. Reed visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iamthomreed
Jenny Coss got her passion for family history research from her paternal grandmother and maternal aunt, both of whom researched family history the old-fashioned way before the internet and even before copy machines. After the death of her mother in 2010, she and her sister discovered more than 12 large tote boxes of research data, articles, photos, documents and memorabilia. During the last 10 years they have digitized more than 14,000 images and preserved the originals in archival quality housing. In addition to extensive self-study, Coss takes courses through the Museum Studies Graduate Program at University of Kansas, Lawrence, and volunteers her time helping small history museums and archives apply conservation principles to their collections.
Dr. Tiffany Anderson is the first African American female superintendent of Topeka Public schools. She has been a public school educator for more than 27 years, with the majority of that time as a superintendent. In addition, Anderson advises Kansas on postsecondary and equity policies. In 2019, Kansas Governor, Governor Laura Kelly, appointed Anderson to the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA), as part of the Kansas Board of Regents and in 2020, and appointed her to Co-Chair the Governor’s Kansas Commission on Racial Equity and Justice.
Anderson has served as a public and postsecondary health advocate and has improved achievement and closed achievement gaps for students in multiple states. While superintendent in Virginia, Anderson led Montgomery County Public Schools in earning the Virginia Governor’s Competence to Excellence Award and after leading as superintendent in Missouri, the Washington Post referred to Anderson as, “The Woman who made schools work for the poor.” During her tenure in Kansas and in Missouri, the achievement scores, graduation rate and college placement rate have increased. Topeka has received national awards for three consecutive years under Anderson for their leadership in trauma informed systems for schools, creating systems for youth in crises and for innovation.
Anderson earned her undergraduate degree, and later her doctorate, from Saint Louis University in 2001 where she met her late husband, Dr. Stanley Anderson, who was an accomplished OBGYN and one of the first robotic surgeons in Kansas City at Research Medical Hospital. Anderson received her second doctorate, the Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Eden Theological Seminary, for her service to community and society. Anderson is also a professor of practice for K-State and adjunct faculty for ASCD (Association for Schools and Curriculum Development) where she serves on their 9-member national poverty cadre, which trains districts across the nation. Anderson serves on numerous Topeka business and not-for-profit boards and on the international sex trafficking board. Anderson’s publications include her books on transforming schools along with several articles on public health and equity in education, published in local and national magazines and newspapers.
In 2016 and 2017, national documentaries were created about Anderson’s work with addressing poverty and transforming communities. In 2016, Anderson was recognized as one of the top six People with Purpose at the Oscars for her innovative work in education. In 2014, she earned national recognition from Education Week as one of the nation’s 16 Leaders to Learn From. Anderson other recognitions include the Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteerism from President Obama, the Salute to Excellence for Women awarded by the Urban League, the Stellar Performance Award by the St. Louis American and the award for Diversity in Business from the St. Louis Business Journal. Anderson serves on several boards in Topeka that support youth and is a member of the Greater Topeka Chamber Board. She is a lifetime member of the NAACP and she and her late husband, Dr. Stanley Anderson, have two children who attended Johnson County Kansas high schools in Blue Valley. Their daughter Whitney is a public health graduate student and official for the St. Louis Health Department and their son Christopher is a University of Kansas graduate and a marketing executive in San Diego.
James A. McClinton was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was raised by his paternal grandmother, Beatrice Gertrude O’Neal, until the age of six, in Arkansas. Upon the death of his grandmother, his upbringing was continued by his paternal sister, Bobbie Jean O’Neal. She herself, a recent high school graduate in Topeka, Kansas, decided to forgo college and take on the responsibility of raising her younger brother.
McClinton holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Kansas, in city management. He also holds degrees in Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Psychology, all from Washburn University in Topeka. McClinton has more than 20 years experience in state and local government policy. His expertise is in the area of policy development, organizational management, and community and urban development.
McClinton was elected to the Topeka City Council in 1991 and again in 1997, where he championed community and economic development proposals. He served on the Topeka/Shawnee County Planning Commission and the Go Topeka (Economic Development) Board of Directors. Mr. McClinton served as the 50th mayor of the City of Topeka, a capital city with a population of over 100,000 citizens. He later served as Vice President of Community Development at Pioneer Group, Inc., a real estate developer firm in Topeka.
McClinton has received many awards and accolades. In 2005, the Kansas Museum of History displayed a month long exhibit acknowledging his accomplishments as Topeka’s First African American Mayor in the city’s 150-year history. Washburn University of Topeka in 1998 named him a Distinguished Alumni Fellow; also in 2005 he was inducted into the Washburn Rural High School Hall of Fame (his alma mater). In 2005 McClinton was acknowledged in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Turner Broadcastings (nationally televised) 13th Annual Trumpet Awards for his accomplishments.
McClinton currently resides in a Dallas, Texas, suburb. He continues to have close family ties in Topeka. He also continues his profession in city management, public policy and affordable housing, in the Dallas area. McClinton has two daughters, Tawana (Dallas) and Jameika (Topeka) and six grandchildren.
In 2019, Kevin Willmott won an Academy Award and a British Academy Film Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film Blackklansman. His latest work, Da 5 Bloods was released earlier this year on Netflix. Willmott is an Associate Professor in the Film Studies Department of the University of Kansas.
Willmott grew up in Junction City, Kansas, and received his BA in drama from Marymount College in Salina, Kansas. After graduation, he returned home and worked as a peace and civil rights activist, fighting for the rights of the poor, creating two Catholic Worker shelters for the homeless, and forcing the integration of several long-standing segregated institutions. He completed graduate studies at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, receiving several writing awards and his MFA in dramatic writing.
Willmott directed the premiere performances of Now Let Me Fly, a play by Marcia Cebulska commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision to segregate public schools. The performances featured actors James McDaniel, Roger Aaron Brown and Yolanda King, and musical performers Queen Bey and Kelley Hunt.
As a screenwriter Willmott co-wrote Shields Green and the Gospel of John Brown with Mitch Brian. The script was purchased by Chris Columbus’ 1492 Productions for 20th Century Fox. He also co-wrote Civilized Tribes for Producer Robert Lawrence and 20th Century Fox. Producer and director Oliver Stone hired Willmott to co-write Little Brown Brothers about the Philippine Insurrection. He also adapted the book Marching to Valhalla by Michael Blake for Oliver Stone.
For television, Willmott co-wrote with Brian House of Getty and The 70s, mini-series for NBC, which aired in May of 2000.
Ninth Street, an independent feature film starring Martin Sheen and Isaac Hayes, was written, produced and co-directed by Willmott. He also played the role of “Huddie,” one of the films main characters. Ninth Street is a comedy/drama based on Willmott’s experiences growing up in the small town of Junction City, Kansas. Set in 1968, the film deals with the last days of one of the most notorious streets in the nation. It was released in November of 1999 on video and DVD.
Other films by Willmott include an adaptation of The Watsons Go To Birmingham for CBS, Columbia Tri-Star and Executive Producer, Whoopi Goldberg. His film, C.S.A – The Confederate States of America is about the United States had the South won the Civil War. It was selected to for the 2004 Sundance Film festival and was distributed by IFC Films. The film was also a Spike Lee presentation and was released in theaters in February 2006. The award winning The Battle for Bunker Hill starring James McDaniel, Laura Kirk, and Saeed Jaffrey. Willmott’s film, The Only Good Indian starring Wes Studi, was selected to the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and has won numerous awards.
Ralph Hipp is a real history and politics junkie. he enjoys reading about important people in history and real events, or even better, listening to them on audio! Hipp is a Florida native, who graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville. His television career includes news reporting stops in Jacksonville and Orlando. He’s been in radio and television for nearly 50 years, and marks 29 years with WIBW-TV next spring.
Hipp also anchored the AP National Award-winning newscasts at KSPR-TV in Springfield, Missouri and has been at the news desk of WIBW-TV’s Emmy-winning newscasts since 1990.
Over his long career, Hipp had the chance to sit down with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He covered Midwest visits by Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and Richard Nixon. Hipp is always reading books about our presidents.