Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month, September through May starting at 7:00 p.m. and are held in the River Falls Public Library. The programs cover a variety of material from general to specific and hold the interest of everyone. Information on various upcoming genealogy events in the area, the state, and the nation are shared. There are also wonderful treats and a time to visit with others.
From 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. SCVGS members will be available to help others with genealogy research questions.
The River Falls Public Library is a beautifully designed building at 140 Union Street, at the corner of Union and Main Streets. Main Street is also Wisconsin State Highway 35. Turn east on Union Street beside the library and go to the parking lot behind the building where there is ample parking. The handicapped accessible meeting room is on the main floor just inside the doors.
September 15, 2016—Annual Sharing Meeting—Share the successes you have had over the past year and especially over the summer months with other members at this informal gathering. Bring documents, stories, photographs, heirlooms, guests, and anything else you would like to share. This is always one of our most popular meetings.
A magazine swap will also be held at the September meeting. If you have past issues of genealogical or historical magazines/journals/newsletters that you no longer want, please bring them to the meeting. Anyone can purchase the magazines/journals for 25¢ each; the newsletters are free. Come early to browse.
October 20, 2016—Beginner Mistakes I Would Never Make Again!—A panel of SCVGS members (experienced researchers) will share how they would do things differently were they just beginning their research today. Mistakes often made by beginning genealogists will be discussed. The audience is also welcome to share errors they have made in their research.
November 17, 2016—”DNA and Genealogy”—Lois Ambromitis Mackin, Ph.D.—DNA is an exciting new tool for connecting with cousins and researching family history, but, unless you have training in biology or genetics, it comes with a learning curve. This talk will help you discover what you might learn from testing, explore the options available for tests and testing companies, and figure out how you might be able to use DNA testing in your genealogy research.
Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., is a professional genealogist focusing on American and English research. She has tested her autosomal DNA with Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, and 23andMe, and her mitochondrial DNA with Family Tree DNA. Lois is an administrator for a DNA surname project using Y- and autosomal DNA and a member of the MGS DNA interest group. She has attended two week-long institute programs on genetic genealogy.
December 15, 2016—Holiday Ethnic Gathering—Come dressed in traditional or holiday clothing or dressed in colors representing your heritage, bring an ethnic (or non-ethnic) treat to share, spend time talking with friends old and new about genealogy, and play some fun games. No formal program.
January 26, 2017—Annual Work Night at the Area Research Center—The January meeting is a work night in the Area Research Center (ARC) on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus. This is our chance to give back some of our time to the ARC by helping with one or more indexing projects as chosen by Archivist, Kathie Otto. This year we will work on getting the information from the Biographical Card Index entered into the Online Genealogy Index of Archives Records for Burnett, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties, which is a work in progress and can be found at <https://www3.uwrf.edu/ArchivesRecords/>.
The ARC is located on the lower level of the Chalmer Davee Library. Clear signage will direct you to the Area Research Center. We will work from 6:00-8:30 p.m. followed by refreshments. Note that this is the 4th Thursday of the month, when the university is back in session after the holiday break.
Limited parking is available behind South Hall, next to Chalmer Davee Library. Other parking is available in the lot across Cascade Avenue next to North Hall. Entrances to the parking lot next to North Hall are on S 2nd Street and Spring Street. Parking meters do not seem to be enforced after 4:30 p.m. If you are traveling from the west on Cascade Avenue, continue straight at the roundabout, take the first right and then turn into the parking lot on your left to enter the lot next to Chalmer Davee Library. If travelling from the east on Cascade Avenue, continue straight at the first roundabout, go all the way around the 2nd roundabout and take the first right. The parking lot next to Chalmer Davee Library will be on your left. Parking in this lot seems to be free after 4:30 p.m.
Refer to the map below to help find your way to either of the parking lots.
February 16, 2017—An Introduction to Irish Research—Join us for a rebroadcast of a WSGS webinar—How to Start Researching your Irish Ancestry. Presenter Donna Moughty describes steps you need to take to be successful, types of records available, websites, and reference books. Even if you are an experienced Irish genealogist, you are likely to pick up some good tips, and if you have no Irish ancestry, you are likely to pick up some tips that carry across to other research areas.
March 16, 2017—“FamilySearch Family Tree and Memories”—Kim Ashford—Kim will discuss the valuable resources Family Tree and Memories of the free FamilySearch website . FamilyTree is a place where you can build your family tree, search for family trees, and add to existing family trees. Memories is a place where you can store your photos, stories, and documents to be shared with others.
Kim Ashford has spent over 15 years researching her family history. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with an emphasis in Family History from Brigham Young University. She just finished two terms as President of the Germanic Genealogy Society and is an assistant director at her local Family History Center.
April 20, 2017—Research Reports for Ourselves: More than a Research Log—Paula Stuart-Warren—Paula will emphasis the importance of writing up a research report after you have completed recent research and explain the key points to include. If you hired someone to do research for you, you would want to know exactly what sources they checked. Was it books, volumes, files, or microfilm, and was it at the courthouse, library, or elsewhere? Did they search an index or view the records page by page? Now think about your own research ventures. Are you noting the same details about your quest? Reporting to yourself on the analysis and research is not as daunting a task as some researchers think. As an added benefit, this self-reporting makes it easier when you eventually write your award-winning family history.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, is an internationally recognized genealogical educator, researcher, and consultant focusing on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She also specializes in Native American research, the WPA (Works Progress Administration), and railroad records. She spends extensive research time at state archives, historical societies, and at various locations of the National Archives. She is a long-time course coordinator and instructor for SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) and GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh) and for Ancestry Academy and has presented seminars all across the U.S. and in Canada. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of FGS (Federation of Genealogy Societies), of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and a former officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Eight of her foreign born ancestors chose Wisconsin as their first place to settle in the U.S. Of those, five then moved to Minnesota.