Submitted by Anjanette Mercer, President of the Pastfinders of SL

This is your last chance this year to start the most fulfilling journey of your life.

Have you always wanted to learn more about where you come from? Who were your ancestors?  What brought them to America?  They may have fought in the war? What was the journey of the people who brought you to where you are today?  Do you want to learn their story? Then, take classes to learn, grow and be part of the story that is about you. Beginner genealogy classes will be held on three Wednesdays in the month of November 2023.

These courses will be held at the Cooper Memorial Library room 221. The class will take place from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on November  1st, 15, and 29th. Separate registrations are required for each session. Each session covers different topics and does not build on one another.  Take one or all three, depending on your research level and interest. 

Pastfinders of South Lake County Genealogical Society provides these classes free of charge. For further information about our society, visit or like PastfindersofSL on Facebook. Below you will find a description of each course and registration links are available on our website.

Session 1: Introducing Immigration Facts, Review the Genealogy Research Plan, Exploring Features of Genealogy Search Engines. This presentation introduces immigration facts and how they in turn can spur research efforts.  A basic step-by-step genealogy research plan is shown. The features of several genealogy research engines are pointed out and one software genealogy program is presented. Participants see the purpose and benefits of various types of Family Group pedigree charts. November 1st from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Session 2: Digging into Vital Records, Uncovering Census Basics, Avoiding Research Errors, etc. In this family history research class, become acquainted with types of vital records, learn how to recognize first and second sources, interpret census, naturalization and military draft registration data.  You will see how to avoid common research mistakes and see the varieties of simple family tree publications. Class handouts will be highlighted during the presentation and emailed after class completion. November 15th from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Session 3: Obituary Notes, The Naturalization Process, Government Website Sources. This class will cover the various types of obituary notices and their genealogical value. The phases of the US Naturalization Process will be explored and their connection to the US Census. We will look at Alien Files in the National Archives Database, the history of US Visas needed/used by ancestors, and understand how the US Archives Publication List can uncover sourcing for research. November 29th from 1 pm to 3 pm.

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