Do you need to reignite your genealogy spark? No time or money for a genealogy conference? Maybe what you need is to try out a free webinar and see how easy it is to build your knowledge one hour at a time, from the comfort of your home.
I had been hearing about webinars for years, but just hadn’t jumped on the bandwagon . . .until last month. I got an email about joining the Legacy Family Tree Webinars, clicked the link, and learned that if I registered for the webinar, I could watch it live for free. If I missed it live, I would have up to seven days to view it. If I wanted to view the archived webinars on the website, I could subscribe for an annual price of $49.95. I could also choose a monthly subscription of $9.95. I chose to try out a few before paying any money because I really, really like free!
I registered for an entire year of Legacy Family Tree webinars in less than half an hour. They were immediately added to my Google calendar and I could forget about them until I got a reminder email. It came a couple of days before my first webinar and reminded me of the date, time, and class. I had totally forgotten about the webinar, of course, so I appreciated the reminder. I got another email about two hours before with the link. I clicked the link fifteen minutes before the webinar and I was set. Listening to Judy Russell teach “The Private Laws of Federal & State Governments” while I made dinner turned that hour from ho-hum to fascinating.
My husband and I often say to each other, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” This was a great example. Not only was I not aware of private laws, I had no idea of the scope of genealogical information that they could contain. I’ve had ancestors involved in many of the issues that Judy outlined:
Scope of Federal Private laws
- Business monopolies
- Claims against the government
- Remission of taxes
- Immigration / naturalization
- Pensions / bounty land
- Exemptions from other laws
Federal private laws before 1880 were mostly claims; now they involve mostly immigration cases. Did your ancestors have anything to do with the government? Maybe they’re in one of the thousands of federal private laws.
Scope of State Private laws
- Manumission of slaves
- Clearing land titles
- Probate and estate settlement
- Name changes
- Legitimacy issues
- Divorce – for a long time handled by the state legislature
I had no idea that our forbears would be mentioned in these records and for such a wide variety of issues. Judy taught us where and how to locate these records. I took decent notes, so when I need it, I can access what I learned. More importantly, I learned about the possibility of these records which are little used by genealogists. Now I want to find one of my ancestors in a federal or state private law. If I do, that will be the subject of another post!
If you’re interested in trying out a webinar for yourself, here are some links:
GeneaWebinars – “News about upcoming hangouts, meetings and webinars offered throughout the online genealogy community.” Subscribe to this blog to keep up with the latest in webinars.
Legacy Family Tree Webinars – Register for free upcoming webinars or check out their library of archived webinars you can access with a paid membership.
Cyndi’s List of Online Course or Webinars – links to all webinars Cyndi can find on the web
Board for Certification of Genealogists Webinars – free or available to rent for a nominal fee of $2.99
Family Search Learning Center – List of webinars and handouts – archived and upcoming, all free!