RootsTech Connect Starts Today

RootsTech Connect is a free virtual conference hosted by FamilySearch. Classes are available starting today – all you need is a free FamilySearch account. There are over 1500 classes covering a wide range of topics. Below you will find a small sampling of classes that may interest those researching in North Carolina and other southern states.

African American Research Series
A collection of 10 classes that teach the best practices and methods available to search and find your ancestors within African American historical records.

Records Analysis Series
This series focuses on various types of records—how they work, what they contain, and some tips for analyzing them. Some basic instructions will also be given about how to access and use them for your research.

Helping African Americans Trace Slaveholding Ancestors Using DNA
By: Andre Kearns
Good research starts with a good question, and this was mine. My third great grandfather Henry Johnson was born enslaved in Lincoln County, North Carolina in the 1830s. My family’s oral history identified his father only as “Master Smyre.” Who was this man? Was this true? How could I be sure?DNA testing offers African Americans new possibilities to discover and validate these relationships. In this session I will teach successful strategies for researching slaveholding ancestors using DNA. I will share how I used extensive DNA testing to validate Henry Johnson as a descendant of the slave-owning Smyres who emigrated from Germany to North Carolina in the early 18th century.

Research in the Southern States
By: Nicole Dyer
Researching ancestors in the Southern United States can be difficult. Burned counties, missing census records, and a lack of vital records before the 20th century can present challenges. Learn how to dig up unique record sets, use DNA to find clues, and make connections in this challenging region. Keep track of the resources and record collections you discover in your own locality guide document to help you research like a pro.

Research Strategies in the Southern United States
By: Julie Merrill, AG
Research in the Southern United States has its challenges but also its advantages. The problems of record loss, constant migration, rural areas, illiteracy, and lack of records keep many from researching their families. Learn strategies for success in this intermediate class.

When the Children Are Telling the Story: A Case Study
By: Tierra L Cotton-Kellow
This session features a “Pressing My Way” case study that examines what can happen when the information that you’ve obtained from a descendant leaves you with more questions than it does answers. A majority of these brick walls—and the methods to move past them—can be traced back to children.

Researching the Freedmen’s Bureau
By: Nicka Sewell-Smith
Learn all about the origins, records, and more for the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, better known as the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Funeral Programs: A 20th-Century Genealogical Goldmine
By: Diane L. Richard
Funeral programs have a cultural significance for the African American community and hence are an invaluable resource for mid and later 20th-century research. This doesn’t mean that other ethnic groups did not have funeral programs, but they are more prevalent and involved among African Americans. They help fill some of the evidentiary gaps we sometimes run into. Let’s explore where you might find funeral programs online. We’ll check out several different locales to see what is available to researchers. 

An Introduction to U.S. Land Records
By: Jamie Lee McManus Mayhew
Land records form the largest group of records for our ancestors and often leave the only clues to marriages, deaths, and relationships. This talk will teach you how to locate land records, what to look for, and what you might find.

What Does That Really Say? Records Analysis: State-Land Deed
By: Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG®, CGL(SM)
Join Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL as she evaluates a State-Land State Deed. This short video will go over the steps of collecting, categorizing, analyzing, and learning about the documents we find. With this strategy, we can contextualize the record better and our ancestors’ lives. A deeper analysis of the records also helps us prepare for future research.