2012-06-02 Colorado Springs (1)

Deena Coutant lecturing at the 2012 Colorado Family History Expo

I offer many educational presentations, hands-on workshops, and software demonstrations.  The topics cover all levels from beginner to advanced.  Most presentations can be customized to fit the client’s needs, whether a particular emphasis is desired, or to fit within a set amount of time.  I am happy to work with your organization to develop the best fit to achieve the desired educational goals for your audience.

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Best of RootsTech 2014 & 2015 Conference Recap
RootsTech.320x480-75.2012This presentation provides a recap of the new technology and genealogy developments unveiled at the RootsTech Conferences in 2014 and 2015 in Salt Lake City.  Information includes descriptions of new products and services of vendors in the conference expo hall, many of which integrate with FamilySearch.org.  If you couldn’t attend the conference in person, this is the next best thing!
Beginner to Advanced

Beyond the Census:  The Non-Population Schedules
Non-population Industry ScheduleHave you wondered if there’s more to the census than the population statistics that were captured each decade?  Learn to go beyond the population schedules and use the 6 non-population schedules taken during 1850-1880, including the agricultural, defective/dependent/delinquent, manufacturing/industrial, mortality, slave, and social statistics schedules.  Discover where to locate these schedules, the clues they contain, and strategies for use.
Intermediate to Advanced
Supplemental Resource Available: 8-page resource guide U.S. Federal Non-Population Census Records Legacy QuickGuide by Deena Coutant

Census Research Intermediate Training Module
Census ThumbnailThis course is 4 hours of in-depth strategies on how to use census records.  It begins with a discussion of the organization of census records, including enumeration districts, maps, and boundary changes.  Each of the population censuses 1790 to 1940 are discussed for unique clues they may contain.  Forms, checklists and strategies for researching pre-1850 census records are included.   An overview of the 6 non-population schedules is provided for the agricultural, defective/dependent/delinquent, manufacturing/industrial, mortality, slave, and social statistics schedules.  An overview for other special schedules is provided, including veterans and military censuses; Native American censuses; state, territorial and local censuses; and census substitutes.  Many online census resources and references are discussed, and finally, strategies for searching, analyzing, and recording census information are provided.
Intermediate to Advanced 

The Digital Afterlife of Your Genealogy Data
Digital Afterlife RIP social accountsGenealogists are placing more and more data online each year–there are billions of names in family trees and millions of associated images online.  How does one assign a value to a life’s labor of documenting the family’s history?  And what happens to all of this information when a user’s account becomes inaccessible due to inactivity or death?  This presentation will explore the top genealogy websites that host user-submitted data and dissect the terms and conditions so genealogists can be aware and prepared.  This is an emerging topic and the purpose of this presentation is to get the conversation started about securing digital assets for posterity.
Beginner to Intermediate

Digging Out of the Virtual Mess—Organizing Your Digital Photos
Lightroom-library-of-photosMany family historians are overwhelmed by the amount of digital photos they shoot, scan or accumulate through collaboration with others. The problem usually manifests when digital items cannot be quickly found where they should be located. Learn how to implement an effective organization process that cuts the digital clutter.
Beginner to Intermediate

Discover Who You Are! Case Study “Use Your Census and Check Your Vitals”
Abraham LincolnWho do you have lurking in your family tree?  From royalty to horse thieves, celebrities to criminals, or just everyday common folk, you can discover who you are by digging into your roots.  Val was always told that her second great-grandmother and Abe Lincoln were “first cousins.”  Could she really be related to the famous president?  Tracing lines of descent requires the use of many records, including censuses, birth, marriage and death records, cemetery and tombstone information, and even clues gathered from home sources such as photographs and documents.  Evaluating the evidence contained in all these sources helps a researcher paint a picture that either supports or disproves the research question.  As Val’s case study unfolds, it reveals her true connection to Abe Lincoln. Learn how census and vital records can be used as the foundation for your quest to learn more about your ancestors.
Beginner to Intermediate

Discover Who YOU Are! Series
Additional case study topics including newspaper articles and military records

FamilySearch.org for Family History Research
Family Search IconAre you curious about researching your family history?  Discover the vast genealogical resources available for free on FamilySearch.org.  This class will tour the record search, library catalog, online family trees, and research wiki available at FamilySearch.  FamilySearch.org provides free access to billions of historical records such as census, birth, marriage, death and probate records, and more!  Learn how to locate these records by searching or browsing, and how to order microfilm via inter-library loan.
Beginner to Intermediate

Family Tree Maker Software Overview
FTM Mac3 logoHave you started researching your roots and need a system to organize all your wonderful finds?  Learn why Family Tree Maker software is the most popular choice in genealogy software today.  Receive an overview of the 7 workspaces in the Family Tree Maker software:  Plan, People, Places, Media, Sources, Publish, and Web Search.  Learn quick ways to customize the layout of the software to your preferences.  Participants will be ready to start entering their family history information and working in the software after attending this class.  Applicable to both PC and Mac versions.
Beginner to Intermediate

Family Tree Maker In-Depth Training
Family Tree Maker 2014 PC logoAre you ready to move beyond the basics and learn how to really leverage the features and customizations available in Family Tree Maker software?  This 6-hour course will take a deep dive into lesser-known features in the software, covering all 7 of the workspaces:  Plan, People, Places, Media, Sources, Publish and Web Search.  Learn how Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker software integrate to make the search and merge processes more seamless via web search.  Participants will learn how to create charts and reports that can be shared with family or used as research tools, with emphasis on how to use filters to customize output.  Applicable to both PC and Mac versions.
Intermediate to Advanced
Supplemental Resource Available: 44-page eBook Family Tree Maker 2014 In-Depth Training  by Deena Coutant

Genealogy SHARE (Sharing Help And Research Experience)
Teamwork Puzzle PiecesGenealogy SHARE is a drop-in event where family historians can give and receive advice on how to overcome research obstacles, learn about new websites and online databases, and participate in discussions on how to approach a new research problem.  Each session is unique based on the information shared by the discussion leader and group attendees.

Genetic Genealogy Overview
DNA multicolorDNA is one of the fastest growing research tools today, with the capability to break decade-old genealogical brick walls.  This presentation will cover the 3 major types of genetic genealogy tests (Y DNA, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA) and what type of information is provided or answered by each test.  Receive an overview of the 3 major testing companies and how they compare.  Understand the newly-released Genetic Genealogy Standards and how DNA testing now fits into the Genealogical Proof Standard.
Beginner to Intermediate
Note: This presentation is related to the 6-part DNA with DeeNA series

Getting the Most Out of Your Genealogical Software Program
software boxThe goal of this presentation is to raise users’ awareness of the analysis and data clean up that can be done with the help of a genealogy software program.  Discover built-in tools and reports that can flag inconsistencies and solve other problems that might otherwise be overlooked.  Discussion will include general considerations for selecting a new software brand or version; the core features for getting data in, finding it, working with it, and getting it out of the program; general ideas for data cleanup and analysis, including utilities, reports and task lists; and extra features available in some software programs.
Beginner to Intermediate

Introduction to Genealogy
Our Family TreeAre you curious about tracing your roots and learning more about the ancestors in your family tree? The popularity of genealogy as a hobby has exploded due to the ease of researching online and because of TV shows that illustrate how fun and addicting it can be. Learn how to get started and explore the many benefits of this hobby, from connecting with cousins to discovering your family’s origins.  The presentation will cover general methodology, record types, and resources.

Italian Immigration to the United States
Italian ImmigrantsAlthough Italians were among the later waves of immigration to the United States, they comprised the largest mass migration of contemporary times.  Learn about the push/pull factors that influenced so many Italians–particularly Southern Italians from Sicily–to leave their families for new opportunities in America.  Discussion will include a timeline of immigration from the 1870s to post-WWII, maps depicting the population density of Italians, locations of “Little Italy” neighborhoods, common occupations of Italian immigrants, and changing sentiment toward Italians.  The presentation concludes with suggestions for records to research for clues about Italian immigrant ancestors.
Beginner to Intermediate

Minnesota Research
Explore Minnesota license plateMinnesota’s lands have been claimed by 5 nations and 9 different U.S. territories before becoming the 32nd U.S. state in  1858.  The Land of 10,000 Lakes has was first inhabited by Native Americans and fur trappers before the railroads and waves of immigrants arrived during the 1820-1890s.  Learn about the main types of genealogical records available in Minnesota, as well as the various repositories that hold them.
Beginner to Intermediate

MyHeritage Library Edition for Family History Research
MyHeritage Library Edition logoMyHeritage Library Edition is a newer genealogical subscription website that you can access from home with a participating library card. It provides more than 5 billion historical records from all over the world, including census records, family trees, tombstone photos, historical photographs, government and court records, wills and probate records, obituaries, and more. Learn how to navigate the various features and records in the MyHeritage databases.
Beginner to Intermediate

North Dakota Research
North Dakota mapNorth Dakota, although achieving statehood relatively late, has a rich history. Located in the Upper Midwest, it was inhabited by Native Americans before the European fur trappers arrived, and was part of several U.S. territories before joining the Union. Aided by the arrival of the railroads, its fertile soils attracted hundreds of thousands of immigrants that helped to shape its culture and history and lived through its booms and busts. Even though its population is relatively small, there are numerous records available to help research those who called the Peace Garden State home.
Beginner to Intermediate
Supplemental Resource Available: 12-page resource guide North Dakota Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide by Deena Coutant (coming August 2015)

Online Family History Research
Internet ResearchResearching family history online has never been easier, due to the wealth of information and digitized images accessible with a few clicks or keystrokes.  Learn about the major websites and databases–many free and some subscription-based–that can be used for genealogy research.  Class attendees will walk away with a roadmap of the most likely online resources to yield successful search results and grow their family trees.

Organizing Your Books with LibraryThing
Library Thing Logo with BooksHave you ever bought the same book twice?  Do you struggle to remember details about your personal library when you are away from home?  LibraryThing is a great online solution to catalog your books so that you will always know what’s on your shelves with just a few clicks.  Learn how to quickly and easily enter your books by ISBN, title or author, as well as easy ways to search for books, including those on your wishlist.  Because LibraryThing has social features, you can share lists of books with other users, or submit book reviews for the benefit of the community.  Learn about the features of the free of paid versions of this great book collection management tool.

Parallel Organization of Digital and Physical Files
Keep Calm and Get OrganizedMany people are overwhelmed by the amount of family documentation they have collected over the years as they have researched their genealogy.  The problem is compounded because most people have a mix of both physical and digital documents and photos, and the collection keeps growing every day!  The issue manifests most often when the “stuff” outgrows the containers where it is stored, and we have trouble quickly finding items when they are needed.  Learn to improve your organization skills by applying best practices for organizing digital and physical items.  The presentation also includes ideas for digitizing, storing and backing up important information.
Beginner to Intermediate
Supplemental Resource Available: 9-page resource guide Organizing and Digitizing Family Photos Legacy QuickGuide by Deena Coutant

Preparing for a Successful Library / Repository Research Trip
FHL book rowsDo you have a trip planned to conduct family history research at a library or repository near or far?  With a quality pre-trip plan, you can avoid frustration at your research destination.  This class will give you many ideas to make your trip a success by properly planning in advance.  Learn how to determine your research strategy and create a research plan before you depart.  Use tools and checklists that expedite planning before and during the trip.  Once on location, determine what to copy, the most efficient methods of duplication, and how to organize everything you find.  This class is especially helpful for those considering a trip to the Family History Library or other major genealogical library.
Beginner to Intermediate
Supplemental Resource Available: 10-page resource guide Preparing for a Successful Repository Research Trip Legacy QuickGuide by Deena Coutant

Preserving Oral History with Saving Memories Forever
Saving Memories Forever logoWe’ve all heard about the importance of capturing oral history and recording interviews of our own stories or those of family members.  But what if you are stuck not knowing what equipment or recording device to use?  Learn about a simple solution offered by Saving Memories Forever that makes it easy to record and share stories.  The service uses a smartphone app that you—or your grandkids—could use to capture recordings anytime and anywhere the stories roll.  It also includes a private website where recordings can be uploaded, organized and enhanced with the addition of photos or documents.  This presentation includes a demo of the Saving Memories Forever system on an iPad and Android smartphone.
Beginner to Intermediate

Searching Using Ancestry Library Edition & HeritageQuest Online
Ancestry.com square logoHeritageQuestHave you seen the TV ads from Ancestry.com tempting you to search for your family’s history?  Did you know you can access these same world databases for free using Ancestry Library Edition at your local library branch?  Attend this workshop to learn how to effectively search using both Ancestry and HeritageQuest.  Learn how to navigate the vast resources on the Ancestry website, including census records and indexes of births, marriages and deaths.  Practice using different search methods to locate hard-to-find records.  Discover how to access the HeritageQuest census and digitized book collections from home using your library card.  The workshops will alternate between instruction and then hands-on practice of the concepts to reinforce the learning process.  Attendees may bring their own laptops or use one provided by the facility.
Beginner to Intermediate

Texas Research Eclectica
texas flag states outlineYou may have heard that “everything’s bigger in Texas,” and truly there’s no shortage of records that can be searched for kin in the Lone Star State.  In Texas Research Eclectica, you’ll learn about a sampling of some of the best and also most obscure records–spanning the Spanish Colonial era to the Republic of Texas to statehood and beyond.  The records cover many subjects beyond basic genealogical sources, and are held in repositories ranging from the state archives to private heritage organizations.
Beginner to Intermediate
Supplemental Resource Available: 12-page resource guide Texas Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide by Deena Coutant

Using Story Jars to Capture Family Memories
IMG_0704Have you thought about telling your family story, but are not sure where to start? Do you want to leave a legacy for your children or grandkids so they will know more about important aspects of your life, memories or feelings? Using a “story jar” as a prompt is an easy way to start capturing your story. Whether you plan to privately document the stories yourself, or prefer to involve the next generation in the storytelling recording process, a story jar can guide the way. Class attendees will learn how to make storytelling fun and involve the whole family.
Optional:  Interactive workshop component where participants assemble their very own story jar to take home after class (all materials provided).

Why Genealogy?
Wanted Relatives Dead or AliveWhat is it that motivates you to learn more about your family history?  The stories, photos, or conducting original research?  Learn about what aspects and responsibilities related to family history research should be pondered before jumping in.  Discover the unique joys and perils of the fast-growing hobby of genealogy in this inspirational and humorous talk.

World Vital Records for Family History Research
World Vital Records LogoWorld Vital Records is a genealogical subscription website that contains billions of names in over 20,000 databases covering the U.S., U.K., Canada, and other places around the world.  Learn how to navigate these vast resources—censuses, births, marriages, newspapers and more—which can be accessed from home for free with a participating library card.
Beginner to Intermediate


Non-Profit or Small Business Presentations

Communicating on a Shoestring Budget:  Cost-Effective Solutions for Societies

Constant Contact’s Toolkit for Society Communications

Creating a Marketing Toolkit for Small Business and Event Success

The Genealogy Niche:  Industry and Demographics (Part 1)

The Genealogy Niche: Business Building (Part 2)