Presentation Topics

Katherine’s passion for genealogy and history combined with practical and creative strategies keeps her audience fully engaged and actively participating in these energetic, entertaining presentations. She is available to speak virtually or in person to your society or organization on the topics listed below. Participants leave each presentation with handouts, the tools necessary to do their own research and the inspiration to do it! For more information about having Katherine speak to your group, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page.

FEES: A 60-minute in-person or virtual presentation is $175 plus travel expenses (if applicable), which may include mileage at the IRS rate or airfare; transportation to/from the airport; airport parking; hotel costs; and meals at the IRS per diem rate.

RECORDINGS: Recording of presentations by the contracting organization and/or attendees is not allowed. 


America’s Westward Expansion: 25 Events in 50 Minutes – U.S. Congressional acts and other events of westward migration (1787-1890) with a focus on territorial boundaries, slavery, and wars against Mexico and Native Americans

The Link Between Anti-Immigration Sentiment, Prohibition, The Mafia, and the U.S. Border Patrol – Nativism’s influence on 20th century American legislation aimed to curb alcohol use, the resulting rise of organized crime, and the establishment of the U.S. Border Patrol

European Experiences of 19th and 20th Century Voyages to America – Emigrants’ journey preparations, immigration restrictions, journey length, ticket costs, major ports of departure and arrival, ship accommodations, and arrival in America

Social Reform Movements of the 19th Century – Inspirations behind (and resulting records of) movements for women’s suffrage, free public education, prison and asylum reform, and temperance

American Experiences of the 19th and 20th Century Financial Crises – Events culminating in major 19th and 20th century American financial crises, day-to-day effects on our ancestors, and resulting records

American Experiences of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic – Timeline of the global pandemic; its direct and indirect effects on individuals, families, and communities; and sources to consult for a greater understanding of these impacts

The New Deal Programs of the 1930s – President Roosevelt’s Great Depression programs to restore American prosperity, the programs’ direct and indirect effect on our ancestors, and the resulting records

And There I Take My Stand: Women’s Suffrage in Michigan – Timeline and historical contributions of Michigan’s determined citizens to obtain the right to vote

Exploring Ohio’s Role in America’s Westward Expansion – Timeline of events related to Ohio’s role in America’s westward expansion (1787-1890) with a focus on Native Americans, members of the military, early pioneering settlers, and formerly enslaved African Americans.


How to Begin Researching Your Family Tree – Gathering basic information, filling in common charts, locating public records, and navigating online resources to build a family tree

Exploring the Features of – Utilizing the many resources at the largest free genealogical website in the world with a focus on its records, family trees, Learning Center, and wikis

Exploring the Features of – Options available WITHOUT a paid subscription such as starting an online family tree, using the message boards, viewing tutorials at Ancestry Academy, and downloading records through Library Edition

75+ Free Sources for Filling Out Your Family Tree – More than 75 options for genealogy research without paying for subscriptions


Records of Westward Traveling Pioneers & Service Providers – Records generated during Americans’ westward treks between 1787-1890, locations of those records and search strategies (includes discussions on cowboys, traveling preachers, midwives, Harvey Girls, and other service-providing occupations during the western migration)

Seeking Dead People: Cemetery Research Online & In Person – Tips and techniques for accessing burial records, cemetery stone photos, obituaries, death certificates, and more

Our Ancestors’ Stories Found in State & Federal U.S. Censuses – Comparing U.S. federal census changes through the years (1790-1950) and incorporating data from state censuses and non-population schedules to create a fuller picture of our ancestors’ lives

They Didn’t All Come Through Ellis Island: Finding & Analyzing Passenger Arrival Lists – Passenger lists time periods, major ports of European departure and American arrival, finding passenger lists online, and analyzing them to fill in our ancestors’ stories

Finding Historic Newspaper Articles Online & Offline – Tips and techniques for locating free digitized historical newspapers, plus helpful search tips for locating articles about our ancestors

Naturalization: Rules, Records, and Repositories – The general process of becoming a naturalized American citizen, and where to find (or how to order) the digitized paperwork

Introduction to Military Records Research – Determining which major conflict our ancestor may have served in, locating the records that were generated, and what to expect within those records

Using Maps in Genealogy – Historical and contemporary map types that assist with genealogical research, and where to find them online and offline

Resources for Genealogical Research in Foreign Countries – Free available resources for beginning online research in any of our immigrant ancestors’ home countries

Records of New York City’s Emigrant Savings Bank – Accessing New York City’s Emigrant Savings Bank records that began in 1850, many containing detailed genealogy on immigrants from Europe, Russia, Canada, the West Indies, and even native Americans 


Introduction to DNA Tests for Family History – Types of tests currently marketed by top genetic genealogy companies, and the pros & cons (and ethics) of DNA testing

40+ Sources for Finding Maiden Names – Search tips for finding more than 40 potential sources for female ancestors’ maiden names

50+ Sources for Finding Ancestral Photos Online & Offline – More than 50 potential sources for ancestral photos from print media, organizations, online sources, and distant relatives we may have never heard of

Little-Known & Rarely-Used Google Resources & Search Tips – Techniques for utilizing Google’s resources, including Google Alerts, Google Books, Google Maps, Google Translation, Google Images, and YouTube

Creating Google Alerts for Genealogy (or Anything Else!) – Creating effective alerts in Google’s free notification system, including the utilization of search operators and managing notification delivery

Using Social Media for Genealogy – Genealogical benefits of reaching out to (and tips for finding) others on a wide variety of social media sites

Facebook’s 16,700+ Genealogy/History Pages & Groups – Using Facebook as a genealogical research tool to access its many thousands of regional and surname-specific genealogy/history pages and groups

Reverse Genealogy: Locating Living Distant Relatives – Free online sites to locate unknown relatives, and possible ways of identifying and contacting DNA matches

Genealogical Timelines, Research Checklists, and Correspondence Logs – A methodology of efficiently using these forms to solve genealogical mysteries


Publishing Your Family History in Forms, Reports, or Books – Organizational tools for sharing with others (in a variety of formats) the genealogy materials we already have

Top 10 Dos & Don’ts for Preserving Family Memorabilia – Best materials, methods, and places for storing precious family photos, heirlooms, textiles, and more

Preserving Local Veterans’ Voices – Step-by-step instructions for capturing and preserving the town’s military veterans’ stories, with tips on utilizing the unique resources and skill sets of youth groups, scouting chapters, genealogical & historical societies, libraries & museums, educational institutions, and more

Adding a Genealogical Codicil to Your Will – Options for preserving genealogical research and materials after death, including a sample copy of a genealogical codicil to a will