Since its very beginning, DGS has offered events and monthly programs to promote knowledge of genealogical research and to maintain and elevate genealogical standards. Speakers come from all walks of life – some are nationally known; some are local members – to share their expertise and experiences. Today our programs are delivered as webinars and are available to attendees regardless of where they live. Most programs are free and open to the public. A suggested donation of $5.00 can be made. When registering on EventBrite please select free or donation ticket. There is no need to select both. All require registration. When a fee is required, the programs notes will provide the cost.

This section of our website provides information about the 2022-23 calendar of events, physical locations of past events, and links to information about events in the Delaware and Philadelphia region.

2022-23 DGS Calendar of Events

October 22, 2022– Mags Gaulden
Presentation:  Forensic Genealogy and Adoption – Betty Jean’s Story
Description:  Betty Jean was abandoned in Asheville, NC in 1927. All her life Betty Jean wanted to know who her parents were, but her search ended abruptly in the 1950s when she was shown her very empty files by a clerk at the courthouse. Until her cousin contacts her asking about some family papers. “You know I am adopted?” and the cousin answered, “you know, helping adoptees find their families is one thing my business does?” Follow along as we work the history, we find connections and ultimately find Betty Jean’s Family.

Bio: Mags is a Professional Genealogist specializing in Genetic Genealogy as the founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. Growing up in a family full of family historians, Mags was primed to become a Genealogist.

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November 19, 2022- Dick Templeton
Presentation: Black Powder, Explosions on the Brandywine
Description: Making black powder was a dangerous profession in the 19th century but not as hazardous as railroading, farming or manufacturing. That said, the black powder manufactory of the Du Pont Company on the Brandywine Creek saw its share of violence to the men who made the volatile stuff and to their families. While the causes of most of the explosions at the powder mills are unknown, the same cannot be said of the powder makers and their kin. DGS member, Dick Templeton, will present some fascinating stories of the men, women and child whose lives ended tragically in the perilous powder-making neighborhood of northern Delaware. 

Bio: Dick Templeton wrote his first book, Across the Creek: Black Powder Explosions on the Brandywine, at the age of 73. It was a labor of love for the tour guide and machine demonstrator at the Hagley Museum and Library, the site of the original black powder works of the Du Pont Company.  There are many books about the lives of the DuPonts, but a dearth of books about the workers whose brawn made the success of the French immigrant family possible. 

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January 28, 2023- Cynthia Steinhoff
Presentation: “Wrought with a Careful Hand”: Delaware Schoolgirl Samplers
Description: Schoolgirls in Delaware stitched samplers as part of their education from the mid-1700s through the mid-1800s and many of their creations survive to this day in museum, historical society, and private collections. Their samplers were beautiful works of art and the girls often included genealogical information, such as parents’ and siblings’ names and birthdates, the town where they lived, and the school they attended. Cynthia Steinhoff will provide an overview of the works produced by Delaware girls and how those that include family details can contribute to our genealogical research today. 

Bio: Cynthia Shank Steinhoff is the director of the library at Anne Arundel Community College. She holds a Master of Library Science degree and a MBA degree from University of Baltimore. Cynthia is a stitcher, sampler collector, and needlework researcher. The oldest sampler in her collection was made in England in the 1730s. Cynthia contributed to and copy-edited Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers. She is a co-author and editor of Delaware Discoveries: Girlhood Embroidery, 1750-1850. Cynthia wrote Delaware Schoolgirl Samplers. She is a member of the Annapolis Historic Sampler Guild, Loudoun Sampler Guild, and Embroiderers Guild of America.

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February 25, 2023- Peggy C. Lauritzen
Presentation: Migration Trails Across America
Description: The safest and easiest way to move one’s families may not have been the migration trails and roads that we have become most familiar with. Roads and trails are the “go-to” places we look at first when determining how our ancestors moved throughout America.  However, there were other means of transportation available to them.  Could your ancestor have traveled other by-ways?  

Bio: Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, FOGS, author of Legacy QuickGuides on Appalachia, she is an instructor at Ancestry Academy, Family Tree University, and columnist for Reminisce magazine. Named Fellow of the Ohio Genealogical Society, and is the 2018 recipient of the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy. She is a former researcher at Ancestry ProGenealogists.

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March 25, 2023- Ken Finlayson, President, Delaware Genealogical Society
Presentation: Using Civil War Records to Develop an Ancestor Historical Narrative
Description: Simply cutting and pasting an ancestor’s Ancestry Civil War enlistment data will not advance family history.  Learn to start with your family tree to recognize potential Civil War ancestors and learn how to obtain and use military records to outline a narrative of your ancestor’s war experience.  In this webinar, you will learn how to read the military records and identify the numerous data traps camouflaged in the records.  Also, you’ll be introduced to numerous on-line resources that are critical to augmenting the military records and documenting your ancestor’s full war experience.  Lastly, back to the family tree and a pattern discussion on such topics as trauma and desertion and their possible effects, or lack of impact, on intergenerational family history.  

Bio: Ken has 29 years of experience in genealogy and historical research. His book: “The Butterfield Trail in Western Yuma County, Arizona” received the Arizona Historical Society ‘Bent Spittoon’ best nominated annual research award.  He has researched over 2,000 Civil War records and completed more than 300 Civil War veteran biographies and produced several ancestor-descendant memorial ceremonies. 

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April 22, 2023- Cheri Hudson Passey
Presentation: Beginning Your Genealogy Journey
Description: The desire to discover our ancestors continues to grow in popularity with the addition of online trees, genealogy TV shows, and the popularity of DNA tests.  In this presentation, we will look at how to begin to create a family tree, learn what documents may provide information, and how and where to find them. Using a research plan, organization, and avoiding mistakes are also important habits for every beginner to understand and implement from day one. This presentation will give beginners the confidence they need to begin and move forward with building a correct family tree.

Bio: Cheri Hudson Passey is a professional genealogist, instructor, writer, speaker and the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC. She is the host of the YouTube genealogy chat show GenFriends and is a genealogical researcher, subcontracted by Eagle Investigative Services, Inc. for the US Army Past Conflict Repatriations Branch. She is treasurer of GeneaBloggers and National Genealogical Society Vice President of Society & Organization Management.

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May 20, 2023- Julie Miller
Presentation: Navigating the National Archives
Description: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a wealth of resources that can be used for genealogical research. The records may be found in Washington, thirteen regional branches located throughout the United States, and online. Learn how to find and use the abundant records held by this national treasure.

Bio: Julie Miller, holds Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Speaker credentials and is a fellow of the National Genealogical Society. She is a full-time professional researcher, speaker, and writer who lives in Colorado. Her articles have appeared in the NGSQ and NGS Magazine. Julie was the NGS interim Education Manager (2018), was a member of the NGS conference committee for fourteen years and a volunteer at NARA-Denver for twenty-one years.

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