Member Meeting Materials 2021

Thanks to the generosity of our speakers, we are able to make handouts and recorded webinars from many of our past meetings to DGS members. Materials from 2021 meetings are available on this page. Click on the links below for materials from other years.

Presentations in PDF can be printed and/or downloaded. Please do not distribute or republish this member-only material without the express permission of DGS and the event presenter. This material is for your reference only.

Please do not share links to the recorded webinars. They are available for DGS members only.

Thank you.

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Meeting Materials 2021

November 2021 Partners in Research: Delaware Historical Society Resources for Genealogists

Leigh Rifenburg, Chief Curator, Delaware Historical Society, gave a presentation on the resources available to family historians at the Delaware Historical Society. Whether you are a veteran researcher or just getting started with genealogy, it helps to know what resources are available to you and where to find them. With its extraordinary collection of more than three million items and archival records, the Delaware Historical Society Research Library is a great place to start. Chief Curator Leigh Rifenburg discussed how to discover more about the Library’s collections and resources for family history; what they’re doing to make them increasingly accessible to the public; and how to get the most out of your library research experience at this hidden gem in downtown Wilmington.

Presentation as a PDF: DGS Partners in Research


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October 2021: Delaware, our Families, and the 1918 Flu Epidemic

Mary Ann Vincent, Delaware Genealogical Society, described how in the past hundred years there have been quite a number of epidemics and pandemics: flu, polio, Legionnaires, AIDS, Ebola, and Zika among them. But the worst was the flu pandemic of 1918 which killed more people than World War I. We will look at its history in the United States (especially Philadelphia, Wilmington, and South Jersey) and the world, as well as its impact on our society.

Presentation as PDF: Delaware, 1918 Flu Epidemic, and Our Families


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September 2021: The Presidential Family Secret of Joseph W. Clifton: A Delaware Genealogy Case Study 

Sydney F. Cruice Dixon, professional genealogist, presented a case study of Joseph W. Clifton who was born and raised in Lewes, DE. In 1861, he signed up as a volunteer for military service in the Civil War. Sydney Cruice Dixon described how Joseph Clifton’s life intersected with a major historical event. This story showed the techniques and record sets that allowed the speaker to uncover this extraordinary family secret. The presentation also showed how the records left behind from this event allowed the speaker to discover two earlier generations in the Clifton family.

Presentation as PDF: Joseph Clifton & Military Records

Presentation as PDF: Joseph Clifton Article Color Version

Video: No longer available

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April 2021: Genealogy of a House: Using Land Records, Wills, Census and Newspapers to Trace Family

Reese Robinson, Delaware Genealogical Society, used case studies and resources from Delaware to trace a property using land records, as well as the people who owned that property. Presented April 2021.

Presentation as PDF: Genealogy of a House


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March 2021: The Second World War (WWII): African American Involvement in the US Military

Erwin Polk, Co-founder & V.P. Genealogy of the Delaware chapter of AAHGS, talked about African American soldiers’ participation in the U.S. Military during World War II, including the military units in which they served. Presented March 2021.

Presentation as PDF: WWII: African American Involvement in the US Military


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February 2021: Preservation of Documents, Photos and Digital Memories: Techniques for the Family Historian

Connor Lee Graham, CA, Supervisor of Archival Collections at the Delaware Public Archives, discussed how to preserve a family historian’s treasures: old photographs, documents, and digitized memories.

Presentation as PDF: Preservation of Documents


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January 2021: How DNA Made a Family Out of Strangers

Diahan Southard, Founder of Your DNA Guide. Diahan’s mother was adopted from an unwed mother’s home in Seattle, Washington. Diahan shared how she was able to use a combination of genetic and genealogical tools to connect with her biological family, and how it has affected her family’s lives. She offered concrete ideas on how to apply these same methods to your own personal genetic genealogy endeavors, whether you are looking for your father, or your 3-times great-grandfather.

Presentation as PDF: How DNA Made a Family Out of Strangers

Video not available

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