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Spring Seminar


Thank you for joining us for the 2023 Spring Seminar: Folklore of the Family. Please check back in 2024 for more information on next year's event.

Sessions included

We’re Related to George Washington?: Proving (or Disproving) Family Stories
I have them, and you have them. In fact, we all have them -- that story about our family’s brush with greatness. Maybe you’re related to Jesse James, or your ancestor was on the Titanic, or you’re descended from three brothers who came to America.  But is it true? Learn the methodology for proving or disproving that family story. 

Jello Molds, Peacocks, and Turtle Soup: Genealogy and the History of Food
My ancestor ate what?! What our ancestors ate was very different from the food that we eat today. Learn more about how food history interacts with your family history, including food availability, food during wartime, and what our immigrant ancestors ate.  

Ephemera: Scraps of your Ancestor’s Life
What’s ephemera? It’s the stuff that much of our genealogy research is built on. Defined as paper items that were not meant for long-term archiving, ephemera can hold great genealogical value. In this presentation, I will show you examples of genealogy-rich ephemera and how and where you can find it. 

The Secret Lives of Women: Research Female Ancestors Using the Sources They Left Behind
Why is finding a female ancestor so difficult? One reason is the way we research their lives. Successful research must combine familiar genealogical sources and the specific sources that women left behind. It is the sources that women authored or participated in that tell us their unique story.  In this lecture we look at the specific trail women left including signature quilts, community cookbooks, journals, and diaries.

With a special musical performance featuring Kristin and Lucy Gray Hamilton 

Spring Seminar 2023 Speakers and Performers

Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social, and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include two books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, as well as six editions of the Tracing Your Ancestors series from Moorshead Publishing. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Webinars blogs. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her current research includes women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture. 

Kristin and Lucy Gray Hamilton

Kristin and Lucy Gray Hamilton are a mother daughter folk duo performing both original and traditional songs from the heartland. Kristin Hamilton, formerly of Under The Big Oak Tree, released her debut solo album in May of 2022. The album titled Touch Of Blue, is a multigenerational project featuring her father and her two teenage children. Lucy Gray Hamilton is a 15-year-old multi-instrumentalist, composer, and four time award winning songwriter.

Tell Me A Story

Oral history is an important part of genealogy and local history. It connects the living to those who have gone before us and shines a light on the stories that help reveal their character.

Tell Me a Story is a Mid-Continent Public Library initiative that provides the ability to record and preserve memories. Listen below to hear the stories behind our special Spring Seminar displays and the family folklore of MGC staff and community members.

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