The Midwest Genealogy Center is offering the following activities for the month of May. The Genealogy Center is located at 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road in Independence. All activities are free, but registration is required, call 816-252-7228.
• Using FamilySearch, 7 p.m. May 2. Learn tips on searching records, using the research wiki, finding family trees, using the Family History catalog, and more. This is a beginning level class. Basic computer literacy is needed.
• Beginning Genealogy, 10 a.m. May 7. Find out the fundamentals of beginning your genealogical research project. We will discuss organization, census information, vital records, and where to look for information.
• Using Findmypast, 2 p.m. May 7. Learn to search billions of records to find your ancestors from all over the world. Records include U.S. and U.K. censuses, Irish records, and parish records from England and Wales. Discover how to find articles using PERSI, an index to genealogy periodicals. This class will focus on searching tips as well as the types of records that can be found in Findmypast.com. This is a beginner level class. Basic computer literacy is needed.
• Using InterLibrary Loan for Genealogy, 2 p.m. May 9. Learn how to order microfilmed newspapers from across the country, books from other libraries, and films from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. This class covers internet sources and archival research. This is a beginner level class.
• Beginning Internet Genealogy, 7 p.m. May 11. This class focuses on evaluating websites and will introduce some of the best genealogy sites on the internet. Basic computer literacy is needed.
• With an Iron Fist: The History of the Cass County Home Guard, 7 p.m. May 12. For nearly nine months in the midst of the Civil War, the Union Cass County Home Guard held its ground, battling Confederate forces and maintaining order in a volatile border county. Learn the history of the Home Guard, from its initial organization to its disbandment in March 1862.
• Beginning Ancestry Library Edition, 2 p.m. May 13. Search the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940 as well as immigration, vital, military, court, church, and ethnic records. Explore city directories, Social Security Death Index, and much, much more. Basic computer literacy is needed.
• Walkabout at MGC, 7 p.m. May 17. Each department will be explored as we tour the building, displays, periodicals, microforms, rare books, maps, and more. This is a beginner level class.
• Beginning Census Records, 2 p.m. May 18. Learn to search thousands of family and local history books and the complete U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940. Census records can be searched by name, place of birth, age, ethnicity, and more. This is a beginner level class.
• Using Evernote to Organize Your Genealogy, 2 p.m. May 20. This class will introduce you to the computer/ tablet/smartphone application Evernote. This app has useful features that will help you keep your genealogy research organized. You will also learn tips and advice to maximize Evernote’s versatility. This is a beginning level class.
• Hidden Treasures at MGC, 2 p.m. May 21. This detailed tour of little-known items in our collection will demonstrate how to utilize our archives and search for articles in our periodical section, the Swem’s Virginia Historical Index, and the Filby lists. We will also showcase microfilm records from the Family History Library, Antebellum Southern Plantations, Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, Corbin Manuscripts, Draper Manuscripts and Calvert Papers. We’ll explore city directories in several different formats. This class is an intermediate level class, but more advanced genealogists will make some amazing discoveries.
• Native American Research: The Five Civilized Tribes, 7 p.m. May 24. Do you have Native American ancestors that lived in Oklahoma? If so, they may have been members of one of the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, or Seminole. Learn how to research your ancestors using U.S. Census and Dawes Rolls records.
• Using HeritageQuest, 7 p.m. May 25. Learn how to search thousands of family and local history books, the complete U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940, and much more. As of March of 2015, HeritageQuest Online features a new every name Census index, improved navigation, and many exciting new features. Census records can be searched by name, place of birth, age, and ethnicity. HeritageQuest Online also includes Revolutionary War records, Freedman’s Bank, and the PERSI periodical index. This is a beginner level class. Basic computer literacy is needed.
– Jillayne Ritchie