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  • SBCGS Fall Seminar 2023:
    From Birth to Death and All In Between

    Recordings available to purchase and watch for a limited time. See below.

    Our Speaker

    Gena Philbert-Ortega

    Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor specializing in the use of social history and material culture to tell the story of historical women’s lives. She holds two Master’s degrees: one in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and the other in Religion. As an author, Gena has published two books, Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing) and From the Family Kitchen (F+W Media), and hundreds of articles in print magazines and online publications. Her writings can also be found on her two blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera, as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree Webinars blogs. A highly sought-after instructor, Gena has taught material culture and social history at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and is a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Her professional associations include the American Quilt Study Group, the Association of Gravestone Studies, and the National Genealogical Society. Gena has conducted research for PBS, HGTV, and the Travel Channel and has collaborated on research for the Gemological Institute of America. Gena’s current research projects focus on American cemeteries, cookbooks, signature quilts, and 20th-century women’s lives.

    Presentation Titles and Descriptions

    Tracing Roots: The Evolution and Historical Significance of Birth Certificates

    Family historians use birth certificates to prove vital record events, but how much do we really know about the history and purpose of birth certificates? In this presentation we will explore the history of U.S. birth certificates and their profound impact on genealogical research. We will delve into the evolution of birth certificates, from their earliest forms to the modern-day standardized records. The significance of birth certificates as legal documents, the impact they have on establishing personal identities, inheritance rights, and citizenship claims will be discussed. Discover how these invaluable documents and their history have shaped the way we understand and connect with our ancestral past.

    Beyond the Grave: Unveiling the Material Culture of Death

    Genealogists seek out death information for their ancestors. Death certificates, obituaries, and burial places are part of the search but what more could be discovered? In this presentation, we will explore the material culture of death. We will delve into the significance of objects and symbols surrounding historical death and mourning including gravestones, clothing, and ephemera. We will explore some examples in-depth to beter understand what gravestones can tell us beyond just the words etched into stone.

    Uncovering Herstory: Exploring Unconventional Sources for Tracing Female Ancestors

    While historical records have often focused on male lineage, this presentation aims to shed light on the incredible stories of women who have been overlooked throughout history. Discover the fascinating array of alternative resources available to uncover the hidden narratives of our female ancestors. We will discuss a variety of unique sources, including manuscript collections, oral histories, diaries, letters, textiles, and cookbooks. Through real-life examples, this presentation will inspire and empower you to discover the women in your family tree.

    Visual Ancestral Stories: Harnessing the Power of Images in Genealogy

    In this presentation, we will dive into the fascinating world of utilizing images to unlock the hidden narratives of our ancestors. We will explore the profound impact of various types of images such as postcards, photographs, stereographs, and posters from the past that can enhance our understanding of family history. This presentation will inspire and equip you with strategies to leverage the power of images in telling your family history story. This hands-on session will breathe new life into your family history research and help you create a richer ancestral legacy.

    Purchase access to view all four recordings for just $35.

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