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Vermont Genealogy Library Hours



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Class run from 10:30AM to Noon on Saturday and are $5.00 unless otherwise noted.





VT Genealogy Library Open House

September 10, 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

The Vermont Genealogy Library Open House is on Saturday, September 10, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join us for 30-minute demonstrations on Family Tree Maker, DNA Tests and Using Ancestry.com. Take in demonstrations of the Internet resources we offer in our computer room. Volunteers will be on hand to give tours of our library, book and microfilm rooms with their many resources. There will be many genealogy books for sale and free refreshments. This event is free.


Beginning Genealogy

17 September 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

If you are relatively new to genealogy then this class can help. Sheila Morris will discuss records, methods, and best practices for conducting sound research. She will also share strategies on how to organize the information you find. Bring as much information as you can about your grandparents; births, marriages, deaths and where they lived. After the talk our volunteers can help you get started using our many resources.


Understanding & Using DNA Ethnicity Maps

24 September 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

Geographical ethnicity predictions are a major selling point for consumer DNA tests. The colored "heat-maps" showing the estimated origins of a person's ancestors are simple to understand and among the most talked about tools in genealogy circles today. But buried behind that apparent simplicity are a lot of details which significantly limit the value of these maps.

In this talk Ed McGuire will identify the valid applications of these tools for your own research, the underlying assumptions and technical details which limit accuracy and he'll provide some real-life examples comparing results from each company. If you are thinking about taking a DNA test and want to know whose ethnicity test is best or, if you already have your results and wonder why you can't find a trace of your Italian or French ancestors, then this talk will be quite helpful.



Using Grand Army of the Republic Records for Genealogy: Union veterans of the Civil War and their descendants

1 October 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

After America's Civil War ended various organizations started forming locally to honor veterans and record the histories of their units. At the national level the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was founded in 1866 by Benjamin Stephenson. Membership was limited to honarably discharged veterans of the Union Army and Navy who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. By 1890 the GAR would number 409,489 veterans and its members included 5 Presidents of the United States.

Author and lecturer Liam McCone will describe the formation of the GAR, its mission, history and its records. His talk will also discuss the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) which became the heir to GAR as the latter organization's members finally passed away. Join us at this talk and discover what records exist and how they may help you research your Civil War ancestors.


Purple Hearts Reunited: How Military Medals Find A Home

8 October 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

This talk will discuss a very successful local non-profit that helps the families of military veterans. "Purple Hearts Reunited" was established in Vermont on July 23, 2012, and is the only organization in the country returning lost or stolen medals to veterans and military families at no cost. Purple Hearts Reunited spends a considerable amount of time researching and locating the original recipient or family and, when possible, conducts a “Return Ceremony” to reunite the veteran or family with the medal. To date, Purple Hearts Reunited has returned the service medals of more than 200 veterans and is currently working on over 300 lost medals that need a home.

Capt. Zachariah Fike, founder of "Purple Hearts Reunited", will discuss how this program got started, how he conducts his research and he'll take the audience through several successful cases. He will also cover the research methods he uses, techniques he has identified and which tools he relies on the most. Please join us to hear about this wonderful project and maybe learn a few new tricks for your research toolkit.




Organizing Your Research Using Evernote

15 October 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

No matter where our ancestors hail from, each of us deals with many similar issues: paperwork clutter, "Post-It Notes" everywhere, multiple homes for the same types of data and the frequent inability to find that file or photo we need right now. If you've encountered organizational issues with your research maybe Evernote is the answer. Evernote is a free, powerful yet relatively simple tool for taking charge of your records and your searches regardless of which type of computer, tablet or smartphone you use.

In this talk Ed McGuire will describe how you can enlist Evernote to tackle some of our most common organizational challenges. He will discuss how it works, show how to construct handy forms including research logs, to-do lists, and templates as well as describe features such as tags, note links and reminders. Ed will also cover how to save PDFs, spreadsheets, photos, voice recordings and more. And he'll explain Evernote's incredible abilty to find anything you've saved. Join us to learn about the best genealogy organizing tool on the planet and discover why Evernote has over 100 million happy users worldwide.


Advanced Genealogical Research Techniques

29 October 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

This is another talk in our series about tools & techniques for advanced research by Joanne Polanshek.


Using City Directories to Solve Genealogical Mysteries

5 November 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

Lynn Johnson has updated this class to focus solely on city directories, the precursors of telephone books. City directories are interesting in that they tell you what kind of work your ancestors did and oftentimes where they worked, but that is just one piece of what you might learn from these books. Lynn will go over the kinds of information directories contain and where to find them. Staying organized while collecting the information can be an issue, whether you copy by hand, scan the book, or download images at home. Lynn will share organizing tips that will be helpful whether you’re researching many people in one city, or just one person. Some genealogical mysteries can be solved using city directories together with other sources, but they might also present you with new mysteries to work out. Lynn will show you examples of both from her family research and many years exploring directories.


Oral History as Discovery Research

12 November 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

Oral history is a research method that can be used to explore the fabric of everyday experience, past or present. Want to know what life on a farm was like in the 1940s? An older farmer can tell you. He or she can also describe the complex changes that led us from then to now.

Gregory Sharrow of the Vermont Folklife Center explores the richness and the significance of oral history as a documentary research method, illustrated with excerpts from his field recordings, featuring remarkable people and memorable stories. If you have considered adding oral histories to your genealogical research then please join us on November 12th.

This talk is sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. It is free and open to the public.


A Timeline of Quebec Research

19 November 2016


Vermont Genealogy Library
377 Hegeman Ave. (Across from State Police)
Fort Ethan Allen
Colchester, Vermont

Whether we are searching in Quebec or in Ohio it is important for us to have an understanding of which record types existed when our ancestors lived in that location and when the documents they contain were collected.

In this talk John Fisher will share his top twenty sources for Quebec genealogy, starting with the original standard reference sources and continuing to the latest - with examples from each. John’s talk will cover the “best” in books, microfilm, microfiche and the Internet. He will also discuss the start and end years for each major source.