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Vermont Genealogy Library Hours



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





Genealogy Searches Using FindMyPast.com

23 January 2016


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

FindMyPast.com is the latest addition to the online databases available at our library. In this class Ed McGuire will discuss what collections are available at the site and how to use FindMyPast’s search tools to locate your British & Irish ancestors in all those records.


Beginning Genealogy

6 February 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.


DNA Tests: How They Work

13 February 2016


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

DNA tests have become very effective complements to traditional genealogical research and are sometimes the only way to resolve conflicting information or to break through a 'brick wall.' There are several types of DNA tests and several companies that offer them. To make a decision about which test to use or which company one needs a basic understanding of how they work. This class will provide all the information necessary to understand how DNA is tested, what it can and can not tell you about your ancestors and which test & company are the best answer for your genealogical question. All three of the subsequent DNA testing presentations will draw on information from this class.


The Irish “Wave” in the Green Mountains

20 February 2016


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

From the late 1840s and through the 1860s, thousands of Irish immigrants escaped the potato famine in their homeland and settled in Vermont. They arrived just as Vermont was undergoing a mini-industrial revolution based on railroad construction, quarrying of slate and marble, and textile production. Vince Feeney, author of a published history of the Irish in Vermont, 'Finnigans, Slaters and Stonepeggers', tells the little-known story of Irish immigrants in mid-nineteenth century Vermont.

This talk is free of charge and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Vermont Humanities Council (VHC). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or the VHC.


DNA Tests: Maternal and Paternal Lines

27 February 2016


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

This class covers the two tests that are easiest to understand and use to augment your traditional research. Matrilineal lines, which are comprised of your mother, her mother and so on, can be investigated with a Mitochondrial DNA test. Patrilineal lines can be researched with a Y-chromosome DNA test and will follow your father's surname back in time. This class will discuss the value of each type of test, the right testing company to use and how to interpret the results. Case studies will be discussed in detail to demonstrate the value of each test.

It is recommended that participants also attend the 13 February class as there will not be time in this session to retrace the basic facts about DNA tests and the science behind them.


More Options for Finding Online Newpaper Articles

5 March 2016


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

Few sources can reveal the details of our ancestors' lives like newspaper articles. Today we can search entire runs of a given newspaper with an online subscription. But which website do we choose? What papers do they cover in the locations of interest? What do they cost?

Jason Smiley has used online newspaper subscriptions in his research for years. In this talk he will cover five of the best: Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchive.com, FultonHistory.com, Chronicling America, and GenealogyBank. The latter two have been discussed here over the past 2 years so Jason will touch on those and use their features to compare to the others. He'll demonstrate the kind of material one can find, the search techniques he's developed and the reach of each of these services.


History of the Abenaki and their French Allies

12 March 2016


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

Vermonters with early ancestral roots in the state sometimes find Abenaki ancestors in their family trees. While they may be familiar with research techniques for Yankee or Quebecois history they can be stumped when encountering Native American ancestry. Jeanne Brink will discuss the history of the Abenaki and their relationship with their French allies. She will also talk about the Abenaki of the twenty-first century and their efforts to preserve their culture, traditions, and language in today’s rapidly changing world.

Jeanne is a descendant of the Obomsawin family of Thompson’s Point, Vermont, and Odanak Reserve in Quebec. She is a consultant to schools, colleges, libraries and organizations throughout New England & New York




Finding Your Irish Roots

15 March 2016


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

As part of the 2016 Burlington Irish Heritage Festival, the Vermont Genealogy Library and the BIHF are again hosting a presentation by Ed McGuire entitled, "Finding Your Irish Roots." This hour-long talk will introduce participants to a brief history of Irish immigration to North American and then discuss some of the major resources for Irish genealogy research - online, locally and in Ireland.

Ed is part of a group of library members who focus on Irish research. This talk is free and open to the public. We will have coffee, tea and an assortment of Irish & Vermont pastries. Please join us for the program - and then start your research that evening with our extensive library resources.


DNA Tests: Finding Cousins with Autosomal DNA (Part 1)

2 April 2016


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

Autosomal DNA (atDNA) tests have revolutionized genetic genealogy in the past 5 years and are now the most popular genetic test among family historians. These atDNA tests will compare specific locations on your DNA to millions of other test results from genealogists around the globe. The amount of shared DNA between individuals correlates with the degree of their relatedness and indicates how far back in their ancestral pasts they share a common ancestor.

The basic science will be covered in our class on Feb. 13th (DNA Tests: How they work) so this talk jumps right in and compares different company offerings, costs and features. Then it covers interpreting your results and utilizing the tools available at FamilyTreeDNA and AncestryDNA. We'll focus on understanding your 'Matches' page, contacting new 'genetic cousins', deciding which matches are most important and how to use those popular 'Ancestral Origins' maps of Europe, Africa and Asia.

At the end of this class you should be able to decide on a test company, understand its website and interpret the basic results from an atDNA test.


DNA Tests: Finding Cousins with Autosomal DNA (Part 2)

9 April 2016


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

This second class on atDNA testing will investigate the more advanced tools & analysis available at FamilyTreeDNA and at two popular 3d-party websites. You will learn how to migrate your test results to other sites, find matches to groups of people who tested with other companies, how to efficiently handle the growing email communications & data by using spreadsheets and how to analyze pedigree charts from multiple cousins with minimal effort.

At the conclusion of this class you should be able to maximize the number of your matches, be aware of powerful tools at company & 3d-party sites and work with others to jointly identify common ancestors.


Identifying Your Ancestor using the FAN Principle

16 April 2016


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

Our family trees inevitably contain some ancestors who are either hard to locate or difficult to separate from other people with similar names. Even when we find a person in the right place with the right name we still need to establish that this is actually our person and not a member of another family. Resolving these cases often involves the use of additional resources beyond our familiar censuses & vital records. One approach is the FAN Principle (Family - Associates - Neighbors) also called 'Cluster Research.' In this talk Joanne will discuss the basic research technique involved, the types of sources to locate and some examples employing the principle. She'll also identify a couple of case studies for those who wish to see the FAN Principle in action.



Nos Origines - A Database of French-Canadians

30 April 2016


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

Nos Origines is a website with genealogical information on approximately 1 million people with Canadian and France ancestry. Don LaCross and Lou Izzo will discuss its features and value based on their years of experience using it and adding to its records. The entries in NosOrigines.com must first be verified by the administrators insuring a high degree of accuracy and users can contact the staff with questions about the data. The site is free and can be accessed in both French and English.

Information in the database includes name, occupation, dates and locations for births, baptisms, marriages and burials. Searches can be performed by surname, full name, keywords or record ID number and there are over 19,000 surnames to search for.

If you have French-Canadian ancestry this is a very valuable tool and you may very quickly find it indispensable.


Genealogy Research in Acadia

7 May 2016


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

In this talk Mike Sevigny will discuss the history of Acadia, the British conquest and the subsequent deportations of the French inhabitants. From a genealogical perspective he will describe what records exist, where to find them and what is available here at the VT French-Canadian Genealogical Society. If you suspect your ancestors might have had Acadian roots then this class will be extremely helpful.