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Vermont Genealogy Library Hours



Directions to our Library


Class run from 10:30AM to Noon on Saturday and are $10.00 unless otherwise noted.





Our Library's Hidden Gems

24 Feb 2018


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

The Vermont Genealogy Library has over 4500 books, dozens of journals, microfilm, microfiche and subscriptions to the most important online genealogy databases. The place can be intimidating and it is easy to miss resources which might hold the key to solving one of your family mysteries. In this talk a panel of experienced researchers will introduce you to some of our most important yet overlooked tools. Whether your interests take you to early Rhode Island, upstate New York, Trois Rivieres or Franklin, Vermont, our panel will discuss the books, journals and internet resources that they turn to when all else fails.


Using the Tools at AncestryDNA

3 Mar 2018


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

AncestryDNA is the most popular DNA testing company and over 6 million people have purchased their test kits or received them as gifts. Most people get their results, look at their ethnicity maps and glance at the other tools. Unfortunately, far too few of them ever really explore the most important features that AncestryDNA offers. In this presentation Ed McGuire will explain all of the major features provided to customers - from the "DNA Matches List" to "DNA Circles", "New Ancestry Hints" and, most importantly, "Shared Matches." Ed will discuss how best to contact genetic cousins, how to identify networks of DNA matches who are likely to all share a piece of DNA with you and how to stay organized as you explore this new genetic landscape. Along the way he will clarify the limitations of each tool and demonstrate some advanced techniques that just might allow you breach a brick wall or two.

Ed McGuire is a past president of the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society (VT-FCGS). He is a frequent speaker on genealogy research, DNA testing and Irish family history. His personal research interests include his New England, New York and Quebec roots as well as his Irish, English, French and German ancestry. This talk will include a detailed handout covering AncestryDNA and its various tools.


The Genealogy of Jeffrey Brace: Slave & Revoutionary War Soldier

10 Mar 2018


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

Join genealogist Joanne Polanshek as she takes us on her journey describing how her genealogical curiosity helped unveil the story of an incredible man. Learn how this historically significant Vermonter gained his manumission from slavery. Joanne will take us from his capture as an innocent African village boy to his struggles in gaining his Revolutionary War pension. She will explain how her genealogical research uncovered incredible documents which tell a story that is both sad and inspiring.

Joanne Polanshek is a professional genealogist and a graduate of the highly regarded Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program. Joanne is a frequent speaker on advanced genealogical research techniques and has often presented classes at the VT Genealogy Library.


Researching Your Irish Ancestors

13 Mar 2018


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

As part of the 2018 Burlington Irish Heritage Festival, the Vermont Genealogy Library and the BIHF are again hosting a presentation by Ed McGuire entitled, "Researching Your Irish Ancestors." This 90 minute talk will introduce participants to a brief history of Irish immigration to North America 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.

Please note that this talk takes place at 7 PM on Tuesday, March 13th.


Using Facebook for Genealogy Research

17 Mar 2018


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

Are you stuck on a family name where you just can’t break through that brick wall? Are you hoping to connect with someone who lives in the same town your family lived in for generations? Are you wondering if there are resources you might not be aware of for a certain country or nationality? Join Maureen O’Brien as she shows you how Facebook can help you in your genealogy research. She will explore many different genealogy Facebook groups and pages; and show you how to connect with the amazing number of friendly people on Facebook who are willing to help strangers on their genealogy journey.

It is recommended that you have a basic knowledge of Facebook for this class.

Maureen O'Brien manages the Vermont Genealogy Library Facebook page and has been using Facebook to assist her in her genealogy research for a number of years.




Tips for Scaling Brick Walls

24 Mar 2018


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

Whether our ancestors' lives were well-documented or not, eventually the trail turns cold and we hit a "brick wall." For some of us, that first brick wall is back in the 17th or 18th centuries; for others, it is quite recent. When direct evidence is lacking and familiar strategies fail we all have to turn to genealogical "roads less traveled."

In this presentation several of our most experienced researchers will describe how they successfully dealt with some of their toughest brick walls. They will describe what they knew when their genealogical journey stopped and they’ll share the logic, methods and tools they used to finally move on – taking their families’ story further back into the past.

This talk will include a handout describing the tools mentioned, favorite articles & books on handling brick walls as well as some of the most useful blogposts and websites to help you keep your genealogical journeys on track.



Finding the Stories of Your French-Canadian Ancestors

7 Apr 2018


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

You might be just starting to research your French-Canadian ancestors, or maybe you have names and dates for many, but finding the stories that go with the names can greatly enrich your appreciation for their lives. Using examples from her family lines, Lynn Johnson will introduce you to an array of sources that can help you uncover their stories starting in the States and going back to New France in the 1600’s. While the examples will be specific to French-Canadian ancestors the general principles can be applied to any line of inquiry.

Lynn Johnson taught in the Swanton public schools for 18 years. She never thought she would be doing genealogy but became interested in the stories of her ancestors and recording them to be shared with family. Almost twenty years later she is still making exciting finds. Lynn does the publicity for VT-FCGS as well as volunteering at the library.



Using FamilySearch.org

14 Apr 2018


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

The Family History Library is the largest genealogical repository in the world and its website, FamilySearch.org, is the primary portal for accessing this collection online. You might have searched FamilySearch.org before, but there’s a lot more there than you think.

In this talk Marcie Crocker will discuss both major and minor collections, search strategies, use of wildcards and other techniques. She’ll also take a look at some of the not-so-obvious sources at FamilySearch.org, where to get assistance and how to get the most out of this huge, free, and very useful website.

Marcie Crocker is the president of the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society, an experienced genealogist and advises our library's visitors on FindMyPast, FamilySearch and other online databases.



How to Plan a Research Trip

21 Apr 2018


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

Contrary to popular opinion, not all genealogical research can be conducted online. Eventually, most serious researchers decide they have to visit repositories in other states and other countries. For most of us these trips have to be planned within a context of limited funds and limited time. So planning well is the key to maximizing a trip's benefits. Nothing is worse than getting to a distant archive that may have a pivotal record on an ancestor only to spend our time in a disorganized flurry of ultimately unsuccessful activity.

In this talk Sharon Flaherty & Ed McGuire will describe how to successfully plan and organize a research trip. They'll cover what to pack, how to coordinate with repositories in advance, how to search for what's there before you leave home and how to quickly obtain both the records and the source citations you'll need when you get back home. Using case studies which include Sharon's 2017 trip to Ireland, they will provide practical examples of how to take organized, successful and enjoyable research trips.

This talk will include a handout with notes from the presentation, packing lists, links to trip planning resources, helpful tools to take and a research trip checklist.

Ed McGuire is a volunteer at the VT Genealogy Library and helps members with online searches, Irish, German and New England research. He also leads the DNA testing support team at the library.


Favorite Tricks for Organizing Your Research

28 Apr 2018


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

Genealogical research varies widely depending on when your ancestors arrived, where they came from, where they settled and a host of other factors. But one challenge all genealogists have in common regardless of ethnicity and timeframe is how to organize all the documents, images, letters, emails and conversations we've accumulated. How many times have you searched endlessly for a document you know you saved? And how often have you thought you knew a fact - but not known HOW you knew it? Good organizational skills are probably more critical to genealogists than to any other discipline.

We have assembled a panel of experienced genealogists who will share several techniques, methods and tools that simply work. They will explain how they have tried to organize their records, failed and tried again until they found a system which works for them. Not every tool works for every researcher - so our panel will discuss a myriad of potential solutions, some of which are guaranteed to resonate with your research style. They'll cover online tools, file folder systems, hard-disk organization and note-taking databases like "Evernote" & Microsoft's "OneNote". Join us and identify organizational solutions that insure you only have to find a record once - because your filing system will help you locate it each and every time you need it.



Page Last Modified: August 22, 2017 14:04:49.