Members $35, non-members $45. Optional boxed lunch is available for $10. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.

Featuring Sharon Hoyt, MLIS, genealogy researcher and lecturer. Sharon serves as a consultant to and is a member of APG, NGS, NEHGS, and the Southern California Genealogical Society. She is an alumna of the National Institute on Genealogical Research, holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, and completed NGS American Genealogy coursework. She is happiest when she’s on the trail of a family story particularly one which involves the Civil War.

Lecture topics will include:

What a story! Evaluating Genealogical Sources and Family Legends: Truth or tall tale? Fact or family fable? Discover how questioning accepted stories and “authoritative” sources can reveal fascinating truths.

The Blue and the Gray – Civil War Era Records: Although not everyone living in our divided country in the early 1860s fought in the Civil War, most were affected by it. Explore the sources that bring the personal experiences of soldiers and citizens to light.

Horses Were Running Riderless – Finding Our Ancestors’ Stories: Learn to find and use records that move beyond vital statistics and make your ancestors’ stories come alive – including post-Civil War documents, newspapers, local histories, and more.

“It is presumed that he never married.” – Discovering an Extraordinary Life: Learn about the wide range of sources and search techniques that uncovered his life story.

There will also be a Beginning Track for those who are relatively new to genealogy and want to get off on the right foot.

The Investigation Starts HERE! Who, When, Why, How, Where, and What: this class will get you started on the trail of your ancestors. Instructor: Cari Thomas – Cari has investigated her ancestral trails since 1995. Her research includes PA, IN, NYC, GER, FRA (Alsace & Lorraine), IRE and ENG; but she has done much of her detecting from right here in Santa Barbara. Cari has taught Beginning Germanic Genealogy in Adult Ed since 2006; she has also presented five programs for the SBCGS and other societies, taught a variety of classes at the Sahyun, and speaks to local groups.

Russell Smelley, Professor of Kinesiology at Westmont College and recipient of the Westmont College Social Sciences Teacher of the Year award in 2002, will present the keynote address theorizing a Virginia ancestor’s impossible choice, having to pick a side in the coming conflict.

For more info contact: or view the seminar flyer here.


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