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Learn About DNA and More at Genealogy Seminars | New

Journal Staff Tanya Manus

The Rapid City Society for Genealogical Research will explore how to use DNA testing in genealogical research, where to find reliable genealogy information online and much more at its upcoming seminars on September 30 and October 1.

“The Society…is a group dedicated to the promotion of genealogical research. We can help you review your family history and build an informational family tree,” society member Jo Kimery said in a press release.

The two-day seminars are suitable for beginners or those with more experience in genealogy. The event opens with a mixer at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the South Dakota Mines Class Building in Rapid City. The Blender is an opportunity for genealogy enthusiasts to meet others who share their interest in genealogy research. The mixer will be followed at 7 p.m. by a seminar, DNA Basics: An Introduction to DNA and Genealogy. The mixer and the seminar are free and open to the public.

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Speaker Beth Taylor will explain why DNA testing is valuable, what tests are available, and how the results can be useful in genealogical research. Taylor is a board-certified genealogist who works as a family researcher in the United States and Canada at the Salt Lake City Family History Library.

A full day of presentations is scheduled for October 1st. Registration is required by September 15 to attend the October 1 seminars. The cost is $55 and includes seminars, handouts, lunch, snacks and door prizes. There will also be a quilt raffle. The first 50 people to register will each receive a genealogical reference flip-book. To register or for more information, go to or call 406-550-1948.

The October 1 calendar of events begins with registration from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Alice Hoyt Veen will present the morning sessions. Hoyt Veen is a Certified Genealogist, Professional Researcher, and Family Educator. His specialties include Iowa, Midwest and Territory research, land and military records. She is a trustee of the BCG Education Fund, a charitable trust that advances the educational goals of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She has spoken at national, regional, and state conferences and for numerous Iowa organizations.

Introduction to Genealogy, 8:30 a.m. — Every family has a story to tell. Learn the basics to begin uncovering your family’s history through methods including online research options, paper projects, and traditional on-site research.

Gems and Junk: A Beginner’s Guide to Online Research, 9:45 a.m. – Today there is an amazing selection of online resources for genealogical research. What are the best options and how do you tell the difference between real “gems” and pure junk? Explore the best and worst of online genealogy.

Timelines: Your Ancestor’s Lifeline, 11:00 a.m. — Successful genealogists use timelines at every step of their research process. Timelines are easy to construct and provide valuable context for your ancestor’s life. Learn how to use this essential tool.

After a lunch break, Taylor will give the afternoon presentations.

The Bred, the Wed, the Dead: An Introduction to US Vital Records, 12:45 p.m. – This session is designed to provide a basic understanding of US vital records, including births, marriages, and deaths. This session will discuss various types of documents and regional differences in the availability of these documents.

DNA: I Tested…Now What?, 2:00 p.m. — Learn how to use your DNA results to find answers to your genealogy research questions.

Before the last session of the day, there will be a celebration at 3 p.m. of the South Dakota Genealogical Society’s 40th anniversary with cupcakes.

The last session of the day is Forgotten Wives, Mothers and Old Maids: Tracing Women in US Research, 3:15 p.m. Tracing women isn’t easy, especially before 1850, because they’re hidden in the records of the men in their lives. . This session will present strategies for locating and identifying women.

Genealogical research satisfies curiosity and can even benefit physical and emotional health.

“Why on earth would you want to know more about the family members who came before you? Knowing more about the backgrounds of our family members and ancestors is not only interesting, but can also save lives. Some medical conditions are hereditary, and by learning about the past, you get to know all the medical conditions that run in your family,” Kimery said in a press release.

“Also, did your ancestors participate in historical events? Why do you have certain family traditions? Do you understand the cultures from which your ancestors came? All of these things are important for good emotional health. Studies show that without understanding the people you come from, you may not really feel like you belong. This is especially important for teenagers as they reach adulthood. Enlightening the whole family about your family history is a great way to promote the emotional health of all family members,” she said.

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