The following topics will be offered as classes. The schedule will be determined at a later date, and more topics may be added. for Beginners

The website contains exhaustive records valuable to family history researchers and is a subscription based service but is available to use free at many libraries. This class is an introduction to some of the many features of that website. Presented by Tina Scott, Executive Director of the James Prendergast Library and Director of the Library’s Genealogy Lab.

Breaking Old World

The key to breaking your genealogy research into the “Old World” is knowing your immigrant ancestors’ origins. Learn about American records which may tell you your ancestors’ birth towns or regions. Presented by Buffalo Public Library Genealogy Specialist Rhoda Hoffman.

D.A.R. Research

The DAR library in Washington DC is reportedly the 3rd largest repository of genealogical materials, after Salt Lake City and Allen County in Indiana. I hope to describe how one can navigate their website and find materials online. Presented by Sharon Terwilleger, 18-year member of the D.A.R.


DNA is in all of us and is becoming a popular way to enhance family history. DNA testing offers an amazing opportunity to confirm our family history research, to help us break through brickwalls, and enable us to find lost family members. This class is focused on autosomal DNA, including testing companies such as AncestryDNA and FamilyTree DNA, as well as DNA analysis on those as well as GEDmatch. Presented by Andrew Kolstee, Fenton History Center Secretary.

Fulton Newspapers

Newspapers can be a valuable resource in genealogical research. This class focuses primarily on Fulton History. There are several different strategies to make searching on Fulton History very effective, especially as the website contains the bulk of Jamestown newspapers as well as other area newspapers. Presented by Norman Carlson, Collections Manager.

Genealogy for Beginners

Want to know how to get started with your genealogy quest? This class will teach you what to look for and what questions to ask. Presented by Tina Scott, Executive Director of the James Prendergast Library and Director of the Library’s Genealogy Lab.

Identifying and Caring for Family Photos

There are few things more frustrating to a genealogist or historian than hitting a brick wall in your research! What can be even worse is having a pile of photographs or scrapbooks that could very easily contain your next lead, but are instead full of unidentified people, places, and events. Where do you start with these resources? What clues can you find in photos of the past that can help you unravel their mysteries? And how do you preserve these treasures to ensure the information carries forward? Attend this seminar to learn some helpful tips and tricks to get you, and your research, moving in the right direction! Presented by Noah Goodling, Fenton History Center Executive Director.

Local Government Records in NY State

This presentation will focus on records held by local governments in New York State. The County Archives is the largest repository of archival records in the county, and includes many different types of records that may be of value to genealogists. The County Historian will share information about the records in the Archives and the genealogical information that you may find in the records. She will also discuss records held at other levels of local government, and how they may be accessed. Presented by County Historian Michelle Henry.

German Research

The First hour of German research will focus on helping you to find your family hometown in Germany. There will be information on what documents may help you to find that as well as a look at how spelling changes that impact your search In addition you will learn the difference between a diocese and a town.

The Second hour of German research will provide you with assistance in reading the records and deciphering the “script”. You will learn where to find the records that you need and what is the availability of the various records used in the research.

Both are presented by Greg Wadsworth (holds a PhD in Biology, Associate Professor at Buffalo State University) and Steve Cornelius (PhD in Linguistics, genealogist focused on German ancestry).

Military Records

As Project Coordinator for the Fenton program Vets Finding Vets, Barb Cessna will present some tried and true resources to help flush out the military history of your family Veterans.

Research in Ireland

Irish ancestry plays a large part in the ethnic makeup of the United States and in recent years has become a very popular topic of research. Many stories have been circulated about the “lost “records in Ireland. While many have been lost, MANY remain and can be accessed allowing you to find your ancestors. Presented by Janet Wahlberg, Fenton History Center Trustee.

Research in Scotland

The Scots have been coming to America since Colonial times enriching our music, culture and lives. The driving forces that bought them here are varied there are records to help you find your people in Scotland. Presented by Janet Wahlberg, Fenton History Center Trustee.

Resources at the Fenton

The Fenton History Center’s Hall House library contains numerous items valuable for genealogists, from books, family files, databases, and other valuable resources. Presented by Norman Carlson, Collections Manager.

Swedish Research

Learn about the valuable resources available to research your Swedish ancestors.