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Posted on February 28, 2013 | 11:14 p.m.

Discover Your Roots with Help of Civil War-Themed Genealogy Seminar

Source: Glenn Avolio for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society

The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s Annual Genealogy Seminar will be held Saturday, March 9. Don’t miss this fantastic, educational event.

With genealogy now becoming one of the leading hobbies in the United States and interest rising around the world, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the experts all about the tricks and time-tested techniques involved in searching out those elusive ancestors.

While this year’s all-day seminar theme is the Civil War, there is plenty of general information that will be of help to every family historian, from the beginner to the seasoned veteran.

Sharon Hoyt, MLIS, genealogy researcher and lecturer, will make the search for deceased ancestors come alive!

Hoyt serves as a consultant to Ancestry.com. 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 that involves the Civil War.

The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society Annual Genealogy Seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Goleta Valley Presbyterian Church, 6067 Shirrell Way in Goleta. The doors will open at 7:45 a.m. The cost is $35 for SBCGS members and $45 for non-members. An optional boxed lunch is available for $10 with advanced reservations. Space is limited, and early registration is encouraged.

Lecture topics will include items on questioning family legends and stories handed down over the generations and on ways to move beyond the statistical records and make the stories come alive. There will also be tracts focusing specifically on the Civil War-era records and how to make best use of the information.

Don’t be intimidated if you are new to genealogy. There is a lecture aimed directly at the budding family history buff with lots of info about how to get started, taught by an expert who remembers what it is like to try to learn something entirely new.

To round things out, Russell Smelley, a professor of kinesiology at Westmont College, will present the keynote address theorizing a Virginia ancestor’s impossible choice — having to pick a side in the coming conflict.

Click here for more information about the seminar.

— Glenn Avolio is publicity chairman for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

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