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Finding Your Elusive Ancestors

| Suncoast Post Staff |

The Manatee Genealogical Society is hosting a Virtual Seminar on Saturday, January 27, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. EST.  Instead of just one speaker, we will have FOUR nationally known speakers. The theme of the seminar is “Finding Your Elusive Ancestors,” and don’t we all have one or two or three? You will be able to submit your questions to the speakers for expert guidance, and you will also have the chance to win prizes from major genealogical companies.

Program speakers and topics:

Steve Little,  will discuss “A.I. and Genealogy:  The Basics and a Bit Beyond”. Begin exploring the power of Artificial Intelligence, its limits and how it can be harnessed for genealogy.  Discover how Large Language Models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT enhance efficiency, productivity, and creativity. Unravel real-world use cases of A.I. tools in OCR cleanup, data extraction, narrative report cleanup and translations.  Learn about the exciting future of A.I. in genealogy with the growth of use cases, reduction of technical limitations, and more affordable costs.  Get an understanding of privacy and ethical considerations in A.I. use.

Steve traces his deep roots to Ashe County, N.C., where by 1820 all 32 of his 3rd-great-grandparents had settled. His passion lies in A.I. & genetic genealogy: with a keen interest in endogamy, pedigree collapse, and the art of untangling multiple relationships through DNA segment triangulation, and an insatiable curiosity to explore beneficial uses and current limits of artificial intelligence in genealogy.


David Allen Lambert, will present “Adopting the Regiment: Researching and Recreating Your Ancestor’s Revolutionary War Unit”.  When it comes to finding the full story of your patriot ancestor, it’s important to broaden the scope of your research.  This presentation will discuss how to “adopt the regiment” and find the story of your ancestor through the words and experiences of fellow veterans. David will demonstrate how muster rolls, crew lists, pensions, affidavits, diaries, and other materials can be used to piece together your revolutionary roots.

David, an international speaker and author of many articles, eleven books, and genealogies presented to such persons as David McCullough, Ken Burns, Angela Lansbury and Michael and Kitty Dukakis, is the Chief Genealogist of New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA since 1993, and News Co-host of Extreme Genes Podcast.   He is also Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, life member of the New Hampshire Society of the Cincinnati and the Geneal Society of the War of 1812.He is also the tribal genealogist for the Massachusett Tribe at Punkapoag.                                                  

Diana Elder, AGⓇ,will speak on “Who’s Her Daddy? Testing an Ancestry DNA Thruline Hypothesis for a Female Ancestor”.  Tracing the ancestry of a female born in the early 19th century is one of the most difficult research challenges.  When no record names a father, discover how documentary records, a migration study, and DNA evidence can confirm a hypothesis in this pre-1850 case study.     

Diana is a professional genealogist accredited in the Gulf South region of the United States. She authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide and co-authored the companion volume, Research Like a Pro with DNA: A Genealogist’s Guide to Finding and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Evidence. Diana and her daughter, Nicole Dyer, are the hosts of the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast and share research tips on their website,

Nicole Dyer, will round out the day’s seminar by addressing the challenging topic of “Strategies for Overcoming Genealogy Roadblocks”.  When you hit a roadblock in your genealogy research, how can you find what you need to make progress?  Discover how to stick to a research process, analyze clues, and use the FamilySearch Catalog to identify new records to search, gather hints from DNA cousin matches, and locate sources that are only available on-site.

Nicole is a professional genealogist specializing in Southern United States research and genetic genealogy. She is the creator of and the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast.  Nicole has also co-authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist Guide and Research Like a Pro with DNA.

COST:  Members – $40; Non-members: $50.  Learn more about our speakers and register for the seminar at our website: MGSFL

Hope to see you there!

The Manatee Genealogical Society

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