CASA GRANDE — With a workshop set for Jan. 25, area genealogy buffs and experts hope to help people break through their own research brick walls and discover family secrets and stories that would otherwise be lost to time.

Every year since 2004, the Pinal County Genealogists group has hosted an annual genealogy workshop with classes and sessions that show people how to begin family research or continue it.

It’s aimed at all genealogists, including beginner and advanced researchers, said Avis Calkins, a member of the group and one of the organizers of the workshop.

“There are so many resources now to help people in their search,” Calkins said.

This year’s workshop includes 20 sessions covering a variety of research topics, among them:

  • Wills and probate
  • German, Swedish and Canadian research
  • First steps for beginners
  • Dating old photographs
  • Civil War history and genealogy research
  • Researching upstate New York records
  • Finding family in newspapers
  • Myths and mythologies of immigration
  • Using cemetery records
  • Understanding DNA
  • Finding a grave
  • Reading European handwriting

This year’s workshop speakers and presenters will offer a wide range of expertise and research tips on a variety of topics. Speakers include Laverne Aitchison, Bonnie Balza, Suzanne Brayer, Wendy Carlson, Denise Crawford, Kathleen Goodrich, Len Ingermanson, Pam Ingermanson, Baerbel Johnson, Steve Packer, Annette Rietz, Duane Roen, Chris Seggerman, Janette Silverman, Melanie Sturgeon and Robert Wilbanks.

The Pinal County Genealogists is a group of genealogy researchers, including beginners and experienced, who are both permanent area residents and winter visitors. Members of the group volunteer their time to help others research their own family trees.

The group hosts the workshop each year to help people get started or to advance their research.

“Some classes are for beginners just starting out and others are for more advanced researchers,” Calkins said.

The annual Pinal County Genealogists workshop begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, 1556 N. Colorado St.

The deadline for early registration is Jan. 11. Those registered by then pay a $20 registration fee, which includes lunch. The cost increases to $25 after Jan. 11, and lunch is not guaranteed.

Registration forms are online at www.pinalctyazgen.com. For more information call 480-818-3451 or send an email to billavis@cgmailbox.com.


Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.