2021 Annual Seminar

Effective Family Searching,
by THE FamilySearch Experts

Saturday, October 16, 2021
8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Join us for this year’s annual seminar, featuring the top leaders/genealogists from the Family History Library. Learn how to search more effectively for your ancestors from the experts.

Registration fee: $25. Once you register, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to the seminar. You will also receive an email reminder one day before the event, and another reminder email one hour before the seminar starts. Videos of the presentations will be available for a limited time after the seminar to everyone who registered. Have questions not answered here? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Door Prizes will be awarded throughout the day!

We have over 25 prizes to award, including FIVE grand prizes, valued between $200-$300 each. The total value of all prizes is ~$3,000!

David Rencher, Director, Family History Library
Chief Genealogical Officer,

FamilySearch Tips and Tricks

This session shares tips and tricks to searching record collections in FamilySearch. Learn new techniques for searching the collections, compiled genealogies, and the Library Catalog.

About David Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS:

David E. Rencher, AG®, CG®, FUGA, FIGRS, is employed as the Director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is one of the rare few who have earned both credentials: Accredited Genealogist® with ICAPGen in Ireland research (1981) and Certified Genealogist® with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (2006). He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research in Athens, Georgia, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with a BA in Family and Local History. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 1997-2000, a past-president of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) 1993-1995 and a Fellow of that organization. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London. He is the past chair of the joint National Genealogical Society and International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies committee for the Record Preservation and Access Coalition; he serves as a director on the board of the National Genealogical Society and as a counselor for the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Lynn Turner, Assistant Director, Family History Library, FamilySearch

Family History Library Now and Tomorrow, What to See and What to Expect

This session shows the exciting updates to the FamilySearch Family History Library. From infrastructure updates that include new places to eat and rest to new sit/stand desks with multiple monitors, the FHL is ready for an influx of guests to serve.

About Lynn Turner:

Lynn Turner, AG®, graduated with a BA in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in Spain and Latin America. He has been an accredited genealogist in Spain research since 2006. Lynn has worked at FamilySearch for seventeen years in various roles and is currently the Assistant Director of the Family History Library. Lynn has extensive experience in lecturing and presenting classes on Hispanic genealogy. He has presented as a guest lecturer at the national archives of Peru and has also given presentations in Spain, Colombia, and Brazil. He has presented Hispanic workshops at both NGS and FGS as well as coordinating week-long genealogical institute courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR).

Robert Raymond, Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer,

FamilySearch New England Colonial Offerings

This session highlights FamilySearch resources and provides for researching your colonial New England ancestors.

About Robert Raymond:

Robert Raymond is a deputy to FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, David Rencher. He is a frequent presenter at national, regional, and local conferences. For a decade Robert wrote a top ranked genealogy blog about Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, records, and methodology. Robert is a genealogical technologist with over 40 years of experience in technology and genealogy. He holds over a dozen technology patents and earned a master’s degree in electrical (computer) engineering from Brigham Young University where he was honored as a Kimball Scholar. He was a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society, and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Robert was a director of the National Genealogical Society from 2012 to 2018.

Edgie E. Donakey, VP Strategic Relations and Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch

Technology for Genealogists

This session highlights technology tools that can be used in repositories, cemeteries, and even offices to capture and preserve key data. From the go back to the sit/stand desk we’ll have fun in discussing tools of the trade.

About Ed Donakey:

Edgie E. Donakey is Vice President of Strategic Relations and Senior Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch International. Ed manages the Chief Genealogical Office while also working with societies, institutions, and businesses to identify opportunities to collaborate. A professional strategist and past CEO, Ed provides business and technology support to genealogical societies, non-profits, and emerging businesses while also coaching senior executives. Ed’s genealogical interests keep him in the Deep South, Ireland, and Scotland. Currently the NGS Secretary and a member of their board of directors, he was recently asked to serve on the advisory board of the Association of Genealogy Educators and Schools. A past FGS Vice President of Development and board member he also served as their National Conference Co-Chair for the 2014 FGS Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Ed sits or has sat on executive advisory boards at Dell, HP, Oracle, Altiris, and other technology organizations. His undergraduate and graduate studies were in philosophy and political philosophy respectively at BYU where he continues to lecture and present in multiple colleges and departments.

Schedule (all times listed are Pacific Standard Time)

8:30 am – 8:45 amJoin the webinar
8:45 am – 9:00 amWelcome and Announcements
9:00 am – 10:00 amSESSION 1 – FamilySearch Tips and Tricks
10:00 am – 10:15 amDoor prize drawings
10:15 am – 10:30 amMorning break
10:30 am – 11:30 amSESSION 2Family History Library Now and Tomorrow, What to See and What to Expect
11:30 am – 11:45 amDoor prize drawings
11:45 am – 12:30 pmLunch Break
12:30 pm – 1:30 pmSESSION 3 – FamilySearch New England Colonial Offerings
1:30 pm – 1:45 pmDoor prize drawings
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm Afternoon break
2:00 pm – 3:00 pmSESSION 4 – Technology for Genealogists
3:00 pm – 3:15 pmGrand door prize drawing
3:15 pm – 3:30pmWrap up

Thank You to All of Our Sponsors

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions not addressed here, please contact us at membership@venturacogensoc.org for issues related to registration.

How much does it cost?

The cost to attend the all-day event is $25.

Do I need to have a PayPal account?

You do not need to have a PayPal account (or create one) to pay for your registration.  We are using PayPal to collect the registration fees; however, the PayPal gateway has the option to accept credit cards, without creating an account. After you click on the “Pay and Register” button, you will be taken to the PayPal website to complete your billing details. If you have an account with PayPal, you can charge the seminar to that account.  If you do not have an account with PayPal, you can select to pay via credit card; you will then be prompted to enter your credit card information.

Can I pay by check?

Payment by check will not be accepted this year. Because we are utilizing the Zoom Webinar platform, all registrations must be completed online. This will ensure that your registration is processed quickly and that you receive the proper emails related to the event (confirmation, reminders, etc.).

Is there a deadline for registering?

You can register online any time prior to the start of the seminar.  Once the seminar starts, registration will be closed.

What if I can’t attend, can I get a refund?

Yes, you can cancel your registration at any time prior to the start of the seminar.  Your fee will be credited back to your PayPal or credit card account. Please note that it might take 1-2 weeks for your credit to complete. The link to cancel your registration is included in the confirmation email sent to you.

Will a recording of the seminar be available?

Yes! Each presentation will be recorded. A link to the recordings will be included in an email, sent the day after the seminar, to everyone who registered. The recordings will be available until November 13, 2021. Only the presentations and Q&A sessions will be recorded.

How do I get the Zoom link?

After you complete your registration, you will receive a confirmation email that will contain a link to the seminar.  You will have the option to add this meeting to your Outlook, Google, or Yahoo calendar.  A reminder email with the Zoom link to the webinar will also be emailed to you one day prior to the event and one hour before the seminar starts. You are asked to not share the link with anybody else.

Will there be handouts?

Yes, a link to the program handouts will be included in the reminder emails sent to all attendees prior to the event.  If, for some reason, you should not receive the reminder emails, a link to the handouts will also be posted in the Q&A window at the start of the seminar. The handout will contain any material provided by the speakers in addition to information on VCGS and promotional material.