Lecture – Lyn Gesch & Sara Cochran

May 20, 2023 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
on Zoom
Presenter: Lyn Gesch

“Acquiring a sense of place: Using Maps to Help Tell Family Stories”

Have you ever wondered how your ancestors ended up in a particular place? Whether they chose to settle there or other factors drove them to that location, we rely on document research to help us find answers—public records, letters, diaries, local histories, etc. In this hour we will investigate the added value of using maps and gazetteers to help us in that quest to understand how our ancestors navigated those spaces that were “home” and built a life there. We will look at resources for both urban and rural research, with a focus on what is available online, and consider how maps and gazetteers help us tell a story.
Marilyn Gesch, Ph.D., is a longtime member of the Ventura County Genealogical Society. She has served on the Executive Board and has been a frequent presenter in the educational programs. Her background in sociology has led her to lean heavily on using social history in understanding family stories as well as to focus on quality research practices. Recent publications inspired by family histories looked at German immigrants in American wars and appear in the Kansas History journal (2018; WW1) and the Missouri Historical Review  (2015; Civil War) She is currently working on a manuscript following her father-in-law’s WW2 experiences through his letters and scrapbooks.

Second presentation:

Presenter: Sara Cochran

Irish Eyes Are Smiling: Finding Vital Records in the land of Saints and Scholars

Get to know the Irish Civil Registration records! These Birth, Marriage, and Death records began country-wide in 1864 and contain a wealth of information about our ancestors. Learn how to access these records right from your own home through multiple websites.

Sara is a full-time professional genealogist with over twenty-five years of experience. Her research has taken her into nearly every State in the USA as well as Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britain. She holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate, a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science, and is an alumnus of the ProGen Study Group. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy.

She is currently the Treasurer of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Registrar for the Aurantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Secretary for the Amanda Stokes Tent, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and volunteers at the National Archives, Riverside office.

All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.

There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month. Our members are encouraged to attend Conejo Valley Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG this month. Contact webmaster@venturacogensoc.org for more information.