Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society
The Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society meets at 1 PM on the third Monday of the month, September through November and January through May, in the Mt. Lebanon Library. You're welcome to join us. We meet in one of the two Conference Rooms on the lower level of the library. Check the library's Calendar of Events for specific dates and location. All meetings are free and open to the public.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the library's Genealogy Resources
Upcoming Meetings - 2023
September 18 - Our speaker will be Megan Clark and her talk is titled "He Wasn’t a Captain! Strategies to Correct Myths and Mistakes Using Modern Methods." She will show how to identify incorrect information and give some creative ideas to correct information that may be out there.
October 16 - Our speaker will be Helen Shimek, leader of the DNA Special Interest Group of the Erie Society for Genealogical Research. She will present: Comparing Tools from DNA Testing Sites. The DNA testing companies we are most familiar with all offer ethnicity estimates and cousin matching. But each company also offers some unique tools that can help with family history research. This presentation will discuss the value of uploading DNA data to more than one site, and will demonstrate a variety of tools offered by some of the sites. This presentation is most appropriate for anyone who has taken a DNA test or anyone who is interested in learning how a DNA test can help break down genealogy brick walls. Meeting Notes (PDF) | Handout (PDF)
November 20 - Jim Stuber will do a talk titled "Finding Your Female Ancestors". Many times a wife is only identified as Mrs. and her husband's last name. This talk will expand on the talk JIm gave in 2017 to give you even more ways to find her maiden name. Without a maiden name you won't be able to research her family line.
May 15 - Our speaker will be Rebecca Kichta Miller and her presentation is titled "Don't Lose All Those Pictures and Documents. You focus on what to keep and what not to keep, and then how best to save, preserve, and share what you do keep." Seating is limited and registration is required. Meeting Notes (PDF) | Handout (PDF)
April 17 - Our meeting this month will be something new for us. Rather than having a professional speaker make a presentation, we're going to have our members share their experience and expertise with the rest of the group. They will talk about a problem they encountered and how they solved it through their research, i.e. how they overcame a brick wall. Each presentation will be 5 - 10 minutes and will follow this general outline: What the problem was, i.e. who, when, where? What made it so difficult? Where did you find the information you needed? How did you finally find it? Meeting Notes (PDF) | Coroner Case File Request (PDF)
March 20 - Our speaker will be Elissa Scalise Powell and the title of her presentation is “Please Steal My Stuff: Sharing Trees”. Many people complain that online trees are unreliable – don’t let yours be among them! Learn to share good information and how to help it stay that way. Seating is limited and registration is required. Meeting Notes (PDF) | GRIP flyer (PDF)
February 20 - The meeting will be a video with a well received speaker we've had in the past. Rich Venezia will present "16 Ways to Find Your Ancestor's Village", to learn all the ways you can find where your family is from in Europe. If you want to research your ancestors in Europe, you have to know the village. Seating is limited and registration is required. Meeting Notes
January 23 - Our speaker will be Megan Clark Young and her topic will be "Using Pennsylvania Land Records to Solve Tough Cases.". Meeting Notes (PDF)
Meeting Notes from 2022
November 21 - Our meeting will be on the 1950 census. We will view several short videos on the basics of the census, how to search it, and some tips on how to get the most information from the records. Jim Stuber will moderate the videos and add commentary as needed. Seating is limited and registration is required. Meeting Notes (PDF)
October 17 – Our speaker will be Kate Townsend, a professional genealogist and lecturer with Family History Investigations. She will be presenting “Pittsburgh Genealogy 101 – A Guide to Researching in the Steel City”. Meeting Notes (PDF) | Pittsburgh Genealogy 101 (PDF)
September 19 - Greg Simkins will present “Finding Your Ancestors with DNA”. In his presentation, Greg will use case studies to highlight how he has used DNA technology to help overcome brick walls in his genealogy research. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
April 18 - Jim Stuber will present "The Path to Mt. Lebanon - Stories Discovered from Genealogy Research" He will present highlights of the genealogy research projects he's done in return for a donation to the Historical Society of Mt. Lebanon. The stories are inspiring, heart breaking, uncover family secrets, and some happy endings. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
May 16 - Rebecca Kichta Miller will present “Electrifying Your Family Tree”. If you have your genealogy files and family histories in boxes or file folders in closets or file cabinets you’ll want to learn how to digitize this information by “Electrifying Your Family Tree”. Once you have “electrified” your family history, you’ll be able to have the data at your fingertips.
Rebecca is President of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and one of our most popular speakers. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
February 17 - Elissa Scalise Powell will present “Sailing into the Sunset: Finding Ancestors on Passenger Lists”. Finding ancestors on passenger lists depends on at least three things: being able to recognize the ancestor with the limited information on the list, understanding if a record even exists, and working the transcribed indexes correctly. Various indices, research aides, examples of records and where to find them are all discussed.
March 16 - (Canceled) Jim Stuber will present "The Path to Mt. Lebanon - Stories Discovered from Genealogy Research" He will present highlights of the genealogy research projects he's done in return for a donation to the Historical Society of Mt. Lebanon, plus a few from his own family's history. The stories are inspiring, heart breaking, uncover family secrets, and some happy endings.
April 21 - (Canceled) Rebecca Kichta Miller will present "Don't Lose All Those Pictures and Documents"
May Meeting (Canceled)
Meeting Notes from 2020
January 21 - A video on "Seek and Ye Shall Find: Become an Ancestry Search Expert". Are you getting the most out of Ancestry's collections? Are your searches as effective as they can be? Whether you are trying to answer a specific question or just trying to find everything you can about a specific person, this video will show you how to achieve your goal. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
Meeting Notes from 2019
January 14 - Marilyn Holt, Head of the Pennsylvania Department at the Carnegie Library will present “Resources Available at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh”. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
February 18 - Elissa Scalise Powell CG, CGL is nationally recognized as a genealogy lecturer. The subject of her presentation will be “To Use On-line Trees or Not: Organizing Your Data for Your Purposes” - Online Trees Handout (PDF) Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
March 18 - Jim Stuber will make a presentation on “Researching Ancestors Using Online Newspaper Sites”, with a focus on free sites from our region and beyond. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
April 15 - Helen Shimek, leader of the DNA Special Interest Group of the The Erie Society for Genealogical Research, will give a talk on using DNA in your genealogy research. Relationship Chart DNA Resources Handout (PDF) Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
May 20 - Rich Venezia, who owns the Pittsburgh based genealogy research firm Rich Roots Genealogy, will give a talk titled “Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins: Exhausting Every Resource.“ Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
September 16 - Sierra Green, an archivist with the Heinz History Center, will present “An Archivist's Guide to Genealogical Research at the Heinz History Center". Sierra Green Handout Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
October 21 - A video featuring Anne Gillespie Mitchell, Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com, titled “Getting Started on Ancestry: Starting Your Family Tree”. A question/answer time after the video will review pros and cons. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
Meeting Notes from 2018
January 22 - Rebecca Kichta Miller, President-elect of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogy Society and a returning speaker to our group, will give a talk titled “What Your DNA Test Will Not Tell You”. DNA testing is a hot topic these days so come and learn what it will and won't do for your research. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
February 19 - A video by Crista Cowan on “Genealogy Methodology: Documenting Parentage.” We've viewed several of her videos and they are fast paced and full of good information. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
March 19 - Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, Head of the Pennsylvania Department at the Carnegie Library and President of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogy Society, will give a talk on Pennsylvania Vital Records. Marilyn is an annual speaker to our group and always our most popular. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
April 17 –Nationally known Certified Genealogist Tammy Hepps will speak on the “Top 10 Things I Learned About My Family From My Couch”. This lecture is informative, funny and instructive. You'll learn a shocking amount about Tammy's family, and also about how to begin to collect your own family history through beginning internet genealogy. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
May 14 - James R. (Bob) Hagerty will talk about how to write life stories about oneself or others and how to interview loved ones to preserve their recollections in your genealogy. Bob is based in Pittsburgh and has served for the past two years as The Wall Street Journal’s only full-time obituary writer, writing about the lives of prominent people worldwide. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
September 17 - Jim Stuber will discuss the wealth of genealogical resources available on the free FamilySearch.org web site, the online databases you can access for free at the Family History Center, and the personal assistance available at the Family History Center in Green Tree. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
November 19 - As a follow-up to the September meeting, we will view the video "Finding Elusive Records on FamilySearch". The records you can find by performing basic searches represent only a small portion of what’s available In fact, 77 percent of the free historical records on FamilySearch.org can’t be found by searching. This video will walk you step-by-step through the process of locating those elusive records. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
No meeting in December.
Meeting Notes From 2017
November 20 - The Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society's next meeting on Monday, November 20th at 1:00 PM in the Mt. Lebanon Public Library will be a viewing of the video titled “The Big 4:” Comparing Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage”. If you're not using these valuable resources to find your ancestors, this is one you should not miss. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
October 16 - The Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society's next meeting will be on Monday, October 16th at 1:00 PM in the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. Our speaker will be Elissa Scalise Powell, who will give a talk titled “Rubik’s Cube Genealogy: A New Twist on Your Old Data”. Ms. Powell is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) and a regional and national speaker on methodology. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
October 3 - Jim Stuber will give a talk on “Getting Started in Genealogy”. The presentation will be a survey of techniques and tools for a beginner to start researching their ancestors, and the more advanced person to learn about resources they aren’t currently using. Getting Started Handout
September 18 - The Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will meet Monday September 18 at 1:00pm in the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. A video presentation by Crista Cowan (the Barefoot Genealogist) on “Genealogy Goals” will be followed by discussion. Admission is free and open to the public. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
May 15 - The May meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will be a presentation by Rebecca Kitchta Miller on “Genealogy – Getting and Staying Organized”. Rebecca is the current President of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogy Society and a popular speaker on many aspects of genealogy research. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
April 17 - The April meeting will be a viewing of the The Barefoot Genealogist’s video “Crafting a Research Plan”. The video will be followed by a question and answer session on the video or any topic of genealogy interest. After the video we will have an open discussion where you can share tips and techniques that have worked for you, and still have time for general questions and answers. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
March 20 - Our speaker will be Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, Head of the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library. Marilyn is one of our most popular speakers, so please come to be educated and amused as she leads us through another exploration of topics in genealogy research. Link To Meeting Notes (PDF)
February 20 - The speaker for the February 20th meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will be Rich Venezia, professional genealogist and President of the North Hills Genealogists. Rich's topic will be "Italian-Americans: Find Your Roots in the Old Country". Learn the basics of Italian records, what’s available and where, and tips and tricks for finding elusive ancestors. Discover your famiglia and make Nonna proud! Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
January23 - Many records we find have the husband's first and last name listed but only the wife's first name. So how do you find a woman's maiden name when you only find her living with her husband? This is key to finding her parents and earlier generations of her family. This talk by Jim Stuber will show multiple proven techniques to find her given name from internet sources which are free to search. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
Meeting Notes from 2016
November - Our presenter in November will be Jay Shock and will focus on research in the Pittsburgh area. That means the city of Pittsburgh, but may "ooze out" at least a bit into the rest of Allegheny County, if not into a neighboring county or two. Most of us have dug through Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc, so this session will focus on other sources - some online, some not, and many not so well known. We would like everyone in the group, audience as well as presenter, to come armed with their best, perhaps not so well known, sources of Pittsburgh area family history information. They could be church records, newspapers, ethnic resources, anything that has helped you to further your research in the area. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
October - The October meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will be a viewing of the video by Crista Cowen titled "Lesser Known Ports of Immigration." She actually covers all the ports and gives good tips on finding your ancestors where ever they arrived. Since Crista only talks about information on Ancestry.com, after the video Jim Stuber will cover several additional useful sources. There will be ample time to answer questions and for the audience to share their own tips and techniques. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
September- The September meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society on the 19th at 1:00 in the Mt. Lebanon Library will be "Problems and pitfalls of reasonably shallow research" presented by Elissa Scalise Powell, Certified Genealogist®, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Meetings are free and open to all. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
May - Our May presenter will be Jim Stuber, demonstrating how he used the tools and techniques presented in March's meeting “Getting Started in Genealogy”. These were used to complete one of the research requests he has done for members of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society. Come see and learn how the tools were used to do an actual research project. Attendance is free and open to all. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
April - The April meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society on the 18th at 1:00 in the Mt. Lebanon Library will be a talk by Carol Hoffman, Ph.D and President of LitvakSIG, the Lithuanian-Jewish Special Interest Group. Her talk will be on Lithuanian Jewry and tracing roots in Lithuania. During the question and answer part of the talk she will answer questions with examples from online databases. Attendance is free and open to all. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
March - The speaker for the March meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will be Jim Stuber on “Getting Started in Genealogy”. The presentation will be a survey of techniques and tools for a beginner to start researching their ancestors, and the more advanced person can learn about resources they aren’t currently using. There will be time during and after the talk for questions and answers. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
February - The speaker for the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society meeting on February 15th at 1:00 will be Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, head of the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Marilyn always brings out our largest audiences with her wealth of information and interesting anecdotes. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
January 25th, 2016 - The January meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will be a viewing of the video "Five Reasons You're Not Finding Your Ancestor". We'll follow that with a group discussion about the video and have time to answer any questions you have on it, or any other genealogy topic. Come to share your expertise, or learn from others who are further down the genealogy trail than you are. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
Meeting Notes from 2015
January - Our January meeting will be an open discussion and round table for members new and old. If you're an experienced researcher, share your best tips for doing genealogy in Western PA. Or anywhere else for that matter. If you're a new member, this is your chance to get tips on how to get started. Or if you're just at a brick wall on one of your ancestors, ask and see if one of our members has some new avenues for you to try. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
February - Our February meeting will be demonstrations of several tools in the Google product suite. If you've attended our meetings in the past you've heard us say the three best sources of information are Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org and Google search. This meeting will demonstrate the use of the most important of the Google tools for genealogy research: search, books, alerts and newspapers. The first three topics will be taught using online videos, the last by a live demonstration of Google's extensive archive of newspapers. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
March - Amy E. K. Arner will discuss how and where to find birth, death, and marriage records in Pennsylvania. She will show examples of each type of document and what kinds of valuable information researchers can find in them. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
April 20 - Marilyn Holt returns for her annual visit to our group. Marilyn will present topics of interest to those new at genealogy and those well along their journey. Marilyn is always our most popular speaker so don't miss this opportunity to improve your genealogy skills and knowledge. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
May 18 - Jim Stuber will describe how to use the resources available through the Family History Centers, including free online resources at www.familysearch.org, historical records from all around the globe on microfilm, the most popular web sites free to use at the local Family History Centers, and more. If you aren't using these to their fullest, you're missing out on the single best source of genealogy information in the world, all available from your home or a short trip to Green Tree. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
September - The Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will not be meeting in September. We will resume our regular meetings on October 19th.
October - The October meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society on October 19th at 1:00 will be a viewing of a video titled "Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors", with time for discussion by the group and answers to your specific questions. Tracking ancestors back across the ocean is often one of the most difficult issues when doing genealogy research. Come and learn how the experts do it. Link To Meeting Notes (PDF)
November - The November 16th meeting of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society will be a presentation by Rebecca Kichta Miller on Finding Your Irish Ancestors. Ireland is a notoriously difficult country to research ancestors, but Rebecca brings her years of experience to help you find them there. If they're going to be found, Rebecca will show you the way. Link to Meeting Notes (PDF)
December - no meeting in December.
Meeting Notes from 2014
January - No Meeting
February 17th – A video from the popular presenter: The Barefoot Genealogist, Crista Cowan. The 30 minutes video, entitled "Approach Your Family History Research Like A Pro", will be followed by a Q/A session on the material we just viewed, or any other questions attendees would like to ask.
March 17th – Marilyn Cocchiola Holt returns for her annual visit to our society. Marilyn is our most popular presenter each year. This year’s topic is “Researching Your Ancestors in Europe”, one of our top requested topics.
April 21st - Jay Shock will speak on “Church and Cemetery Records: A Complement to Online Research”.
May 19th - Diane Klinefelter is a professional genealogist, author and historian specializing in military records. She will give a talk on "Finding the Veterans in Your Family." Because military records often hold such rich and detailed information, it is no wonder genealogists want to look for all the family members who served in our armed forces. This talk will provide tips on identifying ancestors that served, where to find the records and what genealogical information can be gained from them.
September 15 - The September meeting will be a presentation by Jim Stuber. He will show how he did the research to provide one of our members new information on their ancestors. See an actual demonstration of how the wealth of information from familysearch.org, ancestry.com and google.com make genealogy research easier than ever before.
October 20 - DNA testing and genealogy research
November 17 - Elissa Scalise Powell, well known genealogy researcher and presenter in Western Pennsylvania will discuss: “What's a Prothonotary?: Your Guide to Pennsylvania Court House Records”
December 15th - No Meeting in December