Occasional Webinar Series

To supplement our long-form courses, the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research will periodically invite speakers to present shorter webinars featuring unique content.

Live attendance at the following webinars requires prior registration. The cost for registration is $9.99 which includes the syllabus material and a video recording of the lecture. Attendance is limited to 100 students.

Our current schedule of upcoming webinars includes:

“Researching Enslaved Ancestors in South Carolina” with LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG
Wednesday, 14 March 2018, 8:00pm (EDT)

In addition to information about available record collections, this webinar will provide an overview of the historical and legal backdrops that inform genealogical research of enslaved ancestors in South Carolina. The presenter will also share research strategies and “best practices” for conducting genealogical research to produce the most accurate results possible.

Board-certified genealogist, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG(SM) focuses on African American families with roots in the South, primarily the Carolinas. She is a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, an award-winning writer, and a lecturer. In 2016 she published A Guide to Researching African American Ancestors in Laurens County, South Carolina, and Selected Finding Aids, a book that was hailed in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution as a model for researching in other SC counties and other states.

Registration for live attendance (includes syllabus and recording): $9.99

“The California Historic Missions and Their Records: Their Importance to Genealogists” with Sheila Benedict
Wednesday, 11 July 2018, 8:00pm (EDT)

The twenty-one California Historic Missions, built from 1769 to 1823, were a major effort by the King of Spain to colonize Alta California and are an important part of the state’s history. Yet few people are aware of the extensive record-keeping being done then and now. The registers that contain baptisms, marriages, and burials, as well as many other documents, hold valuable genealogical information that benefit Catholic and non-Catholic researchers, in this country and elsewhere. In many cases, these cannot be found anywhere else but at the missions or a central archive. Within this history also lies the Spanish (1769–1821) and Mexican (1821–46) land grant system. This presentation will focus on the records, examine the information so important to genealogists and other historians, and suggest how to access them.

Sheila Benedict was the archivist and administrator for 17 years at Old Mission Santa Inés, one of the 21 California historic missions. In addition, she has been a parish minister, handled all the tribunal cases, studied Canon Law, oversaw the museum and church art and artifacts collections, and served as the conservation/preservation grant writer. She has extensive knowledge of the California Mission System and the records. As a professional genealogist since the early 1990s, she has lectured at national and local genealogy conferences, is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, many California county genealogical societies, the Society of California Archivists, Central California Paralegal Association, The American Irish Historical Society-Santa Barbara branch, and the American Association for State and Local History. In 2015, she wrote Research in the States – California for the NGS Research in the States series.

Registration for live attendance (includes syllabus and recording): $9.99