Michigan Genealogical Council

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2022 MGC Fall Seminar featuring LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson

Sat, November 12, 2022 at 8:45 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0

$20 – $25
LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson

In partnership with the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Genealogical Council is proud to have LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson as our 2022 Virtual Fall Family History Seminar featured speaker on Saturday, November 12.

We offer our seminar virtually again this year. That means that you can participate in the sessions from the comfort of your home -no worries about driving, parking, waiting in lines for the restroom, or lunch.

Registration is required and includes all four sessions with LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, one session each from the staff of the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan, and a downloadable syllabus.

Join us for these exciting topics.

8:45 – 9:00 am: Zoom sign in and Help for Attendees

9:00-9:15 am: Welcome and remarks Rozlyn Kelly, MGC President, Mark Harvey, Archives of Michigan State Archivist, and Adam Oster, Library of Michigan

9:15-10:15 am: Planning Research-LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
Planning Research will discuss the development of a sound research plan, the first step in the thorough research required by the Genealogy Proof Standard.

10:30-11:30 am: Strengthen Your Analysis: Transcribing and Abstracting-LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
Strengthen Your Analysis: Transcribing and Abstracting will discuss the ability to craft transcriptions and abstracts, an essential skill that is needed to accurately interpret handwritten records.

11:45 am-12:45 pm: Wills, Thrills and Chills: Digging into Probate Records-Kris Rzepczynski, Senior Archivist, Archives of Michigan
Wills, Thrills and Chills: Digging into Probate Records will provide an overview of probate records, the different types of records created, including wills, inventories, and calendars, the family history content to be discovered, and where to find them online and onsite. An update on the Archives of Michigan’s digitization efforts will also be given.

12:45 am – 1:15: pm Lunch Break

1:15 -2:15 pm: Meeting Standards for Narrative Genealogies, Lineages, and Pedigrees-LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
An understanding of generally accepted formatting options is helpful in presenting information about family relationship and successive generations.

2:30 – 3:30 pm: An NGSQ Case Study: DNA Corroborates Oral Tradition-LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
The case study that won the NGSQ 2020 Award for Excellence illustrated the information needed to make sound decisions on when DNA tests can or should be used in genealogical research, and how to meet DNA-specific Genealogy Standards.

3:45-4:45 pm: African American Newspaper Resources at the Library of Michigan-Mindy Babarskis, Michigan Collection Reference Librarian, Library of Michigan
Discover the range of digital and physical African American newspaper resources available at the Library of Michigan. Research tips and tricks for utilizing these resources will be presented along with interesting examples of what can be discovered.

4:45 – 5:00 pm: Closing Remarks – Rozlyn Kelly



LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG®, FASG, earned a BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and both a Law degree and a Master of Laws degree from New York University. She enjoyed a 35-year career as a tax lawyer before her 2013 retirement as a partner from the big four accounting firm of Ernst & Young, and is now a full-time genealogist focused on teaching and writing. She lectures frequently on standards and the proper documentation of genealogical work and proof arguments. She was elected as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists® in 2016, and will end her third term as BCG President in October 2022. LaBrenda also serves as the Registrar General of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage, a national lineage society that honors ancestors who were enslaved in the United States.

In 2021 LaBrenda was elected as the 170th Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), the field’s honorary scholarly society. The ASG was founded in 1940 and is limited to fifty life-time members; election is based on the quality of a genealogist’s published work As explained in an ASG press release, LaBrenda “has a twenty-year record of writing family history, first as a dedicated amateur while practicing law, and then, since her retirement from that profession, as an authoritative writer and genealogical educator. Her compiled genealogical scholarship in journals such as National Genealogical Society Quarterly focuses on African-American families during and after enslavement, including combining DNA match evidence with traditional documentary evidence in a notoriously difficult field. Her educational publications include a guide to researching African-American family history in Laurens County, South Carolina, where she has roots—a primer with important methodological lessons applicable nationally—and an authoritative guide to genealogical research in the state of Alabama. For more information see her website https://www.LabGarrettGenealogy.com.

Mindy Babarskis

Mindy Babarskis is the Michigan Collection Reference Librarian at the Library of Michigan. Originally from Oakland County, Michigan, she left for college in Illinois where she received her BA in History from Wheaton College and her MLIS from Dominican University. Before starting at the Library of Michigan in 2021, she worked at Florida State University’s Strozier Library, the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, and at Lansing Community College Library.

Kris Rzepczynski

A Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan where he specializes in family history and Michigan research, Kris has worked in the genealogical community for more than 20 years. He is a former Vice President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and a Past President of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society.


Sat, November 12, 2022
8:45 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
$20 – $25
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