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Family History Society of Arizona

Genealogical Seminar and Annual Meeting
Featuring Thomas W. Jones

Saturday, March 24, 2018
Special Friday Evening Session, March 23, 2018
LDS Chapel
1415 E. Southern Ave. Mesa, AZ 85204

Thomas Jones Tom has been pursuing his ancestry since 1963. For the first twenty-five years, he reports that he was clueless about what he was trying to accomplish and how to do it. When he started climbing the genealogy learning curve, he repeatedly experienced the challenges, joys, and rewards of tracing ancestors reliably and fully understanding their lives. Tom eventually became an award-winning writer, board-certified genealogist, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, recipient of honors from genealogical organizations, and author of the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Documentation (2017) and Mastering Genealogical Proof (2013). He enjoys presenting courses and workshops around the country.

Friday Evening Program

LDS Chapel
1415 E. Southern Ave. Mesa, AZ 85204

Doors open at 6:30pm for registration and refreshments

7:00 pm-8:00 pm: The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames
This case study will explain how missing, erroneous, and altered records were overcome to identify the parents of an orphan named Jones. Attendees will learn research strategies that they can use to solve their own common-surname problems.

Saturday Program

LDS Chapel
1415 E. Southern Ave. Mesa, AZ 85204

8:00 am to 8:45 am: Check-in and continental breakfast snacks and juice:

Seminar: 8:45 am to 3:00 pm

8:45 am - 9:00 am: Greetings and Introduction

9:00 am -10:00 am: Finding "Unfindable" Ancestors - The failure of common research practices to identify ancestors does not mean they are unfindable. This session will describe and demonstrate nine approaches to locating difficult-to-trace ancestors.

10:30 am-11:30 am: Systematically Using Autosomal DNA Test Results to Help Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls - A case study set in the early 1800s demonstrates methodology for using autosomal DNA test results to help solve longstanding genealogical problems.

11:30 am-12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30 pm-1:30 pm: Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages - Genealogists often are frustrated by record shortages and surviving records that do not specify relationships. Using the analogy of assembling a jigsaw puzzle with many missing and damaged pieces, a case study will demonstrate six steps attendees can use to bypass record shortages and identify ancestors successfully.

2:00 pm-3:00 pm: Five Proven Techniques for Finding Your Ancestor's European Origin - The session explains three major challenges in learning the origin of European ancestors. The presenter will recommend and provide examples of five kinds of searches that have led to success. Attendees will learn techniques for matching the identity of a North American ancestor with names and identities found in European records.

3:00 pm - 3:30pm: FHSA Annual Meeting


Registration Fees

REGISTRATION CLOSES at midnight on Friday, March 16, 2018.
(NOTE: Refunds available until March 16, 2018)

Saturday Fee includes a boxed lunch from Jason's Deli, bottled water, plus morning continental breakfast snacks and juice. No coffee will be served but you may bring your own.
  • Friday Only: $10.00 (FHSA and non-FHSA attendees)
  • Saturday only: FHSA Members $40, non-FHSA attendees $45*
  • Friday and Saturday Sessions: FHSA Members $45, non-FHSA attendees $55*
  • $5.00 Printed copy of syllabus (available online at after February 1, 2018)

* FHSA Members receive a discount. If you are not currently a member but would like to join FHSA now and take advantage of the discount, you may JOIN HERE first, then return to this page.

Online Registration Now Closed!

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