$15 – $40

2022 Spring Genealogy Conference

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$15 – $40

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Event description
Spend a day with genealogy expert Rich Venezia learning how to improve your family history research skills.

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April 9, 2022 (ONLINE VIA ZOOM)

Rich Venezia


Our Spring 2022 Genealogy Conference is on Saturday, April 9th, with four lectures by Rich Venezia, a nationally recognized expert on genealogy research (and former North Hills Genealogists President).

Are you the type of person who thinks it's fun to spend a day learning about how to conduct research on the internet and dive deeper into the records you find, extracting every last clue that they can give? How about spending a day with like-minded individuals learning about how to best conduct genealogical research to discover your ancestors’ life stories? Then this experience is for you! The conference will be held live via Zoom (no recording). Door prizes are included in the Saturday schedule.

Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Philadelphia home. He founded Rich Roots Genealogy in 2013. He was a member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) for two seasons, and also consulted on Follow Your Past (Travel Channel). He is an expert in the research of 20th-century immigrant ancestors, especially underutilized record sources and federal records. He also specializes in Italian and Irish research. Additionally, he assists clients with dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy, and is a proud Italian dual citizen. He holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. He lectures nationwide, and spoke about "How to Grow Empathy From Uncovering Your Roots" at TEDx Pittsburgh 2017.


(Doorprize drawings throughout the day and during lunch break)


8:00 AM - Sign In to Zoom, socialize & networking

8:45 AM - Opening Remarks

9:00 AM - Two morning lectures with breaks

11:30 PM - Lunchtime Break

12:30 PM - Two afternoon lectures with break

2:45 PM - Final Q&A



Email us at Conference@NorthHillsGenealogists.org



$35 (NHG Member)  $40 (non-member) 


There will be a number of door prizes awarded during the morning breaks and at the lunchtime break.  



"Discovering Your Immigrant’s Origins: Exhausting Every Resource"

Pin down your elusive immigrant ancestor’s place of origin using some well-known – and lesser- known – record sets, ideas, and techniques.

Immigrant ancestors didn’t always leave behind too may records that give hints as to their exact place of origin. The endless “Ireland” notations or “Poland” listed as place of birth can drive genealogists, both beginner and expert alike, mad. This presentation delves into various and diverse records that are found stateside so as to narrow down that search, as well as ideas for when the paper trail continually runs cold. The main suspects will be discussed, as will numerous lesser-known and lesser-used records. Many of these record sets are also rich with genealogical details, and can help contextualize and fill in our ancestors’ lives here in the United States.

"Immigration & Naturalization Laws Throughout U. S. History"

Learn about America’s immigration and naturalization laws in this overview, from 1790 – the present.

Since the founding of the nation, naturalization and immigration laws have dictated who was able to immigrate, become citizens, and have all the rights and privileges therein. Understanding the complex history of these laws gives us a better understanding of the lives and times of our ancestors, and can help us theorize what records we might find. Moreover, it may answer questions regarding why an immigrant never naturalized, or why ancestor arrived at one time over another.


"Board of Special Inquiry Records: Few and Far-Between"

Family story about a detention at Ellis Island? “BSI” notation on a ship manifest? Learn what few records still exist that detail an immigrant’s questioning before a Board of Special Inquiry, and their possible subsequent exclusion, appeal, or detention.

Many researchers see “BSI” listed next to an ancestor’s name on a ship manifest and are disappointed to find that most of these records no longer exist. However, records of the Boards of Special Inquiry are still extant for various years in the ports of San Francisco, San Pedro, Honolulu, and Philadelphia, as well as along the Southern Border. Records of cases that were appealed to the Central Office in Washington, D. C., may also be found. These remaining records will be examined to discover what stories they tell about individuals held for questioning.

"Military Records and Immigrant Ancestors"

Draft cards, service records, pensions, registrations… when an immigrant ancestor fought for the

American military or interacted with the Selective Service System, the records left behind are numerous and enlightening. These records may not only reveal a place of origin, but could greatly help to contextualize an ancestor’s life and times.

Many military-related records were created that relate to our immigrant ancestors fighting for their new homeland, registering for the draft, or claiming some sort of exemption. This lecture focuses on immigrants within these record groups, but well over half of the record groups covered also relate to non-immigrants.

"Question & Answer Session" until 4pm EDT

The conference will conclude with a Q & A from questions submitted by attendees.

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Organizer North Hills Genealogists of Pittsburgh

Organizer of 2022 Spring Genealogy Conference

The North Hills Genealogists is a group of people interested in genealogy and researching their family histories.  Located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, PA., our members have common interests in both the geographic areas north of the city as well as the geographic origins of our ancestors.  Many of our members also live in the North Hills area.


Meetings are on the third Monday of every month except December, starting at 7pm. While normally held at the Kearns Spirituality Center near the LaRoche University campus, DURING THE COVID-19 VIRUS PERIOD THEY ARE BEING HELD ONLINE VIA ZOOM.  More details, including driving directions and meeting topics, are on our website at www.NorthHillsGenealogists.org.  All meetings are free and open to the public.  Additional information is also available by emailing INFO@NorthHillsGenealogists.org.


The monthly meetings each feature a guest speaker addressing the group on a subject related to genealogy.  A "roundtable discussion" is periodically scheduled instead of a lecture, giving each person a chance to ask questions or to tell of a great research breakthrough.  


We arrange field trips to repositories and locations such as Washington DC, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Western Reserve Library in Cleveland, and West Virginia University.


We publish 10 monthly newsletters per year, which includes articles to help you find resources, tips on how to do better genealogy, and announcements of upcoming events. The newsletter is available either electronically via email or in hardcopy via USPS.


Membership dues are $15/year (August through July).


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