Upcoming Genealogy Classes at BPL

From Our Friends in the Southern History Department:

November is here, and we have two brand new hands-on computer genealogy classes that will be taught in Regional Learning Computer Center (RLCC). First, we have Ancestry.com Library Edition.  Did you know that Birmingham Public Library subscribes to Ancestry.com Library Edition database, and it available to you for FREE at all locations of The Birmingham Public Library? In this class, participants will be introduced to Ancestry.com Library Edition database in which you can research your family history as well as learn how to search this database to locate your ancestors.

In September, we began teaching Using FamilySearch.org, a free genealogy website that allows you to research your genealogy, and each class has been full of eager patrons. This month, we are exploring FamilySearch even more and teaching a special class on the FamilySearch Wiki. In this class, participants will get a tour of the FamilySearch Wiki, discover a new place to get genealogical research advice, and learn where to find records collections.

Both classes will take place on Tuesday, November 10th in the Regional Learning Computer Center (RLCC) on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley building at Central branch. FamilySearch Wiki will begin at 9:15-10:15 am and will be followed by Ancestry.com Library Edition from 10:45-11:45 am. You can sign up for one or both of these classes, and don’t forget to check out the schedule for other classes. Because we offer these classes in the RLCC, space is limited, so please call 205-226-3680 to register.

We also have our Introduction to Genealogy classes, which are perfect for anyone getting started on their family history, and we will be teaching in on Tuesday, November 3rd from 11:30 am-12:30 pm and again on Sunday, November 15th from 2:30-3:30 pm.  We will meet on the first floor of the Linn-Henley building in the Southern History Department.  If you can’t make it, check out our upcoming schedule.  Hope to see you soon!

Southern History Department
Birmingham Public Library


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IGHR Moving to University of Georgia campus in 2017

News from our friends at IGHR:

Samford University Library and the Advisory Board of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) have announced the new host site for IGHR.

IGHR will be moving to Georgia in 2017. One of the four prestigious genealogical institutes in the United States and the only one with special emphasis on Southern research, IGHR will be moving from its home of more than 50 years at Samford University and the Samford University Library. Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. has grown immensely, and demands on its space and staff can no longer accommodate the week-long, intensive series of courses.

Lori Northrup, IGHR Director, and Kimmetha Herndon, Dean of Samford University Library, and the remaining Advisory Board Members of IGHR evaluated a number of proposals for the new host site and chose Georgia Genealogical Society, Inc. to be the organization to carry forward the tradition of excellence in genealogical education. Georgia Genealogical Society will work to maintain the high standards that have been a hallmark of the Samford University Library’s stewardship of this event.

Susan Sloan, President of GGS, stated, “It is indeed a high privilege for Georgia Genealogical Society to have this opportunity to raise the standard of genealogical research for the South by continuing the tradition of excellence that is IGHR. We embrace this challenge with great enthusiasm.”

The Institute will move to Athens, Ga. and the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in July of 2017. In addition to quality faculty to plan and teach the courses, IGHR courses demand excellent library collections to support the curricula and work of the students. The University of Georgia Libraries are known for being outstanding in depth and breadth and will support existing courses, as well as allow for potential expansion on the number of courses that can be taught in the future at IGHR.

The Georgia Center for Continuing Education is on the campus of the University of Georgia and will provide IGHR participants and faculty with a self-contained facility with classrooms, hotel, and food under one roof. 

Georgia Genealogical Society, Inc., a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit, was founded in 1964, with its first stated objective being “to raise the standards of genealogical research over the State through educational programs, workshops and the publication of genealogical data.” This statement makes it clear that the missions of IGHR and GGS are closely aligned, said Sloan.

BGS MEETING — August 22, 2015 — Y-DNA as a Genealogical Tool

General Meeting for April: The Birmingham Genealogical Society will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 22nd on the fourth floor of the Birmingham Public Library (in the Arrington Auditorium). The Board of Directors will meet at 1:00 p.m. in the same room.

Please join us as BGS member, Bill Clement, presents “Y-DNA as a Genealogical Tool.”  The Y-DNA test is for men only (men have one x and one y chromosome).  Surname Projects use Y-DNA test results as it is useful in tracing the male participant’s father’s line. Since Y-DNA is passed down from father to son, just as surnames are passed down in western societies, it is easy to visualize and track through genealogy. This is why Y-DNA projects are organized around surnames. Please join us for this informative program!

IGHR to Relocate from Samford University in 2017

On May 22nd, Samford University Media Relations announced that IGHR would relocate to an undetermined location beginning in 2017.  The 2016 IGHR will be the last held at Samford University.  IGHR began at Samford in 1962.

The press release cites competing institutional priorities.  The IGHR Advisory Board hopes to keep the Institute in the South.



BGS MEETING — April 25, 2015 — The Evil Email Empire

General Meeting for April: The Birmingham Genealogical Society will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25th on the fourth floor of the Birmingham Public Library (in the Arrington Auditorium). The Board of Directors will meet at 1:00 p.m. in the same room. 

Please join us as BGS member Jim Anderson presents “The Evil Email Empire, or who’s trying to trick me now?” Although not a statistic, it appears that many folks interested in genealogy could be classified as “seniors” and it is this group that evil people have targeted with numerous schemes to get us to open a scam email. “Phishing”, “spoofing” and “hacking” were not part of the general vocabulary until the Internet matured.  What these terms really mean is the subject of Jim’s topic.  He will show examples, and give his views on what you can do to better protect yourself from this evil empire.

AGS Spring Seminar March 28th

From our Friends at the Alabama Genealogical Society:

The Alabama Genealogical Society Spring Seminar will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Samford University in Birmingham.  Registration will open at 8:30 a.m.  The seminar will end at 3:45 p.m.

The speaker is Michael John Neill.  Michael has written hundreds of genealogical how-to articles and currently writes the weekly newsletter Casefile Clues and “Genealogy Tip of the Day”.  He has lectured to genealogy groups across the country on a wide variety of topics.   

He will speak on Research Refocus:  Maximizing Online and Offline Resources.  Individual topics are:     

“Tried and Tested Tidbits”

            “Researching the Entire Family”

            “Organizing Online Research”

            “I Found It – Now What”

Lunch will be on your own.  The campus cafeteria and food court will be open.  Registration must be received by March 23 in order for your information to be included in the surname booklet.

Marcia Collier will have her books available for sale from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

For additional information about the speaker and to print the registration form go to http://algensoc.org/main/SeminarFlyer.pdf  or google Alabama Genealogical Society and click on “Seminar”.

Upcoming Genealogy Classes at the Birmingham Public Library

News from our Friends in the Southern History Department:

I just wanted to let you know about some upcoming genealogy classes at the
Birmingham Public Library.  This is another installment in our Beyond the
Basics of Genealogy series.  The topics and dates/times are below:

•    Just Another Brick in the Wall: How to overcome the dreaded “brick
wall”– Saturday, October 4th @ 9:30am
•    Exploring Archives.gov: An in-depth look at the genealogy tools
available online at the National Archives and Records Administration –
Saturday, October 4th @ 11:00am
•    Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier: Military Records in Family History
Research – Saturday, November 8th  @ 9:30 am
•    Some Civilized Conversation: the Five Civilized Tribes and Native
American Genealogy Research – Saturday, November 8th @ 11:00 am

All classes will be held in the Arrington Auditorium (4th floor of the
Linn Henley Library, aka the “Old Building”).  Workshops are free of
charge, but registration is requested.  To register, contact the Southern
History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or

We hope to see you soon.

The Southern History Department
Birmingham Public Library

BGS Meeting — July 26, 2014 — Overview of the 2014 NGS Family History Conference

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (excluding Nov. & Dec.) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are encouraged to attend!

Next meeting: Saturday, July 26th @ 2pm/ Board of Directors meet @ 1pm

Speaker: Mary Taylor, BGS 1st Vice-President

Program Topic: Overview of the 2014 NGS Family History Conference

Please join us as Mary Taylor, BGS member and current 1st Vice-President, presents an overview of the 2014 NGS Family Conference held in Richmond VA. The theme for this year’s National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference, held in May, was “Virginia: The First Frontier.” Please join us!

BGS Walking Tour — May 17, 2014 — Walking Tour of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Genealogical Society usually meets the fourth Saturday of each month (excluding Nov. & Dec.) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are encouraged to attend!

Next meeting: Saturday, May 17th @ 1pm

Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Program Topic: Walking Tour of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Put on your walking shoes because it’s time for the Annual BGS Walking Tour! The Birmingham Genealogical Society will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 17th at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens! Please note that there will not be a Board of Directors meeting.

The program for May: Please join us as Jason Kirby, former BGS President and current archivist at the Archives and Rare Book Room (Birmingham Botanical Gardens), serves as our guide for a walking tour of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens! The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is 67.5-acre botanical gardens located adjacent to Lane Park at the southern foot of Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama. The gardens are home to over 12,000 different types of plants, 25 unique gardens, more than 30 works of original outdoor sculpture, and several miles of walking paths. With more than 350,000 annual visitors, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens qualify as one of Alabama’s top free-admittance tourist attractions. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens began as an idea prior to 1960. The Birmingham mayor of that time, James W. Morgan, led an effort to establish the gardens on a 69-acre portion of unused city property east of the Birmingham Zoo on the side of Red Mountain. The garden officially opened in 1963. The Birmingham Botanical Society, now known as the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, was established in 1964 with a mission of helping the city to support and improve the gardens. For directions please visit the official website at