2016 Past Programs






Annual General Meeting

Breakout Session: Meet Our Country Cousins

Following our annual general meeting we broke into groups representing each country in the British Isles. It provided our members with the opportunity to get to know other members doing research in their country(s) of interest. 

Cracking the Code

Presenter: Greg Liverman

The use of DNA testing in genealogy, or genetic genealogy, is a rapidly evolving field. Tests can cost a substantial amount of money. This presentation by Greg Liverman, was very informative and was aimed at the genealogist who wants to know what DNA testing is all about and how it can be used. It was not overly technical, but did introduce some of the language of DNA and DNA testing.

What’s In a Name? Surnames History and Meanings

Speaker: Diane Barbour

Diane Barbour’s presentation covered surnames from the Norman Conquest in England to modern times, including the history and evolution of surnames. Diane led a discussion of patronymics and their variations from several countries.

Use Lots of Apples

Speaker: Annette Burke-Lyttle

Annette’s presentation was about using historic cookbooks as a genealogical source. Attendees learned how cookbooks can provide genealogy and family history information that you might not be able to find in other sources.

A Dark and Stormy Genealogy No Longer

Speaker: Dina Carson

Although we’d all like to write the next great American family history, few of us find it easy. The key is in learning a few tips from fiction and a few more from creative non-fiction–when to use them and when not to–to make the story of your family come to life and keep the reader engaged from beginning to end. If discussing points of view leaves you queasy, and determining plot points leaves you puzzled, Dina Carson presented a road map from rambling to readable.

Downtown Denver Pub Crawl

WISE-FHS Annual Field Trip

The Annual WISE-FHS Field Trip this year was a pub crawl in Downtown Denver on June 18. We met at the the Fado Irish Pub, visiting it and then moving on to the Pour House, and finally the Celtic Tavern. A great time was had by all those that attended.

Central Denver Public Library Tour

Tour Guide: James Jeffrey

James K. Jeffrey is the Special Collections Librarian for Genealogy in the Western History/Genealogy Department at the Denver Public Library. He described many of the books and services available in the department dealing with family history and genealogy. We then took a self guided tour of the department followed by a continued light hearted briefing by Jeffrey.

British Geography

Speaker: James Jeffrey

Towns, Villages, Counties and hundreds. What are they, where are they and how do you find them? This was an opportunity to come and explore your British locations before they exit Europe.

New England History and Immigration

Speaker: John Putnam

As the second oldest area in the “New World” to undergo European settlement, many present day Americans can trace their ancestry back to the Pilgrims or the Puritan Great Migration. For some, it is very easy to trace your ancestry back to these original settlers due to the extensive records that their largely Puritan forebears maintained for us. Others find tracing their ancestry more difficult for varied reasons. John shared the importance of understanding New England’s history, its settlement patterns, and its town structure to improve your chances to tackle New England brick walls.

American Immigration Outside New England: An Overview from Settlement to Revolution

Speaker: Sylvia Tracy-Doolos

Immigration during the Colonial period outside of New England is as interesting and diverse as they come. Following up on John Putnam’s presentation on New England immigration, we explored the push and pull of our British Isles ancestors who landed elsewhere during the colonial period.

WISE-FHS Holiday Social

Program: Kathleen Pelley – Celtic Muse

“To speak in the poetical language of my country, the seat of the Celtic muse is in the mist of the secret and solitary hill, and her voice is the murmur of the mountain stream. He who wooes her must love the barren rock more than the fertile valley and the solitude of the desert better than the festivity of the hall.” Quote: Sir Walter Scott’s sentimental description of the Celtic Muse from his novel Waverley.

Members brought a traditional holiday dish to share. We enjoyed a Celtic Program presented by Kathleen Pelley, who shared some details about her own writer’s roots – exploring how her childhood in Scotland and Ireland led to her becoming a writer, a reader, a teller and a listener of stories. She finished with some tips on how to keep our writer’s roots nourished and watered.