Thank you

Suddenly the Family History Fair is over.  Lots of anticipation, months of preparation, and after the work of so many people, now it is over, but fond memories remain.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Family History Fair on 7 April – there were 140 in attendance – and you were a great group of people.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered.  An event like this does not happen without a lot of help and a lot of work.

That was a delicious lunch!  Amazing how they served that many people so quickly.  Thank you to those who helped with lunch.

Thank you to the presenters – it is a lot of work to prepare and no small thing to speak in public.  Janice, Tara, Lianne, Ray, and Roxanne gave excellent presentations.

We were grateful to get lots of completed evaluation forms.  Thank you for all of your positive and encouraging comments about the day.  We are studying your comments and suggestions.

We hope for each of you that Saturday was a busy but happy day that will help you find more of your ancestors.  Thank you.

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Schedule and Links to Handouts – time to plan your day!

There is still a chance to register – but time is running out – click Here – once you complete registration you will get a message on the screen notifying you that it is complete – we need to know how many people are coming so we can prepare.

Here is the hour by hour schedule, description of each session, and links to handouts.   

You don’t need to print this document – we will be giving you a complete copy with session descriptions when you arrive on Saturday.

You should print the handouts attached to any sessions you might be planning to attend – look for the title following the word Handout.  Then you can annotate the handout with your own notes during the day.

Please note that Lianne Kruger will be posting her handouts at

Also be sure to bring a notebook and pen for note taking.

Registration:  8:45 to 9:30

Opening Session – 9:30 to 9.:50 – in the Chapel

Session 1 – 10.00 to 11.00

1a.  How the Internet was used to trace the 230 year Cyr journey from Acadia to Southern Alberta – Ray Cyr in the Relief Society Room. Handout: Cyr 230 year journey websites

This case study will include a brief history of Port Royal, Acadia.

1b.  Google Search, Drive and Maps – Lianne Kruger in the Spanish Room .  Handout: 

In this session, I will explain how to use Google Search, Google Drive, and Google Maps. I will show you tips for searching with Google for researching; How to store and share information in Google Drive; and How Google Maps can help in Family History.

1c. American Records for Canadians Eh – Janice Cushman in the Chapel. Handout: American Records for Canadians

Although some record types are the same, those who are familiar with researching records for other countries will find that it is necessary to learn new techniques for researching American records. This presentation will give an overview of some of the record groups that are most useful in finding your American ancestors.

1d. British Research – Great Resources without a Subscription – Peter Darby in the Triple Room.  Handout:  HandoutBritish Research Great resources

Can I do British research from home without a subscription?  This session will introduce you to some exciting resources.

1e.  Video – Autosomal DNA in the Glass Room. Handout:  AutosomalDNA

A look at how DNA can be used for genealogical research, with examples, and a demonstration of how to review your DNA test results at AncestryDNA

Session 2 –  11:10 to 12:10

2a.  Canadian Land Records – Tara Shymanski in the Relief Society Room. Handout:  Canadian Land Records_Red Deer

This presentation will explain what genealogy information can be found in land records and show you where to find.

2b.  Ways to share Family History with your family – Lianne Kruger in the Spanish Room. Handout:

Discuss options on how to share your family history with other family members in your home and online using blogs, websites, Google Drive and Maps, Flickr, social media and more.

2c.  No session in the chapel this hour

2d.  British Research – Ancestry or FindMyPast? – Peter Darby in the Triple Room. Handout: Handout British Research Ancestry or FindMyPast

Doing British Research?  Which is best to use Ancestry or FindMyPast?  This session will also include some tips for getting more out of these websites.

2e.  Video – Autosomal DNA in the Glass Room – same as 1e – a repeat. Handout:  AutosomalDNA

Lunch – 12:10 to 1:10 – in the cultural hall

Session 3 – 1:10 to 2:10

3a.  Strategies to Break Down Brick Walls – Tara Shymanski in the Relief Society Room. Handout:  Breaking down brick walls

This approach to methodically and thoroughly organize and carry out research will give you strategies to break through your brick wall.

3b.  Evernote for Genealogy – Lianne Kruger in the Spanish Room . Handout:

Evernote is a free program available on computers, iPads/tablets and smart phones. Not just for genealogy but as the Evernote ad says, “Capture, organize, and share notes from anywhere. Your best ideas are always with you and always in sync.” Learn why this program is good and how this can be helpful in researching and storing genealogy. 

3c. Canadian Genealogy on the Cheap – Janice Cushman in the Chapel. Handout:  GenealogyOnTheCheap_Canada

Learn how to get the most out of paid genealogy websites – without paying – when researching your Canadian ancestors. The presentation will include an overview of national and provincial records that are available online, and how to make the most of them for the least cost.

3d. Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch – Roxanne McCue in the Triple Room. Handout:  Finding Elusive Records on FamilySearch

How to find unindexed records at FamilySearch.  Intermediate to advanced tips for searching.

The Family History Centre will be open throughout the day (except for during lunch). See the online resources available (including premium Family History sites), find your ancestors, learn about FamilySearch Indexing, learn about new features at,  and have your questions about Family History answered.  A great resource if you are a beginner.  Go to the Family History Centre if you have questions about your research or about a brick wall you are facing.

Remember that seating is on a first come first served basis – you may not always get into your first choice session.

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Meet the Presenters

Janice Cushman, Emeritus AG® is an avid genealogist and instructor, who specializes in British Isles, Canada, and U.S. research.  She has the Family History Certificate (Professional Option) from Brigham Young University and is a retired Accredited Genealogist® professional.  Janice’s interest in genealogy was sparked in 1979, when she took an introductory course offered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Since then, her genealogical career has included over 50 conference and other speaking engagements, writing her book, Donaghy Family History: From Ireland to Canada, serving as the Director of the Calgary Regional Family History Center for four years, and thousands of gravestones examined!

Tara Shymanski is a professional genealogist who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience gleaned from many years as a genealogical researcher, educator and mentor. She completed 40 courses to obtain a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogy Studies and is a specialist in Canadian Records.

Lianne Kruger is related to the first Canadian landowner which she arduously and passionately researched over thirty years ago. Currently, she is writing a narrative on her husband’s South African family who is related to the twentieth white land owner of South Africa. Lianne has written several articles published by BYU Magazine Quarterly, the Alberta Genealogical Society’s Relatively Speaking, Tree Climber, and LDS Family History. She has written computer manuals and taught computer software courses at the post-secondary level since 1982.

 Lianne has spoken at genealogical conferences in Regina, Edmonton, Red Deer, Olds, Wetaskiwin, Drayton Valley, Lacombe and on a variety of topics. She is heading to Guelph to speak at Ontario Genealogical Society’s Conference in June. Lianne and her husband Ephraim have been married thirty-one years, have five children, and twin granddaughters.

 For more information on her speaking topics and technical support in genealogy see her blog:

Ray Cyr worked in the Electronic Industry for 48 years in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto. Started Genealogy as a hobby in 2002 and in 2014  began a course through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and obtained certification as a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies in November 2017.

Roxanne McCue grew up in Southern Alberta. She received a bachelor of education degree from the University of Alberta. It was in Edmonton, where she says she made one of the most important decisions of her life to marry her sweetheart Dave. Roxanne worked as a teacher for one year and then retired to begin her dream career of being a homemaker. When Dave completed his schooling they moved to Victoria, B.C.  They missed the sunshine and the snow and decided to move back to Alberta and settled on Red Deer, to raise their family.

Roxanne was the director of the Bower Family History Centre for several years. She enjoys helping other people discover their ancestors. When she gets to do her own family history work, her favorite spot to research is Denmark.

Roxanne and Dave have one adorable grandson and are excited to welcome twin grandbabies to their family this summer.

Peter Darby lives southwest of Innisfail. Peter started working on his Family History in 1969 by searching for his paternal grandmother’s death records in Somerset House in London, England.   Peter was born in Sherwood Forest in England and grew up in Nottingham, England.

Peter and his wife Linda spent a very enjoyable year teaching volunteers how to help people with British research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Peter is a Past President of the Red Deer Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society. Peter spent 7 years answering telephones for FamilySearch Support and now enjoys teaching in local public libraries He has taught Family History in all 3 Prairie Provinces.

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Another exciting topic and speaker added to the program for 7 April

We are very pleased to announce that Roxanne McCue will be making a presentation on “Finding Elusive Records at” at the Family History Fair on 7 April.

Don’t forget that the Family History Centre will be open all day except for the lunch hour.

Don’t forget to register!   Click Here

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Topics and Speakers 2018

Here is a list of the sessions planned for 7 April.  We are very grateful to those making the presentations.  You will be able to attend 3 sessions.   We are working on the actual schedule so that you can plan your day. Each hour you should have the choice of 3 live sessions or one video. The Family History Centre will be open all day except lunch hour.

Don’t forget to register!   Click Here

Janice Cushman

  • American Records for Canadians Eh
  • Canadian Genealogy on the Cheap

Tara Shymanski

  • Canadian Land Records
  • Strategies to Break Down Brick Walls

Lianne Kruger

  • Google Search, Drive and Maps
  • Ways to share Family History with your family
  • Evernote for Genealogy

Ray Cyr

  • How the Internet was used to trace the 230 year Cyr journey from Acadia (1671) to Southern Alberta (1901)

Peter Darby

  • British Research – Great resources without a subscription
  • British Research – Ancestry or FindMyPast?


  • Webinar on Autosomnal DNA

Don’t forget to register!   Click Here

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Family History Fair 2018 registration opens

The Red Deer Family History Fair will be held on 7 April 2018 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bower building, 3002 – 47th Avenue, Red Deer from 9.30 to 2.15 pm.  The registration desks will open at 8.30.a.m. 

There is no cost for registration or lunch.

So we can plan for seating, and lunch we ask you register online.  Click Here to register.  You should receive an email confirming your registration.

There will be no registration for individual sessions which will be on a first come basis.

In each time block there will be a choice of a three live session or one video session.

8.30 a.m.  Registration desk opens

9.30 a.m.  Opening session in the chapel

10.00 a.m. Session 1

11.00 to 11.10  Break

11.10 a.m.  Session 2

12.10 p.m. Lunch

1.10 p.m. Session 3

2.10 End of day – please hand in your evaluation forms

The Family History Centre will be open all day – come and use the free access to premium sites, and get help with your research questions or brick wall problems.

Details on topics and speakers to follow.

We are grateful to the many people who make this event possible including the Red Deer Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Red Deer Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society

Click Here to register

If you have a problem registering – for any reason – send an email with details to

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7 April 2018 – mark your calendars

Planning is underway for the 2018 Red Deer Family History Fair – we hope you can come

Watch this web site for more information

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