Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thank you to the Napa Valley Genealogical Society

It was a beautiful day today in the San Francisco Bay area, perfect for taking a drive to the Napa Valley and the library of the Napa Valley Genealogical Society (NVGS).  There were two plates of yummy-scrumptious homemade chocolate cookie bars with walnuts and dried cherries (or maybe cranberries?) available for snacking (I think I had three).  And the meeting room was full of people (so full they had to bring in extra chairs) waiting to hear me talk about forensic genealogy.

This was a brand-new presentation, requested by NVGS this past February.  Carole, their programming person, had just heard about something called "forensic genealogy" and then found my name listed on the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy Web site as a member.  So the day I came to teach a class about methods to research women's maiden names, Carole asked if I could come back later in the year and talk to them about forensic genealogy.

Unlike most of my classes, this presentation was not about techniques on how to do research.  It focused on what forensic genealogy is -- "genealogical research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications" -- how that affects the research process, and what types of research are most likely to fall into this category.  I also discussed some things that are called forensic genealogy that really aren't.  (Hint:  Neither "DNA" nor "scientific" means the same thing as "forensic.")

And I'm happy to say that everyone really enjoyed the talk, including me.  I had several interesting questions after the presentation, and I think everyone attending gained an appreciation for the unbiased, impartial approach a forensic genealogist has to bring to her work.

So thank you to NVGS for inviting me to speak!

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