Genealogy Classes


Classes on genealogy, family history, media/technology, and computer skills are held at 9 am just prior to the regular 10 am meeting. Classes are designed for a variety of interests and ability levels and are often used as a refresher. Bring a notebook or mobile digital device (i.e., iPad, laptop, tablet, etc.) for note-taking and bring examples or copies of difficult records.

Other classes may be scheduled to meet new needs or interests of members. 

Space is limited. Register at prior to a class so that space and enough handouts are available. 

Check the Calendar of Events for current dates, times, topics and locations, as they are subject to change with short or no notice.

Current Classes Offered

SDGS 2020 Education Classes

Family Tree Maker 

Presenter – Dave Tooley

Family Tree Maker (FTM) is a powerful software tool that allows you to build your family tree. It links to and to search for your ancestors. FTM provides charts, reports and maps to enhance your knowledge of your ancestor’s past. This class will discuss the use of Family Tree Maker version 2017 for both Mac and PC. It is open to all levels of experience.

From Bits, Bytes and Pixels to JPG, TIFF and PDF: An Explanation of Image File Formats 

Presenter Marshall Clow

Learn how to work with photos. This class discusses how images are stored on your computer and the differences between a PDF, TIFF and JPEG file. Learn what “300 dpi” means. Learn the tradeoffs that you can make when scanning and manipulating photos. See what a difference this knowledge can make with your photos. 

Publishing Your Genealogy 

Presenter Dona Ritchie

This class shows you ways in which you can communicate the results of your genealogy research. We talk about genealogy books, family albums, ebooks, blogging and blog books as well as the use of social media. We discuss different ways of communicating your family history information in a manner which appeals to family members of all ages as well as other genealogists and non-genealogists.

Reunion for Mac User Group 

Presenter Anne Alves

Reunion for Mac User Group focuses on how to use Reunion to perform your genealogy research. The class demonstrates many of the functions of Reunion, shows how these functions let you search for information on the internet, and helps to organize your data as you build your family tree.

Introduction to Genealogy 

Presenter Colin Whitney

If you are a genealogy beginner this class is for you. How do you begin researching your ancestors? Where do you begin? How do you search and then organize your data? What searchable records are available? Family trees, DNA, and how to share your research are also discussed. 

Orientation to San Diego Genealogical Society 

Presenter Pat Francisco

This class is designed for all who want to know more about the San Diego Genealogical Society—its people and its programs. We will discuss the history of the society, its officers, the monthly meetings, Super Saturdays, the education staff, research trips, local resources and more. The session will conclude with a live demonstration of using the website. Bring your laptop.

German Translation Class 

Presenter Barbara Stanculescu

Do you have a German document in German script such as church document—baptism, marriage, or burial record— or civil birth, marriage or death certificate that you need help in translating? 

Prior to attending the class send the documents you would like translated to Barbara Stanculescu at The documents are projected on a screen, translated and discussed by those who are participating in the class.


Presenter Randy Seaver

RootsMagic is a comprehensive software tool which helps you research, organize and share your genealogy information. This class will discuss many of its multitude of features and show you how to use them. It is appropriate for all levels from beginner to professional. Class is for Mac and PC users.

Intermediate Level Genealogy 

Presenter Colin Whitney

Intermediate Level Genealogy is a continuation of “Introduction to Genealogy.” Finding records abroad, how to search for the less common US records and using the web to find genealogy sources for your ancestors are all discussed.

Local Resources 

Presenter Susi Pentico

Local Resources such as the San Diego area libraries can be vital aids to your genealogy research. This class shows you techniques for using these libraries and for discovering which are most suited for your research objectives. This includes a discussion of the records and collections in those libraries, how to use searching aids such as WORLDCAT and PERSI, and how to prepare for your library visit. The resources available at the San Diego City Public Library, the San Diego County Library, the Carlsbad Public Library as well as independent libraries such as Coronado and Escondido, and university libraries like UCSD and SDSU are detailed.

Hispanic Family History   

Presenter Ceasar Castro

Hispanic Family History discusses information which will help you with your Hispanic research. Your host is a veteran genealogist in a state-of-the-art library. Whether you are new to genealogy and wondering how to start the quest for your Hispanic ancestors, or you have been searching for years, expert guidance can save you months or years of time.  

Presenter Diane Gould Hall

The class is a combination of PowerPoint and live demonstration to acquaint users to and to discuss functions and capabilities that may be new or changes to the program. Emphasis will be placed on useful and popular functions and capabilities as well those functions that are not well known but can be helpful to researchers in conducting research.

Because DNA testing and matching is a key element at, time is spent at each session discussing DNA results, and software products that help us interpret them.

Fifteen minutes is allowed at the end of each session for questions and answers. Suggestions for future topics are welcome.

DNA and Genealogy 

Presenter Colin Whitney

The topics discussed relate to DNA testing and the analysis of the results. We cover the basics of DNA testing and provide an overview of the major testing companies as well as third-party sites. We show you strategies for analysis and interpretation of testing results. The class is open to all levels of experience. It is recommended, but not required, that attendees read The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger prior to attending the class.

Introduction to the British Isles 

Presenter Colin Whitney

Researching the British Isles? This class provides a framework for researching your British ancestors. Topics of this class are the names for regions of the British Isles, the county structure and recent changes, and the Dioceses of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. The main record types are discussed, their locations, and guides on how to access them.

Post Office Box 635057
San Diego, 92163

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