Family Tree Seminar Helps Folks Trace Roots


One of the nation's leading genealogists will present a one-day genealogy seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Payson Assembly of God Church.

The seminar, featuring Dr. Arlene Eakle, will cover basic genealogy research; armchair genealogical research; tracing the ladies on your pedigree; and naming patterns of U.S. families: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, German provinces, Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy.

Co-sponsored by the Northern Gila County Genealogical Society and The Genealogical Institute, the seminar costs $20 a person, and is open to the public. The admission price includes an entirely homemade lunch of hot soups, sandwiches and desserts.

Eakle, who has written many books and who lectures around the country, is the first American and the first woman to receive the Bickersteth Medal, the highest award given by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in London.

"Arlene is the most knowledgeable genealogist I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot of them, said Sue Owen, co-librarian for the local society. "She can speak for four hours on 47 subjects."

Even more important than her knowledge and presentation skills, Owen said, is Eakle's willingness to help people who are genealogical novices. "She's not highfalutin and stuck up. She is so considerate, and no question is too stupid for her to answer," she said.

Eakle will be making her third appearance in the Rim country. "For her to be willing to keep coming to a small community like this says a lot about her," Owen said.

The four topics included in Eakle's seminar cover the basics of genealogical research for the beginner. Included in the material she will present:

"Basic Genealogy Research" is a nuts and bolts session that covers the six basic record categories and how they fit together to prove a family tree.

"Arm Chair Genealogical Research" explains how to get the most for your research dollar without leaving home. Also included is how to find cousins currently unknown to you.

"Tracing the Ladies on Your Pedigree" includes how to find sources on women, how to identify missing maiden names and where to look when the sources don't list parents.

"Naming Patterns of U.S. Families" examines naming patterns contributed by western European nations and how they mix together.

Eakle's books include "Family History for Fun and Profit: The Research Process," "American Cities," "Early Settlers," "How to Search a Cemetery," "Marriages," "Photograph Analysis," and "The Source (of Genealogical Research Materials)," a work which Owen calls "one of the best research books available."

Eakle also has produced several video tape series, including "Do Your Family Tree" and "Advanced Research."

Part of the proceeds from the seminar will go to the Northern Gila County Genealogy Society building fund to pay for a building that will become the organization's first permanent home in its 26-year history.

The fund was recently initiated after an offer from an anonymous donor to construct a building was withdrawn, according to society Vice President Alice Kenmore.

The Town of Payson Planning and Zoning Commission granted the nonprofit corporation a conditional use permit to build the new facility on the southwest corner of Colcord Road and Bonita Drive at a meeting last month.

To pre-register for Arlene Eakle's Genealogy Seminar, send a check for $20 to: Northern Gila County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 952, Payson 85547-0952. For more information, call 474-2139 and leave a message.

Many of Eakle's books and tapes will be available for purchase at the seminar, or they can be ordered on-line (www. or by calling (800) 377-6058.

The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society is temporarily housed in rooms 104 and 106 in the west wing of Payson Care Center, and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays through Saturdays.

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