Bagging A Live One – Finding Living People

Instructor: Mary Kircher Roddy, CG
Dates offered: Wednesdays, April 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT, 4:00 to 7:00 pm ET
Cost: $300
Registration: 19-25 January 2024

Course Description

This course is designed for genealogists looking to find distant cousins and other people who may have a connection to your research subjects. Known more formally as reverse genealogy, the techniques taught in this course have multiple uses.

  • Living cousins may have photos, documents, artifacts, and stories about the common ancestors.
  • Forensic genealogists need to build family trees forward and find living people for heirship cases or to resolve property issues.
  • DNA researchers may be interested in locating descendants from specific ancestral lines for targeted DNA testing.
  • Genealogists may have unrecognized DNA matches. Building ancestral trees forward makes it possible to determine how those unknown matches might fit into the family tree.

Skills-based requirements

  • Students should be comfortable using a desktop computer.
  • Students should be comfortable using FamilySearch and other genealogy websites to locate records.
  • Students should be somewhat familiar with basic genealogy techniques including using census, probate, land and newspaper records.
  • Students should be willing to use Facebook and other social media.

Helpful Resources

  • One or more online newspaper subscriptions – databases accessed through a library card or society membership will work.
  • Subscription to Ancestry or other genealogy websites.
  • Course presentations will include information about living people. Students will be required to sign and abide by a nondisclosure agreement.

Course Outline

Session 1

  • Introductions 
  • What is Bagging a Live One
  • Building a forward-facing family tree
  • Introduction to homework

Session 2

  • Homework review
  • Obituaries and other newspaper records
  • Property and probate records
  • City directories and yearbooks
  • Introduction to homework

Session 3

  • Homework review
  • Google searches
  • Social media strategies
  • Mining family trees
  • Introduction to homework

Session 4

  • Homework review
  • Internet phone books – people finder sites
  • Ethics
  • Strategies for making contact