About Me

Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada I am a genealogy researcher with over 15 years of trial and error experience in researching my own family's history in Canada, United States of America, England, Scotland and (although without much success) Ireland.

I belong to the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (AKA BIFHSGO) and the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. In addition to their monthly meetings I also try to attend the related Irish Research Group, Computer Special Interest Group (CSIG) and Scottish Genealogy Group meetings in Ottawa.

With BIFHSGO I was the Program Co-Chair for the successful 2012 Family History conference that focused on Scottish research. I was the Research Room host for the BIFHSGO 2013 Family History conference where I was one of several volunteers that provided research assistance to the attendees of that event. I was once again the host of the Research Room for the BIFHSGO 2014 Family History conference.

The talks I've given so far deal with the methodologies for researching one's family history and also how to use technology to assist with doing the research. My presentations include: 
  • Doing Family Tree Research in Your Pajamas - This is an basic overview of the various online resources on the Internet that can be used to find information on your family's history. This talk is about 90 minutes long and covers what is needed along with the commonly used sites and resources on the Internet. It concludes with a real world case study. This presentation can easily be expanded to be a half day session.
  • FTM, Legacy, RootsMagic Overview - A 30 minute overview of the three most commonly used programs touching upon the pros and cons of each.
  • Chipping Away at the Brickwall - We all have them ... those ancestors that we just can't find. This is a 60 minute presentation on methodologies to help you find those answers including working around our own assumptions and resources to look at for help.
  • A Soldier of the Great War: A Research Case Study - Taking you through the process how to go about researching an ancestor the served in the First World War. Real life case studies are used to highlight the various resources available to you when researching a Canadian that has served in the First World War.
  • Saving Money When Searching ScotlandsPeople - A 20 minute walkthrough on strategies you can use to save money when looking for your Scottish ancestors on ScotlandsPeople.
  • Safeguarding Your Valuable Data - A 30 minute overview of the need for doing data backups of your valuable genealogy data and the various ways of doing those backups. 
  • Using Social Media for Genealogy Research - A 60 minute overview of the various social media sites and how they can be used when doing your genealogy research.
  • Evernote and Genealogy Research - A 30 minute overview of Evernote and how it can be used to help in your genealogy research. 
  • Research Your English and Welsh Ancestors - This was a 3 hour seminar for the 20th Annual BIFHSGO Family History Conference held in September 2014. This seminar was co-developed and co-presented with Lesley Anderson.
  • A Tour of ScotlandsPeople - An overview of what is available on ScotlandsPeople, the go to web site for those wanting to view the images for Scottish censuses, parish records and civil birth, marriage, and death registrations. This presentation is approximately an hour long.
  • So You Want to Start Researching Your Family Tree - This is a 90 minute to 2 hour session on how to approach your genealogy research in a methodical manner. It touches upon ways of categorizing the information found, whether to use paper or computer based record keeping, and alternate resources that may be used to fill in some of the blanks in our research.
  • Genealogical Miracles - In this 50 minute presentation we will be taking a look at some of the very interesting gaffs and errors found in family trees such as "Resurrection", "The well preserved", and "Time travellers". At the same time we will cover how to hopefully prevent those pesky mistakes in our own trees.
  • Top 10 Tips For Being a Better Researcher - This 50 minute presentation highlights what I consider the top tens tips for being a better genealogy and family history researcher.
The talks can be presented in person or by being streamed over the Internet to your meeting location. Please contact me at the e-mail address below if you are interested in having me speak at a meeting.

I can be found on Twitter under the handle kmwebott. I can also be reached at the e-mail address below. 

I hope you find this blog useful in your ongoing journey to discover your ancestors.

Ken McKinlay

1 comment:

  1. Ken,

    It was a pleasure to chat at Westboro Beach on Saturday. Have you ever thought of doing a course, such as through the Board of Education - I, for one, would sign up in a heartbeat for one such as a hands-on visit to LAC and what/how to use the facilities there? Think about it!