Summer WNYGS Sponsored GRIP Lecture Series & Special Library Lock-In Event

July 29-August 3, 2018 - Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh: Week in Amherst, NY

>>Three Different Nights, Three Free Lectures

Campus Location: Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226

Lecture Location: Wick Center, Social Room (2nd Floor). Doors will open promptly at 6:40 p.m. for each 7:00 p.m. program.

Registration: Seating is limited. Advance registration is not required.

Parking: Attendees may park in any lot on the campus with the exception of Lot C. A campus map can be found online at


In support of GRIP's offerings, WNYGS is excited to host the following lectures free and open to Society members, Institute attendees, and the general public:

> Monday, July 30th 7:00 p.m. - "DNA Test Results and the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) Bust Through Brick Walls: A Case Study" with Karen Stanbary, CG (60 minutes)

Join expert Karen Stanbary as she uses an American case study to demonstrate the possible techniques and methodologies for breaking down brick walls using genetic genealogy and the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Speaker Bio:
Karen Stanbary, Certified Genealogist®, specializes in DNA analysis, Midwestern, Chicago, and Mexican/Puerto Rican research as well as complex problem-solving.She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. A regular instructor in Chicago’s Newberry Library Adult Education program and at other local and national venues, Karen lectures on topics including Genetic Genealogy, Advanced Genetic Genealogy and the Genealogical Proof Standard. She is a coordinator and faculty member at three genealogical institutes—GRIP, IGHR, and SLIG. Her ground-breaking, complex evidence case study incorporating traditional documentary research and autosomal DNA analysis in the June 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly was awarded the NGSQ Award for Excellence. She holds the credential Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG). She serves the Board for Certification of Genealogists as a Trustee and chairs the Genetic Genealogy Standards committee.


> Tuesday, July 31st 7:00 p.m. - “Scouring New York Records in Search of the Parents of William Dalton (1796-1836)” with Angela Packer McGhie, CG (60 minutes)

Join expert Angela McGhie as she uses a Western New York case study to demonstrate available regional records and research possibilities in New York State.

Speaker Bio:
Angela Packer McGhie, CG is a professional researcher, lecturer and instructor. She is the coordinator for the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and coordinator of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program from 2008-2014 and is now on the board of directors. Angela is an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Virtual Institute on Genealogical Research. Angela has served on the Education Committee of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG. She is a contributing author for the APG Quarterly and was honored with a formal certificate of appreciation from the Association of Professional Genealogists for her leadership and service. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.


> Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:00 p.m. - Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Midwest" and "An Italian-German-French-Swiss American Boy’s Story: Genealogy in Buffalo in the 1960s" with John Colletta, Ph.D.

  • Part 1: "Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Midwest" (60 minutes)

    Triumph of American ingenuity and wonder of the world, the Erie Canal affected the lives of millions of our ancestors from Maine to Minnesota. This lecture chronicles the building of the canal, 1817-25, and describes the many ways our ancestors may have worked for, on, or along the "Big Ditch." It also explores numerous ways they may have used “Clinton’s Folly" or benefited from it.

  • Part 2: "An Italian-German-French-Swiss American Boy’s Story: Genealogy in Buffalo in the 1960s" (40 minutes)

    When I was growing up in Tonawanda, New York, I did not think of myself as ethnic. Until 1963. I turned 13 that summer and began investigating my ancestry. I had no idea that my quest for my heritage would lead not only to a knowledge of who I am, but also who I am not. This talk relates my personal story—the humor, surprises, disappointments, drama and enlightenment. My experience mirrors how genealogy in the United States has changed dramatically between the 1960s and today.

    Speaker Bio:
    John Philip Colletta is one of America’s most popular genealogical lecturers. Knowledgeable, experienced and entertaining, he resides in Washington, D.C. For twenty years, while laying the foundation for his career in genealogy, he worked half-time at the Library of Congress and taught workshops at the National Archives.

    Today Dr. Colletta lectures nationally, teaches at local schools, and conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program. He is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (University of Georgia, Athens) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

    He has also taught for Boston University’s Certificate in Family History program and three genealogy institutes where he created courses: the National Institute on Genealogical Research (Washington, DC), the Genealogical Institute of Texas (Dallas), and the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (Springfield, Ill.).

    His publications include numerous articles, both scholarly and popular, two manuals — They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans — and one “murder-mystery-family-history,” Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath. It tells the story of Colletta’s great great grandfather, Joe Ring, who moved his family from Buffalo, New York, to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after the Civil War. When Joe Ring’s country store burned to the ground with five unfortunate victims sleeping upstairs, the incident was investigated as mass murder, robbery and arson. The new edition of Only a Few Bones includes 140 pages of instruction on how to write narrative family history.

    Dr. Colletta appears frequently on podcasts and local and national radio and television. He is featured in Episode Four of “Ancestors,” the ten-part KBYU-TV series, as well as its sequel. He has received many professional honors, including fellowship in the Utah Genealogical Association and distinguished service awards from the Dallas Genealogical Society and the National Society, Daughters of Colonial Founders and Patriots.


    >>The Grosvenor Room Library Lock-In: Understanding Regional Genealogy Research Resources

    For those of you who are attending GRIP ( in Amherst, the BECPL Grosvenor Room is offering a special "Lock-In" event.

    The Buffalo & Erie County Library's Grosvenor Room is home to an outstanding collection of unique, rare and historically significant genealogical materials. Join us for this free after hours event, as genealogy librarian Rhonda Konig provides an insiders' guide to Grosvenor Room resources. Whether beginner or veteran researcher, learn how to get more out of your library research efforts. Immediately following the tour, library staff will be on hand to assist attendees with their research.

    > Seating is limited. Advanced registration required.

    Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
    Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
    Location: Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203
    Register: or call (716) 858-8900
    Cost: Free

    Last updated: July 15, 2018