September 2020 Two-Part Member Webinar


Date: Saturday, September 26, 2020

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Webinar: Zoom Meeting ID and passcode provided to members via email.

Cost: Free to members.

“Death Is Not The End”: An Introduction to New York State Wills, Probate, & Estate

Program Length: 60 minutes

Program Description: When an individual dies, the impacts of that death can be felt by immediate family, distant relatives, and present-day genealogists. Often underutilized by researchers, County probate records can offer a wealth of genealogical data helpful in exploring ancestral histories and breaking down brick walls. Contained within the Surrogate’s Court archives are the wills, legal filings, and actions that are key in understanding multi-generational relationships, family migration, assets and quality of life, as well as in identifying other such resources as land, tax, and guardianship records. Using actual probate examples from Western New York, we will explore how to locate records in person and online and document and interpret our findings.


Capturing Historical Data: Understanding & Using Transcriptions, Abstracts, and Indexes in Your Research

Program Length: 30 minutes

Program Description: Transcription, abstraction, and indexing are essential techniques for capturing, analyzing, and accessing the information contained in historical records. By understanding the definitions and considerations for all three methods, genealogists can develop better and more effective research plans. Attendees will learn about best practices and potential project strategies while examining real-world examples.


About the Presenter: Jennifer Liber Raines has always loved stories. Each day, she is lucky enough to pursue this passion as both a communications professional and as a genealogical and historical researcher. A strong believer in service, collaboration, and community partnerships, she is a member of the Buffalo History Museum’s Board of Managers, the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board, and the University at Buffalo's Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project. She is the Past President of the Western New York Genealogical Society and its current Preservation Chair.

In addition to lecturing, Ms. Liber Raines was co-author of the award-winning article, “The Buffalo Orphan Asylum and the Settlement of Swedes in Northern Pennsylvania and Western New York” [Swedish American Historical Quarterly], and the book chapter, “Structural Inequality and Postmortem Examination at the Erie County Poorhouse" [Bioarchaeology of Dissection and Autopsy in the United States]. A regular contributor to the Western New York Genealogical Society JOURNAL, she authored two series documenting the children bound out (1864-1868) and placed at orphanages (1875-1882) by the County of Erie (New York).

Ms. Liber Raines is a recipient of the New York State Archives’ William Hoyt Award for Excellence in Advocacy (2019), the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s Empire Service Award (2018), and the Buffalo History Museum’s Owen B. Augspurger Award for Local History (2016). She received her B.A. from SUNY Geneseo and her professional certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.


Last updated: August 18, 2020