Genealogy Programs


All programs are designed and presented by Tim Seman, Genealogy and Local History Librarian, Information Services Department, Main Library
Contact: tseman@libraryvisit.org, or 330-744-8636
Program duration is approximately 90 minutes.
Registration is required by phoning 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below the description.


Do you want to start your family tree?
Can we help you break through a brick wall?
Or are you merely curious about the hottest hobby in the U.S.?

Come to Main Library for one-on-one assistance, and get answers.

Meet with our genealogy volunteers every Thursday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Genealogy and Local History Center, Information Services Department, second floor.

And don’t forget, you are always welcome to schedule a meeting with the genealogy and local history librarian, Tim Seman, tseman@libraryvisit.org


Upcoming Genealogy and Local History Programs


Thank you for attending! 


2019 Programs January – May


Introduction to Genealogy and Local History

You’ve read about it in the newspapers, you’ve seen it on television, and your friends and family have been talking about it. The rage is genealogy, and it’s one of the hottest hobbies around. This program is a basic introduction to genealogical research, and will highlight methods and resources offered at your public library and beyond. For the beginner, but all are welcome. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Austintown Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Tuesday, January 8


The Power of Ancestry.com

This program is a demonstration of the Ancestry database. As an online tool, it is essential for beginning and advancing your research. Come and learn how to use this fantastic resource. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Canfield Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Tuesday, January 15


Using Newspapers for Genealogical Research

Newspapers are essential for acquiring obituaries, stories, and local history. We will survey all of the available resources, with special emphasis on digitized collections. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Main Library Career and Job Center, 6:30 P.M., Tuesday, January 29


DNA Tests and Genealogy

Can DNA testing help you determine your ancestry? Discovering the level of genetic relationship you have with other individuals and cultures can be enlightening. We will examine this process, acknowledging the benefits and drawbacks. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Austintown Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Tuesday, February 5


Leave No Soldier Behind: Finding Our Family Members in Uniform

Explore the records of our armed forces. Learn how to pursue personnel files and unit histories in order to understand your ancestor’s role in defending our nation’s heritage. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

East Library Meeting Room, 6:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 26


Yearning to Breathe Free: Immigration and Naturalization Records

We are descendants of adventurers, travelers, and slaves. Our ancestors came to America willingly or by force, seeking escape from oppression or to become, for a time, the oppressed. Some came for opportunity and the rule of law, some for religious freedom and the right to own property. Whether they came as colonists or as 21st Century New Americans, many left documented “footprints” that serve as our passport back through time to our ancestors’ origins. This crucial part of genealogical research involves careful examination of historical records. Records discussed include Passenger Lists, Citizenship & Naturalization Records, Border Crossings & Passports, Crew Lists, Immigration & Emigration Books, Slave Manifests, and Passport Applications. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Austintown Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, March 7


Preserving and Conserving Your Family Heirlooms

This is your introduction to Preservation and Conservation issues relevant to the genealogist. Whether the information is in the form of original documents and artifacts, or as generated research findings, this seminar will cover basic care, storage, and handling techniques; repairing and reformatting; technology migration; disaster response; and legacy planning. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Boardman Library Small/Tech Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, March 14


Forged in Iron and Steel: Finding Records of Our Industrious Ancestors

Many of us have relatives who labored in Mahoning Valley mills and related industries. In this program, we will examine the resources that tell their stories. This is an opportunity to embrace local history and discover the organizations that contain and curate our shared legacy. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Main Library Career and Job Center, 2:30 P.M., Saturday, March 23


A Gem in the Rustbelt: The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor

We will meet at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, 151 W. Wood Street, Youngstown, and enjoy a tour of the Archives/Library conducted by archives and library assistant, Martha Bishop. Known locally as the “Steel Museum”, the YHCIL is a world class historical and educational facility housing numerous artifacts and materials from the area’s days as one of the nation’s premier steelmaking regions. The Archives/Library houses many collections and records that support family history research. Whether your interest is to learn more about an ancestor’s experience and the culture of steelmaking, or to gain a more thorough understanding of local history, the YHCIL is a resource both precious and prized. Come and discover their stunning collection of materials, which are essential for your genealogical research. For adults and teens.  Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, 6:00 P.M., Thursday, April 4


Know Your History: Local History Resources are Essential to Your Family Tree

If documentary research comprises one essential support for your genealogy, then the other pillar that holds up the roof is your knowledge of history. In order to understand the lives of our ancestors, we need to ask the question: “What was it like to live back then?” The answer can be found in history. The genealogy and local history librarian will survey these crucial collections. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Canfield Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, April 11


Genealogy and Local History Workshop

This informal workshop is a way to receive answers to your specific questions and learn about basic and specialized research techniques. The Librarian will feature familiar and emerging resources to foster group discussion. Present your individual challenges for problem solving and enjoy good-natured, mutual encouragement. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Boardman Library Small/Tech Meeting Room, 10:00 A.M., Saturday, April 27


Local Government Records in Mahoning County

As foundational resources for your family history, it is imperative to become aware of and acquire the records that reside in Mahoning County. Your genealogy and local history librarian has taken numerous field trips and will share practical information regarding available records, and methods for obtaining them. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Austintown Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, May 2


Using MyHeritage For Your Heritage

A recent arrival to our list of research tools, MyHeritage is one of the largest, most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind in the world. It includes billions of historical documents from more than 48 countries, millions of historical photos, public records, indexes and additional resources. Join Tim Seman as he demonstrates this important research tool. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Canfield Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, May 9


“I’m In The Book”: Using City Directories To Locate People In Place And Time

City directories are often overlooked, but these texts prove quite useful to family historians. Ancestors are listed regardless of whether they owned a telephone. Wives, widows and other family members are listed. Streets and maps are shown, along with the names of neighbors. Churches, cemeteries, business, advertisements and historical information are presented over the span of many years. It is an ideal resource for investigating intervals between US Census years. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Austintown Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, May 23


Bearing Witness to Life: Oral History and the Conveyance of Experience

Oral history is a first-person narrative that preserves a portrait of experiences and interpretations of events. Oral accounts provide eyewitness “testimony,” offering a richer description of the past, to teach us what has changed and what has stayed the same. Historical documents alone do not provide a full spectrum of knowledge. Oral history reports offer answers to questions that were left out of those documents. Oral history is the place to discover personal stories and truths that have been untold or forgotten. For the genealogist who has lost or never possessed the war letters and diaries of their ancestors, some level of context and understanding can be gained from the experiences of those who were there, and lived to tell their stories. In this program we will examine oral history resources and discuss the best practices for conducting effective interviews. For adults and teens. Registration is required by calling the Information Services Department 330-744-8636, online via the library’s events calendar, or directly from the program link below.

Boardman Library Meeting Room, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, May 30

The summer schedule is coming soon!