For six years, the Watkins Genealogy Group has not only instructed the public on how to do family history research — the group has made history of its own.
In 2016, Richard and Alisa Branham, longtime KU educators and genealogy experts, volunteered their time and knowledge to form the Watkins Genealogy Group. Growing out of an older organization, the Douglas County Genealogical Society, this new group centered around classes held at the Watkins Museum.
Over the next four years, the Branhams held four “semesters” of classes on such diverse subjects as Introduction to DNA Research, Publishing Your Family History, and Using Maps in Genealogical Research. In these classes, Richard and Alisa helped more than 500 people begin or enhance their family history research and generously donated all class registration fees to the museum. The Watkins Genealogy Group went on hiatus in 2020 following Richard Branham’s passing.
Now, in the fall of 2022, Alisa Branham is partnering with the Watkins Museum to bring back the popular class structure that impacted so many interested people.
The fifth semester of the Watkins Genealogy Group will begin on Saturday, Oct. 15, with an old favorite: “Introduction to Genealogy.”
Alisa will provide clear guidance for registrants on how to start and organize one’s family history research, along with advice on which DNA tests are best for beginners. A handout will be provided, including a list of how-to books, helpful videos, and links to various online resources. Class will end with a brief Q&A session.
Future classes in November 2022 and February 2023 will tackle Census Research for Genealogists and Researching Your German Heritage, respectively. The latter class will be part one of a series exploring the intricate topic of German genealogy, and it is already generating interest and enrollments.
Seats for Introduction to Genealogy on Oct. 15 are still available. Those who are interested can visit this link for details and to purchase seats.