Monday, August 24, 2015

Course 2015: GO WEST YOUNG MAN!

Fall of 2015 offers this second course [Unpuzzling Your Past is the first course and is a pre-requisite]

Provincial Archives are often viewed as intimidating places, and as a result many genealogists do not go. BUT, provincial archives hold a myriad of original records always necessary to our research! Most of this course takes place on-site at the SK. Archives located in Regina, where Pat shares her vast knowledge and experience using these mostly original, one-of-a-kind records.

There are many differences between a public library and a Provincial Archives. Libraries are, for the most part, interested in dissemination of information. In other words you are always welcome to stroll down each aisle, touch books, take them off the shelf and have a peek. There are almost always numerous copies of each record type [such as books, microfilm, or map] available in numerous locations. Archives, on the other hand, are mostly primary records which means there is only one! And almost always that one record is only located in one archive ... in the entire World! These records hold answers not be found ANYWHERE else. Interested? You should be.

Western Canada was settled primarily by homesteaders and you'll learn why in this course. A file was created about each, even those who only farmed briefly. Even if you believe your family never farmed, do not overlook homestead files as homesteaders included not just those who came for the 'free' land, but also school teachers, business owners, and church leaders. Files may include such personal information as former residences, family, dates, house & land details - plus there is much more in these files than meets the uninformed eye. In the past, we have discovered birth/death/marriage/divorce documents, pages of personally written correspondence, photos, and even Wills. Some of these documents lawfully originated in other countries, but are included here.

Each student will be performing research on their OWN ancestors. The best part? Pat is with you every step of the way to assist you, and more importantly to explain your findings to you so you will not miss important details that often are overlooked or misunderstood by others. You will also learn to use old newspapers, directories, photos, special maps, births/deaths/marriage indexes, citizenship, naturalization, ships passenger lists, and military records to name just a few. Pat also arranges for her students to be taken on a personal tour of the Archives 'hidden treasures' - those records hidden from the public and kept behind locked doors. After all, if you don't know what's available how do you know what to ask for? This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Students will also learn to use the very best FREE web sites for land research, not just in Saskatchewan, but for all of western Canada & I have included details on how to research in the USA as I've learned this researching my own families. This allows you to start your research before even arriving at the SK. Archives. The Internet work will be completed from your home computer where you will follow very detailed and comprehensive lessons emailed by Pat to each of her students. You will be working on your own family research throughout this entire course. Even those without Saskatchewan connections will benefit. Class size is limited. Completion of Unpuzzling Your Past would be MOST beneficial and is strongly encouraged by Pat.

There is also a lesson on how to find records held in the one-of-a-kind Prairie History Room Collection held in the Regina Public Library. It is an amazing collection envied by historians world wide. A great deal of work can be done from your home computer so you will learn how to do this, PLUS you'll spend two hours onsite with Pat who knows the collection very well. Do NOT be misled - the PHR Collection holds records and record types for all over the World ... NOT JUST the Prairies!!

Instructor Pat Ryan.
To pre-register send Pat an email now at

13 Oct. 2015 7 - 9pm 3860 Buckingham Drive, Regina
14 Oct. 2015 emailed lessons
21 Oct. 2015 9:30am - noon SK Archives 3303 Hillsdale St., Regina
28 Oct. 2015 9:30am - noon SK Archives 3303 Hillsdale St., Regina
29 OCT. 2015 emailed lessons
03 Nov. 2015 7 - 9pm Prairie History Room Regina Public Library downtown
2311 12th Avenue [free parking in evenings]

SIX lessons $200.00

Course2015 - Unpuzzling Your Past ... Using the Internet

Genealogy is the #1 hobby in the world! Whether that's 100% accurate or not, it certainly is for many millions of us.

Unpuzzling Your Past ... Using the Internet

Celebrate and preserve your own history by building your family tree. At some point in life, people feel compelled to learn more about the individuals in their family who came before them. What makes genealogical research even more interesting is seeing the impact that your ancestors had on history, and on your own life. And just what did you inherit from your ancestors? Your physical appearance, likes or dislikes, health, even your occupation may be traced back to your ancestors. Every person is a part of history. Just by living their lives, they created history. What about you? You, too, are creating history, even as you live it. While you are a descendant of the past, you are a parent of the future.

Records are history's best storytellers. It is therefore necessary to develop research skills and become a good 'detective'. It is also a great deal of fun! These classes are designed to develop your research skills & teach you to think like a professional researcher. The classes enable you to decide what records to search for, why you need each of these records, how to find them, and then how to use them.

Unpuzzling Your Past is the course you SHOULD start with - whether a beginner or a seasoned researcher! You won't believe what you've been missing! You will NEVER regret building a strong foundation!! What if you had to prove a major event in *your* life? How would you do it? With records. Your ancestors also created records. They did many of the same things you do. Later in their lives they may have married and had children. Some of them hunted for gold, others worked in mills or farmed, still others left their homeland to make a new life in North America. If you had to prove your ancestors had these experiences, that they actually lived, how would you do it? Well, you would become a family history detective.

This class is suitable for beginners and the advanced who’ve hit that ‘brick wall’. This is a good 'starter' class, and the one you should start with, but it is also designed to assist more experienced researchers who are at a stand-still with their current 'brick wall'. I will say again - You will NEVER regret building a strong foundation!!

For most of us the great fun of genealogy & family history research is in the thrill of the chase - the search for new details. We gather reams of photocopies. We have copious numbers of binders full of hard copy. We have too many notes scribbled on too many scraps of paper, and we carry impossible numbers of facts/dates/locations in our heads. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the amount of information we have collected or inherited. Sometimes we have nothing. Obviously the more we know, the more we have to work with. BUT, Pat started with her parents and grandparents names, two locations (on two different continents), a couple unconfirmed dates, and that was it!! It *is* possible.

This course has been thoughtfully developed to help those with too much or too little information. If your research has progressed over a long period of time, do you still have some spaces you've had to leave blank or are uncertain about? Learn how to start, organize, document and cite your source(s) properly. Discover those missed clues or miscellaneous errors, and learn about new sources recently made available to the public (including many on the Internet - some that are available only on the Internet). Learn how to do all this in the most cost effective manner possible! There are times when you must pay for an official search. There are many *more* times when you can perform that search yourself, if you just knew how. This course will teach you those 'how's'.

Experienced genealogists
Take a look at all the work you've done or inherited and think of what you might yet accomplish! Is part of the reason you do family history research so it will be preserved, passed on and added to? Is your work clear, concise and presented in an organized, understandable format? Will the next person who looks at, or inherits it, be able to understand exactly what you found, and exactly where you found it? Will they be able to, and want to, continue your work? Do you have any recorded information, but are unable to remember where you found it or who told it to you? Have you been given any names, dates, locations but you have no idea where that information was found? If you knew, you could go back to those records, double check for accuracy and perhaps add some new details the original researcher, or story-teller, missed, misread or misinterpreted!

Only you know how much time, expertise, money, frustration, and intense happiness you will or have invested in researching and preserving your family history. Wouldn't it be terrible if it was all disposed of because it's value was not readily apparent? It happens every day. How many precious old photos, books or other memorabilia have you seen in second hand shops or garage sales? Your talents and your hard work need to be preserved and your descendants will thank you - after all, how much would you appreciate even one piece of well documented research?

If you are just getting started, congratulations, as you have no bad habits to break and this class will teach you all the good habits. For those of you who have spent decades doing research, isn't that research worth the investment of a little more time in order to preserve it for future generations? Do not despair if you're body of work needs attention - you are certainly not alone - but Do Not Delay any longer. Get into this class - quick! Student enrollment is kept low to accommodate student/instructor interaction. Students work on their own family research.

These courses are not designed to be the cheapest in the world - we all know that you usually get what you pay for. They *are* designed to be the BEST. Pat is most concerned with giving you the best and most recent tools available [including those on the Internet], and equipping you with the knowledge you need to take your research as far as you'd like. She also believes in having fun, and there is always much laughter shared by all. Additionally, following each one of the four class sessions, you will receive a set of complete and comprehensive notes covering the details taught and discussed in that class. This means you will not have to attempt to take notes during the class. Instead, you can devote your full time and attention to listening, learning, participating, and sharing in your own successes. Students continually express their gratitude and appreciation to Pat. They realize her knowledge is vast, and that she goes 'above and beyond' for her students. They also realize that her notes alone are worth hundreds of dollars - and appreciate that they can continue to refer to those notes, forever! Pat clearly loves what she does ... and it shows. Instructor Pat Ryan.

To pre-register send Pat an email now at or call her at her office 306-695-2241 or cell 306-533-3941.

Classes will all be held at Arcola East Community Centre which is located at 3860 Buckingham Drive within Jack MacKenzie School in Regina Sask.
Classes will run from 7 - 9pm on 15th, 22nd, 29th of Sept + 6th Oct.
[4 weeks] $160.00/4 sessions

Monday, August 17, 2015

Upcoming CLASSES 2015

I am pleased to again be offering two courses this Fall through Arcola East Community Association. The first one will be "Unpuzzling Your Past - using the Internet" which will begin Tuesday Sept. 15th and run every Tuesday until Oct. 6th.

[Each year I update this course to include the most recent sites, but this year is phenomenal. There have been so many advances made, and new opportunities offered it's like a brand new course. I often have students take this course more than once. For anyone considering, THIS would be the year to do it.]

Unpuzzling Your Past is the course you should start with – whether a beginning genealogist or a seasoned researcher. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing until you begin using the most up-to-date methods I teach! Locate reliable records – many available for free on the Internet – once you learn where to find them and how to use them. This is a fun, exciting course that helps you: build your solid foundation, avoid common errors, begin finding and using dozens and dozens of free and trusted genealogy web sites, or even break down some old brick walls! It also supplies you with the knowledge to progress to the next level of courses. Students work with their OWN family research. No matter how much, or how little, you have – do NOT underestimate the importance of this course!! Extensive Internet usage. Pat Ryan is a professional genealogy instructor and researcher as well as an experienced conference speaker who has presented from Whitehorse Yukon all the way to Scotland. She is a 1st generation Canadian who has found THE most amazing things and will help you do the same, no matter where your ancestral roots lie!! AND you’ll have tons of fun!! For full details about this course and additional courses, keep checking here, or email , or phone [cell] 306-533-3941 or [office] 306-695-2241.

Instructor – Pat Ryan

Tuesday September 15, 22, 29 and October 6 7:15 – 9:15pm @ AECC.
Cost - $160.00

All details are now confirmed for the following course.
The next course will be totally 'hands-on' where you will be searching for your own families through various record types. In this course you will have the opportunity to do instructor-led research AT two of the most useful repositories in the city of Regina, as well as online. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn the proper protocols as well as many of the tips and tricks that professional researchers employ. You will also be treated to a behind-the-locked-doors tour of one of the locations we will research in - the Saskatchewan Provincial Archives! This course will run Tuesday from Oct. 13th - Nov. 3rd, with two additional online lessons within the course ... so you don't even have to leave your home to receive these lessons with full instructions on how to conduct the specific research projects geared to helping you find answers about your ancestral lines. All web sites used will be free, and totally trustworthy. The two on-site sessions at SAR will take place in the mornings; the third onsite session will take place at the Prairie History Room in the evening. You must have completed the above course "Unpuzzling Your Past" before enrolling in this course as you will need the knowledge learned there to advance to this course.

I'll be posting additional information about these courses soon. For anyone wishing to pre-register, or requiring additional information please feel free to call Pat at 306-695-2241 or 306-533-3941, or email

These courses usually fill very quickly, and I keep the number of students low to ensure I have time to interact with each of you. I always look forward to meeting new genealogists and helping them on their way to success!

Instructor: Pat Ryan

Session 1: Tues. 13 Oct. Arcola East Community Association Regina 7 - 9pm
Emailed Lesson 1: 14 Oct.
Session 2: Wed. 21 Oct. onsite Saskatchewan Archives Regina 3303 Hillsdale 10am - noon
Session 3: Wed. 28 Oct. onsite Saskatchewan Archives Regina 3303 Hillsdale 10am - noon
Emailed Lesson 2: 29 Oct.
Session 4: Tues.03 Nov. onsite Prairie History Room 2311 12th Ave 7 - 9pm

So a total of six lessons within four weeks. Yup, you'll be busy, but busy having fun searching for your own ancestors ... online and onsite! And of course the lessons are yours to keep, and continue working on *forever*.

Cost - $200.00

Upcoming Sask. Speaking Engagements

I'll be blogging more about each of these events, but for now here are the locations and dates.

My Classes begin 15 Sept. in Regina: Unpuzzling Your Past. This is a four week course which ends 06 Oct.

I'll be in Saskatoon 25th and 26th Sept. I've accepted an invitation from the Branch to speak again to their group Friday evening and all day Saturday. FUN!!!! Here's the details

I'll be in Moose Jaw 03 Oct. I'll be doing a mini-conference for their Branch there the morning of the 4th. There will be others presenting in the afternoon. More FUN!!!! Details here

I'll be at the Regina Branch of SGS 24 Nov. I'll be doing a session for this group in the evening. Again ... FUN!!!!

Each organization will be advertising their events on their own websites or blogs. I will also be happy to share those sites with my readers here, once those folks have their announcements ready. Summer is to be enjoyed by all, including the many volunteers who put their considerable skills to good use running these Branches.



I took a long break. It was unplanned and unscheduled. For some reason I just could not get motivated to blog about anything. Will see how things go now. I'm not sick. There is absolutely nothing wrong in my life. I just got tired, and took time for myself. Thanks to all those who wrote to inquire, and express their concerns. I have stayed up to date with all things genealogy, and am gearing up for Fall 2015!! I've got classes and speaking engagements lined up so will begin to roll them out for anyone interested.

Hope everyone is having a super summer. I think it's one of the best summers (weather wise) I can remember. Hope it continues till, oh I don't know, end of November? haha

Cheers all,