My Family In History

Enrollment is now open! Limited class size. Class begins October 5, 2021.

Course Overview

The story of America is more than a timeline in a history book. It is the story of millions of families over hundreds of years and thousands of miles. Join author and history storyteller Gail Masinda as she guides you on a journey of discovery for the unique story of your family.  While learning the basics of genealogical research, students of all ages will incorporate the important story of their own family with significant historic events which may have impacted and influenced their family.

No personal information is shared in this course! During class sessions, students will be asked about their research but for privacy, only ancestor first names will be used. Upon completion of the assignments for this class, students will have a beginning historic record of their family, and have the skills to add more facts and stories as they are discovered.

Here is some of what students will do in this course:

  • Research in library and archives
  • Work with federal census reports and other documents
  • Obtain copies of select government records
  • Use a variety of online genealogical resources
  • Incorporate family narrative into historic events
  • Interview people and catalog the information
  • Archive photos and documents
  • Present your family story
  • Begin a family history notebook
  • And more!

All ages (including adults!) are welcome, but a minimum reading level for middle school is needed for this course.

Included in this course:

  • 10 online group lessons, each about 45 minutes – meeting details emailed upon signup
  • Study guides (download and print)
  • Reference sheets (download and print)
  • Various genealogical forms (download and print)

Time:  Each class is 45 minutes in duration, but there are assignments to be completed between online sessions.  Most assignments will take one to two hours to complete during the week. but once research begins, it can be difficult to stop!

Materials and supplies:

  • Internet access, for the course and research
  • Printer, ink and paper
  • Three-ring “view”binder (1” or 1 ½” is easiest to use)
  • Lined filler paper, optional
  • Pencil, eraser, and pen
  • Acid-free paper and/or cardstock (8 1/2″ x 11″ to fit the sheet protectors. Easily found with scrapbooking supplies)
  • Archival (acid-free) sheet protectors (recommended)
  • Photo corners (easily found with scrapbooking supplies)
  • Local library access (recommended)

Your Instructor:

I’m Gail Masinda, your guide and cheerleader. As a child, I spent the days of the Christmas school holiday with my maternal grandmother while both of my parents were at work.  GrandMa and I spent many days baking and chatting.  On one particular day, she told me the story of when her mother came to America.  The story was amazing, tragic, and highly memorable.  Not long after that, my grandmother died.  I came home from the funeral with the harsh realization I would never hear that story from her again.  I went straight to my room and wrote down every detail I could remember. I still have that paper. That was in 1968, and is how my genealogical journey began. 

Jump to 1973 and as part of an American history class, I was giving a presentation about WWI.  Quite honestly, I was not particularly interested in the topic.  Not interested, that is, until my paternal grandfather told me how he fibbed about his age so he could enlist in the army. Now there‘s a story!  From that exact moment on, my passion for connecting personal stories with American history was set and unwavering.  I now have dozens of notebooks filled with precious photos, documents, correspondence, artifacts, all supported by family trees, family sheets and other organizational tools.  In this course, I will be sharing over 50 years of experience as a genealogist and history storyteller.  

Enroll Now!

Class meets Tuesdays, 10:00-10:45AM CST, October 5 through December 14 (taking a week off for Thanksgiving!) Parents and their children within the household may take this class together!

After enrolling, you will receive an email with course log-in information.