Public Programs


Maia’s Bookstore of Columbus, Ohio, will set up a store near the La Roche College cafeteria. The public is welcome to peruse the books at any time during GRIP week from Monday morning through Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

Although she can only bring a certain amount of her total inventory, you can take a look at all the unusual and useful genealogy, social history, children’s, maps, and other historical books of interest at


We wish to thank the following sponsoring societies for making the evening lectures available. Please visit their website through the links provided. Speaker biographies are available under the Faculty tab.

2016 Evening Lectures begin at 7 p.m. each evening and are held at the La Roche College campus. They are open to the public. Schedule subject to change.

Monday, June 27, 2016: Lisa Arnold of, a 10th generation Quaker, sponsored by the North Hills Genealogists. “Quakers and their Records” The early Quakers (1680-1880) had a unique way of speaking, of dressing, of doing business. If you get a hint from the Ancestry search engine telling you that a name in your tree matches one from the Quaker Collection on, you may find yourself wondering a few things which will be addressed in this lecture, like:

  • Who were the Quakers and where did they come from?
  • Are they the same as Pennsylvania Dutch or the Puritans or maybe the Amish?
  • Why did they use numbers for of days of the week and the month?
  • Why were they called Quakers? Is that the official name?

FOR SALE: Lisa Parry Arnold’s book, Thee & Me: A Beginner’s Guide to Early Quaker Records, will be for sale before and after the lecture. Be sure to ask Lisa to sign it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Marian L. Smith sponsored by Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. “Thinking Over Time:  Researching USCIS Records” In this presentation US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) historical records expert Marian L. Smith will showcase late 19th and 20th century US immigration and nationality records.  She will also discuss how using a timeline can help one predict what immigration and naturalization records may exist for a given immigrant, and how to request records from USCIS.

Thursday, June 30, 2016: F. Warren Bittner, CG, sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (MAGS). “Understanding Illegitimacy: The Bittner Bastards of Bavaria” — it happened more than you think! See new light on nineteenth-century morality. Follow a couple with three children born during a ten-year wait for marriage. You’ll be amazed to learn what happened.

Monday, July 18, 2016: Diane Gravel, CG, sponsored by Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. “Justice of the Peace: Miscellany, Mischief, Marriages, and More!” This lecture introduces a variety of records created by these local judicial / administrative officials. Learn techniques for identifying the justices and locating extant records using online resources.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016: Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG sponsored by the North Hills Genealogists. “Can a Complex Research Problem Be Solved Solely Online?” Step by step, attendees will suggest online sources and research strategies for tracing an ancestor who seems to disappear and reappear. The interactive case study will show both how such cases can be solved online and the limits of material online today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016: Israel Pickholtz will present “Lessons in Jewish DNA – One Man´s Successes and What He Learned on the Journey.” Israel lives in Israel but has Pittsburgh relatives and roots.

Thursday, July 21, 2016: Michael Hait, CG, sponsored by the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research.”Finding and Using Online Legal Resources” Every aspect of our ancestors’ lives–and most of the records we use to discover their lives–were either directly affected or indirectly influenced by the laws in effect at the time. This presentation will show how to locate historical laws online to learn more about the world in which our ancestors lived and better understand the records we use. Click here to register for the webinar. No need to register if attending in person.

CARNEGIE LIBRARY: for those who want to conduct research while in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is open evenings until 8 pm Monday through Thursday. The Pennsylvania Department and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society share space on the third floor of the library at 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Evening Lectures: Enter “classes” building on the map below and look for GRIP directional signs.


THE FOLLOWING WERE 2015 Evening Lectures:

  • Monday, June 29, 2015: “Finding American Women’s Voices through the Centuries: Letters, Journals, Newspapers, and Court Records” presented by Jane Wilcox and sponsored by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015: “How Old Did He Have to Be?” presented by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL and sponsored by the North Hills Genealogists.
  • Thursday, July 2, 2015: Rogues, Rascals & Rapscallions: The Family Black Sheep presented by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.
  • Monday, July 20, 2015: “Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants” presented by Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M., sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (MAGS).
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2015: “How the Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire” presented by Marian L. Smith of the National Archives, and sponsored by the North Hills Genealogists.
  • Thursday, July 23, 2015: “North Hills Road Show: Local History Collections – Digitized for you!” presented and sponsored by Amy Steele, Executive Director of Northland Public Library.

THE FOLLOWING WERE 2014 Evening Lectures:

  • Monday, 21 July 2014: DIVORCE RECORDS IN GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH presented by Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG, Sponsored by Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
  • Tuesday, 22 July 2014: EVALUATING WEB SITES presented by Cyndi Ingle of “”, Sponsored by North Hills Genealogists
  • Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 7 pm: THE MAKING OF ST. JOHN’S BIBLE presented by Sister Michele Bisbey, CDP, Ph. D., Sponsored by La Roche College
  • Wednesday, 23 July 2014, about 8 pm: SPECIAL CHALLENGES OF JEWISH RESEARCH presented by Israel Pickholtz.
  • Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 9 pm: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Season Premiere. Group viewing of the show.
  • Thursday, 24 July 2014: USING NARA’s FINDING AIDS AND WEBSITE presented by Pam Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, Sponsored by Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania

THE FOLLOWING WERE 2013 Evening Lectures:


  • MONDAY, July 23, 2012, 7:30 PM  “Telling the Tales: Writing Your Family Narrative” presented by Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG, Sponsored by the Great Lakes Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists
  • TUESDAY, July 24, 2012, 6:30 PM “Google Earth for Genealogists” presented by Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, and Richard G. (Rick) Sayre, CG. Sponsored by the North Hills Genealogists.
  • WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2012, 6:30 PM “Pennsylvania Research” presented by Richard G. (Rick) Sayre, CG, Sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.
  • THURSDAY, July 26, 2012, 7:30 PM “Dating Your Family Photographs” by Bruce Klein of Photo Antiquities. Sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.