Milwaukee County Genealogical Society

Beginner Genealogy Classes 2023-2024

Free "Beginner" Genealogy Classes NOT just for Beginners!
In Person at Milwaukee Public Library Central downtown
814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
1st Floor Rotary Club of Milwaukee Community Meeting Room
Please feel free to attend any in person session! Walk-ins welcome!
Are you interested in starting to research your family tree? Or have you started, but aren't making as much progress as you'd like? Milwaukee County Genealogical Society can help with FREE Beginner Genealogical Classes which start September 23, 2023.
Join the volunteers of your Milwaukee County Genealogical Society, with the support and cooperation of the Milwaukee Public Library Central and the fantastic librarians of the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at the Central Library, in taking a fresh look at your old habits. Sign up for the MCGS Genealogy Classes. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to in-person classes.
  • When: Class sessions held one Saturday each month from September through June between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Taking the classes is a wonderful way to reinvigorate your research, to look at old habits with new eyes and possibly meet new cousins (which happens more often than you might think!). Many of us have taken the Beginner Classes more than once, and thereby gained more than a refresher; we’ve gained new perspectives and new friends. And your insights may help someone else, newbie or veteran. We all learned from someone else; such communal learning by sharing is the warm heart of genealogy.
  • Where: MCGS Classes are held in the 1st Floor Rotary Club of Milwaukee Community Meeting Room near the main entrance of the Milwaukee Central Public Library. This room is located right next to the elevator. For handicap access, enter the lower level of the building via 8th Street and take the elevator to the first floor.
  • Handouts: The classes are free and the handouts are available in pdf form to download (scroll down page for current handout).  Printed handouts will be available at each class session for a $2 fee to cover a printing costs. Class handouts contain information and forms used in the class, and assist you in your research. 
  • Parking: Meetings will be held at Milwaukee Central Public Library Downtown, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., with convenvient on and off street parking. Metered street parking is available around the library building. Parking is free on Saturdays in specific areas downtown, but may have time limits - always read the posted parking sign to ensure you are in compliance. These smart meters service up to 2 parking spaces and utilize coin or credit card payments at the meter,or use the MKE Park AppThere is also a parking lot on Wisconsin Avenue across the street from the library. 
  • Class Recording: A new MCGS benefit, will be the ability for MCGS members to login into this website, and in the members only area to view a video recording of the 2023-2024 Beginner Genealogy Classes and download the class handouts. 

Questions: send an email to

2023 - 2024
Class Schedule
Saturday 9:30am - 11:30am (In Person only)
Note: Handouts will be available to download the week before each class
Classes will be video recorded. Videos and handouts available in the members only area.
September 23
Getting Started: Organization and Software
Learn the best way to get started on your family history (or what to do if you've already started). We'll also spend some time discussing the various software programs available for managing your growing collection of data.
by Rose Boggs

October 28
More than Just Names: Census Records
Census records are one of the major sources of genealogical information and it's important to know how to make the most of this important source.
by Diane Piedt

November 18
Getting it on Record: Courthouses and Archives
From Cradle to Grave: Church and Cemetery Records
Learn about two different sources for important genealogical information that may not be available anywhere else -- local courthouses and cemeteries.
by Diane Piedt

January 27
Starting at Home: Milwaukee Public Library
A spotlight on the special resources found at the Central Library in Milwaukee.
by Milwaukee Public Library Librarian - Jennifer Heidel

February 24
More than Just Books: General Library Records
Learn about the many ways that libraries can be useful to the family historian.
by Margaret Sandoval Skare
2024 HANDOUT available February 19-25 only

March 23
Asking Questions, Finding Answers:
Queries, Newspapers, and Social Media
To get an answer, you must first ask the question. Find out what goes into a successful query -- whether you mail it or post it online. Also discover all the wonderful material to be found in historic newspapers.
by Carol Genung
2024 HANDOUT available March 17-24 only

April 27
Travelling Abroad (or Not):
Foreign Research and Professional Help
by Karen Jegen
2024 HANDOUT available April 21-28 only

May 18
Don’t Jump to Conclusions: After the Research
So you've been finding documents, collecting information --- but what does it all mean? Learn how to use the information you find as evidence to support a sound genealogical conclusion.
2024 HANDOUT available May 12-19 only

June 29
DNA for Genealogy: What It Can and Can’t Do
by Carol Genung
2024 HANDOUT available June 23-30 only


**Note: Check the MCGS website for cancellation of classes, meetings, and programs due to inclement weather.
Class Schedule available to download in this form