Informative and Engaging Leadership

David McDonald CG(sm) has been attending genealogical lectures at local society meetings throughout the midwest since the 1970s, first while working as a genealogical vendor, later as an attendee, and finally as a presenter.

His workshops, often humorous, are always informative and engaging. Whether speaking on American records and their usefulness to beginners or on trans-Atlantic resources in England for advanced researchers, Dave’s presentations are well-received by genealogists of all skill levels, leading to annual “return engagements” with several societies.

Attendees’ feedback has been enthusiastic. “The ‘Lutherpalians’ lecture was the highlight of the conference!”… “Knowledgable and entertaining on a topic I thought I already knew!”…”Dave’s speaking style is infectuous and a lot of fun!”… “I want to compliment you on the great job you did at NGS in Chicago.”… “He’s the best speaker we’ve had in the last ten years!”… “Can we have a standing appointment with you every year?”… “He sure knows his stuff! Wow! That was great!”

He is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Recent engagements:

  • National Genealogical Society’s Family History Conference (Nashville 2005; Chicago 2006; Kansas City 2008, Raleigh 2009; Salt Lake City 2010; Charleston, 2011; Cincinnati, 2012, Las Vegas, 2013)
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies (Springfield, 2011; Birmingham, 2012; Fort Wayne, 2013; San Antonio, 2014)
  • Wisconsin State Genealogical Society
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society
  • Colorado Genealogical Society
  • North Carolina Genealogical Society
  • WISE-FHS (British Isles group of Denver, Colorado)
  • Lake County, Illinois, Genealogical Society
  • Winnebago/Boone Counties, Illinois, Genealogical Society
  • Iowa State Genealogical Society
  • BIGWILL (British Interest Group of Wisconsin & Illinois)
  • Rock County, Wisconsin, Genealogical Society
  • Dane County, Wisconsin, Genealogical Society

Dave taught “Beginning Your Family Tree,” a five-week mini-course through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Union from 2004-08.

Dave is available for regular monthly meetings, for day-long seminars, or for multi-day events sponsored by local, state or regional societies. Contact us for details.

Recent Topics

  • Jefferson’s Genius & the Old Northwest: land records for genealogists
  • Lutherpalians & Presbygationalists: What happened to Grandma’s Church?
  • The Second Great Awakening: Religion in America in the 19th Century
  • English Church Records Since 1558
  • The Stuarts and the Hanoverians: British History & Research 1603-1837
  • The Lincolns: The Ordinary Story of an Extraordinary Family
  • Tennesseeans in the Antebellum North
  • “Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking space…” Research road trips
  • Illinois Settlement Patterns: From the Colonial Era to 1850
  • Measuring Up: Obsolete and Archaic Terms for Genealogists
  • England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales as the United Kingdom: Overview of British Research
  • Transcontinental Migration: How American Families Became Bicoastal
  • Wisconsin Settlement, History & Resources
  • Indiana Settlement, History & Resources
  • New Yorkers to the Midwest
  • Polly’s Family: From New England to the Plains and Beyond (transcontinental migration in the 19th Century)
  • The Churches in North Carolina
  • A week-long, ten-session institute, “Ecclesiastical Records in British Research,” sponsored by ISBGFH
  • Day-long seminars on British genealogical research and German genealogical research for the Wisconsin State Historical Society

Additional topics and lectures are always in development. If you have particular needs, especially for a seminar, conference or workshop, be sure to ask!