Introduction to Genealogy Workshop Series: Your First Steps to Unlocking Your Family History

Presented by Diana Thornton, Genealogist & Time Traveler

Aug. 5 and 19, Sept. 9 and 23, 2024. 10am to noon

Poplarville Public Library, 202 West Beers St., Poplarville, MS 39470 (601) 795 8411


Embark on a fascinating journey into your past with this beginner-friendly workshop series designed for both the tech-savvy and the traditionalist. Diana Thornton, Genealogist and Time Traveler, will guide you through the essential first steps of researching your family tree, from documenting and organizing your findings to uncovering long lost details about your ancestors.  Learn timeless genealogy research techniques that apply equally to old-school, with the tangible touch of paper, and the click-and-save convenience of This series will show you how to create a robust and verified family tree. Learn to document and organize the trove of information available online. Begin your ancestral quest and unveil the secrets and stories that have shaped your family’s journey through history!

This Workshop is Perfect for You If…

  • You’re new to family history research: If you’re at the beginning of your family history journey and seeking a starting point, this workshop will provide you with the compass and map to navigate the vast landscape of genealogy.
  • You Seek Clarity Amidst the Genealogical Maze: For those who have started their research but find themselves in a tangle of records and resources, this workshop will offer the tools and techniques to bring order to chaos.

Workshop Schedule:

  • August 5th: Charting Your Course: Essential Charts
  • August 19th: Navigating Census Records: Mapping Your Family’s Journey
  • September 9th: DNA Demystified: Understanding Your Ancestry DNA Results
  • September 23rd: Saving Your Family Photos & Documents: Scanning Done Right

Participants will receive a packet with resources and helpful tips to continue their genealogy research after the workshops.

Charting Your Course: Essential Charts

Aug 5, 2024

Unlock the power of genealogical charts to bring clarity and organization to your family history research and illuminate the branches of your tree. This workshop will provide you with the foundational skills to chart your family’s past: Craft and utilize various charts, organize your research, showcase your lineage in a format that’s clear and visually engaging, build your starter kit, print your Ancestry tree to analyze and share your findings.

Navigating Census Records: Mapping Your Family’s Journey

Aug. 15, 2024

Census records are a goldmine of family history information. Learn how to navigate various census types, understand the information they reveal and uncover valuable details about your ancestors’ lives.

DNA Demystified: Understanding Your Ancestry DNA Results

September 9, 2024

Discover what DNA reveals about your family and find new connections. Learn how to interpret your results and how to use this powerful and exciting tool to reveal your hidden family history and break through brick walls.

Saving Your Family Photos & Documents: Scanning Done Right

September 23, 2024

Are precious family photos and documents tucked away in boxes or albums gathering dust and deteriorating? Learn how to preserve your family legacy by digitizing your photos and documents. Learn the essentials of scanning, from choosing the right equipment, ensuring high-quality digital files, strategies for organizing and storing your files and scanned photos, and sharing your digital family history with loved ones.

Your Guide:

Diana Thornton combines a lifetime of genealogical exploration and a Master’s degree in Archaeology with a passion for historical storytelling and photography. She is a versatile genealogist, biographer and time traveler with 50-years’ experience and a wide range of skills. She has documented numerous ancestors on both sides of the Civil War and her strong German and Scots-Irish roots reach back to Colonial America.

Expertise and Services:

  • Family Tree Research: Breaking through brick walls and revealing family secrets.
  • Biographical Narratives: Crafting memoirs and designing family history books.
  • Photographic Preservation: Specializing in vintage photo editing and restoration.
  • Collection Management: Ensuring the longevity of precious documents and images.
  • Genetic Genealogy: Analyzing DNA matches to connect ancestral dots.
  • Educational Support: Providing tutoring and assistance.

Degrees and Credentials

  • Association of Professional Genealogists
  • B.A. Archaeology, University of Pittsburgh, minor in photography
  • M.A. Texas A&M, minor in photography, specializing in documentary evidence (thesis topic was The Probate Inventories of 17th-century Port Royal, Jamaica which included the possessions of the pirate Henry Morgan).

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned genealogist, Diana can help you with professional genealogy research services, seminars and tutoring, book design, and writing. Diana has solved many family mysteries and loves helping clients break through brick walls. She currently lives on a small farm with goats and chickens in South Mississippi.  504-312-2354