Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksGenealogy Events for 2020

by Robert M. Wilbanks IV, B.A.
Chief Genealogist & Historian, C.S.A.

I often talk about the importance of “Networking and Ongoing Learning”. As you progress in your genealogy, while discovering new and interesting facets of your family history, you will find that there is always something more to learn about the research process and resources available. Finding others with common research interests, but with more practical experience, is an important and fun aspect to genealogy. Whether it is finding a distant cousin who has made more progress in the researching of your common family tree, or learning from a record type expert, or research locality expert, networking with others to learn more is just one aspect of becoming a more skilled researcher. The other key aspect, is just straight forward genealogy education. Getting out there and learning more. Self-learning and continuing education is very low cost and readily available in a variety of formats and locations.

Even though you may not have Arizona ancestry, local genealogy societies across the state are a great place to network, learning from others, and attend meetings, and learn from great presenters on a variety of topics. With the beginning of a new year, I thought I would let you know of a variety of highly significant genealogy conferences and seminars coming up in the next few months hosted by various Arizona genealogy societies. Don’t hesitate to take the time to go out and learn more. Here is some information about a few genealogy groups around Arizona, as well as links to a few events coming in January through March.

The Pinal County Genealogists (, will be hosting their annual conference, 2020 Genealogy Workshop, on Saturday, January 25th in Casa Grande. Registration ($20 before January 11th; includes a lunch) is now open and the syllabus of speakers, topics and handouts, is now available on their site as downloadable PDF files.

The Tucson Family History Center ( will be hosting their annual Free All Day Event. The 2020 Family History Fair on Saturday, February 8th, 8am to 4pm, with 35 classes. Visit their website for more details. By the way, I will be the opening Keynote Speaker for this All Day Event.

The West Valley Genealogical Society ( is the largest genealogy society in Arizona and operates its own genealogy library with over 4000 square feet of books and more, plus access to a wide variety of subscription-based genealogy databases. In addition to their monthly meetings, the Library provides a number of “How-to” genealogy classes on a variety of topics. Their Facebook Events page has a long list of special classes from software to DNA to researching a variety of other countries . Their annual all day seminar on February 15, 2020 will feature Dr. Thomas W. Jones (

The annual seminar of the Southern Arizona Genealogy Society (, south of Tucson in Green Valley, Arizona, will be on Saturday, February 15, 2020 featuring Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D, J.D. “The Genetic Genealogist”. A Friday Night Workshop is also included.

The Pima County Genealogy Society, in Tucson (, is one of the larger genealogy societies in the Tucson area. In addition to their monthly meeting programs, they have an extensive variety of classes at various locations around Tucson. Visit their website for details and registration information.

The Family History Society of Arizona ( has about seven chapters around the valley that each meet a different day of the month. They also have a Virtual Chapter that meets monthly. You could theoretically attend all eight meetings monthly. Their 2020 annual meeting will be March 20th and 21st featuring Maureen Taylor “The Photo Detective”, a nationally recognized speaker and author, who will be presenting five different topics.

There are many other Arizona genealogy groups, historical and heritage societies that you can find through the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board (AzGAB) (, promoting genealogy and history by addressing the educational needs and interests of Arizona’s genealogical community through cooperation by the various groups and individuals. They have an impressive calendar of genealogy events around Arizona.

This is another of a series of articles in which I show you the basics of searching for your family history, discussing the use of family records, public records, and online resources nationally and internationally, etc. The previous articles are now available on the Genealogy Section of this website.   See “Genealogy” in the menu options at the top of the web page.

Genealogy volunteers are needed for the Phoenix Scottish Games
March 7 and 8. Please read this "Call for Volunteers"