Jane speaks nationally and regionally at local societies, all-day conferences and week-long institutes and is available to speak at your group’s meeting or conference in person or via webinar. Contact her or call her at 845-430-9582 to make arrangements.

Read what people have had to say about Jane’s presentations

Five of Jane’s talks have been recorded as webinars for Legacy Family Tree. View them here.


The following topics can be customized to meet your group’s needs:

Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Hudson Valley Ethnic Groups and Religions.

The Hudson (North) River valley was an ethnic and religious melting pot long before the late nineteenth century immigrant influx. Find out who was in New York in the beginning. You will be surprised! (Beginner and general interest topic)
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Finding American Women’s Voices through the Centuries: Letters, Journals, Newspapers, and Court Records.

Women from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries are challenging to uncover, but we may hear their voices in the documents that recorded their lives. (Beginner and general interest topic)
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Looking for Your New York Tenant Farmer: Little-used Resources

Documents for New York manors and their tenants have survived. Learn how and where to look for your tenant ancestors in these and other records, such as court and tax records.  See examples for using the records in your research. (Intermediate-advanced genealogy audience)
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The New York Gateway: Immigration, Emigration and Migration

New York has been the heart of U.S. immigration since the 1600s. Discover the origins of key immigrant and emigrant groups and settlers and where they went. Learn the New York migration routes and transportation modes that your New York ancestors may have taken. Putting your ancestors in the context of their times is key for researching them. Some research resources and ideas are featured. (Beginner-intermediate genealogy audience)
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 New York City and State Governmental Vital Records and Alternates

New York is a notoriously challenging state to find birth, death and marriage records. Navigating New York City and State governmental vital records requires a “quick sheet” to make sure you have looked in every possible place to find the indexes, the records and possible alternatives.  Civil registration jurisdictions need to be clearly understood and considered, plus the key dates for laws and regulations that give context to what was actually collected, and when.  And importantly, learn what is accessible today and how to order records. We’ll also explore examples for using the records and end with a number of unique New York alternatives to the civil records. (Intermediate-advanced audience)
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Early Probate in New York: From Colonial Dutch and English to Statehood

New York has a notoriously complicated court system that affects all records, including early probate records that are of particular interest to genealogists. That New York’s probate system is difficult to navigate is an understatement. This talk will help demystify the first 225 years of estate records in New York by taking a journey to learn how and where to find wills and administrations through the centuries — from Dutch and English provinces to early New York State. We’ll explore Dutch notarial and provincial records, town records, and various court records including Mayor’s, Prerogative, Chancery, Common Pleas, Probate, and Surrogate’s and more found at the New York State Archives, county offices, online and more. Essential resources important for successful searching and examples using probate records will be featured. (Intermediate to advanced audience)
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A Tour of New York State Genealogical Research Repositories: The Best — Part 1

Explore the unique research resources and collections that are held by libraries, county archives, town historians, and historical and genealogical societies in New York State (not including Long Island, NYC and Albany).   Among those featured are the Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, Warren County; the Genessee County History Department in Batavia; the Rhinebeck Town Historian at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County; the Western New York Genealogical Society at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library in Buffalo; and the Onondaga County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Department in Syracuse. You’ll learn research ideas for any repository as well. (All audiences)
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 A Tour of New York State Genealogical Research Repositories: The Best — Part 2

Continue to explore the unique New York State research resources and collections focusing on universities, ethnic societies, museums, military repositories, online holdings, and more (not including Long Island, NYC and Albany).  Among those featured are Cornell University’s Division of Rare and Special Collections in Ithaca, Tompkins County; the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca, Cattaraugus County; the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, Onondaga County; the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, Dutchess County;  the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County and ArchiveGrid. You’ll learn research ideas for any repository as well. (All audiences)
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Researching Hudson Valley Palatine Tenant Farmers: Overlooked Resources

Documents for New York manors and their Palatine tenants in the Hudson Valley have survived. Learn how and where to look for your German tenant ancestors in these and other records, such as court and tax records.  Finding aids for collections are featured as well. See examples for using the records in your research. What you learn here can be applied to any ancestor in the mid- and upper-Hudson Valley — not just Palatines. (Intermediate-advanced genealogy audience)
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A Tale of Woe: An Eighteenth Century Woman’s Story Using Original and Authored Sources.

Margaret Wilcockson’s story has been published inaccurately and incompletely. This case study demonstrates how historical context, the law, and published research errors impact a story. See how a 1714 Connecticut unwed mother’s life unfolds with original and authored sources. Women’s rights under the law are featured. (General interest and intermediate audience)
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Forget Me Not: Remembering Our Grandmothers’ Stories

Women’s stories are often overshadowed by male-oriented records. Learn where to find and how to tell our women folk’s stories with the sources and everyday objects at hand. A new richness to family history can be had when we bring to life the stories of our grandmothers. (Keynote, general audience)
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A Soldier’s World War II Story

Using letters from the front, local newspapers from home, audio interviews, NARA regimental histories and more, learn how you can reconstruct your soldier’s war-time experience and hear the story of one tank driver from Long Island, New York. (Topic under development, general interest and beginner-intermediate audience)
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Dear Mr. President: Using Presidential Libraries for Genealogy Research.

Branches of NARA, presidential libraries are unique and untapped repositories for personal correspondence to a president. Learn about letters at presidential libraries and how to access the collections. (Topic under development, intermediate and general interest topic)
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Praise for Jane

“Congratulations on a highly informational address you gave on the topic of “Forget Me Not: Opening the Door for the Ladies in Your Ancestry” at the 37th Lancaster Family History Conference.  Not only was your speech informational, with many illustrations of how we can uncover the stories of women in our pasts, but it was also inspirational.  I say so because there is tremendous power in telling stories that impact the hearts and souls of people.  You had  many interesting stories to tell throughout the talk that were heartwarming, funny, and life-giving.”

~Rolando Santiago
Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Executive Director
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Jane Wilcox’s lectures are thoughtful and engaging.  Jane puts months of research and years of experience into each presentation, leaving her audience wishing there were more hours to spend with her.

~Terry Koch-Bostic
National Genealogical Society Board of Directors
Mineola, New York

“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed ‘The New York Gateway’ lecture you gave at NERGC [New England Regional Genealogical Conference]. It was so illuminating. I loved how you interspersed the quotes throughout the presentation. It was a different perspective and a wonderful synthesis of New York history and geography.

~Margaret R. Fortier
NERGC delegate for the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists
Medford, Massachusetts

“Jane gave a talk called ‘Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Ethnic Groups and Religions in the Hudson Valley.’ The audience was captivated by the presentation on who preceded us to the Hudson Valley, the variety of religions that held sway here, and the number of nations that were represented far earlier than any of us thought. Jane kept the informative talk lively and patiently answered many, many questions. Programs like this keep people coming back for more history. Thank you, Jane.”

~Vivian Yess Wadlin
Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society
Highland, New York

“At the November Program for the Orange County Genealogical Society we were rewarded with a fantastic program “Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Hudson Valley Ethnic Groups and Religions” presented by Jane E. Wilcox. Jane is knowledgeable, creative in her presentation, and very personable. I highly recommend Jane as a presenter. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of her programs.” 

~Marilyn V. Terry
Orange County Genealogical Society President
Goshen, New York

“This was the first webinar I attended through Famiy Tree University. Listening to Ms Wilcox was a wonderful inaugural webinar. The material she presented was well-paced, excellent and very valuable in helping with my research” 



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