Midnight Madness Genealogical Conference

Thanks to all who attended this year's Midnight Madness Genealogical Conference. 

Mark your calendars for next year, June 22-26, 2020!  We are already working on a fantastic lineup of speakers, so check back in the spring to see what we have for you. 

We are excited to present the Midnight Madness program for 2019!  This year's program features five nationally ranked speakers, many popular local presenters, and some fantastic door prizes.  As always, this event is offered at no charge to attendees, and while registration is appreciated, it is not required.  We hope you can join us.


National Speakers

J. Mark Lowe, Indiana Genealogy Conference
J. Mark Lowe CG, FUGA
Amy Johnson Crow, Indiana Genealogy Conference
Amy Johnson Crow CG
Lisa Louise Cooke, Indiana Genealogy Conference
Lisa Louise Cooke












Michael Lacopo, Indiana Genealogy Conference
Dr. Michael Lacopo DVM
Mike McNerney,  Indiana Genealogy Conference
Michael J. MeNerney MA











Local Speakers

Brian Lankford
Brian Lankford
Lyn Martin
Lyn Martin 
Stan Schmitt
Stan Schmitt










Vickie Olson
Vickie Olson
Claudia Sweeney
Claudia Sweeney
Katie Bockting
Katie Bockting










Attendance Incentives

Attendance Incentives



J. Mark Lowe CG, FUGA    

Finding Uncle John by Talking to the Neighbors   9:00 a.m.    (1 LEU)

                Using census records, manuscripts, and land records, learn details about your ancestor’s

                neighborhood and the people with whom they worked, prayed, fought and married. REGISTER

Masonic Lodges, Odd Fellows and Secret Societies   10:30 a.m.  (1 LEU)

                Fraternal organizations were a major part of our ancestor’s life.  Learn about the records available and

                how to determine if an ancestor was a member of an organization.   REGISTER


               We invite you to visit today's food truck:  The Cheese Queen  Cheese Queen

Is It Really Online? Finding and Using Original Sources at Home or Library   1:00 p.m.  (1 TLEU)

                Take advantage of new online resources while developing your research skills. Learn about

                simple techniques that can improve your methodology and accomplishment.   REGISTER

Out on a Limb, Trapped by Bad Research   2:30 p.m.  (1 LEU)

                Feeling trapped with nowhere to go? Bad, weak or missing evidence all contribute to misleading

                research.  Review your research findings, sharpen your techniques, evaluate your sources, and

                map a new course.   REGISTER


Brian Lankford

Perks and Pitfalls of Researching in Germany   5:00 p.m.         (1 LEU)

                Whether you are just starting your German research or you need help finding the village your ancestors

                came from, this class may answer some of your questions. We will learn the resources

                to use at Willard Library that may help you locate those hard to find relatives.   REGISTER

Special Collections Department open until Midnight


Amy Johnson Crow CG

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Using Occupational Records   9:00 a.m.  (1 LEU)

                Learn how records created about occupation and employment can yield information about your ancestor,

                help place him or her in context, and spark ideas for further research.   REGISTER

Timelines: The Swiss Army Knife of Genealogical Research   10:30 a.m.  (1 LEU)

                A timeline is more than a list of things that happened on a certain date. It’s an invaluable tool for

                organizing and evaluating your genealogical research.   REGISTER


               We invite you to visit today's food truck:  Queen B's Cuisine    Queen B's


Best Websites & Apps for Finding Local History   1:00 p.m.        (1 TLEU)

                Local history needs to be a part of your family history. Discover some of the best websites and apps

                for exploring your ancestors’ location.   REGISTER

How to Milk a Source for All It’s Worth   2:30 p.m.  (1 LEU)

                “Find a document. Pull out the fact you were looking for. Move on.” If that describes how you work with

                 sources, you are probably leaving a lot of information behind.   REGISTER


Lyn Martin, Special Collections Librarian, Willard Library

Beginning Genealogy: Start Putting Leaves on Your Family Tree   5:00 p.m.  (1 LEU)

                Get started on your family research the right way.   REGISTER

Special Collections Department open until Midnight


Lisa Louise Cooke

Google Earth Pro for Genealogy   9:00 a.m.  (1 TLEU)

                In this session you will learn how to use Google Earth‘s free tools in conjunction with genealogical

                research techniques to identify old photos, find, plot and virtually visit your ancestor’s homestead,

                and locate and utilize historic maps.   REGISTER

Google Books, the Tool You Should Use Every Day!                         10:30 a.m.  (1 TLEU)

                Google Books should be the first place to which you turn as you climb your family tree. Learn  

                how to make the most of this goldmine chock full of historical data using the little known  

                techniques presented in this class.    REGISTER


               We invite you to visit today's food truck:  Up In Smoke  Up in Smoke

How to Organize All This Genealogy Stuff   1:00 p.m.  (1 LEU)

                Save yourself future frustration and disappointment by putting a solid genealogy organizational   

                plan in place for paper, digital and web discoveries.   REGISTER

10 Ways to Enhance Your Genealogy with Video   2:30 p.m.      (1 TLEU)

                Don’t let the video revolution pass you by!  In this class, Lisa Louise Cooke will give you ten ways

                that online video can enrich your family history.   REGISTER


Stan Schmitt

Working With Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps   5:00 p.m.               (1 LEU)

                Stan will show us how to use the Sanborn maps, which can be a valuable tool for historic

                research of urban neighborhoods.   REGISTER

Special Collections Department open until Midnight


Dr. Michael Lacopo DMV

Incorporating Social History into Your Research   9:00 a.m.         (1 LEU)

                Family history should be more than names and dates.  Social history and its bearing on genealogical

                research will be covered.   REGISTER

Finding Dead Ancestors is Easy: Finding the Living Can be a Challenge!   10:30 a.m.  (1 LEU)

                Why should we look for living relatives?  Who knows where the family Bible ended up, or which

                of our third cousins has all the old photographs?  In an era where DNA can answer many questions,

                we need to know how to find those who carry the answers to our questions.   REGISTER       


               We invite you to visit today's food truck: Pizza Revolution    Pizza Rev  

Strategic Searching: Using Internet Indexes and Search Engines Wisely   1:00 p.m.  (1 TLEU)

                Take control of your search on Ancestry and FamilySearch, and learn about other internet

                tricks to find your people.   REGISTER 

“Hoosier Daddy?” Tales of a Reluctant Blogger and How Blogs Can Enhance Your Genealogical Research   2:30 p.m.  (1 TLEU)

                The digital age has changed the face of genealogy, but there is more power to be unleashed     

                beyond just scanning websites for data.  Hone your skills as a writer, tell stories, compile your

                genealogy, share with others, and allow others researching the same families to find you.   REGISTER   


Vickie Olson

Using Willard’s Databases   5:00 p.m.  (1 TLEU)

            Willard offers free access to a large number of local, national, and international databases.      

            Learn what is available and receive an introduction into their use.   REGISTER

 Special Collections Department open until Midnight       


Michael McNerney MA

Pioneer Tombstones in Indiana and Illinois   9:00 a.m.  (1 LEU)

                Mr. McNerney will present on the descriptive appearance of historic tombstones and the

                meanings behind them.   REGISTER 


Claudia Sweeney     

You Have Your DNA Results....Now What Do You Do With Them?   10:30 a.m.  (1 LEU)

            This program will discuss how to best use your DNA results to further your family

             research.   REGISTER


Katie Bockting

Finding Your Patriot Ancestor   1:00 p.m.  (1 LEU)

                This program will present the history and activities of the DAR with research tips and

                membership information.   REGISTER  

 Special Collections Department open until Midnight

This ends the scheduled events for Midnight Madness 2019, but please stick around and enjoy Willard's Heritage Days Events this weekend!

Local Speakers Biographies


Brian Lankford is a family historian and researcher.  He has authored nine family history books.  He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Territorial Guard Society of Indiana, and the Society of Indiana Pioneers.   He is a past presenter for Midnight Madness and several historical societies in the Evansville area.

Lyn Martin is the Special Collections Librarian for Willard Library and a local speaker.

Stan Schmitt is a Library Assistant at Willard Library, as well as a local history expert and popular local speaker.

Vickie Olson is a Library Assistant at Willard Library.

Claudia Sweeney is a Library Assistant at Willard Library, as well as a long time enthusiast of genealogy.

Katie Bockting is a teacher at Evansville Day School. She enjoys both history and genealogy and has been a member of the DAR since 2016, where she currently serves as chairman of the Community Classroom and Membership Committees.





Attendance Incentive Details

Each attendee will receive a “passport” card.  Be sure to have your card stamped at each class you attend.  Once you have 18 stamps, put your card in the drawing for the prize you hope to win.  Do not lose your card, replacements are not available.

The Apple iPad is the latest generation of iPad, has a 9.7 inch screen, and 128 GB.  This could be an invaluable tool for your research.

The Weekend Getaway provides 3 days, two nights at the Cooks on Brewery Bed and Breakfast in New  Harmony, Indiana.  It includes a $200 gift card to pay for meals during your stay.