Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Family reunions and genealogy

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 25, 2015 9:05 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, June 25, 2015:

Thursday's Smart Talk delves into family roots and lineage. When most people think of family, they often picture those closest to them like parents, siblings, and grandparents.  It's easy to forget that a family is not just made up of the immediate relatives.  Don't forget the aunts, uncles, cousins and even the second and third cousins as well as great aunts and uncles.

Sometimes, the best way to stay in touch with distant relatives is through a family reunion. While not every family can get together for a reunion, those that do take part can benefit because they give individuals a better understanding of who they are and where they came from.

Appearing on Thursday's Smart Talk is Edith Wagner, Editor of Reunions Magazine.   She's traveled the country visiting and writing about many different types of reunions.

Summer is considered reunion season, so Edith gives us tips on how to plan and organize a family reunion. 

Reunions also provide an ideal opportunity to learn about family history.  Maybe a reunion is the best way to start researching genealogy to discover who your ancestors are. The study of genealogy and family history first began in royal and wealthy families who had power and wealth to preserve. However, as time went on more and more families from every class and nationality developed an interest in where they came from.

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to research one's genealogy because of the number of branching paths the family tree can take as well as the amount of records available.  Everybody has a 1 in 4 chance of having a grandparent's surname and a 1 in 8 chance of having a great grandparent's making it even more complex.

Joining us on Smart Talk is Jonathan Stayer, the Supervisor of Reference Services for the Pennsylvania State Archives. He'll be able to tell us more about genealogy, specifically in Pennsylvania and what resources are good starting points for researching a family's past.

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Jonathan Stayer

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