How to Contact:
Full mailing address: 10411 S.W. 41st Ave., Portland, Oregon 97219-6984
Phone: 503-244-4357 Cell: 971-227-0087
Brief speaking/genealogical bio: Gerald S. (Gerry) Lenzen researches
and lectures on beginning genealogy; census, court, military and land
records; non-print resources; and resources to get your ancestors
across the water. He also lectures on early Catholic history in the
Oregon country, especially concerning French-Canadian settlers, their
native wives, and other non-Americans, prior to 1840.
Member of GCO? Yes, current President
Fees: Please contact
Will you travel? Yes
How far? Please contact
Do you require reimbursement of transportation costs? Please
Do you require reimbursement of food costs? Please contact
Do you accept home housing? Please contact
Syllabus, AV, & books:
Can you provide syllabus materials? Yes
What AV equipment do you require? Overhead projector and
If available, projector for Powerpoint presentation instead of overhead.
What Audio Aids do you require? Lapel Mic; lectern and table
Do you have items for sale at the lecture? No
Does the sponsoring society receive a commission from sales?
Exploring Your Roots: How to Begin
Good family histories begin with a clear understanding of research
principles. What resources are available, where they are located and
how they can be accessed are important concepts as you begin. Learn how
to develop systems for storing and retrieving family data.
Exploring Your Roots: In the U.S. Census
The decennial U.S. Censuses and their indexes are the first important
research tools available to the family historian after they have
collected and analyzed home sources. Learn about the important features
in each of them. Learn how they can lead to other important resources.
Exploring Your Roots: In American Land Records
Land records can identify where individuals lived. Different systems of
ownership and measurement are used in various parts of the
Learning how to locate and access the records is very important. Town,
County, State and Federal sources are discussed.
Exploring Your Roots: In the U.S. Court House
The county court houses are treasure stores for your family history. It
is almost impossible for individuals and families to live in a place
for a period of time without leaving some record in the local court
house. Learn about these original records.
Exploring Your Roots: In Non-Print Resources
Manuscripts, microfilm, microfiche, and CD’s are readily
most resource centers today. Learn how to locate and use them. Most
will lead you back to books and primary resources. Some are images of
Oregon’s First Settlers – The French Canadians
A generation before the first wagons crossed the American continent,
retirees from the British fur companies began to settle in the Oregon
Country. Who they were, where they came from, where they settled, and
where they went is seldom detailed in history books. Learn about them
as individuals and family groups.
Footprints of Our Wanderers (America to Germany)
Careful acquisition and examination of records on this side of the
ocean helps determine where your ancestors may have originated on the
other side. Learn how to scrutinize oral traditions and correspondence.
Identify record types that point to family origins. Backtrack on the
trail your ancestors left to their original home.
American Military Records
From the time they first established communities in the New World, our
European ancestors used military units to protect their citizens.
Records were created as they did so. Subsequent wars and conflicts
contributed additional information for many of the men involved in each
event. This presentation describes the military material available in
the Genealogical Forum of Oregon library.