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Genealogical Council of Oregon Speakers Bureau

Name: Gerald S. Lenzen

How to Contact:
Full mailing address: 10411 S.W. 41st Ave., Portland, Oregon 97219-6984
Phone: 503-244-4357   Cell: 971-227-0087   

Background information:
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 contact
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 screen.  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?  N/A

Other comments:


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 U.S.  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 found in 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 original sources.

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.
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