Michael Cassara, Genealogical Speaker

Michael Cassara - Genealogy SpeakerMichael Cassara has spoken on a variety of topics at major genealogical conferences, society meetings and in classroom settings.  With his unique “dual-life” as a leading theatrical casting director and a professional genealogist, Michael brings over 20 years of experience in genealogical research to his presentations and is comfortable with groups of any size and ability.  A member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Michael is based in New York City, and travels regularly to present on a number of different topics.

Custom talks are always possible, based on your society’s needs, but some current talks include:

  • 21st Century Italian Genealogy – There has never been a better time to do Italian genealogical research! With more and more records now online, this talk provides a strong overview for the beginning researcher, while including some lesser-known resources that will be of interest to even the most advanced researchers.
  • Cemetery Crowdsourcing Cemeteries frequently provide genealogists with clues that exist nowhere else. In recent years, even the most remote cemeteries have become accessible to researchers worldwide, thanks to the internet. This talk explores the future of cemetery research – including BillionGraves, FindAGrave, and other apps and databases – highlighting different strategies and approaches to make the most out of cemetery research.
  • Intro to DNA Over 15 million people have now taken some form of genealogical DNA test, and that number continues to grow exponentially. What types of tests are available and when should each be used? What role does genetic genealogy play next to traditional research, and how can the two be combined for optimal results? How can genealogists fully harness the power of genetic genealogy, and what does the future hold for this field?
  • Large-Scale Digitization on a Small-Scale Budget: Next Generation Archiving for Genealogists and Societies – first given at the APG Professional Management Conference in 2018, this talk explores digitization approaches for individuals and groups trying to get large amounts of content online. Features multiple case-studies and the latest equipment information.
  • One-Name Studies: What Are They and How Can They Help Your Research? A One-Name Study is “in-depth research on all occurrences of a single surname”. In this talk, Michael explores the different types of one-name studies/surname projects, including the latest software and methodology as well as DNA/technology.
  • Putting Things in Their Place: Paying it Forward in the Digital Age – Have you ever found an old photograph, scrapbook, or family keepsake from someone *else’s* family, and wondered how you might track down a descendant? This talk explores the many fascinating ways in which people are doing just that – helping to preserve our unique heritage and return things to where they belong!


For a limited time, you can watch Michael’s talk on “Cemetery Crowdsourcing” from the 2016 RootsTech conference on RootsTech.org at https://www.rootstech.org/videos/michael-cassara


If you would like to book Michael for your group or event, please contact him using this form.

Speaker bio: 

Michael Cassara is a professional genealogist and speaker, based in New York City, specializing in Italian and Sicilian genealogical research, and topics related to genealogical technology. He has spoken on a variety of topics at major genealogical conferences, society meetings, and in classroom settings. He has presented on three separate occasions at RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, and in October, 2018, he gave a talk at the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Management Conference in Kansas City, MO. He is a member of the Italian Genealogical Group (IGG) and currently serves as Vice President on its Executive Board. He holds an undergraduate degree from Otterbein University and a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. His genealogy blog, DigiRoots.net, chronicles his adventures in genealogy.