I am available for the right event in the right place at the right time
to speak at your Genealogy Conference or Technology Conference.
If you're interested, please contact me:
-- Profile --
Louis Kessler, BSc. (Hons.), MSc.
Louis started his genealogy 40 years ago, about the same time he started computer programming. His University degrees in Statistics and Computer Science have given Louis a very different and innovative perspective on Genealogy research. He programmed his first genealogy report at University using a text-based word-processor. His other interest at the time was computer chess where he competed in two North American Computer Chess Championships.
Louis built his personal website lkessler.com in 1997 and designed and operates the GenSoftReviews.com website where people go to review and rate their genealogy software. Louis was a member of the BetterGEDCOM initiative to create a new standard for genealogy data transfer and supports initiatives such as GEDCOM X, FHISO, and Genealogy Stack Exchange that work for the betterment of genealogists.
In 2011, Louis released Version 1 of his own genealogy software Behold, designed to become the world's first report-based data editor for genealogy. In 2016, Louis got into DNA in a big way, and wrote his Double Match Triangulator program for autosomal DNA analysis. This program is one of the semi-finalists in the RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown.
Louis lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with his wife Cheryl and two daughters. He retired in 2016 as the Manager of Load Forecasting at Manitoba Hydro, the province's electric and gas utility, after a 36 year career with the company. During his day-job days, genealogy, programming, stock market analysis and squash were his after-hour passions.
Louis is fluent in five languages: English, Delphi/Pascal, HTML, GEDCOM and DNA.
Louis blogs regularly on his Behold site about the development of his program and related genealogy and technology issues, and is proud to be part of the Geneablogger community.
Feb 2014, RootsTech 2014, Salt Lake City. "Windows Phone for Genealogists".
Oct 2013, at the Manitoba Genealogical Society Seminar in Winnipeg. A keynote presentation on "Ideas and More Ideas for Your Genealogy Society".
Feb 2013, the 3rd Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruise, Australia. Gave seven presentations.
Previously, Louis has helped teach courses on beginning genealogy and computers and genealogy, led several genealogy projects, and has given many presentations in his role with his Heritage Centre. Prior to retiring, Louis also often spoke on non-genealogy topics in his job at Manitoba Hydro, and has presented several times to the Statistical Association of Manitoba.
June 2016, Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, Toronto: "The Future of Genetic Genealogy". Louis sponsored this talk and introduced the moderator Elizabeth Kaegi (DNA expert) and speakers: Maurice Gleeson (DNA and Family Tree Research), CeCe Moore (Your Genetic Genealogist), David Pike (Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland), Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist).
Feb 2016, the 10th Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruise, New Zealand and Australia: "Future Proofing Your Genealogy". Moderator: Helen Smith (HVSResearch). Other Panelists: Paul Blake (Genealogy Lecturer), Jan Gow (Beehive Books), Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist), Shauna Hicks (Shauna Hicks History Enterprises).
Oct 2014, Gaenovium Conference, Leiden, Netherlands: “Current and Future Genealogical Standards”. Moderator: Bob Coret (Genealogie Online). Other panelists: Sue Adams (Family Folk) and Phil Moir (DC Thomson Family History)
Feb 2013, the 3rd Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruise, Australia. "Social Media Panel". Moderator Jill Ball (GeniAus), Other panelists: Shauna Hicks (Shauna Hicks History Enterprises), Alona Tester (Gould Genealogy), Helen Smith (HVSResearch)
Feb 2012, RootsTech 2012, Salt Lake City. "Sources, Citations, Meta Data". Moderator: Ancestry Insider. Other panelists: Ryan Heaton (FamilySearch), Robert Gardner (Google), John Vilburn (Real-Time Collaboration), Dallan Quass (weRelate.org), Bruce Buzbee (RootsMagic) and Robert Burkhead (FHISO).
All presentations are designed to be about 45 minutes, but most can be lengthened with more detail added.
I go through and update my presentations for each event, customizing them to the venue and audience expected. Presentations can be made for any level: beginner, intermediate or advanced; technical or non-technical.
How To Improve Your Research With Source-Based Genealogy.
Go from source to evidence to conclusions. This is a step-by-step guide to show you how to do it, and how you can use to it guide your genealogical research.
Organizing Your Genealogy Documents ... The Better Way To Do It.
Going Paperless - Making Your Genealogy (and Your Life?) Digital
First Steps in Going to Paperless Genealogy.
Recording Your Sources - Are Citations a Necessary Evil?
You already know how important it is to record your sources, but it's so tedious. Here are ways to streamline the process and make it work for you.
Using Life Events and Ages To Solve Genealogy Problems.
There's a wealth of data in important event dates of your ancestors' lives. The dates provide ages which not only allow consistency checking, but also help you solve problems.
What's in a Date? Using Dates Effectively.
Comprehensive Consistency Checking Made Easy
In order to record your genealogy as accurately as you can, you want to make logical conclusions and as few mistakes as possible. Just like a spelling and grammar checker is an essential tool to make your writing better, a consistency checker will prevent you from making silly errors that can easily be avoided. Few programs today offer a full range of consistency checks. Find out what’s really needed, and what checks you really need.
Online A's for Your Genealogy Q's
As a genealogist, you have questions: how to best research something; how to interpret the data; how to organize it all; and how to get the darn stuff into your computer program. Here's where you can go for answers.
The Genealogy Research Process, the Genealogy Proof Standard, and You.
Genealogy Standards. What Are They? Do I Need to Follow Them?
Names, Events, Dates and Places Aren't Enough. Here's What You Can and Should Record.
Biblical Genealogy: Tracing Back To Adam.
What DNA Newbies Need to Know When Starting your DNA Journey. (For Beginners)
DNA Autosomal Segment Mapping Techniques (Intermediate)
Workshop: Using Double Match Triangulator to Find DNA Ancestors (Advanced)
Organizing Your Genealogy Computer Files ... The Better Way To Do It.
Entering Your Data Into Genealogy Software ... The Better Way To Do It.
Making the Most of your Genealogy Software
Genealogy Software - Choosing and Using.
Choosing genealogy software is like choosing a car. What's right for one person is not necessarily right for someone else. Here's some information that will help you decide what's best for you.
GenSoftReviews - Reviews and Ratings Of All the Genealogy Software.
GenSoftReviews is the like TripAdvisor, but for genealogists. It uses user reviews to judge the quality of each program. Come learn how you can use GenSoftReviews to help you find and decide on new genealogy software to try.
700 Genealogy Programs in Less Than an Hour
Are you aware of the variety of programs that can help you with your genealogy? If you're just using 2 or 3 programs, or couldn't name more than a dozen, then you're missing out.
Why Aren't Today's Genealogy Programs Any Better?
Windows Phone for Genealogists
Genealogists have been using the iPhone, Android and Blackberry handheld devices for years. But the new kid on the block is the Windows Phone. Find out what it has that's different that might just make you switch.
6 Bad Things About Today's Genealogy Software (Can Be: 1, 2, 3 or 6 Talks)
The Ideal Genealogy System.
Who Will Win the Battle Between the Online Databases To Build the World Family Tree?
Who Will Win the War Between FamilySearch and Ancestry.com?
The Best Way To Put Your Genealogy Data On Your Website Is Not What You Think.
Cousin Baiting: How to do it.
Merging Other People's Data - Beware!
GEDCOM and Your Genealogy Data
The Beginners Guide To the Minimum You Absolutely Need To Know About GEDCOM.
Warning! Data won't tranfer: GEDCOM transfers.
Don't lose the data you've spent hundreds of hours entering into your genealogy program. Learn about GEDCOM transfers, its limitations, and what you should do about it.
GEDCOM: Its History, the Present, and Where It's Going.
The FHISO Initiative To Create a New Genealogy Data Transfer Standard.
Nine Necessities in a GEDCOM Replacement
The GEDCOM standard is almost twenty years old and will inevitably be updated or rewritten at some point in the future. People expect all data to transfer correctly between programs, but more often than not find that it doesn’t. Here are Nine Necessities in a GEDCOM Replacement.
How to fix GEDCOM.
Behold (My Genealogy Software)
Are you ready for: Seeing all your data in one report; Instant organization; Multiple languages everywhere; Editing like in a word processor; Source-based data entry; Evidence/conclusion modeling; Virtual Merging. The template has been laid.
How To Best Use Behold To Help You Do Your Genealogy.
Checking Your Genealogy Data With Behold.
Life Events - Visualizing a Person's Life
Most genealogy programs just regurgitate the facts you entered. You know those facts, and you’ve already used them for what you can. But it is possible to multiply the usefulness of a few facts by displaying them in context of a person’s life story. Learn how genealogy software reports can be improved to provide you with information that can help you understand your ancestors better, and help you with your research.
The Future Of Behold - Innovations In Genealogy Software.
Genealogy Societies and Conferences
Ideas and More Ideas For Your Genealogy Society.
How do you keep your members interested, active and involved? What can you do to gain publicity and attract new members? What kind of programs will be useful, interesting, and maybe even make money? You need ideas. Here's plenty of them.
Organizing and Conducting a Cemetery Photography Project.
Rootstech - a Summary - and Why You Must Go To Rootstech.
Genealogy Cruises - the Better Way To Conference.
Why Genealogy Is Everyone's Solemn Duty.
We know you're an avid genealogist, and you know genealogy is one of the best hobbies in the world. What you don't know is why you and everyone else must do it. This amusing talk presents two dozen aspects of genealogy to inspire you.
A Beginner's Guide To Jewish Genealogy
This will get you up and running. (1) Getting Started, (2) Adding to What You Have, (3) Computerizing, (4) Getting Serious, and (5) Making It All Worthwhile.
Jewish Genealogy - What's Different and Where To Find It
If you are researching a Jewish connection in your family tree, here is everything that's different about Jewish Genealogy that you'll need to know, and the resources you'll need to do it.
Resources for Jewish Genealogical Research of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Stats, Stocks, Chess and Stuff
Winning Contests With Statistics.
A Volatility-Based Stock Market Spinner Strategy.
Gambling, Lotteries, and What's the Best Way to Win a Million Dollars?
Computer Chess History and Future.
Can a Computer Play Perfect Chess?
How To Program a Computer To Play Chess.
If I Didn't Have Genealogy As My Hobby, It Would Have Been Chess
Louis can also give Workshops on using his Genealogy Software