When It Takes a Village: Applying Cluster Research Techniques

Speaker: Emily Garber

Topic Description:

Sometimes tracking ancestors tests all our research acumen. Identifying a subject ancestor, their origins and parentage; tracking that subject through time and space; and constructing a biography to place that person in their social context is best approached by broadening research to include family members, associates and neighbors.

This presentation outlines a program for solving genealogical research problems via cluster and collateral research techniques. Topics include research planning, commonly used resources and documents, and a case study successfully tracking individuals from Europe to the United States, overcoming name and residential changes and using DNA evidence.


Emily Garber is a professional genealogist, writer, and speaker who has been conducting family history research since 2007. She earned a certificate from Boston University's Genealogical Research course and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Emily specializes in Jewish genealogical research and has worked with records from both Eastern European and German Jewish immigrants.

She is Chair of the Phoenix (Arizona) Jewish Genealogy Group and board member of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society and International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. She is a long-term volunteer for JewishGen.org and has served in leadership roles for both the Ukraine and Romanian Research Divisions.

Handout from Emily

The 12 Days of Christmas Raffle
We will also have ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ raffle
at the Fundraising Table.
Tickets are 6 for $5.00 or $1.00 each.
Buyers have the option to win any of the 12 items.

Future Membership Meeting Speakers

Date Speaker Topic
Dec 12, 2022 Emily Garber When It Takes a Village: Applying Cluster Research Techniques
Jan 9, 2023 Pam LaFond Cemeteries, Graveyards, and Headstones
Feb 13, 2023 Bonnie Bossert Investigative Genetic Genealogy
Mar 13, 2023 Suzanne Brayer The Mayflower: An Interesting Mix of Passengers
West Valley Genealogical Society