Genealogy tools

Free Stuff Friday: Sean Astin

I should probably clarify: Sean Astin is not free. He’s the keynote speaker on March 4 at Family Seaarch’s Roots Tech conference. And you can tune in for free!

Given his wild family history (he had to take a DNA test to figure out which of three famous contenders was his biological father; his mother, Patty Duke, wasn’t accepting of the results), I’m expecting a great speech. Plus, I’ve been a fan since the “Goonies” and may have ugly cried on the couch during a fateful scene in “Stranger Things.”

So, I am super excited.

Roots Tech offers a lot of goodies and no booby traps (get it?).

The 2023 calendar is crammed with workshops on DNA, research tools and oddities (my favorite). For example, even though I can’t claim any ancestry in Denmark, I will most likely tune into a Danish census webinar just because the title – “Counting Peasants” – grabbed me.

You’ll also learn how to figure out if you’re related to royalty, navigate adoption reunions, use manuscript collections and more. The fun starts Thursday, March 2, at

Here’s a little calendar of events that might be of particular interest to those researching in Louisiana:

March 2, 9 a.m. CST: Antebellum Emancipations and Free People of Color

March 2, 10:30 a.m. CST: FamilySearch: Finding What You Need and What You Didn’t Know You Wanted

March 2, 2:30 p.m. CST: State and County Courts

March 3, 10:30 a.m. CST: Digging into Death Certification Data to Uncover Family History and Family Health Information Treasures: A Physician’s Perspective

March 3, 10:30 a.m. CST: Using Manuscript Collections

See you in “Counting Peasants!”


6 thoughts on “Free Stuff Friday: Sean Astin”

  1. My mother is a Naquin, descending from Joseph Jacques. I was researching her family history and stumbled across your blog. You don’t have a contact section so I have to do it as a comment here but please let me just say how much I have been enjoying reading all of your posts. I’m from Houma and love history and have just about spent this whole day jumping from post to post, soaking all of this in!

      1. How far back were you able to trace the Naquin family? We’ve made it to Jean Baptiste Naquin dit l’Etoile, born around 1661/2, but before him we can’t find anything. Like he sprung up from a spring in France and just decided his name would be Naquin from there on out.

      2. I’ve not made it any further than you. Tracing French ancestors is challenging because of the dit custom. It’s absolutely maddening. The parishes also have changed over the centuries. I have an ancestor – Claude Guillaume Montet – who helpfully provided his date of birth and place of birth for Acadian resettlement records. I’ve yet to find his baptism because the place of birth he gave doesn’t make sense.

  2. My half-Danish grandmother used to assert strongly that her side of the family came from Danish royalty, and I’ve always wondered whether that was true but never knew where to look. I learned from the “Counting Peasants” description that some Danish censuses have recently come to light, so I may try to start exploring those. So thank you for this!

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