BCG offers free webinar on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 8:00 p.m. EST

We often talk about historical context like a side dish: it adds color and life to our narratives and deepens the analysis in our client reports. Rarely, however, do we think of historical research as a main course, a proactive strategy. This case study demonstrates not only the potential of historical research as a tool but how that tool can be effective in the most challenging cases.

Thomas Chapman wasn’t typical of New York City immigrants at the turn of the nineteenth century. His reported birthplace of Bengal prompted more questions than answers, and FAN (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors) searches in New York produced no leads. Ultimately, a combination of historical research, DNA evidence, and traditional genealogical methods across three continents revealed the identities of his parents.

BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “The Bengali and English Ancestry of Thomas Chapman: A Case Study with DNA” by Meryl Schumacker, CG®. This webinar airs Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Meryl Schumacker, CG®, is the founder of We Go Way Back LLC in New York City. Meryl specializes in New York City genealogy from the 17th-20th centuries; Jewish genealogy in the United States, Europe, and Central America; and genetic genealogy. Meryl has compiled multigenerational family histories and located elusive ancestors for private clients, biographers, nonprofits, and corporations. Her work has been published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, NGS Magazine, and the APG Quarterly. She has contributed research to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central), Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC), and several biographies. In 2017, Meryl was awarded the Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. Prize (BCG/IGHR) and the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Young Professional Scholarship.

When you register before February 21st on our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars (, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

“We appreciate the opportunity to present these high-quality educational webinars,” said President Faye Jenkins Stallings, CG®. “At BCG, our purpose is to promote public confidence in genealogy by supporting uniform standards of competence. These webinars help to achieve that by providing educational opportunities to family historians of all levels of experience.”

Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link:

To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2023, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (

The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.