Louis Kessler

Louis Kessler is a programmer, genealogist and promoter of family history research to the masses. A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Louis has been Chair of the Archives Committee, Board Member and President of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. Louis has led projects such as his society’s Cemetery Photography Project, written a genealogy column for a local newspaper, and given many lectures on genealogy and genealogy technology to societies, including being a speaker on the 3rd Unlock the Past Cruise in 2013 and at RootsTech in 2014.

Louis built his own website at lkessler.com in 1997. He designed and operates gensoftreviews.com, a site where genealogists can rate and review their genealogy software, and in 2011 at beholdgenealogy.com he released version 1 of his own software program Behold – destined to be the world’s first report-based data editor for genealogy.

Louis has university degrees in statistics and computer science. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with his wife and two daughters. His daytime job is as the manager of the forecasting department at his province’s electric and gas utility company. Genealogy and programming are his after hour passions.

Louis is an active Geneablogger and blogs at beholdgenealogy.com blog, tweets at @louiskessler, Google plus at +louiskessler and participates in the Q&A at genealogy.stackexchange.com.

Click links for more info about Louis and his genealogical activities. Follow his interests and progress on his Behold Blog. See his blog on the 3rd Unlock The Past Genealogy Cruise

Unlock the Past Cruises – 3rd & 10th


Genealogy Research

  • How to improve your research with source-based genealogy
  • 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?
  • Using life events and ages to solve genealogy problems
  • What’s in a date? Using dates effectively
  • Comprehensive consistency checking made easy
  • Online A’s for your genealogy Q’s
  • 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
  • DNA genealogy: what you technically need to know

Computerized genealogy

  • 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
  • Gensoftreviews – reviews and ratings of all the genealogy software
  • 700 genealogy programs in less than an hour
  • Why aren’t today’s genealogy programs any better?
  • Windows phone for genealogists
  • 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 GECOM
  • Warning! Data won’t tranfer: GEDCOM transfers
  • 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
  • How to fix GEDCOM

Behold (my genealogy software)

  • Why Behold?
  • How to best use Behold to help you do your genealogy
  • Checking your genealogy data with Behold
  • Life events: visualizing a person’s life
  • The future of Behold: innovations in genealogy software.

Genealogy societies and conferences

  • Ideas and more ideas for your genealogy society
  • 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

Jewish genealogy

  • A beginner’s guide to Jewish genealogy
  • Jewish genealogy: what’s different and where to find it

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