Are you bogged down in your search for your Low Country ancestors? Don’t just tilt at windmills! Join J. H. Fonkert, CG, for a free MGS webinar, Klompen Genealogy: Finding Dutch and Frisian Roots, Wednesday March 5 at 7 p.m. Central time.
This hour-long webinar will give you an overview of Dutch and Frisian immigration to North America, an introduction to the basics of Dutch civil and church records, and examples of how to search Dutch and Frisian records on the Internet.
A stubborn half-Dutchman, Jay has spoken on Dutch genealogy and conferences and workshops across the county.
Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4957107848573596418.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Every genealogist needs to master five essential kinds of genealogical source records: birth, marriage and death records; census records; church and cemetery records; immigration records; and naturalization records. These five kinds of records are the foundation for genealogical research.
This Saturday, March 1, from 1-4 at MGS, Genealogy 101 instructors Peggy Larson, Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., John Schade and David Suddarth will introduce these five foundation types. During this session you will examine examples of each type and learn what information they contain. You’ll also learn places to find each type of source on- and offline, and how to use them.
This is the third session of this spring’s Genealogy 101 series which covers Step 3 of our five-step process for beginning and continuing your family history research: Locate a Useful Source.
The class fee is $15 for members and non-members. You can register for this session at http://www.mngs.org/blog/?page_id=97&action=evregister&event_id=53.
Have you ever been curious about the Daughters of the American Revolution? Perhaps you have family members or friends who have joined this women’s lineage society, founded in 1890. Perhaps you have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War, or think you do, and want to learn more.
On Sunday February 23, from 1-4, in partnership with the Minnesota State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, MGS will co-sponsor a free workshop for women like you who are interested in learning more about the DAR and/or applying for DAR membership. The co-sponsors invite prospective members of Minnesota DAR chapters, MGS members, and any women interested in investigating DAR membership to this event. (Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership.)
During the afternoon there will be brief presentations on becoming a DAR member and researching a lineage, as well as tours of MGS’ 30,000 volume library. During the workshop, participants will be able to consult DAR genealogists and conduct research in the MGS library’s collection and online databases.
The workshop is free, but in order to ensure that there are plenty of handouts for everyone, please register in advance at http://www.mngs.org/blog/?page_id=97&action=evregister&event_id=54.
One of the most common problems genealogists run into is working hard without making much progress. Common causes of this phenomenon are researching too broadly/failing to focus on actionable research questions, failing to create and carry out research plans, and not knowing which sources can answer commonly asked questions (and where to find them).
This Saturday, February 22, from 1 to 4 at MGS, Genealogy 101 instructors Lois Mackin, John Schade, and David Suddarth talk about focusing your research, defining projects, articulating research questions you can sink your teeth into, and creating workable research plans. They’ll also give you an overview of which genealogical sources contain information on common research questions and a review of the library and online resources that contain information you need to flesh out your family’s story. This second session of this spring’s Genealogy 101 series covers Step 2 of our five-step process for beginning (and continuing) your family history research: Decide What You Want to Learn.
The class fee is $15 for members and non-members. Register at http://www.mngs.org/blog/?page_id=97&action=evregister&event_id=53.
February is Black History Month. Genealogists working on African-American research face challenges of changing names, elusive identities, missing records, and records that were never kept.
The keys to success in African-American research are the same as for any kind of family history research:
- Pose the question carefully,
- Pay close attention to family photos, home sources, and oral history,
- Research whole families, not just individuals, and extend your research to associates of family members,
- Watch for changes and variations in names, whether accidental or deliberate,
- Capture all the sources possible, and
- Learn about the unique sources available for the place and time your ancestors lived, and the information the sources contain.
Join instructors Jerry Blue, M.L.S., and Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D. at the Minnesota Historical Society this Saturday, February 15, from 10-12:30, as they discuss these principles and show how they contribute to the solution of a tough genealogical problem–finding the grandmothers of an Arkansas woman whose parents were born in slavery. With the author’s permission, the class is based on Curtis G. Brasfield’s article “Tracing Slave Ancestors: Batchelor, Bradley, Branch, and Wright of Desha County, Arkansas,” published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2004.
Cost for the class is $28 for MGS and MHS members, or $32 for non-members. Register at http://events.mnhs.org/calendar/Results.cfm?EventID=5841&CFID=36740928&CFTOKEN=36a03201d6c22707-26BFD028-5056-9350-3A369216E79189B5.
MGS’ Genealogy 101 course begins Saturday with Step 1: Write Down and Organize What You Know, presented from 1 to 4 p.m. in the MGS library classroom. In this step, researchers gather and record information from personal knowledge, family members, and genealogical sources found at home. Learn how to used family group sheets and pedigree charts to organize information about families and review effective ways to organize paper and electronic files.
This is the first class in a five-class series based on five steps for beginning (and continuing) family history research. Classes continue February 22, March 1, March 15, and March 22. You can take course sessions individually or all together. If you take all five sessions, you can complete a research project with the guidance of the instructors during the two-week break between sessions 3 and 4.
Textbook for the course is Christine Rose’s Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy (third edition). Copies can be purchased for $16 on the course registration page.
Instructors are Peggy Larson, Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., John Schade, and David Suddarth.
The class fee is $15 per session for MGS members and non-members; $70 if you register for the entire five-session course. You can register for individual sessions or the entire course and purchase textbooks at http://www.mngs.org/blog/?page_id=97&action=evregister&event_id=53.
Webinars are an increasingly popular way for genealogists and family historians to learn about topics of interest. MGS joins the ranks of societies and other groups presenting webinars Wednesday February 5 at 7 p.m. CST, when Tom Rice, CG, will present Researching in Minnesota, the first in a series of 10 MGS webinars for 2014.
Using your computer and high-speed Internet connection (see below for system requirements), join Tom for an overview of resources for Minnesota genealogical research. You will learn what records were created, where they are today, and how to access them. This webinar also offers a run-through of ordinary and unique records created for Minnesotans, as well as a review of key repositories, with emphasis on the Minnesota Historical Society library and website, as well as an overview of key Internet sites.
Tom Rice, CG, is a full-time genealogy researcher, lecturer, and writer. He is a past director and officer of the Irish Genealogical Society International and Managing Editor of their award-winning quarterly The Septs, as well as a past director of the Minnesota Genealogical Society.
Register for MGS’ free webinar Researching in Minnesota at:
It’s free! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to log-in to the webinar.
For more information on webinars and webinar technology, check out these sites:
System requirements for GoToWebinar
And mark your calendars for March’s free MGS webinar, Klompen Genealogy: Finding Dutch and Frisian Roots, presented by J. H. Fonkert, CG, Wednesday March 5 at 7 p.m. CST.
Do your scanned photos or documents look like this? Little, crooked images swimming in a field of white? Maybe they’re blurry. Maybe the text fades into a discolored background. Maybe the handwriting looks like a “connect the dots” puzzle.
Your worries are over! Help is at hand. Saturday February 1, from 10 a.m.-12-noon, in the MGS classroom, Tom Rice, CG, will demonstrate proper ways to produce good-quality digital images of your photos and documents with your scanner. With Tom’s help, you will learn how to use the settings on your scanner to produce crisp, clear images.
This is not a lecture. Tom will show you how to scan several kinds of genealogy-related documents and photos, while explaining which scanner settings he chose, and why he chose them.
You can even bring one or two of your own items for Tom to scan. He will explain how he did it. A link to handout materials for the class will be provided when you register so you can read up before you come.
Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your scanning! Register now at http://www.mngs.org/blog/?page_id=97&action=evregister&event_id=52.
More more help with technology problems, check out the upcoming Technology Conference April 25-26 at Hennepin Technical College Brooklyn Park, co-sponsored with the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International and the Pommern Regional Group of Minnesota, featuring genealogy tech-ninja Thomas MacEntee and Midwest breakout speakers.
Saturday January 18 starts off MGS’ 2014 education offerings with two morning options and a free afternoon book discussion group. In the morning, you can either attend Members Morning at MGS, or the first in our MHS Topics on Family History series featuring Tom Rice, CG, speaking on land records.
Members Morning at MGS starts off at 9:30 with President Jere Mackin’s MGS update. Beginners Group follows from 10 to 11, and the morning winds up with the Research Study Group from 11:30 to 12:30. Beginners Group, conducted by the Genealogy 101 instructors and others, is always open topic–bring your questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them! After Beginners Group, David Suddarth will lead the Research Study Group in a discussion on best practices for using tax lists in your research. Members Morning is free, with no registration required.
Your alternative for the morning is MHS Topics on Family History. This is the series that replaced MGS’ old Intermediate Genealogy course. Presented at the Minnesota Historical Society in partnership with the MHS library, the series provides in-depth exploration of a variety of topics important to genealogists and family historians.
Our January topic is Digging for Your Roots in Land Records, led by Tom Rice, CG.
Tom says, “Because the majority of Americans owned land and lived on farms up until the 20th century, land records are a key source of information for genealogical research.” Join Tom Saturday, January 18 from 10 to 12:30 (including break) in the second-floor library classroom at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellog Blvd., St. Paul.
During this two-hour workshop Tom will guide you in exploring:
- How governments–foreign, federal colonial and state—distributed land to individuals, and the various types of records these distributions created.
- How to locate and plot your ancestor’s land from the description in a deed.
- How to read a deed and find the genealogical information in land records.
- How to find various types of land records
- Tax records relating to land holdings.
Do the terms “metes and bounds,” “rectangular survey,” and “township, range, section” exhilarate or confuse you? At the end of Tom’s workshop, you’ll understand these terms and more. You’ll be able to learn and understand how your ancestor acquired his or her land and find the records. You’ll know the difference between state-land states and federal-land states, and what this means for your research. You’ll be able to find the records of your ancestor’s land holdings, and understand the family history information they contain. You’ll be able to plot your ancestor’s land and locate it on a map.
The cost of this workshop is $28 for MGS and MHS members and $32 for non-members. Register online at http://tickets.mnhs.org/default.asp?cgcode=50.
After lunch, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., plan on attending our book discussion on Steve Luxenberg’s book Annie’s Ghosts, facilitated by Jennifer Moline.
Annie’s Ghosts is a memoir about the family secrets that unleashed an investigative journey for Washington Post editor Luxenberg. Steve comments, “My mother was an only child… I was certain that she had no siblings, just as I knew that her name was Beth, that she had no middle name, and that she had raised her children to, above all, tell the truth.” But Beth had a sister–Annie–whose existence launched what Steve calls “the quest of a lifetime.” If you enjoyed hearing Steve talk at last fall’s North Star Conference, you’ll welcome this opportunity to discuss his book. If you missed hearing him, you’ll want to join Jennifer and other genealogists discussing this remarkable book.
The book discussion is free and no registration is required.
Join instructor Tom Rice, CG, this Saturday, November 23, for “Getting the Most out of Your Internet Research,” — this month’s offering in MGS’ series, Genealogy Topics at MHS. Tom’s two-hour workshop (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.–includes break) combines lecture and demonstration to show you how to get the most out of your research time on the Internet. He will focus on five key questions:
- “How do I do effective searches on the Internet?”
- “What are the key genealogy websites?”
- “How do I get the most out of FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, and other Internet resources?”
- “What about the quality of information on the web?”
- “How do I keep track of all this?”
If you’re looking for answers to these questions, bring your laptop or mobile device to the Minnesota Historical Society Saturday and follow along.
Cost of the workshop is $28 for MGS and MHS members, $32 for non-members. Register at http://shop.mnhs.org/category.cfm?Category=114.