New Organization, New Conference – New Found Success!

The last 2 years have been filled with preparations for creating a new genealogical partnership. What began as a conversation and a desire to connect German genealogists in the U.S. with connections in Germany has expanded into a wonderful partnership of German genealogy societies named the International German Genealogy Partnership.

This partnership is truly becoming international with partner societies in Brazil, Australia, England, Canada joining societies found in the U.S. and Germany. We hope to welcome many other societies from around the world that are interested in German genealogy.

We successfully hosted our first event last weekend and had a fabulous conference with nearly 700 attendees! It was wonderful to be able to offer classes on areas that are important to some German researchers but that are not broad enough to be offered at larger Genealogy conferences.

While there is still work to be done to maintain and continue to grow and strengthen this partnership, the enthusiasm of those that attended both the leadership day and the conference indicates that we are on the right track. That the efforts that have been put in have been worth it and that we have additional volunteers to assist us.

I am looking forward to returning to this blog and to growing my business as demands on my time are able to be shifted to others things.

Gratitude List

I have been enjoying the beautiful Fall colors this Fall, here in Minnesota. They have lasted a long time this year. I love the variety.

I am grateful for the variety of opportunities I have been able to enjoy this year in genealogy. They have added wonderful color to my life as well. Here is a brief list.

  • I have benefited from volunteering at my local Family History Center. I get to keep my skills up in various forms of research and I also get to learn from the patrons that come in.
  • I have had the opportunity through my association with the Germanic Genealogy Society and the German-American Society Partnership we have begun, to connect with other Germanic genealogists and society leaders from all over the U.S. and in various parts of the world.  We are coming together to promote Germanic Heritage – a fabulous cause.
  • I have spoken to various groups in the area and have been able to share in my enthusiasm for researching my family roots in various records.
  • I have connected with some awesome individuals within the Association of Professional Genealogists – Northland Chapter.  Our local chapter is a supportive of its members and many are very active in the genealogical community as well.
  • I am grateful to have attended several conferences that have added to my genealogical well of knowledge and stirred up details that I had forgotten about.  Conferences are also a fun place to connect with others – I have even found a relative or two!

The best way to find genealogy friends is to get involved in the community.  I have found value in society memberships, even those far from my home.  I love communicating with others in social media and giving support and also finding assistance when I need it.

I love that in October when the Fall color was at its peak we also celebrated Family History Month and as a nation we celebrated all of our trees.  May you find gratitude in your genealogy during the beginning of this holiday season.

Favorite Photos- learning the story.

There are always a few family photos that bring larger smiles to your face when you look at them.  This is one my mine.  A photo of the North Elysian Kitchen Band.  My Great-Grandmother is in the second row, 3rd from the right.

North Elysian Kitchen Band, Elysian, Minnesota

North Elysian Kitchen Band, Elysian, Minnesota

I have been told that they had concerts and were even on t.v. at one time.  What an unusual way for the women to get together and have fun!

But was it unusual?  I wanted to learn more about kitchen bands so…of course I turned to Google.

I found an interesting article entitled “Kitchen Kabinet Band” in a Popular Science magazine that was on Google Books. Not a resource I would have thought to search for information about kitchen bands “Thank you, Google!”

It described how some of the instruments were put together.  Since the design of each instrument was only limited by imagination – there were lots of varieties.  But the article did describe how they would use kazoos in many of the instruments and attach them to other pieces to create different sounds.  This helps me understand Grandma Morsching’s instrument that has a flour sifter at the end of something else.  It also confirms my mother’s memory that it sounded a lot like kazoos.

A Morsching Kitchen Band for an upcoming Family Reunion, could be a new event!  Time to stock up on kazoos!

Now if I could only locate a video of their appearance on a news program.  That would be exciting.

After the conference…

It had a great week at the FGS/RootsTech conference.  So much wonderful insight, knowledge, and ideas were shared.  Now what to do with all of that?  I worry that I will forget what I have been taught.  While attending a genealogy conference I am able to focus on just genealogy, and how I want to apply what I am learning.  But when I return home, there are wonderful distractions such as my living family members that need my attention.  When life returns to its’ normal routine, will I remember the ideas I had?

Something that I started doing at SLIG (Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy) this year, was in my notes of what the speakers were saying, I also included the ideas that came to me about how to apply what they were teaching.  “This might work for researching _____ family” or “This topic would make a good article or presentation.”  I also created another document just for ideas to bring back to the Germanic Genealogy Society where I am currently president.  FGS is great about teaching society leaders and members how to strengthen their local societies.

Will I forget?  While I still need to remember to read over my notes and handouts, it is surprising to me how much I do remember.  The facts come back to me often unexpectedly.  Attending a conference with other genealogists is fun because you can brainstorm with those you meet about your specific research and share knowledge and experience.  I try to attend several each year so I can sometimes be reminded of what I have learned in the past, and also so I can gain additional skills.  It is also fun to be around large groups of people that don’t think you are strange for being passionate about family history.

Another Month, Another Conference

The month has flown by, it feels as though I just got back from Salt Lake City and now I am off again to attend the FGS/RootsTech combined conference.

I love attending conferences.  RootsTech is HUGE and adding the FGS classes only adds to my stress of which class I want to attend each hour. #SoManyGoodChoices

I try to do as much preparation as I can prior to the conferences I attend.  Here are a few of my tips:

  • Print business cards

    Even if you do not have a business, conferences are a great place to meet new contacts and having your name, email address, contact info, etc on a card is very convenient.  I like to use my name tag to place cards I collect and a few cards to hand out.  Some people like to print double-sided cards and put their surnames on the back.

  • Write on the back of collected cards

    If you collect cards write on the back – why that card is important.  Is it is a distant cousin, fellow researcher, etc.

  • Print address labels

    At conferences, especially large conferences, there are always lots of drawings. Having an address label you can put on the slips rather than writing out the same information is so much easier and saves a lot of time.  Often these slips also ask for your email address as a method of contact, or a phone number at the conference.  Making your own labels allows you to add additional information if you choose than just your name and address.

  • Dress in layers

    Conference rooms temperatures can vary.  Some are too cold, others are very warm.

  • Extra charger

    One of my newest purchases was for an extra battery charger for my cell phone.  While I have tried in the past to bring my charger with me, it can be difficult to find a spot by a plug or the time to recharge my phone.

  • Review the syllabus in advance

    I try to download the syllabus as soon as I can when that is an option.  My home internet is more reliable and less bogged down than those available at hotels or at the conferences themselves.  I also try to download the handouts if they are available because by looking at them it helps me decide what classes I really want to attend.

  • Prepare a Research Plan

    If you are going to an area that has nearby research facilities, check out their online catalog.  Are there items that interest you?  Do as much preparation as you can from home so you can maximize your time researching.

I am going to have a very busy week and I’m looking forward to another opportunity to increase my genealogy knowledge. I am excited to reconnect with friends and acquaintances this week and hope to make some additional ones.


SLIG- Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Conferences are so rewarding. I am in Salt Lake City this week attending the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.  I am looking forward to a week of being educated from several experts about German Research. I am attending the Advanced German Research track with a couple of friends I have met through the Germanic Genealogy Society.

  • I enjoy the classes and the suggestions I hear that I can implement in my own research and as I help research for others.  I often write in the margins of my notes the surnames of families that a particular tip/website/resource could be useful.
  • I enjoy the camaraderie between researchers as we support each other in our research goals.
  • I really enjoy having conferences in Salt Lake City because it means research time in the Family History Library.

It is going to be a great week.

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