2016 European Family History Conference

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The Family History Library and the Research Specialists of the European Reference team invite you to a free, never before offered, week-long conference focused exclusively on European research. The conference, which will be held September 12th - 16th, 2016, is perfect for beginning and intermediate genealogists interested in learning about records of European localities, and Family History Library collections.

Come and spend a week at the world renowned Family History Library learning from our expert staff of genealogists as well as experienced guest genealogists. Learn how to effectively use historical records, and how to do research in several European countries. Explore such topics as census, church, immigration, and vital records. Learn more about German, Swiss, Russian, and Polish research. And discover new techniques, strategies, and methodology to apply to your genealogical research problems.

Seating in the Church History Museum Theater which is directly north of the Family History Library, is limited to 190 participants. Please note that there are several LABS running concurrently with another class. LABS will be held in the Family History Library B1 Lab on the first lower level. Seating is limited to 26 attendees. Register early to secure a spot. registration opens August 1, 2016 (NOTE: When registering please register for ALL of the classes you wish to attend.). If you plan to attend in person please use the following link:

http://bit.ly/29teGka*

All of the classes and LABS will also be broadcasted as webinars. Webinar attendance for classes is limited to 500 while webinar attendance for LABS is limited to 100 spots. If you plan to attend via webinar please use the following link:

http://bit.ly/29vC93P*

Please bring your registration for entrance at the door.

We hope this conference will not only be informative and instructive, but that it will also encourage and inspire you to continue your family history research. Perhaps this will be just what you need to break through that 20 year old brick wall research problem. We look forward to working with you!

To download the syllabus click here

Share the conference information with your family and friends. When sharing this information on Facebook use the following hashtags: #FHLEuroConf #FamilyHistoryLibrary #FHLWebinars

*We will use Eventbrite to process your registration. Your information will be processed in accordance with their privacy policy located at http://www.eventbrite.com/privacypolicy.

European Family History Conference
In order to attend these classes you must register. Registration opens August 1, 2016. To attend in person click here. If you are going to attend online click here. We will use Eventbrite to process your registration. Your information will be processed in accordance with their privacy policy located at http://www.eventbrite.com/privacypolicy.
TIME Monday, 12 September Tuesday, 13 September Wednesday, 14 September Thursday, 15 September Friday, 16 September
9:00-10:00 AM MDT Finding German Ancestors Online-Resources and Records Old German Script Part 1 Poland and Galicia Jewish Research: A Template for East European Research Part 1 Research in the Czech Republic Bessarabia Then and Now: Researching our ancestors and locating helpful resources
LAB: Swiss Names and Places
10:15-11:15 AM MDT Internet Sources for Locating Your 19th Century German Emigrant Old German Script Part 2 Poland and Galicia Jewish Research: A Template for East European Research Part 2 Russian Alphabet, Language and Handwriting Part 1 Russian Germans in North Caucasus
11:30 AM-12:30 PM MDT Introduction to Swiss Research Extracting Information from German Church and Civil Records Discovering Polish Websites Russian Alphabet, Language and Handwriting Part 2 The Volga German Settlements in Russia
LAB: Kartenmeister.com Finding Places in the former German Area of Poland LAB: Genteam.at - a necessity when researching in the Czech Republic and Austria
2:00-3:00 PM MDT German Research Strategies for Eastern Provinces German Census Records 1816-1916 Co Kraj, to Obyczaj: Records of the Polish Partitions On Eagle's Wings: Records of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Republics Latin for Genealogists
3:15-4:15 PM MDT Research in German Archives German Historical Maps and Territories Sources for Polish Research and Gazetteers Introduction to Russian Research
LAB: Kartenmeister.com Finding Places in the former German Area of Poland

Class Descriptions

Monday, September 12, 2016

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Finding German Ancestors Online: Resources and Records (Baerbel Johnson)

From reference information, history, and vocabulary to lists of emigrants and parish registers online – this class demonstrates Websites you can use to find your German ancestors.

LAB: Swiss Names and Places (Daniel Jones)

Identifying surnames and places in Switzerland is now easier than ever!  Whether just beginning or rather experienced, this computer lab class will focus on online resources to help identify surnames and places, as well as showing new ways to maximize your research in Switzerland.

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Internet Sources for Locating your 19th Century German Emigrant (Baerbel Johnson)

Finding your German ancestor's birthplace may be just a mouse click away! New online resources for locating immigrant origins become available every day. Learn about U.S. and German websites containing lists of emigrants and emigration history from various parts of Germany, including search tips and hints for navigating foreign-language sites.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Introduction to Swiss Research (Daniel Jones)

Researching in Switzerland can be rather quirky but very rewarding.  Come and find out how to use those quirks to find your Swiss ancestors in records available in the Family History Library, in Swiss archives, and online. 

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

German Research Strategies for Eastern Provinces (Careen Barrett-Valentine)

The eastern provinces of the German Empire are notorious for having areas where church records have not survived the area's long history of political and social upheaval.  This class will teach you how to be certain all surviving church and civil records have been identified.  Participants will also learn how to find supplementary records that may contain genealogical information in the absence of church and civil registration records.  

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Research in German Archives (Heidi Sugden)

Learn how to prepare for a research trip to Germany, including how to find the right archive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Old German Script, part 1 (Dr. Fritz Juengling)

This class is designed to give family history researchers who read little or no German and have had no experience with German vital records a basic working knowledge of old German script. This class is the first of a three-part series on handwriting and documents. Be sure to download the handouts for this class from the FamilySearch Wiki and bring them to class with you.

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Old German Script, part 2 (Dr. Fritz Juengling)

This course is designed to give family history researchers who read little or no German and have had no experience with German vital records a basic working knowledge of old German script. This class is the first of a three-part series on handwriting and documents. Be sure to download the handouts for this class from the FamilySearch Wiki and bring them to class with you.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Extracting Information from German Church and Civil Records (Dr. Fritz Juengling)

This class is designed to give beginning family history researchers who read little or no German and have had no experience with German vital records a basic working knowledge of such records.   We will look at a number of vital records, including birth, baptismal, marriage, and death, and learn how to identify essential information.  It is the follow-up, application class to “Learning to Read Old German Script” class.

LAB: Kartenmeister.com Finding Places in the former German Area of Poland (Ehrengard Egbert)

This lesson will teach you how to use the online gazetteer kartenmeister.com to find German, Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian names for the same locality.  You will also learn to find all the villages listed within a county or Kreis and how to collaborate with other people researching the same localities.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

German Census Records, 1816-1916 (Jilline Maynes)

Ready for something new in German research? Then - German census records are exactly what you are looking for. Until recently, little has been known or reported about censuses taken in Germany. Come and discover this excellent, untapped genealogical source. This class will discuss why, when, and where censuses were conducted as well as the content and accessibility of this record set.

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

German Historical Maps and Territories (Warren Bittner)

Germany has had frequent and significant boundary changes. Learn about the 300 independent territories that have now merged to become modern Germany and how to find their records.

LAB: Kartenmeister.com Finding Places in the former German Area of Poland (Ehrengard Egbert)

This lesson will teach you how to use the online gazetteer kartenmeister.com to find German, Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian names for the same locality.  You will also learn to find all the villages listed within a county orKreisand how to collaborate with other people researching the same localities.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Poland and Galicia Jewish Research: A Template for East European Jewish Research, part 1 (Kurt Matthia)

Explores prerequisites for finding Jewish ancestors in Poland and Galicia: (1) knowing original family and personal names, (2) knowing the town of origin, and (3) having enough family dates and relationships to positively identify the ancestor(s) in old-world record sets. Tools discussed include JewishGen.org and other U.S. record sets.

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Poland and Galicia Jewish Research: A Template for Eastern European Jewish Research, part 2 (Kurt Matthia)

Explores methods for searching indexes and record sets from Poland and Galicia. Tools discussed include JewishGen.org, szukajwarchiwach.pl, Genealodzy.org, YadVashem.org, and other Jewish and civil indexed or browse-only records.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Discovering Polish Websites (Sonja Nishimoto)

This class will present several of the current online record sources that are now available for Polish research including the records found at the Polish State Archives.

LAB: Genteam.at - a necessity when researching in the Czech Republic and Austria (Ehrengard Egbert)

This class is a necessity for finding the right parish and archive when researching in Austria and the Czech Republic, as well as indexes from Vienna.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Co Kraj To Obyczaj: Records of the Polish Partitions (Greg Nelson)

At the end of the 18th century the powers of Europe consumed Poland’s territory until it ceased to exist. Only at the end of WWI did Poland return as a sovereign country. We will discuss the records of each partition and how best to access them in finding members of your Polish/Prussian/Silesian/Galician/Austrian/Russian family.

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Sources for Polish Research and Gazetteers (Marek Koblanski)

This class will help to find sources for Polish research and includes gazetteers to find information about places of registration.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Research in the Czech Republic (Kurt Matthia)

Become familiar with Czech research resources.

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Russian Alphabet, Language and Handwriting Part 1 (Heather Stewart)

In this course, the students will learn to recognize and identify Russian letters both typed and handwritten. They will also learn key words and phrases typically found in the church books enabling them to find key genealogical information contained in the documents.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Russian Alphabet, Language and Handwriting Part 2 (Heather Stewart)

In this course, the students will learn to recognize and identify Russian letters both typed and handwritten. They will also learn key words and phrases typically found in the church books enabling them to find key genealogical information contained in the documents

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

On Eagle’s Wings: Records of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Republics (Greg Nelson)

The territory that once made up the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union contains billions of records that can be difficult to find. We will explore the best ways to find family members whether they lived during the time of a tsar, the hammer and sickle, or in one of the former Soviet republics. 

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Introduction to Russian Research (Joe Everett)

Learn about essential historical background, research resources, and methods needed for tracing ancestors from the former Russian Empire.

Friday, September 16, 2016

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Bessarabia Then and Now: Researching Our Ancestors and Locating Helpful Resources (Gwen Oryall)

Come understand how to find ancestors and helpful resources in the former Bessarabia area now located in Moldova and Ukraine.

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Russian Germans in the North Caucasus (Dr. Wilhelm G. Doos)

This class will focus on the history and development of the Caucasus in the Russian Empire and how it came to be colonized by Germans.  Emphasis will be placed on identifying various German colonies using a variety of maps.  Identification of ancestral village will be a key point, but since most of the colonies in the Caucasus were created as daughter colonies, not infrequently without governmental permission, details about many of them are lacking.  It will be key to identify the original mother colony from which they originated which frequently will have some archival material available dealing with life events.  Archival material dealing with life events in the Caucasus are scarce and extensively fragmented, however, identification of the mother colony can at least complete part of the puzzle.  Emphasis will be placed on becoming familiar with various internet websites and how to network effectively.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The Volga German Settlements in Russia (Dr. Darrell Weber)

This class will explore the family history records of the German populations along the Volga River. Beginning with the invitation to settle along the Volga in the 1760s, it will discuss the establishment of the villages in the region through the reasons many emigrated in the 1870s and later. The class will also explore the records both published and on microfilm available for families from the Volga River.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Latin Handwriting (Heidi Sugden)

Learn how to read Latin birth, marriage and death records.

Presenters

Careen Barrett-Valentine, BA, AG® has been doing professional European Family History research since 2007.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Family History from Brigham Young University, and is accredited for research in the Germany region by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).

Warren Bittner, MS, CG℠ is a genealogical researcher and lecturer. He is a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He holds a Master of Science degree in history from Utah State University. His master’s thesis looked at the social factors affecting illegitimacy in nineteenth-century Bavaria. He is an award-winning author, and has coordinated German research tracks at The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. For six years, Warren was the German Collection Manager for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has done research in more than fifty German archives and in more than forty U.S. archives and record repositories. 

Dr. Wilhelm G. Doos is a long-standing member of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, a member of the Board of Directors, and an active member of their Historical Research and Archive Committees.  He has been actively researching Russian Germans in the North Caucasus and has published in the AHSGR Journal.

Ehrengard Egbert was born and raised in Austria where she also served a full time mission. For the last five years she has been a volunteer on the International Floor in the Family History Library. Ehrengard enjoys helping guests with German research. She also has taught several classes.

Joe Everett, MLS, is a genealogy librarian at FamilySearch, managing patron services in international Family History Centers.  Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library and a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records.  He also spent several years as content manager at Ancestry.com.  Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been active in library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles Central & East European research.

Baerbel K. Johnson, BS, AG® works for FamilySearch, supporting the German-language family history centers in Europe and providing research support within the international genealogical community. Previously, she had worked as reference consultant at the Family History Library for 20 years.

Daniel Jones, MA, BA, AG® is an Accredited Genealogist specializing in Swiss and German research.  His interest in genealogy began when as a youngster he would pore of his mother’s Book of Remembrance, but his love of family history took off at the age of 13 when he earned his Genealogy merit badge as a Boy Scout.  He has been awarded a BA in Family History/Genealogy at Brigham Young University and a MS in Early Modern European History at the University of Utah. Daniel has been working professionally since 2003, with on-site archives research experience in Switzerland and a dozen other countries.  Daniel is currently a research specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dr. Fritz Juengling, Ph.D., MA, BA, BA, AG® received his Bachelor’s degrees in German Studies and Secondary Education at Western Oregon University, his Master’s and Doctorate in Germanic Philology with minors in both English and Linguistics at the University of Minnesota. He has taught all levels of German, English, Latin and Old English (Anglo-Saxon) at the high school and university levels. He is an Accredited Genealogist® for Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists and a German, Dutch, and Scandinavian Research Specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Marek Koblanski was born in Poland.   He has been doing research for over 30 years, and has been an accredited genealogist since 1988.  He studied in Poland and Germany, and has done research in Eastern Europe, Germany, and Austria.

Kurt Matthia, MS, began personal family German, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian and Romanian family research, including Jewish lines, in the 1970s and has maintained a successful personal family history website since the early 1990s. He has been assisting Family History Library guests with Central and East European research since 2004.

Jilline Maynes, A.A.Jilline Maynes has been involved in family history for over 20 years. Currently, she is a student of Family History at Brigham Young University. Her research emphasis is Germany and U.S. Midwestern states. Currently, she is employed at the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU as a manager for the Nauvoo Community Project.

Greg Nelson is the Content Strategy specialist for East Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in the Records Division of the Family History Department. His research interests are in Central and East Europe with an emphasis on Russia and Ukraine.

Sonja Nishimoto, AG® has been employed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah since May 1989.  She has been a professional Germanic and Slavic researcher since 1982.  She is accredited in German and Swiss research.

Gwen Oryall is from Payson, Utah and shares a long-term love and devotion to family history.  She first learned Danish and to put microfilms on the readers at age 8, following the example of her mother.  She has worked with Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Scottish, German, French, Spanish, Latin, American and Pioneer Heritage.  Gwen was able to work in the first LDS extraction program as a youth doing Scandinavian records and now enjoys family search indexing.  Gwen is a registered nurse and loves helping others.

Heather Stewart received a bachelors degree in Family History from Brigham Young University emphasizing in both Russian and British research and handwriting. Formerly worked at the Family History Library as the East European Research Specialist. She speaks and reads the Russian language and is proficient at working with documents in Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish.

Heidi Sugden, AG® a native of Vienna Austria, graduated from the University of Utah with a M.A. in German Language and Literature.  She has been employed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for over 20 years as research consultant.  Heidi is accredited for French and Austrian Research and is also competent in German Research.   Besides her husband and her 6 children, Heidi adores her 25 grandchildren.

Dr. Darrell Weber received his BS and MS degrees from the University of Idaho, his PhD from the University of California at Davis, and his Post Doctoral from the University of Wisconsin. After working as assistant professor at the University of Houston for four years, he was a professor at Brigham Young University for 33 years, publishing more than 170 articles. He currently serves as a consultant for the Family History Center in Lindon, Utah.