Minnesota Genealogical Society Logo 1385 Mendota Heights Road
Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312
Minnesota Genealogical Society

2019 North Star Conference Breakout Sessions

Friday, October 4
Finding Minnesota Records on Free Genealogy Websites
            Presenter: Shirleen Hoffman
Learn how to find and use the Minnesota Historical Society People Finder, Iron Range Research Center, Minnesota Official Marriage System, and the Minneapolis and St. Paul City Directory Collections.
Locating your Family using Maps and Land Records
            Presenter: Cathi Weber
Land records are one of the most accurate sources for genealogists. Learn how to use land records and maps on a plat map.
Family History for Families
            Presenter: Kim Ashford
Genealogy doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor! This presentation will provide you with many ideas on how to interest relatives of all ages in your family history research.
Only One John Hendricks? Timelines, FAN Clubs, and a little DNA
            Presenter: Alice Eichholz
Multi-generational families in one location present a challenge to the researcher.  This case study of one frontier family demonstrates the importance of timelines and friends, associates, and neighbors (FAN), with a smattering of DNA, and invites you to weigh-in on the evidence using Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS).
Irish/English Civil Law and the Family Historian
            Presenter: David Rencher
This presentation lays the foundation for understanding the records of the Irish legal systems from ancient Irish Brehon Law to the present day. Ireland’s legal system is a blend of the Manorial court and the English common law systems.

Squeezing All the Info From The Swedish/Finnish Husförhörslängd
            Presenter: Robert Johnson
The Husförhörslängd (Household Examination) is perhaps the most important record in Swedish and Finnish genealogy. This lecture will cover the depth and detail of  records that can give you deeper insight into your family and point you to many other related documents.
Naturalization: The Process, The Law and The Records
            Presenter: Tom Rice
Our immigrant ancestors became Americans – somehow. In this lecture, we will take a look at the laws and processes that made that possible and at the records  created along the way. We will learn where to find these records and what they can tell us about our family’s history.
Who is Peter Callahan?: A Canadian-American Immigrant’s Story
            Presenter: David Moberly
The life of Peter Callahan of Winona County, Minnesota prior to his marriage was a perfect mystery. Contradictory records indicated that he was born in Canada, Ireland, or even on a Pacific Island. This presentation illustrates how researching collateral lines can resolve conflicting evidence and break down brick walls.
The New Deal, The WPA, and The HRS
            Presenter: Paula Stuart-Warren
Putting people to work after the Depression and producing worthwhile projects succeeded. It also worked quite well for history and genealogy. Box after box, file after file, personnel details, correspondence, record abstracts and indexes, descriptions of records, publications, and more fill repositories in Minnesota and beyond and online today.
Family Legacy Documentaries
            Presenter: Tommy Platek
Make your family history into a movie night for generations to come. Learn how to use video and new technology to preserve your long hours of research in an entertaining way.
Saturday, October 5
Genealogy Estate Planning: Preserving Your Research
            Presenter: Robert Johnson
 Genealogists may be comfortable talking about death, but they prefer to talk about their ancestors’ death not their own. With so much of our research or DNA information now online, and with the law increasingly restricting access to a deceased person’s electronic information, this lecture will discuss how we can protect our research when we die.
Historical Newspaper Research
            Presenter: Nathan Machula
Obituaries only scratch the surface of what can be found in historical newspapers. Learn where to find relevant newspapers, how to effectively and efficiently use them in your research, and how to use them to flesh out your family history with context and color.
World War I Alien Registrations and Related Records
            Presenter: Paula Stuart-Warren
Alien Registrations were aimed at Germans, draft registrations had sections related to non-citizens, property was confiscated, resistance occurred, and the result was family information forms, correspondence, articles, and court records. Learn what exists, see the content, and where to effectively search for more, especially in Minnesota.
Probate Case Study: Finding a Man’s Four Wives Through His Heirs
            Presenter: J. Fonkert
Probate of John Fawkner’s estate (1839-1849) identified four heirs who could not possibly have been children of his widow. Probate documents give clues to their locations in Iowa and Kentucky, which in turn lead to identify of three previous wives. Learn how to correlate information from many kinds of records to solve a difficult research question.
Battle of the Notes: Using Online Tools to Organize Your Research
            Presenters: Bert Jones and Kristie Strum
Kristie and Bert will showcase the pros and cons of using online tools such as OneNote, Evernote, Airtable, Trello, and Asana. They will “battle” on why they use their preferred application, versus the others. Kristie’s and Bert’s back and forth style will make for a fun and informative session.

Image Management for Genealogists
            Presenter: Tom Rice
Learn the basics of manipulating digital images: how to acquire, enhance, repair, store, organize, and share your genealogy images. Learn about resolution, file types, lossless and lossy compression, image enhancement, image restoration, and tools for organizing your images.
Catholic Family Records
            Presenter: Allison Spies
The archivist for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis shares her behind-the-scenes expertise to provide insight into what local Catholic records are available, what information they contain, and how to access them. This session will also explore interpretation, resource tips, and identification of heirloom artifacts.
What You Need to Know if You Want to Go Pro
            Presenters: Paula Stuart-Warren, Nathan Machula, and Robert Johnson; Liz Gomoll, moderator
 A panel of APG Northland Chapter members will share their experiences as genealogy professionals and offer suggestions to those who are considering "going pro." Much of the session will be dedicated to questions and answers.
Take Down Those Brick Walls!
            Presenter: Shirleen Hoffman
Learn how to take your research to the next level with research strategies and tools for tackling your genealogy brick walls. This presentation will detail methods, tools and underused records that can improve your problem-solving success.
Clusters and Matches: Making the Most of Your DNA Results
            Presenter: Alice Eichholz
In the past year, all the major DNA testing companies have all released new tools for clustering and organizing matches Learn the latest about how to use these tools work with your DNA matches.