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Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
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Minnesota Genealogical Society

2018 North Star Genealogy Conference

Hands Holding Tree           

Minnesota Genealogical Society's

2018 North Star
Genealogy Conference

Looking Back, Sharing Forward 

5-6 October 2018

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West,
Plymouth, MN

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGI, FASG, FNGS
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS


Featured Speakers

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGI, FASG, FNGS Tom Jones is an award-winning author, editor, educator, and researcher focusing on methods for challenging genealogical problems. He coordinates courses at GRIP, IGHR, and SLIG institutes, and speaks often for local, state, national, and international genealogical societies. Since 2002 he has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and he wrote Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Tom has been pursuing his ancestry since 1963. For the first twenty-five years he was clueless about what he was trying to accomplish and how to do it. When he started climbing the genealogy learning curve he repeatedly experienced the challenges, joys, and rewards of tracing ancestors reliably and of fully understanding their lives. Tom eventually became an award-winning writer, board-certified genealogist, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, recipient of honors from genealogical organizations, and author of the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof. Using his nearly lifelong teaching career as a springboard, he enjoys teaching at weeklong genealogy institutes, weekend seminars, and local, national, and international genealogy conferences.

Lecture topics:

  • Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and How
  • Going Beyond the Bare Bones: Reconstructing Your Ancestors' Lives
  • The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames

Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS of Monroe, New York, is an author, lecturer, professional genealogist, and former editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. She was named a fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in 2012, and has served on the NYG&B Family History Advisory Committee, and on the APG and FGS boards. She has lectured at national, state, regional, and local conferences, and coordinates the institute course, "Researching New York: Resources and Strategies," at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.

Lecture topics:

  • This Article Isn't About Your Family? You Should Read it Anyway
  • 'Beginning at a Black Oak...': A Neighborhood Reconstruction in Lancaster County

MGS Annual Awards Banquet, Friday, 5 October
Speaker: Thomas W. Jones
"How Genealogy Hasn't Changed in a Half Century-Plus"

Pre-Conference Day – 4 October

Advanced Topics Class with Thomas W. Jones

Two 90-minute advanced topics will be presented by Thomas W. Jones in an afternoon class held at the Minnesota Genealogical Center. This class is limited to 30 attendees and requires separate registration.

  • Developing an Evidence Orientation   Differences between genealogical information and evidence; types of sources and evidence, with emphasis on circumstantial, indirect, and negative evidence; getting evidence from sources, especially below the surface level; legal, social, and economic contexts and the evidence they provide; understanding how a records’ purposes and the parties' motivations provide genealogical evidence; weighing evidence; determining accuracy; determining provenance and authorship; relation of evidence to the Genealogical Proof Standard; using evidence to determine kinship and advance a genealogy.
  • Developing Research Questions and Hypotheses; Planning an Exhaustive Search   Pinpointing what a researcher wants to learn about an ancestor; strategies for determining which records to consult and where to find them; planning research of sufficient scope to answer a genealogical question convincingly; issues in variety, breadth, and depth of research scope; looking beyond the record of interest; knowing when the obtained evidence is sufficient; re-planning and developing subsidiary questions when planned research is unproductive; incorporating research scope into case building and reporting; testing hypotheses; challenging your own conclusions with alternative hypotheses and expanded research scope.

North Star Conference Invites Breakout Session Proposals

The conference seeks proposals for more than 20 breakout sessions on a wide range of topics. Do you have special expertise in some area of genealogy - an underused kind of record, a favorite genealogy database or productivity tool, genetic genealogy, or a particular kind of ethnic or nationality research? Perhaps, you have a case study that illustrates how to research and solve a difficult genealogical question. If so, the conference committee invites you to propose a presentation at the North Star Genealogy Conference 5-6 October.
Proposal Submission Form Proposals are due March 4.

Hotel Accommodations - New This Year!

The hotel is holding a block of rooms for October 4th and 5th for conference attendees at a rate of $109 plus tax for a standard guestroom.

  • To make reservations by phone: Call the hotel at 1-800-227-6963 and tell them the group room block is "Minnesota Genealogical Society" to get the conference rate
  • To get the conferense rate, use the group code K8H to Make Reservations  Reserve your room before 4 Sept, 2018 to receive the discounted group rate!
Photo of Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West
3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth, MN

Directions to the hotel

Watch this page! Conference schedule with breakout sessions coming end of April. Registration opening early summer!