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Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312
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The Professor Was a Revolutionary: A Case Study Focusing on Thorough Analysis and Correlation
Wednesday, April 1
The Professor Was a Revolutionary: A Case Study Focusing on Thorough Analysis and Correlation  (Webinars)
7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
In this presentation, Kate Eakman will discuss the importance of the Genealogical Proof Standard's “thorough analysis and correlation” of the information we collect. Using the case study of Professor Craven, we learn how paying close attention to a single word on one document eventually uncovered the revolutionary past of Professor Craven, revealed his true identity, and solved the mystery of his death.
 
About the Presenter: Kate Eakman holds an MA in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with additional graduate work in history and education. Kate spent 20 years as a college history professor and today she is a Senior Researcher and Team Lead for Legacy Tree Genealogists.
 


MGS Spring Conference: Pilgrims to Patriots
Saturday, April 18
MGS Spring Conference: Pilgrims to Patriots  (Conferences)
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
The Spring Conference has been
 
CANCELLED
 
 
 


How to Get Ready to Search Irish Records
Saturday, April 25
How to Get Ready to Search Irish Records  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100, Mendota Heights, MN
 
This presentation details what researchers must do before they can expect to have success in Irish records. It can not be stressed enough that researchers must turn every stone in their North American records set to discover three things: the names of their Irish immigrants, the names of the immigrants' parents and their place of origin in Ireland. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to have success in Irish records without these facts. The talk takes researchers from starting with what they know to interviewing relations and then researching records. Strategies and records sets are discussed at length to develop a full set of immigrant relatives to look for answers to parents' names and places of origin in Ireland. The program is an hour-long Keynote presentation with slides that depict examples of records that researchers will find necessary in the pursuit of their Irish roots. Questions are encouraged at the end of the presentation to further discussion and provide guidance for future research. Records to be discussed will include: Death certificate, Obituary, Cemetery, Probate, Funeral Home, Marriage(s), Censuses, Naturalization, Passenger lists, Passport applications, Religious Order Biographies, Newspaper clippings, Military Enlistment, Military Pension, Church records, County Histories and Bank records.
 
About the Presenter: Kevin Cassidy is an avid researcher and lecturer on genealogy topics. He has searched his own family tree back to the 8 Irish townlands of origin for his great-grandparents since 1994. Kevin has also had several pieces published in newsletters and genealogy magazines including Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today. His talks are research and strategy centered. Each family tree is unique to itself and he encourages researchers with a plethora of examples and research approaches that will advance their own research goals. He has spoken across the United States and in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Canada through July 2020. He has history and law degrees and a diploma in family history.
 
This class is intended for the general and intermediate level researchers. 

To ensure space, pre-registration is requested. However, walk-ins are welcome.  You can register in the IGSI Store on this website. $15.00 IGSI members   $20.00 non-members



Level Two Genealogy Research Course
Sunday, April 26
Level Two Genealogy Research Course  (Classes)
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Level Two is a 3-session course of progressive classes designed to teach important genealogy skills. 
  • Sunday, April 26, 2020, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, May 3, 2020, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, May 17, 2020, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
You will build on your progress from Level One as you learn and practice more advanced research skills, methods and sources. You will learn about how to evaluate your sources; are they original, derivative or authored; how reliable are they? You will complete assignments on your family genealogy and receive instructor feedback and research guidance. As a final assignment, you will investigate a research question, and prepare a proof argument to answer the question.   Don’t miss this opportunity to bring your research to the next “Level”!  

NOTE: Registrants must successfully complete Level One or demonstrate to the instructor they have the knowledge and skills learned in Level One by submitting a resume or work sample to Shirleen Hoffman at genealogytalks@gmail.com
Resume:  Describe your genealogical education and experience.

Work sample: Prepare a research question and research timeline for a person about whom there is conflicting information.
 
$95 MGS members, $125 nonmembers
Maximum class size is 15 people

About the Presenter: Shirleen Hoffman is the Vice President of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and a published author in several genealogical publications.  She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has completed several professional genealogy courses.
 



The Polish National Catholic Church and the Immigrant Community
Saturday, May 2
The Polish National Catholic Church and the Immigrant Community  (Meetings)
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Many Polish immigrants were members of the Roman Catholic Church but a minority belonged to other churches, one of these being the Polish National Catholic Church.  Mr. Kevin Tuma, a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church in Northeast Minneapolis, will speak on the origins of the church and how it differs from the Roman Catholic Church.  He will also share the place it held in the Polish community during the late 19th and early 20th century, as well as its place in contemporary society.  

Please join us to learn about the place this church played in the Polish immigrant community!
 
Cost: $2 for members / $5 for non-members


10 Steps to Organizing for the Busy Genealogist
Wednesday, May 6
10 Steps to Organizing for the Busy Genealogist  (Webinars)
7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
As a genealogist – who hasn’t felt overwhelmed with volumes of paper, a steady flood of daily emails, and projects that have been started but never finished? Cynthia Patton’s presentation will tackle dealing with these issues. You will learn how to set up daily routines that ensure you make the most of the time in your day. You will discover ways to set up filing systems that work across platforms both digital and conventional. A step-by-step approach to *Get Organized* as well as a “Tool Kit” of good ideas to implement in your life will be given.
 
About the Presenter: Cynthia K. Patton is a retired Army officer with a BS in Journalism and an MS in Political Science, both from the University of Southern Mississippi. She works part-time as a Professional Genealogist. Cynthia is a graduate of Boston University (BU) Certificate Program, member of Association of Professional Genealogists and the APG-Heartland Chapter, National Genealogical Society, and numerous local historical and genealogical societies.
 


Planning a Research Trip to Ireland
Saturday, May 9
Planning a Research Trip to Ireland  (Classes)
10:30 am to 1:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
The ultimate dream can come true! Perhaps you have a trip already planned. If so, great! Let Ann help you learn about the major genealogy research repositories in Ireland and what you might expect to find in them. You will come away with hints and tips for research when in Ireland. 

If you do not yet have your trip planned, Ann’s session will be followed by a brown bag lunch plus a panel of people like you who have done research in Ireland and a travel expert to help answer your basic questions like “When is the best time to go to Ireland?” and “How can I get around once I am there?”
 
Presenter: Ann Eccles is the current president of IGSI, editor of The Septs, and a researcher volunteer on Irish Saturdays.  A retired librarian, she has used her experience in researching to trace her many Irish family lines.
 


Documents + DNA + FANS + Luck, Combining Tools to Find Biological Family
Saturday, May 16
Documents + DNA + FANS + Luck, Combining Tools to Find Biological Family  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Finding an adopted child's biological family is especially challenging for genealogists. This class will use a successful example to show how good methodology combined with document research and DNA matches (and a dose of luck) can put a decades-old question to rest.
 
About the Presenter: Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, CG®, began researching her Swedish and German ancestors more than forty years ago. She is president of Northland Chapter Association for Professional Genealogists, co-editor of Minnesota Genealogist journal, and serves as a director for the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Liz is also a member of the National Genealogical Society and several ethnic societies. She has received MGS’s North Star Award and the Aubrey Zube Jones Award for her writing. Liz researches professionally for clients from across the U.S. and overseas as Red Bird Genealogy Services.
 



Irish Catholic Church Records
Saturday, June 13
Irish Catholic Church Records  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
For most family history researchers, parish registers provide the earliest direct source of family information. Unlike many other records, parish registers provide evidence of direct links between one generation and the next (via baptismal registers) and one family and another (via marriage registers). They are also, for the majority of Irish people who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries, the only record of their existence.

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) microfilmed registers from most Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s. Digital images from these microfilms are now freely available on their website.
 
Tom will be guiding us through this treasure trove of information. Don’t miss this one if your Irish ancestors were Catholic!
 
Presenter: Tom Rice, CG: Tom is a professional genealogy writer, lecturer, and researcher. He is a past officer and director of IGSI and past director of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. He is managing editor of The Septs and is a genealogy desk volunteer at the Minnesota Historical Society library.
 


Beyond Ethnicity: Using DNA to Prove Genealogical Relationships
Saturday, June 20
Beyond Ethnicity: Using DNA to Prove Genealogical Relationships  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Go beyond ethnicity and use DNA to solve genealogical relationship problems. By itself, DNA rarely identifies a specific ancestor. Rather, it allows estimates of how far back a common ancestor might be. It's a matter of biology, statistics, and probability. Sometimes the actual relationship is closer than DNA predicts and sometimes farther back than predicted. After this class, you'll understand why and be better prepared to mix DNA and traditional evidence to solve relationship problems. This class is geared toward researchers who have already tested. Little, if any attention will be devoted to ethnicity estimates.
 
About the Presenter: J. H. (“Jay”) Fonkert, CG® researches Norwegian Morstads, Swedish Falks, German Rombkes, English Tidballs, Kentucky Fawkners, and Dutch Fonkerts from his home in Roseville, Minnesota. He has lectured in a dozen states, taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and published more than 75 research and teaching articles, including three in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He is a partner in the Minnesota Genealogist editing team and is president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. He has completed three DNA courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg and studied at IGHR and SLIG.
 



Can Facebook Find My Family? Social Media and Genealogy
Saturday, July 18
Can Facebook Find My Family? Social Media and Genealogy  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Using social media for genealogy is a newer trend. Learn how you can use social media to discover family, research techniques and connect with other genealogists.
 
About the Presenter: Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker is a librarian with the Hennepin County Library system who works with genealogy and teaches classes at the Minneapolis Central and Southdale libraries. She has been researching her family genealogy and helping patrons with theirs for over 19 years. Her special interests include German, Irish, Swedish and early American (and Quaker) genealogy research.
 


The Connemaras: Despair in the Heartland
Saturday, July 18
The Connemaras: Despair in the Heartland  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
When 24 families left Connemara, near Galway, in 1880 to flee the ravages of famine, they knew little about their final destination in the upper Midwest. They arrived with gaunt faces and few items of clothing, hoping for a much-improved life. But controversy tormented them in Graceville, MN and their misery continued untl they settled in St. Paul. Theirs is an immigrant story that speaks of hardship, determination and hope. This fascinating story and Jane's experience finding the information is bound to help you with researching your Irish ancestors, no matter where in Ireland they hailed from.
 
Jane Kennedy, M.A., a proud Tike descendant, lives in St. Paul, MN. She obtained Irish citizenship in 2016 (dual citizenship) following two visits to her grandfather's homeland in the Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo.
 
$15.00 IGSI members/$20.00 non-members


Saturday, July 18
Routes to Roots: Travel and Research in Romania  (Seminars)
3:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Special Guest from Romania, Timisoara Tour Guide Alexandra Irimia Genealogy Researcher
 
SAVE THE DATES
  • Sat Jul 18 , 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. 
  • Sun Jul 19, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m
Seminar details coming in April. Those details will be added to the Romanian website and facebook page.


Celtic Connections Conference Pre-Conference Events
Thursday, July 30
Celtic Connections Conference Pre-Conference Events  (Conferences)
Wheeling, Illinois
The Irish Genealogical Society International, an MGS affiliate, and its Conference co-sponsor, The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), are offering several pre-Conference events:
  • Round-trip coach transportation from the conference hotel to the Newberry Library. The Newberry is a famous research library located on Washington Square in Chicago. Spend most of the day at the Newberry, exploring genealogy resources at this major repository.
  •  DNA Pre-Conference: introduction to DNA & solving research problems with DNA. If you are new to working with DNA, attend one or both basic-level DNA workshops at the conference hotel on Thursday, July 30. These introductory sessions with Lois Mackin will help you get up-to-speed for the more advanced DNA classes offered by DNA specialists at the conference.
NOTE: both the bus and the pre-conference workshops will have limits on the number of participants, so register early. Also note: the DNA sessions will not be held if our minimum participation per session is not met.   
  • “Welcome” Dessert Reception (6:30-8 pm) on Thursday evening. Enjoy an early dinner and then join other Conference attendees for dessert, coffee and conversation.
You need not be registered for the Celtic Connections Conference to participate. 
Registration now open.  Details for registration and hotel reservations at their website


Celtic Connections Conference
Friday, July 31 through Saturday, August 1
Celtic Connections Conference  (Conferences)
Wheeling, Illinois
The Irish Genealogical Society International, an MGS affiliate, is co-sponsor of the Conference.  An acclaimed group of Irish, Scottish, Welsh and U.S. genealogists has been confirmed to present at the event.  A great conference venue (Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel) combined with two full days of Irish genealogy, history, and culture ensure a stimulating experience for family historians. 
 
Details, registration and hotel reservations are at their website



Fire, Water, and the 1890 U.S. Census: Researching Beyond the Ashes and Mold
Saturday, August 15
Fire, Water, and the 1890 U.S. Census: Researching Beyond the Ashes and Mold  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Most genealogists are aware the 1890 federal census was destroyed by fire in 1921. Learn the sad story behind this historical and genealogical tragedy and how to work around the loss of that precious record.
 
About the Presenter: Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, CG®, began researching her Swedish and German ancestors more than forty years ago. She is president of Northland Chapter Association for Professional Genealogists, co-editor of Minnesota Genealogist journal, and serves as a director for the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Liz is also a member of the National Genealogical Society and several ethnic societies. She has received MGS’s North Star Award and the Aubrey Zube Jones Award for her writing. Liz researches professionally for clients from across the U.S. and overseas as Red Bird Genealogy Services.
 



FamilySearch: In-Depth
Saturday, September 12
FamilySearch: In-Depth  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world – and it’s over 4+ billion records are available to you for free!  Now if you could only find ‘your’ people among those billions. But have no fear, Tom Rice will be here to help you navigate the FamilySearch website. You NEED to attend this class whether you are a beginner or experienced researcher. You are sure to find tips and techniques to help fill in the branches on your tree.

Presenter: Tom Rice, CG: Tom is a professional genealogy writer, lecturer, and researcher. He is a past officer and director of IGSI and past director of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. He is managing editor of The Septs and is a genealogy desk volunteer at the Minnesota Historical Society library.
 


Death Records and Cemetery Research
Saturday, September 19
Death Records and Cemetery Research  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Death is a record rich event. These records provide a wealth of genealogical and family history information. Learn about all of the types of records that can be found associated with a death from church and civil records, mortuary records, cemetery records and others such as estate settlement and insurance claims. Learn where to find and harvest these.
 
About the Presenter: Tom Rice, CG®, is a professional genealogical researcher, lecturer, and writer. He is a past director of the Minnesota Genealogy Society, past officer and director of the Irish Genealogy Society International, managing editor of their journal, The Septs, and a Minnesota Historical Society genealogy help desk volunteer.
 


How to Get Ready to Search Irish Records
Saturday, September 19
How to Get Ready to Search Irish Records  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
This presentation details what researchers must do before they can expect to have success in Irish records. It cannot be stressed enough that researchers must turn every stone in their North American records set to discover three things: the names of their Irish immigrants, the names of the immigrants’ parents, and their place of origin in Ireland. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to have success in Irish records without these facts.
 
The talk takes researchers from starting with what they know to interviewing relations and then researching records. Strategies and records sets are discussed at length to develop a full set of immigrant relatives to look for answers to parents’ names and places of origin in Ireland.
 
The program is an hour-long Keynote presentation with slides that depict examples of records that researchers will find necessary in the pursuit of their Irish roots. Questions are encouraged at the end of the presentation to further discussion and provide guidance for future research. Records to be discussed will include: Death certificate, Obituary, Cemetery, Probate, Funeral Home, Marriage(s), Censuses, Naturalization, Passenger lists, Passport applications, Religious Order Biographies, Newspaper clippings, Military Enlistment, Military Pension, Church records, County Histories and Bank records.
 
Presenter: Kevin Cassidy is an avid researcher and lecturer on genealogy topics. He has searched his own family tree back to the 8 Irish townlands of origin for his great-grandparents since 1994. Kevin has also had several pieces published in newsletters and genealogy magazines including Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today. His talks are research and strategy centered. Each family tree is unique to itself and he encourages researchers with a plethora of examples and research approaches that will advance their own research goals. He has spoken across the United States and in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Canada through July 2020. He has history and law degrees and a diploma in family history.
 



Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
Saturday, October 17
Tracing Your Irish Ancestors  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Come Along with Tom and Mary on a Journey with John Grenham.
 
John Grenham’s “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” is often called the ‘bible’ for anyone researching their Irish roots. Now in its 5th edition (published by Gill Books in April 2019, it is available through local bookstores and on Amazon).  Per Amazon, “The fifth edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors retains its familiar three-part structure, combining a detailed guide for beginners with thorough descriptions of all the useful sources and county-by-county reference lists. Additionally, all the changes that have been brought about by modern technology – internet records and DNA testing, which make researching your family background easier than ever – are explained in this indispensable guide.”
 
Mary Wickersham and Tom Rice will lead us through this amazing resource that “can be used by the absolute beginner, the keen amateur and even the more experienced genealogist” (The Irish Times).
 
Mary Wickersham is a longtime member of the Irish Genealogical Society International and the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and a past director for both societies.  She has over 12 years’ experience as a professional genealogist and lecturer.  Her background is in software and websites.

Tom Rice, CG is a professional genealogy writer, lecturer and researcher. He is a past officer and director of IGSI and past director of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. He is managing editor of The Septs and is a genealogy desk volunteer at the Minnesota Historical Society library.
 



Finding Your Overseas Irish Ancestors: A Case Study
Saturday, November 14
Finding Your Overseas Irish Ancestors: A Case Study  (Classes)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Most of our ancestors came here from overseas, and often we don’t know their place of origin. This talk, featuring a Wisconsin Irishman, shows how to find his Irish place of origin using the American records he and his family left.

Presenter: Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., is a professional genealogist focusing on American and English research. Lois writes for several publications, including The Septs, and teaches about genealogical records and methods,  including DNA. In her spare time, she volunteers for several genealogical and lineage societies. She is a past president of the Northland Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and a past officer and education chair of the Minnesota Genealogical Society.
 
 


Swedish Historical Maps and Online Map Collections
Saturday, November 21
Swedish Historical Maps and Online Map Collections  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
This is an introduction to the digitized historic map collections covering most farms and villages from the 1600s to the 1900s available at the Swedish National Archives and the Swedish Land Registry. We will also look at the millions of supporting property records and many other types of maps important for genealogical research.
 
About the Presenter: Bob Johnson is an attorney and holds a Certified Genealogist® credential. As a professional genealogist, he has specialized in Scandinavian, U.S., German, and forensic genealogical research for over forty years. He studied in Sweden and is active in many genealogical societies throughout the U.S. and Scandinavia. He currently is a Director on the Board of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and is the chair of the Society’s Education Committee. Before returning to Minnesota in 2018 he had lived in Washington, DC, primarily in the research rooms of the DAR, National Archives, and the Library of Congress.
 



Naturalization Records for Genealogists
Saturday, December 12
Naturalization Records for Genealogists  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Did your immigrant ancestor become an American citizen? Learn about clues to find these valuable records.
 
About the Presenter: Cathi Weber has been a genealogical researcher for more than 30 years. She has researched in more than 10 states, as well as at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Cathi has taught classes for the Anoka County Genealogical Society and is the 2010 winner of the MGS North Star Award.