Minnesota Genealogical Society Logo 1385 Mendota Heights Road
Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312
Minnesota Genealogical Society
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Saturday, February 23
Genealogical Problem-Solving  (Classes)
10:00 am to 11:30 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center
In this five-part course, students will learn to evaluate sources, plan reasonably exhaustive searches, merge and consolidate identities, and write a genealogical proof. Each class will feature short lectures, skill-building exercises, and class discussion. This class is best suited to genealogists who are familiar with a wide range of genealogical sources and have done enough research to encounter difficult-to-solve questions. Class meetings are also scheduled for March 9, March 23, April 6, and April 27.
Presenter: J. H. Fonkert, CG is a board-certified genealogist. He has lectured at regional and national conferences, for state and local societies in a dozen states, and has published more than 70 articles in genealogy magazines and journals.
Cost:  125.00 for MGS members and 150.00 for non-MGS members for all 5 class sessions.

Monday, February 25
Denmark: The Plague and Other Pestilence  (Meetings)
7:00 pm
Danish American Center, 3030 West River Parkway South, Minneapolis
Our ancestors led difficult lives just making a daily existence, but illnesses like plague, smallpox and more brought difficulty to an entirely new level. Learn how these contagious hardships affected Danes of years ago and learn how to incorporate this information into your genealogical studies. Presented by NDAGS President Heather Nelsen-Mullen. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit our website at  or on Facebook

Saturday, March 2
Legacy Users Group  (Meetings)
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
1385 Mendota Heights Rd, Suite 100
Agenda to be determined

Sunday, March 3
DNA Interest Group  (Meetings)
1:00 pm
Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka, MN in the Ladyslipper Room 275
Speaker will be Alice Eichholz. Topic is "A Tale of Two Grandfathers: using the Full Potential of DNA". Help will be available following the presentation.  All are welcome.

Organize Like an Archivist
Wednesday, March 6
Organize Like an Archivist  (Webinars)
Presenter: Nancy E. Loe, MA, MLS
This webinar helps you put your genealogy research records in order, using the same techniques as professional archivists who manage vast collections.
Discover effective step-by-step strategies to manage your genealogy research, using six digital folders. Learn how to name and organize digital files for quick retrieval, link paper and digital records, and tame your genealogy records. No need for color codes, numbering systems, or other complicated schemes with this archives-based system.
About the Presenter:
Nancy E. Loe, MA, MLS, is a genealogy writer and educator. After a long career in libraries and archives assisting researchers, Nancy now writes and lectures on her specializations: organizing research and finding Midwestern U.S. and European records. She appears frequently at regional, national, and international genealogy conferences.

Saturday, March 16
Planning a Research Trip  (Classes)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Minnesota winters make dreaming about Spring/Summer vacations easy, it is never too early to start planning for yours. Is there a way to make a vacation a learning experience as well as fun? Of course, there is! Make your trip into a research trip! Not sure how to make it into a fun experience for the entire family? Come join us for the March 16th class “Planning a research trip” and get all kinds of tips and ideas of how to engage the entire family with the project and introduce the young ones to a piece of their history.
Taught by Cathi Weber. She 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.
Cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Saturday, March 16
Getting the most out of Census Research  (Classes)
12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100, Mendota Heights, MN

Description: From 1790-1940 the U. S. Census records hold lots of genealogical clues. Find out where to access census records, what is in each census and how to use that information to find other records.

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.

$25 MGS members, $30 nonmembers

Saturday, March 23
Pinpointing Your Farm  (Seminars)
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100, Mendota Heights

Plan now to take part in NAGA’s next genealogy seminar. Our topic will be how to move beyond U.S. records and use online resources that are from and about Norway. We will look especially at: 


• digitalarkivet.no, Norway’s digitized national archives, which host census, church, emigration, probate, and many other types of records


• norwayparishes.com, an online guide to Norway’s parishes, which includes detailed maps as well as links to farm, church, and genealogical information about each parish



Monday, March 25
Using Social Media in Your Genealogy  (Meetings)
7:00 pm
Danish American Center, 3030 West River Parkway South, Minneapolis
Using social media for genealogy is a newer trend – it’s not just for posting pictures of your cat and catching up with old friends. See how you might use social media to discover family, research techniques, and connect with other genealogists.  Speaker is Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker, a Hennepin County librarian who works with genealogy and teaches classes at the Southdale and Minneapolis Central libraries.  She has been researching her family genealogy and helping patrons with theirs for over 19 years. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit our website at  or on Facebook

Getting the Most Out of DNA Ethnicity Reports
Wednesday, April 3
Getting the Most Out of DNA Ethnicity Reports  (Webinars)
Presenter: John Vanek
The most frequent complaint about DNA tests is that ethnicity reports don't match people's expectations. John Vanek will help us look at how these reports are calculated and explore some of the challenges that stand in the way of presenting ethnicity accurately. In the end, you'll better understand how you can incorporate ethnicity results into your research.
About the Presenter:
John Vanek has a master’s degree in American history and currently works as an exhibit developer for Split Rock Studios in Arden Hills. He has been doing genealogical research since the 6th grade (and at a high level for more than a decade). In 2015, John identified his biological father—a sperm donor—by reconstructing his family tree based on distant DNA relatives. For two-and-a-half years, until the end of 2018, John worked as a professional genealogist, specializing in cases involving DNA.

Saturday, April 13
MGS Spring Conference “Online Goldmine"  (Workshop)
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Minnesota Genealogy Center 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mark your calendars now for the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s Spring Conference “Online Goldmine – Getting the Most from FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, and Find A Grave”  Workshop-style classes will feature hands-on learning exercises. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets. You will leave the conference with both the knowledge and experience to get the most from these three important websites.  The conference features three back-to-back classes.
  • 8:30 – 9:00 AM: Check-in and coffee
  • 9:00 – 9:15 AM: Introductions and announcements
  • 9:15 – 11:30 AM: FamilySearch – Shirleen Hoffman and Lois Mackin, instructors
  • 11:30 – 12:15     LUNCH
  • 12:15 – 2:30 PM:  Ancestry.com – Cathi Weber, instructor
  • 2:45 – 3:45 PM: Find a Grave – Bob Rowe, instructor
$15 Box lunches will be available to purchase during registration. Lunches must be ordered by April 8th.  Session handouts will be available to registrants free for download at the MGS website.  Printed copies of handouts are available for $10 and must be ordered by April 1st.
Save the date and get your laptop ready. Register by April 1st to take advantage of early bird pricing.  $45 for MGS members.  $55 for non-members.  After April 1st rates increase to $50 and $60 respectively.

Land, Licenses, Love Gone Wrong, and Other Courthouse Records
Wednesday, May 1
Land, Licenses, Love Gone Wrong, and Other Courthouse Records  (Webinars)
Presenter: C. Ann Staley, CG, CGL
Local county courthouses are a very much underutilized resource; they are not as hard to maneuver in as most people think. We will explore this rich resource to discover the fabulous records contained within their walls and examine how the sources/records can aid in our search. Discussion to include:  Chancery & Civil Court, Coroner Reports, Intermediate Courts, Supreme Court, Brand Books, Docket, Minute, Order, and Bond Books, Estray, Dog, Boat, and Stud (horse) Books, Hawkers, Theatrical Exhibitions, Ordinary and Retailers Licenses, Naturalization Records, Probate & Estate Records, Land/Deeds, Jury Registers, Soldier & Sailor Discharges, Tax Records, Voter Registration Books, Vital Records, and more.
About the Presenter:
C. Ann Staley, CG, CGL, is an educator, consultant, and co-leader of Ann-Mar Genealogy Trips. Her specialties are methodology, research sources, computer resources, vital records and their sources, and conference planning. She is author of several articles for the NGS Magazine, and the co-author of the NGS Research in the States Series-Florida.

Blogging for Family History
Wednesday, June 5
Blogging for Family History  (Webinars)
Presenter: Laura Hedgecock
Join the more than 3,300 genealogists already blogging their family history; it has never been easier to get started! The president of GeneaBloggersTRIBE discusses the most popular, free, and easy blogging platforms, as well as where to find writing prompts and inspiration. This presentation will cover:  A basic overview of how blogs work; how family historians can use a blog to share family stories, engage the extended family, compile research findings, and find new (to you) cousins eager to collaborate; blogging versus sharing on social media; practical reasons to blog; blogging versus other writing; and the sharing options offered by blogs from keeping stories in the immediate family to publicizing through social media.
About the Presenter:
Laura Hedgecock is a GeneaBlogger, author, storyteller, and speaker passionate about helping others tell their personal and family stories. She’s the author of Blogging for Family History and Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life. She’s a member of APG, Genealogical Speakers Guild and is the President of the 3,300+ member GeneaBloggers.

Beginning Gedmatch
Wednesday, August 7
Beginning Gedmatch  (Webinars)
Presenter: Janice Lovelace, Ph.D.
Once you have your results, there are 3rd party companies that allow you to do more complex assessment of your information and matches. Janice Lovelace will focus on the entry level of Gedmatch.com, beginning with one-to-many and one-to-one matches then looking at shared matches between two kits.
About the Presenter:
Janice Lovelace, Ph.D. is a genealogical researcher, educator, author and lecturer, with over thirty years of experience. She is a frequent speaker at national genealogy conferences. A retired college faculty member, Dr. Lovelace authored the National Genealogical Society’s online continuing education course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective.

Weaving the Research Quilt: Writing the Story of Your Ancestor
Wednesday, September 4
Weaving the Research Quilt: Writing the Story of Your Ancestor  (Webinars)
Presenter: Barbara Randall
Barbara Randall will demonstrate a technique that can be used to write a story of your ancestor or to identify research gaps, to intertwine all of your research to weave the story of your ancestor’s life. Your ancestors’ lives are not in the isolated, separate documents you’ve collected, but are in the whole of your research and of the times they lived in. Researching your ancestors, and their “FAN” (friends, associates, neighbors) network can create the patchwork to complete the quilt of your ancestor. Learn how to collect and use your information to piece the quilt together.
About the Presenter:
Barbara Randall is a lecturer, writer, co-chair of the Southern CA Genealogical Society (SCGS) Extension Series Webinars and speaker chair of the Genealogy Jamboree conference. Barbara is on the boards of the Southern CA Chapter-Association of Professional Genealogists, SCGS and BIFHS-USA. She is a DAR volunteer genealogist and chapter registrar.

Waterways to the Midwest
Wednesday, October 2
Waterways to the Midwest  (Webinars)
Presenter: Annette Burke Lyttle
Before the advent of the railroads, travel by water was the easiest and fastest way to the newly-opened territories of the Midwestern United States. Learn about these trails and how our ancestors traveled them.
About the Presenter:
Annette Burke Lyttle speaks on genealogical topics at the local, state, and national levels. She loves helping people uncover and share their family stories. Annette is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and she studies regularly at genealogical institutes and in study groups.

Using Homestead Records to Tell Your Ancestor’s Story
Wednesday, November 6
Using Homestead Records to Tell Your Ancestor’s Story  (Webinars)
Presenter: Michelle Roos Goodrum
Homestead files contain a goldmine of information, adding depth to your relatives’ stories. Learn to identify potential homesteaders, the clues their files contain, and how to access those files.
About the Presenter:
Michelle Roos Goodrum is a member of the teaching team for Boston University's Genealogical Research Certificate Program and Genealogy Principles courses. Involved in genealogy since 1994, she is the caretaker of 140 years of her family's papers. Michelle loves land records, genetic genealogy, photography, and attending genealogy institutes and conferences.

Pins and Needles: Adding Social Media to Your Genealogical Repertoire
Wednesday, December 4
Pins and Needles: Adding Social Media to Your Genealogical Repertoire  (Webinars)
Presenter: Tina Beaird
Many of us have used Facebook to find distant cousins and former high school friends. When it comes to genealogy, lots of social media sites are seeing the advantages of making searching for ancestors fun. Join Tina Beaird for a fun session on how to use sites like Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn, What Was There, and more to find, identify, and share ancestors.
About the Presenter:
Tina Beaird, owner of Tamarack Genealogy, lectures nationally on military research, genealogical methodology, Scottish records, and archival preservation. She is a governing board director of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board. Tina volunteers for several local Illinois societies scanning and indexing historic records.