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Minnesota Genealogical Society

1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
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Featured Speakers

Michael Lacopo &
Kimberly Powell

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Michael Lacopo

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo is a retired small-animal veterinarian born and raised in northern Indiana. He takes a scientific approach to his research as he does to his profession. Researching since 1980, he has lectured internationally and written for numerous periodicals and journals. A self-described “all-American mutt”, his research skills cover a broad range.

Michael's interests and strengths include Mennonite research, German and Swiss research, especially as it pertains to the 18th century immigration to America, among many other topics. He makes many trips throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states chasing ancestors in primary repositories, and also devotes a considerable amount of time to European research, being proficient in reading German script. Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales of our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past.

Michael has been a featured speaker at many National Genealogical Society conferences, Ohio Genealogical Society conferences, Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree, and many local and regional events. In addition to his story-telling and educational blog, Michael’s presence can be found online at, or for more up-to-date lecture and research information, at his Facebook page at

Michael Lacopo Plenary Talks

Estate Files: Are You Getting the Most Out of Them?
Genealogists love to find wills and probate records for their ancestors, but are you reading between the lines? How can you milk the most information out of a boring accounting of an estate? What gems are you missing by just stopping at the will book?

The Published County History: A Valuable Research Tool
Those old county histories hold many clues to further your research even though your ancestor may not be directly mentioned. Are you milking these tools for all they are worth?

The Genealogist's Quadfecta
In the age of digital databases and online resources, genealogists forget the four-pronged approach to research onsite: visiting the state Archives, Historical Society, Genealogical Society, and Library. Although the roles of each seem self-explanatory, digging deeper reveals treasure for your research!

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, and educator specializing in genealogical writing, pre–1850 family history, land records, DNA, and solving complex problems. She served as the Genealogy Expert for for sixteen years and is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition, and the chapter "The Challenge of Endogamy and Pedigree Collapse" in Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies edited by Debbie Parker Wayne. She has also contributed to several popular genealogy magazines, including BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Kimberly is past President of the Association of Professional Genealogists and on the faculty at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), as well as for the online genealogy programs offered through Boston University. Her personal and professional research focuses on families with roots in the southeastern U.S. and southwestern PA. You can find her online at Learn Genealogy (

Kimberly Powell Plenary Talks

History is Not Boring! Research in Historical Books Online
The answer to many burning genealogical questions can be found buried among the thousands of digitized books available online. In this session we’ll explore how to locate books on sites such as Google Books, Internet Archive, HaithiTrust, and FamilySearch Books, and how to use the social, historical, and legal context they provide to advance our research.

Bits & Pieces: Piecing Together Families Despite a Lack of Records
Record loss, deficiencies in record creation, and ancestors who left very few records can leave significant gaps in our family tree. This session will demonstrate alternative strategies for working around the challenges posed by incomplete or missing records to rebuild those missing links and reconstruct forgotten families.

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