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Tracks / Sessions for 2019

Austro-Hungarian Track

Austro-Hungarian Empire Geography

Participants will learn historical jurisdictional and cultural geography of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This will include boundary changes and ethno-linguistic geography and how these things affect record keeping. Participants will be introduced to a major gazetteer that is used for Austro-Hungarian Empire research.

Researching Germans in the Czech Republic

Germans have lived in the Czech Republic for centuries! Now many resources are available online, including gazetteers, parish registers, and land records. Learn how to identify your ancestor’s home town, find and search available records – all on the Internet!

German migration into Southeastern Europe in the 18th century

During the 18th Century, Southeastern Europe was a popular destination for Germans who felt the need to seek a better life elsewhere. This overview discusses the historical background as well as settlement patterns and regions. Migration patterns can sometimes be associated with certain groups, making it easier to determine German places of origin.

Hungarian Geography and Gazetteers

This class introduces the three primary gazetteers for the Kingdom of Hungary that will help you identify your ancestral village and then locate the relevant records for that place. The class will include practicing with the gazetteers and learning language nuances that affect place names.

Hungarian Records, Part 1: Church Registers

This class focuses on understanding Hungarian church registers. We discuss who created the registers and why, what information is found in the registers, where the registers are held today, and the different ways you can access them. There will be several practice examples.

Hungarian Records, Part 2: Civil Registration

This class focuses on understanding Hungarian civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. We discuss who created these records, what information is found in them, where they are held today, and the different ways you can access them. There will be several practice examples.

Online Indexes and Other Online Resources for Hungary

This class focuses on the practical application of using online indexes on FamilySearch, Hungary Exchange, and MACSE to locate records more quickly, and then how to get from the index entry to the original record. We also discuss other online resources including the the Radix sites, other websites with online church registers, online city directories, links to Hungarian names and Hungarian causes of death, a helpful Latin translation dictionary, and other miscellaneous resources as time allows.

Bieda Galicyjska (Galician Misery): A Case Study of Chain Migration

Description coming soon.

Introduction to Czech Research

This class provides a brief history of the Czech lands, how to locate parish registers once the hometown has been determined, and how to use the various archive websites to search the church records.

Reading Czech Church Records

This class provides an overview of how to read Czech parish registers, with examples, including helpful resources for translation and tips for navigating the records.

Austrian Church Records: What is available online?

Do you have ancestors who came from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire? Come learn about what websites will be useful to your Austrian research, what church records are currently available online, and how to use these important databases in your research.

Sources on Eastern Galicia: Archival Research

This class will focus on the archival resources for genealogical research on Eastern Galicia, presently part of Western Ukraine. It will discuss the main types of available records and strategies to locate them. It will identify the main relevant repositories and provide instructions on how to access documents in Ukrainian archives and registry offices.

Sources on Eastern Galicia: Online Research

This class is dedicated to the online resources on Eastern Galicia: maps, searchable databases, guides, catalogs, textbooks, and other relevant websites, as well as records, available on the Internet. It will teach how to use these resources, with specific examples and step-by-step instructions.

Baltics Track

Introduction to Lithuanian genealogy research

Learn how history and geography affect where to look for different records; how surnames vary based on gender and marital status, as well as what region of Lithuania the family lived in; how to narrow down village of origin if other records are lacking.

Lithuanian records and resources

Receive an overview of what records are searchable through the major family tree websites; other websites that have records of Catholic and Lutheran church metrics; online discussion forums focused on Lithuanian genealogy.

Baltics Research

Description coming soon.

Litvak Research: Searching for your Lithuanian Jewish Ancestors

An overview of resources for researching Jewish ancestors who were from Lithuania.

DNA Track

An Introduction to DNA & Genealogy

In this presentation are explained the basics of DNA and how DNA results are connected to genealogy.

I've Tested My DNA. Now What?

This presentation will explain the next steps to take after you received the DNA results.

Finding Family with DNA

Yes, it is true: Testing your DNA and looking for genetic matches can make a huge difference in your family history research. This session includes several reasons why you should test yourself and others, as well as some cautionary thoughts. It does not include the deep science behind genetic genealogy; there will be no mention of STRs, SNPs, or centimorgans. Learn the basics of finding distant cousins, confirming ancestral links, and making the most of the vital new tool at our disposal.

German Track

Identifying the German Hometown

In this class, we will be using Sources from Both Sides of the Ocean. One of the most difficult parts of German family history is identifying the German hometown. In this class, you will learn about different methodologies and sources from both America and Germany that you may not have thought of in the search for your German ancestral hometown.

So You Want to Read German Documents?

You’ve located the records that contain information about your German ancestor but there is one problem… you can’t really read them! This class will help you become more comfortable with reading the alphabet, language, and basic content of these old German documents so you can continue researching your German family history.

An Important Resource: German Immigrants in American Church Records

American church records often contain valuable information about our German ancestors. This class will focus on becoming better acquainted with American church records kept by Germans in addition to highlighting the helpful book series German Immigrants in American Church Records.

Online Resources for Research in Today’s Germany

The Internet has become an indispensable tool for the German genealogist. There are websites for everything, from identifying places to finding records and locating addresses for potential relatives. New material appears almost daily.

Avoiding Mistakes in German Research

“Which one is my Mary Mauer?” “Do I still need to search the church records, even though I have a printed town genealogy?” My ancestor had five sons named “Johann…?” Learn how to avoid common mistakes by understanding the sources used in German genealogy.

Solving Difficult German Emigration Problems

Sometimes it takes “thinking outside the box” to solve tough research problems. In this presentation, several case studies demonstrate innovative use of resources to locate German ancestors’ places of origin.

The Search for Anna Hansen: Using Geography to Find German Records

Description coming soon.

Meyer’s Gazetteer Online, Indexed and Fully Searchable

Learn the history of the project, how to search for places, special search features, how to use the maps, find surrounding parishes and civil registry offices, strategies for searching, and other features.

Extracting Information from German Church and Civil Records: How to Read old Records

In this class participants learn the strategies that advanced researchers use when reading old records.  With a few ‘tricks,’ a person can unlock these old records with some work and perseverance. Please download and bring the handout to class, as there will be in-class activities.

Historical Events that Affect German Genealogical Research

Participants will learn about historical events, such as wars and foreign occupation, and their impact on German research, especially records and jurisdictions, looking at examples where appropriate. It is designed for the beginning researcher.

Understanding the Past

Understanding the social circumstances your German ancestors lived in will enrich your research. Learn about former German tax laws, the importance of social standing, the influence of guilds in family matters, naming customs, and the various currencies your ancestors used.

Jewish Track

Basics of Jewish Genealogical Research

This session will describe how Jewish genealogical research builds on the general concepts of genealogical research and the many specialized resources and techniques that need to be known and used. Print, filmed, and online resources will be discussed.

Jewish Genealogical Research: Beyond the Basics

An overview of the many libraries, archives, websites, resources, filmed and digitized records that will provide additional information about your Jewish ancestors.

Polish Track

Introduction to Polish Research

This class will provide an overview of Polish research methodology and a general survey of records available.

Searching the Polish State Archives Website

How to navigate, the web site of the Polish State Archives to find church and civil birth, marriage, and death records and other sources.

Polish Historical Geography

A review of Polish historical boundary changes, and a survey of geographic resources, including maps and gazetteers.

Polish Civil Registration

An in-depth look at Polish civil registration records and how to read and use them.

Polish Parish Records

And in-depth look at Poland parish registers of births, marriages, and deaths and how to read and use them.

Reading Polish Records

An introduction to Polish language and handwriting for deciphering Polish records in Polish, Latin, and Russian.

Reading Polish records in Russian

A closer look at Polish records in Russian, with practice in deciphering example birth, marriage, and death records.

Jewish Records of Poland

Resources and information to assist in locating Jewish records for Poland, Russian Poland and Galicia will be presented.

Resources Track

On-site Research in East European Archives

This class will help you to understand the process for visiting an archive in Eastern Europe in person. Knowing how archival records are organized and retrieved for patron access is valuable even if you can't visit the archive in person. This understanding can provide important context and perspective for you as you hire a researcher, correspond with an archive, or even when researching archive records online.

Finding Female Ancestors

This presentation will provide strategies, tips and resources for finding out more about female ancestors.

Russian Track

Researching the Germans from Russia

Germans from Russia can be difficult to trace, but it's not impossible. Factors include the time frame of their days in Russian territory, where they went after that, the area they were in, and their religion. This session covers some of the basics of Germans from Russia research, which might take the modern research to records in Poland, Ukraine and elsewhere. Research should also include a study of descendants in North America, Germany and other points.

In Search of Home: A Germans from Russia Family Study

Tracing your German family back to Russia, and possibly through Russia to places of origin in Germany or Poland, can be rewarding. Research should also include a study of descendants in North America, Germany and elsewhere. The story of one family will help you to understand the lives they lived, and the conditions they faced -- in other words, the context behind the family history.

Introduction to Russian Records

Learn the basics about Russian records, how to decipher them and where to find them.

Russian Gazetteers and Maps

This class will provide an overview of the historical geography of the Russian Empire and former Soviet republics, and details about key map resources and gazetteers to help you find those elusive ancestral towns.

Russian Church Records

Learn how to use Russian church records and where to find them.

Russian Civil Records

Learn how to use Russian civil records and where to find them.

Russian Online Resources

This class will provide an overview of several websites that are useful for Russian research, with some tips for how to navigate these sites, even if you aren't a Russian speaker.

Russian Case Study

Learn how to perform a Russian case study.