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Past Conference - 1999 Van Nuys

Airtel Plaza Hotel, Van Nuys, California
Friday 24 September - Sunday 26 September 1999

Held in conjunction with Immigrant Genealogy Society (IGS) Seminar with Henning Schröder
and the Gluckstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) Annual Meeting.

Lectures and Speakers

Marilyn Abigt, of Fallbrook, California a Professional Genealogist with specialties in German and German-Jewish genealogy research

  • 1) Saxony and Thueringen genealogy - OLD SOURCES that were available BEFORE the fall of the wall (available before 1991) - Friday

  • 2) Saxony and Thueringen genealogy - NEW SOURCES that became available AFTER the fall of the wall (available after 1991) - Sunday

  • Basic Jewish Genealogy - Emphasis on German Jewry prior to 1900 - Sunday

  • Available as a FEEFHS East European Thuringen and Saxony specialist after her lectures.

John C. Alleman,, of Salt Lake City, Utah Professional translator, founding Newsletter Editor and Co-founder, FEEFHS

  • Mastering the use of foreign languages on your Computer and on the Internet - Saturday

  • Brick Wall Language Workshop I - Friday

  • Brick Wall Language Workshop II - Saturday

  • Brick Wall Language Workshop III - Sunday

  • Available as a professional FEEFHS East European Linguist for translation projects. - all three days

Leslie A. (Les) Amer, Past Librarian, Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles.

  • My Jewish Research in Poland - Sunday

  • JGS Holdings at the Los Angeles FHC and Q & A on Jewish genealogy - Sunday

  • Available after his lectures Sunday as a mentor to assist attendees with Jewish genealogy problems.

Helen Boyden, Leona Chaffee and Donna Richie of San Diego, California, German Research Association (GRA) leaders and Germanic genealogists.

  • The GRA Library (at the San Diego Family History Center), its genealogy holdings, and the GRA passenger list extraction project - Friday and Saturday

Donna Debevec Cuillard of Simi Valley, California Family History Director, Simi Valley Stake; Slovenian Genealogy Society - International Board Member; FEEFHS Basic/Intermediate Genealogy Specialist and Slovenian Specialist

  • Slovenian Research - USA Sources - Friday

  • Slovenian Research - A Case Study (This uses a combination of US and Slovenian sources) - Friday

  • Alternate Sources - Intermediate I of II These two classes use a variety of unusual sources from US & various countries in Eastern Europe. She identifies the sources, possible uses for them, where to locate and their value. Alternate Sources = Anything beyond vital records. Also offers intermediate research strategies and procedures. - Saturday

  • Wills & Probates - Offers a wide variety of types of records that might be created in various countries relating to probate. Probate is an umbrella name for a wide variety of records created. - Saturday

  • Sleeping Cities - Cemetery Records - this class offers material on how to locate burial places, how to search the cemetery even when it no longer exists, different types of cemeteries, different types of records created, etc. She provides a cemetery search form with suggestions on how to search the cemetery on site and from remote. She uses cemeteries from various countries to help show variety in sources. - Saturday

  • Pennsylvania Research - an indepth class on researching Pennsylvania. A large portion of the class relates to the Pennsylvania Germans (early 1700's - 1800's). A section is also devoted to those from Eastern Europe who settled in the 1800's in the coal mining areas. Sunday

  • Available as a FEEFHS Specialist for Basic/Intermediate genealogy and for Slovenian and Slovenian-American records "brick wall" problems after her lectures.


  • 1a) How to Use the Meyers Orts Lexikon Meyers is the key to locating German towns and parishes. It is the "Rosetta stone" of German genealogy, a key to finding 200,000 German locations in and out of the Family History Library Catalog. Knowing how to use Meyers is a basic skill needed sooner or later by every German record searcher. You will learn how to use Meyers correctly so it will identify the location of the nearest Catholic or Lutheran parish or synagogue. A microfiche reader and a set of 29 Meyers Ortslexikon fiche will be available to solve personal problems as time permits. Friday, Sunday 1b) Where to Go When Its Not Found in Meyers? About 30 gazetteers are available (12 for Prussia) showing church juristictions for each German province or political entity including Rudolphs. Because they have different formats, clues will be given to help you find what you need. - Sunday (Movius)

David L. Dreyer of South San Francisco, California Professional Banat record searcher; Member of Arbeitskreis donauschw�bischer Familienforscher (AkdFF); part time volunteer reference consultant, San Bruno FHC; FEEFHS Banat Region Specialist

  • Discovering the Village of Origin in the Banat region using American record sources. - Saturday

  • Turn of the Century Ship Passenger Lists (to New York and Baltimore from Bremen and elswhere in Europe): How to use them. - Saturday

  • Panelist: Researching the Banat - Sunday

Thomas K. Edlund, M.L.S., of Salt Lake City, Utah Senior Librarian for Slavic Bibliography, Family History Library

  • Beginning European Jewish Research - Friday

  • Researching Black Sea German-Russian Ancestors, including the new EWZ collection, Church Registers etc. - Friday

  • Workshop of CIS (Russian) Genealogy Research - General Principles and Resources for Commenwealth of Independent States (Soviet Union) - Friday

  • East European Maps - Selecting the best from the FHL collection for your research - Saturday

  • Workshop 2 of 3: Conducting Research in the archives of the Family History Library (FHL) - General Principles and Resources CIS (Russia). - Saturday

  • The German Minority (Jewish) Census of 1939 - How to use this collection - Sunday

  • Die Ahnenstammkartei des Deutschen Volkes collection of 1,240 microfilms - a workshop on the use of this major Germanic pedigree collection with examples - Sunday.

  • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor after the lectures

Irmgard Hein Ellingson of Ossian, Iowa. FEEFHS Bukovina and Volhynia expert.

  • 19th and 20th Century Volhynia: Historical Overview and Research Resources - Friday Working Questions: What conditions that prompted German, Czech, and Polish immigration to Volhynia in the 19th and 20th centuries? Where did the colonists settle? In what sources have they been documented? What information may be gained from the Berlin Document Center records, the Heimatortskartei, and the St. Petersburg records?

  • The Multi-Ethnic Eastern Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1785-1945 - Sunday Working Questions: Why did Austria annex Galicia and Bukovina? In what ways did Austria acknowledge and / or deny its multi-ethnic character? What are some identified German, Czech, and Polish migration patterns in this region? What research resources are available?

  • The German Settlement in Galicia: Historical Overview and Research - Saturday Working Questions: What conditions prompted Austrian annexation of Galicia? Why did Germans from the Rhine Palatinate and Bohemia immigrate to Galicia? What documentation exists for these German villages and their daughter colonies?

  • Eastern European Research: Primary Sources and Oral History - Saturday Working Questions: How can one approach genealogy research without access to a Family History Library? What sources for information exist outside of FHC files? I have worked in German, Austrian, Czech, Canadian and American archives, studied church and civil records, collected oral and village histories, and read and translated published research. I have only visited the Family History Center once, and that was in 1993, when I toured it during the FEEFHS convention. A part of this could address some common errors made on the basis on FHC material.

Joseph B. Everett of Salt Lake City, Utah. Family History Library Slavic Cataloger

  • Census Records of the Russian Empire. (This includes revision lists) - Friday

  • Introduction to Belarus Research - Sunday

  • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor after his lectures

Jim Faulkinbury, C.G.R.S. of Sacramento, California Certified Genealogical Record Specialist, FEEFHS Specialist with California Immigrant Research and and U.S. Naturalization Records skills

  • California Resources of Importance to Central and East European Record Searchers. - Saturday

  • U.S. Naturalization Records: From the Colonial Period to today - Types, Content and Locating Available Records. - Sunday

  • Available as an FEEFHS Specialist for California records and U.S. Naturalization record "brick wall" problems.

Theodor L. Fettkenheuer of Mesa, Arizona Editor, "Die Pommerschen Leute" Pomeranian Newsletter; Editor and Publisher, "Die Pommerschen Fettkenheuer Familie; FEEFHS Pommern Specialist

  • Panelist: Pomeranian Genealogy for Germanic Record Searchers (with IGS). - Friday, Sunday

  • Gathering of Die Pommerschen Leute subscribers and other Pommern record searchers - meet the DPL Editor - Friday, Saturday (after Henning Schroeder's 4th IGS lecture) and Sunday

  • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor - FEEFHS Pommern specialist - after his lecture

Margaret Aman Freeman of Redondo Beach, California Gluckstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) Founding Co-Chairman, FEEFHS Germans From Russia Specialist

  • Benefits of Village Research in Your Personal Search for Ancestors - Friday

  • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor (Friday after lecture).

Robert Freeman of Redondo Beach, California Gluckstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA) Founding Co-Chairman, FEEFHS Germans From Russia Specialist

  • Computer Implications of Genealogy Group Work on the World Wide Web. - Friday

  • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor (Friday after his lecture).

Duncan B. Gardiner, Ph.D., C.G., A.G., of Lakewood, Ohio Founding director and First Vice president of FEEFHS, Certified Genealogist (C.G.) and Accredited Genealogist (A.G.) - speciality in Czech and Slovak), Professional Genealogist with annual research trips to Europe, FEEEFHS Czech and Slovak Specialist, FEEFHS Slavic and Germanic Linguist

  • Czech and Slovak Republics: Genealogical sources and methods. - Friday

  • Austria-Hungary: Historical and genealogical guide for genealogists. - Saturday

  • Germans in Bohemia and Slovakia: Their history, geography, and genealogy. - Sunday

  • Available as a FEEFHS Specialist for Czech and Slovak genealogy and a FEEFHS Slavic and German Linguist for "brick wall" problems after his lectures.

Annette Gathright of Yorba Linda, California, Vice President of the Polish Genealogical Society of California

  • American Sources for Polish Genealogy Research - Sunday

  • Panel: Polish Research (with Krbechek, Lepinski, Movius and Riley) - Sunday

Victor Gess of Lafayette, California German-Volyhnian genealogist and researcher

  • Workshop on Volynian/German-Polish genealogy, focusing on the Society of German Genealogists in Eastern Europe (SGGEE) - "a Volhynian-German genealogy group" - Saturday

  • Laura Hanowski of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada FEEFHS Second Vice president; Professional Librarian; FEEFHS Canadian, Bukovina and Galicia specialist.

    • Using Canadian Records to Trace East European Ancestors. - Saturday

    • Using North American records to Trace Bukovina and Galicia Ancestors. - Sunday

    • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor after her lectures.

    Thomas Hrncirik, A.G. of Visalia, California (Tentative) Accedited Genealogist (A.G. - Czech Republic specialty); Founder of the Moravian Heritage Society; FEEFHS Specialist in Moravian Genealogy

    • The Moravian archives (Brno and Opava): Summary of holdings and tips for genealogy record searchers. - Friday

    • Bohemia's Religious History and how it affects genealogy record searchers there. - Saturday

    • Available as a FEEFHS Specialist on Moravian genealogy "brick wall" problems after his lectures.

    Margaret L. Ingram of Albany Oregon Life History Consultant

    • Introduction to Writing Life History - Friday, Saturday

    • Available as a FEEFHS Specialist on Life History questions after her lectures.

    Eldon L. Knuth, Professor Emeritus of Encino, California FEEFHS specialist on Mecklenberg genealogy, lecturer and writer, IGS member

    • Mecklenburg Chronology and Records - Friday

    • Mecklenburg Genealogy and J�rnjacob Swehn - Sunday

    • Available as a FEEFHS/IGS Specialist on Mecklenburg genealogy "brick wall" problems.

    Blance Krbechek of Minneapolis, Minnesota Third Vice president, FEEFHS, President, Kashubian Association of North America (KANA), FEEFHS Specialist on Kashubian genealogy

    • Kashubian History and Sources for Kashubian genealogy research - Friday, repeat on Sunday

    • History of the Tuetonic Knights. - Saturday

    • Available as a FEEFHS Specialist on Kashubian genealogy "brick wall" problems after her lectures.

    John Linning of Whittier, California Vice president and Dircetor Board of IGS (Immigrant Genealogical Society) of Burbank California and FEEFHS Specialist on Netherlands genealogy

    • The Netherlands in History -- Formation of a major refuge, and transit point for emigrants. - Friday

    • Refugees in The Netherlands -- Records documenting Huguenot, Jewish, Lutheran, Mennonite, and other minorities. - Sunday

    • Available as a FEEFHS Specialist on genealogy "brick wall" problems after his lectures.

    Paul R. Lipinski, President, Polish Genealogical Society of California.

    • Panel: Polish Research (with Krbechek, Lepinski, Movius and Riley) - Sunday

    John Movius of Incline Village, Nevada President, Webmaster and a co-founder of FEEFHS

    • How to Use the Meyers Orts Lexikon and Using Geminde Lexikons to find Church records - Friday, Sunday (Movius using Dearden syllabus notes) Note: A fiche reader and a full set of 29 Meyers Orts Lexikon fiche will be available to help solve problems all Friday and Sunday (as time permits)

    • German Empire Research - new stuff, including Die Ahnenstammkartei, EWZ, Police Registers, etc. - Friday and Sunday

    • Austro-Hungarian Empire and Slavic Research - new stuff - Saturday

    • Die Ahnenstamkartei des Deutschen Volkes, the FEEFHS Saxony Court Record Project (FSCRP) and other Volunteer Projects for FEEFHS Finding Aids for the Web - Friday and Sunday

    • Saxony Court Record Project (FSCRP) and other FEEFHS Finding Aid Projects for the World Wide Web - Friday and Sunday

    • Brick Wall Workshops (problem solving - all East European regions) - Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

    • World Wide Web Workshops - online with the WWW solving your genealogy problems with WWW resources - Friday, Saturday and Sunday

    • Brick Wall Workshop: using the WWW to help solve your problems - Friday, Satuday and Sunday.

    • Available as an FEEFHS Specialist for German and European University Matrikel Registers and general Central and East European problems.

    Jean Nepsund of Westlake Village, California Research Director, Immigrant Genealogy Society; "Die Pommerschen Leute" Pomeranian Research Team leader; FEEFHS Immigration Specialist

    • Refining Your Search Strategy to Obtain Successful Results - Friday

    • Panelist: Pomeranian Genealogy for Germanic Record Searchers (with Ted Fettkenheuer) - Sunday.

    • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor after her lectures.

    Toni Perrone Murrieta, California IGS Co-founder and IGS librarian

    • Basic German Research - Friday

    • The Donaschawbens and IGS Donaschawben holdings- Friday

    • Baden-Wuerttemberg and IGS Baden-Wuerttemberg resources - Friday

    • The Arberese - Albanians in Sicily - Saturday

    • Pommern and IGS Pommern Resources - Sunday

    • The Rhineland Pfalz and IGS Rhineland Pfalz Resources - Sunday

    • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor on these subjects.

    Gwen Pritzkau of Salt Lake City, Utah Professional Librarian, German Russian Expert.

    • Advanced German-Russian Research (subtitle: What do you do when Stumpp was wrong or didn't meantion your surname) - Friday

    • Brick Wall German-Russian Workshop Mentor after the lecture

    Gayle Schlissel Riley of San Gabriel, California Jewish genealogist, lecturer and FEEFHS Austrian Census specialist

    • The Polish Census - an Overview - Saturday The censuses of Poland have not received much press. This lecture will provide an insight from the first census (taken of the Polish Jews in 1795) until 1853, when the modern form of the census began. We will view censuses from the Prussian, Austrian and the Russian partitions. This will be only a glimpse into this exciting subject ... it is felt that in the near future we will learn the location of many of these documents.

    • Panel: Polish Research: 1) Churchbooks/Civil Registration in State Archives, 2) Polish City Directories, 3) Travel/Research in Poland 1999, Q & A, etc. with Gathright, Krbechek and Lepinski - Sunday

    Wally Rusel of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada Wally is President of the Ukranian Genealogical and Historical Society of Canada.

    • Ukraine: Yesterday, Today and Tommorrow

    • Brick Wall Mentor on Ukrainian genealogy after the lecture after the lecture

    Henning Schr�der of Gummersbach, Germany Henning is a professional genealogist and heir tracer, and a lecturer on Germanic genealogy.

    • New Sources for Polish Research (German and Polish record searchers) - Sunday morning.

    Vladimir Soshnikov of Moscow, Russia Vlad is a professional family historian and archivist living at Moscow and covering all archives in the former USSR.

    • Current conditions and recently discovered sources for genealogical researche in the archives of the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).

    • Current conditions and recently discovered sources for genealogical researche in the archives of Belarus.

    • Current conditions and recently discovered sources for genealogical researche in the archives of Russia (current borders)

    • Current conditions and recently discovered sources for genealogical researche in the archives of the Ukraine.

    • Brick Wall Workshop Mentor after his lectures

    Steve Stroud of Elgin, Illinois (tentative) and Betty Wray of Walnut Creek, California. Steve is President of Galizien German Descendants and Betty is GGD cofounder, Newsletter Editor and FEEFHS representative. Both are FEEFHS Galicia Specialists

    • The GGD 1939 Resettlement Microfilm Extraction Project: Status and First Results - Friday This collection of 68 microfilm reels contains records of over 300,000 Germans from Galicia as well as Bukovina, Kazan, Kiev, Minsk, Russia, Samara, Siberia, Ukraine and Volhynia/Wolhynia that were registed for resettlement in a short-lived German-Russian 1939 agreement. This lecture will explain what the films are, progress in indexing them, and a first look at the early results.

    • Tentative: Galicia and Galiziens - Sunday -- an informal workshop on solving "Brick Wall" problems in Galicia as an ancestral location (whether or not they were Germans).

    Maralyn A. Wellauer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Professional genealogist and educator, lecturer, author of many European genealogy research books, editor and publisher of The Swiss Connection and a Swiss and German genealogy specialist

    • Switzerland Genealogy Research - Friday

    • Getting Ready to Write or Visit Overseas - Sunday

    • Brick Wall Switzerland Workshop Mentor after lectures

    Marion Werle, of Northridge, California Graduate historian, network engineer, Latvia SIG (Jewish Latvian genealogy group) President and Webmaster

    • Latvian Jewish Genealogy -- Sources and Resources - Sunday

    • Brick Wall Latvia-Jewish and Latvia Workshop Mentor after lecture

    John H. Wray, Ph.D., C.G., Tuscon, Arizona Certified Professional Genealogist (C.G.)

    • Belgium - Genealogy and History - covering the French, Flemish and German areas -- History and Genealogy Resources - Saturday

    • German Parish Registers -- How do you determine the ones you seek really exist? - Sunday

    • Belgium "Brick Wall" Mentor after the lectures