Tracking Your [German] Ancestors : Ohio Genealogical Society Conference 2016


If you’re looking to hone your German genealogical research skills, it may be worth your while to check out this year’s offerings at the Ohio Genealogical Society’s annual conference. This year’s theme is “Tracking Your Ancestors.” The conference will take place April 28-30 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. The conference includes six simultaneous lecture tracks to choose from, including an all workshop track, as well as an exhibit hall and several banquets and social events. And it’s located at a pretty sweet indoor water park.

I have attended the OGS conference twice, and both times found there to be an impressive variety lectures and nationally recognized speakers. There is no such equivalent conference offered in Michigan, so it’s a great opportunity for those of you who live in that state to attend a large genealogical conference nearby. Presumably, most of my readers are interested in German and German-American research. This year’s conference is rich in these offerings. The following lectures and workshop have a German research focus:

  • Elizabeth L. Plummer: German Resources at the Ohio History Connection.
    Find out what the Ohio History Connection’s archives/libraries have to offer that will help you with your German family history research.
  • Teresa McMillin: So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?
    If you’ve found the name of your ancestor’s German town of origin but are new to researching in German records, this will get you started.
  • Teresa McMillin: He Took Her Name: Understanding German Farm Names.
    In certain areas of Germany, a man had to change his surname to inherit a farm. Learn about this custom and its impact on research.
  • Michael Lacopo: German Genealogy on the Internet: Beyond the Basics.
    Learn about online sites that all German-American genealogists should be aware of. There will be a strong concentration on lesser-used German sites.
  • Sharon MacInnes: Desperation, Displacement, Determination, and Deuteronomy: Colonial Germans.
    Leaving one’s home behind was a momentous decision. Why did they leave? Why did they come here? How? What records did they leave?
  • Jenni Salamon: From Deutschland to Ohio: German Newspapers at the Ohio History Connection.
    Learn about the German-language newspapers at the Ohio History Connection and how you can access the vast amounts of family history information they hold.
  • Teresa McMillin: Read the Tabloids: German Church Records.
    German church records sometimes deliver extra information, like modern tabloids. This talk is an entertaining learning experience, providing insights into our ancestors societies.
  • James M. Beidler: German Handwritten Script and Fraktur Font. (Workshop/3 hours/additional fee).
    This skills workshop teaches vocabulary and formats so participants can read tombstones and church records of German-speaking people. Included is practice writing and deciphering.    
  • Robert Rau: Reading German Church and Civil Records.
    This presentation will discuss some of the aspects of old German handwriting, and give many examples of church and civil records used in studying German ancestry.
  • James M. Beidler: Online German Church Registers, Duplicates and Substitutes.
    Many German church records are coming online. Learn whether you’re looking at originals, duplicates or extracts from these records and why you should know the differences.
  • Robert Rau: Eissfeller Vorfahren – Searching for Gertrud Eissfeller and her Ancestors.
    This presentation is a case study of the search for a distant ancestor and extending her lines back three more generations in a small village in Hessen.
  • Teresa McMillin: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hanover Military Records.
    Learn about the Kingdom of Hanover’s military records available to researchers in this country. This collection spans 1514-1866 and includes nineteenth century conscription lists.

All session descriptions are taken from the conference brochure. More information is available on the OGS Conference website, including the full conference brochure.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s