01 November 2008

Autumn Ancestor Harvest Weekend, Minnesota Genealogical Society

Quarterly Genealogy Programs
MGS sponsors four events each year with guest speakers presenting programs on various aspects of genealogical research, tailored to meet the diverse needs of both beginning and experienced genealogists. These events are open to the public. MGS members receive discounts for most events as well as for most MGS class offerings.

Autumn Ancestor Harvest Weekend

November 20-21-22, 2008

Haven’t made time to use the excellent resources at the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library? Been there, but need some extra assistance? How about three days with special hours for your visit. Join MGS in November for a special three-day Autumn Ancestor Harvest at the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. The focus of the event will be using the MGS Library to do your genealogical research. That means special hours for the library, special assistance from the ethnic branches, special interest groups, and a special speaker and consultant! You don’t even need a Minnesota ancestor, as MGS has many reference materials for other states and for many foreign countries. The majority of the collection is on open shelves, meaning you can do some great browsing.

Special Library Hours
  • Thursday November 20: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and 6:30 - 9:30 pm
  • Friday November 21 (The library is normally not open on Friday): 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday November 22:
    • 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. (extended library hours)
    • 8:00 am Registration starts
    • 9:00 am MGS business meeting
    • 9:45 am George Findlen presentation

Saturday Special Ancestor Harvest

Special Assistance from Ethnic Branches

Need more reasons to come? The all-day Saturday ancestor harvest will include many short programs from most of the ethnic branch groups. Also, branch members will be on-hand in the library to help you understand the various specialized research materials each branch has. This is the day to get through some brick walls by getting help from the people who understand our ethnic offerings.

Special Interest Groups
Several existing Special Interest Groups will be presenting programs and new groups will be signing up members. The Writing Group will offer an entertaining session. An inaugural Research Study Group workshop will be led by MGS President Jay Fonkert. Jay and Tom Rice are interested in forming an ongoing Research Study Group and Jay will be glad to sign you up!

Also, members of the MGS Research Committee will be on hand to do brief sessions on using Ancestry.com for census and for immigration searches. This committee answers your email and regular mail inquiries. And talk to MGS members spearheading the formation of an African-American Interest Group and a Scottish Interest Group.

Saturday Special Speaker and Consultant
Do you live in the Metro area and use the MGS Library all the time? There is still something for you! George Findlen, a Certified Genealogist from neighboring Wisconsin, will present his first program in Minnesota.

George Findlen is a retired academic administrator who has served at nine colleges and universities in seven states over thirty years. In retirement, he has re-invented himself as a genealogist, becoming certified in 2005. In addition to researching his family and those of clients, he writes articles for publication and gives talks to genealogy groups. George specializes in the blended Acadian/French Canadian families of eastern Quebec. He also tries to stay out of trouble by volunteering at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library in the Microforms Room!

George’s talk is entitled: Finding What Can't Be Found: A Case Study in Whole Family Research. This talk describes all the reference works used by Acadian and French-Canadian researchers in an effort to identify the parents of a woman who is well-documented as a mother. The point of this segment of the talk is that a reliance upon secondary sources and on baptismal and marriage entries in parish registers often leads to dead-ends. George then describes an effort to examine the baptismal and marriage records of every one of the woman’s children and every one of her nephews and nieces, as well as the marriage records of all of the woman’s possible brothers and sisters. He finishes by illustrating how genealogists can use indirect evidence to establish a firm link between two generations. The talk is pure how-to and is aimed at an audience of researchers willing to go from intermediate skill to advanced. The talk is based on an article published in October 2008 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. While the talk is a case study about a French-Canadian family, many aspects can translate to other nationalities.

After his talk, George will be available for private consultations. He is especially knowledgeable on French-Canadian, New England, upper Midwest back-track to Canada, and the Midwest in general.

Check the MGS Website to learn more about the day including a chance to get your family recipe in a new ethnic cookbook and the used book sale.

Saturday Registration
Full-day registration (including lunch) is $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Registration by mail ends Thursday, November 13. Registration by Credit Card or PayPal ends Saturday, November 15.

You may register at the door on the day of the meeting. Only checks and cash will be accepted.

Lunch on Saturday
Lunch is included in the registration fee and will be available on-site for most of the middle part of the day.

Live too far to drive to MGS each day?
Gather your friends and relatives at the Best Western Drovers Inn, 701 Concord St. So., South Saint Paul, MN 55075, one mile south of the MGS Library. Phone: 651-455-3600. Ask for the special MGS rate of $75.65. This room rate covers up to 4 people per room.

Minnesota Genealogical Society
1185 Concord St. N. Suite 218
South St. Paul, MN 55075-1187
(651) 455-9057

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