Intermediate German Genealogy Course at IGHR July 23-28, 2017

The following is a news release from Laura W. Carter, MEd, MLIS, SLIS.  She is the Director of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, hosted by the Georgia Genealogical Society.  Questions may be directed to her at IGHR Publicity….

F. Warren Bittner, a renowned expert on German genealogical research, will be teaching Intermediate German Genealogy at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), July 23 – 28, 2017, in Athens, Georgia at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. You can view the daily schedule for this course on the IGHR website

The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally renowned genealogical educators. Students choose one course that lasts throughout the week.

Intermediate German Genealogy is targeted for students “who have dabbled enough in German research to be confused by localities and challenged by the difficult handwriting.” One main goal of this class is to teach students to use the gazetteers and finding aids needed to identify places in Germany, and a full day will be spent teaching students to read Gothic German Script. Additional topics include an overview of German History 800 to 1989, German church records, marriage customs and records, feudal records, military records, websites, published sources, and Ortsfamilienbücher. This week-long course is open to anyone interested in German research. Some previous German research experience is helpful, but not required

Warren Bittner is a genealogical researcher and lecturer. He holds a Master of Science degree in history from Utah State University. He was a winner of the National Genealogical Society 2011 Writing Contest, with his article “Without Land, Occupation, Rights, or Marriage Privilege: The Büttner Family from Bavaria to New York.” This article was also awarded the National Genealogical Society, Award for Excellence, 2012 which is presented annually for an outstanding article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He has coordinated German research tracks at the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Birmingham, Alabama, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). For six years Warren Bittner was the German Collection Manager for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has researched in more than fifty German archives and in more than forty U.S. archives and record repositories. 

In addition to excellent courses and opportunities to network with fellow genealogists, IGHR attendees benefit from access to the world-class libraries of the University of Georgia including the law library and special collections libraries. Researchers may also enjoy making the short drive to Morrow, GA to visit the National Archives at Atlanta (NARA’s southeast region facility) and the Georgia Archives. For more information about the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, now hosted by the Georgia Genealogical Society, please visit our website and follow us on social media.

June 24, 2017 Save the Date!!

The full arrangements are still to be made.  But the Immigrant Genealogical Society is proud to announce that it will hold an all-day workshop featuring Fritz Juengling, Ph.D., AG®.  This IGS workshop will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Los Angeles FamilySearch Library.  They have a classroom that will accommodate the audience we hope to attract.  The workshop will have four lectures, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, as follows:

  • Some Tips for Genealogical Research
  • Historical Events that Affect German Genealogical Research
  • Using Meyer’s Gazetteer
  • Beyond the Obvious Reasons:  Practical and Social Decisions for Emigration to America.

You’ll want to reserve this date on your calendar NOW, while you’re thinking about it!!

JGSLA Program Tonite at AJU

The Jewish Gen. Soc. of L.A. sent an email this morning (!) about the program they’re hosting tonight at American Jewish University’s Sperber Library at 7:30 p.m.  The title of the talk is: “Why Did My Father Know His Grandfather Had An Uncle Selig?” and the speaker is Israel Pickholtz.  Members attend free; guests pay $5 to attend.  Here’s the official description…

More than twenty years before Israel Pickholtz began doing serious genealogy, his father sent him a postcard with three bits of family information. One israel-pikholtz-2016of those was that Israel’s great-grandfather Hersch Pikholz had an uncle Zelig. That information was very important in Israel’s research over the last two decades, research that was helped along by traditional sources and more recently by genetic genealogy.  But even as he was progressing in his research, Israel could not shake the question “Why did my father know this?” Israel says “My father was eight years old when his grandfather Hersch Pikholz died and they never had any real conversation. None of the cousins knew about Uncle Zelig, even the older one who lived in the same house as my great-grandfather. My father himself did not recall why he knew this.” And did it even matter?
Israel tells the story of his great-great-great-uncle, what he learned about this family and why now he thinks he knows how his father knew.   And yes, it matters.

Israel Pickholtz has lived in Israel since 1973 and now lives in Jerusalem. He has done serious family research for nearly twenty years. His flagship work is the Pikholz Project, a single-surname project to identify and reconnect all Pikholz descendants. Alongside his work as a professional genealogist, taking clients in Israel and abroad, he became heavily involved in genetic genealogy in 2013. He manages test kits of over ninety family members at last count.
In August 2015 he published a book “ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People,” available at
He blogs at and receives mail at

International German Genealogy ‘Connections’ Conference in July

Here is a summary of developments:

Early, discounted registration runs through March: $225 for individuals belonging to organizations that are members of the International German Genealogy Partnership (formerly German-American Genealogical Partnership), and $250 for all others. If you’re a member in good standing of the IGS, then you qualify for the discount.  Regular registration begins April 1 at the standard rate, $299.  The general conference information is here.

Hotel rooms at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel in Brooklyn Park, Minn., venue for the conference, sold out in December. Additional nearby hotels are offering special rates for conference attendees. Go here for hotel information and room reservations, and find the link to the hotels at the very bottom of the page.

“This may be one of the largest German genealogy events ever held in the United States,” said officials of the Minnesota-based Germanic Genealogy Society, host of conference and a co-founder of the Partnership, which is organizing the conference.

News you can use….

The International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP) is now online, and while it is still new and undergoing modifications you’ll want to bookmark it and refer to it often.

When you’re at the IGGP homepage, don’t overlook the information available in the sidebar with reference to our 2017 Conference.  Brochures are available for download here, or you may pick up a paper copy at the IGS Library in Burbank.

Lastly, the IGGP has a booth in the Exhibit Hall for RootsTech in Salt Lake City this week.  The purpose is to promote the Partnership — now at 32 organizational members & growing — and to make attendees aware of the upcoming conference.  Societies that will staff this booth for the three days (Thursday through Saturday) are the DAGV, the Germanic Genealogy Society (of Minnesota), the Sacramento German Genealogy Society, the Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America, and your Immigrant Genealogical Society.

Conference Registration is approaching…

As many of you may be aware, our International German Genealogy Partnership will hold a conference in Minnesota in late July this year.  Some of you have made hotel reservations, but have wondered when it would be possible to actually register for the conference….

Now this will soon become possible.  A news release tells the story, here.  But be careful about testing the new IGGP website, as it won’t be operational for about another two weeks or so.  Check back closer to the end of the month, and watch for the paper registration materials at your IGS offices and library.  This conference is going to be GREAT, and your society will be well-represented!

A Book on Immigrants from Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

I first heard German researcher and author Astrid Adler (Tiefenort, Thuringia, Germany) speak to the Ventura County Genealogical Society in April of this year.  Some six million Germans emigrated in the 19th c., and some were from her region…and not a few were from her town!  Her extensive research into this local emigration and its causes led to an exhibition on the subject — for which she was honored by her state in 2012.  Her talk covering the high points of her German-language book on the topic was informative, entertaining, and definitely well-received.  Now she has published an English-language version for American readers.

Our Ancestors Were German: Emigration in the 19th Century from Grand Duchy Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach is an attractive volume that adequately covers this broad subject of emigration/immigration from a variety of perspectives.  She plans to promote the book beginning with a first presentation in Ventura County on January 14th at 11 am at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum, on Market St.  In May, a book tour will formally begin with stops in Southern California and in the Washington, DC area.

Orders for the book may be placed here.  Full information about all of her books (including a forthcoming one) may be found on that page as well.  A list of the towns from which the emigrants originated, as well as the states in which they located, may be found here.

Germanic Genealogy Society Workshop

On Saturday, October 8th The Germanic Genealogy Society (GGS) in Minnesota will hold a workshop at the Concordia University Library.

Details are available from their flyer….


which says that the event is being held at
1282 Concordia Ave., St. Paul (Rm. 214)

9:30  Registration (Cost:  $10)
10:00  Presentation by Kent Cutkomp on
“Using the German Gazeteer Meyers
Orts,” followed by a Library Topic &
time for individual help.

U.S. news release announcing 2017 GAGP conference in Minneapolis

Earlier this week the German-American Genealogical Partnership distributed a revised press release to its member societies noting that the (First) International Germanic Genealogy “Connections” conference has now been extended.  It was originally two days in length, but is now three days, July 28-30, 2017!  The updated flyer includes information for booking hotel rooms at special discounted rates.



Advertising the 2017 GAGP conference — in Germany!

Just a brief note today to say that the conference flyer for the 2017 Minneapolis conference of the German-American Genealogical Partnership will be inserted into the conference registration bags for the Deutscher Genealogentag, Germany’s major annual genealogical conference.  This will be happening from September 30th through October 2nd in Bregenz, Austria (just across the border from Germany).

A two-sided print piece will display our revised conference flyer in English, together with a German-language description of the Partnership to introduce German genealogists to our transnational effort.  Besides being a conference bag insert, the same piece will be distributed as a handout at the table of the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV), the German genealogical umbrella organization that serves a purpose similar to our own FGS.

None of this would be happening without the contributions of many persons.  Kudos to all!