IGS April Newsletter

“Luck of the Irish” turns out, doesn’t apply to a Society focused on German genealogical research at all!

The leprechauns played tricks with our Newsletter-editing software, so the April IGS Newsletter will not be ready for the customary Third Wednesday mailing.  

Thanks for your patience!  We will send it out to you as soon as possible.

– IGS Newsletter Team

Dirk Weissleder lectures Saturday, February 16th

The Immigrant Genealogical Society and the German Interest Group of the Southern California Genealogical Society (both located in Burbank) will together host as speaker and “Brick Wall” consultant Mr. Weissleder from Laatzen, Germany. He is the national chairman of the DAGV, the German equivalent of our Federation of Genealogical Societies. But to many German researchers here in America he is known for being a founding partner and now 2nd vice president of the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP).

To promote cooperation between our two groups of German researchers, and help individual researchers understand and appreciate the potential of a global partnership in our area of German research, he is presenting two lectures on the afternoon of the GIG’s regular monthly meeting, starting at 1 pm at the SCGS Library, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank.

The first of these is: The Pribislaw – A vehicle through stormy times, or what a sailing ship can tell. A sailing ship is not just pieces of wood, it is a vehicle through time and from continent to continent. The Mecklenburg barque Pribislaw (named after the first Wendish duke, d. 1178) was built at the shipyard of Hanns Ludwig Miebrodt at Ribnitz and was launched in October 1847. The Pribislaw anchored at more than 65 harbors on five continents. It made three long voyages from Hamburg with more than 560 German emigrants, mostly from Mecklenburg: 1849/50 to Australia, 1851 and 1853/54 to the USA. After 1854 she was used as a freight carrier and, following severe damage in the Scottish Shetland Islands in February 1870, the Pribislaw was taken out of service and used as a storage hulk. This ship’s story will help you understand what emigrants went through, both at sea and arriving at new shores. Learn how it is now possible by today’s means to reconstruct historic situations present in the mid-19th c. Most importantly, discover how projects that help both you and others will open doors to new dimensions in your genealogical research. Genealogy is about connecting people!

The second lecture is: Sources and Structures for Successful Genealogical Research in Germany. Doing genealogical research in Germany is different from other countries. The historical background and the local development are very complex. This lecture will address the best on-line German research sites from the German perspective. It will describe records that go beyond Birth/Marriage/Death, such as census records (a growing interest in the past year!), and tell you what survives and how it may be accessed. Also of interest to many will be a discussion of the important boundary changes of the 19th and 20th centuries, and how they are important to research. From this lecture you will receive a brief but thorough overview of successful genealogical research in Germany today.

Attendance at these lectures is free, but there will be a donations jar available for those who wish to show their support. Proceeds will be split equally between the two Burbank organizations, and the IGS portion may be used to buy a recommended book. Also of note, Mr. Weissleder will provide 20-minute consultations at our IGS Library from 10 am until Noon — first-come, first-served — except for two time slots that have already been reserved. There is a $20 donation asked for these consultations, and again the proceeds will be shared equally between IGS and SCGS-GIG.

One more thing, for our IGS members…. Mr. Weissleder was just honored at our November 2018 Annual Meeting and subsequent meeting of the new Board of Directors in being named an Honorary Member of the Board. You will want to meet him if you have not done so in his previous visits. He is a board member as well of the prestigeous Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et d’Héraldique (CIGH) and of the Académie Internationale de Généalogie (AIG). We welcome his support!

Come to the annual meeting — tomorrow, Sunday the 11th, 2 pm

Dear IGS Members,

Your presence is very much needed at the IGS Library, 1310 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank (cross street = Griffith Park; park behind in spaces off the alley).  With all the disruptions in Ventura County, it may be hard for other members to reach the meeting — at which we vote for the incoming Board of Directors!!  So by coming, if you can, you help us reach our threshhold number of participants.

And, come early and stay late for research.  We will have computers available, and this weekend there is the option of free research on several pay sites.  That’s been advertised on several genealogical pages and blogs, but here is the information as passed along by the Germans in St. Louis group, thanks to Kathy Wurth (who summarized it well!):

“…this weekend has quite a few “free weekends” from some genealogy pay sites. They are:

“MyHeritage Miltary Records – Nov. 8 -12

“Find my Past Free Access – Nov. 9 -12

“Fold3 Native American Records – Nov 1 -15

“NEHGS All Databases – Nov 6 – 13  American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are granting free access to more than 1.4 billion names within its data-rich online records.   https://www.americanancestors.org/free-billion

If you haven’t checked out Kathy’s group, and are a German genealogist, you owe it to yourself to visit the site, here.

A Day of DNA with Blaine Bettinger & Kitty Cooper

The North San Diego County Genealogical Society is holding its 2018 Fall Seminar on Saturday, October 6th at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008.  Registration is at 8:15 am and the program runs from 9 until 4:30 pm.  Your registration includes one of two morning lectures & both afternoon lectures.

The morning choice is between:  Blaine Bettinger – “Visual Phasing Workshop” or Kitty Cooper – “Using DNA Testing to Further Your Genealogical Research”

The afternoon lectures are by Blaine Bettinger – “Evaluating a Genealogical Conclusion Using DNA” and “Ethical and Legal Considerations for DNA Evidence”

Registration is ONLY online at nsdcgs.org and is open until full.  But you may inquire about it through Jean Tempke <reservations@nsdcgs.org> or <760-632-0416>.

For further information contact Kathleen Cooper <dig@nsdcgs.org> or <760-542-8112>.

The cost for non-members is $60, and lunch if ordered is $12.

“Our Immigrant Story” in The San Diego Union-Tribune

An extensive story on the immigrants of today’s San Diego appeared in the September 16th San Diego Union-Tribune, and was mirrored in the L.A. Times “Essential California” blog the next day.  You can connect to it here.  It showcases a project on display October 19 through February 3, 2019 at The New Americans Museum in San Diego’s Liberty Station, site of the former Naval Training Center.  The museum’s specific address there is 2825 Dewey Road, San Diego, CA 92106, where the hours are 10 to 4 Wednesday through Sunday.

Astrid Adler’s speaking engagements for October!!

Perhaps you’ve heard Astrid speak in Southern California — maybe even at IGS.  Then you know she’s a talented presenter with an entertaining and informative story to tell about the emigrants to America (and elsewhere) from her home area of Germany, which was once the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.  During the last half of October she will make eight presentations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.  If you’re anywhere close, you should make an effort to hear her!!  See the flyer below….


Ventura County Gen. Soc. Annual Seminar October 20th

Saturday, October 20
VCGS: Annual Seminar – Luana Darby, AG  (Seminar)
8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Camarillo Public Library, 4101 E. Las Posas Rd, Camarillo, CA
Speaker: Luana Darby, AG
Genealogy and the recording of family history has always been a passion for Luana. She began organizing photos, documents, and information on her grandmother’s family in 1977 and has researched for others since 1985, working as a professional genealogist since 1995. She specializes in Palatine German, US and Canadian, and western European research She frequently travels to Europe for genealogical research on site in archives located in Germany, Poland and France.
Luana has a bachelor’s degree in Family History from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. In addition to her education at BYU and SJSU, Luana is an Accredited Genealogist® and has completed several in-depth tracks of study at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) which cover Advanced Genealogical Methods, Research in German Speaking Areas, Problem Solving in the Midwest, American Records and Research, Computers and Technology in Genealogy, Advanced Methodologies – Land Records, Forensic Genealogy and Genetic Genealogy.
She is a frequent lecturer at local and national conferences and institutes, including the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the British Institute, RootsTech and through Legacy Family Tree Webinars.
Luana is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild, the National Genealogical Society and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (IFSHWE). She has served as past president and director of the Utah Genealogical Association and currently serves on the board of the Association of Professional Genealogists and as a director of the Genealogical Speakers Guild.
In January 2015, she joined the faculty of BYU-Idaho as an online family history instructor teaching genealogical analysis and genealogy as a business courses.
  • Session One — Beyond Ancestry: Overlooked and Underused Subscription Sites
  • Session Two — The Librarian Knows Where It’s At: Using State Archives and Local Libraries Resources Online
  • Session Three — Surveying the Community: Finding Clues Hidden Among the Neighbors
  • Session Four — Thinking Outside the Box: Using Unusual Records and Resources to Break Through Brick Walls

Late Notice: “Practice Safe Computing” presentation

Saturday, September 15
VCGS general meeting – Hal Bookbinder  (General Meetings)
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Camarillo Public Library, 4101 E. Las Posas Rd, Camarillo, CA
Presenter: Hal Bookbinder
“Practice Safe Computing”
In this time of spam, hacking, identity theft and other distractions of the Internet Age, Mr. Bookbinder provides a useful checklist of things to concern yourself with when using your computer.

Hal writes and lectures extensively on diverse genealogical topics, including border changes, migration, citizenship, safe computing, locating relatives and Jewish culture and history. He has identified over 4,000 relatives back to the mid-1700s in modern Ukraine. Other roots reach into modern Moldova, Poland, Belarus and Russia. He has served as president of the IAJGS and has been honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Professionally, he is an IT Director in healthcare, a part-time university instructor and director of a transition to work training program for recovering addicts. Check out his growing series of articles on safe genealogical computing.
Workshop following the lecture:
“DNA Success Stories”
Panel: Teri Reynolds, Beulah O’Neal, Ray Roth, and Don Worth
All who have had DNA tests done, or plan to, or just need inspiration to take this next genealogical step, will want to hear these success stories. Our gifted panel of experts will help you understand the connection between your paper research and DNA findings. This information could even assist you in breaking down a brickwall.
All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public.
The DNA Special Interest Group meeting will precede the general meeting from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Camarillo Library, 4101 Las Posas Rd, Camarillo.


Late notice: German-Texan Heritage Society 2018 Annual Conference

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 14 & 15, the 40th Annual Conference will be held at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas.  The theme is “Galveston – Port of Entry for Germans in the 1800’s.”  For more information, see:


or call 512-467-4569, where over-the-phone registration is offered, if calling Weds./Thurs. from 10 am to 4 pm.

or write to:  office@germantexans.org

What catches one’s attention here is that “Museum visits and tours of points of interest will be available for attendees.”  The announcement sent carried the full program and speaker bios.  So, if any of your people came through Galveston, and your reasonably close, you might want to consider driving or flying in for this….

Presentation: Documenting the Vilna Ghetto Library

September 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Location – American Jewish University, Burton Sperber Jewish Community Library

Speaker – Judy BastonDocumenting the Vilna Ghetto Library

VILNA– known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania – had a strong cultural tradition that endured and flourished even after the Vilna Ghetto was established in 1941. Perhaps the most important cultural institution in the Ghetto was the Vilna Ghetto Library; it was considered the only fully-functioning library in a Holocaust-era ghetto.

When Judy Baston discovered that her three young cousins in the Vilna Ghetto had been on the list of Ghetto Library patrons, she was stunned to realize that the grimness of their daily lives had been brightened even a bit by the stories in the books they read. Further research led her to uncover additional documentation from the Vilna Ghetto Library in the Lithuanian State Central Archive.

She will cite from reports from two Ghetto librarians that provide a detailed look at which authors and titles were read by different kinds of Ghetto Library patrons.

JUDY BASTON is a longtime Board member and former Vice President of LitvakSIG. She coordinates LitvakSIG’s Lida District and Oshmiany District Research Groups and is also on the the Executive Committee and Board of JRI-Poland. For nearly 20 years, she has moderated the Discussion Groups of LitvakSIG and JRI-Poland, and she also moderates the BialyGen and Lodz discussion groups. She has been involved with the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco for 26 years and coordinates their monthly Genealogy Clinic. In July, 2015, Judy received the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s conference in Jerusalem.

The JGSLA Traveling Library and Mentors Corner will be available starting at 1:00 pm.

Program begins at 1:30 pm. JGSLA MEMBERS FREE ~ GUESTS $5.00.

Our Ralph’s Community ID has changed!

Well, darn!  When you think you’ve completed something, and then someone pulls the rug out on you, that’s pretty much all you can say….

We thought we were being so good to get our yearly reminder out to you early — in the September newsletter where it belongs.  And so just less than a week ago for printed copy newsletter recipients, and this weekend for those getting the IGS Newsletter by Email delivery, our front page announced that it woud be time again on September 1st to sign up again (or for the first time) in Ralph’s Community program.  This is the program that refunds a small percentage of your grocery purchases at this Southern California subsidiary of the Kroger grocery chain as income to the Immigrant Genealogical Society (as well as scores of other non-profits).

And, naturally, it was just about this time that our president got an announcement from Ralph’s saying that our program ID had changed from the number we’ve seemingly always had to something new — HW858, if I heard the message correctly.  I’m presuming that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if one chooses the option of typing in the name of the preferred organization until that desired organization’s name pops up in a window.  Then one merely selects that choice, and the registration is good for another year.  And since we all have to wait until September 1st is here to sign up again, no one has been able to enter a wrong ID yet anyway.  We just ask that those of you who participate be extra cautious this time around.  THANKS!!