Where Have We Gone? To Mastodon!

Earlier this year, our intrepid president Gordon Seyffert bravely stepped into the alternative world of Mastodon, a social media network that blew up in popularity in 2022 after Twitter changed hands.

What is Mastodon? It is a social media network, but the network itself is decentralized into a collection of individual servers, or instances as Mastodon calls them. Each instance is supported by a group of people who share an interest in a particular topic… like genealogy!

Why Mastodon? It is not run by a for-profit corporation, so there are no ads, no profiling, and no algorithms promoting sponsored posts… focus is on the community!

Since January of 2023, Gordon has been exploring the land of Genealysis.Social, and has been pretty actively “tooting” from his own account @Gordon@genealysis.social using the hashtag #immigrantgensoc.

So consider joining Mastodon to follow Gordon’s posts and get notifications in your own feed. There is sure to be a flurry of updates in the weeks to come!

Read more about Mastodon at genealysis.com or Wikipedia.

Dirk Weissleder in the News

Congratulations to our friend Dirk Weissleder, who was recently elected Vice President of the International Confederation of Genealogy and Heraldry (CIGH, La Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et d`Héraldique).

Thank you, Dirk for your relentless pursuit of promoting collaboration and cooperation among genealogists, historians, and genealogical organizations worldwide!

Mark your calendars for September 24 when IGS is again honored to present Mr. Weissleder in his upcoming lecture, “New approach, New adventure: Exploring a medieval German Imperial city as part of ‘historic tourism’ for your research”. Visit the event page for information and registration details.

DPL Soars

Recently, the IGS Pommern Special Interest Group has sprouted wings and registered to form their own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The Pomeranian Special Interest Group will be led by George Unrine with Gayle Coughanour, daughter of Myron Gruenwald who founded the Die Pommerschen Leute quarterly, serving as treasurer.

IGS wishes them much continued success with their excellent DPL quarterly, and with connecting genealogical researchers with Pomeranian roots worldwide!

Contact information can be found on their website, pomeranianews.org.

IGS Library Reopening

After a long hibernation, the IGS Library is re-opening!  … with modified hours.

During the month of July, the library will be open each Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (July 3, 10, 17 & 24).

We will no longer be open on Wednesdays or Sundays, except by appointment.  Call 816.803.2787 or email president@immigrantgensoc.org to book an appointment.

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