International German Genealogy Partnership is new name for a global organization

A new name to more accurately reflect what this organization is doing now and in the future! The press release on the new name:

International German Genealogy Partnership is new name of young organization, reflects growing global participation

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—International German Genealogy Partnership is the new name adopted by members of a new and rapidly growing global organization known since its founding less than two years ago as the German-American Genealogical Partnership.

“New member societies are coming into the Partnership from around the world. There is a growing international participation in the Partnership, and our members decided on a new name that better describes the organization’s international presence,” said Kent Cutkomp, a Minneapolis resident and co-founder of the partnership.
The Partnership was founded in 2015 by genealogy society leaders in America and Germany. Today, the Partnership joins Germanic societies across America, Germany, Canada, England and other European countries.

“The purpose of the Partnership is to expand cooperation among societies nationally and internationally. It’s a great way individual societies can become more successful in serving their members, and that includes helping their members make personal connections worldwide. We’re delighted to see such interest coming from so many parts of the world,” Cutkomp said.

He said organizations joining the Partnership range from small to large. For instance, the Germany-based Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genealogischer Verbände, a founding member of the Partnership, comprises more than 65 societies serving 22,000 individual members.

Several major initiatives are being undertaken by the Partnership, including the 2017 International Germanic Genealogy Conference, scheduled for July 28-30, Minneapolis, Minn., and themed “CONNECTIONS: International. Cultural. Personal.”

Other initiatives include sharing of knowledge and resources such as exchanging periodicals, sharing researcher and speaker lists, and creating a list of most valuable references, resources and websites. Communication and connections between Partnership organizations are important parts of the process.

For information about the Partnership, visit the website of the Minnesota-based Germanic Genealogy Society at, click “German Partnership.” The Partnership’s official website is expected to launch soon.

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Findmypast makes more than 70 million world military records free for four days

I am a bit behind on this but Findmypast is offering free access to a wide variety of military records in honor of Veterans Day.  From their press release:

Findmypast makes entire collection of more than 70 million world military records free for four days. Allll UK, Irish, Australian, Canadian and US military records free from the 10th to the 13th November 2016. Includes free access to over 43 million US and Canada military records.

From 04:00 EST, 10th November until 18:59 GMT, 13th November 2016, all 70 million records within Findmypast’s “Military, Armed Forces and Conflict” category will be completely free to search and explore, providing family historians from around the globe the opportunity to uncover the stories of the military heroes within their own family.

This will include free access to:

Over 43 million US and Canada military records

Over 1.3 million United States Army enlistment records

Over 1.1 million United States Civil War Pension File Index records

Over 89,000 Revolutionary War Pensions

Millions of Civil War soldiers, sailors, veterans and medal records.

Millions of records covering US forces in Korea, Vietnam and WW2

Over 26.4 million British military Records including the most comprehensive collection of British Army service records both for WW1 and pre WW1 – these multiple page documents were released in partnership with The National Archives and are packed with fascinating biographical details such as the names and addresses of next of kin, physical descriptions and character references from commanding officers.

The most comprehensive British Royal Nave and Royal Air Force collections available online:

Over 2.6 million POW records in our exclusive Prisoners of War 1715-1945 collection.

Over 1.1 million WW2 casualty records

Soldiers Died In The Great War 1914-1919 records

Over 1.5 million medal index cards, memorial rolls and roll of honour records

Military tribunal records – the records of thousands of men who attempted to avoid conscription

Military Nurses 1856-1994 records

Learn more at:  

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California-bound. Join me this weekend in Menlo Park for genealogy seminar

I love California and especially the greater Bay Area. I lived in Mountain View for a year when my ex-husband was stationed at Moffett Naval Air Station and my oldest son was born in Mountain View. I haven’t been back there for a few years, but this weekend, Saturday, October 22nd, I will be there.

Why? I am presenting an all-day seminar for the San Mateo County Genealogical Society. It’s a wonderfully organized organization. The four presentations are:

  • What Next? Developing Step-­by­-Step Research Plans
  • NUCMC & Its Cousins: Keys to Lost Ancestral Records
  • Newspaper Research: The Dailies, Weeklies and Beyond
  • Research Rewards in County Courthouses and Town Hall Records

Join me and the society for an educational and fun day.  My presentations apply to locations all across the U.S. I hear there are some neat silent auction items, too. Registration can be done at the door. For more info, check here.

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Last chance: Post military service records class at MN Historical Society Oct. 8

Bonus payment applications, 4 page questionnaires, membership applications, family assistance details, descendant membership applications, old soldier home applications, and more yield great details on military personnel from the 19th and 20th centuries.

To learn more about these records found all across the U.S., join me tomorrow at the Minnesota Historical Society for a class that I am teaching from 10:00-12:30 on Saturday, October 8th. This is a Minnesota Genealogical Society class being held in the Gale Library at the state historical society in Saint Paul. The handout is 6 pages long! Register now to be sure you get the handout. You may also register “at the door” but the handouts may be gone.

If there are any issues on Kellogg Blvd. getting into the MHS parking lot due to preparations for the Twin Cities Marathon, just say you are going to attend a class at MHS.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page A competitor railroad yields a ancestor’s business location

The timeline of places where one of my great great grandfathers resided has always fascinated me. Today I was searching online using some of my more unusual ancestral surnames. I repeat this every few months in order to see what new items appear online. The result was that I added a street name for William Rudolph Slaker’s butcher shop in Berlin,  Wisconsin.

One search was done on the freely available HathiTrust. Up popped the “Gazetteer and directory of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway and branches, the Western Union and the Sabula, Ackley & Dakota railroads : embracing all alphabetical directories, with sketches of all towns lying along the lines of the above railroads, distance tables and other information.” (Detroit, Mich.: Polk, Murphy & Co., 1875.) This is not a regular city directory, but it gave me what I needed.

He was a butcher before he retired and was also a butcher during his brief Civil War service that he entered from the town of Berlin. He later followed his two sons (Louis F. and Fred) to many locations around Wisconsin as they moved from one railroad station to another. Eventually they ended up in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My own hometown was not the last place of residence for all of them.


It’s ironical that I found William listed in a publication related to the Milwaukee Road. His two sons, and later a grandson, worked for the “Omaha” (Chicago, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha Railway).

Now I need to get back to Berlin and check out any of the old storefronts on Huron St.


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Class in St. Paul: More than Pensions: 19th & 20th Century Military Records

Learning more about your family members who served in the U.S. military is helped by a wide variety of records. Some are created after the person is no longer serving and some involve survivors of those who died in the war effort.

In October, I am teaching a class on this topic: More than Pensions: 19th & 20th Century Military Records

Military personnel also received bonuses, tombstones, land, and other benefits. Applications, rejected files, correspondence, finding aids, indexes, organizational applications, and more at federal and state levels exist for them and for survivors. You will be surprised at what family details available in these records at state archives, historical societies, and other repositories from coast to coast.

Join me for this Minnesota Genealogical Society class on October 8th at the Minnesota Historical Society in Saint Paul. The class runs from 10:00-12:30 p.m and each registrant receives the extensive handout.

To register for this, visit the MHS website. MHS members receive a $4 discount. If you are a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, you may also receive this discount. Email MGS  to request the discount code.
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Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2017 Genealogy Conference in Pittsburgh

If you are on Facebook and other social media, you saw the great education and fun many genealogists had at the annual Federation of Genealogical Societies’ conference that was held last week in Springfield, Illinois. I attended the three evening events and three luncheons. It was a wonderful time and I heard many people saying they were planning ahead for the 2017 conference in Pittsburgh. If you weren’t there, have you thought about what you missed? You have almost a year to save up and to ask family and friends for gifts that will help you attend?

Book your room now for #FGS2017

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2017 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Two Pittsburgh hotels are now taking reservations for the  FGS 2017 conference – “Building Bridges to the Past.” The conference will be held August 30-September 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The Westin Convention Center and the Omni William Penn Hotel are offering reduced rates to FGS 2017 Conference attendees from Wednesday, August 23 to Friday, September 8 (subject to availability). Both hotels are conveniently located near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Westin Convention Center (Main Conference Hotel)
1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Omni William Penn Hotel
530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Full details and links for FGS discounted reservations can be found on the FGS website.

Conference hotels fill up quickly, so it is not too early to make reservations.  We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!




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Remember that promised September 1st announcement? Here it is. Hint: railroad workers

Railroad engineI apologize for not fulfilling my promise. It’s not my fault. I searched and searched on Thursday and Friday for the link I needed to give you. Nowhere. Nada. I didn’t receive the email from Ancestry that would have given the link. It was also not on the Ancestry related FB pages then. Neither was it on the Ancestry Blog.

Now that others that did receive the email announcement have shared it, here it is, but with few hours left to take advantage of it.

My The Lure of the Train Whistle: Researching Railroad Workers course I did for Ancestry Academy is free until Midnight today, September 5th. It’s not exactly the same as the presentation I do at seminars and conferences.

The course is found here. 

FREE access ends 11:59pm ET Monday (registration for a free account is required). Use this link and once you do a basic name search, you can edit your search and add railroad as a keyword and look at the results list for a variety of railroad related databases and image sets on

Also included are census records and substitutes and related, Native American rolls, employment records, directories, and so much more!

Now, if you have continued to read this post to this point, Laura Prescott who is the real brains behind Ancestry Academy, told me that my railroad course will be free for ALL of September. She and I are trying to dig up more details from the marketing folks!

Stay tuned!


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