Family History Month continues with 200 of my closest friends and maybe a new relative!

I write this while at the 10th Annual Minnesota Genealogical Society North Star Conference. I was privileged to be a speaker all day yesterday and do the banquet presentation last night. I wasn’t tired, I was high on adrenaline. Mostly because I spent the day with 200+ fellow genealogists and also some other speakers. Interesting questions and comments, a great lunch, yummy banquet, and plain ol’ genealogy immersion kept me on that high.

More specifically, I renewed acquaintances with a woman who attended from Florida, a man who traveled from Arizona, a client I had done work for many years ago, and a woman who hasn’t been at an MGS event for ten years, others from the UP of Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. A long time friend from MGS reacted when I mentioned a specific county in southern Indiana. We need to compare notes!

At the banquet, a woman heard me mention the surname Reinhardt and came up to me after the banquet. My (more…)

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October is important to family historians for several reasons

I live in the U.S. so this is from that viewpoint. It’s amazing to see how many different days and months are celebrated around the world.

For me, the best is October 4th when I will celebrate what would have been my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary.  That’s important to my family history.  I have a few challenges below for other October designations.

October is Family History Month. This is an easy one to challenge each other about. We need to do some intensive family history research this month.  Alternately, review some material that you gathered a few years ago. What clues (more…)

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Just two weeks till the MGS North Star Genealogy Conference. Details galore!

Two weeks from today is the start of the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s North Star DNA Day. It had a limit to the registration so that more people could get direct help. It filled almost immediately.

Don’t be disappointed, the MGS North Star Conference takes place the following two days, October 6 & 7. You do need to register to attend these days.  The conference is being held at The Earle Brown Conference Center in Brooklyn Center (adjacent to Minneapolis), right off I-694 and Highway 100. It is brimming with Minnesota heritage – it is an historic family farm converted to a modern conference center.

Register now. Why register before that time? Let’s look at the reasons:

  • There will be enough chairs and tables set up.
  • Presenters will have a better idea of the audience numbers as that sometimes affects how a presentation is done.
  • Any presenters bringing extra handout material will have enough.
  • The best reason: advance access to the electronic syllabus (that includes the handouts of the presenters) and you can then print out the sections for the sessions you plan to attend.
  • Free parking  (ok, you can still get free parking if you register at the door but you will not have had a chance to review the syllabus).
  • October is Family History Month!

Two keynote speakers, 20 breakout sessions, vendors of genealogical and historical materials, a Q & A panel, door prizes, networking, and more. I happen to know both of the keynote speakers and they are in cahoots with some special planning. Those speakers are Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List fame and Paula Stuart-Warren. That latter person is me. I double-checked the name and bio to be sure. I get to be a keynote presenter just 20 minutes from my apartment!

The conference has something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced genealogical researcher, this event is for you. No Minnesota ancestry? The presenters include general methodology and resources plus specifics from a wide variety of localities. Need technology education? It’s covered. Need DNA info? Covered. Need more land records education? Covered.  Take a peek at the MGS website to see all the topics.

One more thing, join MGS and save $40 on the full conference cost! That’s a good deal. Join us at the Friday evening banquet, too. As the banquet speaker, I promise humor with some messages and will not let you fall asleep!  All details and online registration are on the MGS website.

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My upcoming genealogy presentation locations: please join us

I am in Pittsburgh attending and lecturing at the 2017 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference. I have already been asked the question about where do I go next.  This is my list of upcoming presentation locations. I am booked pretty full this fall but could do a few more. I am available for much of 2018 other than my presentations in Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, near Buffalo, and Frankfurt, Kentucky,



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Laura Prescott’s Big Move Back Home Needs Assistance

My fellow genealogists are a caring and sharing bunch. Laura Prescott is one of those people who never asks for help. She has been amazingly strong throughout her cancer battle. She can make me smile, laugh, and cry at the same time as I admire her. One of my favorite stories about her is from a genealogy conference. It was GenTech in Boston, January 2002. We arrived at the conference as attendees not as speakers. Neither my husband or I had remembered to register! Laura went home that night and made us nice typed name tags so it wouldn’t look like we just registered. That’s Laura’s warm heart.

One of her Utah friends, Liz Bell, writes this on Gofundme:

“My dear friend, Laura Prescott, is battling cancer and has recently made the decision to move back home to be closer to family.   She will be making the move from Utah to New Hampshire on September 16th.  Hiring a moving (more…)

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The Minnesota State Fair, Genealogy, WCCO Radio, and the Lennon Sisters

I bet that’s a combination you may be surprised to hear. It does not involve the Lennon Sisters performing at the fair. Minnesota has one of the largest and best state fairs in the country. I have lived a few miles from the state fairgrounds most of my life but that’s not part of the story. I am reminded of my story every year at this time. The 2017 Minnesota State Fair opened yesterday. The 2016 attendance at the 12-day fair was 1,943,719 people!

It was the early 1990s and I was listening to the radio. One of the on-air personalities was again mentioning his connection to the Lennon Sisters. Being a dedicated genealogist, I decided to call the station and explain what common ancestor they needed to have in order for the cousin relationship to be what he said. The producer asked if I would go on the air to explain it to the host. I protested but then gulped and said ok. Tim Russell was that host and (more…)

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Saint Paul, Minnesota city directories 1856-1922 digitized and free online!

It has finally happened! Saint Paul city directories have been digitized by the Saint Paul Public Library with the aid of a Heritage Preservation Grant. The years digitized are 1846-1922. Why not later years? The answer is simple, the later years are still under copyright.

Last week, I tried to find an easy way to access these on the library’s website, but that hasn’t worked. A newsletter from the Minnesota Historical Society today helped me locate a link.

I like that we have a collection of these in one place and for free! There are other online collections that have some or all of the directories. No other website that I know about has this comprehensive collection for free.

Checking these city directories needs to be done from cover to cover to see all the information. Among the details to be found in the front and back of city directories are: city government departments and officials, history of the city, churches, schools, railroads, organizations, associations, institutions, hospitals, business directory by type, late (more…)

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Time to improve genealogy research knowledge and resources? Here’s one excellent way!

January.  In the U.S. this means the middle of winter. Snow some places, shorter daylight time, and no green tree leaves or wildly blooming flowers. What should you be doing then? Why learning more about family history of course. The annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) takes place 21-26 January 2018. The winter in the Salt Lake City valley area is not that bad. I often walk around without my coat buttoned! SLIG takes place indoors, so that we really needn’t pay attention to the weather.

2018 marks my 22nd year of teaching in various SLIG courses and my 21st year of coordinating my  course. That tells you it’s a worthwhile course. The course is titled “Taking Your Research to the Next Level.”

  • Helping me with the course and consultations are instructors Luana Darby, MLIS, AG; Cyndi Ingle; and Debra Mieszala, CG
  • Some sessions are lecture style and others are more interactive with hands-on work
  • It’s not a course for those just starting out on the family history journey. It builds on what you know, what you have researched, and provides more in-depth info on resources online and off. Some suggested prerequisites are on the page linked below.
  • Be prepared to think, analyze, share, and grow in expertise and knowledge
  • This course has a lengthy and useful syllabus and with an online edition, the links to websites are live!
  • Students often find out they know more than they give themselves credit for!
  • Bring along a laptop computer or tablet to get online for some direct work during the week
  • Individual consultations with one of the instructors directs you to resources targeted to your own brick walls
  • Leave the week with a new understanding of records, repositories, how to find out more, and with a whole passel of new genealogy friends

Join the four of us for a great week! Click here for full details on SLIG, this course, and others. Online registration is easy.

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Open hours for consultations in the next couple weeks

As has happened before, I finished some projects and now have some open hours for genealogical consultations in the next couple of weeks.  A consultation can be done in-person, by email, regular mail, or by Skype or Google Hangout. You don’t have to live in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metropolitan area.

  • Need some side-by-side assistance at the Minnesota Historical Society to help learn the ropes there and to find records you may not know about? This includes State Archives material and manuscripts, too.
  • New to genealogy? I can give a two-hour (or more if you wish) private or group class to get you started on the correct path.
  • It’s a good way to have another set of eyes help you plan further research, figure out ways to solve a research problem, or to get some professional advice that you are going along the right path.
  • Maybe you don’t know where to find specific records or that they even exist at all. Perhaps you are having difficulty figuring out Great Grandma Annie’s maiden name. I can direct you toward the answers.
  • Do you need advice and assistance on organizing your work space or the piles that need to be filed?
  • I also provide advice on organizing, becoming a professional genealogist or lecturer, and even just listen to frustrations in name changes.

You get to say how the two-hour consultation is framed. We can even do a bit of online searching and help plan your trips to various libraries, archives, and historical societies. I have access to a wide variety of databases and online newspapers. These consultations are for U.S. and Canadian research.

Email me at PaulaStuartWarren at gmail dot com if you wish details on these consultations. You may also leave me a note as a comment to this blog post and I will contact you directly.

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