Sunday, August 2, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015
|Family History Guide Overview|
The goal of The Family History Guide is to "raise the number of people involved in family history, worldwide, and help them be more successful."
Bob Taylor, CEO of The Family History Guide
Saturday, July 18, 2015
“Don’t miss the early-bird discount deadline for FEEFHS conference, today, 7/18 FEEFHS - Foundation for East European Family History Studies. This is a great opportunity to learn all you didn't know you didn't know regarding eastern European family history research!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Baerbel graduated from BYU with degrees in Sociology and “Family and Local History Studies” as it was called back in the day. She is a widow and has three children of her own plus a foster son: two girls, two boys, but all grown up at ages 32 to 24. Baerbel loves to sing and has been a member of the German Chorus Harmonie for over 20 years. She served an LDS mission from 1978-1980 in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and she loves gardening.
Johnson has an incredible amount of experience in the world of genealogy. She worked in the Family History Library for 20 years as an international reference consultant. In her words, “This was a wonderful time for me because I am a people person and there I had lots of opportunities to help people directly with solving research problems and teaching them to work with various records. Because of my language background I supported research in various part of Europe, Africa, and the West Indies.” On a personal note, I have a friend who does German research and whenever she had a problem, she told me that she always “went to see Baerbel in Salt Lake because she was kind, knowledgeable, and didn’t make me feel dumb with my questions.” What a great recommendation!
Baerbel has been working under Joe Everett on the International Eastern Hemisphere Patron Services Team since 2013. She supports the family history centers in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Baerbel loves to problem solve using her “ancestor detective” mindset. In her words, “It is a wonderful feeling when you find that one clue that makes a brick wall crumble….And I enjoy gathering more than just names; really learning about an ancestor in the context of his/her social and cultural environment. It’s amazing how even after 40 years of research new sources become available that add color to the picture. For instance, just recently I browsed through a new book published by Ernie Thode, a listing of digitized German-language newspapers. This prompted me to search the Internet for newly digitized material from my home area. In the process I found two newspaper notices that showed that my great-grandfather was both mechanically inclined and creative. He received two patents: for inventing some kind of valve and for a process to make leather from cows’ stomachs.” You never know when you are going to find something wonderful!
Another thought from Baerbel in her own words, “All my grandparents were dead before I was born, so I never learned much about them growing up. But in the years since I began my family history journey I have learned some amazing things about them, and somehow feel that I know them. This connection is another special gift I get out of doing genealogy. I love to teach people how to find their ancestors and have similar wonderful experiences. Their successes make me very happy.”
Here is another interesting note; the name Baerbel is a diminutive form of Barbara, like Peggy is for Margaret. Baerbel says that “the name is common in Germany, but kind of weird here. My kids say that I’m barely bearable!” Somehow, I doubt that!
Make a plan to attend Baerbel’s classes at the FEEFHS Conference. She will be teaching Resources from German Research in formerly Eastern Areas, German Civil Registration and German Digital Libraries. It will be well worth you time and effort.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Dave Obee is one very busy man. He is both a journalist and a genealogical researcher with a dozen books and almost 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada and the United States to his credit. He travels the world both researching his family and helping others with their family research.
Dave is Editor-in-Chief of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist since 1972 in both British Columbia and Alberta. Dave is passionate about school libraries and other literacy projects and was one of the founders of the annual Times Colonist book drive. This book drive has raised more than $1.5 million since 1998.
If you read either Internet Genealogy or Your Genealogy Today magazines (formerly Family Chronicle), Dave’s name is probably familiar to you. He writes the back page column in every issue of both of these magazines. In addition, Dave is the man behind a couple of other Internet sites: CanGenealogy and Volhynia.
Dave has had many honors over the years. In May 2006, Dave had the opportunity to present Shirley Douglas (Canadian film and stage actress and activist) with a published copy of her family history at the official launch of Ancestry.ca.
In 2012, the University of Victoria awarded Dave an honorary doctorate of laws for his tireless work as a historian, genealogist, and journalist.
In 2014, Dave was presented with the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award for his work as a community volunteer. As you can see, Dave is no slouch!
On a personal note, Dave has visited 17 countries in Europe, doing genealogical research in most of them. He has a great interest in the world war battle areas in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Dave was born in British Columbia, and his roots there are traced to his great-great-grandfather who arrived from Manitoba in 1890. Dave had paternal ancestors arrive in North America two centuries ago, settling in New York State and Ontario. Dave’s mother was born in the Soviet Union, now Ukraine. Her ancestors were from Germany, now part of Poland. This explains Dave’s interest in Volhynia.
Dave served as the president of the Federation of East European Family History Societies (now Foundation for Eastern European Family History Studies) from 2004-2007. For more information about Dave Obee, go to daveobee.com.
We invite you to Dave Obee’s presentations this year at the FEEFHS Conference. After all, Where is Volhynia?
Monday, June 29, 2015
Paul Woodbury is a new presenter at the FEEFHS conference this year. I thought that we should get to know him a little more before the conference. He will be talking to us about genetics and DNA in genealogy. I’m excited to have him answer my burning question—”I’ve done some DNA testing, now what?”
Memorizing all of the capitals of the world and being able to draw each nation’s flag from memory by the 2nd grade combined with a family history binder from his grandma led Paul Woodbury to his love of family history. A pedigree chart showing ancestors from France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England, and Isle of Man caught his attention.
Throughout his school years, Paul researched his own family. He started as a collector of names, dates, and places. After that came stories, biographies, and photos. As a junior in high school, Paul organized a family history tour through Denmark and Southern Sweden, visiting the places where many of his Scandinavian ancestors lived.
Paul’s introduction to genetic genealogy came in 2006, when PBS aired the television series African American Lives. In the program, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. investigated the family histories of prominent African Americans using traditional research in tandem with genetic genealogy. Paul said that “I was fascinated by this application of genetics to a field I loved, and I decided I wanted to become a genetic genealogist.”
Paul studied genetics at Brigham Young University between the years 2008-2014. He also minored in Family History. In his genetic studies, Paul found that most of his genetics professors “didn’t know what to do with me.” In the end, most of Paul’s genetic genealogy education was self-taught or through the mentoring of other prominent genetic genealogists like Angie Bush and CeCe Moore.
Paul taught for three years at the BYU Family History lab, offering weekly classes on various topics. He developed syllabus materials on genetic genealogy for use by the family history professors. Paul participated in a genealogy study abroad to France, Spain, and Italy. During the course of the trip, he toured and/or researched in nearly 30 archives including the Archivo Militar de Segovia (Military Archive of Segovia), the Real Chancilleria de Valladolid (The Royal Chancellery of Valladolid), the Archivo Storico di Firenze (Historical Archive of Florence), and the Archivo Segretto Vaticano (The Secret Vatican Archive).
While still at BYU, Paul began presenting at various conferences on genetic genealogy, French research, and other methodology topics. To date, he has presented at more than 20 local, national, and international conferences.
Genetics and family history aren’t the only loves in Paul’s life. He will be married in October 2015 to Robin Ellis. His favorite food is pumpkin cheesecake. He also enjoys good food, skiing, singing and dancing.
Friday, June 19, 2015
We are pleased to have Diane Afoumado return this year as our opening plenary keynote speaker.
Diane Afoumado, Ph.D., Chief, International Tracing Service (ITS) Research Branch, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will share information with us about the records of the ITS (International Tracing Service) and how they can help us in our research.
Although connected with the Holocaust Memorial Museum, these records may be of interest to anyone who may have relatives who were persecuted by the Nazi’s or displaced during WWII, Jewish or non-Jewish.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. is the United States’ repository for the International Tracing Service (ITS) collection. According to Afoumado, the “ITS collection contains diverse information about the persecution and murder of Jews and non-Jews—Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and persons with disabilities—under Nazi rule.”
For more information about Diane and the FEEFHS Conference, go to feefhs.org.