Olympia Genealogical Society

2020 Virtual Spring Seminar

[This Zoom webinar was a replacement for the March 28 in-person
event that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.]
Date: Saturday, May 9, 2020

Ancestral Origins
Through the Eyes of a German Genealogist

-- Limited to 95 participants.
-- Must register by Thursday, May 7 at midnight. Registration is closed.
Cost: $25 per person (both OGS members and non-members); includes all four presentations.
Seminar Program Outline (Program details)
Kickstart Your German Genealogy
The Voyages of Our German Immigrants
He Took Her Name
Naturalization: The Path to U.S. Citizenship
Questions? Info@OlyGenSoc.org
Credits: Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi's List graciously provided her Zoom account and tech services for the OGS Virtual Seminar.


Webinar Program:

Kickstart Your German Genealogy: Brief overview of German history; overview of the 4 main migration waves; best sources for finding the town of origin and some unique pitfalls/things to know.
The Voyages of Our German Immigrants: Germans began immigrating to the US in 1683, according to documented history. This talk will highlight significant aspects of the first 4 major waves of migration, through 1910. The areas from which they came and motivations that typified each wave will be detailed. Available immigration and emigration records help tell the immigrant’s story. Laws changed over time and impacted various aspects of the immigration experience.
He Took Her Name: In certain geographic areas of Germany, the custom of German farm names has been in existence since about 1000 A.D.  In this custom, a farm carried the surname and anyone who inherited that farm assumed that name as his surname. Usually this was a son of the farmer, but if it was a daughter, her husband would have to change his surname to hers. This lecture explains some of the common pitfalls a researcher may encounter when researching in one of these areas and how to over them. Highlights include: the history, origins and geography of this custom; various terms associated with it; social structure; and effects on naming patterns.
Naturalization: The Path to U.S. Citizenship: A process for becoming a United States citizen has been in place since our country’s early history. Laws have been enacted and modified throughout time. The process has seen many changes as a result. This lecture discusses the history and procedural changes. Finding naturalization records is an important part in researching our immigrant ancestors. Steps explaining how to find these records will be illustrated with examples.


Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified Genealogist®, author of the Guide to Hanover Military Records, 1514-1866 on Microfilm at the Family History Library, is the owner of Lind Street Research, a company dedicated to helping people discover their German ancestry. She has taught at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) Academy for Professionals. She created and recorded courses for Ancestry Academy and Legacy Family Tree Webinars. She is a popular speaker for national, regional, and local genealogical societies.
Reading German gothic script found in German records prior to the mid-1900s is second nature to her. Researching ancestors in Chicago and other areas of the Midwest is another of Teresa’s specialty areas. She is a multi-year attendee of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).
Teresa is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, as well as many German and local genealogical societies. Teresa chairs the committee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists monthly webinar series. She is a genealogy volunteer at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

Detailed Agenda:

08:45 - 09:00
General announcements; troubleshooting
09:00 - 10:00
Presentation: Kickstart Your German Genealogy
10:00 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:30
Presentation: The Voyages of Our German Immigrants
11:30 - 12:30
Lunch break
12:30 - 01:30
Presentation: He Took Her Name
01:30 - 02:00
02:00 - 03:00
Presentation: Naturalization: The Path to U.S. Citizenship
Each of the four above presentations will be set up as a separate Zoom meeting. The day before the webinar each registered attendee will receive an email with a Zoom link and a link to the syllabus for each of the four separate sessions (a total of eight (8) links).
During the webinar, participants will be able to ask questions by typing them in a "chat box". Time permitting, questions submitted by participants will be read by a moderator for Teresa's response at the end of each presentation.
A recording of each presentation will be available on-line for registrants for 30 days following this webinar.