Palatines to America offers a conference each year for those interested in researching their German speaking ancestors. This year's conference will be held at the Hilton at Grand Wayne Conference Center in Fort Wayne, IN.
Pre-Conference activities will begin with a bus trip on Wednesday, June 22. The trip will include a tour of the home of Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken, St. John Bingen Church which was founded by the missionary efforts of Rev. Wyneken, Emmanuel-Soest Church, which is the largest confessional Lutheran church body in America, and St. Paul's Church which was established in 1837.
On Thursday, there will be time for attendees to become familiar with the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) and to research their ancestors in the extensive genealogy collection of the library. For those who have never been to the ACPL, the library will be a pleasant surprise. The genealogy collection contains matter that spans the country and includes resources for researching your German ancestors. The library contains more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 microfiche and microfilm items. If you plan to go, it would be helpful if you visited the ACPL genealogy website at genealogycenter.org to organize your research needs before arriving.
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, one of the main speakers at this year's conference, will present five talks, including ones on understanding German historical jurisdictions, using internet sources for your German research, and interpreting German farm names. Carolyn Wright Whitton will present four talks. Her topics include: German Village Not Yet Found?, Reading Handwritten German Church Records, and Researching Pre-1800 U.S. Germans. Other speakers include Ernest Thode on German surnames, and a search for missing passenger lists. Speakers from the ACPL Genealogy Center, John Beatty and Mellisa Tennant will speak about the available resources at the ACPL.
It isn't too late to register for this conference, but you need to act quickly. Go to the Palatines to America website, www.palam.org to find what you will need to do to register.