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GGG - German Genealogy Group

          Please check the schedule for meeting dates and speakers

The German Genealogy Group meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month from September through June. Orientation begins at 7:00PM. Meetings begin at 7:30 PM. Building doors open at 6:30.

The meetings are open, and YOU are invited to attend! Please feel free to drop by and check us out.

Hicksville VFW Hall - Post 3211
320 S. Broadway (Route 107)
Hicksville, NY 11801

Map & Driving Directions

All meetings through June 2021 will be conducted as virtual Webinars
for Members Only,
who will receive an invitation.

                                          
Upcoming Meetings


May 6, 2021, 7:30 PM - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
Genealogical Proof for the Everyday Genealogist 
Annette Burke Lyttle, Heritage Detective, LLC

How do we know if the facts we've uncovered about our ancestors are correct? How do we avoid attaching somebody else's ancestors to our family tree? The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is our guide to producing reliable research results. This introduction to the Genealogical Proof Standard will get your research moving in the right direction and help you avoid errors
and frustration.

Annette Burke Lyttle owns Heritage Detective, LLC, providing professional genealogical services in research, education, and writing. She speaks on a variety of genealogical topics at the national, state, and local levels and loves helping people uncover and share their family stories. She was a faculty member for "Exploring Quaker Records in America" at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in June 2020 and is course coordinator for "From Sea to Shining Sea: Researching Our Ancestors' Migrations in America" for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in January 2021.

Annette is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and editor of The Florida Genealogist.


June 3, 2021, 7:30 PM - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
Death and Burial Practices in World War I and World War II 
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Much of this webinar focuses on the process of collecting, identifying, and burying the dead, and the resulting records, including their genealogical significance. In World War I (1917–1918) there were 53,402 battle deaths, while in World War II (1941–1945) battle deaths rose to 291,557. There are 124,905 American war dead interred overseas. This webinar also addresses how the United States honors and memorializes those killed in battle, including the role of the American Battle Monuments Commission, the American Gold Star Mothers program, and the operation of the Army’s Grave Registration Service.

Richard (Rick) G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long-time researcher, instructor, and lecturer at national conferences. Rick co-coordinates with Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, the Law School for Genealogists at GRIP, and the FHL Law Library course at SLIG. Rick’s areas of expertise encompass records relating to: military, land, using maps in genealogy, urban research, the National Archives, government documents, and Irish research. He was the immediate past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and continues as a trustee.

In addition to his academic degrees in chemistry and information systems, Rick graduated from the U.S. Army War College. He has 45 years of service to the Department of Defense in military and civilian capacities. In his military career, Rick held command and staff positions in the United States, Korea, Vietnam, and Germany. In 2000 Rick was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Secretary of the Army; and, in 2011 he received the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award.



Past Meetings


April 1, 2021, 7:30 PM - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin

So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?Finding your ancestor’s town of origin can be exciting, indeed. Once this piece of information is found, you might be left wondering how you go about getting records from the other side of the ocean. This lecture focuses on getting records from German towns. Highlights include:
   o Verifying that you have a town that truly exists and where it is located
   o Strategies for identifying misspelled town names
   o Finding the historical governmental jurisdictions for that town
   o Finding the records for that town
   o Useful aids for reading these records will be discussed
   o Tips on hiring a professional in Germany, should that be necessary

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified Genealogist®, the 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. Teresa conducts research on behalf of the U.S. Army to aid in repatriating soldiers missing from the nation’s past conflicts.

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. Reading German gothic script found in German records prior to the mid-1900s is second nature to her.

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.


April 15, 2021, 7:00-8:30 PM - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
German Town of Origin Workshop
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin

This workshop will use real examples to demonstrate the skills detailed in the webinar “So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?” Teresa will take selected German towns submitted in advance and demonstrate how to find church records for that location. Town names may be misspelled or other issues may need to be overcome to first identify the correct town. Once done, you must identify the town where the church of the target denomination is located. After determining that, you need to find where the church records are today. This workshop will guide you through this process.


March 4, 2021
, 7:30 PM- REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
Organizing Your DNA Results
Diahan Southard

Now that you have pages of matches and gobs of new information, how do you keep track of it all? We will spend time going over how to create and track correspondence, organization tools within each testing company, as well as strategies for tracking the genealogy information of your matches, including surnames, locations and genetic relationships. You are bound to walk out of this lecture with a game plan that you can implement right away.

Diahan Southard is a leading voice for consumer DNA testing from her position as Founder of Your DNA Guide. Diahan teaches internationally, consults with leading testing companies and forensics experts. Southard's company, Your DNA Guide (YourDNAGuide.com), deploys a team of scientists who provide one-on-one genetic genealogy education and research services. You will walk away from an interaction with her enlightened and motivated as she has a passion for genetic genealogy, a genuine love for people, and a gift for making the technical understandable.


February 4, 2021, 7:30 PM - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
Show & Tell
Members are encouraged to show favorite finds, artifacts, family heirlooms, clothing, and/or stories to share with fellow members. Enthusiasm is catching and new ideas often spawn more successful approaches to our research.
Members must sign up ahead of time


January 7, 2021, 7:30 PM - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
 "German-Americans in World War I--Fighting Against the Fatherland"
  Michael L Strauss, AG


The entry of the United States into World War I in April 1917 found tens of thousands of German-Americans taking the oath of allegiance seeking to prove their loyalty in their newly adopted country. This took into account persons who were either naturalized or recent immigrants who sought permanent residence. These men knew well they would fight their former countryman and still sought to earn the respect of the army and the United States.

Michael L. Strauss, AG®, is a professional Accredited Genealogist (ICAPGen), and a nationally recognized speaker. A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah, he has been employed as a Forensic Investigator for more than 25 years. Strauss has a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. He is a qualified expert witness in the courts in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Strauss is a faculty member at SLIG, GRIP, and IGHR where he is the Military Course Coordinator.


December 3, 2020 - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
 "Quarantined! – Genealogy, the Law and Public Health"
  Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL


From the Plague to tuberculosis, the law worked to protect the public from epidemics.
Learn how public health records can add to any family’s history.

The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree who writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing.

A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years before her retirement in 2014, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School.

On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠. Her award-winning blog is at https://www.legalgenealogist.com.

Sep 5, 2019
  "The Changing World of German Genealogy"
   Presenter - Richard Haberstroh, A.G.



The goal of the talk is to help keep those working on German genealogy from across the pond up-to-date with advances in the field. The talk will focus on how digitization and the Internet have changed and continue to change, accessibility to German genealogical records over the last decade, usually (but not always) for the better. This will be discussed in the context of both civil and religious records, and will include reviews of the nature and location of these records. Many examples of useful Internet sites for German genealogy will displayed and explained.

Richard Haberstroh is an accredited genealogist, who has been deeply involved in genealogical research both in the U.S. and Germany since 1984. Richard served as a volunteer librarian at the LDS Family History Center in Plainview, New York, from 1988 to 2001. He is a frequent lecturer on German and New York genealogy, and has published a number of articles, including his family’s own German-American genealogy in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYG&B). He is also the author of the book, The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide, published by the NYG&B.



Oct 3, 2019
  "Introduction to German Parish Records"
  Presenter - Gail Blankenau

Gail Shaffer Blankenau will introduce you to the gold mine of German genealogy--German church books, both in the United States and in the Germanic states. She discusses proven strategies to identify your ancestor's home church and how to approach the records when you find them—even if you don't speak German.

Gail Blankenau is a professional genealogist, speaker and author, specializing in German genealogy, land records, and lineage research. She first became interested in family history by looking for treasures in the attic when she was growing up. As a teenager, she started labeling old family photographs and things progressed from there. In addition to performing private client research, Gail enjoys speaking and writing about genealogy. Her articles have appeared in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The Genealogist, Everton’s Genealogical Helper, The National Genealogical Society magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, The Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly and Nebraska Ancestree. 


Nov 7, 2019
  "Through the Golden Door: Immigration After the Civil War" 
    Presenter - Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

America's doors were open to all before the Civil War, with few restrictions. Afterwards, the laws began tightening, with exclusions, quotas, even required visas. How did the immigration laws affect your ancestors who immigrated after the Civil War? What hoops did they have to jump through to enter America's “golden door” -- and what records might we find as a result?

The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree who writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years before her retirement in 2014, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠. Her award-winning blog is at http://www.legalgenealogist.com.


Dec 6, 2019
  Christmas Celebration
 
Come and enjoy our Christmas Celebration. Share in the good cheer, good food and good company.
If you can, please bring something to share: cake, cookies, cheese, crackers, cider, or whatever you feel would be enjoyed by all.

Jan 2, 2020
 "Show and Tell"
 Presenters: GGG members

Members are encouraged to bring along favorite finds, artifacts, family heirlooms, clothing, and/or stories to share with fellow members. Enthusiasm is catching and new ideas often spawn more successful approaches to our research. 

Feb 6, 2020
 "Using DNA to Solve Family Mysteries"
  Presenter: Susan Jaycox

Whether you are an adoptee or your DNA matches are full of people you can't identify, there are strategies for solving the question of who they are and where they belong in your family tree. DNA testing companies are continually introducing tools and reformatting your test results to respond to how genealogists are using the results of their DNA tests. We will explore these tools and other independent DNA research sites that can be utilized to solve the question of how a unknown family member matches you.

Susan Jaycox is a long time member of the German Genealogy Group and a Professional Genealogist who has been researching her own family history for over 40 years. She started investigating DNA testing for genealogy as soon as it was introduced in 2000 and is continually learning new techniques and tools to use in solving her own family mysteries and to assist others. Susan personally manages over 30 DNA kits and frequently lectures on topics of DNA and Genealogy. She is President of the Genealogy Federation of Long Island, a Family History Center volunteer, and was involved in bringing a genealogy DNA group to Long Island. Her professional background is in corporate business management. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s in Business and worked on earning a second Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. 


Mar 5, 2020
"Street Names and Numbers: Grid Changes, Renaming, and More".
  Presenter: Thomas MacEntee

Have you ever wondered if there was more to an ancestor’s home address or workplace address?
Did you know that in the early 20th century many US cities reconfigured their “grid” resulting in new addresses?
Do you know why certain streets simply seem to “disappear”?
There’s more to street naming than you realize learn how to drill-down to street information to improve your genealogy research.

We’ll review the history of street naming and learn how to break down street address data. We’ll go over street grid changes for towns and cities as well as how to track “missing” streets. Learn how to use innovative online tools to visualize a specific street address and cover tips and tricks you need to know when working with street names and addresses.

Thomas MacEntee is a  genealogy professional specializing in using technology and social media to improve genealogy  research and  to connect  with the family history community.

Apr 2, 2020
 “The German Settlements of 19th Century Long Island” CANCELLED
   Presenter - Paul D. van Wie, Ph.D.

The topic The German Settlements of Nineteenth Century Long Island is based on a book Dr. van Wie authored. A number of the German immigrants were Freethinkers or Intellectuals with no particular religion. On Long Island, the Germans tended to congregate in Elmont, Franklin Square, New Hyde Park, Glen Cove, Hicksville, Jerusalem (Wantagh), Huntington, Stadt Wurttemberg (Massapequa Park), and Stadt Breslau (Lindenhurst.)  In those places you would find German language churches (with the exception of Stadt Wurttemberg.) Many would be “all in one” church, school, social halls, orphanage, rectory, convent and cemetery. The German language faded out after World War I.

Dr. Paul D. van Wie, author of The German Settlements of Nineteenth Century Long Island, is a lifelong resident of Franklin Square and a descendant of early Dutch settlers of colonial New York. He earned his B.A. degree in history from Long Island University and his PhD from the City University of New York. For most of his career he has taught at Hofstra University and the
Wheatley School of Long Island. He has represented the United States as a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands and served as New York State Teacher of the Year. In 1976 he founded the Franklin Square Museum and serves today as permanent Village Historian. He is a longtime Commissioner of Landmarks for the Town of Hempstead and a Trustee of the Franklin Square Public Library. He is currently Associate Professor of History and Political Science at Molloy College.


May 7, 2020
 “Choosing the Right Family Tree Software” CANCELLED
  Presenter - Chuck Weinstein

Chuck Weinstein has been researching his family history since 1992. An early adopter of computer technology, he has worked hard to find the perfect software for genealogy. (Hint: He hasn’t found it yet.)  In this talk, he will discuss how to determine what you want and need from a software and discuss the features and benefits of several products for both Windows and Mac.

Chuck Weinstein is a Past President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island and is currently the Vice President of the Genealogy Federation of Long Island. He has spoken in front of numerous groups and at national and international genealogy conferences. He is working on a book about holocaust research and will be giving this talk at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in San Diego in August.


September 3. 2020

 "Novel NYC Research" - This Remote Lecture will be for Members Only, who will receive an invitation.

   Alec Ferretti

 
This lecture will discuss lesser used sources of genealogical information about 19th and 20th New York City residents. By moving beyond records that are database searchable, it is possible to learn about our ancestors from documents such as medical examiner records, education records, burial permits, voter records, and many more!

Alec Ferretti is a family historian with the Wells Fargo Family & Business History Center, and just completed two masters degrees in Archives and Library Science at NYU. He is the President of the New York Genealogy & Technology Group, an informal organization which facilitates bi-monthly lectures and discussions. Alec is also an active member of the Board of Directors of Reclaim the Records, a nonprofit corporation which seeks to restore public access to genealogical documents by leveraging Freedom of Information Laws.


October 1, 2020 - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY

 "Genealogy Records Found in New Jersey"
  Chris Tracy


Did your ancestor ever live, work or visit New Jersey? New Jersey has a rich history and record collection for genealogy research. If it happened in NJ- from birth to death and just about anything in between - NJ most likely has it documented. Find your ancestor’s New Jersey story in these commonly used genealogy records and resources.


Chris Tracy is a professional genealogist who has been conducting research for over 25 years, specializing in NJ/NY/PA areas. He has a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University as well as a Bachelors & Masters degree in Psychology from Montclair State University. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), National Genealogical Society and Vice President of the Central Jersey Genealogical Club.


November 5, 2020 - REMOTE MEETING for GGG Members ONLY
 "German Names and Their Interpretation"
  Richard Haberstroh

This webinar will cover various aspects of German family and given names, and even town names. It will deal with some general background on German personal names, the meanings and structure of surnames, and finish off with tips on how to interpret proper names, including those of towns, in German genealogical documents. The talk will be a blend of history, theory, and practical pointers to aid those diving into historical records.

Richard Haberstroh is an accredited German genealogist, who has been deeply involved in genealogical research both in the U.S. and Germany since 1984. Richard served as a volunteer librarian at the LDS Family History Center in Plainview, New York, from 1988 to 2001. He is a frequent lecturer on German and New York genealogy, and has published a number of articles, including his family’s own German-American genealogy in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (the NYG&B Society). He is also author of the book, The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide, published by the NYG&B.  


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