Attend workshop Saturday for German ancestory help

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The Kentucky Genealogical Society offers a lot of great programs, and everything I’ve attended so far has been worth the drive to Frankfort.

KGS offers “Second Saturday” Family History Workshops at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort. The history center is really very easy to get to, and there’s plenty of free parking across the street. The workshops are free, but registration is required by noon the preceding Friday. Optional box lunches may be requested at registration for $7, payable at the door. (Also worth it!)

This Saturday is a must if you have German ancestors. Michael Lacopo, a retired veterinarian, is now a full-time genealogical researcher. During the first session from 10:30-11:30 a.m., he will show how to find resources that can help you pinpoint the hometowns of your German immigrant ancestors. This will be especially helpful for those of you who, like me, only have documentation that simply says your ancestors were born in Germany.

During the second session from 12:30-1:30 p.m., Lacopo will discuss “Finding and Using German Church Records,” showing examples of such records and how to decipher them, even if you don’t know the German language.

These workshops also include a third session called “Tech Talk,” which, of course, gives plenty of tips for using technology to further your research.

From 1:45-3 p.m. Saturday, Linda McCauley will show how to save links to websites where you have found important research information. Learn how to manage saved links so you can easily return to them – and remember why you saved them in the first place.

To register for this workshop, send an email to KHSRefDesk@ky.gov or call the Kentucky Historical Society Library’s reference desk at (502) 564-1792 by noon Friday, June 13.

Annual seminar Aug. 2

For a second year, the KGS’s annual seminar, set for Aug. 2 at the Clark History Center, will feature J. Mark Lowe of  Robertson County, Tenn. Lowe is an expert in Southern U.S. research and has extensive knowledge of the interconnection between families in Kentucky and Tennessee.

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to him speak many times, first at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in 2013 and again in 2014, as well as at last year’s KGS seminar. He has a great sense of humor, which he incorporates into his lectures and presentations. One talk he gave was on how the whiskey industry influenced westward migration into certain regions of Kentucky and Tennessee. It was fascinating, and I learned a lot about the process of making whiskey, which relies heavily on limestone-rich water sources.

There are two morning sessions: In the first, from 9-10 a.m., Lowe will discuss how to make sure you are documenting the “right” family; in the second, 10:30-11:30 a.m., he will show how to develop a strategy for finding resources for records pertaining to your southern ancestors.

After lunch, from 1-2 p.m., Lowe will provide strategies for extracting information from pre-1850 U.S. census records, in which only the head of household is named and all others appear as numbers distributed among specific age groups.

Finally, from 2:30-3:30 p.m., Lowe will discuss how to find the earliest Kentucky records, starting with those produced when Kentucky was a county in Virginia and progressing to the earliest counties established after Kentucky become a commonwealth in 1792.

While some of these topics may sound dry, Lowe makes them fun and interesting. I highly recommend signing up for this seminar, especially if you are interested in tracking your family’s Kentucky roots.

Early pre-registration is due Monday, July 7; the cost is $45 for KGS members and $55 for nonmembers. Final pre-registration, due by Friday, July 25, is $50 for members and $60 for nonmenbers. A deluxe box lunch will be included with all registrations postmarked by July 25. Those registering after that date may bring their own lunch or choose a nearby restaurant. There are several really nice restaurants within walking distance in downtown Frankfort.

If you are not a member but wish to join, the cost is $65 for early registration and $70 thereafter, which includes the lecture, box lunch (if sent before July 25) and a 12-month KGS membership.

For more information, visit KentuckyGenealogicalSociety.org.

Spend a day on the river

Also coming up this summer, the Sons of the American Revolution Gelealogical Research Library in Louisville is hosting “A Day on the Ohio” on Aug. 16.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a lecture by Kadie Engstrom of the Belle of Louisville, who will present “John Fitch and the Invention of the Steamboat.”

This will be followed by a lunchtime river cruise on the Belle, boarding at 11:30 a.m. and cruising from noon to 2 p.m.

Cost is $35 and includes the lecture, cruise and buffet-style lunch. Payment is due by Aug. 5. To reserve a space, call Rae Ann Sauer at (502) 588-6130 or send an email to her at RSauer@sar.org.


Phyllis McLaughlin is a professional genealogy researcher and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.