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Family History Fair 2017 at Minneapolis Central Library

October 28, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

On Saturday, Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., connect with expert genealogists and learn about state, local and library resources; learn to identify clues to your family history; find out how to use and evaluate DNA for family connections, and more. Visit resource tables, attend presentations and learn how to start your family genealogy. Register today.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library and presented in collaboration with the Minnesota Genealogical Society.

Schedule of events:

9-9:30 a.m.

Visit participating groups and resource tables

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Keynote Address

Research strategies and tools for tackling your genealogy brick walls

Shirleen Hoffman Take your research to the next level. This session details methods, tools and underused records to improve your problem-solving success.


11 a.m.-noon

Finding Your Native American Ancestors Online

Jeanne Boutang Croud Suggestions for finding Native American records online and in unique archives.

Social Media and Genealogy

Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker Using social media for genealogy is a newer trend – it’s not just for posting pictures of your cat and catching up with old friends. See how you might use social media to discover family, research techniques, and connect with other genealogists.

Using GPS. Destination: Confident Research Results

Kim Ashford Have I done enough research? Do I have the right John? Is my research ready to share? Learn about the five components of the Genealogy Proof Standard (GPS) and how they will navigate you to arrive with confidence in your research results.

12:45-1:45 p.m.

A 3-D View of Immigration: A Historical Perspective on Laws, Immigrant Experience and Genealogy Impact

Susan Weinberg This talk will look at immigration through multiple lens, examining the evolution of American immigration laws, the social environment out of which they grew and their impact on both immigrants and the documents on which genealogists rely. Susan Weinberg has done an oral history project with three groups of immigrants and first-generation Americans. She will share video excerpts from their experience across different immigration environments. She will also examine what changes in immigration laws meant for genealogists who rely on immigration documents in their research.

Close to Home, studies in familiar images.

Bonnie Wilson Discovering our family history usually involves discovering intriguing photographs. This presentation will explore both familiar and mysterious family photographs, including dating the photos, understanding their historical context, preservation, and how to make them an active part of your family history. Bring a favorite photo that raises questions or tells stories.

New Genealogical Resources at Hennepin County Library

Trudi Campbell Learn about new digital resources on the HCL website, including city directories, organizational and neighborhood records, as well as the complete historical naturalization records for Hennepin County, now available at Minneapolis Central Library.

2-3 p.m.

African American Genealogy

Mica Anders How do you figure out where your ancestor is from when each document you uncover lists a different birth date and location? Using research about a local family from St. Paul’s Rondo Community, you will learn how I broke through this brick wall and uncovered a neat piece of Minnesota history in the process.

American Military Records

Jeff Desannoy Military records can offer information about service but also physical descriptions of soldiers and sailors. Where can you find these records? This presentation will offer details about finding American military records from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War era and will include pension applications, discharge papers, regimental registers, and more.

House Hunting: Researching House and Building History in the Twin Cities

Jacqueline Beckey and Bailey Diers Have you ever wondered who the former residents of your house were or what they were like? Or perhaps you have relatives that grew up in a Twin Cities house. In this session you’ll learn about the print and online resources available in the Twin Cities to help you research the history of area homes and buildings. Librarians Jackie Beckey (Minnesota Historical Society Library) and Bailey Diers (Hennepin County Library) will discuss how to use building permit records, maps, city directories, photographs, architectural periodicals and archival collections to piece together the past.

Tour Minneapolis Central Library genealogy resources with Minneapolis Central librarians


About the presenters:

Mica Anders is a professional genealogist with over 10 years of experience. Her special interests include African-American genealogy and families from Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, & Missouri. Mica holds an MFA in studio art. She enjoys combining her two passions—genealogy and art—to create unique family histories displays for her clients.

Kim Ashford is a professional genealogist, speaker and owner of the Twigs and Branches Genealogy Service. She is a frequent volunteer of her local Family History Center and she is the past president of the Germanic Genealogy Society (GGS). She is one of the founders of the International German Genealogy Partnership.

Jacqueline Beckey has been a Reference Librarian at MNHS since 2014. You can often find her at the reference desk helping people with family history projects, geeking out over historical maps, and drinking endless cups of coffee. She also loves to help folks uncover the history of their homes and has organized and taught many classes on this subject at MNHS. Jackie holds a Master’s degree in Library Science from Saint Catherine University. In her free time, she performs in local musical groups as a violist and consults the large sheet music collection at MNHS for creative inspiration.

Jeanne Bielke-Rodenbiker is an HCL librarian who works with genealogy and teaches classes at the Southdale and Minneapolis Central libraries. She has been researching her family genealogy and helping patrons with theirs for over 13 years. Her special interests include German, Irish, Swedish and early American (and Quaker) genealogy research.

Jeanne Boutang Croud has been conducting genealogical and historical research for more than forty years. She has researched a number of Native genealogies, including her own, and has consulted on Native probate investigations and provided information and corrections for federal probate hearings for the Department of the Interior.

Trudi Campbell is a librarian with over 25 years of experience conducting genealogy research, teaching and working with Hennepin County Library’s genealogy resources. Her personal research areas include Swedish and Irish family history research.

Jeff Desannoy works as a librarian in Hennepin County Library. One of his job duties involves assisting patrons with genealogy research. He also teaches a genealogy research class at Minneapolis Central Library. His research specialty focuses on sources in the United States and has a strong interest in non-population census schedules. Jeff earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Bailey Diers began working in the Minneapolis History Collection at Hennepin County Library in 2011 and has been the Special Collections Librarian of the James K. Hosmer Special Collections since 2013. Bailey’s love of house history research led her to start teaching a monthly house history class, which she has presented to over 400 Minneapolis residents at various HCL locations. Bailey received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia.

Shirleen Hoffman is a professional genealogist focusing on Minnesota and Wisconsin research. She has been published in Minnesota Genealogist and in Maiden Rock Press. She has been a genealogy researcher for more than 40 years and has studied at several major genealogical institutes.

Susan Weinberg is an artist, writer, and genealogist with a deep love of story. Through artwork, oral history, and text, Susan shares stories of family heritage. She believes that it is through story that we understand our common connections.

Bonnie Wilson is a photo historian, previously a photo curator at the Minnesota Historical Society.



October 28, 2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm


Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401 United States
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