Pastfinders Genealogical Society of South Lake County
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Pastfinders Presents Researching German Civil and Parish Records
Thursday, April 13
Pastfinders Presents Researching German Civil and Parish Records
4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Hybrid - Cooper Memorial Library AND Virtual on Zoom
Program Speaker:  Alexander Tolksdorf
Program Topic:  Researching German Civil and Parish Records
This is a Hybrid Program: you are welcome to attend in person at Cooper Memorial Library in Room 108 or join us on Zoom. (Registation Links below) Alexander Tolksdorf will be attending this lecture virtually and will not be at the library.
This presentation is designed to help those new to researching German record sets. The complexity of Germany's history, and its effect on genealogical sources can be difficult obstacles for a family historian to overcome. The class will focus specifically on German civil records and parish records, with emphasis on how/where to locate the records and how to interpret the records. This ranges from using FamilySearch's catalog to using German repositories like to contacting local archives. Additional attention will be provided to historical geopolitics of what is today Germany, handwriting styles, as well as useful German reference materials. Lastly, the class also covers territorial regions formerly included in the German Empire (i.e. Alsace-Lorraine, Polish and eastern Prussian provinces). 
 "Alexander Tolksdorf is a genealogist and speaker, specializing in German, Dutch, and Eastern European research. He began his personal journey in high school, inspired by a trip to Ellis Island and through a correspondence with his great uncle in Germany, who also was an active family historian. All four of his grandparents immigrated to the United States in the 1950s following the Second World War; as such, the majority of his research experience and focus is in European sources. Paternally, his family is German, primarily from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia, Posen, and East Prussia. Maternally, his family roots are Ukrainian. Thus far, Alex has uncovered and actively researches family lines in Ukraine, Germany, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, and Russia. Through this work, he has become very comfortable with research in these countries; including overcoming the language barriers, lack of online record access, and lost or missing records. He relies on civil, church, and a plethora of other records for his research, and finds that all provide illumination and the tools to break down brick walls. Alex believes that standard records only tell part of the story, with the many additional forms of documentation providing color and texture to a family history.

Alex enjoys his work as a financial analyst at the Ford Motor Company, and is the current President of the Ford Genealogy Club. He is also active in the Ukrainian-American community of Metro Detroit, serving as the treasurer of the Ukrainian Graduates of Detroit and Windsor, as well as the treasurer and circulation manager of the Detroitski Novyny, the local community newspaper. He is also on the Supervisory Committee of the Ukrainian Selfreliance Michigan Federal Credit Union. During his spare time when he is not researching, Alex enjoys walking and exercising with his new wife, Katelyn, and their dog, as well as working on his car, a 2014 Ford Mustang GT."
4:30 PM - Meet and Greet, Short presentation of future programs and activities
5:00 PM - Alexander Tolksdorf presentation
Zoom Registration HERE. 
Cooper Memorial Library Attendees: REGISTER

Pastfinders Presents My Heritage DNA basics
Thursday, May 11
Pastfinders Presents My Heritage DNA basics
4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Hybrid - Cooper Memorial Library AND Virtual on Zoom
Program Speaker:  Marty Flanagan
Program Topic:  How to use My Heritage DNA results in your research
This will be a Hybrid Meeting and you are welcome to attend in person at Cooper Memorial Library in the Genealogy Room or you can continue to attend virtually using a Zoom Link.  If you are not sure if you can attend in person, register for the Zoom Link, you can still come in person.
Presentation Topic – Have Fun with My Heritage!
Enjoy a fun time with Pastfinders. New and old tools take a twist in learning. The fun tools are photo editing, talking heads, how AI creates the out of the world experience, the new CM Explainer, Relativity Theory, smart matches, segments match, clustering and many more. The experience is useable for beginner or expert.
The Photo of Marty is the result of AI "enhancment" available at the My Heritage website.
BIO: Marty Flanagan completed an associate degree at Washburn University in education and completed her bachelor’s in business management at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Close to Retirement, Flanagan picked up the hobby of genealogy to research her family, but she wanted to prove the paper trail was correct. She decided to test her DNA in 2010 and the rest is history. She has helped twenty-five adoptees find their birth families.  This is what it is all about - helping others to become proficient using DNA.

She started teaching DNA at the Topeka Genealogical Society (TGS) seven years ago. Extra training in DNA was completed with CeCe Moore and another week with Blaine Bettinger at GRIP in Pittsburg, PA.  She attended Root Tech at Salt Lake, Utah and concentrated on taking DNA from the experts.  She has taken her genealogy to the next level, as she has proven her lines, to National Society of the Daughters of The American Revolutionary, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, Daughters of the American Colonies, War of 1812, Daughters of Union Vets of the Civil War and General Society Mayflower Descendants. She has found four pilgrims in celebration of 400 years of their landing in America in 1620.  And Ms Flanagan is a member of Pastfinders.
4:30 PM - Meet and Greet, Short presentation of future programs and activities
5:00 PM - Marty Flanagan presentation
Please Register HERE.