Category: Publications

Participants Meeting Their Living Relatives

In the Genealogy and Heritage Bulletin, we asked participants to submit their stories of meeting or contacting their living relatives.  Here are some of their stories

Participant: Kate Worland

  1. After I found my great grandfather’s passport application, I knew where in Germany he had lived before immigration.
  2. I researched the town in Meyers Orts and learned that it was a very small one. I knew that our last name was a bit unusual, so I looked it up in the German telephone book. If you don’t read German, the first word in the search box is Who and the second box asks Where.
  3. I wrote a letter and had a teacher friend translate it into German. The German society will also do this.  There were only a few Oermanns, so I wrote to each of them.  I described my ancestry and asked if we could be related. In fear that they would think I was “up to something,” I included a copy of my immigrant ancestor. My father had always said, “On the right is your great grandfather, Casper. We don’t know who is on the left. Maybe a brother somewhere over in  Germany.” After patient waiting, I did receive a reply. It turned out not to be from a direct relative, but the person was kind enough to pass along information about my actual family member and contacted him.  Dirk wrote to me and it turned out that he had the same photograph. His father had always said, “On the left is your great grandfather, Heinrich. We don’t know who is on the right, probably one of the brothers in America.
  4. In April, 2008 my niece (fluent in German) was enrolling at Cologne (Köln) University. I agreed to accompany her and help her get settled, and she agreed to interpret for me with the cousins in Büttendorf. Our family is wonderful! I’ve been back two more times and plan a third one in the fall.
We now collaborate on family history. I have been learning German every since 2008. I can read typed German. I can now make myself understood verbally and can understand my family when they speak slowly for me.

Participant: Lane Loyko

My grandfather is Joseph Charles Lehner who was born in Weiner Neustadt in 1878. His father was Karl Lehner who came to Wr. Neustadt from Burgenland. so i had found a death announcement for Karl from 1929 in Erfurt, Austria. In 2003 i made a trip to Wr. Neustadt to check out some of the addresses in the death announcement. i found a house but the gates were locked and it looked like nobody was home so i drove up the road a bit and saw a women working in her garden. i stopped and asked if she knew the owners of the house and that i was a Lehner descendant. She said “Oh yes” and the Lehners just sold the house last year. She thought they lived in Vienna but not too sure where. But her friend down at the County Assessors office might know so we drove down. her friend said it was strictly forbidden but under the circumstances she arranged to give me a phone number. it was in Vienna, about 60 km away. But I don’t speak German or know how to place a long distance call so i booked a private city tour of Wr. Neustadt and got introduced to a charming bi-lingual guide. She asked what do you want to see. i said Nothing really but could you call this phone number for and explain who i am and see if you could arrange a meeting. So sure enough the number belonged to another great grandson of Karl and he would love to meet me if i could tell him what hotel I would be staying at and what would be a could time. We arranged to have tea in the lobby in a couple of days when i was going back to Vienna for my flight home. My second cousin Franz arrived promptly bringing his 20 year old daughter Elisabeth to interpret. She was a student at the University and they both smoked a lot of cigarettes which was quite common in Vienna at the time. We had a lovely evening together and agreed to stay in touch. Long story ends with Elisabeth visiting me in Hawaii 2 years ago and now helping me to establish a possible inheritance in Slovakia. Unfortunately Franz has passed away in the meantime, which is the sad part of the story. Your Bulletin asks us to send in a story and that is mine.

NEWS RELEASE: Registration Opens Feb. 1 for International German Genealogy ‘Connections’ Conference in July

News release

from the International German Genealogy Partnership
(formerly German-American Genealogical Partnership)
Jan. 11, 2017 — For immediate release
Contact: Kent Cutkomp, (612) 920-8118,

Registration Opens Feb. 1 for International German Genealogy ‘Connections’ Conference in July

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Registration opens Feb. 1 for the 2017 International Germanic Genealogy Conference, set for July 28-30 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Early, discounted registration runs through March: $225 for individuals belonging to organizations that are members of the International German Genealogy Partnership (formerly German-American Genealogical Partnership), and $250 for all others. Regular registration begins April 1 at the standard rate, $299.

Register by completing and mailing a print form or by completing the online form available at the Partnership website , set to go live in late January. Print forms can be downloaded from the website and are also available through local genealogy societies that are members of the Partnership.

A 12-page registration booklet containing specifics on the conference, including daily schedules and presentations, is available on the website and in print from local societies.

Hotel rooms at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel in Brooklyn Park, Minn., venue for the conference, sold out in December. Additional nearby hotels are offering special rates for conference attendees. Go to or for hotel information and room reservations.

The conference features more than 70 presentations over three full days. An all-star lineup of speakers includes many well-known international figures, including Roger Minert, Ernest Thode, Dirk Weissleder of Germany, Baerbel Johnson, Fritz Juengling, Michael Lacopo, James Beidler, Paula Stuart-Warren, Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Jill Morelli, Stephen Morse, and others from Germany and Australia.

The conference —“Connections: International. Cultural. Personal.” — also offers a unique opportunity for German genealogists to make personal connections nationally and internationally. Daily “Connections” sessions and a slate of presentations on regional specialties are planned.

“This may be one of the largest German genealogy events ever held in the United States,” said officials of the Minnesota-based Germanic Genealogy Society, host of conference and a co-founder of the Partnership, which is organizing the conference.

The International German Genealogy Partnership is a young and rapidly growing international organization. Founded in 2015, it joins German genealogy societies across America, Germany, Canada, England and other European countries, and continues to draw new societies worldwide. Partnership members include the 65 societies belonging to the Germany-based Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genealogischer Verbände, whose leadership helped in founding the Partnership.

St. Louis Genealogy Conference

Learn From the BestRemembering Families -01

Sponsored by the St. Louis Missouri Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
15081 Clayton Rd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Learn from experts about the best research strategies and resources here in Missouri, online and globally.

National, regional and local genealogical experts will share their fascinating tips and techniques for gathering family history information. You will hear the best ways to get started, unstuck or swept away in the art of family history research. Multiple ways to improve and simplify family history for future generations will be covered.

The menu link above for “Sessions and Presenters” provides session descriptions and presenter bios.

All are Invited

The conference is free.

Patrons as young as age 12 are welcome to attend.

There are many sessions to choose from. Anyone may attend any session. Select a customized conference schedule based on your skill level and interests. Come for all or part of the day.

Please register in advance. Sign-up on their “Registration” page.

Lunch will be provided. (donations accepted)

Good News for Adoptees

This is good news for adoptees who are tracing their family histories.birth certificate of potential adoptees

That would include the late Sara-Ann Beatty and others whom I have met over the years.

In one case I know of someone who learned that her birth name was “Konert.” Several years ago, she sent out letters to every Konert in Missouri searching for her birth parents. The only bit of info she had was that her mother was 36, worked as a housekeeper in the Kansas City area, was Catholic, and was a good seamstress. She did not know the father’s name, but he was a son of the family she worked for. They owned department stores in the Kansas City area and he was Lutheran.  Those were the only clues she had. She was born in 1947.

Now it seems that in a couple of years, she will be able to get a copy of her original birth certificate.

Get German Genealogy Help at the Family History Center

Did you know that the Family History Center in Frontenac has German genealogy specialists?  They are always happy to help any way they can.  See the times below when the specialist are available.

Family History Center

Family History Center
Inside the Family History Center
10445 Clayton Road
Frontenac, MO


Every Saturday Morning: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Every Other Friday Morning: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Every Other Tuesday Evening: 6:30 – 9:00 PM
Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday Evening: 6:30 – 9:00 PM
To find out more information about the Center, please go to:

Vacation Tip: Visit the German–American Heritage Museum in Washington, D.C.

Admission is FREE! If planning a visit to Washington, D.C., don’t miss the German–American Heritage Museum.  See for more information. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays (11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.), Saturdays (12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.), and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.