Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Monday, September 03, 2007

North Dakota Genealogy Seminar

This press release is a bit out of the usual scope of this blog, but it was sent to me, and I don't know what else to do with it.

Cathy A. Langemo
Bismarck-Mandan Historical & Genealogical Society
205 E. Arbor Ave. #108-G
Bismarck, ND 58504-5717

Bismarck/Mandan group plans 2008 genealogy workshop

The Bismarck-Mandan Historical and Genealogical Society will host its bi-annual genealogy workshop on April 12, 2008, at Horizon Middle School, Bismarck.

Saturday’s luncheon speaker will be Dr. John Philip Colletta, one of America’s most popular genealogical lecturers and a renowned author. Entertaining, knowledgeable and experienced, he lives in Washington, D.C. and conducts workshops for the National Archives and teaches courses for the Smithsonian Institution and local universities. One of Colletta’s most popular publications is They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Record.

His luncheon topic on "Only a Few Bones: How to Turn a Juicy Family Story into a Book…and a Career!" not only entertains and informs, but also gives the conference participants an insight into who Colletta is and how he came to do genealogical lecturing and publishing.

He will also present three workshop sessions, including:
  • "Libraries, Archives and Public Record Offices: Understanding Resource Repositories;"
  • "Lesser-Used Federal Records: A Sampling for Fresh Research Ideas;” and
  • "Breaking Through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!"

On Friday evening, April 11, Colletta will present one of his favorite topics, “Is Any Body There?–Tracking Ancestral Remains.” Beginning at 7 p.m. at the State Heritage Center, Bismarck, the Friday presentation is free and open to the general public.

His collection of anecdotes from his own research and travel experiences is very popular with genealogical and non-genealogical audiences. The stories are true, funny, shocking and touching. All genealogists can identify with them, and non-genealogists will get a sense of the fun and excitement of genealogy.

Colletta will hold book signings on both Friday evening and on Saturday.

Other Saturday workshop speakers will include:
  • Marit Lucy, Scandinavian Research;
  • Madeline Heer, “Beginning Genealogy - Roots and Raspberries;”
  • Beth Bauman, “Census Records;”
  • Donovan Feist, LDS Family History Center;
  • Patrice Hartman and Nancy Englerth, Internet research;
  • Jo Ann Winistorfer, “Tracing Your Dakota Roots,” possibly with an emphasis on homestead records;
  • State Historical Society of North Dakota staff members, sessions on State Archives and Historical Research Library and preservation of photos and documents;
  • funeral home records; and
  • Native American research.

As during the 2006 workshop, the BMHGS will again have folk artists displaying and demonstrating their traditional work of inkle weaving, tatting, knife making, quilt making and bead working.

The BMHGS workshop committee welcomes the participation of area ethnic, heritage and historical groups, as well. Organizations interested in sharing information about their group, along with exhibiting and selling items unique to their organization, are welcome to call contact BMHGS Steering Committee member Nadine Sheets at 701-355-1091 or at

Mary Bakeman, with Park Genealogical Books, will be available in the vendor area. Bakeman carries a wide variety of historical and genealogical materials geared toward North Dakota’s ethnic groups. She will also be selling Dr. Colletta’s books. The State Historical Society of North Dakota gift shop staff will also be on hand with some of their wares.

The BMHGS is grateful for the generous financial grant support from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

The BMHGS has been promoting and aiding in family research since 1971. Its goals are to promote and encourage active interest in genealogy and history throughout the region and beyond by retrieving and preserving historical and genealogical records, improving the availability and access to public records and fostering education and training in genealogical and historical research.

For more membership or workshop information, visit or call 701-223-6273.



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