Monday, March 17, 2008

Bismarck/Mandan group plans 2008 genealogy workshop

The Bismarck-Mandan Historical and Genealogical Society will host its bi-annual genealogy workshop on Saturday, April 12, 2008, at Horizon Middle School, Bismarck. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and sessions run until 4:30 p.m.

Saturday’s luncheon speaker, Dr. John Philip Colletta, is one of America’s most popular genealogical lecturers and a renowned author. 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 Dr. 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!" will not only entertain and inform, but will also give conference participants an insight into who Dr. Colletta is and how he came to do genealogical lecturing and publishing.

Dr. Colletta will also present three workshop sessions, including:

"Lesser-Used Federal Records: A Sampling for Fresh Research Ideas;”

"Libraries, Archives and Public Record Offices: Understanding Resource Repositories;" and

"Breaking Through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!"

Dr. Colletta’s 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.

Other Saturday workshop speakers will include:

Liv Anderson, with the LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, on Norwegian and Scandinavian Research;

Madeline Heer, “Roots and Raspberries--Planting the Seeds in Genealogy”;

Beth Bauman, census records;

Donovan Feist, LDS Family History Center resources;

Patrice Hartman and Nancy Englerth, genealogy research on the Internet;

Jo Ann Winistorfer, on “Tracing Your Dakota Roots” and homestead records;

Greg Wysk, State Historical Society of North Dakota, on the State Archives and Historical Research Library resources;

Rachel White, State Historical Society of North Dakota, “Preservation Fundamentals”;
Bob Eastgate, funeral home records; and

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, “Search for Your Center, A Look Into Tribal Genealogy”.

The BMHGS will also have folk artists displaying and demonstrating their traditional work of inkle weaving, tatting, knife making, quilt making and bead working.

The 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 contact BMHGS Steering Committee member Nadine Sheets at 701-355-1091 or at
Mary Bakeman, with Park Genealogical Books, will be available during the workshop, with 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 be on hand with some of their wares.

The BMHGS is grateful for the generous 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 workshop information, visit or call 701-223-6273.

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