Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month, September through May starting at 7:00 p.m. and are held in the River Falls Public Library. The programs cover a variety of material from general to specific and hold the interest of everyone. A business meeting follows the program, and besides the usual secretary’s report, treasurer’s report, and publications report, information on various upcoming genealogy events in the area, the state, and the nation are shared. There are also wonderful treats and a time to visit with others during the break between the program and business meeting.
From 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. SCVGS members will be available to help others with genealogy research questions.
The River Falls Public Library is a beautifully designed building at 140 Union Street, at the corner of Union and Main Streets. Main Street is also Wisconsin State Highway 35. Turn east on Union Street beside the library and go to the parking lot behind the building where there is ample parking. The handicapped accessible meeting room is on the main floor just inside the doors.
September 20, 2012—Annual Sharing Meeting—Share the successes you have had over the past year and especially over the summer months with other members at this informal gathering. Bring documents, stories, photographs, heirlooms, guests, and anything else you would like to share. This is always one of our most popular meetings.
October 11, 2012—Finding the Village of Origin—Paul Sternberg, past president of the Germanic Genealogy Society (St. Paul, Minnesota) and past president of the Pommern Regional Group (St. Paul, Minnesota), will talk about finding the village of origin of your immigrant Pomeranian ancestor. Some researchers only know by word of mouth that they are Pomeranian, but have no idea what county or village their family came from . Twenty-eight different source ideas will be presented. There should be something new for beginners all the way to advanced family researchers. Many of these sources can be used to find the place of origin in other parts of Germany.
Note that this is the second Thursday of the month!
November 15, 2012—Two Brothers, Two Fronts, One War: Exploring One Family’s Experience in WWII—Dr. Leichtle will explore the experiences of his father, Gerald, and his father’s brother, Dick, during their duties in World War II. Gerald was stationed in England as a member of the Army Air Corps, while Dick was a medic with the Marines in the Pacific. The exploration is possible because of several packets of letters Dick gave him recently. While comparing the two experiences may be historically interesting, the tracing of family history from the letters and interviews, and comparing it to the oral tradition will illustrate the joys and frustrations of family history.
Kurt E. Leichtle is Professor of History at UW-River Falls. He joined the faculty in 1985 and is looking toward the time when he can spend all his time on projects like this one. He teaches courses on American history, especially 19th century US and popular culture. He also is director of the Broad Field Social Studies program. He has published the Wisconsin Journey, which is used in River Falls and a number of other regional schools as their text on Wisconsin history. Last year he published Crusade Against Slavery: Edward Coles, Pioneer of Freedom. He is currently working on projects related to the history of Boy and Girl Scouting in the United States.
December 2012—Annual Holiday Outing—See below.
January 12, 2013—We will get together for a holiday outing on Saturday, attending the Twelfth-Night Concert of the Twin Cities Bronze (TCB) handbell ensemble. The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Peace United Methodist Church in Shoreview/North Oaks, Minnesota. The address of the church is 5050 Hodgson Road, Shoreview. The cost is $15 per adult and $5 per child/student (under 18 years of age). Tickets can be purchased online at Twin Cities Bronze or at the door. This is also the annual fund-raising event for the TCB organization, so there will be lots of great baskets to “bid” on (purchased tickets are placed in the baskets you hope to win—we had lots of winners from our group two years ago). We will carpool to the concert and plan to eat out probably beforehand, since the concert is later this year (2013) . Desserts will be served after the concert. Please let Darcy know if you plan on going, so that when the time is nearer, we can make reservations at a restaurant and make plans to carpool.
January 24, 2013—Annual Work Night at the Area Research Center—Please note that this is the fourth Thursday of the month due to the university’s winter break and classes not resuming until January 21.
The January meeting is a work night in the Area Research Center (ARC) on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus. It is our chance to give back some of our time to the ARC by helping with one or more indexing projects or other work as chosen by Archivist, Kathie Otto. The ARC is located on the lower level of the Chalmer Davee Library. Clear signage will direct you to the Area Research Center. We will work from 6:00-8:10 p.m. followed by refreshments. Limited parking is available behind South Hall, next to Chalmer Davee Library, and in the lot across Cascade Street next to North Hall.
February 21, 2013—Technology and Genealogy: Gizmos & Gadgets—Come share with fellow SCVGS members your recommendation for a favorite website, software, app, equipment, or accessory that you find vital to your family history research. Topics to be covered include Technology for Genealogy on Facebook, the Flip-Pal Scanner, and E-Bay Alerts.
March 21, 2013—DNA for Genealogists—John Rys covers basic DNA concepts. This presentation includes descriptions of three DNA tests (Y-chromosome, mitochondrial and autosomal tests) currently used by genealogists. The presentation describes how these DNA tests are translated into understandable numeric values for use in searching genealogy databases. Examples of DNA test certificates and information on how different DNA testing companies handle DNA searching will be presented. During the past six years, John’s DNA has been tested four times for genealogy purposes.
Rys, a 3M retiree, is a genealogist with family roots from the Carpathian Mountains of southern Poland where he has searched for records in ancestral mountain villages. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, a Master’s Degree in Information Science and a J.D. Law Degree. His primary genealogy endeavor is indexing early Minnesota Polish church records and making them available on the internet. John is a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, Polish Genealogical Society of America, and Polish Genealogical Society of Minnesota. He has published over 25 genealogy related articles in Minnesota Genealogist, Rodziny, Journal of PGSA, and the PGS-MN Newsletter. John’s genealogy website is at Rys Genealogy.
AWARDS: Recipient of the 2011 Wigilia award presented annually by the Polish Genealogical Society of America of Chicago for outstanding contributions to the field of Polish Genealogy. He received a 2011 service award from the Minnesota Genealogical Society.
April 18, 2013—Webinar on Researching at the Minnesota History Center—Tom Rice/Lois Mackin. Tom Rice, professional genealogist, will present a live webinar ‘donated’ by the MN Genealogy Society (MGS). Webinars are a recent trend in communications to deliver information from a distance. MGS is experimenting with offering webinars, and in this meeting, SCVGS members will help them test their webinar while at the same time gain valuable tips on researching at MHS. The webinar will be interactive, meaning you can ask questions as well as hear/see the presentation. Come see what a webinar is all about.
May 16, 2013—Developing a Research Plan—Paula Stewart-Warren. Professional genealogist, national speaker, and local favorite, Paula Stuart Warren, provides the season finale for SCVGS. Have you ever found a new document relating to your family history? What should you do with the information gleaned from it? Paula will explain how to develop a focused research plan using a sample document. Applying this methodology can boost your research effectiveness and results.
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