German farmhouse 2 Wieskirche, Steingaden, Germany

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Analyzing Documents : A Hands-on Workshop
Friday, October 12
Analyzing Documents : A Hands-on Workshop  (Workshop)
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton - Lancaster


Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Are you getting the most information out of the genealogical documents you locate? Do you consider how reliable they may be and compare the information to other documents? Do you search for clues in each record?

Taking the time to analyze documents for reliability, context and information can provide useful clues, and using these clues to map out a research plan can advance your research.

This presentation will:
  • Discuss why we analyze documents
  • Show when in the research process this analysis happens
  • Demonstrate how to analyze a variety of documents
  • Provide a set of questions for you to use in your own analysis
  • Give hands-on practice with the analysis techniques presented

Mid-Atlantic History & Resources
Saturday, October 13
Mid-Atlantic History & Resources  (Conference)
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton - Lancaster
History of Baltimore Immigration
Presented by Nicholas Fessenden
European and particularly German immigrants arrived in Maryland and Pennsylvania and had a significant impact on Baltimore’s history. Find out what happened to these immigrants, trace their footsteps, and their influence on Maryland’s largest city.
Sister Ports: Philadelphia & Baltimore
Presented by Debra A. Hoffman
Philadelphia and Baltimore were major entry points for immigrants to America. Learn about the history and the sources available to document individuals who arrived through these ports.
Columbia Institution: Its History & Records
Presented by Debra A. Hoffman
In 1857, Congress passed legislation that founded the Columbia Institute for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, which was located in Washington, DC. Learn about the history and records of this iconic institution that attracted students from across the United States as well as the world.
History & Records of the German Aid Societies (NY, PA, MD, SC)
Presented by Debra A. Hoffman
German Aid societies helped German-speaking immigrants address grievances and acclimate to their new home in the United States. Learn about the history of the four major societies and the types of records available for researchers.

MAGS Spring Conference
Saturday, April 27, 2019
MAGS Spring Conference  (Conference)
8:30 am to 4:00 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton, 15101 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707
Morning Program
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG
He Took Her Name: Understanding German Farm Names
In certain geographic areas of Germany, the custom of German farm names has been in existence since about 1000 A.D. In this custom, a farm carried the surname and anyone who inherited that farm assumed that name as his surname. Usually this was a son of the farmer, but if it was a daughter, her husband would have to change his surname to hers. This lecture explains some of the common pitfalls a researcher may encounter when researching in one of these areas and how to overcome them. Highlights include:
  • The history, origins and geography of this custom
  • Various terms associated with this custom
  • The social structure in these areas
  • How this custom affected naming patterns
  • Techniques to successfully research your ancestor
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hanover Military Records
Military records for Hanover prior to 1866 are available to researchers in the United States through the Family History Library. Hanover’s military records are largely untapped by American researchers because English-language finding aids are non-existent. This lecture will explain what finding aids do exist and tips for using them. Hanover’s history and its impact on military records will be discussed.This lecture will focus on three phases of Hanover’s history:
  • 1708-1803 – Hanover was an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire
  • 1803-1815 – Hanover’s army was disbanded and many soldiers fought for the King’s German Legion, under Great Britain’s command.
  • 1816-1866 – Hanover was a kingdom with its own army
Afternoon Program
Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG
Boost Your Germanic Research: Understand Historical Jurisdictions
Meyer’s Gazetteer is great for determining jurisdictions as of 1912. Germany was not a country until 1871. In the centuries leading up to that, land areas were constantly changing hands. One must understand who controlled a given area in order to find all possible records. Topics included in this lecture are:
  • Use of Meyer’s gazetteer and its impact on the Family History Library catalog
  • Macro jurisdictional changes in historical Germanic areas
  • Tactics for determining jurisdictions of a village or small land holding over time
  • Examples of changing jurisdictions for selected areas
  • Key German vocabulary will be included
Hunting For Henry: A Case Study Using Collaterals
Henry Steren was a German immigrant who lived in Quincy, Illinois. The United States records that were created about him indicate only that he was from the Province of Hanover in Germany. This lecture will detail how his town of origin and parents were identified, in spite of the lack of records naming him. Carefully researching each of his associates and correlating all available evidence reveals the origins of Henry. Use of the Genealogical Proof Standard is demonstrated. Complicating factors in this case are:
  • Very few records available for the person in question
  • Multiple people with the same given and last names
  • Steren is often confused with the common surname Stern
For more information about Teresa Steinkamp, see her website.