‘Smarties’ to Attend Family History Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The following news release is from Lowell Brown, Director of Communications at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.

  • 34th annual conference — “Family History for Smarties” — to draw novices, experts
  • Keynote address by French-professor-turned-genealogist, Dr. John Philip Colletta
  • Bowls of “America’s favorite candy rolls” provided by Smarties® Candy Company, New Jersey

Lancaster, Pa., February 7, 2013 — “Family History for Smarties (and Others, Too!)” is the theme of the 34th annual Lancaster Family History Conference to be held at the Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center on May 11.

Nationally recognized genealogist and author Dr. John Philip Colletta will deliver the keynote address.

Colletta was a medieval studies scholar and professor of French who found his second calling in family history research. His career includes work at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Institute on Genealogical Research (Washington, D.C.), the Genealogical Institute of Texas (Dallas), and the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (Springfield, Ill.).

He is the author of two research manuals — They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans — as well as one “murder-mystery-family-history,” Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath.

Colletta and other conference presenters will offer more than 15 seminars, ranging from “Family History Using Your Smartphone” to “Fraktur and Furniture of the Pennsylvania Germans” to “Pennsylvania’s Civil War Conscientious Objectors.”

Three field trips and three special discussion and work groups also will be offered in conjunction with the conference. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of genealogical resources at the LMHS library down the street.

“There is a wealth of information that comes together at this conference,” said Peggy Erb, one of the organizers. “It’s great for anyone interested in learning more about their family history, especially people with Pennsylvania or Mennonite ancestors.”

Registration is available online at www.lmhs.org or by calling Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society at (717) 393-9745. Field trips and discussion groups may be purchased separately from the conference, but priority seating will be given to conference attendees.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society is one of Pennsylvania’s best genealogical libraries, including 3,000 published genealogies, 2,500 cemetery transcriptions, Lancaster County court and tax records, access to Ancestry.com, a one-of-a-kind card file with data on hundreds of thousands of families and unique online databases containing more than 190,000 additional names.

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