The 1st International Germanic Genealogy Conference


The 1st International Germanic Genealogy Conference took place July 28 through 30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I attended the conference, in support of FRPC’s authors who were speaking there, as well as the five venders who were marketing FRPC’s Germanic publications.

The conference sponsor was the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP). Kent Cutkomp, Dirk Weissleder and Kim Ashford are the founders – and much of the conference success can be laid directly at their feet. The Mission and Purpose of IGGP may be found at their website.

It was an amazing conference. Nearly 700 people were in attendance. I can honestly state that it was the best-organized conference I’ve ever attended. I attended the lunches and the banquet, and enjoyed the speakers, and good company at the table. Most of the rest of the time, I roamed the exhibit hall, the lobby and the hallways – visiting with the vendors. I was able to set at a table (reserved for the deaf) right near the podium each time, allowing me to hear – not great, but I was able to get most of the info.

I purchased the conference lectures on a flash drive. Most of the lectures given, except those given at the lunches and banquet, are on the drive. Cost was $149, but well worth it for me. Being deaf keeps me from understanding much of what is being said. It’s not that I can’t hear – so much as I can’t differentiate the sounds. Many consonants sound alike to me. So I now plan to listen to the entire conference with the use of my headphones. That will be fun!

While at the conference (and standing in a lunch line to be exact) I met a young man from Brazil by the name of André Hammann, who works for Team GenealogiaRS. He had heard about the conference just a week or so before it took place, and immediately registered – flying from Brazil to attend. It seems that Brazil has a huge German community that goes back to a first wave of immigration to the county in 1824. See the table below. Click on it to see an article on German Brazilians at Wikipedia.

André is a fifth-generation German-Brazilian – now doing professional genealogy research. He sent me a link to an 18-minute video that was made to celebrate 193 years of German Immigration in Brazil, last 25th July. It highlights some immigration characteristics, and the words are spoken in a German dialect with subtitles in Portuguese. It’s well done! André is looking into having English subtitles added to the film. Click on the above link to see it.

This conference will be the first of many annual gatherings. It’s planned that next year the conference will take place in Germany, and in 2019 Sacramento will be the host city. I will write more about these upcoming events as more data comes available.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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