2018 Family History Fair

Family History Fair

Join us at the 2018 Family History Fair on Saturday, October 27, 9 a.m.-3:15 p.m., at Minneapolis Central Library to connect with expert genealogists and learn about state, local and library resources; learn to identify clues to your family history; find out how to use and evaluate DNA for family connections, and more. Visit resource tables, attend workshops and learn how to start your family genealogy. Register online or Ask Us.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library and presented in collaboration with the Minnesota Genealogical Society.

Schedule of events:

9-9:30 a.m.

Visit participating groups and resource tables

Keynote Address

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Where They Once Stood: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Place of Origin Presented by Elizabeth Williams Gomoll


11 a.m.-noon

The DNA of Genealogy - Presented by Alice Eichholz

Making Social Media a Genealogy Resource - Presented by Kim Ashford

Getting Started in Genealogy - Presented by Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker

12:45-1:45 p.m.

DNA Third-Party Tools: What They Are and Why You Should Know About Them - Presented by Lois Abromitis Mackin

Military Records and Fold3.com - Presented by Cathi Weber

Using FamilySearch - Presented by Trudi Campbell

2:15-3:15 p.m.

I’ve Gotten My DNA Results! Now What? - Presented by John Vanek

Getting the Most From Ancestry Library Edition - Presented by Donna Sexton

Mapping Prejudice - Presented by Penny Petersen

About the presenters:

Kim Ashford is a professional genealogist, speaker and owner of the Twigs and Branches Genealogy Service. She is a frequent volunteer of her local Family History Center and she is the past president of the Germanic Genealogy Society (GGS). Ashford is one of the founders of the International German Genealogy Partnership.

Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker is a HCL librarian who works with genealogy and teaches classes at Minneapolis Central and Southdale libraries. She has been researching her family genealogy and helping patrons with theirs for over 20 years. Bielke-Rodenbiker’s special interests include German, Irish, Swedish and early American (and Quaker) genealogy research.

Trudi Campbell is a librarian with over 25 years of experience conducting genealogy research, teaching and working with Hennepin County Library’s genealogy resources. Her personal research areas include Swedish and Irish family history research.

Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG, is full-time faculty at Walden University, mentoring doctoral students in Education. As editor of “Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources,” Eichholz has several decades of family history research experience and teaching, more recently on use of DNA in genealogy.

Elizabeth Williams Gomoll has been doing genealogy research for nearly 40 years. She is president of the Association for Professional Genealogists Northland Chapter, and co-editor of Minnesota Genealogist, the quarterly journal for the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Gomoll’s most recent book is “The World War I Letters and Photographs of Minnesota Brothers Marland and Stanley Williams.”

Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., is a professional genealogist focusing on American and English research. Mackin has bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in history, and has studied at major genealogical institutes. She writes for Minnesota Genealogist and The Septs, teaches about genealogical records and methods, and serves as president of the Northland Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Penny Petersen is a native Minnesotan and author of “Hiding in Plain Sight: Minneapolis's First Neighborhood” and “Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront.” She is a founding member of the Mapping Prejudice Project, which aims to produce a comprehensive map of racial covenants contained in historic Minneapolis property deeds.

Donna Sexton is a librarian at Minneapolis Central Library. She became interested in genealogy over 20 years ago when she found a family tree and her grandfather's research notes in an old scrapbook. Visiting Ellis Island in 2012 resulted in a passion for researching the stories behind the names, dates and places in her family tree.

John Vanek is a professional genealogist. In 2015, he identified his biological father with the help of a DNA test, and now specializes in solving similar cases with DNA. Across Minnesota, Vanek speaks on all aspects of genetic genealogy, and has conducted “traditional” genealogy research with a variety of Midwestern ethnic groups.

Cathi Weber has been researching her family genealogy for over 35 years and started NorthStar Genealogy to help others with their research and to teach classes. She is president of the Anoka County Genealogical Society and on the board of the Minnesota Genealogical Society.