2019 Family History Fair

Join us at the 2019 Family History Fair on Saturday, October 26, 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 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.

The Changing World of Genealogy: Things Past, Present and Future presented by Paula Stuart-Warren



11 a.m.-noon

Shared Matches: Making the Most of Your DNA Results presented by Alice Eichholz

Secrets and Stories Revealed in Civil War Pension Files p resented by Mica Anders

FamilySearch: Beyond the Search Boxes presented by Donna Sexton

12:45-1:45 p.m.

Breaking Brick Walls presented by Shirleen Hoffman

Searching for the Women in Your Family Tree presented by Cathi Weber

HCL Resources presented by Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker

2:15-3:15 p.m.

He Will Make a Good Soldier:” Stories of Immigration at Fort Snelling presented by Mary Challman

Who Enslaved Cager and Pheby? presented by Yvette Hewitt and Lois Abromitis Mackin

About the presenters:


Mica Anders is a professional genealogist, researcher and oral historian with over 10 years of experience. Her special interests include African-American genealogy and families from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, & Alabama. She enjoys combining her two passions—genealogy and art—to create visual displays representing the personal and/or community histories of her clients.

Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker is an HCL librarian who works with genealogy and teaches classes at the Minneapolis Central and Southdale libraries. She has been researching her family genealogy and helping patrons with theirs for over 17 years. Her special interests include German, Irish, Swedish and early American (and Quaker) genealogy research.

Mary Challman joined the Minnesota Historical Society in 2016 as an interpreter at Historic Fort Snelling and the Minnesota History Center, and has worked as an interpretive program developer since December 2017. Challman received a BA in History and Public History from James Madison University and an MA in Historic Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., Certified Genealogist, is a nationally known family history researcher, writer, adult educator, and genetic genealogist who is known for her publication: “Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources” (Provo, UT: Ancestry, Inc., 1989-2004) and is a professor emerita at Walden University.

Yvette Hewitt has been researching her Caribbean family lines for over 10 years. She is a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Her interests are Caribbean, African-American, Afro-Canadian and British Isles genealogy.

Shirleen Hoffman is a professional genealogist focusing on Minnesota and Wisconsin research. She has been a genealogy researcher for more than 40 years and has studied at several major genealogical institutes. A published author in Minnesota Genealogist, she is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and APG Northland Chapter Liaison.

Lois Abromitis Mackin, Ph.D., is a professional genealogist focusing on American and English research. Mackin writes and teaches about genealogical records and methods, including DNA.

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.

Paula Stuart-Warren, Certified Genealogist, is a genealogical and historical researcher, lecturer and coach. Her specialties include manuscript and archival repositories, railroads and Native American genealogy. She is an instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and a former board member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Minnesota Genealogical Society.

Cathi Weber has been researching her family genealogy for over 40 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 has researched and compiled a number of charts and books for family, friends and clients.