German partnership holds successful conference

Roots & Branches

As I write this, the first International German Genealogy Conference has just finished its run near Minneapolis.

As you read it, the conference still will be a warm memory in the hearts of its nearly 700 participants, who came from four continents to attend the initial get-together.

The conference was the first big project to emerge from the International German Genealogy Partnership, an alliance with a stated mission “to facilitate German genealogy research globally as the internationally recognized federation of German genealogy organizations.”

The Partnership was created just a little over two years ago and originally brought together the consortium of German genealogy societies named Deutsche Arbeitsgeme­inschaft genealogischer Verbände (DAGV for short) with several American-based societies led by the Germanic Genealogy Society headquartered in Minnesota.

Since then, organizations around the globe have joined, including several more in Germany, a consortium from Australia and numerous more U.S.-based groups.

The first conference had an all-star team of German genealogy specialists as speakers, including several from Germany, and included an exhibit hall with representatives of, the German-based subscription service that is digitizing German Protestant records.

There was also an onsite research room available as well as translation assistance to the participants.

Social events included a Biergarten one night and a banquet on another.

The folks who attended the conference were searching for ancestors from today’s Germany, places lost by Germany in the World Wars, and from formerly German-speaking enclaves throughout eastern Europe. Organizations now part of the partnership were available to show people the intricacies of researching these respective groups.

Preceding the conference was a leadership day designed to take the partnership further in several ways.

Germanic Genealogy Society has allowed the Partnership to stay financially tethered to it until nonprofit status is achieved by the partnership, which is expected by the end of 2017.

The partnership is also working on several ideas — including a standardized way for individuals who are members of partnership groups to seek assistance with research problems.

Of course, no sooner is one conference is finished than planning must start on the next one: Sacramento, California, is set to be the site of the 2019 gathering. The Sacramento German Genealogy Society — long a model for German-themed genealogy groups — will be the host with help from two other California-based partners, the Immigrant Genealogical Society and German Interest Group of the San Diego Genealogical Society.

For more information about the Partnership, please see its website at the URL, https://igg