“Extra! Extra! Research All About It”: How Newspapers Enhance Family History

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The Thirty-ninth Annual Lancaster Family History Conference 

Historic newspapers provide a valuable sense of the way our local communities functioned a century or more ago. Now more than ever, historic newspapers are becoming digitized and easily accessible to everyone everywhere. The 2018 Lancaster Family History Conference will examine how newspapers enhance family history. Writer and columnist James M. Beidler will share insights in his keynote speech, “Extra! Extra! Research All About It.” He is the author of the newly published Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide as well as the “Roots and Branches” newspaper column and blog.

The Lancaster Family History Conference offers workshops that will help attendees learn how to use historical newspapers in “Letterpress to Digital: Using Historical Newspapers” and “Zeitung Sightings, German-language Newspapers Worldwide.” Other workshops will address additional aspects of family history research: “Colonial Church Records,” “No Good Deed Goes Unrecorded,” and “Some Early Swiss Records of Our Mennonite Ancestors.”

The conference also addresses history related to Lancaster County in “Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre Stories from Lancaster County Newspapers,” “The Underground Railroad of Lancaster County,” “Amish and Mennonites: Connections, Distinctions, Clarifications,” and “Introduction to Pennsylvania Dutch” dialect.

Field trips and research seminars will take place on Thursday and Friday before the conference. Attendees have the opportunity to visit local Underground Railroad sites on a bus tour. Research seminars include special research assistance, a DNA roundtable discussion, and learning how to decipher German script. Milo G. Miller will discuss the role of The Budget, a newspaper read in Amish communities.

The conference runs April 19 to 21, 2018. The Saturday conference will take place 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster. Registration is available online at www.lmhs.org or by calling Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society at (717) 393-9745. Registration for field trips and seminars is done separately from the conference, but priority seating will be given to conference attendees.

James M. Beidler will give the keynote address. He is the author of the newly published Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide as well as the writer of the “Roots & Branches” newspaper column and blog that he has produced weekly for 20 years. He also edits Der Kurier, the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society, and is a columnist for German Life magazine. Beidler’s also the author of two other commercially published books and is an instructor for the online Family Tree University.

Learn more and register at www.lmhs.org

April 19 2018


Start: April 19
End: April 21