As a first-career newspaperman, James M. Beidler is acutely aware of how the daily “rough draft of history” is put together (In fact, for a number of years he was in charge of producing the daily obituary page as a copy editor for a newspaper in Pennsylvania). And while he no longer works as a newspaper employee, Beidler still writes a weekly newspaper column on genealogy called “Roots & Branches” and edits Der Kurier, the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germany Society.
“Personal column from1 Feb 1890 Reading (PA) Eagle” shows how many names pop up throughout the newspaper. It’s an image from his collection.
In his presentation “Letterpress to Digital: Using the Full Range of Newspaper Resources” (T220, 9:30 a.m.), Beidler shows why genealogists shouldn’t stop newspaper research with just the “low-hanging fruit” of obituaries but instead should learn techniques offered by this lecture to “pull down the branches” in order to harvest the full range of items that historical newspapers have to offer.
And as a genealogist with a nearly 100 percent German pedigree, Beidler has had it drilled into him for more than 30 years that finding the European village of origin is essential to researching German ancestors because the political units were numerous and changed so often. Learning strategies to deal with this situation one of the goals of “Your Immigrants’ Germany: Microstates and Microbreweries” (F319, 9:30 a.m.). Included in this presentation are many of the tips Beidler has unearthed while writing his new book Tracing Your German Roots Online, since there are many Internet tools that can help researchers overcome Germany’s complicated history.
“German states in 1789” illustrates the political disunity of Germany. The map is public domain from Wikimedia Commons.
Session T220 on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. “Letterpress to Digital: Using the Full Range of Newspaper Resources.”
Digitization has made newspapers into genealogy’s “hot” new record group, but researchers shouldn’t neglect better cataloguing of microfilm, online, and print editions.
Session F319 on Friday at 9:30 a.m. “Your Immigrants’ Germany: Microstates and Microbreweries.”
German history is complicated until you learn the details—when you find out it’s even more complicated! Revealing strategies for uncovering records affected by disunity.