Tracing East European ancestors can be a daunting process. Navigating your way through the exotic sounding surnames, sorting out the changing geographical borders, and finding records in foreign repositories all require a certain level of knowledge and some finely honed research skills. Fortunately, there are several great learning opportunities available online and offline to help.
- Spring seminar: The Genealogical Society of Bergen County (Midland Park, NJ) will hold its Spring seminar on Saturday April 6, 2013 9 am - 4 pm at Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ. The theme will be "Your Immigrant Ancestors."
- Special conference: The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) and The Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, Inc. are co-sponsoring an all-day conference, “Finding Our Ancestors at Home and Abroad” on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Luzerne Community College, Nanticoke, PA. Speakers for the event are: Lisa A. Alzo, James M. Beidler, Anthony T.P. Brooks, Patrick Connelly, Aaron McWilliams, Jessica Reeder, and others.
- Free online courses and tutorials. If you are unable to make the in-person seminars, you can pick up some skills for free from the comfort of home via the courses and tutorials in the online Learning Center at FamilySearch. Browse hundreds of online genealogy courses to help you discover your family history. From the main page, click the “Learn” link. Then click “View the Courses” to take you to the Learning Center, or go directly to <https://familysearch.org/learn>. Then you can choose which videos/tutorials to watch at your own pace. Currently, you’ll find a number of courses specifically on how to conduct research in records from the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Russia.
If you are just beginning the research process, taking some time to learn from the experts can provide the jumpstart you need to dive into the realm of East European genealogy. Even if you consider yourself a more experienced researcher, learning about new resources could offer a new perspective to help you break down those brick walls.