It gives me great pleasure to announce that John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., genealogy researcher, instructor, and speaker extraordinaire, is coming to Columbus, Ohio, for a full day seminar in April. If you’re within driving distance of Central Ohio, you’ll want to put this on your list of don’t-miss events.
The seminar is sponsored by the Ohio Chapter Palatines to America, and will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Palatines to America, or “Pal Am,” focuses on helping people research their German-speaking ancestors. But Ohio Pal Am is reaching out to everyone interested in family history by bringing Dr. Colletta in for this seminar. The presentations he has on tap for the day are wide ranging, falling under the theme, “Getting to Know Your Ancestor: Sources and Methods for Biography.”
I’ve had the privilege of hearing John Colletta speak before, at the Institute of Historical and Genealogy Research (IGHR) at Samford University in 2010. He spoke to my class about the process of gathering historical background material, and how to use unusual records in narrative ancestor stories. Dr. Colletta’s presentations were informative, entertaining, and inspiring, and his enthusiasm and range of knowledge left a big impression on me. I’m really looking forward to the chance to hear him again.
Dr. Colletta drew many of his examples from his book, Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath. In my opinion, Only A Few Bones combines suspense, colorful characterization, amazing attention to historical detail, and meticulous research into one great story. It goes to show that truth, when investigated and written well, can indeed be stranger than fiction.
So without further ado, here are the details about John Colletta’s seminar in Columbus:
Presented by: Ohio Chapter Palatines to America
When: Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 9 am (doors open) to 3:30 pm
Where: Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Branch, 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43215, auditorium
Theme: Getting to Know Your Ancestor: Sources and Methods for Biography
- Lesser Used Federal Records: Sources of Rich Details about Ancestors’ Lives—explains how to use the more easily accessible records from the National Archives to find unique information about your ancestors
- The Germanic French: Researching Families from Alsace and Lorraine—discusses the German-speaking population in this region, their migration to America, and websites and resources for researching them
- Discovering the REAL Stories of Your Immigrant Ancestors—uses three 19th century case studies to show how original records and published materials can be assembled into a story conveying the drama of your ancestor’s immigration experience
- Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Old Northwest—describes the building of the “Big Ditch” and the ways it affected the lives of millions of workers and travelers from Maine to Minnesota
Lunch (included): a hot catered buffet by Schmidt’s Sausage Haus--a favorite in Columbus’ German Village for generations (and yes, there will be cream puffs!)
Cost: $45 for non-members, $35 members, $20 students
Early Bird deadline: March 30
Register online at: www.oh-palam.org
Co-sponsors: Franklin County Genealogical and Historical Society and the Columbus Metropolitan Library
Doesn’t that sound like a great day? And what a good value to boot. You might even be able to work in a little research time at the library. If you have any questions about the seminar or would like more information, just ask in a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve already registered, and I hope to see you there!
(Disclaimer: As Publications Chair for Ohio Chapter Palatines to America, I volunteered to help get the word out about this event. I wish I could claim I was the one responsible for booking John Colletta for the seminar, but alas, that would not be true. Any enthusiasm expressed is entirely mine. I did, however, resist the urge to say, “Operators are standing by…”)