September 26, 2014

German Genealogist Baerbel Johnson Coming to Columbus

Baerbel Johnson, International Reference Desk Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, is an expert at finding German genealogical records and online resources. That’s why I’m excited she’ll be the featured speaker at the Ohio Chapter Palatines to America fall seminar.

The seminar, Understanding Ancestors’ Occupations and New German Digital Libraries, will be held Saturday, October 11, 2014, at Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio.

Baerbel will be giving four presentations. Here’s the schedule for the day:

9:00 am:      Registration & morning refreshments (including homemade 
                            doughnuts from Der Dutchman’s bakery)
9:30 am:      “How the Internet Can Help Your German Research”
11:00 am:    “Our German Ancestors and Their Occupations”
12:00 pm:    Lunch—Der Dutchman’s broasted chicken and roast beef buffet
1:15 pm:      “German Digital Libraries—A Digital Goldmine”
2:30 pm:      “German Research: Connecting People with Places”

Attendees will have time to browse various book and information tables between sessions, and enter a drawing for a number of door prizes.

Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and raised in neighboring Offenbach, Baerbel emigrated to the U.S. in 1974, settling in Provo, Utah. Motivated by the difficulties of researching her own genealogy, she took classes and earned a degree in 1982 from Brigham Young University in Sociology and Family and Local History Studies. After raising her family and then working as a professional researcher, Baerbel accepted a position as Reference Consultant on the International floor of the Family History Library. She also teaches at the Family History Library and at various family history conferences. As such, she is knowledgeable about the newest research resources in Germany. Her motto to other researchers is “Never, never give up.”

Registration for the full day, including the hot buffet lunch, is only $59 (or $49 for Pal Am members). A special student rate of $20 is also available. You can register online at, or print off the registration form and mail it in. 

This seminar offers a great opportunity to learn more about your German ancestors and the resources for finding them. I know I’ll be there, so if you come, be sure to introduce yourself to me. Der Dutchman Restaurant is located at 445 Jefferson Avenue, U.S. Route 42, Plain City, Ohio 43064. For more information, visit the Ohio Chapter Palatines to America website.



  1. Hi Shelley, I wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Linda Stufflebean at


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