Menu
Log in


Wisconsin STate Genealogical Society

2023 Gene-A-Rama

Trials and Tribulations of Coming to America


Featuring

Katherine Willson, Ph.D.

Friday & Saturday, March 24 & 25, 2023

Hosted by the

Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire


Katherine R. Willson, a 7th generation Michigander, is an engaging & dynamic genealogy lecturer at local, regional and national conferences; an educator teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced genealogy classes in Michigan since 2001; the author of The Genealogist's Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan (published in 2018 by The In-Depth Genealogist), and a professional researcher for private clients. Her genealogy interests began at age 10 while earning the Junior Girl Scout My Heritage badge.

You can find her website at https://socialmediagenealogy.com/


Katherine Willson's Lectures

Keynote

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Its Effect On Our American Ancestors – More Americans were killed by the global 1918 Influenza (Spanish Flu) Pandemic than in the Great War. This virus had tragic implications on our ancestors’ communities and in their own families. Review the timeline of the pandemic’s spread, the direct and indirect effect of this health crisis on individuals, and the sources to consult for a greater understanding of its impact. 

Lectures

Resources for Genealogical Research in Foreign Countries – Once you’ve discovered your immigrant ancestor’s home country, how will you go about finding documents generated while s/he was still there, and how will you research his/her parents?  We’ll discuss available resources for beginning your research in foreign countries, including how to locate foreign language genealogy terms and online maps providing contextual information on shifting country borders.

Our European Ancestors’ Voyage to America – Learn about your immigrant ancestors’ voyage from Europe to the United States, and how those journeys changed from the 18th century through the 20th century. How did our ancestors prepare for the journey? What immigration restrictions & quota laws did they face? How were ports of departure and arrival chosen? What was the ticket cost? How long would the journey take, and what were the expected ship accommodations?

They Didn’t All Come Through Ellis Island: Finding & Analyzing Passenger Arrival Lists – If as many ancestors came through Ellis Island as families are led to believe, the island would have sunk!  Learn about the multiple points of departure from Europe, ports of entry into the U.S., how to find passenger arrival lists online, and how to analyze these lists as a means of filling in your ancestors’ life stories.

America’s Westward Expansion: Records of Travelers & Service Providers – We will discuss the records generated during our ancestors’ westward trek across America, the online and offline locations of those record sets, and helpful search strategies that will allow us to create a fuller picture of our ancestors’ experiences. This presentation includes discussions on cowboys, traveling preachers, midwives, Harvey Girls, and other service-providing occupations during the western migration.


Also Featuring

 Renee Garrick            Russ Horton            John Berg                Sarah J. Beer


Hotel Accommodations

Rooms are available at The Lismore Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton, at the rate of $109.00 plus tax for a room (single or double occupancy). 

Group Name: Gene-A-Rama 2023  

Dates: March 23 – 26, 2023

Group Rate:  $109/night 

Cutoff Date: February 23, 2023

Group Code: WSG

Direct Booking Link: https://www.hilton.com/en/book/reservation/deeplink/?ctyhocn=EAUDTDT&groupCode=CDTWSG&arrivaldate=2023-03-23&departuredate=2023-03-26&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT

Additional Booking Options:

  1. Booking on the Website:
        • Select the “special rates” tab and enter the three-letter group code) into the “Group Code” box.**make sure to select the “Accessible Rooms” Box to ensure you can see all of the room types in your block**
      1. Booking by calling the hotel directly:
          • Guests may also book their rooms by calling the hotel directly at (715) 835-8888 & select option “0” to be directed to the Lismore Hotels Front Desk (if guests select option “1”, they will be directed our Hilton Central Reservations Call center – they can book the room for the guest, but they cannot troubleshoot and often times give guests inaccurate information). Guests should reference the Group Code (WSG) when calling to book their room, that is the easiest way our Front Desk staff can find the room block.

        2023 Gene-A-Rama Agenda

        Friday, March 24th

        8:00 AM   Registration and Vendors Open
        9:00 AM     President’s Welcome, WSGS Annual Business Meeting
        10:00 AM   Break
        10:30 AM
        Katherine R Willson: Research in Foreign Countries
        11:30 AM    Lunch
        1:00 PM Renee Garrick: Sorting out a Blended Family Tree
        2:00 PM Break and Vendors open
        2:30 PM   Katherine R. Willson: Our European Ancestors’ Voyage to America
        3:30 PM     Break and Vendors open
        4:00 PM    John Berg: The Intersection of Genealogy and History: One Needs the Other, Right? When commonly accepted narratives are challenged by a new perspective.
        5:15 PM Cash Bar
        6:00 PM   Dinner and After Speaker
        Katherine R Willson: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Its Effect on Our American Ancestors

         

        Saturday, March 25th

         8:00 AM
         Registration and Vendors Open
        9:00 AM   Russ Horton: Germans in the Civil War
        10:00 AM     Break
        10:15 AM   Katherine R Willson: They Didn’t All Come Through Ellis Island Finding & Analyzing Passenger Arrival Lists
        11:15 AM    Lunch
        1:00 PM Sarah J. Beer: Following the Paper Trail: The Search for Hans Hanson
        2:00 PM
        Break
        2:30 PM Katherine R. Willson: America’s Westward Expansion: Records of Travelers & Service Providers
        3:30 PM   Closing Remarks / Safe Travels

         

        Registration

        No refunds will be given for those registering after February 25, 2023.
        Print and Mail 2023 GAR Registration



        Copyright © 2023 Wisconsin State Genealogical Society