Friday, July 30, 2021

Registration is open!

 You can now register for the SGGEE virtual conference. Please follow these instructions.

SGGEE members

If you are a current member of SGGEE, you may register and participate in the convention at no cost. You'll open the member registration form, which will prompt you to log into the website with your username and password.

If you've forgotten your username and/or password, you can use the "initiate reset" button to get that information. Provide your email address and click the button. NOTE: You must use the email address you used in your membership application. If you are still having trouble, email to membership-sggee@googlegroups.com. Don't wait until the last minute to get assistance; our membership volunteers have limited time each week to address questions.

 

Once you're logged in, complete the form and submit. Your registration is recorded, and you'll get information about connecting on ZOOM closer to the event.

We draw your attention to the section on the form about the need for volunteers. Events such as this, all our projects and most of all, the running of the society itself do not happen on their own. Consider giving a few hours over the course of a year to help keep SGGEE successful.

Non-members

You are welcome to participate in the convention-only for $20 CAN. Or you can pay our standard $40 CAN membership fee and participate at no additional cost.

Complete the non-member registration form and submit. NOTE: When you are asked for payment through PayPal do not use your personal PayPal account; simply choose to pay with a credit or debit card. We cannot accept any other payment method. 

Your registration is recorded, and you'll get information about connecting on ZOOM closer to the event.

Links to both registration forms are on the SGGEE home page.

Questions about registration may be sent to convention-sggee@googlegroups.com.

SPEAKER: Uwe Krickhahn

About Uwe

Uwe Krickhahn born 1934 in Hamburg, Germany, where he learned the trade of metal fitter and locksmith.

He emigrated to Canada in 1959 and quickly began working in what became his life-long career in the automotive industry as a mechanic, repair shop owner and then dealership owner selling Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Audi and Hyundai.

Uwe retired in 1999 and went to serve on various community boards. He was elected twice as the president of the Medicine Hat Rotary Club. He joined the Medicine Hat Genealogical Society in 2001, serving as president for three years, and developed obituary software used by the society.

He started to develop Kartenmeister.com in 1995 and made it available to the public on March 31, 2001. In the process, Uwe acquired a sizable collection of German maps and gained familiarity with old German script, Polish and Russian.

Kartenmeister is used extensively by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. He is not associated with the church.

In his free time he is building Free Mini Libraries, which are sold by the local library as fundraiser. He also is building birdhouses for local distribution and initiated a Books on Buses system. It makes surplus books available to the patrons of the public transportation system. Uwe also distributes books to the local Women’s Shelter, Food Bank, Tourist Office and Camp Ground.

He was awarded the Environmental Award for the City of Medicine Hat twice.

Uwe does most of business on his bicycle, plays golf and walks his nine holes pulling his cart behind him. He has been married for almost 60 years to Anke, and has two daughters and 5 grandchildren.

About his presentation: Kartenmeister

Kartenmeister is the most comprehensive database of its kind in the world with 108,246 locations along with their name changes where relevant. 

All locations are east of the Oder and Neisse rivers and are based on the borders of the eastern German provinces in spring 1918. Covered are: East Prussia, including Memel; West Prussia; Brandenburg; Posen; Pomerania; and Silesia. It currently list most towns or points, points being: Mills, some bridges, battlefields, named trees, cenotaphs etc.

Uwe will give us a thorough  presentation of Kartenmeister.com. Afterward, you will be able to decipher, with the few letters on your paperwork of any kind, the location(s) your ancestors came from.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Speaker: Dr. William Remus

About William

William Remus is an Emeritus (retired) Professor of Information Technology Management at the University of Hawaii. Emeritus was a term used by the Roman
Army for retired Roman warriors.

It was popular in the 1500’s to Latinize German family names so Rem (that is Saxon for spearman) became Remus.

His family left the Dresden area about 1700 for Poland, 1750 for West Prussia, 1860 for Volhynia, 1892 for Canada, 1924 for Michigan and Bill finally made it to Hawaii in 1976.

He still continues to do research. In recent years, Bill has become interested in the history of the Germans in Eastern Europe (modern Poland and Russia). He regularly gives presentations of this topic and is past president of the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (SGGEE). His articles appear in the SGGEE Journal.

About his presentation: German migrations

Bill will talk about how all those Germans ended up in Volhynia. It took many generations to do so. There were many small steps to moving that far. This appears as an article in SGGEE Journal so all the text, websites, and internet locations are found there. No need to write them down. Just enjoy the story of what happened.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

SPEAKER: Dave Obee

About Dave

Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given more than 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997. He is one of the founding members of SGGEE, and spoke at the first gathering, in Calgary in 1998.

He is Editor and Publisher of the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972.

He was a member of the services consultation committee at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa for four years. He is also a former member of the board of Canada's History Society. Dave is a regular columnist for Internet Genealogy magazine and Your Genealogy Today magazine, formerly Family Chronicle.

In 2012, Dave published Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census. Dave is also the author of Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records, published in 2010. Dave is also the co-author (with Sherry Irvine) of Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide, published by Ancestry in 2007.

Dave runs Volhynia.com as well as CanGenealogy, a Canadian link site that is selective and sorted for ease of use

In 2012 Dave was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Victoria for his work as a historian, genealogist and journalist. In 2017 Dave was awarded the annual Bill Good award, which recognizes a B.C. journalist, leader or educator who has made a significant impact in journalism and in the community at large.

Dave has visited 17 countries in Europe, and has done genealogical research in most of them. He has a keen interest in world war battle areas in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. He served as president of the Foundation for East European Family History Studies from 2004 through 2007.

About his presentation: Destruction, Departure and Deportation: The Zhitomir district under Nazi rule

In July 1941, a few days after Germany declared war on the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht arrived in the Zhitomir area. The ethnic Germans in the colonies northwest of Zhitomir greeted the German army with open arms, believing that their presence would bring better times. That was true for some people, but not for long. Within 28 months the German colonists were forced to flee with little more than the clothes on their backs.

The great trek in November 1943 marked the end of about 15 years of misery for the colonists, as well as the end of the dream of a peaceful life in Ukraine. They had witnessed the forced collectivization of farms, the famine inflicted by the Soviet government, and show trials and mass killings that had been designed to please the Communist leaders. It was no wonder that the ethnic Germans welcomed the invasion.

The German soldiers brought Nazi philosophy to Ukraine, which resulted in the sudden disappearance of the Jewish families that had been found in many villages. Colonists known to have been friends with Jews were questioned. Beyond that, the colonists were considered to be just barely acceptable compared to the Aryan ideal. They were often treated with contempt by the German authorities.

This presentation provides context that will help explain the events that led to the end of the German settlements. Drawing from records created by the German administration, including the work of Karl Stumpp’s village reports, as well as the EWZ (Einwandererzentralstelle) immigration records and academic analyses, this presentation will tell of the final months of the German colonies.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

SPEAKER: André Hammann

About André

Andre Hammann
André was born in Três de Maio, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, He and his wife have two daughters. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree and an MBA in Business Management. André works in the agricultural machinery industry; as a project manager for John Deere in Brazil, he is involved in the development of the new tractor factory there.

 He speaks Portuguese, English, German and Spanish.

André  is a hobby genealogist with a special interest in German and Austrian genealogy in Brazil. That's because 85 of his immigrant ancestors came from different German-speaking places between 1825-1897.

He is a board member of GenealogiaRS and the International German Genealogy Partnership, in which SGGEE also participates. Other membership include DAGV and VFFOW. André lectures and writes books related to German and Austrian genealogy in Brazil.

About his presentation: "German Immigration in Brazil – Historical and Cultural aspects"

Brazil has the second largest number of German immigrants after the USA, and André will provide an overview of their lives and times, primarily since 1824 when mass immigration began. He'll review the reasons why Brazil was chosen by so many, the hard beginning in the southern regions of Brazil, how it was to be the first Protestants in a Catholic country, and their contribution to agriculture and industrial development. André will also review how German-Brazilians maintained their culture and language through the persecution during WWI and WWII and since. And FYI: German-speaking immigrants arrived from all the regions where they lived in Europe.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Preliminary schedule & speakers


For your planning purposes, programs are timed in the Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) zone. We will start Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. PDT and run into the early afternoon in that time zone.

You'll need to calculate the program timing in your zone. For example, 9 a.m. PDT is noon Eastern Daylight Time, so the convention programs will run into the early evening for participants there.

Here's a time zone converter.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 18, 2021

9 a.m. PDT Opening and welcome

9:10  - 10:10 a.m. PDT Karl Krueger | EWZ records (about the speaker)

10:20 - 11 a.m. PDT Annual General Meeting (members only)

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. PDT Uwe Krickhahn | Kartenmeister

12:25 - 1:25 p.m. PDT Bill Remus | German migrations

SUNDAY, SEPT. 19, 2021

 9 a.m. PDT Welcome

9:10 - 10:10 a.m. PDT Andre Hamman | Germans in Brazil

10:20 - 11:20 a.m. PDT Dave Obee | German-occupied Ukraine 1943-44

11:30 a.m. PDT - ? "Zoom rooms" | small group chats

The convention team is considering how we can facilitate small group chats so that participants can talk with each other, replicating what would normally be the hallway chats, the dinner conversations and coffee break exchanges. Stay tuned!


SPEAKER: Karl Krueger

About Karl 

Karl KruegerKarl is the youngest sibling and only US-born member of his family. The birthplaces of his older siblings trace a historical trail starting near Lublin, Poland to Warthegau and then into West Germany within 20-30 kilometers of the East German border. Prior to this all his ancestors lived in Russian Poland since the very early 1800s and by 1870 they all had settled near Lublin.

Although the action of EWZ had provided his family with much of this genealogical data giving Karl a great head start, it was his desire to dig deeper that led him to SGGEE, where Sigrid Pohl Perry and he shortly discovered they were 3rd cousins. Our backgrounds are so similar and the research projects we undertook naturally involved cooperation between us and other “Lublinites.” His research has also brought him in contact with previously unknown 3rd, 4th, and 5th cousins, the latter of which includes a close friend of his in Maryland since 1981, only discovering this surprising relationship after they had known each other for over 25 years.

Since becoming a member of SGGEE in 2003 Karl has led an EWZ extraction project for Germans in the Lublin area, which is deposited in the Master Pedigree Database (MPD), headed the indexing of the Lublin Digital Archive, and is the current SGGEE webmaster.

Karl and his wife Brenda have two sons but are now empty nesters living in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He works at the National Cancer Institute administrating programs attempting to achieve early detection of cancer. His background in biochemistry and molecular biology prompted him to become a genealogical pioneer for SGGEE into a new realm of DNA research involving next generation sequencing, where now complete human genome sequencing is relatively affordable. Unfortunately, it is too premature to present experiences with this “data download” as he only obtained his genome sequence in May.

About his presentation: EWZ Indexes

Since 2017 Family Search had posted online 68 microfilms of EWZ Stammblätter (ancestral pages) corresponding to over 300,000 records. Family Search does not provide an index to determine where persons processed through EWZ might be found in this collection. This talk will provide an overview of EWZ, what you might learn from these records, describe how these records are ordered, and what resources are available to find the Stammblatt number for anyone of interest you suspect was processed through EWZ.

The first of these resources we will discuss is available online in Germany referred to as Invenio. The second resource is available within the MPD database of SGGEE. Many years ago a project by several SGGEE volunteers had extracted genealogical information of people from the Lubelskie province from EWZ for inclusion in MPD. For those who wish to research their relatives from the Lublin/Chelm area this extracted information provides an index for the corresponding Stammblatt numbers which can now be easily found online. SGGEE has posted a spreadsheet displaying the Stammblatt number ranges for the different towns of this region making it possible for anyone to do online research of these communities as they existed at the outbreak of World War II.

In order to give practical instruction on how to find specific Stammblatt numbers (the key to finding the records you are interested in) this presentation will demonstrate the use of the Invenio site and also give instruction on using the spreadsheet index provided by Team Lublin. Additional discussion will describe the challenges of trying to find records in this collection from other localities of interest to SGGEE members such as Polish Volhynia, Galicia, and other regions of eastern Poland. In addition, a short deviation will reveal documentation on using the Odessa Digital Library to research EWZ records from Soviet Russia pre-World War II.