IGS holds a Spring Conference, a Fall & Annual Conference, and seminars. Watch for announcement posts.

IGS 8th Annual Spring Conference: April 8, 2017

Back To Your Roots

J H Fonkert CG SMJ H Fonkert CGSM

For most of his career, Jay worked as a state government policy analyst — a kind of work that required research, analysis and problem-solving. After he heard a couple of accomplished genealogists talk about evidence analysis and methodology, he was hooked. He has since attended professional genealogy education institutes in Washington, D.C., Birmingham, Alabama, and Salt Lake City, and has learned from some of the best.

Jay’s family history heritage reaches back to The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. His wife’s Irish, English, German, Norwegian and Swedish origins also keep him busy. But, his favorite family is Fawkner family of Indiana and Kentucky. The Fawkners are his window on fascinating early American history.

He remains active as past-president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and is a Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists (2010-2011).

Professional Memberships:

  • Association of Professional Genealogists (Northland Chapter)
  • National Genealogical Society
  • Minnesota Genealogical Society
  • Genealogical Speakers Guild


8:00 Registration
9:00 Announcements

9:15-10:15 Finding Your Ancestors’ European Origins: A 3-Step Strategy

10:15-10:45 Break

10:45-11:45 Documenting the Immigration Trail: A Five-stage Approach

11:45-1:00 LUNCH (provided)

1:00-2:00 Why Were They There?

2:00-2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30 Use All the Sources: A Complex Case of Confounded Identity


Download and print this form: IGS Spring Registration


Register online

Finding Your Ancestors’ European Origins: A 3-Step Strategy

Learn where to find clues to where your immigrants came from, locate obscure hometowns on maps, and make a certain match of American and European families. This lecture uses examples from 19th and 20th century English, Dutch, Scandinavian and Italian families and single individuals.

Documenting the Immigration Trail: A Five-stage Approach

Immigration was a chain of events: preparations to leave home, embarkation at a port, arrival in an American port, getting established in a new community, and gaining U.S. citizenship. Learn how to use records to document the entire process.

Why Were They There?

Finding where your ancestors came from is one thing. Figuring out
why they settled where they did is another. Your ancestors might have traveled in a group, followed friends, or set out for a hot job location. Learn to use a variety of sources to understand why they were where they where.

Use All the Sources: A Complex Case of Confounded Identity

Learn the importance of using every available source to sort out identity and create a problem-solving timeline of a name changing
Norwegian immigrant’s life. Learn how Carrie became Clara, how Sigrid became Vivian, and Hjalmer Petersen became Earl Moore.