Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Genealogy Vacation

I have recently returned from a twelve day vacation to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, Mitchell, South Dakota, and Stanton-Red Oak, Iowa.

In Minneapolis, I attended the three-day International Germanic Genealogy Conference hosted by the local society, Germanic Genealogy Society. This was the first conference and in 2019, our local society, Sacramento German Genealogy Society, will be the hosts! I met lots of genealogists from around the country and the world. Especially exciting was meeting in person, Ursula Krause from Berlin. Some of the classes I attended:
“Finding Your Ancestors in German Directories” – Ursula C. Krause
“World War I Era U.S. Alien Registrations” – Paula Stuart-Warren
“Meyers Orts Gazetteer” – Fritz Juengling
“Die Pfalz: Understanding and Researching in Palatine Records” – Richard Haberstroh
“Baltimore: The Golden Door for Immigrants” – Debra A Hoffman
“Pioneers and Colonists: Background of Germans in Eastern Europe” – James Beidler
The conference was a huge success, and the excitement and buzz heard between the classes was very encouraging. 

After the conference, my friend, Yvonne, and I rented a car to travel through parts of Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. She had some research to do in Owatonna, Minnesota, and I had some to do in Mitchell, South Dakota and Stanton, Iowa. We also got a little sightseeing done, too. More on that later.

Research in South Dakota concerned my homesteading Gleeson and Sullivan families. I visited Holy Family Catholic Church looking for a marriage record. At the Carnegie Resource Center, I found maps of the farming area and addresses and photos of residences in Mitchell. The register of deeds office in the courthouse was the biggest find. I spent part of two days there pulling and copying deeds.

Research in Iowa concerned my husband’s Lundquist families who settled in Montgomery County. Stanton is a quaint little town. We visited the two cemeteries for photos of the markers. Since the Swedish Cultural Center would not open until 1 p.m., we had an early lunch in town. There I read the newspaper I’d purchased at the gas station (love reading local news) and saw that the Red Oak Library had just digitized the local newspapers. We got in the car and drove over to Red Oak to check out that collection. I found about two dozen articles of interest and received those copies. The local historical society has a museum that was open and visited there, too. They also have many archival materials and I may be writing to them soon for some help.

Sightseeing Adventures
I love just driving along the highway and stopping whenever something looks interesting. We stopped at Sioux Falls and visited the falls.

Of course, in Mitchell we had to see the Corn Palace. We also toured the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.

A trip up to DeSmet to visit the Ingalls homestead was very worthwhile. The South Dakota prairie is so expansive!

A suggestion to visit the National Music Museum in Vermillion at the University of South Dakota was the best. There were so many interesting old musical instruments on display. With ipods, we were able to learn of its history and listen to music being played on the instruments.

In Omaha, we visited the Lorenzen Garden and Durham Museum. Between the two, I clocked in over 12,000 steps!

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. what a great trip, love the photos!!!!

  2. What a fun adventure to share with a researching friend! Loved your post.

  3. What a great adventure with a researcher buddy. Glad you had such a great time.


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