James M. Beidler

James M. Beidler is currently working on his third commercially published book, titled The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide, having previously written The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide and Trace Your German Roots Online. His weekly “Roots & Branches” column is an award-winning weekly newspaper column on genealogy that has run for nearly twenty years.

He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and edits Der Kurier, the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society. He is also an instructor for the online Family Tree University and contributor to Family Tree Magazine.

He was President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors from 2010 to 2012 and is the former Executive Director for the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. He served as national co-chairman for the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia.

Beidler also has written for other periodicals, including scholarly journals such as The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine.

He sits on the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Digital Newspaper Project and Pennsylvania’s State Historic Records Advisory Board.

He is an Enrolled Agent tax preparer and previously was a copy editor for 15 years for The Patriot-News newspaper in Harrisburg, PA.

Researching German Ancestors
Friday, 31 March 2017
1:30-2:30 p.m.
(F51) German for Genealogists. This skills workshop teaches the basic vocabulary and formats to enable the participants to read tombstones, church records and simple documents of German-speaking people. Included is practice writing and deciphering handwritten cursive script from a variety of centuries as well as detailing the quirks of the printed Fraktur font.
3:00-4:00 p.m.
(F52) Finding a German Heimat Online.  Researching your ancestors deep into Germany simply doesn’t happen unless you know the name of the village of origin. This presentation goes over the sources to tie your immigrant to a Heimat and then find the village and its records!
4:30-5:30 p.m.
(F53) Mining the “┼░ber-sites” for German Ancestors.  While there’s a galaxy of Internet sites that can help you with your German genealogy, some stars shine brighter than others –and it’s not just Ancestry and FamilySearch, although those two 500-pound canaries both have huge assets for those seeking Deutsch ancestors.
7:00-8:00 p.m.
(F54) Online German Church Registers, Duplicates and Substitutes.  No genealogist with German-speaking ancestors avoids using church records, and the good news is that many more of them are coming online in digital form. It’s important, however, to know whether you’re looking at originals, duplicates or extracts from these records –this presentation will explain the differences.