Ryan Taylor Regina offers links to Europe
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By Ryan Taylor

Discover Our Links to Europe, an international genealogical conference, will be held in Regina on 19-21 July.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, the Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies, the Soceity for German Genealogy Eastern Europe, the East European Genealogical Society and the Bukovina Society. These societies are all usually known by their initials and that makes quite an alphabet soup of sponsors.

The lectures emphasize central and eastern European topics, which is an interesting turn for a large family history meeting. Some of them are general, including Canadian Immigration Records and Jewish Genealogy for the Non-Jewish Researcher. Others are very specific: Rules for Recruitment in the Austrian Army, 1740-1890 and Vital Records in Early 19th Century Russian Poland.

All the sessions have six offerings, so attendees will have to make choices among the rich possibilities. There are many lectures which concentrate on geographical regions. The obvious ones are Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Slovakia. More specialized areas are also highlighted: Volhynia, Banat, Pomerania, Bukovina. As well as Jewish genealogy, there is advice on Doukhobor roots.

An indication of the spreading international nature of genealogical research is the presence of Dr. Ayrton Celistino from Brazil. His presence is sponsored by the Brazilian government, who want to encourage genealogical tourism to their country.

Celistino will be talking about Volga Germans in Brazil. Many Volga German families split during immigration, some going to Brazil and others to Canada. Various family members who are interested in locating one another will be encouraged by Celestino’s description of the Association for Bukovina Culture in Parana.

Attendance at genealogical conferences has been falling over the past two or three years. This situation has been attributed to the new dependence on the internet for research.

Specialized conferences such as this one may be the wave of the future, however. People still need to learn how to do research in unfamiliar areas, and certainly eastern Europe falls in that category for most of us.

Availability of records in eastern Europe has been a high growth area for the past decade, not only at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City but in other specialist libraries. There are now many North American societies whose ethnic interests in the former Iron Curtain countries promote publications, research and exploratory trips to the old country.

The Discovering Our Links conference will be held at the Ramada Inn in Regina. Special room rates for attendees are available there (call 1-800-667-6500) or at the Regina Inn across the street (1-800-667-8162). More information about the conference can be found at the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society website. You can also reach SGS at Box 1894, Regina SK S4P 3E1, phone 306-780-9207. Questions can be referred to Laura Hanowski.


Paul Hutchinson of St. Catharines, Ontario, has created an online Niagara Newspaper Index. The index covers 120,000 events from 1793 to 1918. Hutchinson not only indexes the usual birth, death and marriage columns, but includes news items which give biographical details about residents, legal matters and building histories. He can also supply copies of articles from the newspapers.

The index is fee-based, but clients pay only when the results of the search are known.

Hutchinson’s small publishing house, Slabtown Press, also offers volumes of pre-1918 obituaries from St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and a history of Thorold during the War of 1812.

For more information about the index and publications, look at the Slabtown website, or write to Paul Hutchinson at 141 Bradley Street, St. Catharines ON L2T 1R8, phone 905-227-2699.

Column copyright © 2002 Ryan Taylor

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