Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Speaker Spotlight: Chuck Knuthson

Chuck Knuthson has only been to Chicago once and is really looking forward to the conference! He will make the most of his trip, with plans to stop in Fort Wayne and Cleveland for personal research.
Read More About Chuck Knuthson


Chuck, who hails from California, says, "My paternal g-g-grandparents (Jacob Knuth/Knuthson and Regina Meier) emigrated from Germany, Jacob from Holstein in northern Germany in May 1852, and Regina from Bavaria in southern Germany in October 1853. They lived in New York City for several years, where they met. They married in early 1855 and had two children before they left in the summer of 1859, sailing to Panama and crossing the Isthmus and then sailing to San Francisco. They traveled about two hundred miles north to Downieville, Sierra County, California where my great-grandfather was born a few months after their arrival. They lived the rest of their lives in Sierra County and the family has been in California ever since."

Chuck's German heritage makes him well-suited to present several lecures on the topic. Beginning German Research (F303) will cover the basics of how to research German immigrant ancestors in both U.S. and foreign records. A brief explanation of the importance of U.S. research will be followed by an explanation of the kinds of records likely available in Germany as well as issues that must be addressed in doing foreign research, such as identifying our ancestor in the foreign records, dealing with foreign language(s), unfamiliar handwriting, changing European place names and jurisdictions, etc.

German Migrations to America (F312) will chronicle emigration from Germany to America over the last four hundred years, including a brief examination of the various periods of German immigration, possible reasons for emigration, ports or departure and arrival, the journey and several other factors.

Chuck will lead the NGS German Special Interest Group Roundtable (F330). This roundtable will allow members and others interested in German research an opportunity to share research experiences and strategies, discuss repositories and research resources, ask questions, discuss what should be available online at the German SIG site, etc. You do not need to be a member of the German SIG or even a member of NGS to attend this informative session. If you have an interest in German research, you are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion. All are welcome.

Chuck has been studying and conducting genealogical research for thirty years. For the past twelve years he has instructed beginning genealogy classes at two Sacramento-area community colleges. He lectures locally, regionally, and nationally, and is the volunteer coordinator for the Sierra County GenWeb website of the California GenWeb Project, and a volunteer librarian at the Sacramento LDS Family History Center.

Chuck has completed seminars at Brigham Young University, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the National Institute on Genealogical Research, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. He has attended numerous local, state, and national seminars, institutes, and conferences. Chuck serves as Treasurer for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, is President of the 1,300-member Sacramento German Genealogy Society, and is a member of numerous other genealogical and professional organizations. He is working toward certification as a professional genealogist. A retired police captain, Chuck served for thirty-two years with the Roseville California Police Department.

Chuck has a busy schedule, with the Utah Genealogical Association seminar in March, NGS in June, and FGS in Boston. We are fortunate to have him visit us in Chicago and wish him well on his genealogy jaunts in the Midwest!

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