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Vol. 6 No. 5 April - May 2018 Complimentary

A first for Buffalo as it hosts the Palatines Buffalo-Dortmund

to America German Genealogy Society Conference Sister Cities celebrates

by Steve Dlugosz unique partnership

For the first time in the more The Grosvenor Room at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library,
than 40-year history of the downtown Buffalo, will be a conference stop focusing on German
Palatines to America Ger- genealogy.
man Genealogy Society (PalAm
GCS) National Conference, Buffa- gion, where most of the NY Chap- fessional genealogist. She works A group from Buffalo meets with Dortmund Mayor Ullrich Sierau
lo will play host to the event, tak- ter members reside. However, for FamilySearch as a European
ing place June 13-16, 2018. Schmeider helped promote the research specialist. (at right) in Dortmund's city hall. City of Dortmund photo
WNY region's prominence of Ger-
A myriad of speakers possess- man heritage, and the PalAm A German social/banquet will by Steve Dlugosz weeks in Dortmund as part of the
ing a wealth of knowledge of the Board of Directors approved Buf- be held Friday, and Saturday it will 40th anniversary celebration. A
German culture and the Palatines, falo's hosting. include a meeting related to nation- This April, a Halfway-to-Ok- welcome celebration for the stu-
as well as number of workshops al PalAm issues. toberfest party coordinated dents will be held in the Aus-
and a German heritage bus tour of Previous years' conferences by the Buffalo-Dortmund landersgesellschaft NRW, along
Buffalo, are some of the features have drawn as many as 120 peo- Speakers throughout the con- Sister Cities Committee celebrates with a day trip to Amsterdam and
of the conference, which is being ple, although this year it is open ference include: Dr. John Philip the joining of German cultures, weekend visit to Berlin.
held at the Adam's Mark Hotel in and marketed to non-PalAm mem- Colletta, a Tonawanda native and between Germany and Western
Downtown Buffalo. bers as well as members. Becom- genealogical lecturer for more than New York. The event is one of Halfway Party proceeds will
ing a member is said to come at a 30 years who previously worked in several initiatives planned as part additionally be used to benefit the
Linda Schmeider, a WNY resi- nominal cost, a way of further at- the Library of Congress, longtime of the organization's promotion of Burt Nelson essay contest and to
dent who serves as the director at tracting interest locally. Schmeider faculty member in the Institute of German culture. maintain the Sister City partner-
large for the New York Chapter of said an aggressive marketing cam- Genealogy and Historical Research ship for citizens of Buffalo and
the PalAm GCS, is taking on for paign has included public relations at the University of Georgia, and The week after the Halfway Dortmund. The Burt Nelson essay
the first time the duty of coordinat- solicitation into Ontario, where a current teacher for the Smithsonian Party, the Lord Mayor of Dort- contest was established as a way
ing the conference as chairperson. large group of Germans were said Institution; Gary Finkell, presi- mund, Ullrich Sierau, is actually of honoring former Sister Cities
to have settled hundreds of years dent of the NY Chapter of PalAm coming to Buffalo to be welcomed Committee member Burt Nelson
"Finally it happened, after a lot ago. GCS and descendant of Palatine by the Buffalo Dortmund Sister and annually awards books and
of work," said Schmeider, a German settlers in NY Colony in Cities Committee to commemorate money to students who submit an
PalAm GCS member since 1985 She's been inundated with e- 1710 Johann Phillipp and Anna the 40th anniversary of the first essay. The contest is run in coop-
and longtime genealogist. "I al- mail response and general interest Catharina Finckel; Carolyn visit by a Dortmund official to eration with the German and For-
ways kept saying we should do from the region in general, adding Heald, longtime researcher of Irish Buffalo as an official Sister City. eign Language Teachers
something in Buffalo because that "her to-do list has grown sub- Palatine history and genealogy and Association of WNY.
there is no German-specific chap- stantially." There's already been author of several Irish Palatine The Halfway to Oktoberfest
ter there, but so much German four new Buffalo-area members books; Joseph Lieby, past presi- Party is on April 7, 2018 from Greg Engle serves as president
heritage there. I'm the only Buffa- who have joined the NY Chapter dent of the PalAm GCS and long- noon to 4 p.m. at Flying Bison of the Sister Cities Committee and
lo-area member in the New York since the announcement of Buffa- time genealogical researcher in the Brewery in Buffalo. Coincidently, said he has been in contact with
Chapter.… I'm happy, and we're lo's hosting of the Conference, ac- NY-New Jersey area; Bruce Ro- that day is also National Beer Day. Maureen Griffin Tomczak, the
getting some really good respons- cording to Schmeider. manchuck, retired educator and Included at the event will be Tim daughter of former Buffalo Mayor
es from people here so far." descendant of Palatine immigrants Herzog of Flying Bison brewing a James D. Griffin. It was stated that
The first day of the event in- in Germantown, NY, and social special Dortmund style lager and Mayor Griffin was in office when
2018 marks the 41st annual cludes a research trip experience at media/interactive expert in the area alt beer; the Auslanders band per- Buffalo and Dortmund officially
PalAm GCS Conference. the Grosvenor Room at the Buffa- of genealogy; Donald Schwert, forming live music; and Black became Sister Cities, with Griffin
Schmeider is a first-generation lo & Erie County Public Library, retired genealogist who resides in Forest Adler having German style also visiting Dortmund in May
German-American, her parents focusing on German genealogy. Fargo, North Dakota but whose food available. Proceeds from the 1979, becoming the first Buffalo
born in Germany before emigrat- lineage is directly traced through event will be used to benefit the mayor to do so.
ing to the United States. She previ- Day two includes a "WNY Buffalo; and Christopher White, Buffalo Dortmund Student Ex-
ously served as secretary in the German-American Experience" genealogist, gravestone conserva- change program, which includes Sister City roots
NY Chapter of the PalAm GCS, bus. It includes a 6 1/2 hour bus tor and independent historian who an every-other-year agreement in The origins of the Sister City
also working for 40 years as a tour that points out historical items focuses on Albany-area German- which students from Dortmund arrangement date back to 1972.
nurse. Schmeider has since devot- of interest, with two stops at muse- American history. host WNY students, with Dort- Then Dortmund native Herbert
ed much of her time to her chapter ums and a German-focused lunch. mund students the following year Morgenroth arrived in Buffalo as
work and was instrumental in It is the hope of Schmeider that traveling to hosting WNY stu- an exchange teacher at the Univer-
bringing to Buffalo the confer- There will also be on June 14 a Matthew Collard, Honorary Con- dents. sity at Buffalo as part of the pro-
ence, which rotates annually be- pre-conference workshop titled, sul for the German Honorary Con- gram under the auspices of the
tween the six states which "Basics of German Genealogy This summer, 16 students from
comprise the PalAm. Workshop" conducted by Baerbel continued on page 2 WNY will spend two and a half continued on page 2
Johnson, a German native and pro-
Typically when the conference
in held in NYS it is hosted by
Albany or the Hudson River Re-
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