Pennsylvania Events 



Lancaster Family History Conference this April 

  • James M. Beidler will give the keynote address at this year’s Lancaster Family History Conference, looking at how to use newspapers for genealogical research.  
  • Early registration for the Family History Conference is due March 27, registration closes April 10.  

Lancaster, Pa., March 1, 2018—Historic newspapers provide a valuable sense of the way our local communities functioned a century or more ago. Now more than ever, historic newspapers are becoming digitized and easily accessible to everyone everywhere. The 2018 Lancaster Family History Conference will examine how newspapers enhance family history. Writer and columnist James M. Beidler will share insights in his keynote speech, “Extra! Extra! Research All About It.” He is the author of the newly published Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide as well as the “Roots and Branches” newspaper column and blog. 

The Lancaster Family History Conference offers workshops that will help attendees learn how to use historical newspapers in “Letterpress to Digital: Using Historical Newspapers” and “Zeitung Sightings, German-language Newspapers Worldwide.” Other workshops will address additional aspects of family history research: “Colonial Church Records,” “No Good Deed Goes Unrecorded,” and “Some Early Swiss Records of Our Mennonite Ancestors.” 

The conference also addresses history related to Lancaster County in “Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre Stories from Lancaster County Newspapers,” “The Underground Railroad of Lancaster County,” “Amish and Mennonites: Connections, Distinctions, Clarifications,” and “Introduction to Pennsylvania Dutch” dialect. 

Field trips and research seminars will take place on Thursday and Friday before the conference. Attendees have the opportunity to visit local Underground Railroad sites on a bus tour. Research seminars include special research assistance, a DNA roundtable discussion, and learning how to decipher German script. Milo G. Miller will discuss the role of The Budget, a newspaper read in Amish communities. 

The conference runs April 19 to 21, 2018. The Saturday conference will take place 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster. Registration is available online at or by calling Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society at (717) 393-9745. Registration for field trips and seminars is done separately from the conference, but priority seating will be given to conference attendees. 

This conference is part of over forty Lancaster Roots 2018 events. Lancaster Roots combines the events of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and the 1719 Hans Herr House & Museum. Through public presentations, food, music, field trips, and classes, these events reveal Lancaster and its people: their stories, culture, and history. 


Media Contact: 


Joel Nofziger 

Director of Communications 

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society
Lancaster Roots
2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster PA 17602
717 393 9745


To view a printable handout with the above conference info, click here.



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