Thursday, May 31, 2012

Speaker Profile: Shirley J. Riemer

Please welcome Shirley J. Riemer as a speaker at Family History Day at the California State Archives.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Shirley J. Riemer earned her Masters Degree in English from Carnegie-Mellon University.  She taught high school English for ten years, then worked in the communications field for 22  years – 20 years in Pennsylvania and two years in California.

Following her retirement, her book, The German Research Companion, was published in 1997, followed by a second edition in 2000, now sold out.  For the third edition, which appeared in April 2010, she added two additional authors for their expertise: Dr. Roger P. Minert and Jennifer A. Anderson.

In 2001 she co-authored with Dr. Roger P. Minert the book Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors. 

For the last 20 years, she has published Der Blumenbaum, the award-winning quarterly journal of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society.  For the last eleven years she has also published  the quarterly newsletter, Mitteilungen, for the Sacramento Turn Verein's German-American Cultural Center – Library.  In response to her never-ending awe of the history and culture of our ancestors,  she has made 44 visits to Germany since 1971.

As the editor of German-interest publications, Shirley has worked extensively with German family history researchers known nationally for their expertise in the field – in order to assist her in disseminate information helpful to descendants of German immigrants who are actively pursuing their German family history.

Shirley will be presenting Introduction to German Research.  This session will focus on the steps – in 1,2,3 order – that the German family historian must take to gain an understanding of the cultural, historical and genealogical facts essential to German ancestral research. The basics of the Second German Empire as they are relative to German research will be laid out so as to create an understanding of the basic organization of German and German-American records. A brief overview of German church and civil records, some peculiarities of such records, and a number other basic research tools will be discussed.  Also, some “get creative” approaches will be laid out for use in attacking sticky problems.

Shirley can be contacted at, telephone (916) 421-8032, or cell (916) 320-0774.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

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