The National Nordic Museum's Virtual Nordic Genealogy Conference provides resources about family history and lineage to a wide global audience with internationally renowned experts.
Agenda for Genealogy Conference
All registered participants will have access to view our live keynote lectures on September 26 and 27 via webcasting. After the live keynote presentations, you will be able to curate your own conference program by selecting the sessions that interest you most. All sessions are available for repeat viewings until September 26, 2021.
Detailed descriptions of all keynotes and sessions can be viewed as a PDF here.
September 26th, 10:00 am PDT: Mining, Logging, and Fishing: Early Work in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Janice Lovelace
September 26th, 11:00 am PDT: Names: Their Origins, Meanings, and Peculiarities, Dr. Fritz Juengling
September 27th, 10:00 am PDT: Piecing Together Your Family Jigsaw Puzzle with DNA Clustering, Craig Gowens
Full List of Conference Sessions:
*Voices of Culture: A Discussion on Seattle Area Oral History Programs, the National Nordic Museum, the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, & the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
Scandinavian Feast Dates and Calendars, Dr. Fritz Juengling
Learning to Extract Information from Scandinavian Documents, Dr. Fritz Juengling
Introduction to Genetic Genealogy, Craig Gowens
Developing a DNA Testing Plan, Craig Gowens
ArkivDigital and Swedish Records, Kathy Meade
Swedish Genealogy in a Computer World, Kathy Meade
Nordic Genealogy in the Seattle Area, Kathi McGinnes
Learning About our Diverse Cultural Heritages: Who Are My Ancestors, Dr. Sven Haakanson
Nationalism and Language in Finland, Dr. Jason Lavery
Mikael Agricola: Father of the Finnish Language, Dr. Jason Lavery
Basic Norwegian Genealogy, Liv Birgit Christensen
Advanced Norwegian Genealogy, Liv Birgit Christensen
How to Trace Your Ancestors…Literally!, Betty Kreisel Shubert
Using Scandinavian Records When You Don't Know the Language, Jill Morelli, CG
A Danish Case Study: Finding the Parents of Ole Christian Christensen, Jill Morelli, CG
Oral History for Genealogy: Going Beyond Names and Dates, Alison DeRiemer
The Book of Settlements in Iceland: Man’s First Encounter with a New Land as Remembered through Genealogy and Landownership, Dr. Gísli Sigurðsson
Destination Canada, Dave Obee
Family History in Western Canada, Dave Obee
Tracing Your Scandinavian Families in Canada, M. Diane Rogers
Scandinavian Community Centre/Scandinavian Cultural Society, Southwestern British Columbia, M. Diane Rogers
Beginning Scandinavian Research, Jenny Hansen
The FamilySearch Research Wikis, Jenny Hansen
Pruning Your Family Tree, Jenny Hansen
Introduction to the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Jill Seaholm
Records from the Danish West Indies from the Collection of the Danish National Archives, Poul Olsen
Sleuthing Strategies: Dating and Tracing Family Heirlooms Using Museum Methods, Leslie Anne Anderson
**Resources and Research from the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, Terje Mikael Hasle Joranger
**Resources from the Sámi Archives at the National Archives of Finland, Juha Heinonen
**Genealogical Research at the Museum of Danish America, Amanda Skellenger
**Icelandic Roots: Genealogy, History, Ancestors, Cousins, and More, Sunna Olafson Furstenau
**Sámi Identity and Genealogy: What Does it Mean to be Sámi?, Troy Storfjell
*This session will be made publicly available on the Museum's YouTube channel.
**These sessions are included with all tiers of registration.
- Research Consultant at the Family History Library
Dr. Fritz Juengling is an Accredited Genealogist for Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, and Sweden through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, and is certified by the Verband deutschsprachiger Berufsgenealogen.
- DNA Genealogy Expert
Craig Gowens is a web developer and programmer for a small software company. He developed a love for genealogy at a young age when he started helping his father comb through Census records on microfilm at the local public library in the 1980’s. Craig started on the path of using DNA to assist his genealogical research in 2013 and has now tested over 40 members of his extended family. Genetic Genealogy holds a special appeal to him, melding his expertise in math and science with a love of history he inherited from his parents, who were both social studies educators.
Craig believes in using a wide assortment of tools to maximize the effectiveness of genealogical DNA testing, and has even utilized visual phasing techniques to recreate full and partial DNA profiles of his grandparents and great grandparents, who died before the advent of direct-to-consumer genealogical DNA testing.
He has presented on DNA related topics before the Austin Genealogical Society, Williamson County Genealogical Society, Sno-Isle Genealogical Society and Seattle Genealogical Society and attended numerous conferences, including the International Conference on Genetic Genealogy and RootsTech.
Craig lives in southern Snohomish County and when he isn’t researching his family history enjoys hiking and landscape photography, especially in the National Parks.
- Genealogical Researcher and Professor
Janice Lovelace, Ph.D. is a genealogical researcher, author and lecturer, with over thirty years of experience. Dr. Lovelace is a frequent speaker at national and regional genealogy conferences on health and genetics, ethnic minority genealogy, and research methodology. She authored the National Genealogical Society’s continuing education course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective and is an instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI).
She is a national board member of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and serves on her local society’s board. She belongs to the Ohio Genealogical Society, AAHGS, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and local societies.
Gísli Sigurðsson is a Research Professor at the Árni Magnússon Institute at the University of Iceland. He studied in Iceland, Canada and Ireland and has served as a Visiting Professor in Winnipeg, Stavanger and Berkeley. He works on orality and textualisation in the eddas, sagas and more recent folklore. Gísli has published monographs on his research in English as well as in Icelandic. He has edited a complete annotated edition of Eddic poetry and a collection o settlement lore from Canada and the U.S.; in addition to curating exhibitions on the settlement of Iceland, the Vinland voyages and the manuscripts. His current work revolves around ethnic astronomy and the social role of narratives of both the mythical and saga kind.
Professor Jason Lavery is the Regents Professor for the History Department at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Lavery's scholarship has focused on the religious and political history of early modern Germany and Scandinavia. He is a permanent adjunct professor at Helsinki University in Finland and has served as the president for the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study.
Jill Morelli, Certified Genealogist, is a writer, lecturer, and researcher of her Scandinavian and northern German ancestors. She facilitates two online courses for the Seattle Genealogical Society: the "Certification Discussion Group" and "Write As You Go!" She lectures nationally on methodology and Scandinavian resources and case studies and has written articles for National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Swedish American Genealogist, Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly and many others. Jill is past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society, a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists, New York Biographical & Genealogical Society, and many local genealogical societies.
Alison DeRiemer is Archivist & Oral History Specialist at the National Nordic Museum. Since 2013, she has worked with the museum’s oral history program, Nordic American Voices, as transcriber, interviewer, video editor, and archivist. She also has served as co-conductor of the museum’s Interwoven Oral History Program, participating as a panelist at the 2018 Interwoven Symposium. Currently she is collecting stories related to the COVID-19 health crisis for the museum’s Pandemic Preserved Oral History Project. Alison also works with oral history programs at the Ballard Historical Society and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society. She holds a BA in Art History and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, and an MA in Museology from the University of Washington.
Over 10 years ago, Kathi began researching her Norwegian heritage after discovering a paternal great grandfather was born in Norway. Even though she only had a name and an approximate date of birth, she successfully located where in Norway he was born and raised. While still continuing with her own research, she's been assisting others with their Nordic research. In addition to providing consultations for the National Nordic Museum's monthly Genealogy Program, Kathi also co-chairs a Scandinavian Interest Group sponsored by the Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS). she also been responsible for responding to requests that SGS receives for research assistance. Many of those requests are from individuals seeking information on their Scandinavian ancestors that immigrated to the Seattle area.
M. Diane Rogers is a genealogy teacher, researcher and speaker based in British Columbia, Canada. She has been researching family history around the world for over 20 years, including surname and place name studies. Rogers is the editor of the British Columbia Genealogist, facilitator of the British Columbia Genealogical Society's DNA, Scandinavian and Legacy software groups, and President of the Vancouver Postcard Club.
Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given more than 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997.He is Editor and Publisher of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972. In 2012 Dave was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Victoria for his work as a historian, genealogist and journalist.
Professor Sven Haakanson is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington and is Curator of North American Anthropology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. In 2007, Professor Haakanson received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his work at reviving and giving contemporary meaning to indigenous languages, customs, and culture in Alaska.
Liv Birgit Christensen is a professional genealogist specializing in Norwegian family history research. She presents workshops, classes, and webinars internationally on Norwegian genealogy. She is a panelist on Mondays with Myrt, a weekly webinar that gives "practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians." Christensen has over 20 years of genealogical research experience in Norway and internationally.
Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to Swedish historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for more than fifteen years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy throughout the United States. Ms. Meade serves on the advisory board for the Swedish American Genealogy Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago and also volunteers at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Arlington, Heights, Illinois, helping patrons with their Swedish genealogical research. In a prior life, she lived and worked in Sweden and Norway for 7 years during the 90’s learning the languages.
Leslie Anne Anderson is the National Nordic Museum’s Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs. Previously, she was Curator of European, American, and Regional Art at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah, and she gained experience at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the National Gallery of Denmark, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For six years, she taught art history courses at Brooklyn College, Parsons the New School for Design, and Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design; and she served as a six-time reader for the Advanced Placement Art History exam. Anderson has been the recipient of the Association of Art Museum Curators Award for Excellence, a Fulbright Research Grant (Denmark), an American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship, the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study’s Haugen Memorial Scholarship, and a Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellowship. She has published articles on 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century art in the scholarly publications Journal 18, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, Norwegian-American Studies, and Rutgers Art Review. From 2017 until 2020, she served as Field Editor for West Coast Exhibitions for the journal caa.reviews. Anderson is currently a member of the College Art Association's Council of Readers, and she serves as Regional Chair of the University of Florida Association of Hispanic Alumni.
Betty Kreisel Shubert sold her first design to a manufacturer at age 13…the year was 1938: It was that season’s Best Seller. She had two hit Hollywood shows to her credit at age 18 under her maiden name , Betty Colburn. A long career followed . for stage, screen, TV Specials, Ready-to-Wear, Las Vegas Musicals, , Disney, Disneyland, & Disney Imagineering. Betty had her own Costume Shops in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, where she employed the skilled craftspeople of The Motion Picture Costumers Union , from whom she learned advanced skills of cutting-fitting (pattern-making and millinery.
She became the only working designer who saw the sequential changes in fashion from the 1930's to the 2020's, with the ability to articulate and Illustrate the sequential changes in fashion as she lived it! The 700 charming , sequential sketches in her multi award winning book, Out of Style: An Illustrated Guide to Vintage Fashions are not “designs." They are ‘Composites,' out of the style clues that identify an era. Betty became well-known when she wrote for ANCESTRY Magazine, where her column was titled OUT-OF-STYLE. Through her column, Betty helped date old family photographed by the style clues in the clothes worn.
Jenny Hansen, AG® graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Family History and Genealogy. In 1999 she received her Genealogy Accreditation® in Danish research. She worked for Ancestry.com as an acquisitions genealogist, adding content to their website. She currently performs client research, and she especially enjoys teaching genealogy. She has become a popular speaker at many regional and national conferences. Her hobbies include reading, finding old churches and cemeteries, and doing anything outside with her family. Follow her at www.MyFavoriteAncestor.com.
Poul Olsen has worked at the Danish National Archives for almost 40 years. Throughout that time, he has studied Danish colonialism, focusing on the history between Denmark and the Caribbean. Olsen holds a Masters degree in Economic History from the University of Copenhagen and currently serves as a member of the NATO Archives Committee and on the Board of Virgin Island Social History Associates.
Jill Seaholm was raised in Moline, Illinois by extreme 100% Swedish-American parents. At 14 she was lucky enough to go on a family trip to visit newly-discovered relatives in Sweden, and from there was hooked on all things Swedish. At Augustana College she majored in Scandinavian Studies, learning the Swedish language and attending the Augustana Summer School in Sweden. Jill tutored others in Swedish and already worked at the Swenson Center as a student assistant, indexing and doing research, and earned a certificate from the Midwest Travel Institute. She has worked at the Swenson Center full time for nearly 28 years and has helped countless Swedish Americans find their way back across the Atlantic. She wears many hats at the Swenson Center, including writer of the occasional article in the Swenson Center’s quarterly journal Swedish American Genealogist and coordinator of the journal’s annual week-long fall genealogy workshop in Salt Lake City.
Juha Heinonen is a Senior Research Officer at the National Archives of Finland and the Sámi Archives. Heinonen studied classical languages, culture and archeology in the university of Turku. He works as a project manager in the Digital Access to the Sámi Heritage Archives project. Heinonen was also the project manager for the first part of the AIDA – Arctic Indigenous Design Archives project. His main focus in the National Archives of Finland is working on private digital archives. Heinonen is stationed in Inari, Lapland. The area is also known as Sápmi – the home region of the Sámi people.
Sunna Olafson Furstenau is the founder and genealogist for the nonprofit Icelandic heritage and genealogy organization, Icelandic Roots. She has been working to promote cultural exchange and a special "Cousins Across the Ocean" project between Icelanders and North Americans of Icelandic descent for many years.
In August 2017, Sunna was honored to receive the Knight’s Cross of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon for her Icelandic volunteer work. In April 2018, Sunna was elected to the Honorary Advisory Council in Iceland. Sunna is a frequent speaker in Iceland, Canada, and the USA as well as serving on several boards. She has published two family history books, hundreds of educational blog posts and newspaper articles, as well as conducting online seminars and webinars. She remains deeply involved always with the goal of preserving our shared Icelandic heritage, culture, language, education, and of course – Icelandic genealogy.
Amanda Skellenger is the manager at the Genealogy Center for the Museum of Danish America in Elk, Horn, IA. She studied library and information sciences with a concentration in archive management at Simmons University in Boston, MA. Prior to this position, she was an Assistant Librarian in a public library and spent 10 years as a Teacher Librarian in a K-12 school district.
Amanda has always been interested in people’s stories. Who they are, what they’ve done, what their lives were like. Listening to old family stories eventually led to researching her family and heritage, which she’s now been doing for over 20 years. In addition to working extensively on her own family trees, Amanda has completed research for a number of others which has provided experience working with records from a number of different nationalities including Irish, British, Italian, and Ukrainian. Her current position at the Genealogy Center for the Museum of Danish America has her focusing on Danish heritage and research.
Dr. Terje Mikael Hasle Joranger holds a PhD in history from the University of Oslo. His research focuses on the history of Norwegian emigration and the development of Norwegian American identities throughout the United States. Dr. Joranger currently serves as the Director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum in Hedmark, Norway.
The Scan|Design Foundation BY INGER & JENS BRUUN was established by the Bruuns to promote and strengthen the relationship between their native Denmark and their adopted home, the United States. Throughout their lives, even after they had immigrated to the US, Denmark continued to hold a place in their hearts, and with the formation of this Foundation their vision of strengthening the relationship and goodwill between the two countries is carried on.
Our mission is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history.