July 24 – 28, 2024

Family history research has long been a popular FinnFest program topic, becoming in recent years a separate all-day seminar experience where people can discover the myriad of sources from which family histories can be constructed. can they can learn about their families as well as explore techniques and tools available to help them. In the case of Nordic family history, the family history researcher needs to become aware of both American and Nordic European history tools. How does it reflect American experiences? How does it reflect the Nordic European families to whom they are also related? How much can actually uncover? Your research, “looking at ways Americans have encountered and described meaning to the rest of the world” encourages us to ask you to be our keynoter. Our family history seminar will occur on July 25th. We begin with a keynote on the topic of “‘Family History Challenges in the 21st century.” We will close with two sessions that illustrate how DNA information becomes part of a broader, more nuanced family history narrative. Our goal this year is to help attendees understand how individual family histories connect to and enlighten larger Nordic American historical narratives. The seminar includes welcome morning coffee as well as lunch.

8:30-9:00 am Registration and Coffee
9:00 am Introduction to the Seminar Moderator: Hilary Virtanen, Ph.D. Former Paloheimo Scholar, Finlandia University Keynote: Family History Challenges in the 21st Century Scott Laderman, Prof. of History, University of Minnesota Duluth
10:00 am Nordic History Challenges: The Experience of the Migration Institute “The Migration Institute of Finland at 50: Current Research and Resources” Saara Pellander, Director, Migration Institute of Finland and Samira Saramo, Senior Research Fellow, Migration Institute of Finland
11:00 am Global Migration, Past and Present: How do family history resources connect? A panel discussion University of Minnesota Duluth Sami library. Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota Minneapolis. Minnesota Historical Society. Finnish American Heritage Center.
12:00 am Lunch Break with table discussions (Catered lunch served in the seminar room.)
1:00 pm History Research and the use of DNA “John Morton’s Finnish Roots: a study in history and genetic genealogy” Auvo Kostiainen, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Turku, Finland
2:00 pm Family History and the DNA Tools Barbara Wilson and Mary Lukkarila Finnish Genealogy Club of Minnesota (Only Genealogy Club in the USA devoted to Finnish genealogy)
3:00-3:30 pm Concluding Remarks Hilary Virtanen & and Open Mike