There are two genealogical societies that I know of that focus on Eastern European family History. Each one, FEEFHS, http://feefhs.org/ the Foundation of Eastern European Family History Societies and SGGEE, https://www.sggee.org/ the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, will be the subject of the next two posts.

My association with FEEFHS, formerly the Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies, goes back almost twenty years. Before 2010 the conference was held in various locations rotating in a city with a fairly large Eastern Europe population in the US, in Canada, and in Salt Lake. I attended ten of those conferences from 1996 to 2009. Since 2010 the conference has taken place in the summer in Salt Lake with lectures by experts in the morning and afternoons reserved for consultation with regional experts and research in the Family History Library. I attended one as a participant and more recently, as a speaker.

The one thing that kept me going back to FEEFHS every year was the excellent quality of the speakers. They were the most knowledgeable experts about Eastern Europe I could find. They provided an opportunity to gain specific answers to personal questions. That, plus being among researchers entirely focused on Eastern Europe was exhilarating. I met researchers there I am still in contact with. I found my professional translator there. Then there was always the website, http://feefhs.org/. So FEEFHS became my best source to concentrate on Lithuania and East Prussia.

In 2010 the organization dropped it membership fees, ceased publications of its journal, and started offering its annual conference in Salt Lake with the format of morning lectures and afternoon research and consultations. The basic format remains but sometimes pre-conference workshops are held, an evening presentation is scheduled, and a luncheon concludes the conference. Now there are even hourly or daily preconference workshops. Many attendees schedule a week for research in Salt Lake around the conference.

If you are not acquainted with FEEFHS, I urge you to do so, first on the website, especially the map section, and then by examining the past and future conference information.

Perhaps we might see a stronger contingent of researchers devoted to the German Lutherans in Suwalki Province in future years.

About suwalkigermans

I started family research in 1993. My first two books focused on my maternal grandparents. Both families came from Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia, to Big Rapids, Michigan. I left the Spurgats from Wylkowiszki in the Russian Empire as the third book because of the difficult and challenging research it required. After I published the book in 2010, I wondered what to do next. I thought I might try to share some of my research with others and maybe at the same time, by going digital, someone would find me. When you read the comments, you will see that happened. The best part of all this is helping others.
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