FGS Memorial Lectures

FGS is pleased to announce the 2018 conference speakers for the James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture and the Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture. Tony Burroughs will present the Walker Lecture and Michael D. Lacopo will present the Knuthson Lecture.


The James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture

The James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture honors the late Jimmie Walker, one of the most popular and respected lecturers and archivists in the field of family history. His thirty-year career included participation in the annual Institute of Genealogical Research (now known as the National Institute on Genealogical Research) and supervision of the Military Service Records Section at the National Archives. He conducted pioneering research on minorities in the American Revolution and helped thousands of genealogists during his career.

 Saturday, August 25, 11:00 a.m.

Oral History: It Ain't On the Web (S-404 )
Tony Burroughs

Oral history is the first block to build a family history. It is vital because many family details will not be found on the internet or in a library and has a limited shelf-life. Interviewing techniques, equipment, questions to ask, maximizing a person’s memory and processing information after the interview are covered.

Burroughs shared, "It is an honor to be giving the James Dent Walker memorial lecture. "Jimmy" as he was affectionately called, was an archivist at the National Archives for 30 years. He was the spokesperson for the National Archives to numerous genealogical societies around the country as well as at national conferences. Jimmy was my mentor. Help took me under his wing, showed me the inner workings of the National Archives and consulted with my research. I owe my knowledge and expertise of National Archives records and operations to Jimmy Walker."


The Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture 

Chuck Knuthson served the FGS Board of Trustees as a member, Vice-President of Administration and Treasurer. He was a friend to everyone he met in the genealogical community. A police captain by profession, Chuck also was a professional genealogist who researched for more than thirty years. After a courageous three-year battle with cancer, Chuck passed away in 2008. In honoring him, FGS recognizes Chuck's genealogical interests in German research and involving young people in family history.

Thursday, August 23, 3:30 p.m.

Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants (T-222)
Michael D. Lacopo, DMV
Sponsored by Midwestern Roots

If all you know from conventional records is “Germany” as a place of origin, then this lecture will help you mine other resources to locate WHERE in Germany your ancestor came from. 


Lacopo shared, “It is an honor for me to be chosen to give the Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture at the upcoming 2018 FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I considered Chuck a friend and a respected colleague, having met him at my first national speaking engagement in 2004. Although I had been engaged in genealogical research as a hobby since the 1980s, I was the “new kid on the block” in the world of professional genealogy. Chuck took great interest in me, provided guidance via many email conversations, and geeked out with me over topics pertaining to German genealogy. Giving this memorial lecture then has special meaning to me, and I certainly hope Chuck would give me hearty slap on the back knowing I will be representing him!

Check out the full program