FGS Memorial Lectures

FGS is pleased to announce the 2017 conference speakers for the James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture and the Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture. Wevonneda Minis will present the Walker Lecture and James M. Beidler 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.

Friday, September 2, 8:00 a.m.

Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contracts: A Closer Look (F-304 )
Wevonneda Minis

Researching Freedmen’s Bureau labor contracts can provide more than lists of ancestors’ names. Analyzing them can yield information with evidence to solve genealogical problems.


"It's an honor to deliver the James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture at FGS this year," Ms Minis said. "The annual lecture presents a special opportunity to remember Walker, an illustrious genealogist, and archivist. The breadth and depth of Walker's contributions to our field will long be remembered."


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.

Saturday, September 2, 2:00 p.m.

German Immigrant Waves: Contrasts and Sources (S-426)

James M. Beidler

The 1700s “Pennsylvania Germans” were a different breed than the “German Americans” who immigrated in the 1800s. Learn the differences in geography, economic class, religion, and aspirations of—as well as sources about—the two great waves of German immigration. 


When accepting this honor, Mr. Beidler said, “I served with Chuck Kunthson for several years on the FGS Executive Committee and always was struck by the way he belied the stereotype of a law enforcement officer by being so compassionate and soft-spoken. He was an expert genealogist and left a hole for the rest of us doing German genealogy to fill. I’m honored to give the Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture.”

Check out the full program