Log in

Wisconsin STate Genealogical Society

Showcasing Madison Genealogy


 Our presenters!


        Antje Petty                Lori Bessler                  Dana Kelly                       Russell Horton


Hosted by



Friday October 13, 2023
Saturday, October 14, 2023

Sheraton Madison Hotel

Madison, Wisconsin



September 14 Deadlines to remember- These are “received by” dates for forms and checks mailed in or if registering online. You can still register up to or at the conference but not for meals!

  •         Discounted rates for early bird registrations for members and non-members
  •         Vendor registrations are due.
  •         Hotel block is released so make your hotel reservations by this time to guarantee the WSGS rate.
  •         If you want to have lunch with the group on Saturday, you must order your luncheon meal by this date.
  •         If you want a printed syllabus, you must order it by the 1st of October. Otherwise, you will have to print/save the copy when it’s emailed out.
  •         A link to the syllabus will emailed to attendees the week of the conference to all participants. If you order a hard copy, you will receive it at registration.



Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53713. Website: Rooms are available at Sheraton Madison Hotel, at the rate of $129.00 plus tax.  Contact the hotel at 1-888-625-4988 or local number 1-608-251-2300 for reservations by September 14th. Please let them know you are with WSG. There is a standard, 48-hour cancellation policy for guestrooms. All rooms have a 55” flat screen HD television, an in-room safe, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, refrigerators, and free parking. There is a community microwave and area to purchase deli/cold food and drink in the main lobby. You must drive to any restaurant.


You can also use this link to reserve your room: Book your group rate for WSGS Fall Seminar


 The Schedule for the weekend!

Friday Pre-Conference

11:30 AM       Registration opens


12:00 PM        Pre-Conference begins- Antje Petty, Associate Director- Max Kade Institute for German-

American Studies. Topic: German American Resources at the Max Kade Institute Dana Kelly, Executive Director- Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library. Topic- Beyond Basic DNA Matching

4:30-7:00 PM    Local Affiliate Social Event at Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth

Library, 415 West Main St, Madison for all attendees to visit, socialize and network! Local Affiliate Social Event Co-Hosted by Dane County Area Genealogical Society and Norwegian American Genealogical Center. Join us for a casual evening to meet and exchange ideas with other affiliate leaders and genealogy enthusiasts. An assortment of refreshments will be provided from 4:30-7:00. Limited off-street parking is available. Carpooling is encouraged.


Saturday Fall Conference


8:00 AM          Registration and Vendor Exhibits Open

9:00 AM          Welcome- Tina Krummel, WSGS President; Presentation of Wisconsin Historical Society/WSGS Family History/Genealogy Book Award- Lori Bessler and Tina Krummel

9:30 AM          Lori Bessler – Topic: Wisconsin Historical Society Collections:  It’s More Than You Think!

10:30 AM        Break/Vendor Exhibits Open

11:00 AM        Dana Kelly – Topic: Introduction to Norwegian & Norwegian-American Genealogy

12:00 PM         Lunch /Vendor Exhibits

1:30 PM           Russell Horton – Topic: Finding Those Who Served: Military Genealogy at the Wisconsin

Veterans Museum

2:30 PM           Break/Vendor Exhibits Open

  • 3:00 PM          Lori Bessler – Topic: Are You Sure You Are Organized and Do You Have a Plan?


Saturday Luncheon - $28 /person

Saturday Luncheon - $28 /person includes sandwich, pasta salad, beverage, whole fruit, cookie and a WSGS Cookbook for the first 70 that register for the luncheon! There will be an update on the WSGS website for luncheon attendees! Sandwich Options! Pesto Chicken Wrap- Grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, fresh mozzarella, and pesto aioli wrapped in a garden vegetable tortilla. Deli Club Sandwich- Smoked ham, turkey, and bacon with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado aioli on 9-grain bread. Roasted Vegetable Wrap-Roasted zucchini, red onion, eggplant, mushrooms, and tomato with spinach and balsamic dressing wrapped in a garden vegetable tortilla.

For luncheon attendees only- WSGS Website Resources presentation on WSGS webinars, databases, newsletters and more! WSGS Board Members will help participants navigate through the WSGS website and demonstrate how to use the website in their membership and research. Everything from changing passwords, accessing past newsletters, watching past webinars, using the various databases, how to order items in the online store, and more will be covered along with taking your questions!


Registrations and meals must be in the office by September 14th to count for the early bird price (Not postmarked)

If you are not currently a member of WSGS, you may become one with this form and pay the reduced WSGS member rate.  With your membership you receive access to our Members-Only resources where you can view our current and past newsletters, past webinar recordings, and more! You will receive an e-mail confirmation when your registration is received.

***PLEASE NOTE*** A link to the syllabus will emailed to all attendees the week of the seminar.


Friday Pre-Conference 12:00-3:00 PM

Antje Petty, Associate Director- Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies- German American Resources at the Max Kade Institute”- When German immigrants came to Wisconsin, they settled among people they knew, spoke their regional dialects, and conducted their affairs in the German language. This presentation will provide an overview of German-language documents created in North America as well as resources at the Max Kade Institute that might be useful for genealogists. 


Dana Kelly, Executive Director- Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library – Beyond Basic DNA Matching” - This session will go beyond simple sorting of shared matches to understand more about your DNA match list. During the talk we will cover: Patterns of inheritance for X, Y & mtDNA; Triangulation & Clusters; and Endogamy, Pedigree Collapse & Multiple Relationships.

Saturday Conference

Lori Bessler, Reference Librarian, Library, Archives, and Museum Collections- Wisconsin Historical Society

1st presentation: “Wisconsin Historical Society Collections:  It’s More Than You Think!”

The collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society include materials from across the United States and Canada.  The staff is known around the world for their professional approach to genealogy.  There is a lot to know about this institution that is always growing!


2nd presentation: Are You Sure You Are Organized and Do You Have a Plan?

Whether you have researched your family for 5 years or 45 years, you will need to make sure you have a plan for what will happen to your research after you pass.  You need to be organized to make sure your research can be used by other family historians.


Dana Kelly, Executive Director- Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library – “Introduction to Norwegian & Norwegian-American Genealogy”

Every ethnic group has its own peculiarities when it comes to genealogical research. During this session we will explore the resources available at the Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library and learn some tips and tricks for exploring your Norwegian ancestry. Dana Kelly is the Executive Director of NAGC. Her passion for family history led her to a Scandinavian Studies degree from UW-Madison. She has served on the board of directors for the Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society since 2009 and currently serves as the Vice President of the Dane County Area Genealogical Society. Dana and her husband, Gary Swain, have a small dairy farm and three children.


Russell Horton, Reference & Outreach Archivist- Wisconsin Veterans Museum- Finding Those Who Served: Military Genealogy at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum”

Would you like to know more about the veteran in your family tree? Learn about the myriad of resources available at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Even if your ancestor wasn’t from Wisconsin, our helpful staff can point you in the right direction.



For more information, and to register for the Fall Seminar, please see the attached brochure. You may register via check payable to WSGS via U.S. mail or online with a credit or debit card via Paypal. Reduced registration rates are available for WSGS members and by registering early. Attendees will receive an electronic syllabus a day or two before the conference.


Online Registration

To return to this page after putting an item in the shopping cart, click on Continue Shopping in the

upper right corner of the PayPal shopping cart page.

Don't want to travel.  If you would be interested in viewing a live stream of the Pre-Conference or the Conference,

send us an email before registering at  The cost would be the same, but for licensing purposes it won't be recorded. You will register the same for each day.  On the morning of, you will get an email with the Live Stream link.

NOTE: The early bird rates are now gone.

You are not be able to purchase the lunch nor the printed syllabus anymore.

Friday Pre-Conference
WSGS Member Registration

Member Rate

Friday Pre-Conference
Regular Registration

Non-Member Rate
 Saturday Conference
WSGS Member Registration
Member Rate

Saturday Conference
Regular Registration

Non-Member Rate

You can check your membership status by clicking on the Person icon in the upper right and selecting "View profile"

WSGS Membership
  Please send an email to after registering if you are planning on attending the Friday night social at NAGC & NL

There is no cost to attend but you must register! Transportation on your own or you can carpool.
When registering through PayPal or with a credit card, please allow 7-10 business days for processing.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail from our office.


Copyright © 2023 Wisconsin State Genealogical Society