German Study Group – German Immigration

Members and visitors are welcome to join this group! To register for this Zoom meeting, please send an email to Del at

We will have Dr. Michael D. Lacopo speaking to us in August on “Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants”

Program Summary

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. Learn some new tricks to help you pinpoint the place of origin of your German-speaking ancestor! (Intermediate to Advanced)

CATEGORY: Immigration, Sociology, Ethnic, Regional
• Overview of German immigration history and geography
• Utilization of lesser-known published sources
• How to mine primary records for place names and hints of places of origin • Indirect research to locate German origins
• Case studies

Speaker Bio

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo was born and raised in northern Indiana surrounded by extended family always willing to tell tall tales. Intrigued by his maternal family’s claim to be kinfolk of Abraham Lincoln, and his paternal family’s stories of murder and mayhem, he took to genealogical research in 1980 to substantiate these family stories.

Genealogical research as a hobby was in its infancy in the 1980s. Combing libraries, archives, cemeteries and courthouses as a teenager, Michael gained the skills needed to become a keen researcher. His first major challenge in the world of research was tackled by finding his adopted mother’s birthparents in 1982. You can read about this adventure at his blog at with some engaging story telling, plot twists and new findings!

Although a budding genealogist in the 1980s, Michael completed his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1991, while still spending time honing his research skills. As befitting a doctor, Michael treats his genealogical research as he would medicine–carefully, methodically and completely. Several genealogical journal articles and publications appeared along the way. In 2013, Michael retired from his medical career to pursue genealogical research full-time as a profession.

He has contributed to numerous periodicals and has helped numerous people in their quests to locate their relatives – living and dead. He appeared in USA Today in 2000 discussing genealogy and the proposed destruction of the federal census tabulated in that year. His national lecturing began in Sacramento, CA, at the National Genealogical Society’s national conference in 2004, and has continued with several local, state, national, and international conference speaking engagements to this present day.

Michael’s interests and strengths include Mennonite research, German and Swiss research, especially as it pertains to the 18th century immigration to America, among many other topics. He makes many trips throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states chasing ancestors in primary repositories, and also devotes a considerable amount of time to European research, being proficient in reading German script. Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales or our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past.  In addition to his story-telling and educational blog, Michael’s presence can be found online at, or for more up-to-date lecture and research information, at his Facebook page at

SPEAKING EXPERIENCE: National Genealogical Society Conferences 2004, 2007,

2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020; Federation of Genealogical Society Conferences

2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013-2020; Ohio Genealogical Society Conferences 2008, 2013-

2019; Palatines to America Conference featured speaker (Regional 2012, 2013, 2018,

2020; National 2015, 2020); Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree

(Burbank, 2015-2019), with many, many local and regional lectures.

Be sure to register with Del at to receive the Zoom info and handout.