Thank you Presenters, Exhibitors, Sponsors and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne! 

​The International German Genealogy Partnership presented its Shirley Riemer Lifetime Achievement Award to Larry O. Jensen during a ceremony at the 2023 conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on June 10.

The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions over a lifetime to German genealogy. This certainly describes Jensen, who could be considered a founding father in the field of German genealogy research. Among his accomplishments over six decades of contributions are A Genealogical and Demographic Handbook of German Handwriting and A Genealogical Handbook of German Research, literature produced in the 1970s that would lead the field for years to come.

The moment turned emotional when 84-year-old Jensen sent his thank you via a live video feed. Many in the audience had benefited from Jensen’s work over the years, and the applause for him was heartfelt.

The IGGP also presented its Ambassador Award to Amy Chidester for her efforts in leading the presenter team for the 2023 conference as well as her contributions to earlier conferences. The Ambassador Award recognizes the efforts of an individual or individuals on behalf of the IGGP, and those who promote and represent the IGGP on a national and/or international level.

Under Chidester’s leadership, the slate of presenters is the most international ever presented to IGGP conference-goers. Presentations were given in German and English on a range of topics that covered the experiences of the worldwide German diaspora. The team brought forward many new faces to the German genealogy community as well as recruiting many well-known experts in the field to speak. Almost 150 presentations were given, and many new relationships established through her efforts.

The Conference Most Valuable Person award was given to Edie Adam, the IGGP secretary and chair of the overall conference planning team. The 2023 conference was especially challenging coming out of covid, and IGGP broke new ground in many areas by producing a truly hybrid conference in which virtual and on-site attendees could participate in real time. And it all was done under Adam’s leadership in 13 months.

The IGGP also recognized its conference partner, the Allen County Public Library and its Genealogy Center. Its research facility was a magnet for many conference attendees, but the ACPL also shared its experience, made staff available to help plan the conference and supported it logistically with volunteer recruitment and tech support as well as opening its facility outside library hours for meetings and research.

The final announcement of the evening was the host and location for the 2025 IGGP conference: Columbus, Ohio. The Palatines to America, a partner in IGGP, will be marking its 50th anniversary in 2025 and invites all who do German genealogy to join that celebration in the city where it was founded. The national organization as well as PalAm’s state chapters will be the hosts.

Roger Minert Interviews Larry Jensen for the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP)