ABOUT

Gail Shaffer Blankenau

is a professional genealogist, speaker and author, specializing in German genealogy, land records, and lineage research. She first became interested in family history by looking for treasures in the attic when she was growing up. As a teenager, she started labeling old family photographs and things progressed from there.

As a professional, some of her recent client projects have taken her to Salt Lake City, Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Missouri, as well as numerous projects in Nebraska. Her own roots are from almost every state east of the Mississippi.

 n addition to performing private client research, Gail enjoys speaking and writing about genealogy. Her articles have appeared in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The Genealogist, Everton’s Genealogical Helper, The National Genealogical Society magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, The Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly and Nebraska Ancestree.

Gail at Schloss Holte October 2016 1.jpg

MY RESUME

SPECIALTIES:

  • Land records and how to use them

  • German Parish Records

  • Researching ancestors with common names

  • Internet research

  • Problem-solving techniques

  • Researching the poor and obscure

  • Dating and identifying 19th century photographs

  • Nebraska genealogy

LECTURES:

  • March 25, 2014, Keeping up with the Smiths...and Joneses -- Forth Worth Genealogical Society, Fort Worth, Texas.

  • April 1, 2014, Beginning Genealogy 101 -- The Bluffs Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa.

  • June 28, 2014, Using German Parish Records -- seminar, Greater Omaha Genealogical Society, German Interest Group, Omaha Nebraska.

  • July 12, 2014, Using German Parish Records (Part 1), International Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska. 

  • July 19, 2014, Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors, Omaha Public Library Summer Genealogy Series, Omaha, Nebraska 

  • October 16, 2014, Tumbleweeds in the Window -- Women Homesteaders, Nebraska Museum of History Brown Bag Lecture Series, Lincoln, Nebraska. 

  • July 12, 2014, Using German Parish Records, International Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

  • March 28, 2015. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Finding Your Germanic Ancestral Village 

  • April 17-18 2015. Main Speaker, Sioux Valley Genealogical Society, 27 June 2015, Stories in Stone, Omaha Public Library

  • Sep 9, 2015, Nickerson Family – Nickerson Family Meeting, Plimouth Plantation, Massachusetts

  • May 18, 2016, Finding Your Germanic Home Town, University of Nebraska, Love Library

  • August 2016, Find Your Roots in German Farm Histories, Germanic Genealogy Day, Omaha, Nebraska

  • October 2016, Platte Valley Kin Seekers, Keeping up with the Smiths and Joneses, Columbus, Nebraska

  • January 14, 2017, German Parish Records, live webinar for Wabash Valley Genealogy Society

  • 10 Feb 2017, Deciphering German Script, Legacy Family Tree webinar 1:00 p.m. Central

  • 29 April 2017, Researching Nebraska online, Nebraska State Genealogical Society conference, Lincoln

PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS:

  • April 1, 2014, Beginning Genealogy 101 -- The Bluffs Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa

  • June 28, 2014, Using German Parish Records -- seminar, Greater Omaha Genealogical Society, German Interest Group, Omaha Nebraska

  • July 12, 2014, Using German Parish Records (Part 1), International Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • July 19, 2014, Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors, Omaha Public Library Summer Genealogy Series, Omaha, Nebraska

  • October 16, 2014, Tumbleweeds in the Window -- Women Homesteaders, Nebraska Museum of History Brown Bag Lecture Series, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • March 28, 2015, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Finding Your Germanic Ancestral Village

  • April 17-18 2015, Main Speaker, Sioux Valley Genealogical Society

  • 27 June 2015, Stories in Stone, Omaha Public Library

  • August 2015, Germanic Genealogy Day, Omaha, Nebraska

  • Sep 9, 2015, Nickerson Family – Nickerson Family Meeting, Plimouth Plantation, Massachusetts

  • May 18, 2016, Finding Your Germanic Home Town, University of Nebraska, Love Library

PUBLICATIONS:

  • "Women Homesteaders," National Genealogy Society Magazine, 2014

  • "Sergeant John Smith of Rhode Island, with Descendants in Early Ohio." The Genealogist, Vol. 26, No. 1, (Spring 2012).

  • “Beyond The Stage,” The Lieder, Fall 2010

  • Prayer Cards and Funeral Cards in Genealogy, Nebraska Ancestree , 2012

  • "April Fool's for Genealogists, "Family Chronicle, Mar/Apr 2010

  • "Portraits from the Past," Internet Genealogy, Apr/May 2010

  • “Table Inspirations,” The Lieder, Spring 2009

  • "Some Descendants of Nathaniel Mead of Greenwich, Connecticut, through his son Josiah Mead," New England Genealogical Historical Register, Jan 2009 - three parts

  • “Golf Across Nebraska,” The Lieder, Spring, 2007

  • “The Train,” The Lieder, Spring 2007

  • “Outstanding Contribution to the Arts,” The Lieder, Summer 2008

  • "Abraham Daniels Family Bible with annotations," Ohio Genealogical Quarterly Vol. 48, No. 3. Sep 2008 p. 161-162

  • "Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors," Family Chronicle, (Nov/Dec 2008), Moorshead Ltd., Canada

  • "Using German Parish Records," Everton's Genealogical Helper, (January 2009) Logan UT, Everton Publishers

  • "Signature Style," Family Chronicle, (Mar/Apr 2009), Moorshead Ltd., Canada

  • "When the Irises Bloom," Family Chronicle,(Jul/Aug 2009), Moorshead Ltd

  • "Keeping Up with the Smiths," Family Chronicle, (Sep/Oct 2009) Moorshead Ltd

  • "19th-Century Photos: How to Spot a Copy," Family Chronicle,Nov/Dec 2009

  • "New Patented Trenching Process Provides Environmentally Sound Alternative," U. S. Water News, September 2005

  • "Shell Game," Lapidary Journal, May 1996

  • "Racing Season Here," Star City Sports, May 1994

  • “Checkmate,” Hopscotch for Girls, 1994

  • "Country Churches," Rural Electric Nebraskan, Dec 1994

  • "What's in a Name?" Nebraska Alumnus, Winter 1993

  • "The Story Behind the Name," Rural Electric Nebraskan, March 1993

  • "Return to the Wild," NebraskaLand, March 1993

  • "It Started with a Stove," Country Victorian Accents, June 1992