Review of the book "Tracing Your Dakota Roots" by Mary Lynn Axtman, with The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, The Libraries of North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
"Genealogy research how-to guide books are numerous and pretty routine publications from many publishers and sources. They can also be rather cut and dry reading material for even the most dedicated family researchers. However, Jo Ann Winistorfer and Cathy Langemo have teamed together to use their many years of professional writing, editing, resaerch, publishing, art and graphics experience to produce a real gem for those who roots are in the Dakotas.
From cover to cover, researchers or just browsers of all ages will find eye-catching tidbits, paragraphs, or in-depth pages of useful Dakota history, maps, timelines, ethnic group history and settlement areas, along with regional, national and international records and research sites with both postal and Internet addresses throughout the book. The reader's interest is immediately drawn to the layout of each page. The pages, even the usually dreary glossary, bibliography and index sections, are sprinkled with numerous antique graphic illustrations, photos and data inserts accompanied by cleverly written headings and captions. Even young children would enjoy paging through this book and that could spark their interest to ask their grandparetns some of the questions about their lives found in Chapter 5, Interviews . . . The authors compare genealogy to a personal voyage of discovery not unlike the Voyage of Discovery undertaken nearly 200 years ago by the Lewis and Clark Expedition into what is now known as North and South Dakota. As we approach the millennium, Winistorfer and Langemo would like to help the readers preserve their own past history for the future generations. The readers benefit from both authors being avid genealogists . . . It is hard to find any topic that is not well researched and documented. An extensive American Indian history section with a whole page of research tips and sources is part of the Ethnic Roots chapter. Each of the other major and minor ethnic groups in the Dakotas are included, from the first British Isles people . . . The Germans from Russian section also provides a history with research tips and sources which includes the Volga, Black Sea, Dobrudja, Volhynian, Galacian and Mariupol Germans and their Dakota settlement areas. In separate sections, other Germanic and Ukrainian peoples are included.
From adoption records to genealogy myths and scams, from paper and digital records management to writing your family history or planning a family reunion, from discovering Dakota history to what to do is hopelessly stumped, from Dakota Territory to nations around the world, "Tracing Your Dakota Roots" is a treasure of information." -- Mary Lynn Axtman, with the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, The Libraries of North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.
About the Author
Jo Ann is an active member of the North Dakota Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women and is a Certified Rural Electric Communicator. She has long been interested in genealogy and is a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Historical and Genealogical Society, the North Dakota State Genealogical Society and a number of Norwegian genealogy groups and bygdelags. She also served as a volunteer librarian at the LDS Family History Center in Bismarck, ND, for several years. Jo Ann, whose special interest is Norwegian genealogy, has attended and been a presenter at numerous genealogy workshops. After researching her own ancestral roots for several years, she took a dream genealogy trip to the countries of her roots--Norway and the Netherlands--in 1987.
Jo Ann and her husband, Nick, own a farm near Pick City, ND, where they raise Black Angus cattle. They have three grown children, two daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Cathy A. Langemo is the owner of WritePlus Inc., a writing, editing and research firm headquartered in Bismarck, ND. Her degrees in business administration, English and journalism lend themselves to the variety of services she offers through WritePlus; however, Cathy's heart is in the historical and genealogical research services she performs for people across the country and Canada. She has also worked on her own Swedish, Scotch and French genealogy off and on for many years. Cathy has worked the past three summers as a part-time reference assistant at the State Archives and Historical Research Library in the North Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck, where she assists patrons with their research.
Cathy is a member of the Missouri Valley Historical Society, the Bismarck-Mandan Historical and Genealogical Society, the Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors' Mansion, the North Dakota State Genealogical Society, the State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation, The National Historical Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the North Dakota Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women.
Besides work, Cathy's life centers around her husband, Rick Knudson, pool league, music and reading. Between them, they have four grown children, two daughters-in-law and six (going on seven) grandchildren.