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REPORT OF NINTH ANNUAL MOCK FAMILY HISTORIAN CONFERENCE

KNOTT'S BERRY FARM, BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA

OCTOBER 8 TO 10, 1999

The Ninth Annual Mock Family History Conference was held this year in Buena Park, CA, at the Knott's Buena Park Hotel. This adjoins Knott's Berry Farm. The Meeting was held October 8-10, 1999.

DETAILS ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

The organizers of the conference this year were James P. Mock and Helene Hawkins who did an excellent job working with Barbara Dittig to arrange for this event and scheduling the speakers.

FRIDAY, OCT 9, 1999

5 PM Registration and get acquainted reception was held in the Hospitality Suite along with Hor D'Oeuvres. There were a number of individuals there this year that had never attended one of these conferences before. It was nice to meet new faces and talk about mutual interests in Mock research.

SATURDAY, OCT 9, 1999

9:30 AM: Registration, Coffee and Sweet Rolls, and the meeting was held in the Cyprus Room of the Hotel.

JP Mock presented an engraved wooden plaque of appreciation to Barbara Dittig, the Editor of the Mock Family Historian, from Mock family researchers, recognizing her tireless service as Editor of the Mock Family Historian over the past eight years. Similar honors in the past went to other Charter Members of this group including Ron Moore in Virginia in 1996 and Steve Lapp in Pennsylvania in 1998.

10-11 AM: Toni Perrone of Murietta, CA, spoke on Rheinland-Pfalz and the Baden-Wuerthemberg Resources. Her organization, the Immigrant Genealogical Society is a very active group in Southern California and she told a very interesting story about how it got started. She Showed on maps of Germany, the pattern of migration down the Rhine and Neckar Rivers. This included some migrating to Switzerland and other Countries which are now part of Eastern Europe such as Hungry, Poland and Russia. She pointed out that although some Germans may be found in this area, they may not have originated there but could have come from a town somewhere else. Toni is one of the co-founders of the Immigrant Genealogy Society and is their Librarian. Those wishing extra help with German migration problems can contact her organization and they have numerous resources in their library to check. There is a small charge for their services.

11-12 AM: Kurt Schroeder of the Los Angeles Family History Center, spoke and gave a talk and demonstration on deciphering old German Script. He gave us a source for obtaining printing fonts for German Script. He told about a group that meets weekly at the Los Angeles Family History Center and invited anyone to join them if they wished to learn this art or who may have problem text to translate. By the end of the meeting, he had several starting to write this old script.

12 Noon: Break for lunch. Some used the coffee shop in the hotel.

1 PM: James P. Mock gave a very informative presentation on finding those long lost close and distant relatives who may have history of your family. JP Mock has had a lot of experience in this area and his talk proved to be very helpful to all. JP brought his special equipment that he uses in his own business of giving anti-drug seminars to law enforcement officers and used it to illustrate his talk and this worked very nicely. He illustrated how he was able to locate a lost family branch from a family that was needed for a family reunion. He showed the steps he used to find a living descendant from this family who then was able to fill in details about other members of the family. He did this using clues from an old family Bible along with recollections that some older family members had on the lost branch, all within the two week deadline given him.

He also illustrated the steps how he went about and located his wife's birth parents. This was a very touching experience that brought tears to many of our eyes. He pointed out that the adopted child must make the decision to proceed, understanding all the problems that could arise in a search such as this. Fortunately in this case, there was a happy ending.

3 PM: Jake Mauck gave an illustrated lecture on digital cameras and their potential application to genealogy. He pointed out that some of the less expensive models are often adequate for the needs of most people and the prices are coming down on some of the newer models with a little better resolution. He illustrated features that some cameras had over others. He also told how he had successfully used it in libraries with ordinary lighting conditions to photograph a page from a book where copy machines may not be permitted due to the age of the book or manuscript. His camera was small and able to easily fit in a pocket of his shirt or coat. He has also used his camera to photograph the display copy from a microfilm reader, and often allows one to do this faster and at less expense than using the usual copying process with microfilm and ending with a hard copy.

6 PM: Group Annual Mock Family Dinner was held in the nearby Knott's Berry Farm Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The food was still good as it has been known to be for so many years.

Following the dinner, the group returned to the Mock Hospitality Suite of the Hotel where each person was able to visit with other friends and relatives.

SUNDAY, OCT 10, 1999

9 AM: Steve Lapp spoke on Mack/Mock/Mauck/Maag Migration from Europe to America in the early 18th Century. Steve has spent many hours researching this topic which was really a continuation of a similar talk he gave at one of these conferences several years ago. He has been able to pinpoint the origin of many of the early American branches with these variously spelled surnames and his talk was nicely illustrated with pictures he had located on the World Wide Web showing some of the towns that many of our Mock/Mack families had originated.

10 AM: Barbara Dittig, Editor of the Mock Family Historian, lead an open forum on the future of the Mock Family Historian. She would like to see us become more international. It is hoped that we may eventually locate a group of genealogists in Germany who may have similar interest to ours in tracing our German roots and connecting with branches who may have come to America. One way to start this would be to locate a key genealogical library in Germany and send them copies of all of our back issues of the Mock Family Historian. The question about the need for continued hard copies of the Mock Family Historian every quarter was raised since we now have the technology and expertise for producing on-line copies of our publication. It was pointed out that since we started about 9 years ago, the intent was never to make money, but to disseminate this information to all who are researching any spelling variations of the surname. The cost is still $10 per year and goes mainly to cover the cost of postage, paper, printing and a few miscellaneous supplies. It was pointed out that there are still a significant number of people who do not have access to computers, nor do they intend to ever have one. Even if we publish an on-line version of the Newsletter, we still need hard copies. The consensus seemed to be that we should continue to do as we are doing, putting out a hard copy each quarter of the year. One of our current projects has been to send copies of the Mock Family Historian to a few selected key genealogical libraries in America, and we would hope to continue this by continuing to publish hard copies. We are currently dedicated putting up some of the older editions of the Mock Family Historian on-line and Sandy Hart has agreed to help us with this and will coordinate this project with her Home Page which we will link to the Mock Family Home Page.

Another project our group will be considering is to have a bound ten year edition of the Mock Family Historian along with an every name index. We should be hearing more about this over the coming year.

A discussion was also raised about the location of the next Mock Family History Conference and tentatively this has been favored to be in Frankfort, Kentucky, in October of the year 2000. This location is being considered because of nearby excellent research facilities as well as being in close proximity to Ohio and Indiana. The Mock Family Home Page as well as the Mock Family Historian will have further details as to the exact date and location of the meeting as things are more certain.

Ron Moore gave a brief presentation about various features of the Mock Family Home Page as well as our list and discussion group, MOCK-GEN-L. He pointed out some of our more popular and helpful areas are the Mock archives which can be searched by anyone on-line, and the Mock/Mack/Mauk/Maag working charts of Barbara Dittig and displayed by Ken Neal on his home page. There are many more who are helping to make this a success, and Ron expressed great appreciation to all of these individuals who have helped to make this project a success.

The meeting adjourned at about noon, and everyone that attended seemed happy they were able to be there. Many are looking forward to our gathering again next year.


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Gene Andert

2002 Mock Family Historian