Gail Shaffer Blankenau

7424 Stevens Ridge Road
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516

Phone: 402-413-5539



Germanic genealogy, Midwestern research and methods, archival and courthouse research, and land records. Working on a second Master's degree in American History.


Germanic Genealogy

  • Finding Your Germanic Ancestral Village
  • Deciphering Germanic Script Introduction to German Parish Records
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records
  • Find Your Roots in German Farm Histories
  • Germans from Russia – an Introduction

    Other Genealogy Topics:

  • Genealogy 101 -- Hunting and Gathering
  • Genealogy 102 -- The Journey
  • Dating and Identifying Your 19th Century Photographs
  • Keeping Up with the Smiths and Joneses
  • Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors
  • Stories in Stone -- Cemetery Research
  • Tumbleweeds in the Window -- Women Homesteaders and Genealogy
  • Connect the Dots with a Migration Study
  • Break Through Brick Walls Using Land Records
  • Follow the Land -- Land Records II
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Genealogy Citations
  • Nebraska Online – resources and tips for online research
  • Peopling the Prairie – how they came
  • Probe Those Probates for Hidden Clues
  • Proof or Consequences: Change How You Approach Evidence
  • I have my DNA—Now What? Three Case Studies in Applied DNA

    Sample comments from evaluations

    Gail was genuine and refreshing.
    Gail was a GREAT speaker!
    Lots of energy and participation.
    Gail Blankenau is a gem. I could listen to her all day.
    Gail's passion is unmatched.

    From Blake Bell, historian from the National Homestead Monument:

    Gail has been the star of every conference I've hosted. I wouldn't think about hosting a genealogical event without her; she is always the first person I call.

  • Speaking Conditions:

  • All topics delivered with PowerPoint
  • May need microphone depending on size of audience
  • Will develop lectures on specific topics
  • Will travel
  • Home housing not accepted
  • Will provide hand-out masters for duplication

  • Previous Engagements:

    February 2010, Using Land Records, Platte County Historical Society, Columbus, Nebraska
    September 2010, Dating and Identifying 19th-Century Photographs, Cass County Historical Society, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
    October 2010, Main Speaker, Iowa State Genealogy Society Conference, Des Moines October 2010, Beginning Genealogy, Family History Month Speaker for National Homestead Monument, Beatrice, Nebraka. November 2010, Using Land Records, Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society, Union College Auditorium, Lincoln, Nebraska
    May 6-7, 2011, Main Speaker for the Nebraska State Genealogical Society Conference, in Nebraska City, Nebraska—Introduction to German Parish Records, Keeping up with the Joneses..and Smiths, Break Through Using Land Records, Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors, Dating and Identifying you 19th-Century Photographs
    July 15-16, 2011—Main Speaker at Homestead National Monument two-day land records conference, Beatrice, Nebraska.
    September 17, 2011-Dating and Identifying your 19th-Century Photographs, Omaha Public Library 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.
    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
    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
    June 10, 2017, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Citation and Evidence, UN-L Genealogy Day.
    June 15 2017, Take All to Nebraska – How they Came, Nebraska State Historical Society brown bag series.
    July 14-15, 2017, Land Records and Genealogy Symposium, Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, Nebraska. On panel for Germanic genealogy, presentation on migration into Nebraska.
    July 28-30, 2017, International Germanic Genealogy Conference, Introduction to using German Parish Records and Top Tips in Reading German Parish Records, 2017 International Conference, Minneapolis, MN
    October 6, 2017 - Genealogy Lock-in Omaha Public Library - Take All to Nebraska.


    Gail 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.

    In 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.



    Some Descendants of Nathaniel Mead of Greenwich, Connecticut, through his son Josiah Mead (ca. 1701-ca. 1771), New England Genealogical and Historical Register, Vol. 163 (January 2009): p. 33-38; Vol. 163 (April 2009): p. 145-155; Vol. 163 (July 2009): p. 213-218.
    Abraham Daniels Family Bible with annotations, Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 3, (Sep 2009), p. 161-162.

    Sergeant John Smith of Rhode Island, with Descendants in Early Ohio, The Genealogist, Vol. 26, No. 1, (Spring 2012), p. 3-23.


    Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors, Family Chronicle, (Nov/Dec 2009), Moorshead Ltd.
    Using German Parish Records, Everton's Genealogical Helper, (Jan 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.,Canada.
    Keeping Up with the Smiths, Family Chronicle, (Sep/Oct 2009), Moorshead Ltd., Canada.
    19th-Century Photos-How to Spot a Copy, Family Chronicle, (Nov/Dec 2009), Moorshead, Ltd., Canada.
    April Fools: Genealogy Style!, Family Chronicle, (Mar/Apr 2010), Moorshead Ltd., Canada.
    Portraits from the Past, Internet Genealogy, (Apr/May 2010), Moorshead Ltd., Canada.
    Funeral and Prayer Cards in Genealogy -A Small Collection of German Prayer Cards, Cuming and Dodge Counties, Nebraska Nebraska Ancestree, v. 35, no. 1 (summer 2012)
    Women Homesteaders, National Genealogical Society Magazine, v. 40, no. 2, April-June 2014.

    The information contained on this page is the sole responsibility of the member and is not endorsed by the Genealogical Speakers Guild.
    Copyright © 2015 Genealogical Speakers Guild, All Rights Reserved.