Gail Shaffer Blankenau

7424 Stevens Ridge Road
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516

Phone: 402-413-5539



  • 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:

  • Break Through Brick Walls Using Land Records
  • Follow the Land -- Land Records II
  • Introduction to German Parish Records
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records
  • Dating and Identifying Your 19th Century Photographs
  • Keeping Up with the Smiths...and Joneses
  • Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors
  • Stories in Stone -- Cemetery Research
  • Genealogy 101 -- Hunting and Gathering
  • Genealogy 102 -- The Journey
  • Going Dutch in the Digital Age - Online resources
  • Tumbleweeds in the Window -- Women Homesteaders and Genealogy
  • Finding Your Germanic Ancestral Village
  • Family Migrations - A Midwestern Case Study

  • 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:

    October 2009 Dating and Identifying Your 19th Century Photographs, Eastridge Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska
    February 2010, Using Land Records, Platte Valley Kin Seekers and the Platte County Historical Society, Columbus, Nebraska
    February 18, 2010, Getting Students Published, Nebraska Association for the Gifted State Conference, Omaha, Nebraska
    September 2010, Platte Valley Kin Seekers, Columbus, Nebraska, Dating and Identifying your 18th Century Photos
    October 2010, Featured Speaker, Iowa State Genealogical Conference, Des Moines, Iowa
    October 2010, National Homestead Monument, Family History Month speaker, Beatrice, Nebraska.
    October 28, 2010, Featured Speaker, Cass County Historical Society annual meeting, Dating and Identifying your 18th Century Photos
    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 Libraries
    October 1, 2011 All-Day seminar, Genealogy 101 & 102 and consulting, Cass County Historical Museum, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
    May 8, 2012, Stories in Stone, Cemetery Research, Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society, Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska.
    August 18, 2012, Keeping up with the Smiths...and Joneses, Omaha Public Library, Main Branch, Omaha, Nebraska.
    June 22, 2013, Break Through Brick Walls Using Land Records, Omaha Public Library, Summer genealogy series, Omaha, Nebraska.
    July 12-13, 2013, Tumbleweeds in the Window - Women Homesteaders and Genealogy; Who's Hiding in Your Drawer? (Two-hour), National Homestead Monument Land Records and Genealogy Symposium, Beatrice, Nebraska.
    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.

    Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 28, 2015. Finding Your Germanic Ancestral Village
    Sioux Valley Genealogical Society, Sioux Falls, SD, April 24-25, 2015,Friday evening, Genealogy 101 - Hunting and Gathering -- Getting Started. Saturday, April 25, 2015, Genealogy 102 -- The Journey; Stories in Stone -- Using Cemetery Records; Using German Parish Records; Who is Hiding in Your Drawer? Dating and Identifying 19th-Century Photographs.
    July 10-11, 2015, National Homestead Monument Genealogy Symposium, TBA.


    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.

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