Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) enjoys close working relationships with many related organizations. One of those organizations is the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society (MMHS). In fact, the MMHS is our parent organization. It was the MMHS that developed and pursued a vision to build a museum that would preserve and exhibit the stories of the Russian Mennonites and their migrations to Canada.

Our relationship continues to be strong, and we collaborate on activities from time to time. Annually at this time of year, we combine forces to stage Family and Local History Day. This is a day when people interested in genealogy and other local and family histories get together to share stories and other information on these topics. This year the event will take place on April 14, 2012, beginning at 10:00 AM in the Village Centre Auditorium.

In the morning, exhibitors will have their family-tree research on display. Anyone contemplating writing a family story or doing serious work on a family tree should make this event a priority. Many of the exhibitors have done extensive work on their family trees or have written a family-history book. The exhibitors are there to share tips with aspiring researchers and writers, and to provide a resource for those who are in the middle of creating that same family tree but are missing some significant information. Chances are someone at the event will have the missing information or at least have new ideas as to where to search.

Some of the exhibitors will still be available in the afternoon, but the main activity for that period will be presentations by local historians. Because MHV’s theme for 2012 is A Child’s World: From Slate to Tablet, all three speakers will in some way focus on children in their presentations. Glen Klassen will give a presentation on “The Survival of Children in the East Reserve Before Vaccines and Antibiotics.” Henry Fast will speak about “Growing Up in a Kleine Gemeinde Village.” (This is particularly appropriate in light of the fact that the Kleine Gemeinde, also known as the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2012.) To conclude this part of the program, Dr. Roland Sawatzky will give a presentation on “Using Artifacts to tell a Family Story.”

Following these presentations, the MMHS will convene its Annual General Meeting. Members and interested guests are welcome.

Admission to the entire event is by donation. The MHV Auxiliary will offer lunch to attendees for $8.00.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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