Mission / Purpose
The OGSA is an all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit. Our mission is to:
- Foster and increase interest in the culture, history and customs of Ostfriesland.
- Provide and exchange historical and genealogical information of those of Ostfriesen heritage.
- Preserve and celebrate our Ostfriesen heritage.
We support this mission through:
- the publication of quarterly journals,
- educational programs,
- publishing books on Ostfriesen history, culture and customs
- maintaining a research library
- supporting a growing community of researchers interested in learning about their ancestors and their lives.
Donations to the OGSA are tax deductible for taxpayers who itemize their deductions. If you would like more information, please contact a member of our Board of Directors.
2022 - 25 Years of Serving Our Members!
We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year and hope to celebrate it with you through on-line programs, website enhancements and other activities. As an all volunteer organization, we would like to thank our members for their efforts and financial support that alowed the following to be possible:
- Publishing quarterly journals for 25 years!
- Fostering working relationships with numerous Ostfriesen communities in the USA and Germany and the Upstalsboom-Gesellschaft in Aurich.
- Purchasing OSB/OFBs from the Upstalsboom-Gesellschaft and from private authors in Ostfriesland, making them available to OGSA members and libraries in the United States.
- Gene Janssen translated 12 history books from German to English (see our Store page!)
- Translating many of the OSB prefaces into English, providing insights into the history of many of our ancestral communities.
- Typing the Aurich-Oldendorf & Hesel Ortssippenbücher (OSBs).
- Purchasing the rights to publish The East Frisians in America.
- Publishing the Amt Uplengen digital series of books on a CD ROM.
- Digitalizing the "Wo Sind Sie Geblieben" (Where Did They Stay) series of books and creating a searchable index.
- Obtaining the rights from Pastor Jürgen Hoogstraat to translate his books.
- Obtained permission from Robert Noah to translate his book about the churches of Ostfriesland.
- Gene Janssen took all emigrant data given to OGSA from Kurt von Loh of Borssum and created, and continues to update, the Emigration Database which now includes over 35,000 people.
- Hosting conferences in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, thus giving our members access to the OGSA Library and educational sources. OGSA members helped at all those conferences!
- Translating Jürgen Hoogstraat’s 2003 conference data into a book—The Ostfriesen: Who They Were & How They Lived.
- Holding the 2005 OGSA Homecoming in Ostfriesland, a major success.
- Holding Ostfriesen Tea Parties every year in November, except for the last two years.
- Establishing a resource library at the Minnesota Genealogical Society.
- Starting a Heritage Fund for the benefit of future generations!
Operating Year: January - December 2023
||Dee Ann Schwitters Johnson
||Darrell D. Druvenga
||Mary Kay Schmidt
The OGSA is currently conducting on-line educational programs due to the challenges of the COVID virus. Our in-person programs and conferences are currently suspended to protect the health of our members until these meetings can be safely resumed.
Speakers for our programs have extensive experience or knowledge about the topics being covered and your questions are welcomed. We try to have a mix of US and international speakers conduct these sessions.