Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce - Event Information

Event Name:Genealogy Research Help During Nordic Fest
Event Type(s):Community Event
Art Performances & Education Calendar
Description:Are you curious about how to research your Norwegian ancestry? Cyndi Gipp was the person in her family who was excited about genealogy research. That's why her husband Dean Gipp and family are sponsoring genealogy information in her memory during Decorah's Nordic Fest this year.
Event Date:7/26/2019
Event Time:9 a.m.- noon and 1-5 p.m.
Location:Vesterheim Museum
502 W Water Street
Decorah, IA 52101

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Contact Person:Vesterheim Museum
(phone: 563-382-9681)
Details:            Cyndi Gipp was diagnosed in December 2018 with pancreatic cancer. She was courageous in her battle, but passed away on March 8, 2019. Through her passion for genealogy, she left her family with the invaluable gift of so many stories to share.

            During Nordic Fest, a representative from the Norwegian American Genealogical Center in Madison, Wisconsin, will be available at Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center, July 26 and 27, from 9 a.m.- noon and 1-5 p.m.

            The Norwegian American Genealogical Center staff are experts in knowing how to understand Norwegian government structure, naming patterns, and church records, plus genealogy software and research websites. They'll give advice on how to begin or continue an ancestry research project.

            “Cyndi had a keen interest and uncanny ability to navigate records and find the missing links and information to complete impressive family genealogies,” Dean Gipp said, “so our family knew Cyndi would want to support the work of genealogy programming at Vesterheim.” 

            Cyndi's passion may have started out as a hobby, but quickly her proficiencies took off.  Eventually, she would be able to read five languages and became a resource to many others. Cyndi knew first hand that the work of a genealogist was not only in capturing the history and story of those family members who came before, but in telling those stories and connecting them to family members today. Cyndi wrote a touching and detailed book about the Gipp Family, published in 2016. “This book really is a gift to our family, so that the stories are forever captured for generations yet to come, and it means even more to us all today,” Dean said. 

            “Cyndi knew that through family stories, you know where you came from, but they also give you guideposts for living today and into tomorrow,” Dean explained. “Our family feels that this gift to Vesterheim in honor of Cyndi and her life’s work in genealogy is such a beautiful way to truly honor her legacy and hopefully inspire another young genealogist.”

            Nordic Fest is a celebration of the spirit of Scandinavia and includes fun activities for the whole family. Traditions new and old abound throughout the weekend. There will be lively dancing, challenging sporting events, delicious food, and lots of other entertainment. To learn more about other aspects of the fest, call 800-382-FEST, or check out the Nordic Fest website at

            With world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings in scenic Decorah, Iowa, Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience. This national treasure is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in authentic Norwegian folk art every year. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.
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Gipp Family