Welcome to Western Michigan!
2015 WMGS Writing Contest
Who was your most
“famous” or “infamous” ancestor? ~
Here is the official Rule Page for your Downloading
FGS Presidential Citation presented to West
On Saturday, November 8, in Grand Rapids at the
monthly meeting of the Western Michigan
Genealogical Society, Kris Rzepczynski presented
the Federation of Genealogical Societies
Presidential Citation to Henry and Loekie
Boersma in recognition of their work on the
records of Tallmadge Township in Michigan.
On Thursday, August 28, prior to the opening
plenary session in San Antonio, Federation
of Genealogical Societies President, D.
Joshua Taylor awarded a special FGS
Presidential Citation to Henry and Loekie
Boersma of Michigan. For their contributions
in cemetery preservation and historical
research that benefits the genealogical
community and as an inspiration to the rest
of us because...
In 1995, a few years after their retirement,
Henry and Loekie found an unknown cemetery
in Tallmadge Township, close to where they
live in Michigan. The cemetery was
completely overgrown with brush and weeds.
The markers had fallen over and some buried
beneath the earth. They spent the next few
months working to restore the cemetery,
headstones, and the history of those
burials, the early residents ofTallmadge,
most who were from New York.
Next, they volunteered to be the Tallmadge
Township historians. They retrieved boxes of
unorganized records from the township
office, organized each book and every piece
of paper from the beginning of records in
the 1830s. Loekie then indexed every name in
records pertaining to the people who have
lived in Tallmadge, up to the early 1900s.
In their 80's today, they continue working
on the records of Tallmadge and help
neighboring townships who ask for help with
their own records.
The Western Michigan* Genealogical Society was founded in
1954 with the purpose of preserving and making available for
genealogical research the records of our ancestors;
encouraging and assisting members in genealogical research;
promoting the exchange of knowledge and encouraging the
deposit of genealogical records in established libraries and
Membership Information is
*Includes Kent County and the counties
immediately surrounding; namely Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo,
Montcalm, Ionia, Barry and Allegan Counties. There is some
extension beyond these counties into other areas of the
Western Lower Peninsula.
New WMGS Publication!
STATE LAND PATENTS, KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN
Originally compiled by Western Michigan Genealogical
Society in 1984, this publication was redone and
improved in 2010. Original land patents given by the
Michigan State Government from approximately
1840-1879. These are very important records, as Kent
County had more state land for sale than any other
county in lower Michigan at that time.
Soft cover, 114 pages REVISED, 2010
A resource site for historical and genealogical
organizations & repositories within West Michigan
Please consider making a tax deductible
donation in support of genealogical research, education, and
preservation in West Michigan. The Western Michigan
Genealogical Society is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
of Acquisitions and Donations
Genealogical Periodicals in Michigan
All of these periodicals and/or newsletters
(whatever has been done over the years) are available at the
Library of Michigan (Lansing) and in respective local
libraries. Societies: please update the webmaster with
corrections or additions.
Card File Subject Index to Grand Rapids
The Story of
Grand Rapids was edited by Z. Z. Lydens (Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1966). A subject card file,
citing primarily newspaper articles was prepared during the
project and serves as an indirect index to Grand Rapids
Do you have questions,
comments or suggestions for Michigana? Contact the
editor, Bobbi Schirado at RHJSchirado@gmail.com
WMGS is a Generations Network Affiliate.
A portion of Ancestry Subscriptions purchased after clicking
the link below will benefit Western Michigan Genealogy.
DNA Testing for Genealogists
A Visual Introduction to the Basics and Beyond
Richard "Dick" Hill
Last year, Richard Hill shared his personal journey
with us…an adoptee finding his biological family through
DNA testing. This time he will set aside his story and
lead us step-by-step through the wonders of today’s
genetic genealogy tests. Read more...
1:30 pm, Saturday, December 6 in the
Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library
Signup for WMGS eNews
Annual Seminar Site
We mourn the passing of our friend Evelyn
Sawyer who went to be with her Lord and
Savior on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. She was a
valued member for a long time and the
Society and the Genealogy community in West
Michigan still enjoy the benefits her
generous spirit and energetic work produced.
Not enough can be said about Evelyn's
kindness, hard work, love of genealogy. Our
condolences to her family.
(Obituary at mlive.com)