c/o Grand Rapids
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI
Email - email@example.com
MEETINGS & EVENTS
Meeting Calendar |
Genealogy Classes |
1:30 p.m. in the Ryerson Auditorium of the Grand Rapids Public Library
on the first Saturday of the month, September through June. Should the first
Saturday fall on a holiday weekend, another day will be scheduled. The June
meeting is often times changed to the 2nd Saturday. Unless a special
program, each meeting has a one-hour lecture on a genealogy related subject
by a knowledgeable speaker. Books and charts are sold at our meetings and a
"Hospitality Hour" follows.
All meetings are free and open to the public.
REMINDER: Parking is
free at the library on Saturdays.
Just make sure you validate your parking exit ticket in the machine in
the first floor lobby.
Please review our weather
cancellation policy so you'll be aware how we'll inform you when it is
necessary to cancel a meeting.
GRPL presents for Black History Month:
Black Family History Series
**Co-sponsored by WMGS**
interest and knowledge of your family's ancestors is a common question
for most American families. What parent or grandparent hasn't had a
child ask about the family history, where they came from, what was
their job, how did they meet their spouse? While these are universal
questions it can be challenging to find the answers. This is especially
true for Afri-can Americans interested in their family history. Join us
during Black History Month for a series of workshops that will feature
local and regional speakers and offer an opportunity to connect with
others around your family history.
Registration is not required, however lunch will be provided if you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All workshops will be held in the VanderVeen Center.
SCHEDULESaturday, February 10
10:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.: Even gangsters had to register: WWI draft cards and selected service
War I Draft Registration cards reveal more than just basic identifying
information of eligible men. Following registra-tion, men completed a
form with hundreds of questions. Janis Minor Forte will examine the
development of identifying infor-mation on these cards and the path the
cards lead to other Selective Service System records, including men
identified as delinquent and/or deserters, along with classification
ilsts and community based local board systems.
1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.: Freedmen's Bureau
This talk covers the Bureau of Refugee, Freedmen and
Abandoned Lands records, which provide an array of information on the
individual, personal, family and social life style of post-Civil War
societies. The local governmental, eco-nomic and social network of the
community is revealed in these records, as well as family groups and
kinships of those lost or sold in slavery. African American researchers
learning to use these records will discover a treasure trove of
genealogical, economic and social information.
Saturday, February 17
10:00 a.m.—12:15 p.m.: Schedules, wills and probate - Linda Guth
class will explore schedules of the U.S. census, specifically the
agricultural and slaves schedules. The class will also look at wills
and probate records to talk about the role they play in black families.1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.: The census: how to use it and track family members - Linda Guth
This class will look at how to use U.S. Federal census records to find information on African American ancestors.
Saturday, February 24
10:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.: The ABCs of DNA - Jessica Trotter
can DNA testing tell you? What test should you take? What does it all
mean? DNA testing can be a powerful tool to wield in your genealogy
toolkit. Librarian and genealogist Jessica Trotter will offer a
beginners' overview on tests, testing companies and how you can use
1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.: African Americans in GR, Pre Civil War and Post Slavery - Cynthia Bailey and Ruth VanStee
Bailey and Ruth VanStee will introduce Grand Rapids African Americans
and highlight individual stories. You’ll learn about civil rights
leaders in Grand Rapids long before Dr. King began his work, the early
community leaders, church organiz-ers, businessmen and women leaders of
social welfare efforts. The talk will also highlight various sources
available at the Grand Rapids Public Library which you can use to tell
your ancestors’ stories.
Our next monthly membership meeting is...
Saturday, March 3rd (1:30 p.m.)
WMGS Databases and Website Resources
Presenter: Wanda Schottler
Western Michigan Genealogical Society has organized and posted a number
of outstanding family history resources. Come learn the ins and out
of the WMGS databases and website, and how they can help you with
your family history research.
Wanda Schottler has been
teaching Beginner’s Classes for WMGS for over 10 years and currently is
involved with Sales, Search, and Projects committees. She has been
working on her family tree for over 20 years and still searching for an
elusive great-great grandfather.
Location: Ryerson Auditorium
Mini-Class Saturday, March 3rd (12 Noon –
Topic: When it’s Okay to Guess in GenealogyAs
genealogy researchers, we do not speculate. We critically observe and
carefully record. We research and research some more. What if you don’t
find what you’re looking for? Sometimes you need to form a theory to
test. Sometimes, you must just guess. . . .
Location: Lower Level Adult Computer Lab – Grand Rapids Public Library
Instructor: Linda Guth
Saturday, April 7 (1:30 p.m.)
Did I REALLY Read It?
Presenter: Lori Fox
is about reviewing your documents and reading them again line by line
for information that you did not see or assumed the first
time. For example, finding people with same name in same county
and you follow the wrong family.
Lori Fox is an
ex-secondary business teacher. She has been doing genealogy for
over 30 years and is a member of several genealogical societies inside
and outside of Michigan. Lori is very active with Ionia County
Genealogical Society since its formation in 1997. She is also a
member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of
Professional Genealogists. Lori enjoys sharing her excitement and
knowledge about genealogy through a teaching format either in the
classroom or at the lectern.
April Mini Class to be announced...
Formed in 2015,
the Western Michigan Genealogical Society's DNA Interest Group
(DIG) meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the Grand
Rapids Public Library's VanderVeen Center on the 4th floor. Meetings are held 7 p.m.
comments or program suggestions are welcome! Please contact Roger Moffat -
Thursday, March 29, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
The Path to Our Danish Ancestors
class provides a foundation for Danish genealogy research. Learn the
historical background of Denmark and the techniques appropriate to
research families in Danish records & repositories.
Location: VanderVeen Room – Grand Rapids Public Library
Instructor: Mary Knudstrup
Upcoming, dates and times to be announced...
about the best strategies and sources to uncover your ancestors from
Ireland. This course is highly recommended for those who are
relatively new to Irish family history and wish to get to grips with
research techniques, archives and genealogical sources.
Location: VanderVeen Room – Grand Rapids Public Library
Allen County Public
Michigan Genealogical Society’s
Bus Trip to Fort Wayne’s
Allen County Public Library
The Fall trip is over. We'll let you know when the next is scheduled.
The Dominican Center on the corner of East Fulton and Lakeside
Drive is the location for WMGS Writers Group workshops. We normally
meet 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month.
We help and support each other's desire to write about our
families with a kind eye and lots of humor. Everyone is welcome.
For more details,
OTHER ACTIVITIES AT MONTHLY MEETINGS
Refreshments: Many WMGS members are great cooks!
They share homemade cookies and other goodies with us during our social
time! Social time for gene-people is as must! Who else wants to
listen to how you found G-G-G Grandpa except another WMGS member?
If you can bring cookies, contact Joann Fast, our Hospitality Chairperson.
WMGS Book Sales: WMGS stocks quite a large number of new books
and materials for your inspection. We feel that most people want to
browse through genealogy books before they purchase. Valuable genealogy
materials are difficult to find in the normal bookstores. Got ideas?
Want to help? Let us know! Watch for our Christmas Special