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.
Saturday, 4 April 2015
Dutch Women Immigrants in Grand Rapids (at the turn
of the previous century)
Presenter: Janet Sjaarda Sheeres
In the last two decades of the nineteenth century
well over 84,000 Dutch immigrants arrived in the
United States. Most of these Dutch immigrants headed
for West Michigan. By 1900 one-third of the
Dutch-born in the United States of America lived in
Grand Rapids, where they totaled 40% of the
population. In 1890, nearly 300,000 residents of
Dutch ancestry lived in the five-county
region—Allegan, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, and
Ottawa—making it the largest Dutch settlement area
in the United States. Among these were thousands of
married women as well as hundreds of single
women—unmarried or widowed.
Who were these women? What was their social status
in the Netherlands before immigrating? What were
their occupations? Their legal rights? What
motivated them to immigrate? This program takes a
closer look at the distaff side of Dutch
immigration. If you have a Dutch grandmother or
great-grandmother in your family tree you will be
interested in learning more about these women.
Janet Sjaarda Sheeres is an independent scholar and
freelance author. Her books include Son of
Secession, Douwe J. VanderWerp, The Not-so Promised
Land: the Dutch in Amelia County, VA 1868-1880, and
Minutes of the Christian Reformed Church Assemblies
1857-1880. The last one she edited and annotated.
She has served as president of the Zeeland,
Michigan, Historical Society, of the Association for
the Advancement of Dutch American Studies and as
chair of the Christian Reformed Church Historical
Committee. She is the associate editor of Origins,
the historical magazine of Calvin College’s Heritage
Hall Archives. Besides publishing dozens of articles
in national and international historical and
genealogical journals, Sheeres has taught courses on
Dutch Genealogy for CALL (Calvin Academy for
Life-long Learning) and has given many presentations
on the subject. She is currently writing about the
wives of the first ten Christian Reformed Ministers
– immigrant women all.
mini class - Prepping for
the Allen County Public Library
12 NOON - 1:00 p.m. SATURDAY, 4 APRIL
Thinking about going to the Allen County Public
Library in Fort Wayne, IN on April 22nd & 23rd? They
have one of the largest research collections
available, incorporating records from around the
world. Our presenter will show you how to prepare
for research at their library.
Instructor: Sue Irvine, Class will be held in the Adult Computer Lab,
Location: 111 Library Street Northeast, Grand
Rapids, MI 49503, USA
Saturday, 2 May 2015
Finding Grandma’s European Ancestors
Presenter: Steve Szabados
Finding European ancestors may seem to be a
challenging task but this program covers a method
that tries to simplify this daunting search. The
program covers tips to find where your ancestors
left, where to find the European records and gives
tips on translating most records. The author has
been successful in research ancestors in Poland,
Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.
The program also gives suggestions to help those
Steve Szabados has given numerous presentations to
groups in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He has written ten
genealogy books and is also a contributing editor
for the Polish American Journal. As a genealogy
volunteer at the Arlington Heights Library, he helps
individuals with their research and he wants to
share his passion for Family History.
12 NOON - 1:00 p.m. SATURDAY, 2 May
Findagrave.com is an emerging reference that
contains over 121 million cemetery, grave and burial
records. Learn more about this resource and how to
use it to aid in genealogical research.
Class will be held in the Adult Computer Lab,
Lower Level, at the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Instructor: Kathy Cook.
Saturday, 13 June 2015
Civil War Memories in Bronze, White Bronze, and
Presenter: Bruce B. Butgereit
belief that the deeds and sacrifice of the soldiers
serving in the Civil War deserved to be preserved
for future generations began in Grand Rapids in
1864, before the war was over. This program will
take you on a tour of the many Civil War and Grand
Army of the Republic memorials created in the Grand
Rapids area from 1885 to 2014.
Nearly every resident knows of the Kent County
Civil War Monument at the corner of Fulton and
Division. When asked how many other such memorials
exist in the Grand Rapids area, some have guess
three or four. Do you know? You will after this
Bruce B. Butgereit serves as the Civil War Memorials
Officer for both the local Gen. John A. Logan Camp
No. 1 and the Department of Michigan, Sons of Union
Veterans of the Civil War. During his two terms as
National Civil War Memorials Officer for the Sons of
Union Veterans, Bruce created a handbook of
instruction to provide guidance for all memorial
officers in fulfilling their obligations. He is
recognized in Michigan and elsewhere for his
knowledge regarding the Civil War and his efforts to
preserve and restore these public memories of the
men and women of 1861-1865 and the Grand Army of the
12 NOON - 1:00 p.m. SATURDAY, 13 June
Class will be held in the Adult Computer Lab,
Lower Level, at the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Tuesday, 31 March
Reunion Genealogy Software: for Macintosh computers
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Tuesday, 31 March
Reunion for Macintosh received the highest rating
for genealogy apps in MacWorld, MacAddict, and Mac Home
Journal magazines. Reunion also received a MacWorld Editor's
Come and learn more about this amazing family tree
software. Bring your Macintosh computer with you.
Class will be held in the Youth Computer Training Center
on the Second Level, at the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Instructor: Roger Moffat
Wednesday, 8 April
Bringing Your Family Story to Life: Tips and Ideas
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Wednesday, 8 April
You’ve spent many hours (or years) doing research, poring
over documents, visiting libraries, and interviewing people.
Now you want to write up your family history to be more than
charts, or lists of names and dates. How can you bring your
family narrative to life, in a format that people will want
to read? This talk will give you tips and ideas for writing
a narrative that draws the readers in while helping them
keep track of who’s who.
Class will be held in the Adult Computer Training Center
on the Lower Level, at the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Instructor: Roger Konyndyk
Monday, 11 May
Dutch Heritage Databases
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM - Monday, 11 May
WieWasWie and Zeeuws Archief are online databases for
locating vital records in the Netherlands. Zeeuws Archief is
the official database for the Province of Zeeland and
contains over 5.3 million records. WieWasWie is an official
Dutch database with records from all provinces. Dutch vital
records exist from at least 1811, but there are some records
dating back to the 1700s. This class will teach you how to
access these databases, locate abstracts of vital records
and make copies. Basic computer skills are required.
Location: Adult Computer Lab – Lower Level in the Grand
Rapids Public Library
Instructor: Don Bryant
Allen County Public
Michigan Genealogical Society’s
Bus Trip to Fort Wayne’s
Allen County Public Library
We are planning
our 2015 Spring trip for Wednesday & Thursday, April 22
Download the Registration Form Here
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
Topics for the year 2015
January: Describe a typical family meal during your childhood. Who, what, when and where?
February: If you could take one last trip - where would you go, what would you do, and who would you go with?
March: Are you an optimist or a pessimist? What makes you this way?
April: What are the most important books that you have read? How did they change your life?
It is requested to call Sister Michael Ellen
Carling at 616-514-3340 if you wish to attend. Please park in the
Dominican Center parking lot which is off Lakeside Drive. Use the
lower entrance on the east side of the large portico and go down the
steps or the cement ramp to enter the building. The receptionist
will direct you to the room.
Everyone is welcome to bring their latest writing
project rather than the suggested topic for the meeting. Having a
topic helps some of us jog our memories and prods us into making
sure we actually write between meetings.
group provides constructive feedback and everyone benefits.
For more details,
OTHER ACTIVITIES AT MONTHLY MEETINGS
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 in December!