c/o Grand Rapids
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
and charts are sold at our meetings and a "Hospitality Hour" follows.
Looking at a genealogical book on the internet? See if it’s for
sale at the WMGS sales table. Our books are sold for same price
as the Internet….but at our sales table and as a member of WMGS that
same book has a 10% discount and you don’t pay for shipping. Talk
to Lisa and Wanda about items you don’t see.
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, February 8 (1:30 p.m.)
Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors
Presenter: Jessica Trotter
is a nation of immigrants but it's not always easy to track our
ancestors back to a boat, let alone their town of origin. This
presentation offers tips and resources for your search with ideas for:
what types of records might include origins, strategies for working
with whole families, and important factors to keep in mind depending on
the time period you are researching.
Trotter holds a Master of Science in Information, Archives and Records
Management Specialization from the University of Michigan—but works in
public libraries by day. Her genealogy research areas include Midwest,
African American, British Isles, Canadian, and Early American research.
She also maintains a genealogy research related blog called Genie Road
Trip at http://genieroadtrip.wordpress.com.
Mini-Class: Black Family History Series
12 Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Vander Veen Center (4th floor), GRPL
Instructor: Joyce Daniels
Saturday, March 7 (1:30 p.m.)
NATIVE AMERICAN GENEALOGY – HIDDEN FILES TELL AMAZING STORIES!
Presenter: Chris Czopek “Lansing’s History Detective”
genuine History Detective will be driving to Grand Rapids. His
destination will be the March 7 meeting of the Western Michigan
Genealogy Society. His name is Chris Czopek. His place will be among
Grand Rapids area genealogists. His purpose will be to reveal a
recently discovered new source of information on Native American
families in Michigan – Civil War pension files!
time of war, Native American men have always volunteered to fight for
their land. The Civil War was no different. When a soldier fell on the
field of a battle, his widow could apply for a pension. Same thing for
a son who was the sole source of support for his mother. And the
surviving soldiers still alive in the 1890s could receive a pension.
But there was always one catch – documents! The government insisted on
marriage records from the widows, birth records from the mothers, and
for the old soldiers receiving a pension, the government asked they
list the wife and children and give their birthdates. All those rare
documents sent in for a pension still exist, buried in an archives in
Washington D.C. For the Native American community, those Pension
Files are a gold-mine of information!
March 7, an expert on these Pension Files will make a rare public
appearance. He will bring with him a list of over 100 available pension
files. And he will talk about what kind of documents they contain.
Expect to hear some interesting stories about the Chippewa, Ottawa, and
Potawatomie families of Michigan!
grew up in Michigan during the Civil War Centennial. As a boy, he would
watch a Civil War movie on TV – then go to the library and find out how
much of the story was true. This was the beginning of his career as a
After college he worked for a newspaper, joined
the army and served six years in Military Intelligence, volunteered for
an archaeological dig in Israel, worked as a tour guide at the State
Capitol Building in Lansing, a photographer for the State Senate, and
in the offices of the Michigan State Police. He lives in Lansing with
his wife, Bonnie.
In recent years Chris has become well known to
Michigan historians for his expert research of Civil War soldiers.
Called “Lansing’s History Detective” by the Lansing State Journal, he
has published several books on Civil War history and has been a
consultant for The History Channel. His most recent project, a
documentary titled ROAD TO ANDERSONVILLE, is the first film to tell the
story of Company K.
is best known as the author of Who Was Who In Company K, the
first book to give solid facts about the Native American men who served
in the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. He has copies of his book to sign
and sell after every program!
Mini-Class: One Note
12 Noon - 1:00 p.m.
the right tool to help organize your research is a struggle. Join
Michele as she shows you some of the features of Microsoft OneNote. It
may be just what you are looking for to clear the clutter and find your
desk once again.
Location: Lower Level Adult Computer Lab, GRPL
Instructor: Michele Hoogewind
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 -
Two-Hour classesComing soon.
Allen County Public
Michigan Genealogical Society’s
Bus Trip to Fort Wayne’s
Allen County Public Library
Here's the Spring Trip plan... Monday and Tuesday, April 27 & 28.
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