WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Traditions often enrich and strengthen family bonds and create fond memories. Whether they are stories, activities, or beliefs handed down from generation to generation, it’s important to preserve your family traditions for future generations. WMGS encourages you to write about one of your family’s traditions. They may occur daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, and revolve around military, holidays, or her special occasions. Some may be humorous or unusual.

Traditions may or may not be genealogical facts, but often provide important research clues. You may choose to describe how a Family Tradition assisted in your research, how you determined when and how the tradition began, or whether the tradition is based on true information or was created to teach or convince.

We would love to hear your story. Write it up and enter the 2018 writing contest!

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2017 WMGS Writing Contest Winners to be announced on Saturday, May 6th, at the monthly meeting of the Western Michigan Genealogical Society in the Ryerson Auditorium at the downtown Grand Rapids Library. Winning entries will be included in future issues of Michigana.

The 2017 Volunteer Appreciation Day was held on 1 April – and that’s no April Fools’ Joke!

The awards were a handmade keyring of wound wire and small gems in the shape of a tree – very nice! 

And then there was cake.

THANKS TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS – YOU ARE WHAT KEEPS WESTERN MICHIGAN GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY GOING!

Photos by Roger Moffat and Lisa Christensen.

This has always been a very useful resource… now getting even better!  This is from the website:

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I signed up to attend the 2017 NGS national conference after having been to a couple of regional WMGS Got Ancestors conferences featuring nationally known speakers. One of the first things that I noticed as a difference between the conferences was the choices continue reading…

The biggest breakthrough of my genealogy life happened at a national conference in Fort Wayne many, many years ago.  I had enjoyed the conference  thoroughly, but found that  it was necessary for me to leave a little early on the last day.  Reluctantly I wandered through the vendors hall one last time and came upon a man telling someone he had a book that gave the origin in Germany for particular family names.  I waited in line and then asked him if my maiden name Weidenfeller might be in the book and there it was!! In a moment after years and years of fruitless searching I was handed the name of the tiny village in Germany where my grandfather was born. I recall driving home in a cloud of joy. So while the speakers at a conference are important, sometimes it is just a serendipitous moment that makes it so worthwhile, but we won’t know if we don’t put yourselves in the place to have it happen. – Marlene F.

Finally – I’m working on my centennial certificate application. What I’ve found is quite surprising! One of my relatives died during childbirth of the oldest child! Then I found another child born with two different names on the same date! I have documentation! Apparently somebody entered invalid information in my genealogy program! Who?!? ME?!? Couldn’t be! continue reading…

I had never thought about attending a National Genealogy Conference until recently, but now I am looking forward to attending the 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am especially excited about the 2018 Family History Conference which will be held in Grand Rapids.

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I’ve heard it said that only about 10 to 20 percent of the genealogical information out there is available online. Yet, that is often the first or maybe the only place that people, myself included, look. I prefer to do my research late at night when there are no distractions. Unfortunately, libraries and other places where records are kept prefer to do business during the day.
Even though the possibilities are limited, I have made several interesting discoveries during my late-night searches. continue reading…