WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

I Love WritingThe next National Genealogical Society Family History Conference will be right here in Grand Rapids. As the local host society, the Western Michigan Genealogical Society has been preparing in various ways – planning for promotion, assisting NGS staff with local arrangements, and recruiting volunteers. One of our values is partnering with people and organizations from all over Michigan and the Great Lakes region to be part of the effort to welcome genealogists and family history fanatics to our area.

We’ll be posting updates more and more as May 2018 draws closer. This article invites those who enjoy writing to participate by telling others about the 2018 conference, the various resources we have in Michigan, and sharing details about what visitors will find here. The early articles are identified to cover area repositories, special collections, and local attractions for visitors. Each article should be 400 words or less and focused on a specific subject and include at least one photo or image. Include all basic information such as locations, hours of operations, costs, and phone numbers as applicable.

Looking ahead, there will be more specific topics as we get closer to the conference in May.

Would you like to help write? Have questions? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or send an email to webmaster@wmgs.org and we’ll get back to you.

A few months ago I posted about my reason for attending a National Genealogy Conference, this is a follow-up to that post.

In May I had the opportunity to attend the NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Now, I am even more excited about the 2018 Family History Conference which will be held in Grand Rapids.

I have attended a couple of regional conferences and continue reading…

Kris Rzepczynski, Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan

Saturday, 09 Sep 2017 

Kris Rzepczynski

Naturalization Records Online!: The Archives of Michigan & FamilySearch

 The Archives of Michigan and FamilySearch are partnering to digitize hundreds of thousands of Michigan naturalization records. With the assistance of the Michigan Genealogical Council and researchers like you, the index will ultimately be made available at both FamilySearch and Seeking Michigan, while the images themselves will be available exclusively at www.seekingmichigan.org. This program will cover the ins and outs of the indexing process and detail the current status of the project.

 A Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan, where he specializes in family history and Michigan research, Kris previously worked for a number of years at the Library of Michigan as the Michigan/Genealogy Coordinator. He holds a MLIS from Wayne State University and a MA in History from Western Michigan University. Kris has presented at national, state, and local conferences, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, and for dozens of local genealogical societies and public libraries. He is also a former Vice-President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and a Past President of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society.

1:30 pm at the Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE

Hosted by the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. Public welcome. Free parking available Saturdays at the library lot.

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.