WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Browsing Posts in General Genealogy

– By Mary Alt After the Civil War, Ottawa County officials found they had veterans who needed a home. In May, a documentary film on The Ottawa County Poor Farm will have its premiere in Holland and Grand Haven. When the Ottawa County Poor Farm received its first resident in 1866, no one could have […]

Pieces of my family history are “news” in the Grand Rapids Press. This snippet published in 1950 is an interview with my grandfather, Kenneth Bennett. Both he and my grandmother were rural delivery mail route carriers. My earliest memories of him involve the many cars he owned and I was fascinated how he could drive […]

by:  Jeanne Rollberg When convention goers gathered in Grand Rapids for the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference earlier in May, many of us also explored Kent County resources and nearby places in pursuit of our own families’ histories. In Grand Rapids, a priest helped me find the luck of the Irish.

One local spot about fifteen-minutes from DeVos Place is Pietro’s Italian Restaurant. A sentimental favorite in Grand Rapids originally opened in 1980 by Peter Secchia (former Ambassador to Italy from 1989-1993), the restaurant is named after his Italian immigrant grandfather who came to the United States in 1906 armed with family recipes.  Pietro’s has an […]

The Mitten Brewing Co., at 527 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids embraces history, especially the history of its own building. Owners Max Trierweiler and Chris Andrus, seen in the photo with their wives and Oprah, chose the historic Engine House No. 9 as the home for their brewery in 2012 and have spent a […]

Grand Rapids History & Special Collections Grand Rapids Public Library – Main, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49503 Phone: 616-988-5400; E-mail: Contact us Hours: Sun 1-5p.m.; M-Th 9a.m.-9p.m. F-Sat 9a.m.-6p.m. “The Grand Rapids History & Special Collections area of the library, including the archival collections, is one of the largest collections of historical [& genealogical] […]

It is springtime on “The Ridge” and the orchards are in bloom.  The Ridge is an agricultural area northwest of Grand Rapids. This time of the year is the most beautiful as the orchards are in bloom with apple, peach, pear and plum trees setting their crop for the year. The agricultural area northwest of Grand […]

Further away from West Michigan, enjoy the trip to other parts the Great Lakes State to see these significant repositories.  Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library,  University of Michigan, 1150 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109-2113  Phone: 734-764-3482; E-mail:  Hours:  M–F: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat.: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.  E-mail: contact us “From the gubernatorial […]

We’ve assembled a list of important repositories & archives located in Michigan. Here are three you’ll find that are an hour’s drive or less of Grand Rapids.  Archives of Michigan  702 W Kalamazoo St., Lansing, Mich. 48915 Phone: 517-373-3559. Phone Hours M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  Research Hours M-F: 1-5 p.m. Sa: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Email: contact […]