WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Browsing Posts in Grand Rapids Public Library

The Grand Rapids History & Special Collection Department was established in 1904 as the Ryerson Library-was being completed. When planning this “new” library, board members ensured that a “Michigan Room” be set aside in which to preserve collections. Currently, the archives contain over 450 processed collections, accessed with a request slip. My favorite is the […]

On the west bank of the Grand River stands the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and, just to the north, are the grave sites of the late president and first lady. Ford, the only un-elected president of the United States and the only president from Michigan, and his wife, Betty, both grew up in Grand […]

Some are amazed to find that many libraries in Kent County have local historical organizations involved with a room of their own, right in the library! When checking federal census records or plat maps, you might find an ancestor from one of the cities or townships in Kent County, Michigan. A look into one of […]

The fourth floor of the downtown Grand Rapids Ryerson Library is a genealogist’s dream. It is filled with a variety of family history resources from all states, eastern Canada and Europe. The very best thing anyone can do before going to any library is to research resources. Search grpl.org/history before going to the Grand Rapids’ […]

Time for my second adventure!  No snow.  No rain.  This time from the west side of Grand Rapids.  This time a 10 minute ride and then a 5 minute walk.  Free ride, $2 parking; vs. free parking and a about $3 ride. (See SilverLine)  dash-West is FREE! It runs 6:30am-10pm.  Parking at the dash-West Parking Lot#9 […]

I spent Saturday at the Grand Rapids Public Library’s main branch. A group of wonderful volunteers and staff have created a fantastic series of workshops and talks designed to help a group of eager, new researchers learn more about their African American ancestry. Saturday’s focus was learning how to find information in three databases: Heritage […]

What a fun day on the Silver Line in Winter! My day was warm (overcast and higher than freezing). I was ready for an adventure. This is new for me and I needed to know. I drove to 60th Street and Division Avenue, an easy exit at 68th Street then north Division a mile to […]

This Saturday, February 3, the Black Family History Series at the Grand Rapids Public Library kicks off at the WMGS monthly meeting at 1:30 p.m. in the Ryerson Auditorium. We announced a speaker change last Friday. This is a reminder… You’ll not want to miss Tony Burroughs.  As our featured speaker at the GotAncestors Annual […]

Through day-to-day accounts in Loren M. Page’s journal, kept from 1847 to 1852, get a peek at life at the “north-end” of early Grand Rapids, now the Creston neighborhood. Accounts in the diary provide a detailed and personal look at upper and lower class life in the young city, and will be supplemented by photographs and […]

Peer into the incredible closet of a prominent Grand Rapids entrepreneurial family, the Voigts. The collection of over 600 items of personal dress dates from the 1890s through the 1970s and includes pieces rarely appearing in museum collections, particularly the active wear and clothing worn privately in the home. The garments will be used to explore the fashion, culture and society of Grand […]