WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Browsing Posts in Meetings

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 […]

From 1850 to 1920 African Americans in Grand Rapids were a steady one percent of the city’s rapidly growing population. Ruth Van Stee will present on the vibrant community’s broader population before providing snapshots of business, cultural, and political leaders. She will also discuss how she explored some of her examples: a wealthy business man; […]

Located around Michigan are over 1,700 historical markers that tell the story of the state and its people. Each and every one of them provides a wonderful reminder of our history and offers insights about where we are headed. Fifty of the historical site markers are located in Kent County, both in and around Grand Rapids. […]

The historical charting of Grand Rapids women’s runs for public office beginning in 1887 is upending conventional wisdom and offering surprises about dates, the number of races, and the identities of losers. This unique historical accounting hopes to inspire cities across the nation to create their own comprehensive elective histories. Julia Bouwkamp and Jo Ellyn Clarey will […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Our next monthly meeting: Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm in the Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library Topic this month: Traffic Violations, Criminal Complaints and Marriages: Records of a Justice of the Peace Justices of the Peace served as local magistrates empowered primarily to administer summary justice in minor cases, to commit for […]

Western Michigan Genealogical Society’s 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Day for our 2015 Volunteers was held on Saturday 2 April 2016 – an unexpectedly Wintery day as it turned out… 70 Volunteers helped us out last year and their names were on slides that rotated in sequence while the presentations were being made. Of that 70, 30 made it […]