WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Journal page

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 maps. Recently donated to the library archives, the journal recounts Page’s travels from Grand Rapids to Ontario and Sacramento, as well as the long-time investment of the Page family in the Creston neighborhood for the last 70 years.

Presenter: Michael Page
Sponsor: Grand Rapids Public Library

Saturday, January 20, 2018

9:30 am – 4:00 pm | Main Library | 111 Library St NE

A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan. http://www.grpl.org/historydetectives/

Collections of the Voigt family

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 Rapids from the Victorian Era to the middle of the twentieth century and help weave together the personal stories of the Voigt family, Carl and Elizabeth, their six children, and extended family.

Presenter: Andrea Melvin
Sponsor: Grand Rapids Public Museum

Saturday, January 20, 2018

9:30 am – 4:00 pm | Main Library | 111 Library St NE

A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan. http://www.grpl.org/historydetectives/

African Americans in Early Grand Rapids

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; a women’s club leader active in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union movement; and a citizen serving with the YMCA overseas during WWI, and others.

Presenter: Ruth Van Stee
Sponsor: Grand Rapids Historical Society & Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University

Saturday, January 20, 2018

9:30 am – 4:00 pm | Main Library | 111 Library St NE

A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan. http://www.grpl.org/historydetectives/

Historical Marker – Arthur H. Vandenberg

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. We will take a virtual tour within the city limits of Grand Rapids to seek out and highlight these hidden gems that represent a great deal of our local area’s history.

Presenter: Jeff Neumann
Sponsors: 
Grand Rapids Historical Commission

Saturday, January 20, 2018

9:30 am – 4:00 pm | Main Library | 111 Library St NE

A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan. http://www.grpl.org/historydetectives/

Her Hat was in the Ring!

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 report that Her Hat Was in the Ring, a national crowdsourcing project, now has invited local researchers to share their data with the world, to help others complete and complicate American women’s history by seeking out every woman who ran before 1920.

Presenters: Julia Bouwkamp & Jo Ellyn Clarey
Sponsors: Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council & Grand Rapids City Archives

Saturday, January 20, 2018

9:30 am – 4:00 pm | Main Library | 111 Library St NE

A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan.  http://www.grpl.org/historydetectives/

The Madison Square business district ca. 1950

While researching his church’s first hundred years for This Far by Faith: The Unfinished Story of Madison Square Church (2017), Don Bryant discovered surprising connections among people, organizations, and events that characterized the Grand Rapids neighborhood in which the church was planted in 1914. As the first business district outside downtown, the Square’s long history provides fodder for compelling looks at the area’s past. Bryant illustrates why knowing local history can impact the present and how it can connect to one’s family background in personal, exciting, and rewarding ways.

Presenter: Don Bryant
Sponsor: Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Saturday, January 20, 2018

9:30 am – 4:00 pm | Main Library | 111 Library St NE

A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan. http://www.grpl.org/historydetectives/

Looking ahead to NGS 2018 Conference May 2-5 Grand Rapids, Michigan! Here is a glimpse of Sue Irvine’s time at Raleigh in May 2017 and what we can look forward to in GR!

Vendor area open and free to the public.

The American Ancestors booth was huge.  You’ll love looking at all the books they publish.  A chance to check them out before you buy!!!  I bought a whole set and they shipped them right to my home!   Whow! continue reading…

Have you ever asked yourself this question?

How to submit your data.

If you are a WMGS Member, you can submit your data to us to have it published on the WMGS Members’ Genealogy site, (http://trees.wmgs.org/) where it can act as “cousin bait” so that others researching their ancestors might also find your ancestors, and so be able to make a connection to you.

To submit your data to this site, you can send a GEDCOM file to DataMaster@wmgs.org. It is best to compress the GEDCOM file before attaching it to the eMail.

If you don’t know how to create a GEDCOM file, check the Help settings for your software, or ask Google

  • If you have the option, you should use UTF-8 as the character set for the export – particularly if you have accented or “foreign” characters in your names and place names

Some notes about how the site works:

  • Information about Living people is suppressed from display online – provided that there is a birthdate present for the people concerned so that the software can determine that they are Living – i.e. born less than 110 years ago, and no death date present;
  • If you suppress information about Living people from the GEDCOM file export, so that there are no birthdates listed, then the website software won’t know people are alive and will show their name if that’s what you included in the GEDCOM file;
  • Your data will be loaded into a unique “tree” on the site, so it will sit alongside all the other “trees” that are present (currently more than 700);
  • You will be shown as the “owner” of the data in your tree, and anyone that finds something of interest to them will be able to contact you directly by eMail;
  • You will be able to update information on your tree by sending a new GEDCOM file that will replace ALL of the data you currently have online

There are over 700 family trees online now. Are you ready to try it?

[This instruction can always be found at http://trees.wmgs.org/ and also accessible through our main database site at http://data.wmgs.org/]

Out with the old.

Ted  Bainbridge,  Ph.D.

Findagrave.com has announced that the web site soon will change.  Some changes are cosmetic, while others are functional.  A map feature has been added.

The home page, formerly just a list of over thirty choices, will become a photograph with a few menu selections across the top.  That page will be dominated by the search panel, which will function largely as it has in the past and with the same options for every search box except those related to location.

The current search panel specifies location via pull-down lists for country, state, and county.  The new search panel offers a single box for location, in which you are supposed to type the name of a place.  As you begin to type a city, county, state, or country that box auto-fills with suggested place names which you can select with a mouse click.  Use the American English equivalent of a country name; Germany works but Deutschland doesn’t. continue reading…

From NGS Family History Conference blog:

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) expects as many as 2,000 family historians and professional genealogists will attend its 2018 Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Michigan and other genealogical and historical societies are invited to showcase their organizations at Society Night, an innovative exposition, on Wednesday, 2 May, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., in the Center Concourse of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

If your Organization is interested, you can make a reservation online. The cost is $50 for a table; sharing with another group is possible. Read more about this!
http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/society-night/