April 10th, 2013
WMGS is excited to announce that the speaker at this year’s Got Ancestors?! 2013 Seminar will be D. Joshua Taylor.
Josh will give one presentation on the evening of Friday 11 October and 4 presentations on Saturday 12 October at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College.
Josh is well known to viewers of the NBC Television Series Who Do You Think You Are, having featured on episodes about Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashley Judd and Rob Lowe.
So save the dates – 11 – 12 October 2013 for WMGS’ Got Ancestors?! 2013 with D. Joshua Taylor.
October 29th, 2012
Below are the questions submitted by registrants to this year’s Got Ancestors?! seminar. We had many answers to these questions; too many to list all here in this article. Some answers are suggested places to look and others are very detailed. Take a look. You may find the answer to your questions! Click here for a complete list of GotAncestor?! Registrant Questions with Answers. Thanks to all who contributed the Questions and the Answers!
QUESTION: (Vickey Parker) To narrow the search of common last names, is there a trick one could use?
QUESTION: (Sue Irvine) Where would I find records (1745-1812) for a Quaker who married a non-Quaker in central New York? Assuming no birth records, where would the children be baptized?
QUESTION: (Sally Akehi) My great aunt, born 1894 in Iowa, raised in Allegan MI, also married there, but left her Husband & baby in 1915 and went…somewhere!! Chicago, we think. We know maiden name, 1st married name, but NOT 2nd married name!What resources do we have for IL with searchable field for maiden name?? How to break thru this brick wall??
QUESTION: (Mary Alt) Does the Allen County Library have confederate soldier records from the Civil War? Read The Full Entry »
October 29th, 2012
The 5th Annual GotAncestors?! Seminar is now a memory. To followup we’re posting 100s of surnames being researched for all to find. Look for your common interests and make contact.
Here’s a preview:
Adrianse | MI | 1840′s-now / Betty Snow – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahlberg | Sweden > Michigan | 1880s-current / Don Bryant – email@example.com
Alison | Scotland<Ontario<Detroit, MI<IL | 1770-1900 / Jessica Trotter – firstname.lastname@example.org
Allen, Betsey | PA, OH, and possibly MI | 1805–1865 / Claudette Darling – Genealya@aol.com
Allison/Ellison | KY, TN, AL, AR | 1775-1920 / Paula Naujalis – email@example.com
Alt | Alsace, Ohio & Michigan | 1830-present / Mary Alt – firstname.lastname@example.org
ALTHOUSE/ALTHAUS | Darmstadt,Palatine / Claudia Day – email@example.com
Anthony | Virginia | 1850,1860 / Erma Shaw – firstname.lastname@example.org
Atwater | Michigan | 1850-1970 / Vickey Parker – email@example.com
Click here to download the entire list (PDF) 2012 GotAncestors?! Registrant Surnames List.
[Update 2 November - added a revised PDF file that is searchable, and the eMail addresses are clickable.]
October 9th, 2012
We have some great door prizes lined up:
From Ancestry.com we have
- THREE certificates for a free 3 month Ancestry.com World Deluxe Membership
From Fold3.com we have
- TWO certificates for a free year of membership valued at $80
From the National Institute for Genealogical Studies
- we have THREE certificates to take a free course valued at up to $89
- a voucher that can be exchanged at his Sales booth for either an 11 x 14 color map or a genealogy wall chart.
- A $25 Gift Certificate to the Western Michigan Genealogical Society Sales Table.
- A Tee Shirt of the winner’s choice.
THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THESE GENEROUS GIFTS.
Remember – you can’t win if you’re not going to be there!!!
August 15th, 2012
Message from President Don Bryant
2012 marks our fifth consecutive GotAncestors?! annual seminar! This year’s program approaches genealogy from diverse perspectives that highlight ways you might not have thought of to uncover your family’s hidden information. Curt B. Witcher will demonstrate and explain approaches you can take to answer your research question marks – those people in your history who seem to appear out of nowhere only to disappear.
Several years ago, I studied the 1630s Great Migration to New England. Then at one of our previous seminars, I was reminded of another Great Migration – that of the African-American populations from the southern states to the north. Different ethnic groups, but exactly the same concepts are involved when studying migration patterns. Cluster research focuses on ethnic and family origins in order to research family history as a group and is one of the five topics at this year’s seminar.
Mr. Witcher offers his expertise on other subjects. Military records, which exist for practically every generation, provide a key perspective to understanding your ancestors in historical context. Federal population schedules, key components of any family history project, are not the only census records valuable to genealogists. One should not ignore other types of censuses that shed light on areas like agricultural, social, slavery, manufacturing, and mortality. Learn how and where to find new internet resources. Finally, because there are more answers “off-line” than online, learn methodologies and effective ways to use libraries – specifically ACPL. Who better to pose your questions to than the top librarian of one of the best genealogy libraries in the country?
I hope you will join us for the 2012 Got Ancestors?! seminar. Come with your questions and leave with answers about how to fulfill your genealogy endeavors.
August 13th, 2012
Friday Evening 12 October 2012
Pain In The Access: Getting More From The Internet For Your Genealogy
Library, archive, government, and GenWeb internet sites have much to offer genealogists if one knows how and where to look–and it is not as complicated or painful as it might first seem. This presentation demonstrates various websites and creative strategies for getting information that is more meaningful from the web, and guides genealogists to using the Internet for more than just hunting for names.
Followed by Dessert & Coffee and Mix & Mingle.
Saturday 13 October 2012
Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key
This lecture explores how the idea of “America, the Great Melting Pot” may really be a flawed concept and that identifying the particular ethnic group of one’s ancestor or potential ancestor can pay significant research dividends. Concepts in this lecture include building a historical context for one’s ancestor, studying population clusters, recognizing patterns of all sorts (naming, migration, settlement, etc.), understanding the “push and pull” of migration (i.e. the motivations behind families or individuals migrating), and locating repositories for various ethnic groups.
Boot Camp & Roll Call: An Overview of Military Records and New Sites and Sources For Military Research
This extended session takes an in-depth look at military records, from the earliest times of our country’s history to the present day. Discussed are the five major types of military records; where one can find such documents; the typical data found in sample records; and contents of what one might call other “minor” military records. Then our presenter explores the growing number of consequential websites for military & family history researchers – from bibliographic databases to sites that provide copies of first-hand accounts and images of actual records.
All That Other Stuff!: Other Census Records Beyond The Population Schedules
Learn about the many census schedules that researchers often overlook when using federal population census records. Agricultural, manufacturing, mortality, slave, social and statistical censuses are among the types of census schedules explored in this talk. Using all these schedules in combination with the population schedules provide significant additional information about ones’ ancestors and his/her community.
Effective Use of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
By providing a detailed description of the holdings of the Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library, this lecture folds research methodology into an exploration of the resources of the nation’s second largest genealogical research facility. The presentation considers not only the materials available for research on-site but also how researchers can access data about the collection remotely.
June 27th, 2012
The Got Ancestors?! committee is hard at work planning this year’s Got Ancestors?! 2012 Seminar.
Our speaker this year is Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF. Curt is the Manager for The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a former president of both FGS & NGS, and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society. He is coeditor of the Periodical Source Index.
One of the hardest parts of getting this set up is choosing just 5 topics – 1 for Friday evening and 4 for Saturday – from Curt’s 7 page list of available topics. We’re expecting to have topics on Military Research, Census Research, and the Allen County Public Library. Details on this will be posted here in the next week or 2.
We’re using the popular Prince Conference Center at Calvin College again.
Remember the dates – Friday and Saturday 12 and 13 October 2012.
January 26th, 2012
We’re excited to announce that the dates for Got Ancestors?! 2012 have been chosen.
We have moved our annual Seminar into Family History Month, and will be holding the Got Ancestors?! 2012 Seminar at Prince Conference Center on Friday 12 October – Saturday 13 October 2012.
November 5th, 2011
Saturday’s portion of Got Ancestors?! 2011 was “Genealogy in Black & White and Blue & Gray” and consisted of 4 fascinating sessions from a GREAT presenter.
Tony’s topics were:
- The Nature of Genealogy
- The Six Phases of African American Genealogy
- Did Your Ancestor Serve in the Civil War
- Creating Order Out of Chaos
A couple of highlights of the day – attendee Jeanne Jones celebrated her 91st birthday with us, the youngest attendee was a 2 month old, and Tony Burroughs got to catch up with a grade school friend of his from Chicago – Al Odom now lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
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Jeanne Jones celebrated her 91st birthday with us today - with long time friend Tony Burroughs.
November 4th, 2011
Friday night’s part of Got Ancestors?! Genealogy in Black & White and Blue & Gray was “Voices of Freedom: African American Soldiers in the Civil War”.
It was a great presentation, with Tony Burroughs providing many recollections of African Americans who fought in the Civil War and had their recollections recorded – whether in Pension Applications, or letters to newspapers, even in books.
Tony Burroughs in full song
The evening started off with punch and nuts and mints and mingling, then the presentation got underway at 7pm. We finished up with Coffee/Tea/Punch and Mini-Desserts.
Read The Full Entry »