Barbara J. Brown Family History Seminar is set!! Judy G. Russell is our Featured Speaker!

The Archives of Michigan with MGC support will be hosting their Barbara J. Brown Family History Seminar with Judy G. Russell, aka “The Legal Genealogist” on July 9th and 10th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Seminar will be held virtually via Zoom this year.

Speaker Bios, program schedule and registration is available at,9075,7-361-85148_98951-523785–,00.html .

We hope you will join us for what is sure to be an excellent seminar. Judy Russell is one speaker you have to hear. She is fantastic. Early bird registration is now through May 31 for $35 and Registration June 1-July 9 is $45.  

Sunny Morton is Featured Speaker – Fall Family History Event

Sunny Morton is our guest speaker and will present four sessions. The Library and Archives of Michigan will present one session each.

In partnership with the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Genealogical Council is proud to have Sunny Morton as our 2020 Virtual Fall Seminar keynote speaker on Saturday, November 14.

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering our seminar virtually this year. That means that you can participate in the sessions from the comfort of your home. No worries about driving, parking, lines at the restroom or at lunchtime.

Registration is required and includes all four sessions with Sunny Morton, one session with the Archives of Michigan, one session with Library of Michigan, and a downloadable syllabus. Please register here:

Speaker, writer, blogger, and editor, Sunny Morton, speaks to genealogical communities throughout the world. Her work includes being a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine and a National Genealogical Society award winning editor of Ohio Genealogy News. She is co-author of How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records, author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy, and the quick reference guide, Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites. Sunny is especially known for tracing U.S. ancestors expertise; comparing the industry’s largest websites, and giving presentations on how to reconstruct and tell meaningful stories from the past.

All registrants will receive seminar log-in information and the syllabus link, via email, a few days before the event.

#genealogy #MGC #MichiganGenealogicalCouncil #SunnyMorton #LibraryofMichigan #ArchivesofMichigan

Seeking Michigan Becomes Michiganology!

Seeking Michigan Becomes Michiganology!

Michiganology Picture2

If you have Michigan research to do, you may have heard about the new database website of the Archives of Michigan, Michiganology. It is found at The .org is important. The .com website is an online store and you will find puzzles here, but no genealogically related records.

Michiganology’s mission, as stated on its website, is to foster curiosity, enjoyment, and inspiration rooted in Michigan stories.  Michiganology replaces Seeking Michigan as the place to go for your Michigan research needs. Seeking Michigan had about 1 million records available and Michiganology has more than 10 million and it has room to grow.

Before digging into what Michiganology has to offer, here’s a little of its back story. The overhaul of Seeking Michigan began a few years ago. The staff of the Archives of Michigan worked hard to develop a website that would grow with their digitization efforts. The staff wanted one place to house all the current and future information, developing a brand so to speak. Seeking Michigan parameters would not allow them to do this, so a new website was planned. Michigan government doesn’t have a designated department to help state entities develop such a website. The Archives of Michigan contracted with a company to help them through this process. Archivist Kris Rzepczynski and Digital Engagement Archivist Jill Arnold kept the MGC societies up to date on the progress of the new website. MGC members were encouraged to volunteer for the beta testing and many did. Jill Arnold worked tirelessly, and continues to work, to make Michiganology the best it can be.

Future projects in the works include the Michigan Naturalization Project. It is an indexing project of Family Search. If you would like to see these records at Michiganology, go grab a batch and index! Seven million records will be added to the Michiganology database upon completion of the naturalization indexing.

Family Search is onsite at the Archives of Michigan digitizing the Probate Records held by the Archives. This is another huge project, but when it is digitized, indexed and uploaded to Michiganology you will be thankful Michigan built a website big enough to house these important genealogical treasures.

Now, the fun part. What is Michiganology?

Michiganology is the online database portal of the Archives of Michigan. The records previously housed at Seeking Michigan are being transferred to Michiganology. This includes:

  • Death certificate images. If a death record is older than 75 years, the image of the certificate can be found.
  • Records of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865. The 46-volume series is digitized and available for viewing.
  • Civil War Photographs- over 1500 photographs pertaining to Michigan civil war are searchable. Try searching for your Michigan Civil War soldier or unit to see what you can find.
  • Civil War Battle Flags-the flags of the various Michigan civil war units are searchable as well. A search for “Mechanics and Engineers” returns four copyrighted images. 
  • Main Street-collection of photographs and postcards from across Michigan.
  • and more being added.

Tip 1: Use the advanced search item for Death Records, Main Street Collection, and Map Collection. It can be found on the top right of the web page or after clicking the “Search” tab in the top toolbar. The red box below shows the advanced search feature. Other options include basic and custom. Trust me-advanced search is the way to go.

Screenshot - MichiganologyThe screenshot above is from using the Advanced search function. The left side of the search area has a drop-down menu that allows one to narrow their search to death records, Main Streets or Map Collection. I performed a basic surname search of “Glover” and got over 400 items. You can refine your selection with the box on the left side of the page.

Table screenshot

Tip 2: Use the “Table” option under the Display menu. The red box above shows where it is located. The table view gives you more information. Table view shows “title/family name” and “description/given name” and “place”.  Other options “list” and “grid” will give you just the surname. Again, trust me and use the table display option.

Date screenshot

Tip 3: Entering the date can be tricky. For best results, use a date range. If you are looking for a death record that occurred on January 2, 1942. Enter a range starting with 01/01/1942 and ending with 01/03/1942.  I have had success using this method. The 1942 death records are some of the newest on the website and I even searched using 01/01/1942 to 12/31/1942 and used the county only search box. In my case, I used “Manistee” as the county. 

As with any new endeavor, especially a website of this magnitude, there will be glitches. The staff of the archives very receptive to our questions. They are not going to change the name of the website so let that one go!  For those interested, there is a “Feedback” option in the top left corner of the homepage. The screenshots above were taken on 7 January 2020 and as more records are added may change. 

Michiganology is a great resource for Michigan researchers and is only going to grow and get better. We’re looking forward to all that Michiganology has to offer. 

Written by Brenda Leyndyke, MGC President

Register now for the Fall Family History Event

Register now for the Fall Family History Event

2019 Michigan Genealogical Council’s Fall Family History Event, in partnership with the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan, will be held Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 9 am to 4 pm, at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI.

Diahan Southard

Our speaker this year is Diahan Southard who will present four session on DNA. Ms. Southard has a degree in Microbiology, and she understands all things DNA.  She worked for Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and is the founder of “Your DNA Guide.” (

You will learn a lot about DNA with Ms. Southard. Her programs are understandable, fun, and upbeat. You will leave the session feeling that you really do understand DNA.

The four sessions, which will be explored in a future blog post, are:

  • Five Tips to Make Sense of Your DNA Testing
  • Me and My 1,000+ 4th Cousins
  • Organizing Your DNA Results
  • Connecting Your DNA Matches

Other sessions offered at the Fall Family History Event are on Beginning Genealogy, Michiganology, and Poor Houses in Michigan.

Registration options are by mail, or online. All registration information can be found on Michigan Genealogical Council’s website  There are multiple options for registering.

  • Early bird registration closes at 11:59 pm, October 31, 2019. The cost is $50, a savings of $10.
  • Regular registration after October 31, and for walk in’s the day of, costs $60.
  • A downloadable syllabus is included with all registrations and emailed to registrants prior to the event. An optional printed syllabus is available for an additional $5.
  • Free admission for students up to age 23, with a valid student ID, presented at check in, is available. Students are charged the cost of lunch, if they wish to order one. Also, if they wish a printed syllabus, the cost is $5.

We hope to see you there.

What Is A Lock-In? Fall Family History Event Details

What is a Lock-In?

LockIn Pic

Frequently Asked Questions about the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan Lock-In

What time do I have to research?

The timing is up to you. You can stay for as long as you want during the allotted time.

What is the age range of participants?

Anyone interested in using the Archives of Michigan or Library of Michigan resources can attend. Typically, it is for teens to adults.

What does it cost?

The lock-in is free. You will need to pay for any copies you make.

Is the night structured or can I do my own research?

The time is yours. You can do your own research. No programs are scheduled during this time.

Do I have to choose where I am going to research?

You can travel freely between the Archives and the Library.

How do I sign up?

An option to register is available during the registration process.

Can I bring a guest?

Yes, but all guests must be registered. Unless it is announced ahead of time, there are no walk-ins allowed for the lock-in.

Can I bring food or drink to the lock-in?

Sorry, leave your goodies in the car. No food or drink are allowed in the Library or Archives areas. The snack bar seating area, located at the front entrance, is available from 5-6p.

What do I need to bring to the lock-in?

It is a good idea to bring a list of resources you would like to look up.  is the go-to place for inventory of the Library and the Archives.

You will need a research card for the Archives.  If you don’t already have one, you can get it the night of the lock-in. A photo ID is required. There is no cost for this card.

You don’t need anything for the library, but you are welcome to get a library card if you wish.

What if I need help?

The staff of the library and archives are available to answer your questions and help with locating materials. Remember, there are more attendees than staff so be patient.ArchivesReadingRm

NEW Michigan Pioneer Certificate Programs

New Pioneer Certificate Programs – Two New Programs Celebrate First Families and Family in Michigan Pre-Statehood

Michigan Genealogical Council has updated the Pioneer Certificate program. The new committee of Kim Smith, Barbara Curtindale and Chelsea Johnson believe this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate, honor and preserve the history of your Michigan ancestors.

The ultimate goal is to encourage the documentation of Michigan’s earliest residents by using the best sources available and promote our research repositories and resources: Archive of Michigan, Library of Michigan, local libraries and archives.

Two categories are offered at the nominal fee of $25.00 per certificate: Pre-Statehood (before January 26, 1837) and First Families (January 26, 1837-December 31, 1880). Each certificate is custom designed with comes with a corresponding lapel pin.

The Pioneer Certificate application and a promotional brochure is available to download on our website:

Kim Smith, Pioneer Certificate Chair

DNA Is Focus of Fall Family History Event

DNA image

DNA is a hot topic in the world of genealogy. Many people have tested and are wondering what to do with all the DNA testing results. Michigan Genealogical Council (MGC) is here to help! Well, Diahan Southard, is here to help.

The 2019 MGC Fall Family History Event will be held on Saturday, November 9, from 9 am to 4 pm at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI. MGC in partnership with the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan will feature Diahan Southard.  Ms. Southard’s DNA interest began as a high school student. This interest led to her receive a degree in Microbiology from Brigham Young University. She started her career at Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.  Ms. Southard is the founder of “Your DNA Guide” ( Her presentations offer a personalized, interactive experience to DNA interpretation. Ms. Southard has
spoken across the United States and internationally. You are sure to learn a lot about DNA with Ms. Southard’s fun, upbeat way of presentation. Her knowledge of the subject will amaze attendees.

Ms. Southard will present four DNA sessions at the event: 1) Five Tips to Make Sense of Your DNA Testing 2) Me and My 1,000+ 4th Cousins 3) Organizing Your DNA Results and 4) Connecting Your DNA Matches. In addition, two Beginning Genealogy classes will be offered. This would be a great time to invite those who want to learn more about conducting family history research. The event is rounded out by a session on Michiganology, the Archives of Michigan new online portal; and Michigan County
Poor Houses.

In addition to Diahan Southard, speakers will be Daniel Earl, Archives of Michigan’s Jill Arnold, and Library of Michigan’s Adam Oster.

Registration is available now.  Please visit the MGC website for session descriptions, speaker biographies, and registration options. Attendees may register online or via postal mail. Free registration is offered to students, with a valid student ID, presented at check in. Registering by October 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm will save you $10. Early bird registration is $50; regular registration is $60. An optional lunch is available for an additional cost. All registrants will receive by email a downloadable syllabus. If you prefer a paper copy, one is available for $5. All this information and more can be found on the registration forms.

If you have any questions, please email MGC President, Brenda Leyndyke, at

MGC Fall Seminar – Early Bird Registration Ends October 31st.

Businessman  working with the computerEarly Bird Registration Ends October 31st

Everyone likes to save money and we at MGC are no different. If you want to save $10 off your registration for the 2019 Michigan Genealogical Council’s Fall Family History Event held Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 9 am to 4 pm, at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI. then you need to get your registration in by 11:59 pm on October 31, 2019.

Complete registration information with class schedule and speaker biographies can be found at the Michigan Genealogical Council website at

Students Receive Free Registration with I.D.

We invite any student who would like to join us at the 2019 Michigan Genealogical Council’s Fall Family History Event, in partnership with the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan, on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 9 am to 4 pm, at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI. to register for FREE, yes I said FREE.

Students up to the age of 23 with a valid student ID, which must be presented at check-in, may register and there will be no cost to attend the sessions.  Now if you want some grub, you will have to pay for your lunch which is $12 for a sandwich box lunch and $14 for a salad box lunch. The sandwich or salad comes with a bag of chips and a cookie. You are free to brown bag your lunch, if you prefer. Your grub choice is due by October 31 at 11:59 pm.  So, get your order in before you go trick or treating!

Your free registration entitles you to a downloadable syllabus that is emailed to you prior to the event. If you want to go old school and have a printed syllabus, it is available for $5.

Bring a friend or two and join us for an excellent experience.  Sessions will be held on DNA, Beginning Genealogy, Michiganology, and Michigan County Poor Houses(no these weren’t for people who didn’t pay their college loans.)

Complete registration information including schedule, session descriptions, and speaker bio’s is available at or register directly at

Lock-In Offered to MGC Fall Family History Event Attendees


The Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan, in partnership with Michigan Genealogical Council, are pleased to announce a Lock-In, a free event to be held November 8, 2019 from 6p-10p. The lock-in will be held on Friday night at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI. Currently, individuals can register for the Lock-In after registering for the 2019 Michigan Genealogical Council Fall Family History Event, being held Saturday, November 9. The Archives of Michigan is handling the Lock-In registrations, and the instructions, including how to sign up for the lock-in, will be sent with your registration confirmation. If spots are still available, registration will be open to the general public on Monday, November 4th.

The Archives and the Library will be open to Lock-In registrants from 6p-10p. Pizza and refreshments will be available to registrants from 5p-6p.

More information can be found at

DNA Personal Sessions Offered at Fall Family History Event

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Diahan Southard is MGC’s featured speaker on Saturday, November 9 at the MGC Fall Family History Event held at Michigan Library and Historical Center.  She is offering personalized DNA mentoring on Friday, November 8, from 12-5 pm, for an additional cost.  Each personal session will be 20 minutes long and will cost $25.  If you would like to sign up for this personal DNA assistance you can do so at 

The 20-minute session can be used in any way you want it to.  Diahan provided some examples of how the time could be spent: login to your testing company, and she will point out the key features of the website and guide you toward your best matches; or answer a specific question you might have; or help you in other ways.  However you choose to use your 20-minutes, you will leave the session with a clear picture of what to do next.

When you come for your session with Diahan, please bring your DNA testing company login information and the question you would like answered.

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