Fall Seminar Session Focus Researching Your Family’s History at the Archives of Michigan

KrisWRzepczynskiResearching Your Family’s History at the Archives of Michigan with Kris Rzepczynski, Senior Archivist, Archives of Michigan. An introduction to the Archives of Michigan, this program will explore the genealogical collections available there, including original source records, published resources, and online tools at Michiganology. Also, learn about the ongoing Michigan naturalization and probate records digitization projects.

Original records are a critical component in researching our family history. Along with the published materials available in the Abrams Collection, these items are available at the Archives of Michigan. Make the most of your visit by preparing ahead of time at https://michigan.gov/archivesofmi.

Saturday, September 18, 2021, and co-sponsored with the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan. This year our featured speaker is Bernice Alexander Bennett. Once again, this year, the seminar will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.

Register today! For the complete schedule or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681.

Fall Seminar Session Focus Follow the Witnesses

BerniceBennettFollow the Witnesses with Bernice Alexander Bennett will show how following witnesses on documents can reveal the community history.

Checking witnesses is one of the best ways to fill your “reference list” of Friends, Associates, and Neighbors of your ancestor. In most circumstances, if someone served as a witness to an important event in our ancestor’s lives, it means that individual is an important person in that subject’s life. Researching the witness can lead to other events that place our ancestors in a specific place at a particular time. When we leave no stone unturned, we have more details to complete the picture of our family.

September 18, 2021, and co-sponsored with the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan. This year our featured speaker is Bernice Alexander Bennett. Once again, this year, the seminar will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.

Register today! For the complete schedule or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681.

Fall Seminar Session Focus What can you find with your Library of Michigan Card

Tim Gleisner web squareWhat can you find with your Library of Michigan Card?  With Tim Gleisner, Library of Michigan Special Collections Manager. Learn about resources available to Library of Michigan cardholders for family history research including the Grand Rapids Press historical archives, the Michigan Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Toronto Globe and Mail, and Michigan Sanborn maps.

If there can be a bright spot during the pandemic, the Library of Michigan’s online collections that are available to their cardholders. Don’t have a card yet? If you are a Michigan resident, you can get your “virtual card” by visiting https://michigan.gov/librarycard.

The 2021 Michigan Genealogical Council Virtual Fall Family History will be on September 18, 2021, co-sponsored with the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan. This year our featured speaker is Bernice Alexander Bennett. Once again, this year, the seminar will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.

Register today! For the complete schedule or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681.

Fall Seminar Session Focus Writing and Telling Your Story

BerniceBennettWriting and Telling Your Story with Bernice Alexander Bennett. Do you have a story to tell and don’t know how to write or tell it? This session will explore how you can turn your genealogical research into a compelling and engaging family story.

One of the differences between a beginning genealogist and a family historian is the collection and writing of your family story. While a novice collects names and dates, as our skills increase so do the stories we include in our family history This session will explore techniques to create an interesting, relevant, and captivating story

The 2021 Michigan Genealogical Council Virtual Fall Family History will be on September 18, 2021, co-sponsored with the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan. This year our featured speaker is Bernice Alexander Bennett. Once again, this year, the seminar will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.

Early bird registration is open through 11:59 pm on September 6. For the complete schedule or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681.

Fall Seminar Session Focus Black Homesteaders at the Crossroads of Freedom

BerniceBennettBlack Homesteaders at the Crossroad of Freedom with Bernice Alexander Bennett will answer these questions: Who were the homesteaders? What is the Homestead Act of 1862? What are the eligibility requirements? What is the application process? and What can you find in the land entry papers?

Utilizing records created if your family filed for a Homestead Act can enhance your family’s story and add rich details about their lives. Filling in the blanks between the dates is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of researching our family history.

The 2021 Michigan Genealogical Council Virtual Fall Family History will be on September 18, 2021, co-sponsored with the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan. This year our featured speaker is Bernice Alexander Bennett. Once again, this year, the seminar will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.

Early bird registration is open through 11:59 pm on September 6. For the complete schedule or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681.

Fall Seminar Session Focus USCT Civil War Widows Pension Records

BerniceBennettUSCT Civil War Widows Pension Records Tell the Story with Bernice Alexander Bennett will discuss the anatomy of a Civil War Widows Pension file and several examples to illustrate the value of using these records.

Civil War pension records are one of the best sources to trace your family. Once you can identify your Civil War soldier, a widow’s pension application is full of rich content about the marriage of your soldier and proof of military service, complete with the testimony of family, associates, and neighbors.

The 2021 Michigan Genealogical Council Virtual Fall Family History will be September 18, 2021, and is co-sponsored with the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan. This year our featured speaker is Bernice Alexander Bennett. Once again, this year, the seminar will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.

Early bird registration is open through 11:59 pm on September 6. For the complete schedule or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681.

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 https://www.michigan.gov/mhc/0,9075,7-361-85148_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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-sunny-morton-tickets-116868746567?aff=SocialMedia

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 michiganology.org. 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 Michiganology.org 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.” (https://www.yourdnaguide.com/)

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 mimgc.org.  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.