Turn the PAGE!!

 

The Fall Seminar at the Library of Michigan/Archives of Michigan in Lansing was a resounding success!  It was a packed room for the opening and closing sessions that John Philip Colletta provided, with 174 in attendance, filling the Forum!  In the lower middle picture, there were still seats left but within minutes the lower right photo showed that the room began to fill quickly – if there was an empty seat, it was hard to find!

With four workshops, Dr. Colletta led us through case studies, stories of his ancestors or others he had researched, and he gave us much to think about and learn.  A classically fun moment was when John said “You paid $50 for today?  Here’s the Colletta tip for today …. TURN THE PAGE!”  We all roared, but he was right!  He gave example after example of ancestors found through persistence, using multiple record sources and being targeted on our goal – finding an illusive ancestor.

There were great responses to workshops by Kris Rzepczynski (Senior Archivist, Archives of Michigan), Randy Riley (State Librarian, Library of Michigan), Jessica Trotter (Capital Area District Libraries) and Dan Earl (Vice President of MGC) as attendees learned about Great Lakes migration, the ups/downs of the Library, traveling to do genealogical research, and using Internet Archive.  Lunch provided opportunities for networking across the state and learning from each others’ experiences and discoveries.

Dr. Colletta has a long history of book writing, research and speaking, with a display about his Discovering Your Roots: An Introduction to Genealogy” series promotion shared with attendees wanting more from John’s expertise and knowledge.  Watch for sales!20181103_104042

After a well-attended “lock in” on Friday night and a full day on Saturday, happy family historians were still sharing what research they wanted to do next – all the way to the parking lot!

Don’t forget – TURN THE PAGE!  Thanks to Dr. Colletta, Randy Riley, Kris Rzepczynski, Jessica Trotter and Dan Earl for a great day of learning.

Fall Seminar Provides Additional Speakers with John Philip Colletta

Michigan History Center

While John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. is the nationally-recognized speaker that is coming for the November 3, 2018 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) seminar at the Library of Michigan, there are other speakers ALSO offering great information for Michigan family historians.

Dr. Colletta is offering four sessions:

  • Finding the Town of Origin: U.S. Sources for Discovering an Ancestor’s Native Town Overseas
  • Lesser Used Federal Records: Sources of Rich Detail about Ancestors’ Lives
  • The County Courthouse: Your “Trunk in the Attic”
  • Breaking through Brick Walls: Use your HEAD

AND some other great Michigan-based researchers are presenting!  Here’s the schedule for the day:

SCHEDULE
9:15 am Introductions and Announcements

9:30 am – 10:45 am Finding the Town of Origin: U.S. Sources for Discovering an Ancestor’s Native Town Overseas (A1) by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

11:00 am – 12:15 pm (choose 1)

Lesser Used Federal Records: Sources of Rich Detail about Ancestors’ Lives (B1) by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

Genealogy Road Trip: No, Really, It’s Not All Online! (B2) by Jessica Trotter, Librarian at Capital Area District Libraries

Library of Michigan: Rise and Fall and Rise of a Family History/Local History Treasure (B3) by Randy Riley, State Librarian at the Library of Michigan

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm Enjoy your optional pre-ordered lunch from Grand Traverse Pie Company or bring a sack lunch.

1:00 pm – 2:15pm (choose 1)

The County Courthouse: Your “Trunk in the Attic (C1) by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

Researching Great Lakes Migration in the Archives of Michigan’s Abrams Genealogy Collection (C2) by Kris Rzepczynski, Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan

Going WAYBACK: Using the Internet Archive in Your Research (C3) by Daniel Earl, Vice- President of Michigan Genealogical Council

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Breaking through Brick Walls: Use your HEAD! (D1) by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

Please register in advance (and you MUST register by October 31 for the boxed lunch) here!!

John Philip Colletta is coming November 3rd!

ColettaPromoThe Michigan Genealogical Council is pleased to announce that nationally known speaker and author John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. is the keynote presenter for the next Michigan Genealogical Council Fall Family History Event!!  Co-Hosted by the Archives of Michigan, at the Michigan History Center (702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing), the event runs all day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dr. Colletta lectures nationally, teaches at local schools, and conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program. He is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (University of Georgia, Athens) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Check our Facebook information page (https://www.facebook.com/events/422461818248460/?active_tab=discussion) and our on-going organization page (https://www.facebook.com/michiganmgc/ ) for more information and registration.

Abrams Foundation Seminar Success!

July 20 – the FIRST of two days of learning, networking and fun!  The crowd was big, engaged, enthusiastic and the two days of learning kept everyone moving!  Opening sessions on Friday included the “Breakout” game (yes, everyone got out before time was called) and a tour of the Archives of Michigan, including the opportunity to go into the vault.

Sessions on the first day included Kris Rzepczynski sharing about Michigan World War I research, Dan Earl on city directories, and James Jackson on “Putting It All Together”.  Here’s Kris presenting:

KrisMakingIntrosSwitching it up, the late afternoon sessions were Annakathryn Welch’s presentation on Coroner records, Tom Koselka on the records of Detroit & Wayne County, and Dr. James Sims discussing DNA research.

Then time to research (we ARE genealogists, after all, right??!):  After pizza and a lot of networking, the Library and Archives were locked down for the night and everyone was busy until 10 p.m. doing research.  Even Keynote Speaker and special guest David Allen Lambert, researching his Mason County ancestors, was finding what they needed!  A scene from the busy Reading Room of the Archives of Michigan – thank you to Kris Rzepczynski for this picture!

LockIn Pic

July 21:  The next morning included some great information, special people and recognition of a key woman – Barbara Brown was honored as we began the day.

BarbaraBrown Slide

And we had the great pleasure to welcome Barbara’s family members as we opened the day – shown here:  Kyle Abbott, Sophia Patzer, and Tiffany Patzer honoring their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.Brown3Gen

And then what we all came for – David Allen Lambert and his presentations, filling the day with information about researching in New England records.  When David asked for a show of hands of audience members with New England ancestors, virtually the entire room had their hands up!  Here’s the crowd attending (thank you to Katherine Willson for this picture):

Audience2

David’s first presentation was on New England vital records.

DavidLambert

Then the group split up to learn from Archives staff – Kris Rzepczynski sharing about the Abrams Collection and Jill Arnold about the Michigan Naturalization indexing process (are you helping?!).  David Allen Lambert shared again on New England probate records, leading to the final sessions of the day.  President Katherine Willson discussed our ancestors’ “Voyage to America”, while Jill Arnold shared about resources at the Archives about occupational registrations and Jessica Trotter talked about records for our ancestors’ records when they were fighting tuberculosis and the facilities that worked to heal them.

At the end of the day, a group of happy genealogists, researchers and Archives of Michigan staff agreed that it was another success!  Congratulations to all – AND don’t forget that David Allen Lambert is looking for his Mason County ancestors, so keep your eyes out for records he may not know about!  We’re claiming him as a Michigander!!

Abrams Foundation Seminar is coming SOON!

July 20th and 21st are coming soon – the Abrams Foundation Seminar at the Michigan Historical Center features nationally-known speaker David Allen Lambert of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.    Register now here:  Abrams Foundation Seminar Registration

Lambert

David Allen Lambert has been on the staff of NEHGS since 1993 and is the organization’s Chief Genealogist. David is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of genealogy and history. His genealogical expertise includes New England and Atlantic Canadian records of the 17th through 21st century; military records; DNA research; and Native American and African American genealogical research in New England.

Lambert has published many articles in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Rhode Island Roots, The Mayflower Descendant, and American Ancestors magazine. He has also published A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries (NEHGS, 2009). David is an elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, Mass., and a life member of the New Hampshire Society of the Cincinnati. He is also the tribal genealogist for the Massachuset-Punkapoag Indians of Massachusetts.  Mr. Lambert will speak on Saturday, July 21st.

Many additional workshops are offered on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21st.  Among them are:  On Friday, chose from a genealogy game that will have you checking your knowledge and genealogy skills or a concurrent tour of the Archives of Michigan.  The next session choices are World War I record collections and resources, offered by Rzepczynski of the Archives of Michigan, using city directories for researching your ancestors by Dan Earl, and James Jackson will help you in his session with Putting It All Together as he shares about all of the records that documented a pioneer family traveling west.  The choices for the last sessions on Friday are: Anatomy of Coroner’s Records with Annakathryn Welch from the Archives of Michigan, Finding Records of Your Detroit and Wayne County Ancestor by Tom Koselka, and Dr. James Sims’ discussion about DNA Test Results: What’s Next?.

Saturday, July 21st is Barbara J. Brown Family History Day

Educational programs and family fun activities throughout the Michigan History Center; held concurrently with the Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar, including an oral history recording booth and genealogical trivia.  As a longtime President of the Abrams Foundation, Barbara Brown’s commitment to family history and generous support helped make the Abrams Foundation Historical Collection the destination collection that it is today.

The morning session features:  Researching New England Vital Records with David Allen Lambert, New England Historic Genealogical Society.  This lecture will cover the vital record resources for each New England State from the Colonial Era through the 20th century Vital Records. The resources of original, microfilm and digitized resources for CT, MA, ME, NH, RI and VT will be discussed.

Two mini-sessions will feature staff from the Archives of Michigan:  Utilizing the Abrams Foundation Historical Collection with Kris Rzepczynski, Archives of Michigan.  In this mini-session, attendees will hear about the many resources available in the Abrams Foundation Historical Collection, one of the larger family history collections in the country. States of particular strength include those with historic ties to Michigan, including the New England region, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.  And Naturalization Records Online! The Archives of Michigan & FamilySearch with Jill Arnold, Archives of Michigan.  The Archives of Michigan and FamilySearch, with assistance from the Michigan Genealogical Council, are partnering to digitize hundreds of thousands of Michigan naturalization records. In this mini-session, come hear about the current status and future plans of the project!

After lunch (you must pre-order lunch if you aren’t bringing your own), we will again hear David Allen Lambert, New England Historic Genealogical Society, talk about Researching Colonial New England Probate Records.  New England Probate records were different in each colony. Learn about the resources and where to find them online from home, or how to best research without visiting the courthouse.

Afternoon sessions include: Voyage to America by Katherine Willson, for the journeys of your immigrant ancestors; Licensed to Work: Professional Registries at the Archives of Michigan with Jill Arnold of the Archives staff; and TB in the Family Tree with Jessica Trotter, discussing the records and sanitoriums for TB (tuberculosis) patients in Michigan.

Michigan, MGC have dedicated volunteers!

The benefit of engaged, active and hard-working volunteers was in evidence at the Michigan Genealogical Council delegate meeting on May 10th.  Honoring volunteers and the societies they support is a highlight of these delegate meetings and there was much to celebrate at this session.

The National Genealogical Society 2018 Family History Conference was a huge success due to the volunteers of the Western Michigan Genealogical Society.  They were honored with a certificate from MGC Conference coordinator Tom Koselka and pictured here are Mindy Koole, Don Bryant, and Sue Irvine (and others).Western Mich Gen Soc

Societies with years of service in their communities to the family historians were:  1) the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan, for their 40th Anniversary.  Shown here are President Valerie Koselka and Jill O’Sullivan (with some of their members) presented with a certificate from Barbara Curtindale, MGC Historian and Awards Chairman. and

St Clair Shores Family History Grp

2) the St. Clair Shores Family History Group, shown here with President Katherine Willson, and Francine Warsalla and Vicky Armstrong.

Congratulations to everyone!!!!

And special recognition was given to Brenda Lendyke for her book, Research in Michigan, published by the National Genealogical Society and SOLD OUT at the NGS 2018 Family History Conference!  While she was paid for her work by NGS, Brenda graciously donated her payment to the Michigan Genealogical Council.  Thank you, Brenda, for your support to MGC in so many ways!

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Great Learning at Summer Seminar!

Audience

Societies from across Michigan gathered at the Pinckney Community Library on June 16th for great discussion, sharing and “what works” information from a variety of society leaders.  “Strengthening Our Societies” was fun, successful and educational!

The morning began with a panel discussing how to obtain volunteers and encourage their engagement in various projects and board positions.  Panel members Tom Koselka, Barb Curtindale, and Brenda Glover Leyndyke (Vice President Dan Earl introduced them, below) as well as a variety of leaders in the audience discussed membership surveys, development of a policy/procedures manual (to help new volunteers), personal 1:1 outreach and building relationships that foster engagement.

DanEarl&Panel

Key learnings or “take aways” from the morning session included:  working within schools to generate the next generation’s interest, building rapport with local library staff, and having one-on-one discussions with potential volunteers/board members to encourage their participation.  A number of societies spoke to the benefits of encouraging membership by putting key resources being the “membership wall” on websites so that there is an obvious membership benefit.

The afternoon session increased the size of the panel, adding President Katherine Willson and Janet Romas.  This session offered ideas for promoting the society.MembershipPanel

Suggestions to societies included questioning what marketing is done to promote the society.  How would someone know that you exist?  Where would they find out about you and where you meet?  Do they even know that attending your meetings is FREE?  Are you reaching out to be a more diverse society – if you look around the room at an average meeting, are most of those attending older, white adults?  What about other ethnic groups, teens, etc.?  Promotion of the society in the local paper with a story of interest perhaps about pioneer families or special projects that need help can generate locals into attending a future meeting.  Do you have an email that is monitored so the public can reach out?  Do you mentor new members, so that they are comfortable with their contact with the society?  Do you have job descriptions for the roles that you are needing to fill?  If you are recruiting, what are you asking them to do?  Have you tried livestreaming a meeting?

To improve member engagement, survey them for what programs they want.  How could you increase diversity in your membership by choosing presentations from African-American presenters or an ethnic group specialist?  Perhaps society members would offer one hour of free consultation to “mentor” a new member with their genealogy?  It could be part of a membership promotional offering to get new people to join!  Does your society ask people to sign in as they come in the door, collecting their emails?  USE those emails to market your programs (MailChimp is free!) and monitor the response.

So much was shared, learning and the networking was great!  If you missed it, President Katherine and VP Dan will be sharing notes from the sessions, so watch for that information.