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.  

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):


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


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!!

Spring News & Updates

WE099681 - © - FunkystockHAPPY SPRING!!! 

Many dates are coming up in 2018 that we hope you will share widely!!!

National Genealogical Society – 2018 Family History Conference

How exciting that the NGS 2018 Family History Conference is in Grand Rapids, May 2-5, 2018.  The program list of speakers includes many Michiganders.  Registration has been open for some time but it is not too late to register here:  NGS 2018 Family History Conference   Volunteers are still needed so please encourage those who perhaps could benefit from coming to the conference with some help by working as a volunteer and getting access to some of the conference for free.  Volunteer here:  NGS 2018 Volunteer Site.

2018 Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar


Be sure to mark your calendars:  2018 Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar, Fri & Sat, Jul 20 & 21 from 9a-4p at the Michigan History Center (702 W. Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI).  Our Keynote speaker: David Lambert (bio below, photo above).
David Lambert is the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and is an internationally recognized speaker whose expertise includes New England and Atlantic Canadian records (17th-21st century), military records, DNA research, and Native American & African American genealogical research in New England.

AND the Barbara J. Brown Family History Day is scheduled for Saturday July 21st at the Archives of Michigan.  Held concurrently with the Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar, the event offers educational programming and family fun activities through the day, including the exciting addition of an oral history recording booth and genealogy trivia.  Named for the longtime President of the Abrams Foundation, Barbara Brown’s long commitment to family history and her generous support helped the Abrams Foundation Historical Collection to be the significant collection it is today.

Federation of Genealogical Societies – Annual Conference

August 22-25, 2018 is set in Fort Wayne, Indiana for the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  The conference will be held at the Allen County Public Library, the second largest genealogical library collection in the United States.  Hotels are accepting registration now and more information about the conference is here:  FGS Annual Conference 2018