Below is a follow up email that MGC President Brenda Leyndyke, President of MGC shared with societies because there is some information she thought we would like to know.
- Kris Rzepczynski, Archivist, sent an email report saying that the Barbara J. Brown Family History Seminar information and registration is available at the Archives web page and mimgc.org. Early bird pricing of $35 ends May 31st. Regular pricing of $45 will be available after that. Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, will be giving three talks at the Seminar. In my opinion Judy Russell is one of the must hear genealogical speakers. You won’t want to miss this seminar.
- Tim Gleisner from the Library of Michigan gave an update that included new databases that Michigan library card holders can access from home. If you don’t have a library of Michigan library card, you can get one for free at the Library of Michigan website. The new databases are 1873-1997 Detroit News and a Genealogy Bank product, Heritage Hub which is a collection of obituaries from Genealogy Bank. Currently, some people are getting a message that says you must be a state employee to access the records. The library is aware of this and working on fixing it.
- Our speaker was Jo Ellyn Clarey of the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council. Jo Ellyn talked about a little-known genealogical gem, The WWI Registration Cards of American Women. 17,000 local committees aided the Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense and enabled home front projects. The Women’s Committee took a census of American women. How do I find these, you ask? Many are still hidden in the attics, files, and basements of local or township record holders, but Grand Rapids collection is in a fully searchable database at https://www.ggrwhc.org/projects/wwi/#toggle-id-4
- Another Michigan collections include Genesee county held at the Archives of Michigan and a small group from Midland, MI which have been digitized and are at the ggrwhc.org website. I challenged societies, gave them homework, to go back to their local area and find where the cards relating to their area are. Someone has them and hopefully they are being stored somewhere. Jo Ellyn said a good place to start is by doing newspaper research from April 1917 to November 1918. Search words to include are WWI women’s registration cards, Women’s Council of National Defense, and Women’s Defense cards. The cards in this collection are a gem. I hope you will keep digging to find these cards and if you find your area’s cards let MGC know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council know. For more information about this project check our ggrwhc.org. If you would like a copy of Jo Ellyn’s syllabus from yesterday’s talk, please log in to the MGC website and you will find it under secure download, then handouts. Jo Ellyn gave her permission to share it with your society members.
Brenda Leyndyke, President
Michigan Genealogical Council
ICGSweb.org Update. I have delayed making this post hoping we had some word on the fate of our current website provider, EastNetSites (ENS). As of a post this morning, an announcement of the sale of ENS is expected before the end of this month (February). What to expect after the sale is the big unknown. Eventually, I am sure it will mean an increase in the annual fee. Hopefully, it will mean we keep al the features currently available plus upgrades and perhaps even additional options.
At is January 28th Board meetings, members of the Board agreed that if something was not decided re: the sale/continuation of our webpage software by the end of February, the society will have to consider other software options. Because of the sudden closure of the original ENS company, literally hundreds of societies across the U.S. and internationally have come together on a Facebook Group and hosted webinars to share information on possible software options, the pros and cons of each, and what has worked/not worked. Many ENS clients have already moved to different platforms.
Unless we find a volunteer with the technological knowledge to build a new ICGS website, moving is going to cost the Society dollars just to get the site up. Costs could range from anywhere from $0 (all volunteer) to $2,000 (no volunteers). hopefully, we will be able to move the data from our current website to the new one relatively easily. However, ENS has not yet released our domain name or provided the file backups promised when they announced the close of the company effective June 30, 2021.
Membership. Our current website automates a lot of the paperwork tasks for our membership secretary, but it cannot automate the personal contact and one-on-one emails that Alice Raatz has been doing to remind members that the 2021 dues are now past due and payable. The fact that she is sitting in sunny Florida right now - instead of worrying about the conditions of Michigan's roads - has not slowed her down in the least. Renewals have been challenging this year because COVID has kept us home instead of meeting in person. A lot of our members are used to paying at a meeting and not renewing by mail. Thank-you Alice!
Stockbridge Newspaper Files. One of our members who is familiar with the work that went into digitizing the Ingham County News several years ago, brought to the attention of the Board, the fact that the Stockbridge Newspaper files were not organized on the thumb drive by date, but alphabetically. All the April issues are listed followed by all the August issues, etc. The Board would welcome a volunteer's offer to work with the files to fix this issue. If anyone is interested, please let me know.
Upcoming Program Presentations. We have a interesting and varied array of presenter topics lined up for the next four months. Unless something changes quickly, all four meetings between now and June will be via ZOOM. All are welcome and invited to attend these meetings and presentations. Members will get the ZOOM link via email a couple of days before the meeting - others can contact me for the link and password.
- February 11, 2021 - Walter Hawthorne III, one of the two principal investigators of the Enslaved.org project will give a brief overview of the project, discuss the history of the Atlantic slave trade, and share information on how we as family researchers can contribute information discovered while researching wills, etc.and discovering our ancestors had slaves.
- March 11, 2021 - Awaiting final confirmation before posting. Check this website's Events Page or watch Facebook for information.
- April 8, 2021 - Ms. Loretta S. Stanaway, President, Friends of Lansing's Historic Cemeteries will discuss her successful efforts in raising funds to create grave markers for 60 young boys who died as wards of the state at the Boys Vocational School. A project that was instrumental in her receiving a 2020 Heritage Award from the Ingham County Historical Commission.
- May 13, 2021 - Ingham County Register of Deeds, Derrick Quinney, and his Chief Deputy Register, Trisha Gerring, will discuss the family researcher's goldmine of information that can be found in the various records maintained by the Register of Deeds Office.