Archive for July, 2023

It’s 2023 – In Person Again?!

Thursday, July 6th, 2023

Our speaker this year is Katherine R. Willson.

Katherine R, Willson
Katherine R. Willson

Katherine R. Willson (Dexter, Michigan) is an engaging & dynamic genealogy lecturer at local, regional, and national events; a full-time researcher for private clients; and a genealogy educator for 20+ years. She is the founder and Past President of the Virtual Genealogical Association, past President of the Michigan Genealogical Council, past board member for the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a course coordinator and instructor at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Katherine authored The Genealogist’s Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan as well as the Genealogy on Facebook list, a catalog of 17,000+ genealogy/history links on Facebook, found at 

The sessions to be presented throughout the day are:

Our European Ancestors’ Voyage to America

Learn about your immigrant ancestors’ voyage from Europe to the United States, and how those journeys changed from the 18th century through the 20th century. How did our ancestors prepare for the journey? What immigration restrictions & quota laws did they face? How were ports of departure and arrival chosen? What was the ticket cost? How long would the journey take, and what were the expected ship.

Resources for Genealogical Research in Foreign Countries

Once you’ve discovered your immigrant ancestor’s home country, how will you go about finding documents generated while s/he was still there, and how will you research his/her parents? We’ll discuss available resources for beginning your research in foreign countries, including how to locate foreign language genealogy terms and online maps providing contextual information on shifting country borders.

40+ Sources for Finding Maiden Names

40+ possible sources to consult when searching for a female ancestor’s maiden name. Discussion will include search tips for locating these sources.

Adding a Genealogical Codicil to Your Will

When you die, what will happen to the genealogical materials you’ve accumulated throughout your research? Do your loved ones know what to do with your collection after your death, or are you at risk of losing it all to the trash bin when your estate is cleared out? A genealogical codicil to your will can clearly state your wishes, and this presentation will discuss the many options available to you. Sample copies of codicils will be distributed.

The seminar is being held at Park Congregational Church – the church over the road from the Grand Rapids Public Library. Parking is free in the church’s parking lot. Entrance to the parking lot is on Ransom Ave NE, just north of Fulton Street.

Location of Car Park Entrance on Ransom Avenue

The Seminar is priced at $45 if you bring your own lunch and
$60 including a sandwich and cookie from the Schnitz Deli on Fulton Street.