Johnson County Genealogical Society
Johnson County
Genealogical Society
and Library, Inc.
Portraits from Stanley, KS only identified by
Preserving KANSAS genealogy and its rich history at the crossroads of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails.

Family History Month at NEHGS

Database access is free this month at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society
NEHGS 31 days logo
Celebrate National Family History Month throughout October with American Ancestors by 
New England Historic Genealogical Society as they offer 31 Days and 31 Ways to help 
you discover MORE about your family's history.  As America’s founding genealogical organization (established in 1845), they help genealogists of all skill levels improve their knowledge and understanding of their family and its place in history. Although the name says New England, they provide expertise and research in nearly all aspects of family history, from 17th-century colonial New England through twentieth-century immigration research. Check out the opportunity.

Cemetery Stories!

Gardner Cemetery Sories

Register Now - October 24, 2015

See the schedule for our Annual Seminar!
Go to the Seminar page (on menu at left) and take a look at the day's events. Registration is online, by mail, or in person at a meeting.
George G. Morgan is the president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally recognized genealogy expert who presents at local, state, national, and international genealogical conferences, webinars, and on cruises and tours.
George Morgan
George is the prolific author of literally hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, genealogical publications, and at online sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, Singapore, and elsewhere. He is co-author, with Drew Smith, of the book, Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques, published by McGraw-Hill. George just finished working on the fourth edition of his book, How to Do Everything: Genealogy, which was published by McGraw-Hill in January 2015.

George is past Vice President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and past President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) and a past officer of the Florida State Genealogical Society and the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa). He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and numerous other societies in the U.S. and the U.K.
George and Drew Smith produce The Genealogy GuysSM podcast on the Internet at It is the longest running genealogical podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe.

German Heritage Celebration

German Heritage CelebrationThe Baker Genealogy Center at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library would like to invite you to join us for A German Heritage Celebration. On October 17, 2015 from 2-5 pm in the Marvin Auditorium, the Baker Genealogy Center along with the Northeast Kansas Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans From Russia Society will sponsor German music, Grimm’s Fairytale Theatre, and folk dance! In addition, we will have local genealogy displays and Volga German genealogy specialist, Denise Grau will give a presentation.  See events page for more details.

Certified, Accredited, Professional?

It is overwhelming. Looking at all those initials after their names. Many folks are confused about the differences between genealogical credentials and those who offer professional services. Debbie Wayne Parker, CG and CGL, has a discussion which covers the credentialing and professional organizations in the U.S. governing the field of genealogy.  The discussion is aimed at those interested in becoming credentialed genealogists, those considering hiring a professional, and genealogical event planners who need to understand the many of initials following a name. Click here for a great read on the topic.

Using the Library of Congress Online

The Library of Congress (LOC) is a dream destination for many U.S. genealogy researchers, but most of us can’t get there in person. Here are 4 ways–all online–to access the mega-resources of the Library of Congress for genealogy. From our 2016 Annual Seminar speaker Lisa Louise Cook:  LOC Online

Want to Help?

    News is out that there is a call for help with indexing an incredible new database. Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, sent this notice:
Help index these amazing records!! If you had ancestors anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line after the Civil War, step this way Into the richest, deepest, broadest set of genealogical records you may ever find - the records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands — an agency that became known as the Freedmen’s Bureau.  What, you say? Your family doesn’t fall into the category of freedmen? You have no African-American roots?
    No matter. Because that record set extends far beyond its name to just about anyone who lived or worked in the south in those years right after the Civil War. And a major new initiative to make these records more widely accessible to researchers is getting underway — and it needs our help.
First off, the records. They are amazing, for descendants of all the slaves and all the slaveowners who struggled to redefine themselves, their lives and their communities after the war. And for descendants all of the members of those communities who weren’t themselves slaves or slaveowners but whose lives were impacted by that struggle to redefine life after the war. And for descendants of the legions of southerners who weren’t slaves or slaveowners before the war, but who simply needed government help after the war. And for descendants of the legions of government workers and officials and teachers and relief workers who worked for the bureau. In other words, for just about anyone who lived or worked in the south in those years right after the Civil War.
    You can read more about it at Family Tree's announcement here and at Amazing progress can be made with citizen participation just as was accomplished with the 1940 census!  Be a part of making this history.

Free Videos From RootsTech 2015

Change in Dues for JCGS

As genealogical and historical societies have been doing all across the nation, JCGS has, for the most part, gone to an electronic version of our quarterly publication. In 2014-2015 we tried to make a mailed quarterly available for $5.00 more per year but this has not proven viable. As of June 1, 2015 any new dues or renewal memberships requesting a mailed paper quarterly will be $10.00 above the basic membership price.  This has been a very thought out process and the board has decided that this change is necessary.  We feel very good that JCGS is doing well and that we are so well supported by the membership. Thanks for your continued support.

WDYTYA 2015 DNA Videos Available Now

The DNA videos from Who DoYou Think You Are 2015 are already available in You Tube.  Click here to get an overiew by Dr. Gleason of what is available. 

Hoosiers Digitize!

The state of Indiana has made an agreement with to digitize 13 million birth, death, and marriage records. They estimate it would have taken the state over a decade to complete this task and Ancestry estimates that it will be completed by the state's bicentennial in 2016.  Read more here.

DNA Adoption Group Celebrates Two Years

birthday candles
But, "I'm not adopted" you might say. That's ok. This no-less-than-fantastic group of folks has a lot to offer anyone, espeicially newbies, regarding learning about DNA and genealogy.  Karen Corbeil and Diane Harmon-Hoog started out a few years ago and their idea has evolved into a gem of a resource for folks in search of kin and folks looking to learn about what to do with their DNA results.  They have attracted several other helpers in the form of curriculum writers, search angels, computer geeks, instructors, and genealogists to build their educational offerings.  All of this is an altruistic labor of love for wanting to help peole connect with their roots. They are ALL volunteers. Such an honorable gift to the world. There are very modest fees for the classes and possible scholarships for those that may not be able to pay. Any contributions and fees go to supporting the infrastructure - website, servers, etc. Their website,, is loaded with free information about DNA and its use in finding roots. Go take a look. They have brief classes for $5.00 on the specific lab (FTDNA, 23 and Me, and Ancestry) tests and longer courses on using tools to work with your results. Happy Anniversary, Happy BIRTHday, and many good wishes for your continued thriving.  

2015 Brings Changes to Our Meeting Space

The Central Resource Library, where the Johnson County Genealogical Society normally meets on the fourth Saturday of every month, is planning a major remodel during 2015. The library has canceled all meetings during 2015. We have found an alternative meeting space for the year. 
Starting JANUARY  2015 the monthly JCGS Saturday meetings will be held at:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
7100 Hadley
Overland Park, KS
The Hadley location is very handy and has plenty of parking. It is just a block east of ANTIOCH on 71st Street on the SOUTH side of the street. We cannot bring in any food or drink!

Changes at the Central Resource Library

   Changes are taking place during 2015 at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street in Overland Park. These changes will impact all who use the Genealogy Department and its holdings and services. Most of the Central Resource Library will be closed to the public for remodeling and will be inaccessible through the remainder of 2015. This means all genealogy books, periodicals, all newspapers on microfilm, and the volunteers who faithfully staff the Genealogy Desk, will be unavailable.
   What exactly does this mean for the Johnson County Genealogy Society ? As many of you know, the Society has already changed the location of its monthly meetings. During all of 2015, the meetings have been moved from the Carmack Room in the library to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 7100 Hadley in Overland Park. This new temporary meeting space is comfortable and well located, and offers the use of a large screen and projector for presentations. The first meeting held there in January was very well attended, so it looks like everyone got the message.
   In addition, the temporary closing of the library means there is no person available in the library to help genealogists with the use of databases, suggestions for further research, newspaper articles from local newspapers, or with locating local obituaries. No microfilm or film readers/scanners will be available during this time. All of the branch libraries will be open for their regular hours, but none of those has microfilm or film readers.
   However, while you cannot have access to the Genealogy Department for the remainder of 2015, you can still use the library genealogy web page ( from home and from the other branch libraries. If you usually go to the CRL to access the Ancestry Library Edition website, for example, just visit any other branch to do that.
   If you sometimes visit the CRL to get help from a volunteer at the Genealogy Desk, you may want to attend the JCGS monthly meetings and ask for help there, or contact one of the mentors found in the Quarterly publication or through  If you sometimes use to ask a question through the Society, you may continue to do so, but with the understanding that some questions cannot currently be answered if the resource needed is unavailable due to the remodeling.
   Once the remodeling is completed and the CRL is reopened, probably early in 2016, we will be able to enjoy the many changes and improvements in the building. Of special interest to genealogists will be an updated and redesigned Genealogy Department with some very nice improvements. You can take a sneak peak by clicking on this link for a tour.

Free DNA Presentations

The coordinators of Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 have made the various presentations available for free on YouTube.  The lectures were sponsored by Family Tree DNA and organized by ISOGG volunteers.  Here is a description of the lectures.  Thanks to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland sponsors, coordinators and presenters. There are more than 30 presentations available and something for everyone.  Take a look. Even if you are not Irish you will learn from these programs!

What Can WORLDCAT Do For You?

Take a few minutes and visit the genealogy orientation page for Worldcat, the online, worldwide library catalogue. WorldCat provides information about library materials, where they are available and links to digitized versions of library materials. WorldCat is the world’s largest bibliographic database. It contains information about more than 210 million items owned by 10,000 libraries around the world. Constant growth makes WorldCat a rich resource for genealogists who seek primary source materials.

Like us on Facebook! Facebook button

Upcoming Events
Family HIstory Friday
Friday, Oct. 16th
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Downtown Olathe Library, 201 E. Park, Olathe, KS
German Heritage Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 17th
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Topeka & Shawnee County Pub Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave, Topeka
Executive Board Meeting
Monday, Oct. 19th
6:00 pm
Oak Park Library, Oak Park Library, 9500 Bluejacket St. Overland Park, KS 66214

FGS Events Listing
Want to know what's going on where? The Federation of Genealogical Societies has a listing of member events. JCGS is one of the member societies of FGS. Go take a look on our links page under NATIONAL listings.

Mailing List
If you are a current member or are joining JCGS you will automatically receive the email notices and do not have to sign up here. This sign up is for visitors.
Subscribe to our mailing list

Our neighbor Wyandotte County
New link under Kansas City Area Libraries
Trowbridge Research Library & Archives

Genealogy in Time Magazine
Link to the Most Recent Genealogy Records for the United States. Go to the LINKS page on the left menu and look for it under RESOURCES

Go to our LINKS page and find a new section on DNA. If you have more suggestions let us know.

Need Forms?
The Midwest Genealogical Library has pdf forms that you can download and fill in on your computer. Most of the forms that you find out there are just downloadable forms that you print out and write on. Go look under RESOURCES on our LINKS page.

Great Value!
Ever want to know what $1,000 in 1860 is worth today? Go check out MEASURING WORTH under RESOURCES on our LINKS page.

On the EVENTS and LINKS pages you can easily sort the listings. At the top of each page is a drop down box. Open the box and you will find the categories from which to choose! You can find what you are looking for quickly.

Need Help?
You may contact us at any time for help with the website.
JCGS web team