Johnson County Genealogical Society
Johnson County
Genealogical Society
and Library, Inc.
Nelson family
Preserving KANSAS genealogy and its rich history at the crossroads of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails.

Family History Gathering

   It's that time of the year when we very mobile Americans traverse the continent to find family. Family at home, family on group vacations, Grandma's house - wherever you go you have a great opportunity to gather that history.  How you ask?  Any number of organizations have guidelines that can help you and guide your interviewing. This happens to be a link to UCLA's Oral History website. I found these questions as I was searching for ideas for a Brownie troop that I will be helping with on their Family Story badge. 
   When the old ones pass these stories are gone.  Print off this list of questions and interview all of your family that you visit with this holiday season.  Yes, even that Uncle Joe who may not be the most popular family member...... Take along printed pedigree sheets to fill in. Remember - names, dates, locations -get them down on paper. 
   With all of the DNA sales going on at this holiday time think about ordering and taking some along. Get the oldest of the clan first. If you test at FTDNA you can get their Family Finder test and they hold their samples so if you want to test something else later you already have the sample on file. Just get it on ice while the folks are still here.  The swab kits are infinitely better than the spit kits for older folks. FTDNA is the only swab kit among the three main labs -, 23 and Me and Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).
   A most joyous season to all! 

FGS Announces Upcoming Venues

Save the dates! 
The FGS 2019 National Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, D.C., and the FGS 2020 National Conference will be held September 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri.
“We are extremely excited for all our upcoming conferences and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and Kansas City in future years,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “From 2016 to 2020, our conference venues are steeped in both history and research resources and make perfect settings for genealogists and family historians.”
This announcement extends the upcoming FGS conferences schedule to the year 2020 and includes:
FGS 2017 National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
FGS 2018 National Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana
FGS 2019 National Conference in Washington, D.C.
FGS 2020 National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri
Each conference will be joined and hosted by a local genealogical organization. The Illinois State Genealogical Society will welcome FGS this year in Springfield and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society in 2017. Local hosts for future conferences will be announced at a later date.

Skill Building Classes for 2016

                                            little girl at desk writing
JCGS is now offering skill building classes on a monthly basis. The classes will be held at the Central Resource Library on 87th and Farley.  All classes will be presented by JCGS members.  These classes are in addition to our regular 4th Saturday general meetings. December's offering is - Finding Gold in Graveyards Much can be learned when visiting an ancestor's cemetery. Headstones may hold surprises, giving you clues into their lives. Learn what you can discover from home and at the cemetery, and how to plan an effective trip to your ancestor's final resting place. Presenters: Char Mitts & Dorothy Zarda
Contact Education Chair, Darlene Jerome for more information.  These classes are listed on our events page. Click here to get a list of all of the classes for the year.

Honoring Our Veterans in France

Wall of Remembrance
A few weeks ago JCGS was contacted by a French woman, Marie-Sophie Bouffier, to see if we could help her find information on the family of William M. Fanning from Shawnee Kansas. Fanning was killed in action during WWII in the Battle of Normandy.  Marie-Sophie and her son Alexander have taken on the responsibility of honoring Fanning at various memorial services throught the year. Fanning is on the Wall of Remembrance at the Colleville cemetery. JCGS member Susan Jarulsic contacted the Shawnee Dispatch where journalist Melissa Treolo picked up and produced a feature story. Click here to read more about the French connection to a Shawnee soldier.  Click here to read about Fanning and to see other cemeteries.
For those of you who have never seen one of the Allied cemeteries in France or Belgium, here is a link to a web cam from Colleville. You might have to click more than once when you get there.
What a wonderful reason to be a part of your local genealogical society!

New Initiative to Digitize Records

Reclaim the Records is a not-for-profit group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and open government advocates. These concerned folks are filing Freedom of Information requests to get public data released back into the public domain. They are collecting information about archivally important data sets that are not available online or on microfilm, and they are using state and Federal FOI laws and Open Data initiatives to get copies of this information released back to the public.

reclaim the records
They are starting work in archives in New York City and New York State, and will be expanding into different parts of the country, based on demand from people like you. Along the way, they will be documenting everything they have learned about filing Freedom of Information Act requests, and creating a Do-It-Yourself guide for genealogists, open data fans, and others who want their state, local, and Federal records made more available. 
The goal is to get these record sets put online, for free, for everyone. Want to learn more? Read their  Frequently asked Questions.

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 to read more about credentialing.

RR Retirement

Be one of the first to use the Midwest Genealogy Center’s Quick Look! This new and exciting feature provides online access to some of MGC’s resources. One of the resources you can search is inactive pension claims from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, which contains over 1.5 million records. Search the index by name and/or date. If you locate a resource, you will have an opportunity to request it from the source organization. In addition to the Railroad Retirement Pension Records, you can also find obituaries from newspapers like the Kansas City Star and Independence Examiner. Records currently indexed include obituaries, vital records, indexes for books within MGC’s collection, and more.

What can you expect after a search? Searches will yield an index that will allow you to request a full record. For U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Pension Claims, you will be directed to the National Archives. For all other collections, MGC staff will fulfill your request. The link to this great new feature is found on MGC’s main web page here. Have fun searching and watching MGC’s digital collection grow!

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

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.

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Upcoming Events
Finding Gold in Graveyards
Monday, Dec. 12th
1:00 pm
Central Research Library, 87th and Farley
Research Plan and Research Log
Saturday, Mar. 18th
1:00 pm
Carmack Room, Central Library
Comparing Popular Genealogy Web Sites and Software Programs
Saturday, Apr. 22nd
1:00 pm
Carmack Room, Central Library

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.
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Relatedness Calculator
Ever wondered how you're related to your half-cousin? How about your great uncle? And what is a second cousin twice removed, anyway? Ask the relatedness calculator. Check it out under RESOURCES on the LINKS page.

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