Wichita Genealogical Society - 1987
Wichita Genealogical Society Keeper of the Plains

WGS Implements Zoom

The Wichita Genealogical Society has licensed Zoom Webinar to bring you our usual educational and fun monthly programs. Until we can all meet in large groups, please join us for presentations that help with genealogy research and historical context. Also, watch for additional programs that can be brought to you through the magic of a virtual world.

Don't Miss the August Webinar!

Women Writers on the Santa Fe Trail is the program for our August Webinar. Dr. Leo E. Oliva presents a great view of life on the trail by four remarkable women.
This is free and open to the public, but you must register - which is easy. Click Here to see Webinar details and to register.

WGS Annual Conference Cancelled

The Wichita Genealogical Society is sad to announce that our 2020 Genealogical Conference is cancelled. Originally scheduled for Oct 3rd, this was our 9th annual conference. Current and projected health concerns, plus meeting venue restrictions made this decision necessary.

While it is early, don't forget to mark your calendars for our October 9th, 2021 conference when we will host Lisa Louise Cooke, the creator and host of Genealogy Gems https://lisalouisecooke.com/. Lisa is one of the most sought-after presenters and brings an unmatched energy and level of information to her audience.


FGS In-Person Conference Cancelled

Monday, June 15th, the Federation of Genealogical Societies announced that the annual in-person conference scheduled for Sep 2-5 is cancelled.
The full announcement can be found here:  FGS Cancelled. They are developing a 'virtual' conference. If you have already registered, read their announcements and information carefully. Any registration is being automatically converted to a virtual conference.

A Message From The WGS President

Dear Members,
The WGS board met on June 8, 2020 and discussed the future meetings at the Wichita Public Library.  As of today, it doesn’t appear that WPL facilities will be available for our face-to-face monthly programs without severe limitations (spacing, masks, registrations).  
  As of June 8th, the access at the Wichita Public Library is limited.  Here’s a summary of their status as of June 8th.  For a complete listing and the most up-to-date status, see the library website at https://www.wichitalibrary.org/covid-19.
  1. The public is not allowed access to any of the stacks.  Book retrieval is done by staff members.
  2. All returned books are placed in quarantine for an as yet determined length of time.
  3. The current meeting limitations are 1 person/50 sq. ft, masks and advance registration of all attendees.  These limitations could change to 1 person/35 sq. ft later this year, but the date is unsure.  We don’t know if registration and masks will still be required.
  4. The storage of quarantined books and the re-purposing of the conference rooms as computing centers (with the required spacing) means that none of the conference rooms are available.  There are a few rooms available at Evergreen Library, but they will close in September for a building refurbishment. 
What does this mean to WGS programs?
  • Our next presentation, scheduled for July 18th and covering research of ancestors who served in the military in the 1800s, will be made accessible via our website https://wichitagensoc.org/ in July.
  • We are looking at ways to provide our quarterly, historical presentations virtually, as well.
  • We will make a decision on our October conference in early July. 
  • We are investigating the use of Zoom for our monthly SIG meeting.
I’m very sorry that the current quarantine situation has halted our opportunities to talk face-to-face.  I hope your family history research is continuing unabated and I definitely look forward to seeing you all.  Stay tuned to our website and facebook page for notices. (June 10, 2020)
Margaret Kline
WGS President

Find A Grave Video Presentation

The Wichita Genealogical Society has released a 3-Part video class titled Getting the Most from Find A Grave today, Saturday, May 16th. With great features for genealogists, Find A Grave can help you organize, report, and share ancestor resting place information.
CLICK HERE for the Video Presentation Page.  Enjoy! 

Genealogy Activities- Status

The following facilities and conferences have been impacted by the Covid-19. See the associated updates.
Wichita Library
The Wichita Libraries are opening May 26 with limited access. Unfortunately, the Research Pavilion in the Advanced Learning Library is still closed. Visit https://wichitalibrary.org/covid-19 for details of the library opening.
Topeka Genealogical Society Annual Conference
Re-scheduled for October 30-31. The Topeka Genalogical Society has re-scheduled their Annual Conference to October 30-31, at the same venue and with the same programs as the previously scheduled event. Visit their website for details: www.tgstopeka.org.


Genealogy Research Opportunities

Have free time on your hands? Now is a perfect time to look deeper into your interests. Here are a couple free opportunities.

Digital Public Library of America
Are you aware of the Digital Public Library of America (www.dp.la)? It is a non-profit organization with a wide collection and offerings for genealogists. This includes The Family Research Guide to DPLA - https://dp.la/guides/the-family-research-guide-to-dpla. The following statement from DPLA describes this guide:

DPLA is totally free to use and open to all – no library card, subscription, or sign-up required! Our collection, with items from many institutions, offers a unique research resource for family historians and genealogists.

Ancestry Library Version
The Wichita Public Library is temporarily providing access to the Library Edition of Ancestry from your home or other remote location. This is normally only available from a library PC in the ALL or a branch. You still need a library card number to login and access this great service. For those who already have a subscription to Ancestry, there is still added benefit to using the library edition. While it cannot access your trees, it does provide many records that are only available on the World Edition. Take a look.

With your internet browser connect to: https://catalog.wichitalibrary.org/Polaris/Search/misc/esources.aspx, click on Ancestry Library Edition and follow login instructions. This link is also available from the libraries COVID-19 page:  https://wichitalibrary.org/covid-19

Note:  This remote access could change when the library re-opens.


2020 Monthly Meeting Schedule

Mark your calendar for our 2020 Monthly Meetings. We have an interesting and informative schedule of programs for you. We are changing many of the presentations to 'Virtual' meetings using online-based applications. Please watch for announcements about each meeting.
 August 15
 Women Writers on the Santa Fe Trail
 Leo Oliva
 September 19
 DNA for Genealogy – The Basics (Members Only)
 October 3
 Annual Conference at Metroplex – CANCELLED
 Melissa Tennant
 November 21
 Lucy Tayiah: The First Woman Chief of the Kaw
 Pauline Shap
 No monthly meeting – Happy Holidays

Monthly Activity Updates

Stay informed about Wichita Genealogical Society activities.  Sign up for a monthly email of current and upcoming events.
Click on the green Sign Up button and a new page will come up.  Complete the form then click on the blue Sign Up button to send. 
But wait...for the confirmation email that will arrive in your mailbox. Confirm that you want the WGS email sent to you (it has to do with anti-spam laws) and you should be set.  Thank you for subscribing.


August 15
Women Writers on the Santa Fe Trail
  Presented by Dr. Leo E. Oliva   This presentation looks at the adventures & reflections of 4 of the remarkable women who wrote their own stories.  Susan Shelby Magoffin traveled with her husband’s wagon train in 1846; Katie Bowen traveled the trail in 1851.  From the age of 7 ...