WGS Board Member Profiles

2021 Wichita Genealogical Society Board Members

 Executive Board


Margaret Kline, President

Margaret’s WGS journey began as editor of the Ark Valley Crossroad in 2018. Though a Kansas native, Margaret’s tree has few, if any, leaves in Kansas. Her research focuses on Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and Pennsylvania, then leaps across the ocean to Germany, Ireland and Croatia.  A former civil servant, Margaret now works part-time for a DC think tank.


Helen Cole, Vice President

Helen is a native Wichitan who graduated from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing and worked at St Francis for 11 years. Then she left nursing to work full time at the business that she and her husband Carl owned and operated: Cole's Mower Service, which they closed in 1995. She became interested in Genealogy about 25 years ago and has worked at it sporadically over the years. She is a widow with two grown sons and three grandchildren aged 21 to 16.


Jim Byrum, Treasurer

Jim is a native Kansan and spent his entire life in Wichita. Prior to his retirement in 2009, he had a successful career in aerospace engineering. His ancestry is German-Irish and Germany, although the Irish side is more sketchy. Jim’s father’s side lived mostly in Iowa, with his mother’s family from Wisconsin. Jim has served as the WGS Treasurer since 2020.

Fred Knoblauch, Secretary

I grew up in Colwich, about 20 miles northwest of Wichita and have spent my entire life in the Wichita area. For over 30 years I have been doing recreational genealogy, starting with my extended families, and have over 48,000 people in my database. My focus has been western Sedgwick County, and eastern Kingman and Reno counties. I was retired after 40 years in corporate management accounting, but recently came out of retirement at my pastor’s request and now work part time in the parish office. My wife Cecilia and I have been married for over 42 years, have three sons and nine grandchildren.

Phyllis Schanbacher, Registrar

I am retired from the Wichita Public School District after 27 ½ years of substituting and working in an office. I am the mother of 3, grandmother of 8 and great grandmother of 6. They are the light of my life. I enjoy volunteering at my church, helping my family, Genealogy, quilting and friends. I have been able to prove my family for the DAR and am a member of the National Society Descendants of American Farmers. I started my genealogy trip in 1973. I enjoy taking the trips the Society has to offer and have found lots of help, friends and fun with the group.

 Executive Board
Chair Positions  

Janell White , Exchanges and Publications

I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, genealogy was all around me. Back then, it never crossed my mind to document all the genealogical information I heard coming from family members or to ask questions of the older generations. My research has unveiled a lot of unknowns and provided many roadblocks. My goal is to break down those roadblocks and discover more information on a grandfather who immigrated from Prussia in the 1880’s. I retired in 2017 after 25 years as an Administrative Assistant in the business master’s programs at Friends University. I have a daughter, two sons and ten grandchildren. My husband and I have been members of the Wichita Genealogical Society for several years. After retirement I felt I had the time to do more family research and wanted to do volunteer work.


Gary Clark, Webmaster

A Wichita native, Gary has worked in computer-related industries his whole career. Recently retired from the business world, he still writes books on vintage photographs and history related topics. Bit by the genealogy bug in 1993, research into his Johnson and Clark primary genealogy lines and other branches occupies much of his free time. He has many ancestors and current family members in Sedgwick, Cowley, Sumner, Harvey, and Reno counties.


Kaye Hamlin, Historian

Kay started her geneaology journey in 2011 to find out more about here mother's grandfather, who was never talked about. In addition to this challenge, Kaye's traces her genealogy which goes back to England and Scotland. She is a retired Wichita native, and with her husband Jim, they like to travel, work puzzles and be with family and friends.


Jim Hamlin, Post Recorder

Jim is a Wichita native, retired, and does volunteer work for several organizations as a handy man. He has been treasurer for two groups, one for 18 years and the other for 33. He loves to read when he can't get outside. Jim's genealogy research started with a great-grandfather on his father's side; searching for where he came from and hopes to develop the complete story of the gentleman's life someday.


Rosie Wiley, Special Projects / Research

A Wichita native, Rosie has been active in genealogy since 1985 when she discovered her father’s side of the family after losing both parents at a young age. She is currently the President of Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies. She is past president of WGS, a position she held for three years. Rosie has been a professional genealogist for four years assisting others in finding their roots or break walls. She has attended many conferences, webinars, and taken several classes to broaden her knowledge in the genealogy field. Rosie and her husband Brett have four boys and seven grandchildren.


Jason Felihkatubbe, Education

Jason Felihkatubbe (Choctaw) has been doing genealogical research for over 25 years and his focus is Native American Indian genealogy, with an emphasis on the southeastern peoples–Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole in Indian Territory/Oklahoma. Apart from research, he has offered lectures and classes on Native American Indian genealogy, culture, and. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He has been involved with the USGenWeb Project for over 16 years.


Julie Crawford, Library Laison

Julie got the family history bug from her mother, who had started doing genealogy research long before the internet became available as a tool. Julie was an insurance agent for 25 years and then a customer service rep for the City of Wichita for a few years. She now spends her time as an active member of DAR, a church musician, a quilter, and an avid reader of history and historical fiction. A native of Washington, DC, she grew up in suburban Virginia and graduated from James Madison University. Her personal research focuses primarily on colonial Virginia, colonial North and South Carolina, and England. She is a member of the International Molyneux Family Association and the Pace Society of America, as well as several genealogical societies.

Open, Publicity


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