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.

January 28 General Meeting

Our next General Meeting is scheduled for Saturday January 28 at 10 AM in the Carmack Room at the Central Resource Library, and will feature:
The Story of Anthony Ward, Topeka Pioneer, and the Documents Behind the Story
Presented by Barb LaClair, Topeka Genealogical Society
As genealogists, we are often faced with trying to verify family stories that have been handed down.  Although there is usually at least a grain of truth, sometimes they are not totally accurate.  This case study will take a closer look at a popular Topeka local history story that has been circulating since at least the early 1900s, and reveal one big discrepancy between the story and the underlying source documents.  
Barbara LaClair has been interested in family history since she was a teen, and has been actively researching her family's history for more than forty years.  She has been involved with the Topeka Genealogical Society for more than twenty-five years, where she has taught classes on a variety of topics, served in multiple leadership roles, and currently serves as President.
Barb grew up living in a house that was built on part of the original farmstead of Topeka pioneer Anthony Ward, and has always been interested in its history.  In this presentation, she will share the results of her research when she set out to investigate the popular story of Anthony Ward and how he acquired his property in Topeka.

JCGS Is Out and About

The outreach team of the society is keeping busy answering requests from various community groups to provide a speaker and to share information about its resources, services, and especially the Memory Lab. 
The March Genealogy Day Open House and Resource Fair and the Memory Lab article in the Best Times have called attention to JCGS as well as how to digitize family photos, documents, movies, and slides. Since the public launch of the Memory Lab in April, interested individuals have also stopped by the genealogy desk to ask questions and get more information. The word has definitely been spreading.
JCGS had a booth at the annual Old Shawnee Days on June 3 & 4 where volunteers interacted with more than 125 people. They provided handouts and collected the names of those interested in being added to the mailing list.
On July 29, genealogy desk volunteers provided information to around 100 people who were part of a larger group that attended the All Together Now Summer Celebration at the Central Resource Library.
So far this year, presentations have been given to the following:
  • Lenexa Cosmopolitan Club in May
  • SenCom/Senior Computer Users group on April 14th
Upcoming presentations and booths at events include:
  • Thursday, Aug 17 – PEO Group – 7 p.m. What is JCGS and the Memory Lab?
  • Thursday, September 7 - Live Well: Age Well 10 a.m. to 3:30 – booth at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park; open to the public. 
  • Tuesday, September 12 - PEO Group presentation - 10:30 a.m. What is JCGS and the Memory Lab 
  • Wednesday, September 13 - Lakeview Village - 2 p.m. What to do with Mom’s old photos/Memory Lab 
  • Saturday, October 14 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shawnee Indian Mission Fall Festival, 3403 W. 53rd Street, Fairway; Open to the public. 
 If you know anyone who would like a Johnson County Genealogical Society presentation to their group, participation in a community event, or a tour of the genealogy area at the Central Resource Library, please email

Learn more about JCGS

Check out the video below to learn more about the Johnson County Genealogical Society and the Genealogy area at the Johnson County Library's Central Resource Branch. 

Obituary Requests

If you submitted an obituary request in June or July and did not receive a response, please resubmit it and we will get back to you ASAP.  
Due to a glitch in our email forwarding system we did not receive it.   

Memory Lab Updates

For the most current information on the Memory Lab, please click on the Memory Lab menu tab in the blue column on the left.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library

We have some fantastic news to share.  The Johnson County Library is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library!  What this means is that when you come into any of the library’s 14 branches you will have access to approximately 400 million images that are currently not available to the public outside of an affiliate library or a FamilySearch center.  
If you have questions about using FamilySearch stop by our Genealogy Desk at the Central Resource Library where you can speak with a helpful volunteer Monday - Saturday from 9-4 pm. 

2023 Program Dates

Jan 28:    Steve Nowak - Watkins Museum Core Exhibits
Feb 25:    Alice Hoyt Veen - Finding 'John Johnson': Identifying an ancestor with a common name   
March 11:  Genealogy Day / Open House and Resource Fair
April 22:  Andrew Gustafson - Redlined: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation
May 27:   Heather Jenkins - Rich or Poor?  Clue Into Your Ancestor's Financial Well-Being
June 24:  Sam Sagastume - Letha's Legacy: A  Story of Intergenerational Trauma
July 22:   John Burchill - People, Places, and Politics in 1800s Kansas  
Aug 26:   Sarah Bader-King - Civil War Medicine: Medical Treatments of the Mid-Nineteenth Century
Sept 16:  Amanda Wahlmeier & Hope Harms - The Public Library: A Genealogy Research Hub
Oct 28:   JCGS Annual Seminar - Katherine R. Willson
Nov 25:   Pam Miller - Digging Into Land Records

Upcoming Events

We have a wide variety of events happening every month at JCGS. 
From Monthly Meetings to Special Interest Groups to Genealogy Treehouse Chats, we're sure you'll find something that may be of interest to you. 



Need One-on-One Help?

JCGS volunteers are available Monday - Saturday from 9-5 at the Genealogy Desk at the Johnson County Central Resource Library for general questions.  For those looking for a little extra help with either Basic Genealogy or DNA & Genetic Genealogy we also offer free one-on-one sessions that can be booked in advance.
If you would like to sign up for an appointment please use the appropriate button below to view the available appointment times and make a reservation.  If you would prefer to not use SignUpGenius, you may also email with your requested date and time.
Basic Genealogy sessions are available most Tuesday mornings. This is not for brick wall or advanced research help.
DNA & Genetic Genealogy sessions are available most Friday mornings.



Upcoming Events
Writing Group
Thursday, Dec. 7th
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Central Resource Library at 1 p.m. and on Zoom - NO MTG IN DEC
Legacy Family Tree Users Group
Saturday, Dec. 9th
9:00 am to 12:00 am
Online via Zoom
General Research Group
Tuesday, Dec. 12th
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Central Resource Library, Conference Room 4 *** No December mtg - resume in Jan.

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 to our website.
Subscribe to our mailing list

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