Johnson County Genealogical Society
Johnson County
Genealogical Society
and Library, Inc.
2 children 1890s
Preserving KANSAS genealogy and its rich history at the crossroads of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails.
Free Probate NEHGS
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering free access to thirty-two probate-related databases on its website from April 18th to April 25.
The databases being offered by the NEHGS contain some of the earliest probate records of colonial Massachusetts and other New England colonies and states, as well as New York and New Brunswick, Canada. The collections provide a wide variety of information on the use of such records in family history research and bring the probate research expertise of NEHGS staff to genealogists of all levels.
Probate records can be a powerful resource for genealogists and other researchers. These papers document legal decisions that explain how an individual’s estate is distributed to heirs, dependents, and creditors. Probates may list a person’s spouse, children, and other relatives. They may also contain important clues to a person’s financial status, by including a list of worldly possessions at the time of death.
To take advantage of the free records visit the probate page at and register as a Guest Member.
The free record access ends on Tuesday, April 25th.
NEHGS is also providing a free webinar about using these records. Using New England Probate Records, a sixty-minute webinar presented by David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist at NEHGS, is available free to all visitors to the site. The webinar offers guidance on how to get the most out of all probate records.

You Made My Day!

You Made My Day Volunteer Appreciation Card
JCGS has the best volunteers around.  Every aspect of our operation is created, designed, and carried out by volunteers. On the Genealogy Desk at the Central Library sits a neat new box with little cards on the side for recognition of those volunteers.  We do this work because we love it and community service is our middle name but, you know, it's always a delight to hear a nice word or two for the effort.  Next time you are in the Genealogy area maybe go look for the box and if someone has really made your day - let us know so we can let THEM know.  You can also just drop us a line. Happy genealogy hunting! 

April 22 General Meeting with Lori Cox-Paul

Kansas City NARA

Lori Cox-Paul is the Director of Archival Operations at the National Archives at Kansas City.  In this capacity, she plans, develops, and executes long- and short-range plans of the archival program, including accessioning, arrangement, description, reference, preservation, and outreach programs. She supervises a staff of 16 employees. Lori has a B.A. in English and History from Hastings College and a M.A. in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University.  She is active in numerous professional organizations. Lori will share information about Immigration & Naturalization Records of our local NARA.
Don't forget - the 2017 Skill Building classes will be held after our general meetings. Meet a friend for lunch and come back to the library to learn!

JCGS 2017 Annual Seminar

Save the date! Hold the phone! It's not too early to put this date in your calendar. October 28, 2017.We will be hosting Thomas MacEntee this October for an action packed all day seminar. We return to our favorite venue, the Ritz Charles event center in Overland Park.
Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional based in the United States specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community. Thomas has started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” We are sure to have another successful event this fall.

Olathe Public Library Genealogy Offerings

Don't forget about our wonderful Johnson County resource in Olathe. They have several Family History Fridays coming up that you might enjoy. They are 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on April 21 and May 19 in the genealogy area at the downtown location. Librarians will be there to guide your research.
The National Archives will be putting on a presentation about using the U.S. Census records on March 29 at the Indian Creek location.  
After-Hours Genealogy is for genealogists! The doors are open late on Saturday, April 22 from 5pm to 9 pm at the Olathe downtown location. You can search, Heritage Quest and other websites to discover your family history. Open to genealogists of all levels of expertise. No registration necessary.   
Be sure to check out what they have to offer here.   Did you know - if you are researching from home you may use the library’s website, your Olathe OR JoCo Library card and PIN for access to HeritageQuest, Genealogy Connect, and America’s Obituaries and Death Notices.   The Olathe Library and JoCo Libraries use the same card - you are able to use your JoCo card to access their databases!   Check out their available databases here

Avoid a Grave Mistake!

It seems like we often run across a story of people ruining gravestones. Sometimes it's on purpose but sometimes folks are meaning to do a good thing but, alas, they are not. Folllow this link to one such story from the L.A. Times.  You can then check out the 2017 March JCGS Quarterly publication to read all about how to correctly care for these precious pieces of history. It is now available on the members secure download page. 

Videos Available From Roots Tech 2017

The Roots Tech conference was another smashing success this last February. Did you know that many video recordings are now ready for you to watch at home and they are free. Hop on over to and look for the content that you would like to see.

Happy 45th Anniversary JCGS

45th Anniversary CakeJanuary's meeting was hectic. The first meeting of the year usually is pretty busy - folks in to pay their dues and to catch up on things from over the winter.  This year brings our 45th Anniversary. We are proud of the society and happy to report that we are in good shape. We have 214 members as of the afternoon of the 28th. We have the board filled and we have very active volunteers that allow us to continue our programs and plan more for the future.  
Happy Anniversary JCGS!

New in the JCGS Library Collection

Women in the Rev War books vol 1-3
JCGS recently received a donation from the Olathe Chapter of the DAR.  America's Women in the Revolutionary Era 1760-1790:  A History Through Bibliography is a three volume set edited by DAR Library Director Eric G. Grundset. It is an authoritative guide to women’s and girls’ lives in the era of the American Revolution. This encyclopedic bibliography is organized in different ways to make it as useful as possible. Grunset chose to sort information in volume 1 by topic, volume 2 by geography and the third volume is a chronology that shows how historians’ understanding of these women and girls has developed over time. 
This book will be an inspiration to find our female patriots as well as a boon for researchers in women's studies. Again, this is a bibliography of source material. It will show the way to known sources and to sources such as dissertations that are not so well known.
Carol and Bernie Kuse, JCGS library volunteers with the new set of books. Carol is also our JCGS Librarian.

Skill Building Classes for 2017

                                            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 and will be held on the same day as the general meetig except for October and November - those skill building classes will be held on the THIRD Saturday not the fourth. 
Contact Education Chair, Darlene Jerome for more information.  These classes are listed on our events page. 

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.

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
Family Tree Maker
Thursday, Apr. 27th
1:00 pm
Pickard Room, Central Resource Library
Family History Friday
Friday, May. 19th
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park St. Olathe, KS 66061
Executive Board Meeting
Monday, May. 22nd
6:00 pm
Picard Room, Central Resource 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