Program Schedule Announced

We are happy to let you know that the program schedule for 2022-23 is complete and posted on the website. Please go to to review this year’s offerings.

Our president, Judy Muhn has prepared a message to our members,  please access it here.

In addition, we have sent membership renewal notices to members who have an email address. Your participation is vital and we hope you will renew promptly. The easiest way to renew is to log into your account online. If you aren’t sure of the date your membership expires, please check the label of your most recent Acorns to Oaks, or log into your member record here on the site to see the date. If you prefer to renew my US mail, you can access a member for to mail with your check here.

Thanks for being an important part of the Society!

Research in DC


The Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society is traveling to Washington, DC October 23-29 for both research and “tour-on-your-own” – and we hope to see you on the bus! Please share this email with your members.

The Portage Senior Center is sponsoring the trip and will make the decision July 31 whether the trip is a “go” or not. Take a look at the attached brochure and if you’re interested, contact Dawn Shilts at the Portage Senior Center. Her contact information is in the brochure.

An advantage of this trip is the daily drop-off and pick-up at the three research facilities – the DAR library, the National Archives and the Library of Congress. The DAR library is open. The National Archives and Library of Congress are open for researchers by appointment.

Hope you will be able to join us for a great week of genealogical discovery. If you have questions, you can contact the Portage Senior Center (as mentioned above) or our society at this email:

Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society Board

Download brochure.

Survey of interest in Free Family Tree Maker Webinar

Family tree Maker has offered to present a webinar about the program to our members. This would be in addition to our normal programs. We wish to gauge interest prior to making a decision on the offer. Please fill out his survey to help us. The results will be recorded and reported to the membership.

Next Season

The Board has met and scheduled meetings or the next year. Derek Blount, our VP and Program Chair, is busy confirming next year’s topics and dates. We are planning for hybrid meeting so those who choose canl be in person at the church. Testing on that is ongoing.  We will be posting them as soon as available. Stay tuned!

Helpful Sources for African-American Genealogy

Searches for African American ancestors on most of the well-known genealogy platforms such as and often lead to dead ends, particularly for those who lived only in what became the Confederate States of America. However, there are records from the Freedman’s Bureau, and even Canadian records that can be extremely helpful. Speaker: Gary Wilkes.

Register in advance for this meeting:

Finding Your Detroit and Wayne County Ancestors

You are invited to an Oakland County Genealogical Society Zoom meeting.
When: Mar 1, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Many of us who live in Michigan have ancestors who migrated through Detroit and Wayne County. What records did they leave behind and how can we access them? This session examines the records of our ancestors in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan. We will explore who created them, what information is in them, where they are held, the reason why they were created, when they begin and end, and how these records can advance our research.
Presented by Tom Koselka.

Register for for February 1 Meeting

And There I Take My Stand: Women’s Suffrage in Michigan

Presented by Katherine Willson.

A celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage with an overview of historical contributions from Michigan’s passionate and determined citizens.

Please register for the meeting at this link.

New Index in Member’s Area

A new index of articles published in Acorns to Oaks has been added to the member’s area. The index can be searched by “location” or key word. If you are searching for articles pertaining to a certain location use that location as a search term. Most locations are in Oakland County, but there are articles from Detroit and other counties also. You may also search by a key word, perhaps “death” without quotes. That will result in all articles with the word death in the title. Members may access the new index here.

2021 OCGS Survey

Please take a few minutes to help your board by answering our survey which is at this link.

Ethnic & Religious Group Migrations to Michigan

Our webinar will examine the sources that exist about the various ethnic groups that came to Michigan, mainly focusing on the Allen County Public Library’s collection. We will look briefly at the histories of these groups and examine books, and occasionally, websites, that will allow one to do further research on these groups.

This is our joint Zoom meeting program with the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research (DSGR).  John Beatty from The Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana will be the speaker. The webinar begins at 11 a.m.

You must register in advance to attend this meeting using this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This meeting will not be recorded. We hope you will join us on November 6!

John D. Beatty, CG, has been a reference librarian in The Genealogy Center since 1984 and also serves as its principal bibliographer.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors in History from the University of Michigan in 1982, and a Master of Arts degree in History and Library Science with honors from that university in 1984. He became a Board-certified genealogist in 2014.

He is the author of sixteen books on local and family history, including works on German and early American families, abstracts of town vital records from Biddeford, Maine, and annotated narratives from the Irish Rebellion of 1798, as well as numerous articles on a variety of genealogical and local historical topics. In 2006, he served as principal editor for volume one of a two-volume History of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, 1700-2005, the first history of Allen County produced since 1917.

Because of a diversified family background, he has genealogical expertise in a variety of areas. He has conducted original research on families from colonial New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Kentucky, as well as on seventeenth and eighteenth century families from Ireland, Germany and Switzerland. He serves as archivist for the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana, and his interests also include local Fort Wayne and Allen County history.