Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc

We meet year-round on the first Wednesday of the month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Membership is $30 for singles, $45 for couples of the same household.

The Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, founded in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts in 1972. We are devoted to the research and documentation of our family ancestry and history. We also assist others in the pursuit of discovering their ancestry.

Membership is open to anyone with interest in genealogy and family history. WMGS offers monthly meetings feature locally and nationally known experts in genealogical research, history, and other related interests. Research clinics are offered free of charge to members and $10 per session to non-members. Annual membership is $25 per individual, $15 per full-time student, $40 per couples in the same household. Lifetime memberships are also available for $500 per individual with an occasional reduced rate for special events.

Mission: Our goal is to assist everyone in learning how to effectively research their family and their family's roots employing both on-line and off-line strategies.

Amy Johnson Crow

It's easy to overlook these 5 features on Ancestry, but they can really help you with your research.

WMGS MONTHLY MEETING : Wednesday,May 1st 6-8pm,Agawam Senior Center.

Boston National Historical Park

In a major windfall of primary source documents, a whopping 48 volumes of the shipyard logs from 1888 - 1958, detailing ship movements, staffing levels, and major work events in the Charlestown Navy Yard have been digitized through the National Archives at https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1175011?fbclid=IwAR063cueIeWLM8Upbk77dgWb-w2--4O7qMQ0xrGlyVzsMFfv2z5sL-WPhy0

For naval history aficionados this should prove quite a feast! What will you discover?

#CharlestownNavyYard #NationalArchives


Digging deep - Vita Brevis

vitabrevis.americanancestors.org I have found over the years that most family historians are so intent on pushing back to the next generation that they often do not stop to see what their family tree is telling them about the generation they just identified.

At the Agawam Senior Center tonight, Kathleen Doherty Kaldis of the Massachusetts Mayflower Society presented strategies to find maiden names at the monthly gathering of the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc. She knows her genealogical stuff!

[03/26/19]   April Meeting Reminder
Our April meeting will be held on April 10 from 6-8pm (the second Wednesday of the month) Our speaker will be Kathy Kaldis, presenting What’s in a Name? Strategies for Identifying Maiden Names.

[03/26/19]   Need help with your research?
Come to our research clinic on Thursday ,March 28 from 6-8 pm at the Agawam Senior Center.This is a benefit for WMGS members,with a $10 fee for non-members

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Plans for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower have been announced. Here’s what’s happening.


Longmeadow Historical Society

SPRINGFIELD, MA. Join local author and historia Derek Strahan for his presentation, Lost Springfield on Saturday, March 23 at 2:00pm. Presentation will take place in the museum theater. Seating is limited, please call the museum to make reservations. Admission is free.

With the opening of the the first federal Armory, Springfield experienced rapid growth. With that golden age of progress came iconic buildings and landmarks that are now lost to time. Railroads brought workers eager to fill Springfield’s factories and enterprises like Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, Merriam Webster and Indian Motorcycles.

“There’s something intriguing about old photographs. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been drawn to them. Even in elementary school, the one book that I probably checked out of the library more than any other was a book on our town’s history”, commented author Derek Strahan.

During the presentation, Derek will take a look at commerce and industry from 19th century Springfield, focusing on the lost buildings that once housed these businesses, along with many innovations and important events that occurred there. About half of the subjects are from his book, Lost Springfield, while the other half is new material that has not been previously published or presented.

Derek Strahan is a Springfield resident and the author of the blog, “Lost New England” and the book, Lost Springfield. He is a graduate of Westfield State University with degrees in English and Regional Planning, and teaches English at the Master’s School in Simsbury, Connecticut. Derek also serves as president of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates and preserves the site of our Nation’s first armory, established in 1794. Managed with the Commonwealth of MA, Springfield Technical Community College and the National Park Service, it is the home of the world’s largest historic American military firearms collection. The site is open Wednesday - Sunday, 9 AM- 5 PM. Admission is free. For information call 413-734-8551 or check www.nps.gov/spar.


Attention all Irish Researchers! SHort term offer from MyHeritage. www.myheritage.com/research.

ACGS - American-Canadian Genealogical Society


Finding your ancestor's occupation - Vita Brevis

vitabrevis.americanancestors.org Why should you pay attention to your ancestor’s occupation?


Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc.

Another record turnout came in to hear Russ Worthington a/k/a Cousin Russ discuss "Recording Your Family Research" at the regular monthly meeting of the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc. The webinar is recorded and will soon be available in the members only section at www.westmassgen.com.

westmagenealogy.com Helping you discover your roots

Amy Johnson Crow

Citing sources doesn't have to be the bane of your existence. Here's how to do it without stressing out.


Stephen King, wife give $1.25M to genealogical society

daytondailynews.com The master of the American horror novel has donated $1.

Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters

Have you reached a genealogical “brick wall” in your family research? DAR has a wide variety of genealogical research materials available to you through the DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS). You can find family bible records, military pensions and census records among many others! Check it out for yourself: www.dar.org/GRS.

Amy Johnson Crow

Having a method for approaching your research really does pay off. Learn what a framework is and see a sample of one that I use.

Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters

Happy President's Day! This holiday originally was established in 1879 in honor of George Washington’s birthday on February 22. In 1971, the holiday began to be known as Presidents Day, first to include Abraham Lincoln and eventually to honor all U.S. presidents.
Take a look at these pieces from the Americana Collection that have a connection to some of our U.S. Presidents.
You can see even more here: www.dar.org/USPresidents

Amy Johnson Crow

Are you doing all 4 of these things with the sources you use?


Quebec church records show grandmothers were 'essential to survival' in early days of New France | CBC News

cbc.ca The researchers used baptismal, marriage and death records from the 17th and 18th centuries to show a woman whose mother lived nearby had a far better chance of raising children who survived to adulthood than a woman without her mother's support.


Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc.

The February WMGS monthly meeting gave us an in-depth look into Family Search. This incredible FREE website was the topic brought to us by Pat Richley-Erickson aka Dear Myrtle and Russ Worthington aka Cousin Russ. The two teamed up to present “6 Ways to Jumpstart Your 2019 Research “
Together they gave us great tips for using the website to find records using a step by step manner that can be a huge time saver in our own research. How fortunate we were to have this presentation brought to us virtually from Dear Myrtle’s office near Salt Lake City,Utah
The meeting was well attended, but for those members unable to attend, the entire program will be available on the members only section of our website WestMassGen.com.
(Another Great Perk of Membership!)

westmagenealogy.com Helping you discover your roots

[02/11/19]   Our genealogy research clinics are held on the third and fourth Thursdays of the month at the Agawam Senior Center from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
The classes are free to WMGS members,$10 for non-members.
(another great perk of membership)


Europe’s Mars rover will be named after chemist Rosalind Franklin

theverge.com Franklin’s work helped unravel DNA’s twisted structure


An Invaluable update to Vital Records from The NEHGS Register

dbnews.americanancestors.org   We are very excited to announce the very first installment of a major new project to provide in-depth re-indexing of all the genealogical records in the database Vital Records from The NEHGS…

If the Agawam SeniorCenter is closed ,then our meeting with a live presenter is cancelled. However,if the event was set up as a webinar with remote speaker,WMGS will notify everyone that the broadcast will be viewable at home through an easy to use platform. (another perk of membership)
The closing of ASC will be broadcast on local tv stations along with other activity cancellations.


Attention French-Canadian Descendants: You Are Undoubtedly Related to Almost All Other French-Canadians

blog.eogn.com If you are new to French-Canadian genealogy, you may be surprised by the number of famous relatives you have. My own ancestry is 50% French-Canadian (thanks, Mom!) but I researched my father’…

Your Irish Culture

Today is the feastday of St Brigid. Born in Ireland during the 5th century she is still considered an important Saint for Irish Christians. ☘️


We are proud to introduce Railroad Ties, a powerful short film created by Sacha Jenkins in partnership with SundanceTV. This documentary features six descendants of fugitive slaves and abolitionists coming together in Brooklyn to discover more about their lineage.

Click here to watch the full film: https://ancstry.me/2SauS45

[02/01/19]   Please join us this for the WMGS monthly meeting. We are fortunate to have a virtual visit from Pat Richley-Erickson,AKA Dear Myrtle,joining us from her home and office outside Salt Lake City,Utah.
The program “The Finer Points of Family Search: Six ways to Jumpstart Your 2019 Research “ Pat will share her deep knowledge of the Family Search website and how to use it effectively. WMGS is fortunate to bring this award winning blog author to our Meeting on February 6th, 6-8 pm at the Agawam Senior Center,954 Main St. Agawam,MA.
This is going to be another good one you will not want to miss!


Rebels Attack Springfield Arsenal

A look into Shay’s Rebellion

massmoments.org On this day in 1787, 2,000 farmers from western Massachusetts attacked the new federal arsenal at Springfield. The government soldiers returned fire, killing …


Henry Knox Brings Cannon to Boston

massmoments.org On this day in 1776, Colonel Henry Knox reached the headquarters of the Continental Army in Cambridge. The young Boston bookseller had pulled off a daring plan. …


Indian Boys Arrive in Longmeadow

massmoments.org On this day in 1800, Thomas Thorakwaneken Williams arrived in Longmeadow with his two young sons, Eleazer and John. Thomas was the grandson of Eunice Williams, …

Amy Johnson Crow

Probate records are fantastic for genealogy. Here are 3 things that you have to know when you're using them.

[01/06/19]   Do you need HELP? With your genealogy research that is! Research Clinics are available free for members of WMGS ($10 for non-members). Two research clinics are offered each month as part of membership. Annual membership is $30. Clinics are held at the Agawam Senior Center, Thursday January 17 and January 24 from 6-8 PM


Season 5 Preview | Finding Your Roots

Must see TV

pbs.org Season five of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premieres on January 8th!

[01/04/19]   The first WMGS meeting of 2019 was well attended. We were treated to a virtual presentation “ Seeking Dead People “ by Genealogist Daniel Earl from Michigan.
Daniel brought a program covering the “after life cycle”, history of cemeteries in North America,the living Cemetery and informative tips on using websites such as Find a Grave, BillionGraves and Names in Stone.
Daniel’s light hearted style brought laughs to the crowd at times as he mixed in personal touches to the presentation.
Members can watch the program on our website if you were unable to attend. Another great reason to join WMGS.

Genealogy Research Assistance

Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society

FAMILY HISTORY RESOLUTIONS - Tidy up your genealogy space - you'll find things you thought you lost - throw away duplicate research you'll make more space for yourself - reorganize your books - get a more comfortable chair
Some more things you might do:
~ Back up your digital files
~ Label your photgraphs lightly in pencil
~ Contact your oldest relatives - you never know...
~ Visit a family cemetery and clean a stone with D/2
~ Add your family gravestone to Findagrave
~ Donate only to politicians who support genalogical and historical preservation
~ Pursuade more relatives to take DNA tests
~ Encourage younger relatives to be family historians
Don't worry about completing your whole list this year - pick out the items most important to you - and the rest is gravy!
#ClintonCountyNY #Genealory #Resolutions #ILoveNY

The Polish Center of Discovery and Learning at Elms College

100 remarkable women from Polish history.

Amy Johnson Crow

If "write more about my family history" is on your 2019 to-do list, check out the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge!

[12/28/18]   January 2019 will be here in a few days! We have a great line up of speakers both in person and with virtual presentations.
Our first presenter of the new year will be Katherine R. Willson, the program is titled : Seeking Dead People: Getting the Most from Cemetery Research Online & In Person. Katherine will provide tips and techniques to help locate photos,family trees,obits,and death certificates.
Join us Wednesday, January 2, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. Agawam Senior Center, 954 Main St. Agawam,MA

Amy Johnson Crow

Skip the resolutions and focus on habits instead. Here are 5 habits that will improve your genealogy research:


It’s Complicated: 23andMe Informed Me My Husband and I Are Related

A sensible couple approach a modern discovery and manage to make sense of it all

thecut.com Was our newfound connection romantic … or creepy?


Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. Season 5 Premiere Announced

familytreemagazine.com PBS has announced the premiere date for the fifth season of the genealogy series “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” We reveal the celebrity guests and a few surprises in store for them.

[12/10/18]   There are two remaining dates for research clinics this year. Get the help you need to solve some of your genealogical mysteries .
December 20 & 27
Agawam Senior Center
computer lab 6-8 pm
Free to members,$10 for non-members

Want your business to be the top-listed Clinic in Agawam?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

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954 Main St
Agawam, MA

General information

Monthly Meetings: We meet on the first Wednesday of each month, September through June from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Agawam Senior Center, located at 954 Main Street in Agawam, Massachusetts. We welcome non-members and beginning genealogists. Please join us at our next meeting. Local speakers meet with us at the Center while national or international speakers visit with us live in a virtual webinar format. Any recorded meetings are archived at the members-only tab at www.westmassgen.com. Computer Workshops: Our genealogy computer workshops are offered on the third and fourth Thursday of the month from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Agawam Senior Center. The cost of the computer class is $10 for non-members; free for members of the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc. Be sure to view our website for: - Monthly Newsletters - Calendar of Events - Historical Pictures - Surname List Mailing Address: WMGS, PO Box 418, West Springfield, MA 01090
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