28 January 2022

Follow Friday: Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society

Do you belong to your local genealogical society? Joining a genealogical society in the area I live is a priority for me whether I have ancestors in the area or not. Kirk and I moved to Kalamazoo in October and once we were settled, I joined Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society (KVGS). 

Joining a society in the area you live has benefits to genealogists. One is the ability to network with people of similar interests. Another is the educational opportunities available furthers my genealogical knowledge and it helps me to know the history of the area where I live. 

I knew about the society from my role as President of Michigan Genealogical Council and Calhoun County Genealogical Society. Calhoun County is the county adjacent to Kalamazoo to the east. KVGS takes bus trips to Allen County Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I went with them on one of their trips.

KVGS is holding their meetings virtually as many societies in Michigan are. They hold general meetings on the third Monday of the month. KVGS has skill sessions, special interest groups, and research trips. In addition, they have a wonderful website

One of the research trips that KVGS takes is to Washington, D.C. The group travels by bus to Washington D.C. The group researches at the National Archives, Library of Congress, DAR Library and more. On your own activities are available for non-researchers as well. This is one trip that my husband and I would like to take. This year's trip is scheduled October 23-29 pending the Covid situation.

KVGS was started in 1958 and has a long history in the Kalamazoo area. Kalamazoo Valley references the Kalamazoo River Valley throughout southwestern Michigan. Kalamazoo county is home to many libraries and museums. The Zhang Legacy Collections Center at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, holds regional archives and special collections. Local history can be found at numerous libraries in the area.  

Do you have ancestors in Kalamazoo? If so, you need to join Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society.

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