, Muskogee, OK


March 1, 2014

Spring will offer plenty for genealogy researchers at library

Springtime brings a bounty of opportunities for genealogy researchers with workshops and other educational opportunities quickly filling the calendar for the next months.

The closest free educational opportunities are provided by the Muskogee County Genealogical Society in the form of its monthly meetings. The April 24 meeting will be presented by Judge Norman D. Thygesen. He will relate his travels to Denmark as he pursued his own family history and share the process and his finds. The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Grant Foreman Room at Muskogee Public Library.

The society’s April meeting will be “mini how-tos” presented during a Saturday event on April 26 in the library. Members will provide foods for a brunch as they munch their way through the day and hear short educational sessions.

Local book and history expert Jim Edwards will be the guest speaker at 6 p.m. May 22.

He will share tips on collecting and some of his vast knowledge gained through over 40 years of collecting and selling Oklahoma history. Those attending may bring a book for him to examine. His shop, Book and Antiques, is located at 803 N. York St.

The society will hold its last meeting before summer on June 28. The annual barbecue dinner pot luck will be part of a lock in that night in the library. Participants will bring side dishes and have access to the library’s collection, computers and websites, and activities during the evening. Sign ups and information will be available in the Genealogy and Local History Department at Muskogee Public Library.

The library’s Third Thursday Book Club meeting on March 20 will feature Carolyn Leonard, author of “Who’s Your Daddy?” The 6 p.m. meeting time will permit the group to hear a discussion of the book by the author who will also conduct a beginner’s genealogy clinic.”

Tulsa City-County Library will host national speaker Joshua Taylor for an all-day workshop on March 15 in Hardesty Library from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

There is no charge to hear the popular speaker who was a featured genealogist on NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” and PBS’s “Genealogy Roadshow.” He is also past president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Topics will include: “Bridging the Gap: Finding Ancestors in the U.S. Between 1780 and 1830,” Online Resources for Colonial America,” “Finding the Roots of Your Family Legends,” and “Treasures in the Archives: using Archive Grid.”

For those willing to travel further, the Oklahoma Genealogical Society will again host its Spring Seminar featuring a national speaker on April 5 in the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. There is a fee for the event, which includes lunch. Speaker Dan Poffenberger has Oklahoma roots and is a British Research Consultant for the Family History Library. He will be addressing using FamilySearch effectively, Irish Research, and Immigration. Information and registration is available online:

A free all day event, “Gather Your Family: Northwest Arkansas Family History Conference,” will be held April 19 in Springdale, Ark. Several sessions are available to choose from each hour from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Information and registration is available online:

Cowskin Prairie Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will offer a Genealogical Research Workshop on April 26 In Baxter Springs Heritage Center Museum. The program includes a representative from the National Park Service and two national speakers. The $25 fee includes lunch.

Gregath Company is planning another one of their popular genealogy retreats this fall. This retreat will be Oct. 11-12 at Indigo Skies Hotel, Wyandotte. The sessions will emphasize genealogy technology. Cost and information will be made available on the company website.

On the national genealogy scene, both the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies have information available on their national conferences. NGS will hold its event this year March 7-10 in Richmond, Va.

The event includes four days filled with genealogy sessions with the top speakers, group meetings, recreation and tours, plus a packed vendor hall. FGS is in San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 27-30.

It kicks off with a full day of sessions for society representatives, then offers three days of various educational sessions with multiple topics from which to choose. Their website is:

History enthusiasts will have the opportunity to have “Afternoon Tea with Alice Robertson.” Muskogee’s favorite daughter will be available to meet and greet at 2 p.m. March 15 in Muskogee Public Library. Rumor has it that she bears a remarkable resemblance to Jonita Mullins, local historian and author who recently produced a new book, “Journey to an Untamed Land.” Guests are welcome to dress for the occasion.

A “Pioneer Women in Oklahoma” event will be hosted by the library at 2 p.m. March 22. Dr. Terri Baker will present a program about the experience of pioneer women in Oklahoma. She will sign books and have books for sale after the presentation.

You can also get to know some of the residents of Greenhill Cemetery when Three Rivers Museum hosts its Historic Cemetery Tour on March 8. Two times are available. Tickets are available at the museum.

Dr. Gary Moulton will discuss “The Enduring Legacy of Cherokee Chief John Ross” at noon on March 6. The editor of “The Papers of Chief John Ross” will speak in the Armory Municipal Center, 100 N. Water Avenue, in Tahlequah.

And educational opportunities continue year round at Muskogee Public Library with free classes available every month. “Beginning Genealogy” is presented at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month, taught by Jere Harris. They continue with “Beginning Internet Genealogy” at 7 p.m. on the first Thursdays, presented by Nancy Calhoun. Call the library at (918) 682-6657 to reserve a place.

Nancy Calhoun works in the Genealogy and Local History Department of the Muskogee Public Library. Reach her at (918) 682-6657, ext. 257.

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