The Western Michigan Genealogical Society, local host of the NGS 2018 Family History Conference, is offering several pre-conference events on Tuesday, 1 May 2018. Conference registration is not required to participate.

RESERVATIONS FOR ALL TOURS MUST BE MADE BY 20 APRIL 2018.

LIBRARY OF MICHIGAN AND ARCHIVES OF MICHIGAN RESEARCH DAY (TEN HOURS) SOLD OUT

8:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M. $25

Located at the Michigan History Center in Lansing, Michigan, an hour’s bus ride away, both the library and archives offer family historians a wealth of research materials. Participants will attend a brief orientation program and then have approximately six hours for research. The Archives space is limited so each participant will have at least two hours for Archives research (more time if space is available). A box lunch will be provided.
Library of Michigan: The collections include surviving newspapers and city directories for all of Michigan in print and on microfilm, state as well as federal censuses, cemetery records, county histories, plat maps, and much more. For details about the collections, see michigan.gov/libraryofmichigan.
Archives of Michigan: Onsite original collections include Michigan naturalization records, probate files and tax rolls for some counties, and the Abrams Foundation Historical Collection, with its published materials emphasizing the New England, Mid- Atlantic, and Great Lakes states. For research guides and free online content—including death certificates and state censuses—see seekingmichigan.org.
Thanks to Gale (a Cengage Company) and ProQuest, the tour fee is only $25.

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS AND SCULPTURE PARK (FOUR HOURS)

9:00 A.M.–1:00 P.M. $45

Discover the beauty and splendor of thirty acres of botanical gardens and an internationally acclaimed sculpture park in Grand Rapids. Entrance to the gardens and a tram guided tour are included in the fee. Take a leisurely walk around the grounds, explore the largest tropical conservancy in Michigan, or view the current exhibits. Enjoy a coffee break or lunch on your own at the Garden Café. For more information, see meijergardens.org. Will accommodate most individuals who can enter a bus with limited assistance; however, moderate walking over uneven terrain is required.

GRAND RAPIDS CITY TOUR (THREE HOURS)

9:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. $35

Explore downtown Grand Rapids and learn the history of the city through an architectural tour of the Heritage Hill District, which has one of Michigan’s finest concentrations of homes built in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

CIVIL WAR TOUR (THREE HOURS)

1:00 P.M.–4:00 P.M. $35

The Civil War Tour will be led by Bruce Butgereit, who will also be giving several lectures at the conference T214 and S417. Participants will depart at 1:00 p.m. and travel by coach and view the most significant Civil War monuments and related sites in the City of Grand Rapids. The tour begins at the site of the first training cantonment and ends at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, which was founded in 1886. The cemetery at the veteran’s home is the final resting place of 2,412 veterans of the Civil War, the largest such group in the State of Michigan and has an unusual Civil War statue. Attendees will also visit the Soldiers’ Cemetery within Oakhill, known for a number of headstones marked as “Unknown.” Bruce Butgereit will discuss a genealogy-based project to identify some of the “unknown” soldiers. Other stops include a unique bronze statue recognizing the Spanish-American War—with a Civil War connection—and a bronze bust of President Lincoln. The highlight of the tour will be a downtown visit to one of the most historical Civil War monuments in the United States—featuring two “firsts.” All attendees will also receive a booklet filled with additional photos and other historical information related to the sites on the tour and in the Grand Rapids area. The Civil War Tour is expected to last about three hours.

There are a few seats left for the Civil War, so if you are interested, register online at conference.ngsgenealogy.org. All coach tours will depart from the Lyon Street cul de sac located between DeVos Place and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Please arrive fifteen minutes before departure. A tour with less than thirty-four registered participants will be canceled thirty days in advance of the conference, participants will be notified by e-mail, and the tour cost will be refunded.

BEER CITY ALE TRAIL

Tuesday Evening
Tuesday afternoon, pick up the free Beer City Trail map at the Hospitality Booth and enjoy a self-guided walking tour of several breweries in downtown Grand Rapids.

Questions? Contact NGS Registrar Courtney Holmes at
registration@ngsgenealogy.org or refer to FAQs.