Community Connection: Kenosha Genealogy Society looking for help reaching into the past | Community Connection

This week’s featured community organization is the Kenosha County Genealogy Society. President Kathy Nuernberg provided the answers.

Q: What is the mission of your organization?

A: The Kenosha County Genealogy Society was organized for the purpose of gathering together any individual(s) interested in genealogy and local history by helping its membership in tracing their lineage through regular and special meetings, workshops and keeping them informed through various media.

Q: Who are the leaders of your organization?

A: President Kathy Nuernberg, Vice President Dawn Jurgens, Secretary Brenda Lambert Miller and Treasurer Oren Simpson.

Q: How and when did it get its start?

A: In August of 1971, six individuals gathered to work on family histories. In January 1972, they organized the first genealogical society in the state of Wisconsin. The group was known as the Kenosha Genealogical Society. By April 1972, the group grew to 44 members.

One of the first projects the group undertook was the Kenosha County Cemetery Project. They published the tombstone transcriptions for each cemetery and donated their work to the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

In 1981, the group name was changed to the Kenosha County Genealogy Society.

In 2011, KCGS again undertook the cemetery project by renaming it the Kenosha County Tombstone Project. They are now updating the lists of tombstone transcriptions and adding digital photos to findagrave.com.

Q: What kinds of support do you need from the community?

A: Volunteers are needed to photograph tombstones and helpers are needed to prep the tombstones. Training is provided. We are currently alternating between St. James Cemetery and Sunset Ridge Cemetery every Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Volunteers should bring a digital camera, extra batteries, a blank memory card, a soft brush, grass clippers and an old toothbrush.

Q: What’s your next event or effort?

A: We will have a booth at the Kenosha Harbor Market on Aug. 19 and 26. Our goal is to engage with the public to understand what the Kenosha County Genealogy Society is about, encourage them to begin researching their ancestry, offer free consultations to help them get started and encourage volunteers to assist with the Tombstone Project.

Sept. 11 will be our first fall meeting. Our speaker will be Kenosha History Center curator of…

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