Midwest Computer Genealogists is a regional organization which has evolved from the earliest days of home computer genealogy. Our mission is to encourage and assist one another in the discovery and preservation of family history information.
We are a non-profit organization recognized by the State of Missouri.
For many years MCG focused on bringing qualified speakers and family history researchers together in the Kansas City area to provide live instruction and community support on the latest developments in the family research field.
The early history of MCG is unclear. Newsletter volume numbers seem to indicate that the organization has been in existence since 1997–almost a quarter century! Meetings were known to first be held in a church before moving to Bannister Mall. (Perhaps an early member can contact us with more information on the early history.)
Marjorie Slavens, who joined in 1998, provided the following history in the January 2013 newsletter:
“In 1998, MCG was meeting in an auditorium at Bannister Mall. Dr. Wayne Boydston of Odessa was President of the organization at that time; Jim Stout of Raymore, a good friend of area genealogists and of several members of the Foxwood Springs Computer Club and leader of the Roots Magic group, was Vice President; and Don Bjuland of Independence was Newsletter Editor. There were about 100 members who attended those meetings on the third Saturday of each month. Meetings were from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and there was a break for coffee and cookies between the two hours of presentations. One needed to arrive early to get a good seat for the program, and members were usually standing in line to get into the auditorium when the doors opened.
“When we moved to Foxwood Springs in August, 1998, my mother and I met a number of MCG members, who urged us to join this organization, including Jane Dodson, our Genealogy SIG Leader at Foxwood, Lois Adams, Ivan Waite, Lee Keith, Helen Grace Gardner, and Rowena Shaffer, among others. Rowena served for several years as Program Chairman for MCG, as well as for the Foxwood Springs Computer Club.
“MCG meetings moved to Foxwood Springs when Bannister Mall closed. Our membership and attendance has been reduced because of the increased distance to come to Raymore for meetings and because some of our members found it difficult as time passed to drive to meetings. We continue to believe that it is important for us to preserve this organization, which is not limited to a specific county genealogical society.”
Ken Aubuchon and Kay Mitchell of Ages-Online created a web site for MCG with the domain mcgenealogists.org, which published newsletters and the organization’s calendar of events. According to the Wayback Machine at Internet Archive, the Ages-Online site was published at least by the latter part of 2013 and became unavailable between October 2015 and June 2017.
Big Shift in 2020 – From Physical Site Meetings to an Online Community
In 2020, MCG no longer had the volunteer leadership necessary to plan and execute monthly programs with speakers. The group initially determined they would disband. However, the officers realized that there were many MCG members who enjoyed the monthly newsletters independent of the live monthly gatherings. With volunteers still willing to keep up publication of the monthly newsletters, it was decided the group would continue as a newsletter and online outreach.
With the switch to online-only activity, we have revived the MCG web presence at a newly-designed site with WordPress, with Julia Morse as Website Administrator.
Creating an Online Library Archive
Preserving our family history research has become an increasing concern of MCG members. To assist, we have now set up an MCG library space on Internet Archive (Archive.org). This is the same digital archives which libraries around the world (such as the Library of Congress and the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center) use to share and preserve their digital collections.
We foresee the following purposes of our online library:
- Preserve MCG newsletters and documents for future generations (even after MCG might cease to exist in the future).
- Increase searchable access to MCG documents for worldwide researchers.
- Professionally present MCG documents in multiple accessible formats, including formats for the visually-impaired, or those who would wish easy text-to-speech audio.
- Provide easy access for members to contribute their unique documents to world-library access.
- Custom edit of public domain image, Plate VI, “A commodious farmhouse in Canada. . . ” from McKeever, W. A. (1913). Farm Boys and Girls. The Macmillan Company, https://archive.org/details/farmboysgirls00mckeuoft.
- Image from former website: Aubuchon, Ken & Mitchell, Kay. (2015). Midwest Computer Genealogists. http://mcgenealogists.org. Accessed Feb 2020 through The Wayback Machine at Archive.org.