Originally published in the June 2008 Kalamazoo Valley Heritage by Avis Keene and updated in 2018. What follows is a narrative prepared for the Society's 65th Anniversary Celebration on June 12, 2023.
In the early 1950s Alexis Praus, then Museum Director, had the idea to form a group interested in genealogy, but decided the time was not right. A few years later, Ethel Williams had the same idea. Together they talked about forming a group on genealogy and contacted Hazel Dean and Faith Jackson to plan a meeting for the public to be held in the museum in May 1958. Seventy-two people attended. Ethel Williams gave a talk on “Introduction to Genealogy.”