Monthly Programs

The Topeka Genealogical Society presents monthly programs on topics of genealogical and historical interest, featuring local speakers.  Meetings are on the third Thursday evening of each month  (no meetings in April, November or December), beginning at 7:00pm, and are held at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library unless otherwise noted in the events calendar.  These programs are free, and open to the general public.
2017 Programs:
  • January 26, 2017:   Captured: The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes, a Topekan's experiences in WWI and WWII. Mary Madden, from the Kansas Historical Society, will share an insider's view of the special exhibit at the Kansas Museum of History documenting the life of Col. Hughes with diaries, photographs and artifacts.
  • February 23, 2017:  Lawbreakers for the Common Good: the Underground Railroad in Kansas. Anne Hawkins, historian and teacher at Washburn University, will discuss little-known operatives who risked their lives helping guide enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
  • March 23, 2017: The Impact of the Osage Indians and the Catholic Osage Mission on the History of Southern Kansas. Felix Diskin, historian from the Osage Mission-Neosho Cou ty Museum, will discuss the impact of the Osage and the Catholic Mission that was established to serve them.
  • May 26, 2017:  Using Maps in Genealogy. Presented by Rich McReynolds, who will share a plethora of websites where genealogical and historical maps can be found that will shed light on the life and times of your ancestors.
  • June 22, 2017: William Allen White: Famous Kansas Editor from Emporia. Christine Steinkuhler, from the Red Rocks State Historical Site, home of William Allen White, will present information about his contributions to the history of Emporia, Kansas, and the nation.
  • July 27, 2017:  The History of Shawnee County Parks. Bill Riphahn, historian for the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Department will share his love of Topeka's parks and their development using old photographs and stories.
  • August 24, 2017:  Nicodemus: Children of the Promised Land.  Angela Bates, executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society, is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council. She will present a pictorial history of Nicodemus, Kansas, exploring the unique experiencs of the children who were the first members of their families born free from the physical and psychological effects of slavery.
  • September 28, 2017:  Researching Your Elusive Irish Ancestors.  Presented by Barbara Scanlon, the Genealogy Specialist at the Kansas City Irish Center, will provide valuable clues and strategies to help you find your connections to Ireland using her Irish family as examples. 
  • October 26, 2017:  Orphan Train Riders in Northeast Kansas.  The Topeka Genealogical Society Writers' Group will honor the chldren who came west on the "orphan trains" and the families who took them in by sharing some of their stories. The group began their research with the name of one orphan train rider placed near Holton, Kansas, in 1885 and ended with the discovery of many more.