Friday, June 14, 2013

Society Spotlight: Winnebago and Boone Counties Genealogical Society

WBCGS Logo Color.pngSince 1986, the Winnebago and Boone Counties Genealogical Society (WBCGS) has served family history researchers interested in the greater Rockford area. Members of WBCGS gain the opportunity to:

  • Exchange information with others of similar research interests.
  • Stay abreast of all the latest news in the genealogical community, including upcoming conferences and events.
  • Have access to materials the Society has transcribed, purchased, or preserved.

Their mission statement is as follows: The purposes of the Society are to bring together people of all ages interested in genealogy and family history; to discover, collect and preserve material from Winnebago and Boone Counties, Illinois which may be helpful for genealogical research in the area; to stimulate interest in the genealogy of our ancestors; to encourage the publication of family histories for future generations; to promote and publish genealogical material covering Winnebago and Boone counties, adjacent counties, neighboring states, and other areas from which our ancestors came; and to work towards the improvement of local genealogical libraries.

WBCGS currently has around 200 members. An individual membership is currently $15 and includes a subscription to their newsletter Footprints, as well as an electronic mailing list that notifies members of webinars, special events, and other topics of interest to genealogists.

Regular meetings are usually held on the first Saturday of each month, from September through May, at 1:30 PM, at the Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, Illinois (exceptions apply). WBCGS meetings are free to attend and open to the public. In addition to their monthly meeting, the Society also participates in the annual Autumn Pioneer Festival held by the Boone County Conservation District. A list of upcoming programs can be found on the Events page of their website.

The Society has published several resources including census records, cemetery indexes, obituary collections, and many others. Most of these items may be purchased in either book or CD format. A full list of publications, including prices and ordering information, can be found on the Publications page of their website.

If you are looking for a way to preserve the history of your early Winnebago County or Boone County ancestors, consider participating in the WBCGS Early Pioneer Certificates program. Qualifying ancestors must have settled in either county prior to 1880; those settling before 1850 receive additional distinction. For more information, refer to the Early Pioneers Certificates page on their website.

Do you need research assistance in Winnebago County or Boone County? The Society offers research services for a small fee. Details can be found on the Research page of their website.

For additional information about the Society, visit their website, or contact them by email at You can even find WBCGS on Facebook!

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