Denver Public Library


The Colorado Genealogical Society

since 1924

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Diahan Southard

2018 Seminar
Diahan Southard
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CCGSFirst Families of Colorado Recognition Program

History of CGS

Meeting Locally, Researching Globally

The Colorado Genealogical Society (CGS) was founded in 1924 and is the oldest genealogical society in the state. On 1 February 1924 our founding mothers, Susette C. Phifer, Emma P. Hough, and Matilda B. Lewis, decided to establish a genealogical society in Colorado. The three placed a notice in the Denver newspaper to attract like-minded researchers/genealogists and invited friends to the Phifer home, 1304 Marion Street in Denver, for the first meeting of the new society. Susette Phifer became president, and Emma Hough was secretary-treasurer. The Colorado Genealogical Society was officially organized. In March of 1925, CGS adopted by-laws and elected new officers. Early membership assessment was 75 cents. Dues were later increased to $1.

During the early years the Society met in members’ homes. CGS began meeting at the downtown YWCA in April 1929 and continued to meet there through 1948. CGS then started meeting at the Denver Public Library (DPL), which had established a Genealogy Section. CGS has had a long and close relationship with the Library. Over the years, CGS has donated books, pamphlets, genealogical charts, family manuscripts to DPL; this resulted in DPL having one of the largest collections of genealogical references in any public library. CGS has met at several locations throughout the years, including the downtown YWCA, DPL, the Glendale Fire Station, Washington Park Methodist Church, and Christ the King Lutheran Church. In September 2015, CGS returned to its roots, the Denver Public Library.

In 1939, CGS began publishing The Colorado Genealogist, a quarterly publication. Throughout its history, CGS volunteers have been involved in many efforts including extracting data and indexing records, and issuing several publications. Volunteers also write articles, teach classes, present programs, and coordinate special events.

As of August 2015, CGS has more 340 members and welcomes visitors and new members alike who want to share our interest in family history and genealogical research. CGS meets for a program meeting on the third Saturday morning of each month except December, July and August at Denver Public Library. Most meetings include a GEM (Genealogy Education Module) mini presentation as well as a featured speaker.

CGS also offers a full complement of educational classes including Beginning Genealogy on the second Saturday of each month except July and August as well as Special Interest Genealogy Classes on the fourth Saturday of each month, except July, August and December. The education classes are held at the downtown Denver Public Library. All classes are free and open to the public.

Visitors are always welcome at meetings, classes, and activities of the Colorado Genealogical Society. Most of our members are researching family lines outside the state of Colorado, but we share a common interest in family history and research skills. We treasure those wonderful discoveries about elusive ancestor and cheer each other in the search for more information. We hope you will join us.