Pioneer Monument, Denver


The Colorado Genealogical Society

since 1924

green line

Denver Public Library

We meet at the Denver Public Library, Downtown


Take me to
Members Only


CCGSFirst Families of Colorado Recognition Program

Program Meetings

Where: Downtown Denver Public Library, 10 West 14th Ave Pkwy, 7th floor training room (map)

When: 3rd Saturday of the month 9:30-noon. Business and program will begin at 10 am. Come at 9:30 for socializing. We do not meet in December, July and August.

You can take a look at 2016-17 past programs here.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Golden Door - Immigration

Speaker: Maria Sutton

Maria Sutton

In today’s turbulent world, immigration is a hot topic. Maria Sutton’s presentation gives historical perspective on immigration and insight into her own journey to America as a World War II refugee.
From the scorching desert sun of Mexico to the overloaded flotillas bobbing up and down in a dark sea, immigrants have fled their homelands to find safety, freedom, opportunity, and a better life.
Topics to be presented include:
• Immigration Statistics
• Major Immigration Events
• Borders
• The Application Process
• World War II Refugees
• Assimilation
• The Founding Father’s Vision of the
American Dream

Maria’s examples of borders and world events that forced citizens to abandon their ancestral countries will provide ideas for writing your own family’s story of coming to America.
Maria’s journey as an immigrant began on a stormy night in Nizne Husne, Ukraine, when the Gestapo broke down the door of her family’s small bungalow, forcibly taking her mother into Germany to work in forced labor during World War II. When the War ended, former prisoners and slaves could not return to their homeland because an Iron Curtain had descended upon Eastern Europe, extinguishing the right to own property and freedom of religion and speech. Stalin began murdering the intelligentsia as the former captives returned home after a long six years as prisoners of the Third Reich. Thus began Maria’s journey into the Displaced Persons Camps and mountainous paperwork to apply for immigration to America. Along the way, we learn of the myths surrounding immigration, the intricacies of becoming an American, and the meaning of entering The Golden Door.

Maria Sutton is the award-winning author of The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back. Born in the barracks of Germany’s former Wehrmacht command center, which had been converted to house Europe’s Displaced Persons after WWII, she immigrated to America in 1951, along with her mother, step-father, and sister. At age 13, she overheard a conversation that led her on a worldwide search to find a stranger named Josef Kurek. Her book, The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back is the culmination of her 43-year search for her biological father, who disappeared shortly after her birth in war-torn Germany. Without knowing the spelling of his name, nor his date and place of birth, Maria was able to find him – proving that with unwavering determination, anything is possible.
Maria graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting and has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has been employed by the U. S. government in several capacities throughout her Federal career, including employment as a Federal investigator, and has received many awards for her writing and investigative skills.
Maria and her family reside in Golden, Colorado.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You... And Your Ancestors?

Speaker: Kathi McKnight

Kathi McKnight

In her talk, Kathi engages the audience to learn 3 easy steps analyze anyone’s signature. Throughout her talk she reveals many industry secrets and shows how and why this ancient science has stood the test of time and is still being used today.
There are over 5,000 things that handwriting can reveal and approximately 4 major things it does not. Handwriting analysis has been used for employment screening in over 80% of the corporations in Europe and in many Fortune 500 companies

What if your handwriting changes?
Does it matter if you are left-handed or right-handed?
What if you only print?
What about the school systems and how cursive is no longer being taught?
What does it mean handwriting is brain-writing?

These and many more questions will be answered. We will also carve out time to look at and analyze a few documents with signatures during the presentation. You will have a lot of fun learning some very serious information.

Author and internationally recognized master certified graphologist Kathi McKnight has analyzed thousands of handwriting samples since 1991. President of the Rocky Mountain Graphology Association, she is regularly sought out by the media to give expert opinions. Kathi has been featured on Dr. Oz, CNN, Fox TV, Today Show, Washington Post, Real Simple Magazine, Sport Illustrated and much more. She speaks, consults and demonstrates how to use the ancient science of handwriting analysis to understand ourselves and others. And even how to change your writing to change your life

Using humor and deep insight, Kathi keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as they learn about this fascinating, ancient and very revealing science.

For more information visit The Handwriting Expert

Programs From This Year 2016-2017

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Forensic Anthropology: Accounting for Missing U.S. Service Members

Speaker: Christine Pink

This talk covered a history of efforts by the United States to recover, identify, and repatriate the remains of fallen soldiers and airmen from past conflicts. The focus of the presentation will be on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency-Central Identification Laboratory (DPAA-CIL) and the more recent formal use of forensic anthropological methods in this endeavor. The presenter will share some of her personal experiences as a forensic anthropologist working with the DPAA-CIL as a forensic anthropologist from 2011 to 2015.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Evelyn Booth, Benefactor of Buffalo Bill Cody

Speaker: Kellen Cutsforth

His talk revolved around a little known benefactor of Buffalo Bill Cody named Evelyn Booth, a financial agreement entered into by the men, and the use of primary resources to conduct research on the men and their dealings. The talk is not only an entertaining story but contains relevant research techniques and resources that would be of use to genealogical researchers.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Hail to the Chiefs

Speaker: Wayne Watson

This talk was sub-titled "Tidbits about Our Lesser Known Presidents." Hear fascinating information on the nation’s presidents presented by historian Wayne Watson. Lincoln was the tallest president, but who kept a pet alligator in the White House? Who got stuck in the White House bathtub?

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Heirlooms and Their Stories

Presented by CGS members

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Pueblo's Working Class Foundation...

Speaker: James Walsh

James Walsh was unable to do this presentation due to a family emergency. The group viewed the online RootsTech video of Diahan Southard's DNA talk, DNA The Glue that Holds Families Together.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Hiding in Plain Database: Tips and Tricks for Gathering Exactly the Information You're After

Speaker: Dina C. Carson

Dina spoke about ways to improve your searching on the internet.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Researching US World War I Records

Speaker: Sandy Ronayne

On 6 April 1917 the US Congress declared war on Germany. President Woodrow Wilson had asked for the declaration of war because the “world must be made safe for democracy.” Wilson called the “immediate addition” of 500,000 men through a draft and the “organization and mobilization of all the material resources of the country to supply the materials of war.”
The first U.S. troops arrived in France in June 1917 and, by the spring of 1918, provided a significant fighting force for the Allies. The arrival of fresh U.S. troops was a key factor in breaking the stalemate that had developed between the beleaguered European troops, contributing to the end of the war on 11 November 1918. In all, more than 4 million U.S. troops were mobilized during the war and more than 2 million served in Europe. Women also served in the war both stateside and overseas. Women served as military nurses and telephone operators.

Sandy discussed how to find and obtain WWI records – from draft registration cards through discharge papers.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

I am Not a Savage: American Indian Performers in Europe

Speaker: Steve Friesen

Between 1887 and 1935, wild west shows, beginning with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, showcased American Indians during their travels around Europe. The shows enabled the Indians to preserve their culture when official United States policy aimed at destroying it. They further gave them an opportunity to get off the reservation, make a decent wage, and travel to Europe. Friesen’s lecture told the stories of the Indians who traveled to Europe and include photographs of artifacts left by them in Europe. His research included doing genealogical research on several individuals and he talked about the challenges associated with doing that.

Steve Friesen has been director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave since 1995. During this time he has given numerous lectures about Buffalo Bill and the West. His book Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary was published in summer of 2010 by Fulcrum Press. He had his newest book I am Not a Savage: American Indian Performers in Europe released by University of Oklahoma Press with him for sale.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Salem Witchcraft Hysteria: A Caldron of Religious, Economic, Social, and Political Ingredients Gone Awry

Speaker: John Putnam

Even with the benefit of hindsight, historians have pondered the causes of the events surrounding the Salem Witchcraft trials for over three hundred years. As a descendent of both the protagonists and antagonists, this historical incident continues to fascinate and amaze John Putnam who continues to read widely on this incident. Besides the incredible historical story, it is also becomes a genealogical story for him too since his direct Putnam ancestors were involved in most aspects of the witchcraft hysteria that occurred in his ancestral hometown of Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts). Because of its relatively small size, Salem Village faced a long period of “healing” following this incidents. John will share many genealogical, historical, religious, social, economic, and political factors that led to and followed the horrific events in 1692.

John is a native of Western Massachusetts where he grew up on a farm; attended public schools, and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. where he earned his BA in Government/Political Science. John has spent the last 47 years in the insurance industry.
John is the past President of the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society. In December 2011, he wrote a paper telling about his Teaching Grannies for a local genealogy course taken at Pikes Peak Community College. In June 2012, he presented a paper at the Pikes Peak Regional Historical Symposium on Historical Floods in the Pikes Peak Region.

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