History of WAGS

Geraldine Trinrud, Nancy Helbach and Agnes Golla met in October of 1993 at Pastor Schroeder’s home and then at Geraldine Trinrud’s where they had worked on their family trees and in the process, they had accumulated a large amount of research materials. 
In 1994,  they decided to share with others who were interested in genealogy and formed the Waupaca Area Genealogical Society.  
In the fall of 1994 till 2001, WAGS met in the Lower Level of the Waupaca Library. WAGS grew from 10 members as far east as New York to California west. Since then, WAGS has added Canada to the list. 
In 1996 we obtained our own address.  
In March of 1999 WAGS became a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under Section 501 (c) 3 of the IRS Code. 
In 1999 WAGS started to undertake the Benjamin F. Hilliker Project. He was Waupaca County’s first Medal of Honor recipient. WAGS and KCWR (King Civil War Roundtable) had a Benjamin F. Hilliker Congressional Medal of Honor Remembrance at the Waupaca Townhall in which Wisconsin State Rep. Jean Hundertmark (R) being the guest speaker who was also on the Wisconsin Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee.
In December of 1999 WAGS started to submit our WAGS Newsletter to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 
In 2000 Merlin Horn became our Liaison with the Waupaca Historical Society as we looked forward to a new place for WAGS.  
In 2001 Roy Holly purchased the former Waupaca Public Library building which was built in 1914 by Andrew Carnegie. It was renamed “The Holly History and Genealogy Center.” Roy Holly asked WAGS to staff the building and allowed WAGS to move their collection into the building.  
2003 WAGS celebrated their tenth anniversary. In 2003 Paula Vaughan became the Waupaca County USGenWeb Coordinator and maintained our WAGS website.
2005 Geraldine Trinrud donated her collection of the “Guyant” records to WAGS.
2008 WAGS worked with the Weyauwega Public Library on a project to save the original copies of the Weyauwega Chronicle newspapers.
2009 The Waupaca County Pioneer Certificate was launched.
2010 - 2017 WAGS continues with meetings and various programs.
2018 WAGS started to hold Brat Fries as fundraisers and to promote WAGS. We not only raised funds but also acquired new members and increased research request.
2019 WAGS hosted the WSGS (Wisconsin State Genealogical Society) Fall Conference.
In October of 2019 WAGS celebrated their 25th anniversary.
In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic closed all in-person participation in meetings and programs offered by WAGS. In a way to continue participation for WAGS members, WAGS began holding virtual meetings and programs via Zoom. This offered WAGS members out of the Waupaca Area to attend meetings and program.
In 2022 the Holly History and Genealogy reopened to the public and WAGS and continues to volunteer to staff hours on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. WAGS will continue to offer genealogical focused classes, projects and programs to the Waupaca Community and surrounding areas.
2022 WAGS has developed our own website with Nadine Guilbault as webmaster.
In the past WAGS has offered many opportunities to assist its members and others by holding beginning and intermediate genealogy classes, seminars, conferences, and many other activities and projects at various locations. WAGS continues to offer opportunities in-person and virtually for anyone interested in genealogy to learn how to research their family history and genealogy.