Denver Public Library Logo - GIF Image

Welsh National Symbol - PNG Image
Welsh Leek

Nation Symbol of Ireland - PNG Image
Irish Shamrock

Scottish National Emblem - PNG Image
Scottish Thistle

English National Emblem - PNG Image
English Rose

Page Banner Image:

Country lane near Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland


Adobe Reader Logo - PNG Image
PDF files on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader

Join our Facebook Group
Join our W.I.S.E Family History Group on Facebook.


2014 Meeting Schedule

Our programs are presented by a variety of speakers from along the Front Range of Colorado and beyond. While subjects range from tartans to medieval art, they always focus on taking us away to the British Isles for a little culture and history.

Black Divider PNG


  • Meeting dates highlighted in red denote that there is no scheduled meeting or the meeting was cancelled. Please check below for revised meeting information.
  • W.I.S.E. traditionally meets a 1:30 p.m., on the the fourth Saturday in the month.
  • An outing is usually scheduled for the fourth Saturday in June, so there is traditionally no W.I.S.E. membership meeting scheduled.
  • Unless otherwise scheduled we do not normally meet in the months of July, August or November.
  • A holiday social is usually scheduled for the first Saturday in December.
  • Note: September's membership meeting is going to be held on Saturday, September 20, 2014, to avoid conflict with a seminar being held at the Central Denver Public Library (CDPL) on the 27th.

Our meetings are normally held in the seventh floor training room at the CDPL, 10 W. Fourteenth Avenue Pkwy., Denver, CO 80204. If you need a map for directions to the CDPL or their contact phone numbers, click on the link provided in the left sidebar.

Black Divider PNG

Meeting Dates & Programs...

Date Icon GIF

Holiday Meeting - Coal, Shortbread and Whiskey
Harry Ross

Christmas Pudding JPEGThe Winter Solstice is a dark time of year in Scotland. The sun is only visible for about an hour in Aberdeenshire on the shortest day of the year. Naturally, fire is an important element in the Scottish Midwinter celebration. Harry Ross will highlight fire and other elements found in holiday festivities. Harry is a past president of the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies and is a past president of the Longmont Genealogical Society.  He is a member of the National Genealogical Society, W. I. S. E. Family History Society, International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists. He has been researching his family history since he visited Scotland in 1990.

A History of Christmas in Scotland . . .

"It’s hard to imagine that once upon a time Christmas was banned for over 400 years in Scotland. Today shops are full of anything and everything Christmas related you could ever need, you can spot Christmas trees in almost every sitting room window and fairy lights adorn houses and businesses across the land. Up until 54 years ago, Christmas day was just another working day in Scotland. The ban was surprisingly only lifted as recently as 1958 and Boxing Day was only recognised as a public holiday in 1974."

The above paragraph is an extract from an article by Nadine Lee, published December 17, 2013, on the Scottish Clan Blog, Bletherskite. If you are interested in reading the entire article, click on the following link:

Black Divider PNG

Past Meetings...

Date Icon

W.I.S.E. Annual Meeting
British Isles Heirloom Sharing

Members shared their heirlooms and stories about their British Isles ancestors and heritage.

Date Icon

Social Media and Genealogy
Allan Turner - W.I.S.E. Webmaster

Allan discussed the use of social media, such as Facebook, to enhance  genealogy/family history research. His presentition also addressed Facebook security and privacy issues.

As requested, a copy of Allan's presentation is provided below. Because of its large file size, the presentation has been posted in two parts.

Powerpoint PNGMS Powerpoint Slide Presentation - Part 1

Powerpoint PNGMS Powerpoint Slide Presentation - Part 2

The presentation was prepared in MS Powerpoint 2008 (Macintosh Version). As such, it should be compatible with Windows versions.

Date Icon

Irish and Scots-Irish Research Seminar
Ulster Historical Foundation

This seminar, which was held from 9:30 a.m., until 4:00 p.m., was presented by Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt, representatives of the Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast, Northern ireland. Topics included:

  • Introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish Family History Research
  • The Ulster Plantation: Sources for 17th Century Families
  • Records Relating to the Different Churches in Ireland
  • Solving Your Brick-Walls: Practical Internet Tutorial and Resolving Research Queries

Fintan Mullan is Executive Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation and Gillian Hunt is the Research Officer. This impressive presentation will be of value to those researching ancestors in any part of Ireland, as they use examples from both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The UHF is one of the principal genealogical research agencies in Ireland and is a leading publisher of genealogical, historical, and educational books.

Date Icon

Scots-Irish Research
John Mears

John discussed the descendants of the Presbyterians from lowland Scotland who settled in Ulster (the northern most province of Ireland) in the 17th century - and subsequently emigrated from there to America.

Date Icon

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)
John Simmons

John discussed DNA research and how it relates to British Isles genealogy. He also talk about what people need to think about before they order a test.

Date Icon

Searching for Your Irish Roots
Marylee Hagen

Marylee Hagen shared her 18 years of research experience and how she found and met her mother’s living relatives in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. She started first in the United States before going abroad and followed her ancestors backwards to their homelands. Important strategies, techniques, resources and examples of documents, records and photos were shown through a Powerpoint presentation and display boards.

Date Icon GIF

All I Know About Genealogy I Learned From Charles Dickens and Jane Austen
James Jeffrey

James K. Jeffrey, genealogy collection specialist with the Denver Public Library, was the 2004 recipient of the P. William Filby Award for Excellence in Genealogical Librarianship from the National Genealogical Society. He is a former president of the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies, active in the National Genealogical Society, a founder of W.I.S.E. Family History Society and a former trustee of the International Society of British Genealogy and family History. James is passionate about connecting researchers with resources to explore their ancestors and their world.

James' presentation was detailed, informative and lively, punctuated with plenty of humor that made even the most stoic member chuckle. He discussed the benefits of reading period novels, such as those written by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, so as to better understand complex relationships within British families, both poor and rich, and how they impact lines of inheritance and family names, etc.

The following downloadable documents are PDF copies of Jeffery's handout materials:

PDF Document Download Icon

England - Bibliography

PDF Document Download Icon

Awesome Austen and Dickensian Dickins

Photo Album IconTo view photographs taken at our meetings, please go to our Photo Album page.


W.I.S.E. Family History Society,
Denver, Colorado
Since 1983

WISE Title Footer - PNG Image