May Meeting; Sunday May 22, 2022

Our May meeting will be a virtual meeting held on Zoom beginning at 1:30.  A zoom link and information on how to join the meeting will be sent to members one week prior to the event. Non-members wishing to attend may send a request by  Thursday May 19th   to 

Program: "The Polar Bear Soldiers of WWI" by Mike Grobbel 

More that one hundred years ago during the winter of 1918-1919, 5,200 U.S. soldiers - the majority of them from Michigan - were stranded in a sub-arctic region of North Russia, engaged in bitter combat with the Bolshevik Red Army. They had arrived in Archangel, Russia on September 4, 1918 and their battles continued long after the Armistice was signed on November 11th. Eventually they were withdrawn from this obscure military intervention in June of 1919, but not before 230 men lost their lives. Today the “Polar Bears” are no longer with us, but they and their service to our country have not been forgotten. Their war dead are memorialized with a monument at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy, MI, where they are remembered annually with a Memorial Day service conducted by the Polar Bear Memorial Association.
Mike Grobbel

  Our Speaker: Mike Grobbel has been president of the Polar Bear Memorial Association since 2005, which is affiliated with the Michigan Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth, MI and operates under their 501(c)(3). The Museum and the Association were both founded by Stan Bozich, who was the 2018 recipient of the Historical Society of Michigan’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Museum has an extensive collection of “Polar Bear” stories, including uniforms worn by the veterans, their medals, equipment, letters, diaries and other artifacts. Mike has been a member of the Museum’s board of directors since 2011 and currently serves as its secretary. His grandfather, Clement Grobbel, was a Corporal in Company I of the 339th Infantry Regiment and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross for valor. Mike is also a founding member and officer of the Historical Society of Center Line (MI)

"Small Groups With Big Ideas " by GSWC Facilitators  Approximately 3:15
Here's your chance to talk with fellow genealogists in a small group setting. Connect with others who may be looking for the same information you are! There are no dumb questions in genealogical research, and each group will be facilitated by an experienced researcher. 

2021-2022 Lectures and Classes

Click here for information about our meetings and the meeting schedule through May 2022.


The Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan (GSWC for short) functions through volunteer efforts and welcomes anyone interested in genealogy and local history, whether beginning their family research or more experienced researchers.
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Michigan Genealogical Council