Historical Societies Provide Gifts for the Ancestry Researcher

They may be quiet old buildings that one walks by without noticing. But for the genealogist, they are places with historical treasure.
Read what RecordClick genealogist Joan Shurtliff says this week and you may notice every society and archive you see next.

Genealogical and historical societies and libraries are found everywhere in the world. Without these people and facilities, the quest of the ancestry researcher would be far more difficult. This RecordClick genealogist appreciates the time, work and knowledge that many people in these important places–near and far–have contributed to help me on my research quests.

‘Tis the season… a time for giving as well as receiving… and a time for family.

I have several go-to genealogical and historical societies which I use whenever I do my own family tree research. Each place is unique and has evolved  to serve its particular area:

  • Orange County (NY) Genealogical Society

Staffed by volunteers, it has a wealth of local genealogical and historical information. The Society recently moved to a new location between Goshen and Florida at the Valley View Nursing Home Complex. The hours for the research room are limited and exceptions can be made.

  • Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, PA

With support of individuals and businesses from across the county, this society has a good-sized campus which is highlighted President James Buchanan’s home “Wheatland” and the historical society museum and library. The library is staffed by professionals and has regular hours. It is “must” stop for the ancestry researcher living in and searching in Lancaster County.

  • Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, OH

The library, located adjacent to the Rutherford B. Hayes home, is much more than a presidential library and archives. This facility is home to old local records and correspondence. The professional staff has made it a wonderful repository of genealogical information which every ancestry researcher will appreciate. It has regular hours. A primary resource is an online index of over three million area obituaries, death, and marriage notices. The index was created by working with 60 partner libraries.

  • The Burlington Public Library in Des Moines County, IA

This is the home of the Burlington Genealogical Society and houses a variety of historical and genealogical documents. The library has regular hours with staff and society members who are knowledgeable about the region.

  • Saunders County Historical Society and Museum located in Wahoo, NE

Although smaller in size than some others, this facility does have a paid director/curator/archivist. Additional staffing is by volunteers. The museum has regular hours that are shorter during the winter months. Here, there is a variety of information, including old marriage records which will be of interest to the ancestry researcher.

There are many more of these societies. Some are in places that this ancestry researcher can only guess about. Each of these genealogical and historical societies contains important documents, correspondence and ledgers–and more. They house the treasures that the family history researcher digs for. These places are gold mines for an ancestry researcher.

Note that I have used the term “volunteer” more than once. Often, when it comes to these treasured places, the ancestry researcher will find that budgets are limited and that the staff and volunteers must spend time raising money to keep the doors open. It is impossible for the ancestry researcher to support all of these entities, but this professional genealogist has a few that I belong or donate to each and every year. Consider making a contribution.

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