The Genealogy Society celebrates 40th anniversary

Join the Genealogy Society Saturday afternoon, Oct. 14, at the Lewistown Public Library to celebrate this milestone and to enjoy refreshments while examining the genealogy collection of materials – the historical documents of schools, marriages, census, obituaries and Polk Directories listing all who lived here for more than 100 years.

Exhibits will make available copies of your land documents, view the census pages of your families residing here or in the state, browse the nearly 200 copies of published family histories. Snoop through the archived material – cemetery records, school records, obituaries and other sources of information about relatives and ancestors. Look at old telephone directories and examine high school annuals. Come and visit with friends and strangers. Help us celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Genealogy Society.

It all started in a cemetery. A group of women began by recording headstone inscriptions. This was an overwhelming job, and there was no money and no place to store such information. Then on Oct. 19, 1977, an organizational gathering initiated the Lewistown Genealogy Society. They were President Georgiann Gauer, Corresponding Secretary and Historian Bruce Early, Secretary Dorothy Shammel, Membership chairman Ruby E. Peacia, Treasurer Georgia Brudnicki, and members Marguerite Abbot, Lula Hruska, Vernon and Rose Anderson, Thelma Kent, Geraldine Baker, Florence Kettering, Shirley Barrick, Pauline Kovacich, Nell Boucher, Darlene Lansberry, Georgia Brudnicki, Ethel Lelek, Caroline Burke, Lucille McVey, Mildred Butterfield, Cherie and John Neudick, Bruce and Doris Early, Jim and Ricky Peccia, John M. Edwards, Mary Ann Quiring, Dan and Georgiann Gauer, Uena Seeley, Erma J. Hall, Dorothy and Ray Shammel, Opal Howe, Ruth Shelton, Thelma Thomas and Lil Zwolle. Thirty-four members in all; hundreds have been members over the years.

The Central Montana Genealogy Society undertook the task of making local histories available to people interested in family and family research. During these years, courses were offered to better know the ‘science’ of genealogy, workshops held to focus on specific areas of research (ship manifests, migration, etc.), and assistance given to our local people and the many summertime visitors home to include a little family research.

These resources are often pivotal to local and state historians in their research.

Ours has been the task of gathering materials, locating accurate histories of communities and families, recording and making available specific records for burials and cemeteries, and provide resources and leads for those researching families and local businesses. There may be some internet sources but most local materials are not available worldwide. Thousands of people have made use of our Society over the years.

The collection of materials gathered is incomparable in the state of Montana – nearly a copy of every published history in our area and in the other 55 counties. An extensive library has been put together covering the major counties of the world and materials covering migration, immigration and settlement. We also maintain a working agreement with the Library to share assistance and use of space.

For more information please call the Library at 538-5212, Marilyn Lewis at 350-2421 or Tom Wojtowick at 538-3739. 

Remember: Saturday, Oct. 14 from 1-4 p.m. at the Meeting and Genealogy Room of the Library.

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