Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good news for Lucas County researchers

The Lucas County Genealogical Society has launched two online projects, one in cooperation with the Chariton Public Library, that will be welcomed by anyone interested in Lucas County research.

First, Darlene Arnold’s index to vital records found in all existing issues of Lucas County newspapers published at Chariton is now available online. I’ve written about Darlene’s index before; it’s amazing.

Over the course of several years, Darlene (above) read on microfilm every page of every surviving issue of every newspaper ever published at Chariton, noting reports of deaths, births and marriages and a variety of other articles related to family history. She compiled the results of her work into a huge index that has been available for several years to users of the LCGS library at the Chariton Public Library and on CD at a few other repositories.

Quite recently, the Chariton Public Library offered its Web site as a launching platform for the index and it now is available there as a series of PDF files arranged alphabetically by surname and given name. The library’s genealogy launch page may be found by clicking here. Once there, you’ll find two links to “Chariton Newspaper Index 1867-2005.” You also may access the launch page by clicking on “Lucas County Genealogy” in the sidebar to this blog.

Using the index is one of the best ways to prepare for a personal research visit to the genealogical library. Society volunteers also will provide copies of individual articles for a minimal per-item fee to those unable to visit the library personally. Contact information is on the launch page.

This is a spectacular resource of a sort that so far as I know is not available elsewhere for so extensive a collection of newspapers. Personally, I’d advise a little restraint on the part of researchers since in some cases several hundred records are indexed for surnames. It’s probably best not to place an order for “everything” and be a little more selective. Not that you’ll bankrupt yourself, but you easily could overburden the limited number of researchers available to assist you.


The other development is a new Lucas County Genealogical Society blog launched on behalf of the society by Russell’s Lynne Wilson. You’ll also find a link to the blog on the library’s launch page or may go directly to it by clicking here.

The selection of material posted by Lynne in just a few weeks is remarkable and if you’re interested in Lucas County genealogy or local history, I think you’ll want to become a regular visitor.

Don’t miss in the blog sidebar under the header “My Blog List” a series of links to sub-blogs to the main blog, each devoted to a specific topic.

You’ll also find in the sidebar information about upcoming meetings, contact information for society officers and updates on new additions to the library shelves.

So in the course of a few weeks, the LCGS has gone from a minimal Web presence to a mighty one. Thanks to all involved!


Also available to researchers is the USGenWeb Lucas County page that may be accessed here. Several hard-working coordinators have posted a wealth of information here over the years, but at present the site is available for “adoption” and little new has been added recently.

The USGenWeb site is not affiliated with LCGS. Management of the site has changed often over the years in part because coordinating it is a heavy burden for a volunteer and conflicts with the USGenWeb management personnel occur with some frequency. None of that diminishes the value of what you’ll find here, however.

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