Friday, March 26, 2010

Lucas County Genealogical Society - The Beginning

The past few weeks NBC along with has presented very interesting stories of people trying to trace their heritage.  Famous people have been opening their eyes to see a trail of interesting facts about people in their lives who they never knew existed.  Some of the things they uncovered were not very pleasant and others brought joy to loved ones waiting for the answer to their prayers.  Genealogy has brought a new meaning into our lives, "Once you find out where you came from, you will be able to find out where you are going."

In the spring of 1976 some local family members decided to learn as much as possible about where they came from.  Around the middle of the nineteenth century when families were migrating to the west, Lucas County, Iowa, was born.  This group of family members, together, formed a group known as the Lucas County Genealogical Society.  Together they helped each other, and anyone else who was interested, to locate the histories of people and families who had a part in the development of this part of the country.  A genealogist has a very inquisitive mind and will never stop looking for their family histories.  So the Lucas County Genealogical Society took advantage of this opportunity to carve a place in the history books by investigating the record books kept for those very purposes.  Over a trillion memorable events, such as marriages, births, deaths, and legal records were kept in local churches, courthouses, and archives to preserve the facts that carved the destiny of how and why we are here today.

As researchers uncovered their stories and family members were found, kinships connecting many of the people they saw everyday, such as families, friends and neighbors became stronger.  At times it only took a few hours to unveil a family story and other times the search never ended.  Common ancestry during the mid 1800's was common, but as the years passed us by, families migrated elsewhere and the search for these family members became more difficult.

Mrs. Ruth Curtis deserves much of the credit for founding The Lucas County Genealogical Society.  She spearheaded the initial organizing of the society.   The organizations meeting night was the first Monday of each month and still is held on this same day.  From approximately 55 persons attending the first meeting, officers were elected and by-laws were determined.  Committees were formed to do in-depth research on specific types of Lucas County records.

In the early part of 1977 members voted to publish a book about Lucas County history as a record for future generations of the life and people of this area.    Besides publication of this book, the group presented informative programs at its monthly meetings.  Outside groups were invited to speak and present information on their organizations.  Society members have copied records from the county courthouse for preservation for posterity and for current use.  Cemeteries were platted throughout the county, including the inscriptions on all of the tombstones.  A cemetery book including all this information was published in 1981.

Much has been done by the Lucas County Genealogical Society to preserve the fascinating history of Lucas County.

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