Thanks to member Lou Mallory who brought us up to date on the site for address for buying “Wood County 1850-1890″. It has been corrected on the Publications Page of this website. FYI: Lou Mallory, P. O. Box 255, Mineola, Texas 75773. Lou’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The book costs $15.00 plus $4.00 postage. Lou is Wood County Historical Commission chairman.
Mrs. Ona Wood, a Wood County family history researcher and historian, wrote a history of the county in the 1950’s through the story of some early pioneer families here. She is a descendant of Wood County pioneer Peter Gunstream among others.
We are beginning the serial printing of the book in installments for the Wood County Genealogical Society Bulletin starting in the March 2010 newsletter. Part one is the foreword to the book.
LIFE IN THE PINEY WOODS: A History through the story of some early settlers Of Wood County Texas
by Ona Wood
“A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants.” – Lord McCauley
This book has been written in reverence and in profound respect to those people whose names appear upon its pages.
I have written of my own people , not because of selfish reasons, but because I know their joys and sorrows; their hardships and achievements.
My people, I think, are typical of most of the pioneers of any part of East Texas; they were not wealthy as wealth is valued in money; they had their good years and bad ones; they worked hard to keep – as they said – “body and soul together.”
I love and respect my people and give honor where honor lies; for what they were, I am.
The blood of our ancestry courses through the veins of their progenitors, and the ancestry was of many nationalities, English, French, Swede, Irish, Scotch, and probably pure American.
The same thst is true of my family holds true for their neighbors.
I like to walk along their paths, if not in reality, then in dreaming, and look for their tracks wherever they may wend, and stand along beside them into the dawn of a new era. Their tracks will never be obliterated, not by time or elements.
Their names have never been written into history books, and many of their names were never found in newspapers beyond the confines of their own county. They are not listed in the scrolls with the great, but they made history.
The pioneers seemed stern and severe, and so they were; but, beneath the veneer which the wilderness provoked, was to be found a compassionate spirit.
And, as most of them – your forefathers and mine – sleep in the age-old burying grounds, near and far, may we in humbleness, bless the day when they set foot on East Texas soil.
As more and more local genealogical societies are struggling with membership, resources, and finances, we are exploring the world of genealogical society weblogs for ideas on what others are doing to cope, to survive, and to thrive.
This first rather long entry is from the Southern California Genealogical Society and talks about how they handled the change from the technology and techniques of the late 20th Century to the early 21st Century.
Doin’ Things Right at the Southern California Genealogical Society
For an organization that came *thisclose* to going the way of the Polaroid and the typewriter, the Southern California Genealogical Society is thriving. Its membership has grown steadily over the past few years, and the Society has earned the reputation of being an innovative and progressive organization. How did it come about? It took a major transformation in attitudes about the Internet, and it didn’t come easy.
Throughout its first three decades, the SCGS library had a steady stream of patrons coming into the library to use the valuable collection of materials from across the US, Canada, Germany, and England. In the early ‘90s, the library was hit with a demographic double-whammy. Its more senior members who were accustomed to traditional research came into the library less often, either due to health issues or a diminished interest in researching. At the same time, online research was becoming more popular for Internet-savvy members. The chairs remained empty, the books remained shelved, and membership declined.
It Was the Internet’s Fault. The Internet Was Bad. Bad, Bad Internet.
Fortunately, the Society had some forward-looking leaders who embraced the opportunity instead of bemoaning the threat. A couple of patron computers were added, and then a couple more. Database subscriptions were added for in-library use, and the library began to offer a wide variety of valuable resources: online databases as well as maps, books, indexes, manuscript files, periodicals, gazetteers, microfilm, microfiche, etc. The Society’s website was updated and became an asset, and e-commerce provided a new way to bring revenue into the organization.
Part of the evolution contributing to the Society’s success was a fundamental change in the structure of its annual fundraiser, the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. For years, the Jamboree was designed as an expo, a place to shop for books, guides, indexes, charts, and other products used by genealogists. It was an all-in-one shopping mall that had a few classes that were repeated throughout the weekend. It was very successful and the Jamboree team did an excellent job.
With the growth of the online marketplace, however, booksellers realized they didn’t need to drag crates of books to Southern California in order to sell them. It became challenging to get exhibitors, particularly book vendors, to attend. Genealogy software began to replace hand-written family group sheets and pedigree charts, and shoppers didn’t need to wait a whole year to buy their goodies. They could order them online and have them in a few days. Toss in some problems caused by a change in venue, and shadows were falling over the event. The design of Jamboree needed to change.
It did change – just in the nick of time. If the old model had continued, Jamboree would be nothing more than a “remember when…” Instead, it adapted to the changing needs of genealogists. It became a conference with an exhibit area, instead of the other way around. It became a place to network with others and to celebrate the thrill of solving an ancestral puzzle. It featured stuff to learn instead of stuff to buy. The crowds returned, and Jamboree has grown in just a three years to be the largest American conference produced by a single genealogical society.
Jamboree is a great event itself, but it also serves as a motivator for other functional areas of SCGS. You’ll hear, time and time again, that “We want to get this done in time for Jamboree.” Whether it’s producing a new marriage index, or installing new microfilm reader-printer equipment, updating the online catalog, revising brochures for the various interest groups, or even getting the Library curtains washed, Jamboree provides a concrete deadline. Things just seem to get done in time for Jamboree and the entire organization benefits.
SCGS is taking its first wobbly, tentative steps into providing educational content through webinars. The first free webinar will be held Saturday, March 27, with George Morgan leading a session on “How to Get the Most out of a Genealogy Conference.”
None of this evolution could have been possible without the foresight, dedication, leadership, and thousands of hours of time contributed by the librarians, indexers, back-room staff, and other volunteers of the Southern California Genealogical Society. The Society has no paid staff; it is managed entirely by volunteers. No words of gratitude can come close to expressing thanks for the willing participation of these members.
SCGS has embraced social networking as a way to build involvement, communicate with members and potential members, and to market its various programs, including Jamboree. Blogs and tweets and Facebook posts have brought increased exposure and we are reaching more members and potential members than ever before. We are fortunate to have the support and personal relationships that have developed within the geneablogging community, and in that way, everyone who reads this post is contributing to the continued health of the Southern California Genealogical Society. For that, we thank you.
Adapt. Evolve. Change.
And thank you, Good, Good Internet!
This post is being submitted to the inaugural edition of “Carnival of Genealogical Societies.”
The opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Posted by Paula from SCGS at 11:50 PM, 06 March 2010
Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library
Labels: Carnival of Genealogical Societies
My mother’s maiden name is Rash. As I was researching her family name, I discovered a Fannie Rash which I thought was quite humorous. As I kept researching I discovered there were more Fannie Rashes than I wanted to believe! Some were by birth — others by marriage. Maybe this was just a common thing back then. (Thanks to Kay Ballard)
Published with permission: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 10 March 2010, Vol. 13, No. 3
Comments to previous posts (those items in the center column of the Bulletin page) are actually posted to the previous post and not again at the top of this center column.
So that you don’t miss comments which update a post, always go down the left column of the page to comments.
A recent comment on the previous query of SHIREY, was listed there on March 8.
The regular monthly meeting (on March 15) is approaching and only a week away. Here are some items of interest about the meeting:
1. The program will feature guest speaker Joe Hayden of Quitman talking about Wood County veterans. Vice-president Dorothy Harbin is working on some additional ideas to go with that theme.
2. If there is time, we may also be able to work on the accumulation of obituaries in the Genealogy Research Center. You might want to bring some scissors and glue sticks just in case.
3. President Shirley Patrick has sent a message asking that we let members know that she will be unable to attend the March meeting due to grandchildren visiting over Spring Break, and she has ask the vice-president to preside at the meeting.
4. Dorothy is still working on the program for April and expects to hear soon about a confirmed speaker about several of the earliest settlers families in the county.
5. Also be aware that election of officers for next year is scheduled for the May meeting every year. If you have ideas, etc. you might contact President Patrick to pass on to the nominating committee.
6. If you want to get with the group meeting before the meeting at Peralta’s in Quitman, we gather and visit and eat starting at 5:30 p.m.