Top Item…

It’s Here! 

CCGS funding (your dollars) has helped the Pennsylvania State University Libraries digitize and upload for FREE viewing and searching, the Democratic Watchman (Bellefonte, Pa.),  1897 July 2 through 1919 Jan 27, at PANewsArchive.psu.edu ! More years will follow, until the entire run from 1871 to 1923 is scanned and online! (The Civil War era of the Watchman and other Pennsylvania papers are already posted.)

Our Next Event:

November 7, 2019: Searching Online Historical Newspapers. (Details on Meetings & Events page)

Coming Up…

Fall Class: November 9, 2019: How to Climb Your Family Tree. A one-day workshop for beginning genealogists. This will be held at the Centre County Library Community Room in Bellefonte. Preregistration is required, since class size is limited to 10. A $20 donation is requested to cover the cost of materials. For more information or to register, please email Ellen Copper at education@centrecountygenealogy.org  at least one week in advance. Tell a friend!

Save The Date!: Saturday, December 14, 2019:  CCGS Open House at the Hearth Room (Centre Furnace Mansion).  Join us between 1 and 3 p.m. to meet and greet fellow members!  Bring friends and family! Light refreshments will be provided.  Further details to be announced.

See the Meetings  & Events page for further information about these events, as details become available.

Programs  happen with input and help from members. Are you interested in sharing your knowledge or stories or successes and puzzles with us? Do you have topics that you would like to learn more about? Can you pitch in to help the Program Committee? Contact Richard Wade (president@centrecountygenealogy.org).

Unless otherwise indicated, mettings are held at 7:00 pm in the 2nd-floor Meeting Room at Foxdale Village, 500 East Marylyn Avenue, State College. Program meetings are open to the public.

Society News…

We are gearing up to start transcribing church records that we photographed a while back. More distant members can help with this project. Please let Richard Wade (president@centrecountygenealogy.org) know of your interest in helping!

The State Library in Harrisburg will close for renovations beginning Saturday, June 1. Work to renovate the Forum Building will take about two years. Meanwhile, Genealogy and Law materials will be available at the Keystone Building, starting July 2. Visitors are advised to plan ahead and request materials in advance, as some items will need to be pulled and brought to the temporary location. Visit the library website at https://www.statelibrary.pa.gov/Pages/moving.aspx to learn more.

The Executive Committee (Officers and Chairs of committees) meets several times a year, usually on a Thursday evening toward the end of the month, in a room adjacent to the Family History Center at the LDS Church on Whitehall Road in State College. Members are welcome to attend, to see what goes on “behind the scenes.” Indeed, we are looking for people who would consider becoming At-Large Members of the Executive Committee. Please let Ellen Copper and Richard Wade know if you are interested in attending these meetings, so we can include you in the email list. The next meeting is tentatively planned for Thursday April 25 at 6:30 pm (but please confirm with Ellen).

We need a new Program Chair,and additional members of the Program Committee, to suggest program topics and help things run smoothly. For example, if you have facility with office software, you might be able to help by preparing fliers for the programs. If you are good at PR, you might help our outreach effort. Think how your talents can be used to benefit the Society!

The handout for our November 1, 2018, presentation on “Finding Females” is now available as a PDF file in the Members Only section.

The handout for our February 7, 2019, presentation on “Space, Time, and Relatives!” (using maps and other tools for family history) is now available as a PDF file in the Members Only section, with active links to the websites mentioned.

The handout for our March 7, 2019, presentation on “I have My DNA Results, Now What?”, by guest speaker Kelli Bergheimer, is now available as a PDF file in the Members Only section. This is a longer version (in color) of the printed version passed out at the program.


CCGS now has a Privacy Policy. You can find it by clicking on the Membership Information tab at the top of this web page.

The Index to the CCGS Cemetery Series is now online and free to the public!

Members, we have the last 11 years of Roots newsletters along with additional information from programs and newsletter articles available in our Members-Only section of the website.

Members, the Society welcomes contributions for the newsletter from our members: interesting historic photos or newspaper items, articles about families, summaries of research finds, queries, etc. Please contact our newsletter editor, Bob Wilkins, if you have something you would like to submit.


State College Family History Center Hours

The FHC at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse on Whitehall Road in State College is open with limited hours. Official hours are Tuesday mornings from 10 am to noon (by appointment only) and Wednesday evenings from  5pm to 8:30. If you wish to make an appointment to come on Tuesday or at another time, please contact Martha Taylor.

Microfilms already in our possession are available to view. Premium websites, such as Ancestry.com, and restricted digitized records are now accessible.

Important Announcement about Discontinued Microfilm Distribution at State College Family History Center

The announcement Family History Microfilm Discontinuation is from FamilySearch.org (You may also want to read Dick Eastman’s blog post and the comments about this, at FamilySearch to Discontinue its Microfilm Distribution Services).

Microfilms can no longer be ordered.  However, the State College Family History Center is retaining all films currently in our possession.

The remaining master films (stored in Utah) should all be digitized by the end of 2020, with many of the remaining films digitized sooner than that. The timing of this decision to end distribution prior to 2020 seems to be related to the availability of unexposed (‘blank’) microfilm to make new distribution copies from the master films.

Note that many of the microfilms that you used to order for viewing at the FHC have already been digitized and can be viewed (‘browsed’) online either at home or at the FHC. Mary Roddy’s webinar (our March 2017 program) gave some excellent pointers about how to locate and use these online images. You can also consult the FamilySearch page Finding Digital Images of Records…. Please ask Richard Wade or other members if you need some assistance in finding what’s available. Some images are restricted by agreement with the custodians of the records, and can be viewed only at an FHC.