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.)
UPDATE, early Jan 2020: Additional years including 1889-1897 and 1919-1922 have now been uploaded to the PANewsArchive website!
It’s Time to Renew Your Membership!
Please visit the Membership Information tab to print a mail-in Membership Form or use PayPal to renew your membership. Please note that if you elect to receive our Roots newsletter in print by mail, the dues are $25; if you wish to receive Roots by email as a PDF file (no print copy), the dues are $20. Please do not renew for multiple years.
The 2020 versions of the username and password for the Members Only section of the website have been created. Our Membership Secretary will be sending this information to you. The 2019 username and password will continue to work until early February (alongside the 2020 version).
Our Next Event:
The Society’s DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) will meet again from 7:00 — 9:00 pm on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Foxdale Village, in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room.
The goal of the SIG is to continue discussions and problem-solving around the topic of DNA for genealogy. It is expected that this DNA-SIG will largely be self-governing, choosing when and how often to meet and where, and setting its own agenda, but coordinating meeting announcements, etc., with the parent Society. A minimum of about six active members is likely necessary to sustain such a group. Al Jarrett (firstname.lastname@example.org) is acting as temporary meeting coordinator, but we are looking for a longer-term leader/convener for this group (not necessarily a DNA expert!).
Save the Date! Please mark your calendars for our Spring 2020 round of program meetings, Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm: March 5, April 2, and May 7. (Election of Officers will take place at the beginning of the April 2 meeting.)
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 (email@example.com).
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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, 2019. 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 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 (early 2020) at 6:30 pm (but please confirm with Richard).
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 7, 2019, presentation on “Searching Online Historical Newspapers” is now available as a PDF file in the Members Only section, with web links, etc.
A summary of our October 3, 2019, viewing of Sunny Morton’s webinar on “Comparing the Genealogy Giants” appears in the Fall 2019 issue of our newsletter, Roots.
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.
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 November 1, 2018, presentation on “Finding Females” is now available as a PDF file in the Members Only section.
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.
- Please remember, anyone interested in genealogy is invited to join CCGS or attend our meetings. Having a Centre County ancestor is not required!
We accept PayPal for CCGS
- History: 4o years old! The Centre County Genealogical Society held its first meeting in December of 1975 as the Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and Library. A few years later, the group's books were donated to the local LDS Church to provide the nucleus of its genealogy library, and our current name was adopted as it better reflected our interests. Today, the society has hundreds of active members living around the world.
Centre County, located in the heart of Pennsylvania.