History of the
In early 1995 Ed Parker (our founder) and Janice Morgan, both of
Mason, Michigan had an idea, ‘was there enough interest in the area to
form a new genealogical society.’
With encouragement from genealogist Shirley J. Hodges and William
Atkinson, both members of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society, a group
of seven persons met in May 1995 and decided to spread the word with
phone calls and handbills calling for an open public meeting the
On June 14, 1995 an organizational meeting was held at the Kiwanis
Village Community Center in Mason, with a group of 13 persons present.The name, Ingham County Genealogical Club was chosen, but later changed
Janice Morgan was nominated as President and Bernice Collins as
Recording Secretary and Treasurer. with the meeting dates set for the 2nd
Wednesday of the month (later changed to 2nd Thursday). The annual
membership dues of $7.50 were set and a By-Laws Committee was appointed,
the fiscal year of October 1 to September 30 established. Meetings
were held at the Mason Church of Christ.
At the beginning of the 2nd fiscal year our membership increased to
44 members and the meetings were held at the Vevay Township Hall
Community Room, on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The society
registered with the State of Michigan and made application to the
Internal Revenue Service as a “Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt Organization, and
was granted that status in 1997.
The election of officers has always been held at the October meeting,
with each serving one year terms. New officer positions of Vice
President, Membership Secretary and two Trustees had already been added
in 1996 and the following year a librarian for the newly established
society research room located on the Mason Public Library, on the second
floor, a room 12’ by 18’ in size. The first librarian was
Past-President Joyce Darrow. This is the crown jewel of the
society, with an active group of volunteers that keep the room open
every Wednesday, from noon to 4pm and maintain a vast assortment of
records, and genealogical indexes.
Continued interest in family research thanks to the television
series, “Roots”, and a great effort on the part of our officers to make
the monthly meeting informative and fun helped push the society
membership to over 135 members.
On Saturday, November 13, 1999 the society held their first
genealogical seminar at the City of Mason Community Hall, from 9am to
3pm. The program speakers were Shirley J. Hodges and Jana Sloan
Broglin. The cost was $15 which included lunch. A
reported $700 profit was made. A lot of society volunteers worked
many hours to make it a success.
A second genealogical seminar was held on Saturday. October 28, 2000
from 9am to 3pm, at the Holiday Inn Express Conference Center in Okemos,
Program speakers were Shirley J. Hodges and Curt Witcher. The
cost per person was $25 which also included lunch. A large
attendance and profitable event.
Starting in 1998 the society microfilmed four small town weekly
newspapers, the Ingham County News, the Ingham County Democrat, the
Williamston Enterprise and the Stockbridge Sun. Hundreds of reels
of film were donated to our society research room and to the Library of
Michigan. Funding was received from the Mid-Michigan Genealogical
Society, the Abrams Foundation and society fund raising efforts.
Other major microfilming projects were completed from 2002 through
2008 and involved records and documents from all of the 16 Ingham County
Townships, city and small towns.
An Internet society website was established, sharing a site with the
Mid-Michigan and Eaton County Genealogical Society. Several years
later member, Greg James constructed our own society website.
In 2005 the society celebrated its 10 anniversary with a dinner party
held at Fairbanks Grill in south Lansing, a fun event and well attended.
Starting in 2008 the membership rolls have declined slightly, most
likely due to the vast collection of genealogical records and websites
that now are available to researchers. With a current membership of 72,
Ingham County Genealogical Society continues the work of preserving
records, assisting researchers in the library reference room, providing
helpful and informative guest speakers at their monthly meetings and
looks forward to continuing.
Written January 2013