Jack Blodgett always used the signature, John A. deL. Blodgett to honor the ancestors for whom he was named. He has been noted by early CCGS members as “the best president we ever had,” and is the only person to date honored with a Life Membership in CCGS.
Jack joined our Society in 1978 when he retired from a 30 year career at the New York Public Library in Manhattan. Born in Sheridan and veteran of WW II, he returned to his home county to continue his lifelong interest in genealogy and spent the rest of his life continuing professional research for hundreds of correspondents, collecting information and building an extensive genealogical library. He often amazed companions, when a casual conversation turned to family history, by putting pencil to paper (sometimes a cocktail napkin) to produce a pedigree chart, complete with dates and places, from his unbelievable memory .
During his lifetime Jack donated dozens of valuable books to the Barker Museum’s Genealogy Library. These gifts included the entire collection of census indexes and the extensive heraldry collection. At one time a library spokesman declared that 75 percent of the contents of the room was donated by Jack Blodgett. At his death, his collection of valuable periodicals came to the library. And, though the card file of extractions of deaths and marriages from the Fredonia Censor was started and completed by other CCGS members, one will find more than half of these cards lovingly written in Jack’s unique hand.
The Life Membership for Jack Blodgett was approved early in 1990 and we waited hopefully for Jack to be able to attend a meeting at which he could be publicly honored. Unfortunately, this did not happen and the award was presented at his home by then CCGS president, Dale K. Davis in January of 1991 three months before his death on April 19. Jack, we remember, and we honor you still with the continuation of your work.