Members of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society met recently for their monthly business meeting and program at the Barker Library in Fredonia.
Guest speaker was Norman Carlson from Busti, who serves as the person in charge of collections at the Fenton Historical Society in Jamestown. Mr. Carlson said that he helps many people with their family and business genealogy, and discussed some of the artifacts which he uses to associate information with families. He said that many of the artifacts help people trace down their family members. One of the first is a collection of old wedding dresses. He said the historical society has more wedding dresses than any other garment. Using family photographs, and comparing the dress often give a date and name to people. People are always looking for family history he said. Other items in the historical society which are used in genealogical research are military items such as uniforms, bars, and pins. Diaries are a great source of research, along with packages of letters. To bring information to the public, many of their volunteers dress in period clothing and speak to local students about family history. Cemetery tours are very popular, and these include walking and horse drawn wagon tours. Often times, family information is found in census reports and city directories. He concluded with saying that each week, an historical artifact is featured in a newspaper article in the Post-Journal column with one of the members composing the information. A round of applause was given to Mr. Carlson for his discussion.
George Davis is the president of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, which dates back nearly 35 years in this area. Visitors and new members are always welcome.
Shown in the photograph is Norman Carlson from Busti, who serves as the person in charge of collections at the Fenton Historical Society.