Genealogy Interest Group

Anyone who is interested in genealogy or local history is invited to join our genealogy interest group. The group meets every third Monday of the month. The next meeting is Monday, December 17, 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Local historian Rick Wiles will be here to present A Bitter Memory: The Burt Lake Burnout of 1900. Participants are encouraged to bring as much family information with them as possible. Each session will focus on a different topic. The group will be led by professional genealogist Barbara Manley Hernden. Genealogy will be taking a brief hiatus over the winter months. December 17 will be the last meeting until we pick up again in the spring on April 15.

Barbara was born and raised in Ohio, lived in Texas, Indiana, and now Michigan. She was always a history buff but never really knew what genealogy was until she became a secretary at a Methodist church in Indiana in the early 1990s. It was after attending a class taught by a good friend that she became really hooked.

Her story begins with just a 3”x 5” piece of note paper with the name of her father, his parents and their parents. No other info was included, no date of birth/death, locations, etc. so the saying “beginning from scrap” really applied here. With that basic info and knowing they were from Kentucky, she began her quest. Computer genealogy was just in its infancy at the time, so everything needed to be done by hand, searching books, records, and reeling through film and micro-fiche. So much has changed; more records are on-line but not all records will ever be posted.

Barbara is an active member of the Charlevoix County Genealogical Society, the Emmet County Genealogical Society, Charlevoix County History Preservation Society and a volunteer at Raven Hill Discovery Center with the Todd Family Research project. She has taught genealogy for many years, researched for clients, co-authored a book on her father’s family, and currently hosts the Charlevoix Public Library’s Genealogy Interest Group. According to Barbara, “I am pleased and excited to have been asked to host an Interest Group at the Petoskey District Library. Am I addicted to genealogy … Yes; I guess you could say I am!”

2018 meeting schedule and topics:
December 17: Guest Speaker–Rick Wiles
*Bring your laptop, we’ll talk and then do research online

For questions, e-mail or call Barb at (231) 675-0987.