Our History

Taken from "Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society Journal" dated April 1999

The Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society was organized in April 1979, at a meeting held at Clasbey Museum, Savannah, Missouri by thirty-five people who had taken classes at Missouri Western State College. The classes were taught by Gena Rae Shores who became the first president. Other officers elected at that meeting were: Martha Marcum, 1st Vice President; Wavalea Oliver, 2nd Vice President; John Ostertag, Recording Secretary; Kenneth Cox, Treasurer; Marion Jones, Corresponding Secretary; Doris Lett, Membership and Frank Shores, Family Charts. Thirty-two persons became charter members.

It was decided the Society would represent nine surrounding counties, to wit: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, and Worth. The purpose of the Society was to encourage an interest in genealogy, to add to the education of the membership, to assist in research and to preserve genealogical records.

Since its inception the Society has met in numerous places after leaving the Clasbey Museum at the end of 1979. Meetings were held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Farm and Home Savings and Loan, St. Mary's Catholic School, the Senior Citizen Center and Missouri Western State College. The first library was at St. Mary's School and Joyce Allen was the librarian. Mildred Moore was the next librarian. These early libraries had very limited hours. In 1982, the Society moved into a five-room house at 3619 Angelique Street, established their library there and held their meetings there. When they outgrew that facility, the library and meetings were moved to 719 Francis Street and later 717 Francis was added.

For two-and-a-half years members of the Society held bingo nights to earn money to buy a permanent home for the Society and its library. Bazaars and bake sales proceeds were added to the fund and in February 1991, they moved into the present library at 412 Felix Street. In 1994, Marjorie Thompson Caskey of Bella Vista, Arkansas, donated her extensive collection of research books to the library. These books have added much data for the use of the library's patrons.

In 1979, dues were $5.00 for an individual, $7.00 for a household. 1981 brought an increase to $7.00 and $10.00. In 1985, the dues were $10.00 and $15.00 and from 1992 until 2012, they were $15.00 for each household.

A newsletter was started in 1980. The first "Journal" was published in April 1981, the second anniversary of the Society's founding.

The following people have served as president of the Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society:

  • Gena Rae Shores 1979-1982
  • Jackie Dunn 1982-1985
  • Matthew Carver 1985-1987
  • Mary Sims 1987-1995
  • Edward Blakeley 1995-1999
  • Juanita Haskins 2000 - 2003
  • Rose Hutchcraft 2003-2005
  • Juanita Haskins 2005-2007
  • John Hutchcraft 2007 - 2011
  • Kelly Alvarado 2011 - Present

Mobile site made possible in part by a grant from the
St. Joseph Missouri
Convention & Visitors Bureau