Updated August 2007
The Eaton County Genealogical Society began with an overwhelming response to an Everton's Genealogical Workshop in April of 1988, hosted by the Eaton County Historical Commission. The first organized meeting was May 18, 1988. At that time, the Historical Commission, located in the Old Eaton County Courthouse, kept many historical books and records. The Historical Commission allowed the newly formed Society to use these books and provided a room in the Old Courthouse for housing these records and a space for research. These numerous documents, which were stored all over the courthouse (in the attic, in the 'jailor's' house next door and elsewhere) needed to be sorted, cataloged, and placed in the fireproof vault in the basement of the courthouse.
Drouscella Halsey was elected the first president in January 1989. On March 8, 1989, the Genealogy Room opened regularly on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Society hosted its first workshop on May 6, 1989.
Donations of books and materials began to come in and the room soon became too small. The Historical Commission moved the Society to the present ground floor level, where access to several more vaults was gained to house the growing holdings.
At present our holdings are numerous and we continue to receive more. Our membership is growing. We have hosted several workshops with nationally known speakers. We have many visitors coming to research Eaton County ancestors. Researchers can find a wealth of information, not only relating to Eaton County, but to other areas of Michigan and the world.
We index our holdings on Monday evenings from 6-8 and on Wednesday from 10-2 and still have lots of information to go through. Indexing is where we transcribe names from our old county books and records to create indexes of the pages the names appear on. This is an enjoyable time for the folks who join in on this activity and more help is always welcome!
Regular hours are now Monday through Thursday from 10-2. (See Home page.)
A new computer has recently been donated. It has lots of memory plus an external hard drive, so we will be able to store lots of information on it. One plan that is in progress is to combine all of the individual completed indexes of the various court libers containing divorces, marriages, births, delayed births, military, etc. into one database in order to look up a name and find out all the books that person may be in.
We also have a new Canon 350 II Microfilm and Microfiche Reader Printer. We have been receiving donations for several years and this is now available! Come and check this out! You can print your information to the printer or you can scan your information to the computer and save it to your own storage media.