NORMAN — Twenty-three may seem like a youthful age for genealogists to celebrate, but for the members of the Cleveland Country Genealogical Society this year, 23 is an age to revel.
“The CCGS board of directors is hosting an open house to celebrate the 23rd Founding Day of the Library on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 20,” said Franklin J. Appl, president of the CCGS. “All members, past members, friends and townspeople are invited to visit with us, explore the library, celebrate our improvements and tour the archives.”
Twenty-three years ago on July 15, 1990, CCGS members moved into a storefront on north Flood Avenue in Norman and opened the first location of the Cleveland County Genealogy Society Library.
“The first library director was Agnes McVeigh Brooks, and Celia Morris Phillips was in charge of technical processing,” said Nova Hornback, CCGS library co-manager.
Over the years, the CCGS library has moved locations. In 1993, the genealogy library moved to a different site on North Flood.
In July 1999, the CCGS library moved to a storefront on west Main Street. And in July 2004, the library moved to its current location in the Community Services Building on east Main Street.
“This is the largest facility we have had to date,” said Mary Lewis, CCGS past president. “For the first time, we have all our records under a single roof.”
The library is home to almost 5,000 books and publications from most of the 50 states and several foreign countries. It contains information on Cleveland County, other Oklahoma counties, the Twin Territories, the state of Oklahoma and various Native American tribes.
The Oklahoma collection in the library also includes all the documents submitted by 161 early Cleveland County families. These documents include marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, homestead papers and land records, cemetery records and some photos.
There are even donated family histories and extensive reference materials, including pension application indexes to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
“It should be quite fun,” said Jeffrey M. Wilhite, CCGS library and archives committee member. “There will be punch and cake and tours of the collection and members there to answer your genealogical research questions. The CCGS library is a wonderful resource for the community, and this open house is a brilliant way to let the public know about it.”
The open house will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the CCGS library, 1119 E. Main St.
Every year, the CCGS library hosts many events of interest to its members and to the community. During October, the CCGS library will host an informal series of Tuesday Talks from 12:15 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. at the genealogy library.
On Tuesday, the topic will be “Family History and Genealogy Resources Outside Cleveland County.” On Oct. 22, the library will host “Original Cleveland County Records in the CCGS Archives.”
Each talk will focus on a different portion of the Genealogy Library collection. These talks are free and open to anyone.