The Christian County Genealogical Society celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a Genealogy Fair on Saturday, November 8 at the University of Illinois Extension Center in Taylorville.
Special guests were welcomed from the Genealogical Societies of four surrounding counties. From Decatur Genealogical Society – Macon County, Gail Leonard, Nancy Sheppard and Dorothy Albert; from the Jacksonville Area Genealogical Society - Morgan County, Elizabeth Hardy; Carol Berry from Montgomery County Genealogical Society and Donna Lupton and Julie Elbert from the Shelby County Genealogical Society. Each county had a table display of their publications and hand-outs, and had the opportunity to tell about their Society and what new things were happening in their organizations.
The morning speaker was Dr. Gary Hargis of North Aurora, Illinois. He is the immediate past-president of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and retired as the Technical Director of Research from the Medical Center in the Chicago area. His interest in family history began while as a young boy he visited his grandparents on the farm in Christian County.
Mary Kirgan of Springfield spoke in the afternoon. She was the founding Director of the Springfield Family History Center established in 1986. Mary served as Public Affairs Director for newly formed Springfield Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She recently spent a year answering the 1-800 Help Line number published on the Family Search website and responded to e-mails sent in by patrons from the entire English speaking world.
The five Societies represented each provided door prizes. A cook book from the Decatur Society was won by Dick Reber. Nancy Sheppard’s name was drawn for a copy of the Illinois Blue Book brought by Morgan County Society. Montgomery County gave a 1 year membership won by Joan Blood. The book ‘Shelbyville Past & Present’ by Shelby County was awarded to Nancy Sheppard. The Christian County Society provided three prizes: the book ‘Portrait & Biographical Records of Christian County–1893’ went to Dorothy Albert; An index of all topics published in the first 20 years of the Christian County Society Quarterlies was won by Libby Klocke and a 1 year membership went to Peter Knope.
Drawings for three beautiful hand-crocheted Afghans donated by Board Member, Lynda Sparling, went to: Carol Maxwell, Dr. Gary Hargis and Jeanine Biondolino.
Board Member, Joan Blood, had a continuous running computer display of some of her photos of tombstones of the area. Her project is to photograph each tombstone in every Cemetery of Christian County. At this date she has completed 14 county cemeteries and those pictures can be seen on the Society’s website.
Throughout the day, Chuck Courtwright, our computer expert highlighted the day’s program with the Society’s history, announcements of activities and enhancing the speaker’s presentation by projection on the big screen.
Anniversary cake was served at noon.
Dr. Hargis honored us by presenting to the Christian County Genealogical Society from the Illinois State Genealogical Society a Special Recognition Award “for countless efforts over the past twenty-five years to promote genealogy to the genealogical community.”