By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Special Interest | Issue: February 2011
The Sapulpa Genealogy Club 2011 officers (L to R): Cathy Mattix, Christy Jeffries, Donna Jones, Mike Jeffries and Joan Almeida.
Have you ever wondered where your family came from and how they got here? Did anyone in your lineage serve in the Civil War? Who was your grandfather’s great-great grandfather, and what did he do for a living? How old was your great grandmother when she got married, and what were her favorite pastimes? Genealogy is a fascinating hobby that will help you answer these kinds of questions and so much more. “Genealogy is fun – so fun it can get addictive!” says Donna Jones, president of the Sapulpa Genealogy Club. “You can find out the most fascinating things about your family. For example, I learned that my great-great grandfather fought against racism.”
Club vice president Linda Quinn agrees; genealogy is both fun and addictive – once you start, you won’t want to stop. “Sometimes you get so intent on figuring something out that you want to pull your hair out,” she says with a laugh. “But it’s actually a very relaxing and satisfying activity.”
The Sapulpa Genealogy Club formed in 2009 as a project club by Carletta Webb, a member of Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE). The club’s first president was Jane Cowen. When she passed away, Donna took over the presidency and Linda became vice president.
“The Sapulpa Genealogy Club provides people the opportunity to learn their family story. They research their ancestry and learn about the events that occurred, migrations of family members, deaths, births – anything that has to do with life,” explains Donna.
The club is currently having a membership drive and welcomes anyone who is interested in this exciting hobby. “We have veterans as well as beginners, and people of all ages and walks of life,” says Linda. The club meets the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. in the Frank Room of Sapulpa Public Library, 27 W. Dewey.
Meetings often include guest speakers sharing information, tips and tricks. Linda and Donna frequently attend seminars and lectures to find guest speakers they believe the club would benefit from. “Last month, we had a genealogist discuss how to research using land records to find out where, why and how a family traveled,” says Donna.
During the meetings, members first take care of club business, and then work individually or together on their research. The club utilizes a vast array of resources: computer software, photographs, microfilm, census rolls, newspaper archives, marriage, birth and death records, land records, and more. “We currently have 20+ members, so there is always someone available to mentor and help you if you need it,” adds Linda. “One of the most important parts of genealogy is that everything must be verified. We can show you how to stay within your family.”
Many of the club members compete in county and state level genealogy competitions sponsored by OHCE. Donna was recently honored with the Rookie of the Year award. She also placed second in the life story category and first, second and third in photographs.
“The main goal of genealogy is to write the story of your family,” says Donna. “You’ll be amazed at what you can learn.”
A low annual fee grants membership to the Sapulpa Genealogy Club, in addition to other OHCE club memberships.
To learn more about discovering your roots, please visit www.sapulpagenealogy.org or call (918) 248-5979.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.