There is a library in Clay County that many residents know nothing about.
It's the Clay County Genealogical Library. You will find it on the corner of Gilbert and Main streets in Center Point.
The Clay County Genealogical Society, Inc., started the library in the spare bedroom of Helen Tarvin and kept adding to its collection. Soon, the library outgrew the room.
That's when the society started looking for a larger place.
With the help of Ben Coffman, the present building was purchased. An announcement for the November 1985 board meeting stated the meeting would take place in their new building. It also announced that it was a BYOC meeting -- meaning bring your own chair. A public open house took place Jan. 11, 1986.
Since then, resources of the society have continued to grow. Another open house took place July 17, 2005, to celebrate 20 years of owning the building and to show off how it had been newly decorated.
The resources are still growing. Visitors are amazed at what can be found in this former grocery store in Center Point.
The Genealogy Society is a self-supporting group. Unlike other genealogy groups in the area, they are not housed in public buildings nor do they get support from any public funds.
They are proud to say that the only monies they receive are from memberships, sale of items published, research they do and donations. While there is a charge for research done by the volunteers, anyone is welcome to come and look for their ancestors and can do so at no charge. The volunteers will be happy to help you. It's like putting a puzzle together where you always want another piece.
To start putting your family puzzle together, we suggest you start with yourself then move back to your father and mother, then your grandparents.
Just because your last name is Washington doesn't mean you are related to George .You might be, but it's a lot easier to start with what you know and work your way back to him.
Did you know that there are least two separate Courtney families in Clay County? No records from the past 100 years show that these two families are related. The people at CCGSI have tried to prove they are, but haven't been able.
We have histories of most of the counties in Indiana. We have WPA birth, death and marriage records. Unusual resources are the funeral home files and the family files. We also have a collection of high school yearbooks, city directories, family histories, census records, naturalization records and newspapers on microfilm that might interest you.
Membership in the society is available, but not necessary. With membership, you receive a quarterly newsletter called "The Researcher."
The special of this quarter is "The Sherfey and Kidd Funeral Home" book for $10 (plus tax and mailing where applicable).
Did you even know that there was once a Sherfey and Kidd Funeral Home?
The library is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 1-4 p.m. Most Saturdays have longer hours and special openings can be arranged for a small fee.
Call us at 812-835-5005 or check out our website at www.ccgsilib.org. The volunteers would like to introduce you to this little treasure in Clay County.