County's genealogy group looks to the future

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Seeds of hope that changing the Osceola County Genealogical Society meetings to Saturday mornings would help bring in more people didn’t mature in recent months, and so a new plan is being grown for the future.

Plans now call for moving the meetings to the first Tuesday of each month starting the first of the year.  During the winter months attendance is normally low because of iffy weather, but there’s one member who makes it anyway, driving to Reed City clear from Saginaw.

Ted Rinness had relatives living in this area for a long time, some of whom are buried at Hersey.  Ted decided that not only did he want to do research here in Osceola County, but also wanted to do something to help others as well.

Winter doesn’t stop him from either.  He makes that long trip up and across the state, then spends hours at the Osceola County Courthouse helping to transcribe the 1884 census.  Ted said he does it for his own research, but also to help others have better access in the future as well.

He and others like him have already hand-copied the census for Burdell, Cedar, Lincoln and LeRoy, and are working hard now to complete the 1884 census figures for Hersey and Richmond.

It is no easy task.  Hours and hours have been spent combing over the courthouse records over months and on into years accomplishing that much.  Only a few at a time can work on them, so most of the effort is done during the winter when it is difficult to travel to other genealogical gold mines located throughout Osceola and its neighboring counties and beyond.

But it is tedious.  Some members have those “old” eyes, and cannot do the work for long periods of time, but others are up to the task and don’t hesitate to keep the work progressing whenever time is available to do so.

Many other projects are in the beginning or on-going stages, and plans call for the local group and others who would like to travel to Salt Lake City Utah in the fall of 2012 to visit the mountainside gold mines of genealogical treasures.

One of the guest speakers in the spring will be Richard Zanter of Ferris who will help solve some of the mysteries genealogists struggle with in determining the former borders of European countries.

In the Spring, the group will meet the second Tuesday evening of the month with various speakers and projects, visits to cemeteries and the like, then switch to afternoons in the Fall.

Anyone wishing to learn about the on-going local efforts in research, contribute information, volunteer to help, go to Utah, or become a member may call OCGS president Betsy Randall in Reed City at (231) 832-9525 for additional information.