Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hi!  It has been a while since I have posted.  There have been a few new things happening with our Society, so I am very behind posting.

However, I have a question for the readers of this blog.... Is anyone reading this?  I would be happy to post new things if I knew people were interested.  I am not complaining one bit; I don't want to spend my time on something people are not interested in.

If you do read this, what type of information would you like?

Would you like me to post a quick line when I update the Website?

Would you like me to post when I update the database(s) in our ECGS library room?

Thanks, Sherry

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 2013 Board Meeting update

At our December Board Meeting, we discussed many ideas that we would like to pursue from our long-term planning workshop.

One of our items is to add more content to our Members Section.  So, to begin that process, I have posted the scanned probate packets we have been working on at our Scanning work bees and will continue to do these as each letter (the letter the last name begins with) is completed.  The A's are completed and available on the Members Section of our website.  The B's will soon be completed.  This is a very long-term project as there are 17,000 plus probate packets to scan, with each packet containing anywhere from 3-500 pages.

Last week, I also put out a new design of our website.  The purpose of this is to make our pages more consistent with each other.  If you find any mistakes anywhere, such as a link not working, please let me know so I can correct it!  You can e-mail me at

Another big change for us is we have changed the days that we are open for research.  Instead of being open Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm, we are now open Tuesday-Thursday 10am-2pm.  This new schedule will be in effect until further notice.

After our meetings resume in the spring, we would like to consider opening the room for research for some limited times other than the normal hours.  For example, perhaps we could open one evening a month and one Saturday a month, which may help people who work.  We would love to hear from you what might be some open hours that would be helpful to you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How Can You Help? ---- Survey Results

From the survey results, there were a lot of responses that involve scanning, indexing, proofreading, etc.  Many people said they would help if there is a way they could help without coming to Charlotte because of where they live.  And, of course we realize many people work and do not have time for much volunteer work.

Following is a list of responses received and we would invite those who made some of these responses to let us know who you are so we can work together.  You can let us know by responding to this post in the  blog or if you wish to use email instead, you can email us (the Board) at

Writing articles on various historical subjects
Add information through the computer
Purchasing for room supplies
Provide refreshments for meetings
Supplying room or event supplies
Attending other society meetings and bringing back ideas
Speak at meetings
Perform what can be done without coming to Charlotte

Fund raising
Encourage others
Help in the background
Take headstone photos in other areas (where they live)
Ideas for increasing membership

It is clear to me that we may be able to get extra help with indexing and proofreading by using some type of on-line entry form that people can use from their own home & computers.  I will be researching this to see if I can find an easy way to make this happen.  The fun thing about indexing and proofreading is you never know when you may find records on your ancestors!

Survey Results Summary from the Oct-Nov 2013 survey

Note:  This summary was created by the Google Drive Survey application that was used for this survey.


Are you a member of Eaton County Genealogical Society now?

No, although attend meetings sometimes12%
No, although have been member in the past25%

If you use (or have used) our website, which page(s) do you typically look at?


What type of publications would you like to see offered from us?

Printed booklets2034%
Materials on CD or DVD2034%

What are the first word or words you think of when you hear Eaton County Genalogical Society?

Famiy Meetings Speakers lotta info and great volunteers research...courthouse basement Dedicated History and enjoyment! family research eish I could go there more Geneology Genealogy Did I pay my dues? ancestors Genealogy research Friends and fun and info research Fun Friends same interest Family genealogy Excellent collection Records family nostalgia Great group! family histories researchers Informative local history Family History Historical data, research friendships Research library source Tree assistance

What do you see as our Society's strengths / what is valuable to you that we provide now?

Having everything (or nearly everything) on the database. Easier to look up ancestors. Data is very well organized. When I have visited the staff is quite helpful. 1. A few very knowledgeable experienced members who work hard on behalf of the society and try to be helpful to any researcher. 2. At least 3 speakers annually who offer interesting presentations on current topics. 3. Keep members aware of activities in other societies. 4. Provide an affordable Ft. Wayne bus trip. Lots of information and some people busy to make it available. A great reference room and information and help. local information Very good genealogy library for a local society. Excellent website. Knowledgeable, experienced members to help others with their research. Nice (two-rooms & three vaults) research library. Great Index System on both computers. Some members working well together on projects & having fun while doing so. Room volunteers gladly assisting researchers. Monthly membership meetings with qualified speakers. Working well with Courthouse Square- which provides space to the society for very little rent money. Great library full of research materials. Many people with vast genealogy skills willing to share their knowledge. I live a couple of hours away, but I have visited twice. I have used the email research request and it is great. Good library. Indexing of History. / Very helpful group. Web Site You have volunteers in the office to help people Our library Good speakers at membership meetings Friendly people Library / Index. Dedicated volunteers although few in number Hard workers and lots of great projects. Having the courthouse as the center of operations is fantastic! Many people contributing their talents and time. I appreciate the extensive collection of materials for research, the speakers at the meetings who provide additional information on research and the opportunity to know about and attend other types of conferences/workshops. I also enjoy the interaction with the people and the sharing of information. Folks are very friendly and willing to share information or experiences. As to the value that you provide, I enjoy the variety of speakers and the events that the group sponsors. Significant information available Priority in preserving and sharing our county's history, records, stories, etc. I appreciate knowing that info is centrally located and easily accessible to others. All the transcriptions, history of Charlotte, it's all appreciated. Pray and Burkhead's books have been very insightful. I'd like to see the probate books put on CD. Getting iformation into a useable source. There is so much in our library and databases. Knowledge of local genalogy sources/updating my local resources. Helpful, knowledgeable, passionate volunteer staff. website/db info. room volunteers are eager to help. knowledgeable. monthly speakers. great treats. huge room with many donated files, books and photos. Library, and I do enjoy the programs when I can make it. Everyone has always been so helpful and friendly. I enjoy coming. Record prevervation and record access Assets, the society's inventory of books and information stored there and accessability to them. Programs that teach us to be better at genealogy, research, and to appreciate history more. I enjoy the Wednesday sessions with the guest presenters, and the fact that you provide a trip to Allen County Library for further research to members and friends is a good offering. The genealogical library is an incredible source of information. The volunteers provide a wealth of knowledge when searching for ancestors. I have gone to the library looking for information on ancestors and finding out more than I was looking for. I plan on going back to do more research. I enjoy the monthly programs and I attend whenever possible. Keep up the good work. All that we have. I am a new member having lived in FL and being in a genealogy society there for several years. However, I am originally from Ionia Co and my husband was from Eaton Co. so I am just becoming reacquainted here. I am a member of the First Families of MI in Ionia Co. and look forward to extending my genealogy interests here. Greta Clark Wagner Slagle Friendly group, great library. I love the way you always are so helpful when anyone needs information. And when I came in with all the pictures for the Rural School Project it was so interesting to talk to others about the rural schools they attended. Keep up the good work! Providing easy access to county history and genealogical data. Everything you have on line since unable to gain ready access to Charlotte because of the lack of bridges Your offer to do limited searches for records is SO valuable to those of us who love doing genealogy, but have limited incomes and can't travel to search for information that isn't online. I can't thank you enough!

What do you see as our Society's weaknesses / what concerns do you have?

It would be nice to have a potluck dinner instead of a meeting one month to give members a chance to socialize. Nonmembers could be invited to attend, too. It might be a way to recruit new members. 1. I love the old court house, but lobby area is quite congested during monthly meetings. Not enough room for attendee expansion. Have you considered rotating meetings around the county? Or, the Charlotte Library has a nice meeting room, excellent bathroom facilities and parking lot. 2. Need to advertise the society, make public aware of speakers, agendas, activities. A photo in the County Journal is worth a thousand words--i.e, "60 family history buffs board a bus in the dark morning hours enroute to Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne for a day of searching for a long-lost ancestor". I would like the opportunity to be a Life member. I can't remember to pay or if I paid. The meeting space is too small. maybe consider changing how you face the chairs for the programs to avoid the beams blocking the view. Chairs are placed too close to each other. That we are not attracting younger, newer members. That the same people are doing most of the work and others need to step up. They will not be around forever. That if the society does not continue, what happens to all the records? That membership will dwindle and it will be no more. That we might lose our space in the building. None Definitely need to upgrade on-site computers/servers and software. I suspect the website could be more efficient as well. My concern is for leadership in the future. How can we get younger members to join? NONE I don't feel that the society reaches out to the communities in the county in a way that would make researching families interesting to others. Giving away to much information on the computer Board not all on the same page Quest not published when we advertise that it will be. Numbers of people that are willing to participate in activities Lack of really effective advertising the shows what the Society has to offer. So little time - so much stuff. 1. Space 2. Document environment: security and hazaed protection 3. Internet availability of free research material Not enough volunteers. Membership, especially those in leadership positions, are aging. Minority of current members are active in either projects or leadership - too many members don't contribute. Younger potential members may not value the kinds of activities and programs we currently provide (printed materials, meetings with speakers etc.). Our financial health relies on a limited array of revenue-producing activities (bad weather which would affect the bake sale, for example, could seriously impact us ). Don't know lack of volunteers or interaction None I have seen./ Funding. Communication. Not any younger people to help in leadership roles. Members do not participate in projects. The same few people do the work. You folks are doing a great job lack of participation by many of the membership. unable to fill officer positions. need more folks to get involved - but what is it that will get that to happen? Too few workers for projects Unwillingness to try new things. Need more people to share the try new things. Some members of the board want to micromanage instead of allowing people do their jobs. Some members of the board have held back the society through the years...too slow in making decisions or not wanting to progress in a timely manner. Often there is not a quorum at the board meetings so voting is delayed on important issues. In the past, money has been accumulated instead of using it to benefit the researchers & the society. Need more people doing current projects and bringing new project ideas. I have just recently discovered your website, and am amazed at the information that I found there. The only thing that I can see that might be of help to someone would be if members published their personal tree...leaving out living members names of course. My family members back in the early 1800's traveled A LOT and it is making it VERY difficult to figure out WHO is related to WHOM. It might turn out to be very helpful to others who are looking for CLUES. Probably not open enough hours. I know it is hard getting volunteers to man it more hours and days. Could have articles in the newspapers so people are aware of our society and might like to come and research. My consirn is, is someone keeping records of today for future research? I see obit collection going on, but no stories or happenings around the county. Seems like most of the stuff is Charlotte history. Eaton County goes to Delta Twp also and everywhere between to Bellview. then east and west. Same issue most groups deal with...attracting new members. As with all organizations it's a lack of funds and personnel to do everything that could be done. As to the weakness of the group, I would say that most of our members are 60+ years old and I do think we need to help get some younger folks interested in genealogy. As the genealogy programs on TV seem to be popular, I hope that this will inspire the young people to be interested in genealogy.

What could our Society provide for you that it does not provide now?

More robust/current list of local researchers that the society has experience with and would endorse. Make the meetings as informative and FUN as possible. Maybe a help session at our meeting instead of a program. Let members know a meeting or two ahead of time and have people get in groups and discuss where their dead end is and brainstrom how you might be able to fix it. Use reference room if needed. Round table sort of. I don't know, I am not really that involved. Up-to-date internet information. Opportutnities to try and get involved in some of the newer technologies beinig used. faster computer / internet Nothing Nothing. Can't think of anything Being more up-to-date in making information available. Clear way to have Wi Fi on our individual computers. Continue in making the rooms more efficient for researching and for working on projects. Special interest group meetings to do with genealogy. Indexed inline listing of available material and resources. I'm not active enough lately to comment on this whole survey. Hope to begin again in the string. Can't think of anything. Help people search for out of state genealogy to complete their family tree A relatively continuous stream of items of interest on website that occur as work continues by staff and members. More computerization of historical information, like from the History room, also collecting and storing of newspaper information. Obituaries have a great deal of valuable information. Perhaps that has already being done in Eaton Co. As a new member I do not know all the data/information that members have available to them. Perhaps let the rest of us know what there is for research in Eaton County. Probate info access on a CD or internet. I am still exploring. 1. Send e-mail or postcard reminder when membership dues are expiring. I would like to see more sharing of family histories of our members. Sometimes we can make connections we didn't know exist. A major reason I chose to join ECGS was to hopefully find other members researching some of my Eaton County lines I could share information with. Don't know More electronic publications More online access to records or if available volunteers to help do some research. Also, I could use some help with accessing old court records that are on micro film. The district court in Grand Rapids gave me a hard time. Had to give the names etc you were looking for before they'd pull the film for you. Off course they lied to me and said they had no records, I say lied because I already have some of the records the 17th Ciruit court recieved from them on my behalf when I got my faters adoption records. I just want to scan for filings between Aug 3, 1925 & Aug 15, 1925 for other documents that would have been filed by a unknown party relating to my fathers adoption. Information about how to contact churches for their records...and the years those churches started keeping records. Year the church was founded. I have found a marriage record from 10 May 1848...and would like to know if they were married in a church. Need to know if there are other family members listed..or witnesses names. The church information in a simpler format would be very helpful. I feel the Society provides me with the information I need. can't think of anything. funeral home books on cd or dvd, other indexes. More newspapers. To be able to purchase more booklets like the One Room School House. That people from a distance could purchase and not have to come into the Genealogy Room.

What are some potential ideas we could use to reach out to people, including young people, to become interested in genealogy and our Society?

See if schools or libraries would allow a program or talk in a classroom setting. Even collage, there is an interest in it because of the program on TV so we could expand on that and do some beginning seminars for younger people, so they see that not everything is on the internet. Offer classes to start Genealogy research. Maybe offer prizes to the youth that has the best research of their family, going into the schools to offer it. Could partner up with the library. I wish I had some. Offering classes for beginners at the Court House, our library and also the Charlotte public library. Offering help to local community in finding their ancestors. See above. Perhaps the printing of a local family history search result, simalar to watching Who Are You or Genealogy Road Show on TV but in printed story format. Would make for some very interesting reading. Maybe a online format were we could work together & share information. We need to identify activities etc. that non-members value and try to provide them if we can. I believe this may include a variety of non-traditional communication approaches in this era of I-pads and smart phones. We may need to add more variety to our meetings, as younger people don't often get excited about listening to a speaker (too much like school). have volunteers go to churches, schools, scout troops and service organization and spread the word how important family history is to our future! How about a genealogy club at the area schools or maybe speakers at the schools to get the young people asking questions of their grandparents earlier than we did. More information out there on the web, and something that would appeal through technology to the younger people. Possibly an intro class with forms, advice, etc. Work with Boy Scouts Free genealogy classes Sponsoring seminars as in the past I have wondered about that my self....don't know. Young people mostly aren't interested in their ancestors. put a booth outside during frontier days where we hand out brochures or info on researching family history. Guided tours of historical cemeteries and of historical burial sites. When the 5th or 6th graders have to do a family history, have them come to the genealogy room and show them how to look up their own relatives. Put meetings in papers for other counties. Possibly publishing meetings and other ECGS events in neighboring county newspapers. Sorry, will have to think about this one. I am struggling with this subject for our family reunions. 1. Sponsor and advertise speaker (such as Shirley) to work with high school history teachers for a presentation (Charlotte, Grand Ledge, Bellevue, Olivet, Maple Valley, others ?). Award a free year's membership to winner (of something, even a door prize) at each school and a free ECGS bus ticket to Ft. Wayne 2. Sponsor and promote essay contest open to public such as "4 Generations Ago, My Great Grandfather..." 3. Sponsor and promote scholarship to county college student who is studying Library Science or History, etc. This is a hard question for every Society (even Churches) Young people are so busy that meetings are hard for them. With families, work and just keeping up at home, it is hard for them to have a hobby such as genealogy. It takes a lot of time, but fun and fulfilling! Social Networking./ Facebook. school scholarships to local students. Sponsor a local school to have student memberships at the local school. Holding FREE "How to research your family tree" classes would be one way, as some people are interested, but just don't know HOW to get started...and also they may not know about societies like yours, and, and other FREE sources of information. Doing this research is definitely NOT cheap..even when you use as many free sources of information as possible. Stressing that people pay attention to AGES..children's names...and sticking with researching each generation until they have every record they can find about each person would be very valuable. Young people have become very computer making up a dvd with hints and samples and photo's might be helpful. Also, if the local schools would let you make a presentation to HISTORY classes, it might get some of the children interested in finding out how THEIR family affected history...example: Civil War Soldiers...tracing their ancestor's unit through the war to see where they fought. Showing pictures of Andersonville might make them WANT to read about our history! ( The reason I say is...I HATED history in school years I am kicking myself because I don't know it!! I am learning to LOVE history, and tracing migration trails, building of the Erie Canal, St Mary's co. Maryland to Nelson co. KY , and the Revolutionary War are just a few of the events that I have researched. talk with teachers to see how we can help them to teach students about local history. Invite teachers who teach history or writing classes to come to a special nite to learn about what we have to offer. Offer a special training class to middle & high school students. A pamphlet that can be given out at events where younger people attend, describing who we are and what we do, as handouts like at the Library of Michigan, where many young people come for field trips. Or pamphlet that can be printed off our website. Partner with other organizations and/or societies. teacher/student interaction classes, projects etc One way to reach young people might be to see about going into the schools to do a presentation that would generate interest among the students. Other youth organizations could also be contacted. Have workshops for the communities that would appeal to all ages. Let people know that knowing your heritage is not just for "old people". Make the genealogy room attractive so it is a pleasant place in which to work. Mentoring could help young people as well as some who are just getting started. Also some short workshops or hands on lessons to familarize people with ideas they may want to try on their own.

What projects (such as scanning, indexing, etc.) would you like to see our Society do?

Encouraging members and others to provide family scrapbooks or genealogical information on their own families and place in the history room. Do not know if that is being done currently, and if so, is there enough room for expansion Digitizing the scrapbooks would be unique. Would it be possible to scan old newspapers for Eaton County? I have DVDs of old Ingham County Newspapers I purchased from the Ingham County Genealogical society. I think that projects such as the One Room School which involves the whole community supplying data on a particular subject seems an effective means of gathering otherwise unknown gems of historical information. putting old newspapers on CD. such as the Dimondale one which they have at the Dimondale library and I've been meaning to get a copy of it for the ECGS library. I've heard that GRand Ledge has newspapers too. coordinate or update information that is in the Michigan room at the library You are doing an excellent job already. Kalamazoo Genealogical Society works with the county clerks office to scane early documents for the county the county in turns allows access to their records. Finish the ones that we have started. Having too many projects with few people involved divides the focus of the group. NA Keep going with current projects, Indexing, probate packets, cemetery project and cook book. Have some of our members/ committee rotating to attended other society meetings to see what they are doing and what seems successful and interesting for us to do. We need to continue the scanning of probate packets, indexing that we are doing now as there is so much that needs to be saved. I love the school project that is going on now. We need to find out what others want to see done. Only thought is to push as quickly as possible to have all documents in electronic format and accessible online. Could likely increase dues if this was available. Probate records. We have a good variety of projects underway now. I would like to see us be more systematic, though, as we seem to have many partially finished projects underway, and too few people working on them. Many of our members live a distance from the office and can't regularly work on projects that require being there. Nothing to add: all little known township and county records - may have to do field trips to what may be on the shelves. All of the above Don't know Completing projects already started. Continuing the indexing and scanning projects as in the past I think we do a lot already. If more people would get involved, we could do a lot more indexing, scanning, etc. Scanning of the Dimondale newspaper at the Dimondale Library and made available to members online. more indexing I do not have ancestors from this area so I don't know if my input would be what you are looking for. Many groups have little regarding land records. Scanning and indexing high school yearbooks from all schools in the county Any you can get. To Index the History of Eaton County old and new. Starting with older marriage and death records and scanning and indexing them. Also adding cemetery photographs for ALL tombstones...especially the OLDER ones that are getting in bad shape...even though everything on them might not be legible, they are priceless to the family member 1000 miles away! ( Or more ) Finish the ones that are currently under way and maybe give a demo as to how, and what we are doing so people do not feel intimidated. Maybe a tour of our room after meetings? Show what indexing intails.

What type of projects might you be able participate in? (Ex: Indexing, proofreading, scanning, supplying room supplies (with ECGS funds), speaking at meetings, etc.)?

With such a fast-paced world today and busy schedules, I sympathize with all organizations that are struggling for volunteers. Sadly, due to family health issues, I am unable to participate in any projects. indexing or scanning What my schedule allows. being from Plainwell it is a bit of a drive to be active. Indexing, proofreading,scanning are all within my ability. I am not a speaker. I could help in small groups if needed. Proofreading when I'm available. Anything. I am willing to help but time is an issue. Cemetery's Writing articles on various historical subjects using data accumulated by the Society. Since I do not live nearby, I could possibly help add information through the computer. I am currently working on a project at home. I would also be willing to do purchasing for room supplies and provide refreshments for meetings. The distance from where we live to Charlotte makes it difficult to travel there very often. Scanning Not sure. supplying room or event supplies probate packet scanning. attending other society meetings and bringing information back to our society for possible future use and growth. I'll think about this in the spring when back from Alabama. I would love to participate in indexing, proofreading...Wish there was something I could do from Lansing. Can't always get to Charlotte. Whatever I could do from Indiana (except speaking ;) any that are needed. Scanning, indexing. Living so far away, it is hard to find time for this. Indexing and proofreading are all I can offer from Tennessee. Wish I could participate more but I live out of state. scanning, proofing, time is an issue so small chores and projects would be good. Already participate Would like to help, but at this time I am still employed & and have a conflict on the 3rd Wed evening. I have started assisting with scanning probate records. I'm out of state but am more than willing to help in whatever capacity the society may deem possible. I can be reached at: I can speak at meetings. I could also help with indexing, proofreading and other projects if we can figure a way to work on them without having to come to Charlotte. Speaking at meetings

What special knowledge, talents or equipment would you be willing to share with our Society, such as speaking at a meeting, fund raising or information publishing?

I have a lot of club treasury experience but am currently Treas. of another club on the 3rd Wed. Ideas (?) I am not good at speaking. My last attempt I would characterize as a train wreck. Being an information technology person, I could see how I might help. My biggest problem is time. My work consumes so much of my time. I also have chronic health issues that sometimes affect my ability to get things done. None at the moment. See above. Fund raising (I bake good cookies, LOL) I like to be a good member who encourages others, new and old. I prefer to help in the back ground. Information publishing? Not sure what this is referring to. I am still learning genealogy and how to do research. Have not been involved with it that long to be a presenter or provide special knowledge to others. I plan on creating a book of the Moses L Hawkins decendants for the ECGS. My great-great grandfather was Moses L. Hawkins. I am learning to scan documents. Speaking, help with fundraising. None patron research I do enjoy ECGS and would love to participate more but I live 67 miles away so that makes it difficult. Cemetery Records And photo's Not sure. Just helping when I can. I don't have any of those things--Just getting the families and making sure the history is right keeps me busy. I just found a line that came in 1827 and I had not been able to find this man and wife but found he came from New York and was in Plymouth. Then went to Chelsea Michigan and then to Calhoun co, where he died in 1847 . Haven't found him yet. His wife went back to NY to be Buried... That has taken 3 weeks to find all that and I' still not done! Will keep after it tho. Information publishing - articles for the papers. I live in the Ocala Florida area and could take grave photo's in this area for interested parties. No charge, just one way I can give back. MAYBE, ideas for Increasing membership and PERHAPPS, ideas for fundraising. Nothing more than I already do. Speaking at meetings

What are any potential goals you can think of (& why) in the next 2-4 years?

More membership participation Recruit some younger members. Online Cemetery Data Base For Woodlawn Cemetery Vermontville. Mapping. Add to membership. To keep ECGS going. More fundraising from sale of Society publications piggybacking "Pure Michigan" initiative ie. "Pure Eaton County" but with more substance. Publishing our findings. Need new members, young and old and in between. The rest are getting tired and old and stale. I'm speaking for myself. Offering assistance to schools doing their "backyard history" lessons, I think 4-H has a family history program for young people that some could get involved in, Girl scouts, boy scouts may also have some type of programs like this, Members could facilitate help in programs like Family Tree or Legacy through special interest groups if wanted. Recruit at least two members to leadership positions, who have not served previously, each year. Increase overall membership by at least 10% each year. Our current membership is aging, and those in leadership positions will need to be replaced. Too many of our current leaders have served too long, and may not be able to continue for many more years. more publications / sales as on Ebay. more projects available to public Systematic reading and documentation of county cemeteries. Cemetery restoration and maintenance. Getting the photographs of those gravestones before the weather fully destroys takes a lot of time to walk cemeteries, and photograph them, and then put those photo's online. It would be helpful if you could also add them to the graveyards on some searchers are not as resourceful as others in figuring out WHERE to look for records...HOW to figure out the next place to look..WHO might have the information...etc. You have a wonderful site, and I thank you ALL for your dedication and assistance! Those of us who had ancestors who came, saw, stayed a while and then either died or moved on thank you for your assistance in finding out about them. Perhaps expand the society's historical room. Maybe move it somewhere where it can be utilized better, better lighting, and digitizing as much as possible and posting this information on the website. increase membership and attendance to provide folks to become officers. volunteerism is at an all-time low..... I am not that familiar with the current goals to be able to provide additional ones although expanding the base of people who know about and use the resources would be a good one. Don't know. Don't know Again, I'll have to think about this for a while. I do need to be able to connect you with a person who is willing to help facilitate this planning process but I do not have the email address of the person recommend. My email address is ...John Evans publish monthly meeting topics in local paper. Would like to make the Bus trip to Fort Wayne. Advertise as much as possible, everywhere we can. Word of mouth is not working. Need new members, to grow interest and maintain the records. I would say scanning the probate records for Eaton County would be in that category. Wi Fi , Install computers to interact/network with each other and printers. Update computers Programs and work spaces. Keep new things happening. Get people involved and interested. If a Michigan citizen is going to join one county genealogy society as a dues-paying member, why should it be Eaton County? Update by-laws, develop mission statement and strategies to convince John Q. Public that they need and want to belong to ECGS. I need more time to think on this. IS the November meeting open or only to board members?

Number of daily responses

Our beginning work plan

This is the work plan we quickly came up with at the workshop.  By the time we got to this task, we had to hurry a bit as it was the end of the day.  Again... this is the beginning.  We will be working on this plan to refine it, add to it, etc.

Offsite Computer backups
Identify method to back up files offsite.  Could be external drives placed elsewhere, or cloud backup.
We will ask John Evans for help in this area.
Two months – January 2014.
Identify unfinished projects
Ask a Monday Night indexer to attend Board meeting. 
Bill H. will ask Monday Night indexer.  Sherry will identify some.
One month – December 2013
Finish a project.
Determine which project can be finished.

Identify contacts, including townships and various media.
Sherry will work with Julie Kimmer & Joy Black.
Three months – February 2014
Education classes
Provide a series of 4 classes in the Charlotte Library about genealogy.
Shirley will do classes.  Sher will work on setting it up and publicizing.
Nine months – Spring/Summer 2014
School outreach
Give talks in the classroom.
Sher will contact Julie Kimmer to get advice on contacting schools.
One year – 2014 school year.
Youth groups outreach
Contact area youth groups to work on projects for/with us.
One year
Membership Benefits
Identify more membership benefits.
Sherry will identify website Members section benefits.  Board will work on more.
Members website – Two months – January 2014. 
Others – Two-Ten months.
Electronic method for people to purchase/pay ECGS.
Set up Ebay account and PayPal account.

Room volunteer meetings.
Set up meetings for volunteers to show appreciation.. provide pizza & give prizes.

New computers
Identify what we need and the plan for getting them.
We will ask John Evans for some help with this.  Also, perhaps a mass email to members asking for help.
Spring 2014
Documentation of duties resulting in a notebook of manuals.
Provide a more detailed description of duties for each officer and/or job.
Each person currently doing the job will make their own.
Three months – February 2014 (this gives people who may run for office the information of what that office consists of.)
Ask membership for their expertise & help
Send mass email to ask for computer research help (to purchase new computers) and other items that were mentioned in the survey.