Colleen Seney, John Gould and Julieann Carter, are among those spearheading the Saranac Valley CCNY and Canada Genealogy Society.
Julieann Carter has been tracing family histories for friends and family for nearly three decades. And, when she was diagnosed last year with Ramsay Hunt syndrome — a condition which can cause partial paralysis, it limited her ability to travel and left her looking for a way to occupy her time.
“One day, I went to the Saranac Country Store, and someone there mentioned they wished there was a genealogical society nearby,” said Carter. “So, for the next couple days I pondered the idea.”
It wasn’t long before pondering turned to action. And, from that point, it was a matter of where she would house a genealogical society, if she could get one off the ground.
“I checked with Father Don Kramberg,” said Carter, referring to the pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Redford, “and I told him my intentions. He thought it was a good idea.”
Kramberg gave Carter permission for the new genealogical society to meet in the basement of the church rectory, which Carter said gave the group more than enough space.
“I thought it looked good when they showed it to me,” said Carter. “It was just right. I thought we could always start out small there and it gives us room as we get bigger.”
The group soon came together under the name “Saranac Valley CCNY and Canada Genealogy Society,” with CCNY standing for “Clinton County, New York,” said Carter.
“We decided to do that to make the name shorter,” she said.
Carter joined with friends and fellow local history-enthusiasts John Gould, Colleen Seney, Mary Scott, and John Tedford and the group was off and running.
The Northern New York and Canadian Genealogical Society, particularly Gloria Pratt, said Carter, helped get her group going by donating several books which are now used to help people trace their family histories. Kargoe Carpet Cleaner owner and operator Chuck Kargoe also donated computers and office supplies to help the group get established, she added.
“We can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done,” said Carter. “It means a great deal to us.”
The donations have helped people learn more about old photographs in their family photo albums and answer questions about familiar locations in the area.
“What we always hear about in our area are stories of the War of 1812 and the military, which is great, don’t get me wrong. I love hearing these stories,” said Carter. “But, what about the everyday people, the common folk? That’s harder to find information about.”
“We want to help people with those little unsolved mysteries,” said Seney. “We want to help them learn more about their loved ones.”
The genealogical society meets in the church rectory off Clinton Street the last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. The next event to be held by the group will be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at American Legion Post 1618, 275 Wilson Road, this Saturday, Nov. 12.
The dinner will be held from 12 to 4 p.m. and cost $6.50 per person. The event will include a 50-50 drawing, raffles and entertainment by DJ Lou Allen. Proceeds will go toward the purchasing of books needed to help people trace their family histories.
For more information, call Carter at 645-2428 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.