For the past few years, the Tracing Pasts column from the Bay County Genealogical Society has been supplied to The News Herakd by Marqua Brunette, but she has been ill and won't be supplying them any longer. Members of the BCGS will be seeking another person from within their organization to fulfill that responsibility, according to members Pattie Mechion and Cheryl Wisner.
In the meantime, they asked The News Herald to share with readers some updates about the group as it stands in the months after Hurricane Michael, which has been a time of rebuilding.
Bay County Genealogical Society meets on the third Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, 1608 Baker Court, Panama City. The group previously met at the Bay County Public Library, but its meeting room is in use by hurricane recovery agencies.
"We will meet there until the end of the year," Wisner said.
Each meeting includes a talk or presentation on an aspect of genealogy and history. September's program will be on "Nooks, Crannies, Cracks and Crevices" by Claudia Steindl. Martha Spiva will present in October, and Judy Bennett will discuss why the English settled New England in November. December's meeting will be a Christmas party. The February 2020 meeting will focus on local African American cemeteries.
Refreshments are provided at meetings, and the public is encouraged to attend. Membership dues are $20 per year. The current officers are Mary K. McGraw, president; William Zehner, treasurer; Judy Bennett, recording secretary; Cheryl Wisner, corresponding secretary; Claudia Steindl, first vice president; Pattie Menchion, second vice president; Brandi Barnes, Facebook; and Caroline Windham, extractions and newsletter.
The Society hosts two major seminars each year. This year's Fall Seminar will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.
The group's internet and social media presence include: @BayGenealogical on Twitter; "Bay County Genealogical Society" on Facebook; the website NWGenealogy.com; and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wisner, also member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was recently accepted into the Mayflower Society. She noted that longtime BCGS member Fred Borg recently passed away and his sisters donated all of his genealogy books in his name to the Bay County Public Library.
She also noted the growing interest in low-cost DNA tests that reveal a person's ethnic and geographical family roots, and that the BCGS can help people make use of what they learn through these tests. In addition, family history search seminars are available.