Kootenai County Genealogical Society celebrated its 40th anniversary Thursday night at the Hayden Library. Charter member Sandra Doutre shared the society’s history with those in attendance.
The society was organized in October 1979 as North Idaho Genealogical Society, a chapter of the Idaho Genealogical Society, with meetings held in members’ homes. Lorna Schilke and Leah Achey played major roles in the chapter founding.
Within two years, the society began to discuss the benefits of breaking away from the Idaho Genealogical Society. This was finalized and the society’s name was changed to Kootenai County Genealogical Society in January 1983. The group eventually found a home at the Hayden Library where it meets on the third Thursday of each month excluding December/January and July/August.
Librarian Carol LaPan oversees the society’s extensive holdings of more than 3,000 items housed in the genealogy section of the Hayden Library, specializing in Kootenai County vital records and indexes. Jeanne Venturino, a longtime KCGS member, recently completed a seven-year project indexing early Kootenai County newspaper births, deaths and other records. The completed book includes about 10,000 people found in 40 newspapers on microfilm covering 1881 – 1911.
Additional holdings include records from Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Latah, Shoshone and Spokane counties, Mayflower Families, Colonial Families, Revolutionary War books (including DAR Index), and a large collection of state and foreign records.
Volunteer KCGS members provide free genealogical research assistance Wednesday afternoons from 1–4 p.m. at the Hayden Library. The society also fulfills research requests from out of the area for a small charge.
Membership is currently more than 60 members and includes charter members Sandra Doutre, Janine Porter and Helen MacDonald. Dues are $15 for an individual or $20 for a couple.
For more information about KCGS, please contact email@example.com or visit www.kcgs.org.