History

POLK COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY HISTORY

The Polk County Genealogy Group began in 1998 with a discussion between three people: Judy Wester, Marie Loughlin and Jay Bergstrand who met in the county Register of Deeds office as each searched for their personal family data.

From this small beginning, with counsel from the neighboring St. Croix Valley Genealogy Society, the Polk County group started meeting at a central location within the county. As the group grew in memberships, the meetings were held in various communities around the county to answer the questions of an ever increasing number of residents interested in family history – once at the newly opened historic train depot in Frederic, another time across the county at the Clear Lake library, an empty classroom in the Amery grade school, a computer lab in the Centuria library, and in the last couple of years in the city library of Osceola.

The group members visited: the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul to acquaint themselves with available government records for the greater St. Croix River Valley; the Morman Library in Oakdale for records, pertaining not only to our area, but, across the entire United States and to foreign shores for research materials; and genealogy workshops from Wisconsin Dells to Minneapolis.

During the three summer months our society volunteers spend every Monday afternoon in the county museum assisting museum guests who are researching in the genealogical and historical records. At monthly program meetings guest speakers and members alike take the lead to give an informative presentation with Q and A following. A monthly newsletter keeps our society members and friends informed on new information of a genealogical nature, upcoming events and reprints of old local history and records. A mission and vision statement evolved; space recently became available for our society to share in the county historical society museum for our records, reference materials, several projects our society completed i.e. Polk County birth records/marriage records/death records from 1850-1907 on CDs, family histories, a map collection, land records from 1887, a county cemetery project, and as of 2008, hopefully, soon a computer/scanner/printer for use in utilizing our resources.