Meeting July 5, 2014
West Virginia Harrison County Genealogical Society
30 years

1984 - 2014

The Harrison County Genealogical Society held their 30th Anniversary celebration in conjunction with the annual picnic, yesterday evening, July 28th at the Norwood Park. We had very good attendance this year and we want to thank, Diana Johnson, Susan House, and Bertha Webb for their effort of putting it all together.

It was advertised in the local paper along with David appearing on the local TV news, who also came during the picnic. Two of the founders of HCGS are still living but neither of them were in attendance last evening.

There was plenty of good food and for desserts there was a cake from Bonnie Belle's with the HCGS seal on it along with cupcakes. Betty Waugh prayed the blessing on the food. After we had all eaten Diana had us to move closer together and she had some trivia games for us, such as President and Presidential Trivia; TV Trivia and Food Trivia.

Those in attendance were; Shirley Kidd, Dee Kelley, Becky Nicholas, Halley Losh, Sonia Webb, Jeff, Bobbi Jean & Clara Tidd; Robert "Bobby" Casto, Betty Rinehart, John Jones, June Conrad, Roger & Susan House, Ted Wolfe, David Houchin, Ray & Darla Everley, Betty Waugh, Bertha Webb, Diana Johnson, Ruby Casto, Dick Wilt, Barbara Rogers, Kristin & Aaron Rife, Joy, Andrea, Nathaniel & Zachary Fischer from Lancaster, Pa, Eva Newlon & Sarah Webb.

It won't be long before we will be saying where are we going to have our Christmas dinner.


       Through their common interest in Genealogical Research, two ladies met and exchanged their discoveries pertaining to the ancestors they shared. During several phone conversations they each expressed a desire to fill a need for local data center to which those with an interest in their routs could meet and obtain necessary facts to complete their family history gaps.

       Sue O’Dell Moore from Enterprise and Patti Ashcraft Hickman from North view, Ashcraft and Criss cousins, decided in 1981 to do something about the void existing within the County and as a result, phone calls began. For Harrison to be one of the oldest counties in the state of West Virginia and to lack a genealogical organization was almost disgraceful. During this time another Ashcraft cousin, Sharon Ashcraft Snider from Bridgeport, Who had also spent many hours on the phone with Hickman comparing, adding and deleting information to her files, showed her enthusiasm and offered to help.

       Mary Virginia “Gin” Davis Sprouse was an old and dear friend of Hickman’s mother, Alice Walker Ashcraft (Hall), and she, like Patti’s mother, had married her high school sweetheart, Perry W. Sprouse who was a first cousin to Patti’s father, Lester Burke Ashcraft.

       Gin was already hooked on genealogy and she and Patti visited many courthouse together gleaning information on their lines, but all the while realizing something needed to be done to remedy the unfortunate situation that prevailed within their own area.

       One winter morning in November 1983, the four ladies met for the first time at Hickman’s home, sipped coffee and exchanged ideas. It was decided that Moore and Hickman would meet with Merle Moore, director of the Clarksburg-Harrison Library, and seek permission to hold monthly meetings at Waldomore for the purpose of forming a local genealogy club.

       Miss Moore granted permission and word was quickly spread inviting interested persons to attend the initial meeting. Approximately 11 people came. The following month the constitution was adopted, a by laws-committee was named and the first officers were elected, Sue Moor was the first president; John Nuzum vice-president; Sharon snider, Secretary-treasurer; and Patti Hickman was elected the first corresponding secretary. The Harrison County Genealogical Society was born in 1984.

       The first book committee chairperson was Gin Sprouse and the first surname list was computerized through the efficient work of Sue Moore.

       Although the first few years were spent basically holding monthly meetings, most members redeemed the limited time allowed at Waldomore to reach and exchange data with others.

       During this time a luck of funding forced libraries nationwide to cut back. Consequently Waldomore suffered in that the librarian-curators’ limited hours meant closed doors to researchers, many of who traveled cross country to avail themselves to its resources. Recognizing this problem, our own good people stepped forward and volunteers were utilized (after orientation) to fill the gap.

       Another need was met in the form of a society newsletter edited and produced by John Nuzum for several years. John is also to be commended for the countless hours he spent poring over eye-straining census records n their original form to produce the excellent 1900 and 1910 Harrison County Census publications which were placed in book form and are sold by the organization.

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