The History of Walker County Genealogical Society
The Walker County Genealogical Society was organized June 5, 1965, at the home of Mrs. Thomas E. Humphrey, Jr., by a group of local women who had a mutual interest in genealogy.
At this first meeting, a president (Mrs. Humphrey) and a secretary (Mrs. Malvin Stewart) were elected. It was decided that the balance of the officers and the by- laws would be addressed at the next meeting. This early group of ladies set the dates and times for the society to meet as the third Saturday of each month at 9.30 A.M.
The twelve charter members were: Mrs. F. Ray Black, Mrs. L. Ewing Bush, Mrs. Alton B. Farris, Mrs. J. C. Felder, Mrs. C. R. Hackney, Mrs. Clyde Hall, Mrs. Thomas E. Humphrey, Jr., Mrs. Brady McCulloch, Mrs. Thomas F. Richardson, Mrs. John T. Smither, Mrs. J. Rush Stewart, and Mrs. Malvin Stewart. All these ladies are deceased. Many of these charter members left their collection of family data to the library.
Over the years, the membership has grown. The by-laws have been revised and the collection of materials has increased. The collection was donated to the Huntsville Public Library and is open to the public. Microfilm, microfiche readers, and computers have been added. Most of the 12,000 books in the library have been donated by the membership. Maps and map cases were donated. The Library budget now purchases most items for the collection.
In 2004, the genealogical/local history room at the library was dedicated to then president Johnnie Jo Sowell Dickenson, and the room was named in her honor. Johnnie Jo served as the society’s president for over 40 years, and made many contributions to the society. Many dedicated members have worked hard and added much to the society and to the advancement of research in Huntsville and Walker County, Texas. A Texas History and Genealogy Fair was sponsored by the society from 2001 to 2005.
The members were delighted with the newly renovated and enlarged genealogy room and archive which was opened February 27, 2012. Many new books and research materials have been added. Deceased member, Mrs. Juanita Burton Lynch, sketched ink drawings for our publications, note cards and brochures. These sketches are now framed in the newly renovated room, in her memory. Many members have contributed to the growth of this great collection. Their contributions are appreciated by all who use our collection.
The Society continued meetings through the use of Zoom during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. In-person meetings returned in early 2022 and, by that summer, WCGS had re-instituted in-person special events such as the Lineage Society Workshop and Summer Genealogy Weekend.
WCGS welcomes all to join us and continue our legacy.