September 20, 2013

The annual meeting of the society was held on Saturday September 14, with nearly 40 people in attendance. Trustees Glenna Gorski, Liz Grant, Margaret Kastler and Erma Schroeder were re-elected for three year terms. Venita Ackley of Parish was elected to represent that town in place of retiring trustee Mary Lou Guindon and Barb Monette of Oswego was elected trustee at large. Three changes to the bylaws were enacted, one changed the dues structure slightly, one formally added Camden to the coverage area and the last dealt with disposition of assets in the event of the society demise. A wonderful meal prepared by Erma Schroeder was enjoyed by all. The building in Richland has been open generally seven days a week since July. Pam Kellogg and Erma Schroeder have been able to pick up hours when regular volunteers cannot make their day. We have had a regular stream of visiting researchers from across the nation, and our membership is again approaching 500. The advertised afghan raffle was conducted on the 14th and the winners were Vic Yerdon of Phoenix and Bev Hargrave of Mexico. Yerdon selected the comforter hand sewn by Glenna Gorski while Hargrave will be awarded the hand-crocheted daisy pattern afghan donated by Doreen Tilton of Florence. Thanks to both trustees for their time and effort with this raffle. The autumn newsletter is being prepared with a goal of October printing. The 2014 calendar “school days past” is also in production. Many other projects are being undertaken by various volunteers that have made this our busiest season in memory. Vice President Monette has been working in the SW classroom with the collections. He has assembled a good collection of military records there. We are looking for Civil War photos and records of service and pension form men who served in our area. We have several copies of pension records from the Civil War, and many photos. We recently were given a fine collection of World War II letters back and forth to a man from Amboy. These letters are being scanned and will be added to the military collection. We have many pension records from the Revolutionary War and continue to add to that collection. Several years ago while we were researching the Weed family of Connecticut we traced out the lines of descent for Revolutionary War soldier brothers Jehiel and John Weed. We were cognizant of another brother, Charles but since he lived and died in Steuben, NY we did little on him. We recently learned that several families in our region descend from Charles, including the Crow and Waterbury families of Redfield. We have added Charles’ pension to our files. The indexing and copying of the George & Avis Widrig obituary collection is nearly complete. The 17,000 plus copies from about 1900-2010 are available for research and copying on our shelves now. Much credit to Pam Kellogg and Erma Schroeder for the work, the office supplies were purchased and donated by Shawn Doyle. With a growing interest in Camden area research we have added cemetery listings for Camden and other material on our shelves. Several of our members have also been working on a book covering Westdale cemetery and its families. Settlement in Camden predates much of Oswego County, and there are a great many Revolutionary War and 1812 veterans in the cemeteries of that township. Half-Shire can be reached at halfshire@hotmail.com or on face book at Half Shire. Our website at www.halfshire.org is under construction. Our phone is 298-2986 and we have an answering machine. The facility at 1100 County Rte 48, Richland, NY 13144 (P.O. 73) is open most days 11-3pm,. Call ahead to ensure a volunteer will be present. Fridays are set aside to particularly assist guests.

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