NEWELL — Colleen Waggle, president of the Tri-State Genealogical and Historical Society, said the organization gets many odd inquiries, from people asking if they study rocks, thinking they are a geological society, to others asking if they give pregnancy tests, thinking they are a gynecological organization.
Waggle said that many people are also under the misconception that they only serve West Virginia when in fact they serve not only the tri-state area but have done research for people as far away as England and have members from across the country and Canada.
The society’s research room, located at the Wells Building in Newell, has “hundreds and hundreds of books,” with information on every county in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Waggle said, as well as microfilm from 1875 to 1903 that is “not available at the library.” They also have information on other states, such as Virginia and Kentucky, and a vast collection of obituaries dating back to the 1970s.
Waggle said the society’s resources are “very interesting. These newspapers are wonderful. Even if you aren’t interested in a family tree, the history to read is very cool.”
Waggle said their volunteers will assist people with research and how to use their microfilm readers and computers. “We want people to use the room,” she said, adding that while they have membership, anyone is free to use their resources.
For those who wish for the society to do the research for them, the initial cost is $5 and 10 cents for any copies made.
The society also assists people in obtaining grave markers free from the government for their veteran ancestors. “It’s really neat that you can help someone find their Civil War grandfather and get them a marker,” Waggle said.
Waggle said they can also help in getting Revolutionary war papers from archives, as well as lists from ships that can pinpoint what boat someone’s ancestor came to the country on.
“I just want people to see what we have and get involved,” Waggle said.
The research room is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Mondays. A list of the society’s holdings can be found on its Web site at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wvtsghs/, and anyone wanting more information or desiring to become a member can call 304-387-2467 or stop in at the Wells Building.