The Genealogical Society of Davidson County was organized in the latter part of 1980. A small group led by Mary jo SHOAF, a teacher of genealogy at Davidson County Community College, formed a society to increase interest in genealogical research. The group agreed to work to preserve and utilize manuscripts, documents, and other materials of genealogical value. They met quarterly and began to publish journals, bible records, marriage records, cemetery records, tax lists, death certificates, and early newspaper notices.
The first official meeting of the society was held in the Reich Auditorium of Davidson County Community College, with 64 members present. Officers were elected:
President: Mary Jo SHOAF
First Vice President: Katherine SKIPPER
Second Vice President: Richard L WALKER
Treasurer: Linda M PERRYMAN
Recording Secretary: Marie L. HINSON
Corresponding Secretary: Margaret R. TRANTHAM
Librarian: Jeanette B. WILSON
Board of Directors: Richard L. CONRAD, Chairman, Coyt W. HEWITT, Henry A. REEVES, Rev. Frank W. SNIDER, and Ruth B. STONER.
Editors of Journal: Kathleen M. CRAVER, Taft LEWIS, and Henry A. REEVES.
Membership Committee: Richard L. CONRAD, Mary WARREN, Linda M. PERRYMAN, Kathleen CRAVER, and Hazel PAYNE.
Cemetery Committee: Rev. Frank W. SNIDER, Chairman. Frank SWICEGOOD, Vernelle GREENE, Lloyd CANOY and Iris Ann ROUTH.
One of the Society’s first endeavors was to glean from old cemeteries their vast information on birth and death dates. After publishing the first volume of cemetery records, Marie L. HINSON, a charter member, agreed to underwrite expenses for a second volume.
In the early years, the fledgling society compiled books and journals in the basement of Kirby and Vernelle GRENNE’s home. In 1981, a plan to publish quarterly journals was adopted and members worked hard to establish an identity for the Society. By then, membership had grown to 229 members from 19 different states. The front cover of the Genealogical Journal was designed by charter member and local artist Katherine F. SKIPPER.
On January 18, 1982, the Society held a ribbon cutting at its now office in the basement of the Old Court House. Doug FLICK and Tim TIMBERLAKE were present. Frank SWICEGOOD and others who worked tirelessly to make it look like our office. That same year, Society members compiled a great deal of information for THE HERITAGE OF DAVIDSON COUNTY book, which was published by Hunter Publishing of Winston Salem, NC. The editor was John THOMAS.
The Society began exchanging journals with other organizations from all over the United States. By October 1982 the Society boasted 304 members. Many families offered their old family papers to the Genealogy Room located in the Lexington Library. The room contains a wealth of information that is made available to the public by the Society. Through the years the Society has become firmly established. The genealogy room has been praised and appreciated by many researchers from all of the United States.
Over past years, the Society has published eight volumes of Cemetery Records, three volumes of Bible Records, five volumes of Marriage Records, Davidson County (Old Rowan) Cemetery Inscriptions, Minutes of Court and Pleas and Quarters Sessions 1830-1846, an 1840 Census Book, Abstracts of Davidson County, NC Divorce Files, Davidson County Commissioners Minutes, and nearly 140 quarterly Journals.
Many members, including Frank SWICEGOOD have faithfully contributed their time and efforts in service to the Society. Ruth B. STONER was recognized for donating a table, desk, typewriter and many books for the Library. The Genealogy Room was named for her after her death. Violet S. STOKES also gave a large map cabinet in memory of her late husband, Paul Vestal STOKES.
Past Presidents include:
Mary Jo Shoaf 1981-1982
Rev. Frank W. Snider 1983-1984
Linda M. Perryman 1985-1986
Bridgett Nifong 1987-1988
Connie C. Leonard 1989-1990
Linda M. Perryman 1991-1992
Joyce W. Melton 1993-1994
Dewey Snider 1995-1996
Linda Perryman 1997-1998
Dewey Snider 1999-2000
Marlene Adams 2001-2002
Becky Lassiter 2003-2004
Belinda Rodgers 2005-2006
Roy Cope 2007-2008
Belinda Rodgers 2009-2010
Randy Hepler 2011-2012
Dewey Snider 2013-2014
Melissa Gregory 2015-2017
The primary goal of the Society is to make research materials available to the public; to preserve the past for the future. Many hours, days, weeks and years have been and will be spent in achieving this goal.