A Little Bit about Genealogy In North Iowa.....
" . . . in the summer of 1992 two
groups, quite unaware of each other, met on the same day, and only hours
apart in the same town, Clear Lake, Iowa. Each met to found a P.A.F.
users group. Upon discovering each other, and enjoying a good humored
laugh over the coincidence, instantly joined as one.
Kermit Kittleson, then of Fertile, Iowa, was elected founding President and printed the groups newsletter called the "Snooze-Letter." The Snooze-Letter was to wake everyone up, keep members focused on their genealogy and bring them out to the next meeting. Kermit later renamed it README.TXT.
With the exception of eight months meeting in the NIACC computer lab, the first four years our meetings were held in Loren and Barbara Toomsen's parlor. A 50" TV was bridged to become one large computer monitor. Attendance grew! In the spring of 1996 two meetings were held one on Saturday and another on Sunday. So many attended Barbara feared her parlor floor would cave in. The time had come to move on to new quarters. July 1996 was our first meeting in the First Citizens National Bank "Heritage Room." That is where we meet to this day.
PAF-Ways members compiled and indexed Mason City Globe Gazette and Clear Lake Mirror Reporter obituaries and published them online.
In 1996 PAF-Ways members adopted 12 north central Iowa counties for the IAGenWeb Project as a group project. As that effort grew it became apparent our commitment could not support the demand. In August of 2000 we returned the twelve counties to the IAGenWeb. Some of our members adopted the counties to coordinate individually.
PAF-Ways flourished during the technological revolution of the '90s. The first pieces of our PAF-Ways website were showcased online for our third annual meeting in October 1995. Five years later in the spring of the year 2000 the README.TXT hard copy was discontinued as most members by now were using the internet."
21 October 2006
PAF-Ways Genealogy Computer Users Group Logs Off
MASON CITY -- After fourteen years PAF-Ways members voted to disband today. "Now-a-days people buy genealogy programs complete with video instructions right off the shelf. Software and Hardware have become very user friendly. There really is no longer a need for a users group" said member Gene Manning following Saturdays meeting.
At one time the popular north Iowa genealogy-computer users group boasted over 100 members. The group was very active during the technological revolution, the advent of powerful computers and the Internet which ushered in the information age. The group was a perfect place to compare battle scars, tell war stories and share ideas about how to get more out of computers and software.
The by-laws of PAF-Ways transferred all assets to the North Central Iowa Genealogical Society. Principle among these assets is the North Central Iowa Online Newspaper Obituary project. That project served as a base for a new NCIGS website a gift from PAF-Ways members and the Obituary committee.
From the NCIGS 20th Anniversary...
...The office of Librarian was created in the fall of 1973, with Edith Brown being elected to said position for 1974. At this time most of thee library materials were on loan from members and were in "box form." As the society grew the library materials became more permanent and the "box form" needed to find a home. The library has been housed in the following homes: Krugers, Browns, Goransons, and Constables as well as the IOOF home for a short time. It was in the reference room at the Mason City Public Library for a time with a few materials being held at the Garfield Center.
Additions to our Library have been listed from time to time in the Genie Bug. Eleven new books had been added in the spring of 1977, the result of the successful Everton Workshop which NCIGS sponsored here in Mason City. By 1978 we had collected more than 87 books and periodicals as well as telephone books from various towns including some from Germany and the Netherlands. It was in 1979 that we made arrangements with the Mason City Public Library to house our collection of materials with the ownership being NCIGS. 1980 brought the first No-Bake sale in February, which greatly increased our holdings. Books and four 1860 Federal Census microfilms were purchased with these funds. our census microfilm program was also started in 1980, allowing members to purchase an Iowa Census and having NCIGS match that with a microfilm of the members choice.
Along with the No-Bake sales, we have added other fund raising activities including the garage sales which have raised a great deal of money each year. Because of these activities we have been able to keep our library growing year by year, step by step, so that we have all the Federal Iowa census microfilms up to and including the 1920 census. We have (or have ordered) all the Iowa census microfilm up to and including some selected 1925 counties. We have grown from 87 books in 1978 to about 1060 books now(1992), and the four census microfilm in 1980 to about 710 census microfilms at the present time. We have added many publications and other genealogical materials from the various counties and each state of the United States. We were given the 8,000 microfiche from the 1984 IGI and some other series have been given to us, on loan, by members.
By 1992, our genealogical library had grown so large that we were located in a room on the second floor of the Mason City Public Library and is staffed by volunteers on the days the library is open to the public.
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