DANNEMORA — Sitting quietly in the Village of Dannemora’s new Community Center is the largest genealogical resource library between Montreal and New Hampshire.
The Northern New York American–Canadian Genealogical Society has found a home there.
Founded in the mid 1980s, the organization was formerly housed in the Keeseville Civic Center. Then, two years ago, when the Civic Center closed, the society found itself homeless.
When the Village of Dannemora purchased the former Dannemora Elementary School to move village offices there, the chance arose for a new site for the society’s library collection.
With the help of several volunteers and a loan pickup truck, the society moved into the school’s former library.
“This has been a great facility,” said Richard “Dick” Lynch, the society’s head librarian. “It’s safe, handicapped accessible … As far as our books are concerned, the temperature control and environment is much better than before.”
The Genealogical Society houses a large assortment of records and resources for tracing family roots, locally, regionally and, in many instances, internationally. The lineage of many North Country residents took a path through Canada, so having access to Canadian records is crucial to local research.
“We offer a resource library that has all the major documents for Canadian research: marriage indexes, parish records, baptism, census and notary documents,” Lynch said. “We have cemetery indexes, inscription books for most of the cemeteries in Clinton County and Vermont and Quebec.”
From whichever direction a family came, Canada or New England, the library has resources to help. It also has an extensive lending system with other organizations around the country, should the branches of a family tree lead the searcher elsewhere.
Five volunteer librarians assist the society’s approximately 400 members; Lynch hopes in the near future to train three more.