While at the Sapulpa library one day I happened to meet Mr. Scott Mitchell, a Genealogy Consultant. His passion for the subject is evident and he’ll tell you he saw a “spark” in me.
The Bartlett-Carnegie Sapulpa Library is home to the Euchee/Yuchi tribal collection of records and a genealogy center. They have access to 12 billion online records with thousands of new records released weekly. Two Genealogy Consultants are willing to help navigate the websites, books, and records including funeral, old newspapers, criminal dockets and more. And, the cost? Free, although printed pages cost a whopping quarter apiece.
Mr. Mitchell has personally spent 10,000 hours in four years studying genealogy. His eyes fill with tears as he tells stories about helping patrons find missing puzzle pieces to their lives and history, I have no doubt it is life-changing for some. He said, “Someone fought to live long enough to give us a life with choices. We should honor them.”
It’s quite possible to construct your family tree, see census records, pictures, and gravestones of your ancestors, all online. Genealogists and Consultants use the five steps of proof to make sure information is correct and follow the rules of researching. They use critical thinking, detective skills and take information such as education, marital and economic status as well as addresses to get a sense of your family’s history, a forensic science if you will. Mr. Mitchell said sometimes the process is similar to fishing, searching with patience for forty minutes and then suddenly you get your answer.
I filled out a pedigree with the information I knew of my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Mr. Mitchell showed me how to navigate the computer system, there are two to choose from. It was meaningful to see a fan chart of seven generations of my ancestors. Some of my family immigrated from England and Germany. And, there is a chance I am related to Daniel Boone through my ornery grandma’s side of the family.
In learning our history, we get a bigger sense of who we are, where we came from and possibly where we are going. Dr. Martha Stalker, director of the library, said, “I believe there is a book inside everyone. You’re the only one who can tell the story.”
“I believe there is a book inside everyone. You’re the only one who can tell the story.”Dr. Martha Stalker
Genealogy is the second most popular hobby according to familytree.com but Dr. Stalker wishes even more people knew how easy it is to access the past. The genealogy department located on the first floor of the library has resources to help plan extended family reunions and even a section of children’s books.
A genealogy club meets at the Creek County Fairgrounds on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. but February’s meeting will be held at the library. The library staff works hard to try to improve the library every year and offers several classes and activities which can be found on their Facebook page.
We all have a history, a story to tell and passing this information on to future generations is imperative. Our resource filled library makes it simplified to learn how to research and is available to help in any way they can. It is truly one of Sapulpa’s best-kept secrets.