microfilm reader, resident history buff
help amateur genealogists unearth local
the Kingfisher Times &
Monday, July 19, 1999
- (Reprinted with
permission from the Kingfisher Times
& Free Press)
- For several reasons, genealogy
has become a popular hobby in Kingfisher
- Kingfisher Memorial Library has
just the resources necessary to help
people put branches on their family
trees. They are microfilm and Gary
- Kingfishers library has
microfilm dating back more than 110 years
ranging from several area newspapers to
Census Bureau findings. Williams is the
man who can help people with the machine
and their discoveries.
- Williams official title is
special collections librarian, but he has
put in more than his share of hours
searching his family tree and those of
- A special project he has been
working on for two years has helped him
learn the ancestry of several local
- Williams has been working to
restore an old cemetery located in the
old township of Greenwood, located eight
miles west and two-and-one-half north of
- Weeds and trees had grown over
the standing tombstones while other
tombstones had fallen to the ground.
Williams has been cleaning up the
cemetery and in the meantime, researching
the names hes finding on the
- He discovered one was a Civil War
veteran and also that two women buried
near each other were both over 100
years-old when they died.
- His discoveries are made in the
library, thanks to some film and a
- I have been surprised of
the descendants around here Ill
find of the people buried in the
cemetery, Williams said.
- After I set up the stones,
Ill look up their names either in
an old obituary or in the Census
collections. The old papers and Census
records are things that help me with the
work I do out there.
- Newspapers on microfilm date back
to the late 1800s and come from
Kingfisher, Cashion, Dover, Kiel (now
Loyal), Okarche and Hennessey among
- Williams said he gets a kick out
of looking through the old newspapers.
- Its a lot more fun to
sit here and read an old newspaper than
it is a new one.
- One interesting article he found
was from the Kiel Record in the early
1900s. On its front page was a listing of
every student in the school
and their grades.
- Imagine someone trying to
do that now, Williams said.
- Eight years ago Williams may have
seen two people a month come in the
library wanting to research their family
- In the past week alone,
weve had five groups of people come
in during a single day wanting to do
- Williams credits several things
for this newfound interest in genealogy.
One is the publication of the book based
on the movie Roots while
another is due to a PBS special on family
- Both of those have sparked
public interest in family histories.
- Other people are wanting to
use it to earn benefits. A lot of people
can get money if they can prove they are
a certain percentage Indian or if their
family members are veterans.
- He said people who find out they
have a disease or sickness begin research
and discover they have a family history
in those cases.
- The amount of information to be
read is nearly infinite, he said.
- All of that information is
stashed away on tiny film in tiny drawers
in a tiny room in the back of the library
and is just waiting to be read, Williams
- Williams said the machine and all
its microfilm will be on display at the
county free fair, which is coming next
month at the county fairgrounds.
- People who are interested
in looking up an ancestor can do so right
- Meanwhile, the microfilm is
always open to the public during regular
- Anyone who wants to can
come in here and do their research.
have additional information for this
please contact the Kingfisher
page was last updated on
Thursday, 08-Nov-2001 21:39:49 MST