Welcome!

Anyone with an interest in tracing their "roots" will find a home with us. We help beginners get started and guide them in their work. We welcome experienced genealogists and encourage them to share their knowledge with others. We learn from and teach each other in small and large group meetings.

Our more than two hundred and seventy members have come from many parts of the United States to beautiful Lee County, Florida. We are from a variety of occupations and our age range is broad. What brings and keeps us together is our interest in family history. As we share our knowledge, our research skills grow and so do our family trees.

Please explore our webpages. Check our Events to see what’s happening in our Society, other Southwest Florida Societies, and where you can find genealogy classes, workshops and seminars.

Meetings are free and open to the public.  Please check our Events calendar for meeting location.

Join us at 1:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month and at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of March, May, September and November. 

Come visit us at our monthly and quarterly Saturday meetings where you may make a connection with someone researching your family. You will be very welcome!
 
 
The History of LCGS
 
The Lee County Genealogical Society began on November 25, 1975, when a small group of Lee County residents interested in genealogy met at the home of Ernest England. They discussed their family history research, and because of their enthusiasm about this topic, a second meeting was planned.
By January 20, 1976, when the second meeting was held, the size of this genealogical group had more than doubled, and a decision was reached on the name: "The Lee County Genealogical Society". Two months later, the organization's by-laws were approved, and in April 1976 the first slate of officers was presented. Membership dues were established at $3.00 per year.  It was an active group. They started a newsletter and an ancestor chart notebook; they held workshops and they donated books to the library. On September 22, 1988, they filed Articles of Incorporation and became the Lee County Genealogical Society, Inc.
Because of the wisdom, foresight and efforts of these pioneer members who established policies and goals, today's Lee County Genealogical Society, has a firm foundation on which to build. Current members continue to promote the study of family history and provide sound training in genealogical research. View our Timeline in the Public Download area.
The Lee County Genealogical Society, Inc. is a Florida non-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3), federally recognized non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Donations, gifts, bequests and contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.
What we do ...
Lee County Genealogical Society is dedicated to collecting,
preserving and perpetuating the genealogical and historical records
of our ancestors; and to encouraging and aid individuals in their family search.
 
Donation of Genealogical Reference Books
Each year, the Lee County Genealogical Society donates books to the Fort Myers Regional Library Genealogy Collection. These books are carefully selected by the LCGS Library Advisory committee for the benefit of our members as well as the general public.  View a complete list for the years 2002 through 2011.
 
Genealogical and Historical Records Preservation
Society members also participate in many projects to preserve local historical documents. 
 
1.  Lee County, Florida Marriages 1887-1924, was first published by the Lee County Genealogical Society in 1992. Members volunteered their time and energy to abstract records found in the Lee County Courthouse. This book is currently out of print but available to view on our website in the Public Downloads area by clicking here
 
2.  In 1997, the Society published a cookbook, Family Traditions: Recipes and Memories, compiled from favorites submitted by members and their families and friends.

This book is currently out of print but is available to view by visiting our Public Downloads area.
 
3.   In 1998, LCGS started the Obituary Indexing Project, abstracting Lee County deaths published in the News-Press between 1930 and 1997. The project has involved over 70 dedicated volunteer members who have read microfilm, made photocopies, abstracted data to index cards, done proofreading, and entered the obituaries into a computer database. Five volumes have been published in printed form and are available for patrons' use at the Fort Myers Regional Library, 2050 Central Avenue, Fort Myers.  This index was published on our website in June of 2010 as a fully searchable database.  You can view this database at Lee County Deaths.
 
4.  A second Obituary Project that LCGS members have worked on is a collection of obituaries clipped from the News-Press from 1990 through April 2006. Index cards containing the actual obituary are alphabetically arranged in a file cabinet at the Fort Myers Regional Library. Researchers wishing to locate an obituary from this time period should contact the Genealogy Librarian at the Fort Myers Regional Library.
 
5.   The Genealogical Records Preservation Project Committee has abstracted selected death records of the Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral Home in Fort Myers. The abstraction begins with 1919 and ends with 1929. The index includes:
  • the decedent’s name
  • date and place of birth
  • date of death and age
  • parents’ names and birthplaces
Printed copies of the index are located at the Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral Home, 1600 Colonial Boulevard and at the Fort Myers Regional Library.
 
6.  This group has also extracted records and articles of interest from the older periodicals being removed from the Fort Myers Regional Library's Genealogy Collection. The group is reorganizing the records and articles so that upon return to the library shelves, the materials will be more user-friendly to researchers. You will be able to find these articles in our searchable Genealogy Shelf List.
 
7.   In 2011, six members of our Society extracted voter registration lists from microfilm of The Fort Myers Press found at the Fort Myers Regional Library and compiled a book titled "Voter Registration Records, Town of Fort Myers and Lee County, Florida 1885-1909". A limited printing was done with copies being donated to the Fort Myers Regional Library, the Southwest Florida Museum of History, the Southwest Florida Historical Society, the State Library of Florida, and the Lee County Genealogical Society.

      This book can be viewed on our website in the Public Downloads area by clicking here.


Genealogical Workshops and Seminars
Workshops and seminars are held throughout the year for members and local researchers.  Working in partnership with the Lee County Library System, a four week beginner's class is held at the downtown Fort Myers each February as well as a fall series in October in connection with Family History Month. See our Events area.
 
Research Volunteers
Several members of the LCGS volunteer in the genealogical area at the Fort Myers Regional Library. The volunteers assist patrons with their family history research and provide help with various library tasks.
 
Youth Genealogy
The Lee County Genealogical Society is proud to promote the early education of family research for today's youth. 
 
During 2003, a family history curriculum guide was developed for middle school teachers of gifted students in the Lee County School System.
 
In October of 2006, LCGS sponsored a Youth Heritage Fair at the historic Burroughs Home in the River District of downtown Fort Myers overlooking the beautiful Caloosahatchee River. LCGS worked with many local organizations and individuals who partnered with us to provide young people with an opportunity to learn about their family history as well as their cultural heritage and how we connect with the world around us. This was an enriching experience for all participants, as they recognized the contributions of various cultures and understood the importance of preserving their own heritage and traditions. Activities included family history learning stations, traditional music, art, dance, food, crafts and storytelling and more in an exciting daylong event.
 
In 2007, LCGS piloted a Genealogy Workshop program geared towards middle school youth to learn the basics of family research. Working with the Lee County Library System sessions were held at the Fort Myers Regional Library and the Lehigh Library.
 
In the fall of 2007, LCGS published Let's Plant a Family Tree ~ How to Start Your Genealogy Research written by member Ruth Emmel. This seventy-one page workbook is designed for young people but many research newbies find it helpful as well. Step-by-step instructions are given for discovering your roots and how to uncover the stories and events that make them and your family unique.
 
This hands-on workbook will help them learn the first steps in researching including:
  • How to use Family Group Sheets
  • How to create Pedigree Charts
  • How to use maps and develop timelines
  • How to plan successful family interviews, and
  • Many more hands-on activities
This book is available in the LCGS MarketPlace.
 
In 2007 LCGS joined in partnership with The News-Press and their Newspaper In Education (NIE) program. In October of both 2007 and 2008, the Society designed an activity section for the EdVenture page to celebrate Family History Month to assist in bringing genealogy awareness to their readers.
 
In 2010, LCGS established an annual High School Youth Award to encourage students in Grades 11 and 12 to become family historians in order to research their heritage. LCGS will annually provide a one-time award of $500.00 to the student whose entry demonstrates the best understanding of genealogical research and documentation as evidenced by thorough biographical details and accurate supporting evidence. To our 2011 High School Youth Award winner, a certificate was presented at her high school awards assembly in early May. The $500.00 cash award was presented May 19, 2011 at our monthly meeting. See more information about our 2011 award winner.  For more information about the 2012 High School Youth Award guidelines please click here.
 
LCGS offers basic youth oriented genealogy information on our website. 
 
Family History Month
The Lee County Genealogical Society has been honored to received Proclamations from the Board of County Commissioners, Lee County, Florida and the City of Fort Myers, Florida recognizing October as Family History Month.  Ceremonial photos taken in the chambers of the Lee County Board of County Commissioners can be viewed by clicking on the year below:
The LCGS observes Family History Month annually in October in multiple ways. Genealogical displays are arranged in local libraries. At some of the libraries the display is featured in a showcase; at others the Society provides a display board and brochures designed to help the public understand the work of the Society, and how to get started tracing a family history. During Family History Month LCGS partners with the Fort Myers Regional Library to hold genealogy research workshops for library patrons.  For more information please see our Events calendar.
 
During 2008 and 2009, LCGS sponsored an essay contest for middle school youth in Lee County Florida’s public, private and home schools. 
 
 
 
We are also a proud contributor
 
War of 1812 Contributor
 
 
To help support the Preserve the Pensions project click on image below
 
 
Donate to War of 1812

 

Operating Year: January - December 2014


Executive Board

President: Shirley O'DONNELL
First Vice President: Connie Kelly LIZAK
Second Vice President: Carol SILVERMAN
Recording Secretary: Linda MURTAUGH
Corresponding Secretary: Maureen SHANNON-JEFFERSON
Treasurer: Mary J. SMELTER
Assistant Treasurer: Maureen KRAJCOVIC
Immediate Past President: Carol ROOKSBY-WEIDLICH
Director: Connie MUMM
Director: Bill SIMON
Director: Vacant
Education Chair: Carolyn FORD
Newsletter Editor: Connie Kelly LIZAK
Parliamentarian: Vacant
 

Have a question?  Please feel free to contact our President by clicking on her name above, or send your inquiry to the President at our mailing address of P.O. Box 150153, Cape Coral, FL  33915-0153.

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