Society members also participate in many projects to preserve local historical documents.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.
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-Lee County Public 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-Lee County Public Library. Researchers wishing to locate an obituary from this time period should contact the Genealogy Librarian at the Fort Myers-Lee County Public 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-Lee County Public Library.
6. This group has also extracted records and articles of interest from the older periodicals being removed from the Fort Myers-Lee County Public 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-Lee County Public 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-Lee County Public 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.
Several members of the LCGS volunteer in the genealogical area at the Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library. The volunteers assist patrons with their family history research and provide help with various library tasks.
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-Lee County Public 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
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-Lee County Public 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.