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Tallahassee Genealogical Society, Inc. Records

Identifier: MSS 2010-001

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into four categories: Activies, Administrative, Membership and Publication Files. They cover a time period ranging from the creation of the Tallahassee Genealogical Society (TGS) in 1981 to 2008. The Administrative Records contain general and board meeting minutes, financial records, the Society By-Laws, presidential correspondence and materials relating to the incorporation of the TGS. The Activities files document the events that the TGS either held or took part in since its creation. It contains flyers for seminars, workshops, and programs hosted by the Society. It also contains photographs taken by Nellie Mims. Membership files include applications for membership, membership lists and tributes to former members. The Publication files contains periodic publications such as the TGS Bulletin and the TGS Genealogist. It also has early drafts of Society publications such as the Will Book, Voter Registration book, and the Surname Directory.


  • created: 1981

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to the Florida State University Libraries. All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Founded out of a need to organize an interest group of local amateur and professional genealogists, Cliff Burkhart and a group of 80 charter members started the Tallahassee Genealogical Society in 1981. The organizational meeting was held on April 30, 1981, at which 63 members were present.

The first periodic publication of the Society, the Bulletin, started during this year. Initially intended merely as a monthly bulletin, it expanded the next year into a full quarterly publication. An important milestone for the Society was its first published book, Surname Index, published in 1987. This was a compilation of surnames submitted by members of the Society used both as an aid to other researchers and a way of connecting researchers with common family interests. Another publication issued by the Society was the Florida Voter Registration Lists compiled by Carol Bouknecht. This book was the result of a seven-year project of which Mavis Day and other TGS members also took a role in completing. It was a transcription of the lists of registered voters in the state of Florida in 1868 and 1869. It included many first time African-American voters throughout the state and represented a period of Reconstruction where African-Americans had a measure of freedom that they would not experience for almost 100 years later. Two of the Society's signature annual programs are the Spring Seminars and the Fall Workshops. The first seminar took place in January 1982, with Willard Heiss as the speaker. The first workshop, a class held by Eleanor Gartner, was in 1984, and after a temporary suspension in 1985, became an annual tradition of the Society. Among the group's major early achievements was the Bible Copying Day, done in collaboration with the Florida State Archives. This project made family bibles available for local genealogical and historical researchers and had the additional benefit of preservation.

The Society has undertaken several projects that benefited the local genealogical community. Among the Society's most ambitious projects have been surveys of the church records and cemeteries within Leon County. The result of these projects resulted in the creation of invaluable reference sources for Leon County. The Church Records Project, started in 1999, undertook the daunting task of compiling all the religious establishments within the county and commenting on the status of their records. This included listing what types of records exist of the group and who holds them, if they are still in existence. This project strayed from the traditional church records projects of the past in its inclusiveness of religions outside the mainstream of society. The Cemetery Survey Project was similar to the church project except it was not complete but in the cemeteries it did cover, it included a list of burials made at that respective cemetery.

A major focus of the Society after 2000 has been undertaking group projects that are more personal in nature. Two of their most recent programs, the Family History Expo and the Leon County Heritage Book Project, reflect these changes. The Family History Expo is an interesting combination of family history and history fair projects. Members give presentations on their families using a variety of methods, the whole point of the Expo being to allow creativity. Recognizing the fact that many people in this area do not have deep family roots in Leon County, the Family History Expo does not place geographical or time period restraints on the subject matter. What results is a showcase of the cultural heterogeneity of the country. Following a similar vein, the Heritage Book Project is an ambitious undertaking that does not require anyone to have a family history in the area. The proposed book is simply a collection of personal stories from current and former residents who reminisce about their stay in Leon County.


2.80 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains business records, publications, correspondence and manuscripts created and maintained by the Tallahassee Genealogical Society (TGS). The format of the records are in paper, book and digital format.

Arrangement Note

Collection divided into Administrative, Activities, Membership and Activities files. The files within the four categories are arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

The collection was developed and maintained over the years by various TGS archivists. The photographs and scrapbooks were created and maintained by Nellie Bird Mims, highly active TGS member, until her death, when they were given to TGS.

Method of Acquisition

Materials generated in-house by TGS. The photographs and scrapbooks were acquired from the estate of Nellie Bird Mims.

Existence and Location of Originals

After 2006, the Minutes are kept in electronic format on CD. TGS Quarterlies are also available in electronic format on CD.

Separated Materials

Records pertaining to the Bible Records Project, reference materials concerning the "Welsh in America," and microfilms of indexes from the Florida State Archives have been separated from the collection. These are research materials for future TGS projects, and will be housed in the TGS storage unit. Please contact the TGS president for access. In addition, master copies of TGS publications will be housed in the storage unit, and two final copies of these publications will be housed with the collection.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by TGS archivists Burt Altman and Andrew Waber in 2008-2009.

Tallahassee Genealogical Society, Inc. Records
Andrew Waber
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US