History of the Anchorage Genealogical Society
In November 1982, a meeting was held to organize a genealogy society to meet and help one another. Joe Gallant led the meeting, which was held at the Anchorage Museum meeting room. After some discussion, a steering committee was formed to work on a Constitution, By-laws, and Nominations for Officers.
On January 2, 1983, the first official meeting was held at the ARCO Building. The Constitution and By-laws were approved. The first officers were: President, Joe Gallant; 1st Vice-President, Frances Walker; 2nd Vice-President, Dick Noble; Recording Secretary, Phyllis Johnson; Corresponding Secretary, Barbara Samuels; Treasurer, Dick Crick; and the Executive Committee Members at-large were Lyle Perrigo and Hugh Johnston. The speakers at that meeting were Lyle Perrigo and Dolly Whaley. Their subject was "Beginning Genealogy".
In the summer and fall of 1987, AGS members met on Saturdays to record information on cemetery markers to be included in a book on cemeteries in Anchorage. Many people worked on this project. They gathered information from the Fort Richardson National Cemetery, Angelus Cemetery, Eklutna Cemetery, Anchorage Cemetery and other cemeteries in the area. The book was published in 1988. During this time AGS members also started publishing a Quarterly Newsletter containing information about people and events in Anchorage and the rest of Alaska that pertained to genealogy.
In September, 1987, we had our first annual seminar in the meeting room above the California Restaurant, at Benson and C Streets. Janet Baccus was our first speaker. We have held seminars every year since then with the exception of one year when the featured speaker became ill, and more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, we have used most of the profits from these seminars to buy books on genealogy for the Z. J. Loussac Library.
In the late 1990s, Kathy Roberts and Marilyn Duel led a successful effort to have the Anchorage Genealogical Society incorporated as a 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization. In 2009, we produced a cookbook, "Genealogy In The Kitchen" with recipes from our members--some dating back to the 1800s--family histories with pictures of our ancestors, cooking tips, and historical facts on cooking.
Today, we have more than 100 members and we are still growing. We continue to have interesting programs at our monthly meetings, conduct beginning and intermediate genealogy classes, have a national speaker at our annual seminars in April, produce a quarterly digest, have volunteers in the Genealogy Section of the Z. J. Loussac Library, have information booths at local bazaars, and buy books on Genealogy for the Z. J. Loussac Library. In addition, we continually update our website to provide our members and the general public with information and tools to enhance their quest for family roots, trees, "saints and sinners."
As of 2023, this is our 40th year. Come join us!