Making genealogy easier in Mercer County

Robert Blackford/Editor
Sandra Sharer and Pat Gustafson work at the Essley Noble Museum to assist individual’s genealogy efforts.

It is a lot easier to trace your roots in Mercer County thanks to Sandra Sharer and Pat Gustafson.

The two have been working on projects at the Essley Noble Museum in Aledo that will make it easier for visitors to track their ancestors.

“Words cannot express what this means to us,” said museum curator Shirley Crawford about the pair’s work at the museum.

Gustafson’s parents Bob and Theresa Greer are from the New Boston area. She started coming to the museum to do family research and growing the amount of information at the museum to put at researchers fingertips.

Gustafson has compiled eight volumes of DAR books listing info by the cemetery creating a cemetery index. She has been indexing by name the eight volumes of DAR books providing the volume a name is in.

“I’ve got tens of thousands of live entries,” said Sharer. “There are 40-50,000 people listed.

Sharer said “This gives people a starting place.”

Sharer's work was to create an obituary index from 1835 until 1995. Next year she plans to complete the index from 1995 to the present time.

The museum now lists a book of marriages as well as a book of grooms and a book of brides from 1835-1899. You can get the names and the marriage number. Previously you needed the year of the marriage. Now you just need the name of the individual.

The current project includes gathering a history of Mercer County’s Civil War soldiers. They are collecting information on soldiers from that period. The museum has several pictures of Civil War soldiers on file. Those pictures have been scanned into a computer and have been put into a book.

Any information on a local soldier from that era would be appreciated by the museum.

The museum’s normal business hours come to an end at the end of October. It will reopen for business in the spring. People can visit the museum by request this winter by calling 584-4820. The museum’s normal hours are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.