Today most people go to the Internet when they start the search for their ancestors. Then they look in court houses, libraries, and archives. But to find some real gems about your family history, you need to go local.
I recently wandered into the Beacon Historical Society to see what they had. I wanted to be able to point visitors and callers to the Dutchess Genealogical Society to additional research material for the Beacon area.
What a treasure trove I found.
They have several old Sanborn maps. These maps were originally created to determine fire insurance liability.
In a small, portable file drawer I found some 3 x 5 index cards in alphabetical order. They were the membership cards for the Southern Dutchess Singers. I’d never heard of them but apparently they were quite well known and performed at many locales, including the Cadet Chapel at the U. S. Military Academy.
In addition to the singers they had Associate Members; Mr. and Mrs. T.T. Forman were among this group.