Seventh Town and Marylin Adams Centre detailed in Rotary Club visit

(left) Janet Comeau of Seventh Town Historical Society, (right) Beverly Sprague President of Seventh Town Historical Society. (Submitted photo).

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

A pair of Seventh Town Historical Society dedicated volunteers who operate the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre (MAGRC) were front and centre at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Picton.

The Seventh Town Historical Society is located in the village of Ameliasburgh of Prince Edward County (PEC) which was originally known as Seventh Town, having been settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1784.

As stated on Seventh Towns website, in 1990, 7th Town inherited two trusts from the estate of Marilyn Adams, from which flowed the MAGRC, formally opened to the public in June of 1994 and later as a research centre in Aug. 1994.

“Marilyn Adams was a county resident with deep roots here and a love of genealogy,” said Beverly Sprague, President of the Society. “Her endowment to Seventh Town Historical Society allowed the building of the centre, specifically to house and protect family histories, as well as provide for basic operating costs. The centre is staffed completely by volunteers and I think it’s important to note that we are one of very few stand alone genealogy centres.”

MAGRC houses the Adams’ Family Museum in Cunningham House, which is one of the trusts. The other is a fund from which the interest helps provide the daily fund required to operate the centre.

“The first thing we do is acquire materials, and they come from organizations, some government bodies, organizations like the Women’s Institute, various estates that are dropped off to our centre, some from the museum if they come across things,” Janet Comeau of Seventh Town said to Rotary. “We also have an extensive encyclopedia of biographies of Victoria Cross recipients and its only one of two that exist in the world. And we also receive basically research that is conducted by people who are doing their own genealogies and hobbyists and things of that nature. They bring their materials and research to us and then were able to share with other people who may have similar family names in their family tree and it can come in various forms. This one collection we received in seven blue totes to go through and decide what we were going to keep and what was relevant and how we were going to organize it.”

The MAGRC is the only free-standing dedicated genealogy research centre in Canada and houses a number of important collections of genealogical and historical interest.

Collections include:

  • Genealogical research material and historic items of local, provincial, national and international interest. These have been acquired through donations of personal and community group collections from Canada, the USA and Europe. The genealogy library also includes other records, letters, books, Ontario Vital Statistics BMD, map collections and more.
  • Hastings County Land Records for about 100 years prior to 1955
  • Tudor & Cashel Township Records, dating back to 1852
  • The Klein research on the Tripps’ of the Bay of Quinte
  • Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir histories, minute books, and other records
  • Douglas Crawford canning factory papers
  • The remaining regional assessment records for the Quinte area
  • Hessian Research of Johannes (John) Helmut Merz
  • Heal Research Papers and Records

Online resources include access to the Names Database, Land Records Database and Heal Database. For access to more databases everyone in encouraged to visit the MAGRC.