Beginning today, the Bryan County News will include a weekly history feature contributed by the Bryan County Genealogy Library and Archives, located in Calera, Oklahoma.


Here is a brief introduction to the group:


A little building located in Calera is a treasure trove of information about the events of the past and the lives of our ancestors.


The Bryan County Genealogy Library and Archives, originally known as the Bryan County Heritage Association, was created in 1982 when Olivia Barton, Clara Nash, Lynda Massey, Dr. Jim Harmon, Rector Swearengin, Lucille Brimage, Pattie Davis and other local historians got together to collect facts and stories for a book about Bryan County history.


Since then the library has amassed a vast collection of resources about county, state, and Native American history.


Experienced local volunteers assist the public in researching that history. They also teach classes, publish books and do family research for individuals.


One of the ongoing projects of the library is the publication of genealogy and history books. These include church, court, school, crime and family records, as well as compilations of articles from local newspapers. These provide valuable information for researchers and they are also the primary source of funds for the library. A list of over 100 titles can be found on the library’s website.


Another important task of the volunteers is to assist people in researching Native American records. Lots of Bryan County residents know they have Choctaw, Cherokee or Chickasaw ancestors, but are unsure of how to verify their heritage.


Our volunteers can show you how to find your relative in the Dawe’s Roll and other Native American records such as early census rolls, court records, allotment records and the federal census.


People seeking information about their ancestors will find a variety of resources at the library that cannot be found on the internet. These include local tax records, school rolls, cemetery records, marriage certificates, obituaries, funeral home records, church minutes and family stories. Past researchers and library volunteers have collected information about their families and donated them to the library.


Membership is open to anyone interested in history and genealogy. Dues are $20 and entitle members to receive four quarterlies published by the library.


If you would like more information, call 580-434-5848 or feel free to stop by 203 North McKinley in Calera to speak with a volunteer and tour the facility. We’re open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays by appointment. (The library is currently closed to visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.)


The library also maintains a website, bryancountygenealogylibrary.org, that includes information and instructions.


Future articles will include stories of local events, clubs, business leaders, schools and churches. If you have ideas or requests please address them to the library (BCGLA, P.O. Box 153, Calera, OK 74730) and we’ll do our best to find them for you.