It might be a small room, but the shelves in the WGS genealogy room are chock full of resources that family history buffs can spend hours looking through. Have you wondered what type of resources are available in the WGS genealogy room? Following is a listing of some of the things you might find to aid in your search.
BOOKS: Local and area county histories including Pottawattamie, Cass, Shelby and Audubon, to name a few. Town histories including Walnut, Avoca, Kimballton, Marne and Shelby. “How To” books on different topics. Several volumes of Surname Index books. Some yearbooks from Walnut High School plus “50 Years of Memories” from various classes celebrating their 50th class reunions.
COUNTY & STATE RECORDS: Various atlases from both Pottawattamie and Shelby counties along with plat maps of the townships from different years. Numerous cemetery indexes of individuals buried in cemeteries in Pottawattamie County. s1885 and 1895 census indexes for Pottawattamie County. A number of marriage record indexes from the 1800s and early 1900s. A few naturalization record indexes and other miscellaneous type records.
DIRECTORIES: A nice selection of church directories are available from churches in Walnut, Avoca and Atlantic. Also available are some city directories from Atlantic and Council Bluffs. Telephone directories can pinpoint individuals at a certain address in a given year. The Walnut telephone book collection on the shelves is pretty amazing with one issue dating back to 1915.
GENEALOGY: Two drawers in our filing cabinet are overflowing with folders containing research WGS has done on people who have lived in Walnut—a true treasure trove of information! WGS has also been the recipient of a number of family histories of people from the area. Also available is information about the WGS organization including bound books of the quarterly newsletter Antique City Roots from Volume 1 Issue 1. Newsletters from surrounding genealogy societies are also available.
MICROFILM: For the benefit of those preferring a microfilm reader, there are both federal and state censuses for Iowa complete through 1930. Also available on microfilm are issues of the Walnut newspapers.
MAPS: Large collection of maps in printed volumes and/or single pages including Pottawattamie, Cass, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Shelby and Woodbury Counties with several years for Layton, Knox, Lincoln and Monroe townships. Other maps include an 1871 Map of Iowa framed and hanging on the wall!
COMPILED NOTEBOOKS: The binders of obituaries for the Walnut cemeteries and also surrounding cemeteries are the biggest compiled notebook collection that WGS has available. Beside the other binders mentioned in categories above, also available are binders of information on Walnut businesses, real estate, churches and schools, along with military binders, some birth records and other miscellaneous records.
By no means is the preceding a complete listing of the resources available in the WGS genealogy room. It is simply meant to serve as an idea of what a visitor to the room might be able to benefit from in their research. The room also has available two computers with experienced users who can help with access to various genealogy research sites.