Discover stories in genealogy section

Did you know Webster City once had a Hockey Team? We didn’t either, until the discovery of a Webster City hockey uniform prompted a member of the community to come looking for the history behind it.

The Webster City Leafs, a city hockey team that played from approximately 1937-1947, is the type of unique Webster City history that the library’s genealogy department holds. There are many similar tales among staff of unique facts and stories found while searching.

One inquiry led the staff on a search for the truth behind a strange disappearance. A story from Webster City lore about an abandoned house, left with clothes in the drawers, cars in the garage and breakfast still on the table sparked the investigation into the story behind the family that lived there. The search went beyond the library walls, with members of the community sharing their memories of the event and any helpful clues they had.

While town history is interesting and important, the genealogy department is also heavily used for its main purpose, as a genealogy resource for Webster City and Hamilton County. In addition to the many local residents that use our genealogy materials, we have requests for information from Hawaii to Massachusetts, and visitors from as far as Finland and as near as Fort Dodge, all interested in tracing their family trees. The extensive obituary files, funeral home records, and newspaper indexes complied by the Heritage Hamilton Hunters (our county genealogy society) and other helpful community members are invaluable resources for anyone interested in their family history.

The genealogy collection also contains a variety of resources to help genealogists at all stages, from beginners to advanced researchers. Books ranging from tips on hunting for your family on the Internet to how to search for your ancestors from specific countries or areas of the world are located in the genealogy department.

In addition to these resources, we also have interesting records and files on the Pulitzer Prize-winning local authors, MacKinlay Kantor and Clark Mollenhoff. Scrapbooks, manuscripts and more and carefully preserved to ensure their legacies will continue. These resources are consulted by community members as well as scholars.

With so many resources to consult, the Genealogy department at the Library is a great place to begin to trace the history of your family, town organization, or solve the mystery about the jersey pulled from a box in the attic. Stop in and see what you can discover.