Wise County Genealogical Society


The Historical Roots of Wise County Genealogical Society.
When a signup sheet for the startup of a genealogical group was passed around during a local genealogy class at the library, a few people showed interest; after arrangements were made to use a room at the Wise County Heritage Museum for this initial meeting, several other individuals attended and the adventure began. On January 29, 2013 we met, chose a name, discussed purposes, and introduced ourselves to each other over refreshments.

The original group that met on that day was:

Bob Sanders
Janet Cottle
Carla Womack
Steve Hilliard
Marty Kramer
Martha Cobb
Larry Stenzel
Mary Stenzel
Sally Stokes
Kerry Clower
Patti Gillespie


From February 21, 2013 we began to meet as the Wise County Genealogical Society at the Church of Christ in Decatur; we continued to discuss organization March 21 but with our first speakers. A small group even attended the Denton County Genealogical Society’s meeting to ask questions and observe. On April 18 after going half way through a by-laws template, we set up an election committee to handle online voting.


After the election and by-laws approval on May 23, officers were elected, by-laws review was completed, and the presidency began the work of preparing for non-profit status, opening accounts, preparing for a membership drive, making contacts, and organizing for monthly speakers.

The first officers elected are as follows:

Patti Gillespie, President
Norma Thayer, Vice President
Sally Stokes, secretary
Ruby Quanz, treasurer.

The first appointed Chairmen are as follows:
Carol Donovan, Hospitality
Bob Sanders, By-laws and then Speaker Standards
Lisa Flanagain, Historian
Linda Robbins, Election Committee and then Heritage Certificates
Mary Stenzel, Election Committee

The first speakers are as follows:

March 2013–Wanda Samek, Region Representative from the Texas State Genealogical Society
March 2013–Meg Mueller, Flip Pal
September 19—Sue Tackel, Wise County GenWeb
October 17—Patti Gillespie, Beginning Genealogical Research
November 21—Wise County Historical Association Yearly Event
January 16—Jeremy Balkin, Family Tree DNA
February 20—Lisa Louise Cooke, Podcasts & Webinars: Genealogy 101
March 20—Using Family Search
April 17—Patti Gillespie, Preparing to Take a Genealogy Trip
May 15—Sharing What We Learned: Discussions, Q & A from the members