Chesapeake helps preserve Carroll County's history

By Kimberly Lewis Mr. Thrifty Published:

Tucked away in the Carroll County Genealogy Society are people working to preserve Carroll County's historical records.

A team of 14 people who are very carefully digitalizing Carroll County's Probate Court Records from 1833-1957, Common Pleas Journals, marriages and wills. The team includes Carroll County residents, as well as those employed by Chesapeake Energy.

Using digital cameras, the team takes a digital copy, which is sent to Oklahoma where the image is checked for quality, cropped and preserved in a digital record, explained Aaron Dodds, president of the Carroll County Genealogy Society. Once the images are organized, the digital copy is sent to the library.

"This is a monumental undertaking and will benefit the society immensely when they are finished," Dodds said.

"Digitizing records at the Carroll County Genealogy Society benefits everyone involved. Once the project is finished in a couple of months, the images will be available in an instant to Carroll County residents," said Pete Kenworthy, manager for media relations for Chesapeake Energy Corporation. "Deteriorating records that date back into the early 1800s will be preserved forever. We are glad to be able to provide this service, along with a computer for local residents to use when searching for records information."

As part of the agreement, Dodds said Chesapeake Energy will keep the records in house and not to be shared with any outside entity for five years and then the company's copy will be destroyed.

Chesapeake Energy also donated to the library a computer with a 22-inch screen that can be rotated to view legal-size documents without the need for scrolling.

"This is a wonderful feature as so many of the records are legal-size documents, plus it will be beneficial in viewing newspaper pages," Dodds said. "The computer itself has a value of $3,500 and the overall project has an estimate of $300,000, costs that neither the genealogical society nor Carroll County could have undertaken."

Once the project is completed, library patrons can come in and access all of these records in a matter of minutes on one of the four computers available for use. This will eliminate the need for the original records and books to be handled, thus preserving them for future generations and provide a better service to researchers.

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