Area genealogists and history buffs have a new research center available to them in Bates County. The Bates County Family History Center, sponsored by Poplar Heights Farm/JSJ Foundation, is located at 208 N Delaware, Butler, MO. The center is currently being moved and will reopen at Poplar Heights Farm in 2017.
Featuring the latest in research technology, the Center has the Microfilm ScanPro which lets you transfer microfilm images directly to a computer where they can be saved in several formats and also printed using the computer’s printer. Computers are available with family history software arid internet links to genealogy web sites. A grant from Sprint has provided internet access using DSL.
Center patrons have full access to Ancestry.com and other paid sites through a subscription paid for by Poplar Heights Farm. These files include complete census records for all of the United States from 1790 to 1930, the United Kingdom census, U.S. immigration collection, Canadian immigration lists, the Social Security Death Index, births, marriages, deaths and obituaries, newspapers from 1786 to 2001, city directories, LDS records, slave narratives, family trees and much more.
Bates County records will be available on microfilm and computer disc. Early land survey township maps with accompanying field notes and the 1875, 1895, 1910 and 1928 Plat map books will be available. Military records, war records, land, birth and death and marriage records, obituaries and cemetery records, and pensions will also be available for Bates County and many other counties and states. Over 200 DAR lineage books and magazines, county and family history books and maps have been generously loaned to the Center.
Every month, a different display will highlight Bates County’s historical events. Permanent exhibits include Jefferson Highway, Early Stone Cutters in Western Missouri, and World War II - Bates County the Home Front.
Poplar Heights Farm has started an extensive computerized collection of historical data, family histories, photographs, and tape recordings of past Bates County. They have scanned and saved nearly 1,000 historical photographs. This material will be published on the internet and available at the Center on computer CD’s for everyone to use.
“Too often old family records and photographs are being thrown out or auctioned off to out of town antique dealers. Pieces of our county’s old settlers’ lives are being scattered everywhere,” said Brian Phillips, Executive Director of Poplar Heights Farm. “We are trying to copy and record everything we can find about our area’s past and make it available to everyone.”
The Center provides plenty of room for groups or individuals who are looking into Bates County’s past. Thanks to generous donations of desks and filing cabinets, there are large tables for work, a comfortable reading area with two sofas, a computer area, and a microfilm area.
The Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Please call (660) 679-0764 for an appointment to ensure that our knowledgeable staff members are available to help with your research. It is hoped that others will volunteer to help staff the Center so the hours can be extended with possible Saturday and one night openings. Classes in genealogy research and family history preservation are offered throughout the year.
Persons wishing to donate family histories, either hard copies or computer files, photographs or other local historical documents for copying should talk with Betty Newton, Family History Center genealogist, or any of the staff
Click this thumbnail image to download a flyer.
(1.2 MB pdf)