In Bolivar, Missouri, it is
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Polk County Genealogical
                  Society, Inc. Headquartered in Bolivar, Missouri,
                  United States of America

PCGS Facility Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

“No matter who our ancestors are, our own personal and monumental task is to become the best person that we can possibly be - someone in whom our own descendants in times to come can take great pride and find inspiration.” ― Laurence Overmire

Check out some interesting stories about Polk CountyPolk County

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You can contact us at:

PO Box 632

Bolivar, MO


  Susan Sparks
Vice President
Ben Gravely
  Leta Gass
  Julie Trout
  Betty Doyle

When you see this icon, click to leave our site and go to the online map.
Visit PCGS to pick up your free commemorative map of Bolivar!


Elections; Speaker, Morris Westfall, program TBA

New on our website:
Finding Aids updated
Circuit Court Records listing updated
First Families Certificates listing updated

Requesting research from PCGS:
Our Resources page has been updated with a new look and price chart.

*THE BEST WAY to request a lookup is to email us with your request before sending payment
and we will let you know if we can help you with your search.
Remember to please be specific with your request, giving the full name of the person you are looking for, with any relevant dates and Polk County place locations. Email

Please remember to be patient with the volunteers--at PCGS the volunteers know the collection and have helped hundreds of people just like you find that probate, obituary or long lost family history. They also have a love of the craft and travelers. We have all visited those places where the staff grunts and points to the genealogical section. Not here at PCGS! You will always be greeted with enthusiasm and helpfulness. Be generous--share your data with the facility and leave as large of a donation as you can. Those donations and your support are what keep our doors open and the lights on, four days a week year round. We look forward to your visit!

Susan Sparks, President

Did you know?

PCGS is 25 years old!

The PCGS Research Facility (original Carnegie Public Library) is 104 years old!

The Polk County Genealogical Society was established in 1994. Interested parties first met for an organizational meeting in February 1994. The first program and business meeting was held in April 1994. At the time, the Society was a special interest group of the Friends of the Polk County Library and was supported financially by the Friends. The first name of the Society was the Bolivar Genealogy Group, but the name was soon changed to the Polk County Genealogical Society.

In 1996, the Society became independent of the Friends of the Library. The first publication for sale by the Society was published in 1998. There are now over 80 publications available for purchase at the Society’s library. The Society incorporated in August 1999 and became a not-for-profit corporation in January 2001. The Society does not receive any funding from local or state entities. All money comes from donations of individuals, research fees, and sales of society publications.

In October 2001, PCGS purchased the Carnegie library building located on the town square of Bolivar, Missouri and completed renovation of the ground floor in the summer of 2002. The Polk County Genealogical Society Library was opened to the public in July 2002. The lower floor houses the research collection. While the Society focuses on Polk and surrounding counties, there is material from across the United States, including a large selection from Tennessee and Kentucky. Researchers also have access to, (a military site), and The only fee charged is for copies. The all-volunteer staff is available to help at any time.
The upstairs was renovated in 2005 and houses the collections that have been given to the Society. Finding aids are created for these collections which helps researchers find information valuable for them without having to go through the whole collection. Also, this floor contains the old Polk County records dating back to 1835. Court docket books, probate record books, and court cases are housed on this floor.

The Society continues to promote and encourage the preservation of local and family history through informative programs, classes and special events. The Polk County Genealogical Society Research Facility’s regular hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monthly meeting are held the first Thursdays of each month at 7 p.m. (Exceptions to our regular schedule and open days are listed on our website PCGS has welcomed visitors from all over the United States and Canada and hope to continue to do so for many years to come!

President's Corner (from 2017)
DNA has been the topic of discussion at the facility for the last couple of months. We had a wonderful presentation last spring and again this spring from William Westmoreland on DNA testing. William is one of our members who has spent a lot of time and resources on DNA research in order to break one of his brick walls. He inspired me to jump into the DNA pool.

I have a couple of brick walls on my maternal side, so Will suggested that I have my mother tested with Family Tree DNA to gain insight into or maybe even knock down that brick wall. I had my mother tested in December (the companies that do DNA testing usually have a sale during selected holidays). I was skeptical but, since our family tree had never been published anywhere, I figured any matches truly had to come from the DNA test and not a search engine looking for matches.

So, we patiently waited for the results and they really were fascinating once completed. I found cousins that share our brick wall but, alas, they had less information then we did. DNA testing does take some study and eventually you need to have a family tree posted online to help open up more contact with people with whom you share ancestors.

On my paternal side I had to test my brother as our father had died when we were young. This test was needed because our great-great-grandfather was a child conceived out of wedlock in Belgium in the early 1800s. Welcome to another brick wall! Our ancestor was given his mother’s maiden name but I was looking for the name of his true father. We did a YDNA test (one that follows a male direct line) which should give me the name of the father eventually.

My mother died in May, so she will not get to see the information that this testing may eventually uncover. However, I will forge forward and hope that the walls come tumbling down someday. I was glad that I did the test with my mother and that we got to share some of the results together before she passed away.

Susan Sparks

From April 2016 meeting:
Download the presentation of "Genealogy and DNA" by Will Westmoreland (PDF format)


PCGS Website:
Obituary Files Updated

Funeral Cards Index Added

Probate Records Index Added

Index of Polk County History Book, Vol. 2, added

If Bolivar schools are closed because of weather, the library will also be closed. If Polk County is under a Winter Weather Warning, the facility will be closed.

There will be no night meeting, either, if school is closed on a Thursday.

If bad weather develops on a Thursday afternoon before the regular monthly meeting, members can call 417-777-2820 to find out the status of the meeting. Winter Weather and Tornado Warnings will mean automatic cancellation of meetings.

here for school closings list at


Monday, September 2 (Labor Day)
Thursday - Sunday, November 28 - December 1 (Thanksgiving)
Sunday, December 22 through Thursday, January 2 (Christmas break)
We will open at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 3, 2020

GEOCACHING--Geocaching is an activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world.
PCGS is now part of the geocaching community.

For more information, please see this website Grandma's Little Stash

Business meetings are the first Thursday of every month at the
Polk County Genealogical Society Research Facility, on the square in Bolivar, MO

Copyright 2003-2020, Polk County Genealogical Society, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Last revised:  September 14, 2019

Located on the southeast corner of the courthouse square in Bolivar, MO

If you found this website to be helpful, please remember that the Polk County Genealogical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This means that any donation, both large and small, is tax deductible. This could include books, needed items or cash donations. Click button to donate through PayPal.