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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 23, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06May00

Summarized by Gregor McHardy

Latter-day Saints help Atoka preserve history
Oklahoma City OK Oklahoman (AP) 23Apr00 N6
By The Associated Press


Preserving our history
Tulsa OK World 22Apr00 N6
By Rod Walton: World Staff Writer
Records of all 77 counties put on microfilm for MormonChurch

Chuck Titus is from Iowa, but has been spending the last seven years in Oklahoma with his family. He plans on being there at least until his son, who is currently in 7th grade, graduates from high school. Why does he plan on staying that long? Well, he's still got a little work to do. Chuck is part of the effort in microfilming all the courthouse records in every county in all of Oklahoma. There are 77 counties in all. He's currently in Atoka County, number 29 on the trail.

Sponsored by the Church, the Genealogical Society of Utah, and the Oklahoma Historical Society, Titus is filming and cataloging Oklahoma documents from birth certificates to divorce decrees and school censuses.

The articles mention that "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that families are extremely important, and we should research our families," although the reasons for the importance are not spelled out.

The Genealogical Society of Utah makes three copies of each microfilm. One goes to the host county, one to the Oklahoma Historical Society and one to the Granite Mountain Records Vault near Salt Lake City. The necessity of three copies is documented by an example of previously microfilmed genealogical records in the Cook Islands of the South Pacific. Fifteen years later after the filming, a huge fire destroyed much of the region's archives. But in a matter of hours, the Church was able to provide them a copy of their records.

Fire, however, is not the most immediate danger to genealogical records. Time really is the greatest enemy. Unless efforts are completed to preserve the records on film, they will likely be lost within a few years.


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