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Your contribution may be tax deductible under current IRS ruling, Federal ID 393-09608070.

CCFHS President, Sandy McQuire, talks about our early beginnings.

The Clackamas County Family History Society (CCFHS) began with a small group of women with a shared interest in genealogy and a vision of creating a service oriented   organization for Clackamas County. In February of 1988, the "Clackamas County Genealogical Society", was formed and later changed the name to what it is today.  "The very first meeting was held at the Museum of the Oregon Territory in the same room that later became our permanent location," Sandy recalled.  It has been CCFHS's home for nearly 28 years.

Founding Members

Nine of the founding members were elected officers at the April 25, 1988 meeting. Among them, were Liz Brooks, President and Norma Jean Drebin, Vice President. Liz was on the Board at MOOT and Norma was head of the LDS Library. Both were already entrenched in the history of Clackamas County and the methods of researching family history.   

Sandy McGuire was elected Secretary and co-editor of the quarterly newsletter. Sandy enthusiastically served as President  from 1991 - 2005 and took up the gavel again in 2016.  In addition, she was researcher, author, and editor of the quarterly newsletter during her first 14 years as President. Sandy is the only active founding member remaining and continues to serve as an inspiration.

Judy Chambers filled the role of President and Editor 2006 - 2016. She has worked tirelessly to compile books on Logan and Estacada cemeteries,  books "Early Carver and Logan Businesses" and "Discovering Our Early Oregon Ancestors" and so much more. She agreed to return as a volunteer and provide support to Moot's new Genealogy Lab and CCFHS's Library. 

Dian Gustafson began as Membership Chairman in 1988. She was our Librarian for nearly 30 years and during that time, served as an innovative force to shift the library system from paper to computer. She has also served as the newsletter editor.

Another honorable mention is Stella Shannon, a lead research specialist,  who began her journey with CCFHS in 1995. She also fills the Secretarial role and manages incoming inquiries. Doug Shannon became a board member four years later and to CCFHS's benefit, accepted the office of Treasurer in 2006 and still holds the office today.

These early volunteers, through their many years of service, have been instrumental in growing and shaping the original vision, often taking on additional responsibilities. Dian realized the need to move forward into the technological age and began a facebook account for CCFHS and encouraged the creation of a CCFHS website, which was officially launched March, 2018.  

Others joined adding their individual talents and abilities  with the same commitment and enthusiasm to expand our ability to provide a quality and efficient service to the greater community. Come visit us and look through our scrapbook outlining our early history through news articles and photographs of all the members and volunteers from the first 20 years who made a difference through their commitment to CCFHS and their many contributions.

Growth & Acquisitions

"Our first location was at the LDS Library in Oregon City," Sandy said. "We outgrew that space and moved to our current location November 1, 1990, the year the Museum of the Oregon Territory opened - about 28 years ago." "LDS was a good learning ground for research methods,"  Sandy added.

The  members had to be resourceful to obtain furnishings and equipment needed for their new space. CCFHS occupied one end of our current library.  A microfilm reader was donated by the LDS Library. Microfiche readers were donated from a local bank . File cabinets and needed items were donated by Liz Brooks and when the budget allowed, Sandy & Liz would shop for needed items. Sandy recounted how her husband would add shelves as additional books and materials were donated. 

When ask how the library expanded it's holdings over the years, Sandy replied, 'From many sources."  Donations - all materials related to Clackamas County were welcomed (and still are).  "We had permission from the Oregon City Library, when they were under renovation to make photostat copies of files, like census records," she said. Publications and books were traded with other genealogy  societies and at genealogical conventions hosted by the Convention Center and at times, the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas. "Trading  was common in those days," Sandy said, "before so much could be found on-line. People would write to us with queries  We began making files for families and the subject files grew."

Early on, the society offered monthly 2-hour workshops on genealogy research and also to get projects completed for the library. Anyone was welcome to attend and participate.

The CCFHS's Library is named

"Wilmer Gardener was one of the founders of the Clackamas County Historical Society. 
He was not only a talented and resourceful Historian, but was responsible for finding and saving much of our own County History," Sandy testified. As a side note, Wilmer built the miniature McLoughlin house on display on the 2nd floor of the museum. Sandy recalled that he created a slide show of Oregon City's Main Street and was a speaker at times. He was responsible for the donation of the Talbert collection, secured in the museum's archives and so much more! After Wilmer's death in July, 2007, our library was renamed the "Wilmer Gardener Research Library."

A  Note From Our President

"We have grown into a highly respected research library thanks to many dedicated volunteers. CCFHS has helped many visitors seeking information on the history of Clackamas County and the Oregon Territory and its' pioneer families, Native American tribes, historic homes and so much more! Our enthusiastic volunteers give every visitor our full attention.

Our collection is extensive, with many unique holdings. Refer to our "Resources" page on our website. Many changes have taken place this past year as we have upgraded much of our equipment, rearranged the location of files, and added separate map drawers. The Historical Society has put in a Genealogical Discovery Center, located next to our library and is another new addition that enhances our research capabilities. 

The last 30 years has been an rewarding journey and l look forward to the future."

Sandy McGuire

President, CCFHS

Our Objectives




Establish & Maintain




  • Encourage active interest in the science of genealogy through researching family histories.

  • Preserve public & private records relating to family history & genealogy.

  • Establish & Maintain a publication system to provide help & service to others.

  • Cooperate with other organizations in the furtherance of mutual objectives

  • Maintain a Family History Library with an emphasis on collecting relevant materials.

Meet Our Team
Ours is not a quiet library. Rather, our library is known for the attentive service our volunteers provide to the public, both in person and in response to email and phone requests. Expect to hear conversation and at times, outbursts of laughter.
We each bring individualized talents and abilities to our team of volunteers committed to researching an array of topics related to Clackamas County and to retaining and managing our Library's unique holdings. 
  • Steve Dietz, Research Specialist
  • Jo Lynn Dow, Researcher & Editor
  • Mark Hurlburt, Librarian
  • Sandra McGuire, President
  • Doug Shannon, Treasurer
  • Stella Shannon, Secretary & Research Specialist
We are joined each week by other members, who specialize in ancestral research. & provide support.
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