VIP: Jack Ericson

Jack Ericson has been a member of the Fenton History Center since the beginning. He has served in many capacities and currently is a member of the committee that manages the Hall House Research Library. His vast experience in Library Science and Archival preservation has enhanced our ability to grow the educational and research programs at the Hall House.

In addition, he is constantly bringing new ideas to the group for discussion. Most recently, he suggested that we digitize one of our most valuable resources, The Henderson -Lincoln Scrapbooks. This resource is used almost daily by our patrons and volunteers. As a result of his suggestion, this project has begun and will benefit greatly from the creation of a Scanning Lab at Hall House. Now let’s hear about Jack in his own words.

Born in Dewittville, in 1938 to Lois Mc Gill and Russell Palmer Ericson, Jack graduated from Jamestown High School in 1957 and went on to Allegheny College, in the summer of 1961 and 1962 he worked at the offices of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg.

He continued his education at the University of Connecticut and later at the University of Wisconsin. While at the University of Wisconsin he completed archival training as a staff member of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

After Wisconsin Jack worked at the George Arents Research Library at Syracuse University. He entered the Cooperstown Graduate program at the New York State Historical Association.

Moving on again in his studies and career he was the curator of decorative arts at the Newark, New Jersey Museum. He also worked for the Microfilming Corporation of America a New York Times Company, where he originated and started the Genealogy and local History microfiche program (now Heritage Quest). He continued their editorship with University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The year 1985 brought Jack back to Westfield to serve as Head of Special Collections at Reed Library, SUNY Fredonia where he worked for 20 years. It was also at this time he served as the family historian for the Cornplanter Descendants Association.

Jack has always loved history beginning as a child and continues to appreciate history in general and the history of Chautauqua County in particular. He served as a Trustee of the Chautauqua County Historical Society. He has been involved in the Fenton History Center since its beginning. Jack has been a speaker for the Hall House Genealogy Support Group, speaking on Native American Research and Quaker Research.

He has been researching his own family for many years, primarily his Scots Irish and Swedish ancestors. His research into his Swedish roots has allowed him to develop an expertise in the use of ArchivDigital, a Swedish website that contains an enormous collection of church (birth, marriage, death, and estate inventories), military, tax, and other records. He is willing to help anyone wanting to learn how to use this record set.

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