2018-05-23 / Front Page

PCPL genealogist recognized for outstanding service


Diana Brumfield (center) was given the Outstanding County Genealogical Contribution award by the Indiana Genealogical Society for her service to Putnam County. Shown above, from left to right, Curt Sylvester (Recording Secretary for the Indiana Genealogical Society), Diana Brumfield, and Jinsie Bingham. (Courtesy Photo) Diana Brumfield (center) was given the Outstanding County Genealogical Contribution award by the Indiana Genealogical Society for her service to Putnam County. Shown above, from left to right, Curt Sylvester (Recording Secretary for the Indiana Genealogical Society), Diana Brumfield, and Jinsie Bingham. (Courtesy Photo) Local genealogist and Putnam County Public Library employee Diana Brumfield was honored with the Outstanding County Genealogical Contribution award by the Indiana Genealogical Society for her service to Putnam County at their recent Annual Meeting. According to the Indiana Genealogical Society, the award is given to an individual for recognition of a singular, outstanding contribution to the field of genealogy in a local area.

Brumfield has worked for PCPL since February of 2011 as a part-time reference assistant in the Local History and Genealogy Department. Her accomplishments include establishing the library as a familysearch.org affiliate library and helping to finish a decadelong indexing project of Putnam County Birth Records to make them available online. “I try to go the extra mile for patrons, as I remember how unwelcoming and unhelpful some of my early visits to this section of the library had been,” Brumfield noted. And go the extra mile she does. “Sometimes I use my lunch hour to go to the courthouse or the cemetery to gather records for family genealogists who cannot travel to Putnam County,” she added.

In February of 2015, Brumfield started a genealogy interest group at PCPL called the Time Travelin’ Genealogy Guild. The group meets twice a month and studies a different subject each month. “In the beginning, monthly subjects were as simple as introducing them to Ancestrylibrary.com, findagrave.com, and how to figure out cousins once removed. Since then, many of the members have become quite proficient at researching,” stated Brumfield. Today’s topics vary, but include anything that might help the members of the group break through the “brick walls” of research. “Our next adventure is to tackle the science of DNA testing. Some members have had testing done, but do not fully understand the results. We have seen how DNA testing has helped one of our African American members who was an only child with no relatives left in the world discover her ethnic roots and 400+ cousins very quickly. She found she was not alone in the world, after all,” noted Brumfield.

Brumfield has traced her own lineage back to the early pioneers of Putnam County. “Both my parents’ lineage reach back to the early pioneers in Putnam County, including Jacob Piercy, who was a Fifer in the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment at Valley Forge and is buried on land the Piercys donated to start the Cloverdale Cemetery. Another ancestor is John Macy. The first religious meeting in the Cloverdale Township was held at his home. My Uncle Donus was a WWI soldier gave the invocation when the Dough Boy statue was set on the courthouse. My Great Grandpa Denny was an early postmaster and owned a general store in Cloverdale for many years,” Brumfield explained.

Her service to the local genealogical community does not end with the library. She is also a member of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “In Jan. 2015, our chapter was down to 44 members. That was the year I decided I needed to ‘step up’ and started recruiting members,” stated Brumfield. Through her efforts the group currently has 62 members. “So far, I have personally sponsored 25 members who have successfully joined DAR, including one in Alaska and another in Florida,” noted Brumfield.

Brumfield is far from ready to rest on her laurels. She’ll be teaching a Genealogy Bootcamp for 4H members at the library this summer and Genealogy 101 sessions through the Time Travelin’ Genealogy Guild for new members or anyone interested in learning more about their ancestors.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2018-05-23 digital edition