Preservation Week: Researching Ranch Hi(STORIES) at the American Heritage Center

[The Preservation Week blog series concludes with this final post.  We hope that you have enjoyed this feature!  As always, please feel free to share your own stories about your personal collections in the comments section!]

For many years I have been doing family history and from the beginning used the American Heritage Center (AHC) as a resource.  About 10 years ago I began working on ranch histories for Albany County, Wyoming, and have found AHC to be a great place for me to do research for this project too. It is amazing what you can find in the collections at AHC.  Every time I go to AHC or to their website I always find something that either relates to my family and/or to the Albany County Ranch Histories I am presently working on.

The photo collections have been a great place for me to find family and ranch pictures.  Recently I came upon a picture titled “German Picnic” at AHC and in it I found my grandparents, great grandmother, a great aunt and uncle and other relatives.  What a find that was because my grandparents were both very young in the picture and seeing them was such a thrill.  Therefore I ordered a copy on a CD and now I have that picture in my family history collection.  I  have enjoyed sharing it with others in the family.

German Picnic, possibly 1890s, Ludwig Svenson Collection. UW American Heritage Center.

German Picnic, possibly 1890s, Ludwig Svenson Collection. UW American Heritage Center.

Some of the resources I have used for family and ranch histories are the digitized photo collection, especially the Ludwig-Svenson Studio collection and the pictures in the Fee and Murphy Family papers.  Other valuable collections for ranch histories in Albany County, WY, are the following collections:  the Wyoming Stock Growers Association records; Swan Land and Cattle Company records; the Robert H. Burns papers, the Francis E. Warren papers; and many, many more.

When you do a search online using the words “Albany County Wyoming” or “Wyoming History” it is amazing how much information is at AHC.  For instance I found one of my relatives in that search: Edward H. Borgeman.  His papers are located at the AHC! Another search for ranchers connected to Albany County turned up the papers of Oda Mason, Andrew Spring Gillespie, King Brothers Company, Ted Olson, Alvy Dixon, Bosler Family, Harry Richardson, Robert H. Homer, and Hans Olson.

I highly recommend the American Heritage Center for historical research of family, ranches, and many other subjects.  Happy hunting!

–Dicksie Knight May, Family and Ranch Historian

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2 Responses to Preservation Week: Researching Ranch Hi(STORIES) at the American Heritage Center

  1. Shirley Gillespie says:

    The AHC is amazing. My great grandfather’s business ledgers from his dry goods store, The Leader, are preserved here. They are just over 100 years old — the leather cracked, the pages are thick — not like the thin pages we use today. It was awesome to turn each page and recognize some of the Laramie names — the Mathesons, John Coble, my Frazee family members, the list goes on and on. Thank you to the AHC for saving these for me to one day enjoy.

    • ahcadmin says:

      Thank you, Shirley, for your wonderful comments! Your family history research sounds fascinating and we at the AHC are happy that we can help you make such wonderful discoveries about your family’s past!

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