The Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County was organized on May 6, 1964 by a group of people interested in tracing their ancestors. Monthly meetings were held in various locations, genealogical procedures were taught, and books and other materials were shared by members. The Society incorporated in 1966 as Palm Beach County Genealogical Society. Our quarterly journal, Ancestry, began production for the information of members and to exchange with other genealogical societies around the country and continued in paper format until the end of 2014, when it switched to electronic format for a year before ceasing publication. Donations of books had increased to the point of requiring library space. The West Palm Beach City Library took us in. This was to be our home for the next forty years, at first in one small upstairs room, and then downstairs into two rooms. Bruce M. Lewis of Lewis Publishing Company, West Palm Beach, retired and gave his whole collection of genealogical and historical volumes to the society, along with shelving and file cabinets from his office. A sizeable contribution of books on Boston and New York was made by Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Many individuals made book donations in honor of friends or as memorials. By this time, our library had over 8,000 volumes, plus magazines, maps and other materials. It had become the largest and most complete genealogical research library in South Florida. The non-circulating collection continued to grow and keep up with the times, moving from microfiche readers to computers.
When the City of West Palm Beach announced the building of a new library, the plans did not include us. We had to find a new home. We contacted the Palm Beach County Public Library System and reached an agreement to rent space for our collection and for our society activities. we are located in the main library on Summit Boulevard, in West Palm Beach, where we have had a large modern facility since February 1, 2008. Our collection now includes over 13,000 books, digital resources, and a large periodical collection. We have upgraded all our computers and now offer WiFi, Ancestry Library Edition, and several online databases.
The Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County is an all volunteer nonprofit educational organization. We are completely supported by dues, donations and a trust fund. We receive no government funding. Our programs and seminars provide an opportunity to network with others.