WVGS Document Resource PDFs:
The Beaver Briefs
For five decades, the WVGS has produced a quarterly publication titled “The Beaver Briefs” containing Oregon-centric articles of genealogical interest. 45 issues of the Beaver Briefs are available to members in searchable PDF format on our ‘Member Page’. Scanned PDF images (non-searchable) of volumes 1 though 38 are also available on the 'Member Page'.
Copies of our publication are available by request from the ‘Research’ page. To see a complete list of the table of contents from all past issues, click below.
The Society’s quarterly publication has been published since 1969. We are still publishing it 4 times a year, thanks to Editors Craig Smith and Dennis Hill. Here is a summary of where to find past issues: 
On the shelf at Salem Public Library are indexes: 
   Index to Volumes I to X, catalog number 929.105 Willa index, v.1-10 
   Index to Volumes 11-19, catalog number 929.105 Willa Index v.11-19 
   Index to Volumes 20-29, catalog number 929.105 Willa, Index, v.20-29 
   Index to Volumes 30-39, catalog number 929.105 Willa Index v.30-39 
Note: these are not with other Oregon materials. They are on the first shelf, facing the window. 
On the shelf behind the Salem Library's WVGS Volunteer Desk are copies of Volumes 40 to 50. These are not in the library catalog yet, but are available for volunteer and patron use.

The searchable PDF copies on the 'Member Page' of the website are of Volumes 39 through the current issue. Click below to see the searchable surname index for all these issues.
Original copies of all issues, from 1969-2024, Volumes 1 to 56 (continuing as we publish new issues) are stored at our Candalaria office, and can be retrieved with at least a day’s notice. Requests can be made at the WVGS Volunteer Desk, or by using the offsite material request form found later on this page.
Chemawa Cemetery Project
   In 1990 Willamette Valley Genealogical Society took up a Chemawa Cemetery project. There were over 200 graves with about 193 identified. Find A Grave now lists 214. Chemawa Cemetery, part of the Chemawa Indian School, was established in 1880 in Forest Grove, Oregon and then moved to Salem, Oregon in 1885. WVGS members read the cemetery records, collected death certificates and newspaper obituaries, searched microfilm records in Seattle at the National Archives, looked at funeral home records, and the results were published in the Beaver Briefs in 1993 and 1994. In 2019, WVGS members began work on updating the information after ground penetrating radar indicated there are possibly hundreds of additional unmarked burial sites.
Shaw Cemetery Project
   The cemetery in Shaw, Marion County, Oregon is across the street from St. Mary’s Catholic Church and has been called St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery as well as Shaw Catholic Cemetery or just Shaw Cemetery. Currently it is listed on Find A Grave as “Shaw Catholic Cemetery, formerly known as Saint Marys Cemetery”.
   According to St. Mary’s Church records, the first burial was in 1928, but there are burials as early as 1912 in the cemetery. The survey was done only on the Old Section. Sue also included a list of former pastors of the church as well as a plat map for the Old Section. In updating the data base, we have used the internet to complete information on families, dates, and cemeteries.
Materials available at the Salem Public Library
WVGS’s volunteers are available at the Salem Public Library during library hours to assist with research and questions about genealogy in general. 
For many years the Oregon State Library had a Vertical File in four file cabinets, containing clippings, pamphlets, reprints, and other miscellaneous materials relating to persons, places, organizations, and topical subjects mostly relating to Oregon.  
In 2015 Willamette Valley Genealogical Society was able to take many of these files with us to Salem Public Library. The collection is now called the WVGS Surname File and is kept in one filing cabinet behind the WVGS Volunteer Desk at Salem Public Library.  
We kept Oregon or Marion county family information. Most of it is research done by our past corresponding secretaries. Collections include handwritten or typed genealogical sheets, documents, other items collected as part of the family history research process including autobiographies and biographies containing genealogical material, family histories with genealogical information for Willamette Valley early residents.
The WVGS book collection is available for reference at the Salem Public Library. The PDF list of nearly 5,000 cataloged items is searchable. The list includes the book title, author, and Dewey number (the collection is filed at the library by Dewy number).
Temporarily, the Salem Public Library is unable to add new items to their catalog. To circumvent this restriction with regard to the WVGS collection, 148 books have been added to the bottom shelves beneath the cataloged collection. This is a list of those additional books.
The WVGS subscribes to a number of national genealogical periodicals, many of which are available at our desk at the Salem Public Library. The onsite collection includes:
    Mennonite Family History 
    Mayflower Journal 
    New England Historical and Genealogical Register 
Additional periodicals can be found at our offsite location (see below).
Materials Stored Offsite
Due to the size of the WVGS’s research collection, some of the materials have to be stored at our office site about a mile and a half south of the library. Access to the materials at the office site must be scheduled in advance. You can also request they be brought to the Salem Public Library using this request form:

The Society has a large collection of family histories and genealogies. Many are standard published genealogies, both recent and older, that were donated to the WVGS and/or the Oregon State Library.
Our offsite collection of state wide periodicals from many states (such as the Connecticut Nutmegger) often includes early editions. The WVGS maintains subscriptions to several publications such as The Kentucky Explorer, so current editions of these are available.
The Mahonia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists (DAC) donated their records to WVGS. Family records, group sheets, and bible records are now organized by surname and filed in notebooks at Salem Public Library. These records contain copies and transcriptions of family bibles from many states other than Oregon. Information on a birth, marriage or death of an ancestor might be found. Also the DAC donated various other records, such as histories of towns in Oregon that no longer exist. One section contains early records of the First Methodist Church of Salem, Oregon from 1858-1886. The notebooks are at Salem Public Library for volunteers to use. The contents are listed here and you can request a search on our Research page.
WVGS Corresponding Secretaries do research for the Society. A collection of old notebooks with their research materials for Oregon counties has been brought to the Salem Public Library for our volunteers to use. These records are not readily found in our collection or on the internet. For example there is the Harney County Probate Register from 1889-1900, and the Death Records for Clackamas County from 1907-1915 that include cause of death. The materials are sorted by county, but they have not been indexed or scanned. You can request a search of these materials.
WVGS members have done research in Marion County and other parts of Oregon. The work has been published by the Society. For example, the Marion County, Oregon 1895 Census and the 1905 Census are meant to replace the missing 1890 US census information that was destroyed in a fire.