Polk County
          Genealogical Society, Inc. Headquartered in Bolivar, Missouri,
          United States of America

About Us--Who We Are

Mission and Purpose | Non-Profit Corporation | Board of Directors

Polk County Genealogical Society, Inc. promotes genealogical research by providing educational and research opportunities, offering community services in related fields, and collecting, preserving, and publishing genealogical and historical records.


The purposes of this Society shall be:

1) To encourage the interest in and study of genealogy and the practice of genealogical research, particularly, but not limited to, the ancestry of its members and individuals who now live in, or formerly lived in Polk County, Missouri.

2) To encourage and educate members in the art and practice of genealogical research, compilation and careful documentation and otherwise promote scholarly writing; to maintain and elevate genealogical standards.

3) To encourage the interest in and the expansion of the resources, equipment, and physical facilities which will be the private property of the Society. The gifts and bequests of books, materials, manuscripts, photographs, and financial contributions to the Society, would thereby enable the Society to remain in a constant state of growth and progress.


The Polk County Genealogical Society Research Facility is open four days a week and staffed entirely by volunteers from the Polk County Genealogical Society, a non-profit corporation. The society and its facility is supported entirely by membership fees, research fees, book sales and donations. Over 60 percent of our membership is from areas other than Polk County, Missouri.

Collage of PCGS Group Pictures (not all members were present)
Please visit our Facebook album to see larger versions of each picture with names included


Board of Directors

Cay Sergent, President

Cay grew up where there were more cows than people. However, she has lived in Polk County for over 40 years. After 32 years as an educator, she is happy now to volunteer her time for causes that she believes are important. She loves to look through old family photos, even if they are not hers and delights in hearing stories from the past. She believes that while the history books often tell the stories of the kings, queens and popes – the real story lies with the ordinary men and women who lived out each day in very common ways. She is passionate about saving those stories and memories for future generations.  

Ben Gravely, Vice President

Ben Gravely is a sixth-generation Polk Countian. He is a former truck driver and has traveled to practically every state in the continental USA. He is married to Marquita Payne and they have two sons. He is the head of the First Families of Polk County project. He is a descendant of the Gravely family who owned the Bolivar Free Press newspaper. Ben's grandfather, dad and uncle who published, managed and edited the paper, respectively, welcomed Ben's help in the press room when he was younger. Ben is another of Polk County's resident historians, knowing lots of the history since he paid attention to his mother's stories when he was young.

*Ben passed away June 30, 2022. Please see our Tribute page in memory of our deceased members.

Myra Pippen, Secretary

Myra grew up in Polk County.  She returned home after 40 years of working elsewhere.  Myra is enjoying retirement and getting reacquainted with old friends and making new friends.  She started volunteering at the genealogy library in 2020 and became a board member in 2022.  Never knowing any relatives except for immediate family, she has enjoyed digging into family histories and recalling childhood stories for her family. 

Julie Trout, Treasurer

Julie Wollard Trout is a sixth-generation Polk Countian. Julie is a charter member of the Polk County Genealogical Society, which was formed in 1994. She has been interested in genealogy her entire life but the start of her active research came after a visit to a family cemetery at age 13. She graduated from Bolivar High School and then Southwest Baptist University with a degree in History and Sociology. She graduated from the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course in 1995. She is married to Brian and has two adult sons and one daughter in elementary school. Julie tries hard to balance her time between being a wife, mom and genealogy. She spends lots of time on her computer late at night researching!

Betty Doyle, Director at Large

Betty grew up in the city but, during her high school years, she moved to Polk County. She attended Southwest Baptist University and studied accounting. She is a long-time member of the Bolivar United Methodist Church and serves on the Missions committee. Betty is retired and busy doing volunteer work at PCGS and the Polk County Christian Social Ministries, including the Share Your Christmas program. She enjoys researching her family history as well as helping others. Awards include the Bolivar United Methodist Women’s group Special Mission Recognition award in 2005 and, in 2013, the Bolivar Rotary Club Civic Service Award. 


The Polk County Genealogical Society is a non-profit organization
and all contributions are tax-deductible (under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS).


Go to PCGS Home Page

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Copyright 2003-2023, Polk County Genealogical Society, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Last revised: March 2022

Located on the southeast corner of the courthouse square in Bolivar, MO