MURRAY COMBS OF GLEN BURNIE
Volunteer work: Mr. Combs has been the volunteer librarian for the Anne Arundel County Genealogical Society in Glen Burnie for about three years.
About the volunteer: Retired from Fort Meade as a civil service mechanic, Mr. Combs is well versed in the resources housed at the library and knowledgeable in doing genealogical research.
Mr. Combs and his wife have lived in Glen Burnie for 35 years. He became involved in genealogy about 10 years ago when a niece recruited him to help her do some research.
He has traced his own ancestors back to the Revolutionary War.
Volunteer's comments: "My work with genealogical research lies somewhere between a hobby and an obsession.
"One of the things I've been heavily involved in recently was a project to reprint the 1878 Hopkins Atlas for Anne Arundel County. It's become a rarity and has all the property owners on it, which makes it quite interesting, particularly to genealogists. It's at the printers now and will be available in August.
"When I retired in '91, I was a member of the Genealogical Society and told Betty DeKeyser [another Genealogical Society member] I've been retired a week and was bored to death. That's how I got started here.
"What I do mostly is the pick and shovel work. Helping somebody find an ancestor is the next best thing to finding one for yourself. When you're able to help people and actually accomplish something, it's very interesting, very exciting.
"When you enjoy something you don't have to be given much credit."
Organization's comments: Rosemary Dodd, a board member of the Anne Arundel Historical Society, said Mr. Combs' work is vital to the organization, "assisting patrons with their research questions as well as staffing the facility."
Betty DeKeyser, a Genealogical Society member, agreed. "Murray goes beyond what is called for in a volunteer. He's an excellent example of a volunteer!"
About the facility and organization: The Historical and Genealogical Research Center is in the Kuethe Library building, 3 Crain Highway S.E. in Glen Burnie.
The center houses an extensive collection of genealogical information, with an emphasis on state and local records, and also includes national and international data such as census records, maps and manuscripts. It is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. On the third Thursday of the month, hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Individuals can become members of the Genealogical Society for a $10 fee or use the resources of the library for a donation of $1 per visit.
For more information, call 760-9679.
"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, any time or fax information to 315-8916 or mail their name to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, 21122.