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Good Deeds: Volunteer wants ‘to help other people find their history’

Ann Boll is a volunteer at the Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society.
Ann Boll is a volunteer at the Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society. The Wichita Eagle

Ann Boll might not be from the Midwest originally, but her knowledge of Kansas history dates back decades.

Boll, a native of the east coast, has been a volunteer member of the Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society in Wichita for 25 years.

The society was started in 1966 to help people learn about their heritage. In the past, Boll, 59, has served as president and now serves on the board.

Boll helps maintain the society’s library of birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses and other documents of historical importance.

“It gives me great joy to be able to help people find information that is important to them,” Boll said.

It was her own genealogical hunt that led Boll to historical volunteer work. After discovering that she could trace her ancestors back to Plymouth Colony, Boll realized there was little information on the women in her lineage. It was then that she started researching genealogy records.

“I just stumbled into it when I started looking for the women on the Mayflower,” Boll said.

In addition to her work at the society, Boll performs in western-style saloon shows with the dance troupe Delano Dollies at festivals and street fairs around the state. She first started dancing in the early 1990s when she worked as one of the Dixie Lee Saloon Girls at Cowtown.

Whether at the library or on the stage, Boll always lets her passion for the past show.

“I want to help other people find their history.”

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