The CFAA Archive Files

Since the founding of The Cooley Family Association of America in 1936, members and others have submitted Cooley-centric things to us. If the submission was a newspaper clipping, wedding announcement, funeral card, or similar article, it was pasted into a scrapbook. If it was genealogical information, it was placed in our archive file in the possession of the genealogist. Much of the genealogical data was gathered from membership application supporting documents.

Over the years, the collection of genealogy files grew to fill 2½ five-drawer file cabinets. It was extremely difficult to organize this information which included data for many different Cooley ancestors submitted by multiple people. It was also difficult to share this information with interested researchers.

Several years ago, the CFAA undertook a project to examine each document and enter into our database pertinent genealogical data extracted from these documents. We were also able to create an index to each document so that we could retrieve the original from the file in response to a query from a member. This would allow the interested researcher to examine other information found on the original document that may not have been entered into the database – things such as family lore, pictures, certificates, etc.

The genealogy database focuses on names, relationships, events (births, marriages, deaths), and places associated with these events. Things in the archive that don’t fit into one of these genealogy fact categories are nevertheless still of interest to the researcher.

We recently completed this archive review and data entry project. As a result of this effort, we cataloged 314 archive items (archive folders) and approximately 16,250 names were added to the CFAA database. The index to the archive files contains the following information:

  • Index #                                       Makes for easy retrieval
  • Primary Name(s)                   The name(s) of the Cooley ancestor(s) found in the folder
  • Contributed by                        Person(s) who contributed the document(s)
  • Contribution Date                   Approximate date the information was contributed
  • Document Description         A very general description of the folder contents
  • Other Notes                              Any other comment that may assist the researcher
  • Names Already in DB            But perhaps other information was gleaned
  • Names Added to DB               Names/data not extracted from membership applications

The Index is 62 pages long. It is available in the Members Only page as a PDF (Adobe Portable Document File:opened with the universally accepted Adode Reader). The file is searchable by accessing the “Find” or “Advanced Search” features from the pull-down menu in the Edit selection of the Adobe Reader Menu bar.

The archive is a collection of paper stored in 2½ file cabinets. Any particular indexed item may consist of as few as 1 to as many as 100 pages or more. In some cases these pages are bound. The documents have not been scanned, so requests for copies will involve retrieving the document(s) and either scanning (preferable for sending as an email attachment), or copying and mailing. In either case, a significant investment of time and expense (for the USPS alternative) will be required to respond to requests for information.

Up to three scanned pages per member per calendar year delivered as an email attachment will be free. Additional pages will be $0.50 per page. Paper copies will be $1.00 each (includes postage) with no free allowance. Turn-around time could be lengthy depending on my availability and the volume of requests. Members are welcome to personally inspect the archive in northeast Ohio with a pre-arranged and coordinated visit. Only members may access the archive or request copies.

On page xxv of The Cooley Genealogy, our founder Dean Cooley writes, “The Association [CFAA] will act as a clearing house both for the collection and dissemination of all Cooley family material of whatever nature.” Our Scrapbooks are now openly accessible to all members through our website any time of the day or night, any day of the year. Our database of Cooley genealogical information is likewise available. Now our archived material is indexed and accessible by request.

Send requests to
Good luck with your research.