The Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive

Dedicated to preserving a lifetime of genealogical research.

Jan. 26th 2012 Meeting Announcement

Picayune Item

PICAYUNE — On January 26th, at 6pm, the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive Inc., 301 Williams Ave. in Picayune, is presenting a program on how to research your ancestors. Gloria Penton, Marilyn Weston and Cheryl Schwab, all from the local genealogical society, will show you how to begin, which websites to choose, both pay and free, and how to build a genealogy chart.






Booth At Piney Woods Heritage Festival

The 9th annual Piney Woods Heritage Festival was held on Friday and Saturday, November 17th and 18th, 2011, at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, MS.  Don Wicks was there manning a booth for the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive.

Don passed out about 100 applications for membership and received donations and new memberships.  Here is a part of the Picayune Item article reporting the event:

Don Wicks was on-hand explaining what the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive is doing and its progress. Wicks said the late Hoffmann left behind 200 boxes of folders, five filing cabinets of information and thousands of pictures in her lifelong genealogical quest.

The Archive is now in the process of cataloging and filing the massive amount of information so it can be used by the public. The group also plans to digitize the collection on-line, said Wicks.

Photos by William Edwards.
















Sign Installed For The Archive Home

Don Wicks, Lorraine Harper, and Ernie Serpas installed the new sign announcing the Hilda Formby Heritage Library to the world.  The building, at 301 Williams Ave, Picayune, MS, was donated to the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive organization by Hilda's friend, Helen Clunie.

You can see some interior pictures in the article titled 'Fall Street Fair and Open House'.

We hope soon to have volunteers to staff the Library so it can be open to the public several times a week.  Hilda's legacy collection and the artifacts generously loaned by other community members should soon provide an interesting glimpse into the history of Pearl River County and its people.











































Fall Street Fair and Open House

Here are some pictures of our booth at the street fair, and also pictures of the museum and archive. Don manned the booth at the Fair.

A more complete writeup should follow soon.  At the Fair we got 4 new members and sold $39 in raffle tickets at the fair and $6 at the Open House and had 29 visitors. We also handed out a bunch of applications.

Also we have a security system ready to go from Fort Knox Security to protect against fire and break in's. The pictures of the boxes on the shelves are hard to read, plus we have a bunch of cemetery books and other boxes we haven't filed yet.

Continue reading

Building Donation by Helen Clunie

The Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive Inc. now has a home thanks to Helen Clunie’s generous gift of the building at 301 Williams Ave., Picayune, MS to the Archive. Plans are in place to begin sharing the massive genealogical and historical Collection of Hilda Hoffmann with the community and future plans see a Museum, County Archive and Historical Research Center where family histories can be preserved and shared. The building will be named “Helen Alexander Clunie Heritage Library.”

Continue reading

Second Member Meeting In New Home

The Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive held its second general membership meeting on Saturday, August 13th, 2pm at their new home, 301 Williams Ave. The existing board of Sara Sheldon, Chairman, Helen Clunie, Treasurer and Don Wicks, Secretary was increased by five new board members: Loraine Harper, Ernie Serpas, Wade Stewart, Reba Beebe and Judy Burge Smith. The new board will meet soon to discuss officerships, meeting dates and how best to approach the future of the organization.

Continue reading

Remodeling The Helen Clunie Heritage Library

The past weeks have been busy ones.  Major remodeling is being done on the house donated by Helen Clunie.  Here is a short list of some of the tasks:

  • Removing an interior wall
  • Removing bricks in the first room where a free standing stove had been
  • Buiding shelves
  • Accepting donated furniture

Now, all of Hilda's collection is back in Picayune where it will be organized and stored.

Below are some pictures taken during the work.


Continue reading

A New Home!

Representatives of the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive Inc. met with Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero and City Manager, Jim Luke to discuss the opening of an archive and museum at 301 Williams Ave., Picayune MS. The Mayor and City Manager, who are both history buffs, fully support the proposed opening which would help draw tourists as well as the community to the downtown area.

Bob Clunie, husband of the building donor, Helen Clunie, claimed it a miracle and a wonderful gift to Pearl River County and Picayune. The building will don the name “Helen Clunie Heritage Library.” As soon as several rooms can be made safe with fire suppression and security, Hilda’s collection will be moved to the new building to begin organizing and digitizing the files and pictures. In the meantime, the organization will begin collecting artifacts, representing the olden times, to place in the museum portion of the building. “It may take several months before we can open the doors to the public,” said Don Wicks, Secretary. “Then, we will be asking the community to bring in family histories and artifacts for preservation and display.”


Continue reading

Flyer Sent to Several Organizations With Common Interests

The Hilda Hoffman Memorial Archive Inc.

(A non-profit charitable organization)

Is Looking For A Home


A rent free yearly lease, (Approximately 1000 – 1500 sq. ft.) – a small building, house, trailer, – space to house a large group of historical material, an office, plus a larger space for a small museum. We are willing to do minor renovation and repairs.

We offer in return, a charitable tax deduction for rent, taxes and other owner expenses.

Our plan is to store and digitize the Hoffman collection as well as serving the community by making the collection available to the public, taking in other family histories for storage and/or digitizing, and providing a space to display important historical documents and artifacts for public education and enjoyment.

The death of Hilda Formby Hoffman on July 4th, 2010 left us with hundreds of boxes of vital genealogies, histories, periodicals, cemetery books, old pictures, and other important family records that encompass the whole of Pearl River County plus surrounding areas. They are presently stored in a safe place in Hancock County, but must be returned to Pearl River County before the end of 2011. Our plan is to operate in the temporary location provided until we can, through the grant process, realize a Museum/Archive/ Historical Research Center suitable to our County’s important and colorful history. Please help us realize this dream. Our ancestors deserve to be remembered for more than just the gravestone that marks their place.

If you find a place and an owner who is willing to serve the community in this manner, please contact Don Wicks, Secretary, at 601-799-1287, Cell – 601-799-9360, or e-mail

If you are willing to join our efforts, please use the Membership Form provided here!

Please Donate

Please make a Donation to help us preserve Hilda's legacy!

You can use your PayPal account or a Credit Card.

Count per Day

  • 91446Total reads:
  • 45868Total visitors: