Solano County Genealogy Society honors longtime volunteer

For decades of work archiving and assisting families with their personal histories, the Solano County Genealogy Society honored their “matriarch of the library” Monday.

Mayor Len Augustine declared June 19 Ruth Setterquist Day at a gathering held for her at the genealogy society’s library upstairs at Old Town Hall.

The group successfully surprised her.

“You sure floored me,” she told the room.

Setterquist, who will be 90 this year, started volunteering when the society was started in 1981. She has archived and digitized more than 260,000 of the community’s death notices, obituaries and funeral notices.

She has created 2,320 folders on Solano County pioneer families, including birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, death, burial, cemetery, land deeds, newspaper articles, correspondence, church and business records from 1850 to 1920.

Additionally, Setterquist has promoted family history research and education, written responses to 425 inquiries and responded to 172 international research requests regarding local citizens and heritage.

She has volunteered three to four times a week for 35 years.

“It’s not the end by the way, it’s just the beginning,” Augustine said.

True to her character, Setterquist has been quiet about the important work that she does, according to Shannon Nadasdy, current president of the genealogy society.

“You’re leaving a legacy behind for all of us, as well as the city of Vacaville,” she said.

Judy Epps Gates, past president, presented a plaque that will name the library the Ruth Dickey Setterquist Room.

It was Setterquist’s own family history that sparked her interest in genealogy research.

After her mother died, she only had a little bit of information about her father, a Marine who died in an earthquake in Nicaragua when she was 3 years old.

Her family took a plane that year from Panama City to San Francisco and she grew up in Vallejo.

To research her family history, she…

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