Claire Varrieur is an independent contractor for the Hagen History Center, tasked with creating an online digital index of our extensive archival collections. As of March 2020 she has assumed responsibilities as Interim Director of Library and Archives while ECHS begins a national search for permanent director. The society has a large and varied collection of family papers and ephemera, business and industry records, court documents, photographs, postcards, framed items, and materials related to Erie's settlement, its history, the Civil War, both World Wars, and other conflicts in which Erie soldiers played a part. The boxes containing these archives total nearly two linear miles. Once Claire has created searchable meta data for these collections, an index of the contents will be available to researchers online.
She holds a BA in Economics/Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross and had a successful 10-year career in corporate finance before leaving boardrooms and financial analysis behind to focus full-time on raising three amazing children. Now that they have left the nest to follow their own careers in medicine, scientific research, and journalism, Claire has turned her attention to her life-long passion for genealogy. When she isn’t digging through the historical society’s archives, Claire solves researchers’ Northwest PA genealogical brick wall problems and specializes in military repatriation, assisting the U.S. Army in their efforts to fully account for all military personnel lost in past wars.
Claire was born in England and grew up in New England. A history-lover from birth, Claire joined the Erie County Historical Society in an unofficial capacity as a volunteer archival processor in 2011, where she quickly discovered a love for all things related to our local county history, especially its earliest female pioneers. She was editor of the Erie Society for Genealogical Research’s quarterly newsletter for five years; past author of the Erie Times-News history blog; and author of the genealogy blogs Mahoganybox.net & A Well Lit Path.
When not digitizing collections or helping our fallen soldiers find their way home, Claire spends as much time as possible immersed in her other passions: handknit socks, black cats, poetry, and watching her children dance.