Unearthing Family Mysteries
The story of an Indiana woman who made a life-changing discovery with the help of her library’s genealogist.
Many people have an innate curiosity about their ancestry. Suppose you are interested in finding lost relatives or want to learn more about your family history. Unfortunately, many of these resources can be challenging and expensive to use. However, local public libraries have complete access to these research resources for free, and many have highly skilled genealogists on staff who can assist you. Here’s what you need to know about genealogy services at the library.
In a surprising turn of events, a 70-year-old woman discovered long-lost relatives with help from her local public library. The Allen County Public Library has a specialized Genealogy Center, one of the largest research collections in the country. Librarian and genealogist Sara Allen assisted the woman in connecting the dots to find her biological family.
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Library Genealogy Services
Genealogy is the research of family histories and lineages. Curiosity about our ancestors can help us feel connected to our past. Even so, membership fees commonly block genealogy enthusiasts from sites like Ancestry.com. Thankfully, local public libraries can help you research information about your ancestors. Many libraries allow free access to genealogy sites like Ancestry while having trained librarians on-site to assist you for free. Your library may even offer these services virtually.
Accessing Genealogy Resources
If you’d like assistance with your genealogy research, make an appointment with your local librarian. Bring any information you have to serve as a starting point for your search. Before your appointment, think of critical details that you’d like to know about your past.
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Accessible Search Tools
We highly recommend working with your local librarian throughout your genealogy search. There are also free resources that your library card will likely give you access to. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is a nonprofit organization that supports and teaches others how to access their ancestry. The Library of Congress is another excellent source of data, a massive collection of digital resources. Of course, if you prefer, you can always use library-accessible online genealogy search tools like Ancestry.com, which are usually free we accessible at a library.
What family secrets and stories will you discover? Call your library today to start your search.