Get in touch with the past at the 15th annual Family History Day in Manchester

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Tue., Apr. 16, 2013
Contributed
People look up vital records, such as birth, death or marriage certificates, or land records in the clerk's vault. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

If you have ever wondered about your descendents from a bygone era, or if you already have a meticulously mapped family tree, the Manchester Town Clerk's Office has just the event for you. On Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the 15th Family History Day will take place in the lower level of the town hall.

Professional genealogists and a master graphoanalyst will be on hand for free, half-hour consultations. “They help beginners to the very experienced,” said Gail Peck, assistant vital records clerk and the organizer for History Day. “They will help you on where to start, or how to continue if they're up against a brick wall.” The professionals will help any genealogist to not only learn where to find information, but how to understand what the information means.

Those who are interested in meeting with a genealogist should make an appointment ahead of time. To make the best use of your time and the time of the genealogist, it is best to come prepared. “We ask them to bring any information that they have already gathered, if they have, and where they got that information from,” said Peck. “That way the genealogist will pick up where they left off, or tell them the best place to start.”

Peck recalls one man who arrived with a box of documents, some even dating back to the Civil War. Based on the documents, genealogists were able to get him started on an extensive family tree.

“There's so many examples of people who have walked out of here just thrilled with the information they have gathered,” said Peck. “It's an exciting day.”

In addition, the first floor foyer will be filled with vendors, exhibitors and informational booths, which are free to all.

This is the 15th year of this popular event. In a town that is deeply proud of its heritage and where families can often trace back their roots to the town for generations, the event is sure to fascinate anyone with an interest in the past. Visitors might even leave having discovered an interesting connection to their friends and neighbors. “I think everyone is connected by having a relative who worked for the Cheneys at one point,” said Peck. “It's just like how in the prior generation, everyone worked at Pratt. In the generation before that, everyone worked for the Cheneys.”

Everyone is welcome to this free event, Manchester residents and non-residents alike. Town Hall is located at 41 Center St. in Manchester. To reserve a consultation, contact the Town Clerk's Office at 860-647-3037.


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