Windsor Public Library holds class on genealogy research

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 26, 2013
Diane Wassel and her son, Lee, enjoyed learning how to research their family tree. Photo by Lisa Stone.
Diane Wassel and her son, Lee, enjoyed learning how to research their family tree. Photo by Lisa Stone.

A classroom at Windsor Public Library was full of people looking to start their own genealogical research into their family trees on Sept. 17. The library’s head of reference, Sarah McCusker, led the instructional session.

Genealogical research is becoming more and more popular, with more ways to access it. There is so much new information that can point people in the right direction to their family history; you just need to know where to start. The Windsor Public Library has had the Ancestry Library Edition program for some time now, but many residents don’t know how to access the information. This class was designed to teach people how to use the website.

“Ancestry.com is the largest and most popular genealogical research website available,” said McCusker. “We have an enhanced library database version that is free of charge to patrons. The amount of information is vast. You can access United States Federal Census, as well as United Kingdom and Canadian Census collections, birth, marriage and death indexes, as well as obituaries and so much more.”

McCusker demonstrated how to use the program with the use of an overhead screened computer. Attendees could simply give a name of an ancestor and any information that they may have had about where or when they lived. One person asked to look up their great aunt. Even though the name was a very common name, with the use of the Ancestry.com program, McCusker and the class were able to find information that would lead them to the next step.

Other avenues of information available through Ancestry.com are draft registration cards, enlistment records, casualties of war and POW records, Sons of the American Revolution applications, Daughters of the American Revolution lineage books and pension applications. All of these areas offer a vast amount of information that would be of interest while researching one’s ancestry.

The library encourages its patrons to take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer. The reference desk is always available to help with research needs. “We are hoping that more people begin using the program,” said McCusker. “We believe once they begin their journey into their family history, they will want to use it more and more. If anyone has an issue with the program, we are always willing to help.”

While the demonstration was going on, people were quick to take notes and ask questions. It was clear there was an interest in learning this program. “We are looking to find out information about our family,” said Diane Wassell. “I am learning a lot and I intend to come to the library to start researching as soon as possible.”

Wassell’s son, Lee, added, “This evening has been very informative. We have really learned a lot and we’re having fun while we are learning.”

For more information about the Ancestry program or upcoming events at the Windsor Public Library, call 860-285-1918.


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