Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Genealogy Databases at the library

Have you thought about doing a family genealogy but don't know where to start? The digital age has revolutionized searching for family records. And with online forums and chat rooms, family historians are able to connect with potential relatives like never before. The Northfield Public Library has two electronic resources to help you get started.

Ancestry.com is the "Queen Bee" of online genealogy searching. With Ancestry.com you can search death records, obituaries, census records, church records, immigration records, ship passenger lists, military records, newspapers and more. Ancestry is available only in the library but the library has a dedicated computer for genealogy research. Sign up is on a first come first served basis.

HeritageQuest is available in the library and at home (go to http://www.northfieldmn.info/ and click on "Electronic Resources" - you will need your library card). Although HeritageQuest and Ancestry are very different, HeritageQuest offers the U.S. Census as well as family and local histories and revolutionary war records.

Here are six tips for getting started on your family history:

*Talk to every living member of your family. Take good notes or record the conversations

*Write up a basic family tree to see what you know & where your gaps are

*Document your sources - you won't have to look twice for something

*Freely share your information on message boards

*Don't give up - the information out there is endless and your never know what you'll find

*Check out Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest at the Northfield Public Library

If you have questions, call us at 645-6606 or go to http://www.northfieldmn.info/ and click on "Ask a Librarian".

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