Friday, August 13, 2010

Family History Mystery Series Starts

The Jackson County Public Library’s popular and free Family History Mystery classes will begin again in September as the Seymour Library also introduces its reorganized reference and local history area.

Registration for the classes is open now and is encouraged to help with planning by calling the library at 522-3412 ext. 240. Researchers also are invited to stop by for a tour of the new area.

Our researchers have more room to spread out now. Researchers looking for families any place in the United States and in some other countries will find material they can use in their searches. Online databases and microfilm supplement the print collection.

The local material is in the same shelves it has been for several years. Surrounding counties, military and Indiana state materials plus non-circulating “how to” volumes also are along the north wall of the area behind the Information Services Desk.

Family histories are on the shelves on the south side of the local history area as are city directories and phone books from years past. The Indiana Magazine of History also is on those shelves while materials for other Indiana counties, other states and the colonies are in nearby shelves. Yearbooks still may be requested at the IS Desk.

The library has local newspapers and local government records among its microfilm holdings in the same area.

In addition to classes this fall, the library will continue its GenTalk series of roundtable discussions focusing on moving past the stone walls that hold back research. Those sessions will begin at 6 pm Wednesdays, September 22, and October 13 and 20 during Family History Month.

Individuals are invited to bring their charts and tell how they have gotten to the point they are unable to move past in their research. The group then will suggest possibilities for finding additional information and generations.

The Family History Mystery series will focus first on Puzzle Pieces: The Census, Obituaries, Directories and Your Ancestor in Time and will present ideas for finding information and organizing search results. That class will meet in the computer classroom at 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 8; 10 am Thursday, September 16; or 6:30 pm Tuesday, September 28. The class is repeated to give participants a choice of days and hours.

The second Family History Mystery class will focus on Gathering Clues Online: More Census, Lots of Records, and All Those Books. Participants may choose between a class at 10 am Thursday, October 14, or 6 pm Tuesday, October 19. With a timeline underway, participants will learn where to look for more information about their ancestors.

The third class will consider Courthouse and Government Navigation Basics at 10 am Thursday, October 21. Records kept by various government entities can help create a fuller picture of an ancestor’s life. Land records, apprenticeships, taxes, military service and court actions are among records that also include births, marriages and deaths.