Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Genealogy for the Beginner at Roanoke Main Library (It's Free)

One of the most popular features of the Roanoke Writers Workshop series through the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge last year and again at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference in January were presentations on genealogy by Roanoke City library professional Laura Wickstead and historian Ellen Brown. The Virginia Room at the Roanoke Main Library will sponsor a “Lunch and Learn” series on “Genealogy 101: Family History Research for the Novice” in the coming weeks.

Each session in this six-part series will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Virginia Room Alcove, 706 S. Jefferson St., second floor. The series meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in April, May, and June. The classes are free.

The schedule includes:

April 14: Getting Started on Your Family History: Begin at the beginning. Learn how to interview family and friends, cite sources, organize and back up your data, maintain good records, create a research strategy and logs, plan research trips and make notes for the future.

April 28: Exhaust the Census Records: The U.S. Census holds more family history information than any other source. Learn how to interpret the population and special census schedules.

May 12: Vital Records – Birth, Marriage & Death: Where are these records? What kind of data do they hold? Is it really necessary to get a death certificate? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in this class.

May 26: Published & Unpublished Family & Local Histories: Uncover the wealth of information available in books, periodicals and manuscript collections. Learn where family papers are held and discover what has been written about your ancestors.

June 9: Courthouse and Government Records: Research deeds, wills and other court records for essential family information. Explore immigration and naturalization records to follow your ancestors back to the “old country.”

June 23: Directories, Maps and Gazetteers: Where were your ancestors when? These resources and related research tools such as place-name dictionaries and geographical sources may provide answers to that question.

Classes are free and open to everyone, and beginners are welcome. Participants may bring a lunch. Registration is required, either by the class or for the series. For more information, call 540-853-2073.

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