Family history workshop draws genealogy beginners and experts

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Charles Black, internet genealogy expert, instructs packed workshop on internet methods for finding, using and verifying information about ancestors. The 16 annual Family History Workshop included fifteen different topics to enable beginners and advanced genealogy buffs to write their family histories. PHOTOS PROVIDED

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Finding roots through Internet sources presents opportunities and challenges

Do you know where you came from? Do you know how to find out in person or on-line? More than 170 beginners and advanced genealogy buffs pursued answers to these and other questions in the 16th annual Family History Center Workshop at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Charleston on Oct. 26.

Registrants came from as far as Atlanta and some had participated for more than 10 years, reflecting the advances in methods for collecting family hisory information in the digital age.

Experts guided novices through the basic steps of internet genealogy searches and showed how to construct family pedigrees with free software programs. Even seasoned genealogists were stretched by topics on travels of their ancestors and by using senses to unlock floods of distant memories in writing personal histories.

Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies, and learning how to use familysearch.org, the world’s largest on-line source of family records, was a major focus in the workshop. It makes it easier than ever to track ancestors and even find living relatives, according to Charles Black, an instructor and regular volunteer at the Family History Center. While vast resources are readily available on the internet, he cautioned that verification by “boots on the ground” is still necessary in many cases.

Aurelia Smith teaches genealogy classes throughout the Lowcounty, including at the Family History Center. Asked about her enthusiasm for genealogy, she said “I love my family and I love my family tree. It’s more than names and places. These are their stories to share with me and to pass to my children”.

The Family History Center at 1519 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. in Charleston is available to the public for free instruction on all aspects of genealogy and serves as “boots on the ground” for learning how to find, use and verify internet information. For more information call 843-766-0017 or log-on to www.sites.google.com/site/charlestonscthc/

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