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Library to offer free ancestry class

PHILIPPI — From 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the Philippi Public Library will offer a free “Tracing Your Family Tree,” class for beginner adults and teens to learn the basics of how to search their family history using Ancestry.com Library Edition.

This program and two children’s programs are offered as part of the library’s “Sensational Saturdays.”

During “Tracing Your Family Tree” class, Director Judy Buckner Larry will give an introductory lesson on using research forms and Ancestry and researchers may use the library’s computers to begin their search. Ancestry Library Edition is a web-based reference tool distributed by ProQuest which makes tracing a family tree easier. Larry will also show researchers how to use the WV Division of Culture and History Vital Research Records site.

Those who are more experienced and need little or no instruction can come in during any hours of operation to search using Ancestry Library Edition. The library has nine-public access computers available.

The library will host an additional genealogy classes on “Sensational Saturday” on May 12, also from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The library is responding to a growing interest in family history.

“More and more of our patrons want to explore their past and these resources make it easy and convenient,” said Larry. “Ancestry Library Edition is a wonderful tool that the library pays for yearly. We’re delighted to provide free resources to our patrons that are simple enough for beginners, yet provide deep and broad content sets that help experiences genealogists advance their research.”

Larry said she is assigning each participant a little “homework” before coming to the class. In order to be prepared to begin researching, participants must dig a little in advance by writing down as much as they know about their ancestors. Participants should begin with what they know — themselves, parents and grandparents, and go back as far as they can. They should gather as much information about them possible: names; dates of birth, marriage and death; places in which they were born, lived and died; etc.

“Come prepared so you will have a better result from your computer search,” Larry said.

Space is limited, so registration is required by calling 304-457-3495 or stopping by the circulation desk.

Class participants will have priority use of the computers from 10 to 11:30 a.m. so computer access to other patrons may be limited until 11:30 a.m., depending on class size.

During Sensational Saturdays, the library will also offer free children’s programs. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the library will host a Saturday story time and crafts on Earth Day and recycling. From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the library will also welcome back “Dog Tales –Reading to Mountaineer Therapy Dogs.”

For more information or to register for these programs, call the library or stop by the circulation desk.