Discover your ancestry at free event

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Researching family history can often be a frustrating undertaking. Without proper guidance and access to tools, many may abandon their searches after little success.
However, one group of genealogy enthusiasts can help people in their search for relatives.
In an effort to generate interest and membership, the Pearl River County Genealogy Club will be hosting its first Genealogy Day this Saturday at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library.
For a long time, the group held meetings at 10 a.m. at the library on the third Wednesday of the month, club secretary Mike Fitzwilliam said.
“Any interested students and people with jobs can’t come to our meetings,” he said. “We want to boost membership and think many people will be interested in our group. Everyone comes from different places. We want to let people know we’re doing this and let them know about the resources available to them.”
There are many local resources available, including the history room inside the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library, the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archives and the museum inside Picayune’s City Hall, Fitzwilliam said.
During Saturday’s event, members of the group will set up tables and attendees will pair off with members, he said. Members will show guests how to access genealogy resources on computers, Fitzwilliam said.
“We will also lead a tour of the library’s history room and get them acquainted with the library,” he said. “We are also trying to attract more people to use our library as a resource.”
Also in attendance will be a resident expert on black history, he said. Handouts with a list of free and paid resources will be given out as well.
Fitzwilliam said they will also be asking those interested in joining the club what days would be good for them to meet if they decide to become a member.
The cost for a yearly membership in the Pearl River Genealogy is $25 and all funds are used to enhance the library through the purchase of books.
“During our meetings, we work in a roundtable type setting,” Fitzwilliam said. “Everyone comes and talks about some surprise they’ve received while researching. There are also some people using resources you haven’t heard of. Everybody supports each other.”
Genealogy Day is free and open to the public. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Holland Hall at Crosby Library.

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