Genealogy day will offer ancestor sleuthing

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Pearl River County Genealogy Club will help community members learn their ancestry at the “I Dream of Genealogy Day” on Saturday May 18 at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 12:30 p.m.

The Genealogy Club aims to educate the public about their own family trees and recruit more members, said President Mike Fitzwilliam.

The event will put club members’ genealogy research skills and databases at the public’s disposal, said Fitzwilliam. Club members with access to and the Hilda Hoffmann Memorial Archive will sit down and research ancestors for any community member who comes in, he said.

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The club hopes to inspire an enthusiasm for genealogy and give attendees resources to do more research on their own, he said.

“We never know what we’re going to find and neither do they and that’s why they’re there,” said Fitzwilliam. “They want to know the things no one ever told them.”

Fitzwilliam said people are usually surprised about what they find in their family tree.

“It’s very gratifying, especially if someone put a photo of their grandfather in the paper, they get excited,” Fitzwilliam said.

New Orleans is rich in records about ancestry because the city’s records were not destroyed during the Civil War, he said, which makes it easier for families in the area to search for ancestors. However, the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library’s history room does have genealogical and historical information from all over the U.S., he said.

Kids of any age are encouraged to attend, he said. The club has forms to help kids learn biographical information about their grandparents, he said.

Previous genealogy days have had inconsistent turnout, with 40 people attending one year and six the next, Fitzwilliam said.