Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Online Genealogy Help Now Available at All Libraries


Popular Internet resource lets you discover your roots in the library

All locations of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) have a new resource that uses technology to make tracing family trees easier. Ancestry® Library Edition, a Web-based reference tool distributed by ProQuest, will allow you to start exploring your roots by searching a surname. Anyone can come into the library to dig into Ancestry Library Edition's millions of records—as far back as the 1400s.

The library is responding to a growing interest in family history that’s captured not only Birmingham but America as a whole. A new nationwide survey* shows 73% of Americans want to learn more about their roots, up from 60% in 2000. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed became interested after searching for a family surname online, pointing to the increasing popularity of Internet-based genealogy.

Ancestry Library Edition is available at every BPL location. To get the most out of the experience, come prepared with a list of ancestors to research. Once connected to Ancestry Library Edition, you'll find a friendly opening screen that asks for the name of the person to be searched. Key in the name, click on "Search" and Ancestry Library Edition scans its vast selection of U.S. federal and state census data, birth, marriage, and death records, military records, Social Security death records, and immigration lists. It also includes an extensive collection of information from the U.K., including images, census records, and civil registrations. Additionally, probate records dating back to the 1500s are included from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The information you find are pieces of a puzzle that you'll assemble. These records have "clues" to the past—places where ancestors lived, names of relatives, birth or death dates, etc.—that lead to more information. Names can be added to form the "tree" or searched to find more clues.

Genealogy is a wonderful hobby for anyone who wants to know more about where they came from, and BPL is delighted to provide resources that are simple enough for beginners, yet provide deep and broad content sets that will help veteran genealogists advance their research.

Ancestry® Library Edition is brought to you by the Alabama Public Library Service with federal funds issued by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

* Survey by Market Strategies, Inc.

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