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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HOUSTON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY HELPS WITH TRACING FAMILY TREES

Internet resources let you discover your roots from home

Date of release (4-28-07- Erin, TN) – Houston County Public Library has new resources that use technology to make tracing family trees easier. Ancestry® Library Editions, Web-based reference tools from ProQuest Information and Learning, will allow you to start exploring your roots by searching a surname. Anyone with a Houston County Public Library card can come into the library to dig into Ancestry Library Edition’s millions of records – as far back as the 1700s

The library is responding to a growing interest in family history that’s captured not only in Houston County 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.

“More and more of our patrons want to explore their past and these resources make it easy and convenient,” said Kay French, Library Director. “We expect this to be one of our most popular services.”

Ancestry Library Edition is available on the library’s Internet stations located in the library lab area. However, Mrs. French says to get the most out of the experience, come prepared with a list of ancestors to research. “Make a list of the names of every direct ancestor you can think of,” she advises.

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. census data, birth, marriage, and death records, World War I draft registration information, Social Security death records, and immigration lists. It also includes an extensive collection of information from the U.K., including images from English and Welsh census records, and civil registrations. Additionally probate records dating back to the 1500s are included from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. When you’re using Ancestry Library Edition, the information you find are pieces of a puzzle that you’ll assemble. 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,” says Mrs. French, “and we’re 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.”

The Houston County Public Library is located at 24 S. Spring Street in Erin, TN. The library is open Mondays-Fridays from 9 AM until 5 PM and open through the lunch hour, and on Saturdays from 9 AM until 12 Noon.. For more information call 931-289-3858 or visit on the Web at www.houstoncochamber.com or at erintennessee.com .

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