MOUNT VERNON — The holiday season is a festive time, a time to celebrate with friends and reconnect with family members. It is also a time to reflect upon a family’s past, present and future. To connect with the past, many people turn to researching the family tree to see where the roots were planted.
One local resource for researching one’s family history is the Family History Center located in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1010 Beech St., Mount Vernon. The center is open to the public. Win Shores, director, said more non-members than members actually take advantage of the genealogy research resources available.
Those resources include microfilm and microfiche records of U.S. census data, rental rolls, marriages, births, deaths, work records and more, some dating as far back as Colonial days in the 1600s.
The Family History Center is deceptively small. It contains, among other materials, research guides for individual states and their counties. Those guides tell the individual how to do research in that particular state and who to write to for copies of government records. Some material from other countries is available including a large number of Scottish historical records on site.
There is also a Periodical Source Index which takes one to records in books and magazines.
“You look up whom you want, find the reference,” Shores said, “and then go to the public library which has the set of books or magazines. People can also order a copy of the record from distant libraries.”
Besides duplicate microfilm and microfiche on site, the computers link researchers to Salt Lake City’s Granite Mountain, where original microfilms and microfiche are stored.
“Our ancestors have been here for a long time and there are records. We have access to all of those records,” said Shores. “They have been collecting and filming records since the late 1800s. The Family History library catalog starts with early Colonial records in the U.S. and continues through current times. The data include the person’s name, county and state of residence, and the location, reference number or page number of where the data is located.
“When you find what you want in the library catalog, you can order it,” Shores said.
The document can be reviewed for 30 days, 60 days or indefinitely.
Shores first became interested in genealogy when she was a little girl.