HANOVER TWP. — Claudia Piczak called Sunday’s open house at the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society’s research library “a trip back in time.”
With the help of past president Alan Durst, Piczak was able to locate the baptismal record of her father at St. Mary’s Church, Plymouth, from the early 20th century.
“Alan found the records rapidly,” said Piczak, of Larksville. “I know I’m going to back again, I’m now hooked on my family history.”
Durst said often family research will have some unexpected results, especially now when people have access to DNA testing able to provide more extensive ethnic information.
President Roseann Kebles said enthusiasm about one’s family history is why many members join the society.
“Sometimes, its as simple as being the keeper of family memories,” said Kebles, “keeping the past alive often through transmitting stories throughout the generations.”
The society’s headquarters on the grounds of the Hanover Township Cemetery is a hub for genealogical research and record keeping. Technology has provided additional tools for accessing historical information in a timely way.
Jack Miller, board member, said although records were previously stored on microfilm, records are now digitized for easy access and long-term durability.
The society works with churches, libraries, cemeteries, and newspapers, in its mission to locate and preserve history.
The organization also works closely with the Luzerne County Courthouse departments including the Prothonotary”s Office and the Office of Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills.
The society always welcomes new members at a cost of $30 per year, which includes access to a variety of resources, many of which are online. Day passes are available at a cost of $5.
The facility also makes available many knowledgeable volunteers to assist members in their ancestral journey. Eleanor Honeywell, volunteer specializing in research, said volunteers are more than happy to help members access information such as birth, death, and marriage announcements.
The society acts as a satellite for the library of the Church of Christ of the Latter-Day Saints which has amassed a great deal of genealogical information available to Mormon and non-Mormon genealogists.
Those interested in becoming a member of the organization or in volunteering may contact the society at 570-829-1765, access the website at www.nepgs.com, or access the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/nepgs.
Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society hours of operation are Thursdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and every second Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.