FamilySearch, which didn’t even exist a few years ago, is rapidly becoming a supermarket for genealogists all over the world. Go to www.FamilySearch.org and you’ll find – as of last month- 2 billion pieces of genealogy-related information, every scrap of which is free.
Today, though, let’s look at one of the most valuable services this project of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) offers to the public. That is, training in specific areas of genealogy, such as researching ancestors in their original nations.
On the FamilySearch main page, scroll down and click on “Site Map.” Under “Get Help,” click on “Learning Center.” There you’ll find a host of mini-courses in various topic areas. Choose “Hungarian,” for example, and you’ll get a broad introduction to researching ancestors who lived in that area of Eastern Europe.
Save the material or print it out, and you’re off to the races. With luck, you’ll push ancestral knowledge back centuries before your folks’ arrival in America.
The information goes well beyond Europe, incidentally. You’ll find pages on researching ancestors in Mexico and South America as well, and more areas are constantly being added.
Other available archived webinars include organizing your research and making sense of your DNA test results, to name just a few from the big collection.
Genealogy on TV: The genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” returns to TLC this month for its 10th season. The series of six hour-long episodes will begin Monday, May 21, at 9 p.m. (EDT). Guests whose family histories will be spotlighted are Hillary Duff, Jean Smart, Jon Cryer, Laverne Cox, Megan Mullally and Molly Shannon. “With the help of Ancestry.com and historical documents, these stars embark on exciting missions to discover their own heritage,” the producers announced.
Records Update: Luzerne County is very close to opening a records storage center in which the public may view documents, the Times Leader recently announced. “A grand opening of the county records storage building and its public access area should be held in September,” the paper said. The building is at 85 Young St., Hanover Township.
Kingston Honor Roll: Did you have a relative from Kingston who served in the military during World War II? If so, you’ll want to attend the dedication of the complete reconstruction of the old honor roll. The original version, now long gone, was built on the grounds of the Hoyt Memorial Library 75 years ago. The modern version is in the waiting room area of the Kingston Municipal Building, 500 Wyoming Ave. A ceremony a few months ago marked the unveiling of that reconstruction with its original 1,600 names. Since that time, the remainder of the names of borough residents who served during the war have been discovered and added, bringing the total to well over 2,000. The ceremony is set for 7 p.m. on May 24.
News Notes: Congratulations to the West Pittston Historical Society for its Facebook page containing many amazing old photos from the borough’s history. You’ll find people, schools, buildings and everyday scenes of past times in the community nicknamed The Garden Village.
Congratulations also to West Wyoming resident Bob Nardone for his tireless efforts at putting photos of older schools and sports teams online via the Facebook page titled Sports Teams of Wyoming Valley. People are constantly finding family members in sports photos and other photos (mainly from yearbooks) going back to the early 20th century.
Tom Mooney is a Times Leader genealogy columnist. Reach him at [email protected]