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9 Ways to Discover Your Family History at the Chelmsford Public Library

Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, Chelmsford Public LibraryThere's help, information and vast resources available for those who wish to climb the branches of their family trees at the Chelmsford Public Library.

By Paula McCarron, Chelmsford Patch (reprinted with permission)

Are you curious about your family history? Or have you hit a "brick wall" in your research?

Compiled with the help of Brian Herzog, Chelmsford's Reference Librarian, these nine tips will help you climb the branches of your family tree.

1. Hit the stacks to find books such as The Sleuth Book for Genealogists by Emily A. Croom or Genealogy Online for Dummies by Matthew and April Helm. They'll help you better understand ways to trace your family history.

2. Visit the Local History Room. Pore over records of the births, marriages and deaths for many towns in Massachusetts up through 1849, Chelmsford High yearbooks, maps and more.

3. Try your luck. Type a surname into the library catalog database to see if someone has published a history about your family.

4. Tap into databases such as Ancestry, Heritage Quest and ProQuest. Go to the library homepage and click on "Reference". Click onto "Databases" to choose "genealogy" from the drop down menu. Tip: Access is also possible from your home computer with a library card.

5. Borrow a CD of folksongs, a DVD travelogue or a cookbook featuring ethnic recipes to explore your family heritage.

6. Tap into the library site to access the Chelmsford Papers Obituary Search database. To view or to obtain a copy of your findings, use the library microfiche equipment or ask a librarian for help.

7. View vintage photos and find local history sources at Chelmsford History (chelmsfordhistory.org), a site hosted by the library.

8. Watch for the new arrival of "study tables" at the library. Each study table will feature a bookstore style display of books on particular topics. One table will be dedicated to the subject of genealogy.

9. Ask a librarian for help. Chelmsford librarians will be happy to help by identifying resources, providing help in using library equipment and offering research assistance.

Need help when the library is closed? Don't despair. Help is available 24 hours a day by visiting the library's site. You can click on the "Ask a Librarian" box to be connected to a librarian via chat software.

As you dig into the hobby of genealogy, you'll come to appreciate the vast amount of information and resources available at the library - and best of all, they're all free.

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Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 4:58 pm and is filed under Library Information, Resources.


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