By SUE SEIBERT
The other day I was asked if one still had to go to the libraries, especially the big ones like the one in Fort Worth, in order to read United States Census papers.
Happily I was able to tell her that it is no longer necessary. One can go online to find census papers, a few of which are even free of charge, although most sites are for pay only.
However, I use ancestry.com, and while it is expensive, it is really necessary and helpful to do genealogy through their site. So, if you are interested in using Ancestry, go to their site and you will find that they always have a free 14-day trial, and afterward the monthly membership is $19.99 per month. Set aside the amount of time you need, and, really, if that’s all you work on, 14 days should see you through a lot of census, birth, marriage, and death materials, as well as family trees and other genealogical resources.
But, while genealogy is terribly important, it isn’t the total be-all and end-all of sharing our family history. All those stories we have stored away in our brain, and all those stories our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have, are just as important. If these stories are not passed along, as important as they are to us, they will be lost forever as surely as if they had never happened.
So, what can we do about that?
Palin Bree, librarian at the Boyce Ditto Public Library in Mineral Wells, has asked me to speak there on May 22 at 2 p.m. on conserving and organizing family history. It will be a short talk followed by a question-and-answer period – really a brain-storming period – when we can all share our thoughts. I hope many of you will come out so we can have a really good discussion.