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History museum offers genealogy course

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 12:26 p.m. CDT
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People will learn how to uncover the stories of their ancestors in the Sycamore History Museum's genealogy class.

SYCAMORE – “Who am I” is a very philosophical question, but there are ways to find answers. One of the most popular is by studying genealogy.

Genealogy is among the most common reasons people visit historical societies and research libraries. Through this research, you can validate family stories, find out if you are related to someone famous, better understand family traditions, connect with other family members and satisfy curiosity – or sometimes create new questions.

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, Julie Dresser will begin a six-week class on hints, tips and tricks for genealogists.

Dresser started as a genealogist at age 11, and has never lost her passion. In an essay contest last year, she won a trip to the Society of American Archivists’ annual meeting in California. Now, she wants to share her knowledge with those interested in starting genealogy or those who want to brush up their skills. The six weeks will include introduction and home sources; birth, marriage and death records; census records; immigration records; military/court records and local and national repositories. She will provide personal examples during the class, open to all ages.

“The museum first offered this class in the fall. We were overwhelmed with the response,” Michelle Donahoe, executive director of the museum, said. “There was a waiting list of over 20 people, so we decided to offer it again this winter. Genealogy is certainly something our community is interested in.

“Julie did a great job teaching. The feedback was very positive from people just beginning their journey in genealogy to those who worked on it for years.”

The class will be offered from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays Jan. 23 through Feb. 27 in the lower level at Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St. in Sycamore.

Registration is required, and there is limited space available. A $25 fee covers all six weeks and a series of handouts for each class. For more information or to register call 815-895-5762 or email michelle@sycamorehistory.org.