Local History Detective Gives Genealogy Workshop

“I started researching my family history three years ago, first by exploring boxes of old family papers and photos,” said Barbara Chalmers of Sunapee, and “that generated more questions than answers.” Then, after reading about the various genealogy resources available on-line, Chalmers suddenly realized “all kinds of primary source information is available from home, without trekking to courthouses, graveyards and city halls.”

“I started looking and couldn’t believe what I could find. I’ve been hooked on being a history detective ever since.”

This summer, Chalmers will share her experience and resources in a workshop at Sunapee’s Abbott Library. Classes are on Thursdays, June 18, 25 and July 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 10 and offered free of charge. On-line registration is available on the library’s website.

Using a laptop, a projector and the library’s wireless Internet connection, Chalmers will demonstrate on-line resources for genealogy research.

Since starting her research three years ago, Chalmers has linked more than 12,000 people to her family tree and about 8,000 people to her husband’s family. Her research allowed her to connect with “many 3rd, 4th, and 5th cousins living around the world and as close as the south end of the lake [Lake Sunapee]!.” It also allowed her husband’s family to learn of relatives they never knew existed.

Upon a friend’s suggestion, Chalmers “jumped at the chance” to put together a “how-to” program on the subject. She will follow the library program with an adult educational course next winter.

“For anyone with some basic family history information–grandparents or great-grandparents names, estimated birth dates and where they lived,–who wants to find out more, this will open a huge door into the past.” Chalmers added.

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