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Library genealogy classes connect people to their roots

By Amalia Kortright

news@lagrangenews.com

For the past two years, LaGrange Memorial Library has hosted free genealogy classes on a monthly basis. Class instructor and library assistant Delane Knight said the classes attract people of all ages from the community.

Knight said she has been passionate about genealogy for a long time. She began teaching the classes shortly after she became a library assistant.

“I’ve been into genealogy since I was very young. When I signed on here, I told them that this was something I really wanted to do,” Knight said.

During the classes, Knight said she teaches visitors how to use Ancestry.com, which is available to the public for free at the LaGrange Memorial Library.

“If we can offer [Ancestry.com] for free, we want people to know how to use it,” Knight said.

Two different classes are offered. The first one, called “Quick Start” is intended for beginners and teaches members of the community how to find their relatives using U.S. Census records. The second class is entitled “Getting to Know Your Family,” and offers visitors a more in-depth look at their family history. According to Knight, most people take both classes.

“In ‘Getting to Know Your Family,’ I tell people what they need to know if they want to make a presentation at a family reunion,” Knight said. “You don’t find all of the information at one time on the computer,” Knight said.

Classes are typically held during the day in the library’s meeting room. Spots for each session are usually reserved for eight people. The upcoming class, which will be held at 6 p.m. today, is one of the few evening genealogy classes the library has ever hosted.

Knight said class times are based on popular demand, and she would be willing to change them or expand them for visitors.

“We would definitely consider having a Saturday class if people wanted one,” Knight said. “We’ll keep having them as long as people want them.”