October is Family History Month. That is appropriate since October also celebrates the heritage of German-American, Hispanic-American, Italian-American, and Polish-American groups.
The library subscribes to two databases for your research needs. Ancestry.com (which can only be accessed at the library) and Heritage Quest (which you can access from home using your library barcode). The librarians have also compiled a list of useful websites for aiding your search. Feeling overwhelmed by all the information? Individual classes on using these resources can be scheduled by calling the reference desk.
Of course, the Syosset Library also has books for the beginner to the seasoned family historian. Some of my favorites include The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy by Kimberly Powell, The Genealogist’s Companion and Sourcebook by Emily Anne Croom and How to Do Everything Genealogy by George G. Morgan.
Where to start? Begin with yourself! Write down what you know about yourself, your parents and grandparents. Check any available family documents like bibles, scrapbooks, photos, and diaries and official records like birth, marriage and death certificates.
The holidays are coming soon. Take advantage of family gatherings to ask family members about their lives and recollections. Take good notes or record the conversation. And here is where you need to exert real discipline! Each of the stories will pull you in a different direction. Try to focus on one side of the family at a time. Keep good notes of where you have looked and document each source.
But most of all have fun! Great stories are waiting to be captured and retold.
– posted by Brenda, Reference Librarian