The Vermont Genealogy Library welcomed a crowd of eager family historians during its recent open house on September 9th.
The event featured an array of captivating lectures, each offering insights into the world of genealogy. Attendees had the opportunity to delve into topics ranging from harnessing the power of genealogy software to mastering the art of searching through online databases.
The library offered a carefully curated book sale, featuring publications that spanned various ethnic backgrounds commonly found in Vermont. From the tales of French-Canadian pioneers to the stories of Irish and German settlers, there was a wealth of knowledge available.
The Vermont Genealogy Library proudly serves as the home of the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society, a society that has been guiding genealogists on their quests since its inception in 1996.
Over the years, it has grown, blossomed, and relocated, finding its current abode in Pinewood Plaza in Essex, following its earlier presence in Fort Ethan Allen. Society president Ed McGuire shared that since its move, the society has flourished, nearly doubling its membership to an impressive tally of approximately 560 passionate members.
While the Vermont Genealogy Library primarily focuses on genealogy in Vermont, Northeastern New York, Quebec, and New England, its resources are nothing short of extraordinary. With over 5,000 volumes of historical records and premium subscriptions to online genealogical databases, such as Ancestry.com, it is perfect for anyone eager to unearth their family’s past.
McGuire offered sage advice to budding genealogists, emphasising the importance of finding a group to guide them on their journey. He stated,
It’s easy to go off on the wrong path because people had the same surnames, and the children often had the same first names. More than a few of us have done a great job researching someone else’s family.
Ed McGuire, society president
In a world where digitalisation has made vast strides, some records remain elusive in their paper form, beyond the reach of digitisation. McGuire highlighted that records from churches across the United States are a prime example of this challenge, reminding us that genealogy is not always confined to the digital realm.
In addition to navigating paper records, the Vermont Genealogy Library offers guidance in deciphering genetic records and their relevance to unravelling family histories. Among the tools in their arsenal is AncestryDNA. This service provides insights into one’s heritage by connecting with online “matches” who have also undergone DNA testing.
For those eager to tap into this wealth of knowledge, the library extends a warm invitation with a $40 household membership for individuals and a $48 household membership for couples, granting access to the library’s resources.
The Vermont Genealogy Library awaits at 57 River Road on Route 115 in the Town of Essex. To embark on your genealogical journey or learn more about the library and its offerings, visit their website at www.vtgenlib.org.
- Photo by Iñaki del Olmo: instant images