Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Riverside Research Suits Genealogists; They Learn How to Find Family Members at a Special Ancestry Day

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Riverside Research Suits Genealogists; They Learn How to Find Family Members at a Special Ancestry Day

Article excerpt

Byline: COULTER KIRKPATRICK

Budding genealogists learned how to dig for family roots with cyber-tools recently at Riverside Presbyterian Church, when the Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society partnered with Ancestry.com to host Ancestry Day.

The all-day seminar featured Ancestry.com representative and genealogy expert Lisa Arnold, who taught how to navigate Ancestry.com and use its extensive online tools and databases. About 287 amateur genealogists attended the seminar, which thrilled members of the Exchange Society.

"We were ecstatic with the turnout," said the society's president, Betty Reed. "To our knowledge this was the largest genealogy event ever hosted in the Jacksonville area."

Other nearby genealogy groups were represented at the event, with members from the Coastal Georgia Genealogy Society of St. Simons, Huxford Genealogy Society of Homerville, Ga., Baker County Genealogy Society and Beaches Historical Society attending.

Larry Lachance, an avid genealogist who has been researching his family for about 33 years and has his own family Web site, said he came to the event with hopes of getting tips from Arnold, a Quaker research expert. Lachance said he has been searching for information on his Quaker great-great-grandmother.

"It's nice to know that there is so much interest in genealogy, as was evidenced by the number of people attending," Lachance said.

The big draw for the event was Ancestry.com, which decided to send a speaker when the society became a partner in the World Archives Project, according to Reed. As part of the project's goal to preserve historic documents, club members are busy creating indexes to the 1924-49 Jacksonville City Directories, which will later be available online free. The actual images of the directories, however, will be viewable only with a paid Ancestry. …

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