Shaking the family tree with Minot Public Library

October is Family History Month, but exploring genealogy and family trees is always an interesting topic and the Minot Public Library has the resources to help you begin or continue your research. Libraries exist to serve the community and especially to help citizens in their research needs. Family history is an important type of research and the Minot Public Library is available to help you with this research.

How can the Minot Public Library help and what services are provided? The most basic is access to the internet, which some people do not have at home.

Through access to the internet a patron can access sites like Ancestry.com, Familysearch.com and Myheritage.com, just to name a few. These sites were created to pool many resources in one easy-to-find place. Whether you are just getting started or have been researching for a while, the Minot Public Library can help you navigate through this information.

MPL has library editions of Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest that allow for more in-depth research. For instance, with the library edition of Ancestry you can search through all the resources Ancestry.com has to offer without being required to pay for a monthly membership.

One of the latest trends in family research has many people thinking about taking a DNA test to help with their family history search. While the library can’t help you take or interpret these tests, the library can help you sort through the overload of information available.

Staff can give you information to help answer your questions. Perhaps you are wondering which test you should take because there are multiple options and there are also five different sites offering different tests. The library can help get you information on what each test does and what they don’t do so you hopefully won’t end up taking a test that can’t answer the question you are asking.

Once your results come back, you may be scratching your head wondering what they mean and also asking “Now what do I do?” Contrary to what it might sound like on some of the commercials, you do not get handed a family tree with your results. You’ll need to use your results to help build or flesh out your family tree and you can use resources at the library to help understand and apply your results.

For more traditional genealogical research, the library has a lot of information on local history including virtually all of the issues of the Minot Daily News on microfilm, which can be very helpful if your family history is local. The library’s Great Plains room is a one-of-a-kind collection of regional histories that includes biographies, atlases, yearbooks and more. The Library also has numerous books on genealogy and a subscription to Family Tree magazine to help you in your research.

Perhaps the best resources the Minot Public Library has are the librarians. Staff have experience with and training in genealogy and can help you in your research. Staff may even be able to come up with an idea you hadn’t thought of, or a site you didn’t know about.

Contact the library at 852-1045 to find out more or to set up a one-on-one training session on genealogical resources.

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