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Delmarva family history workshop to begin Feb. 25

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The Westside Historical Society will offer its family history workshop, which focuses on discovering one’s family story as well as the basics of genealogy, at the Research Library of Westside Historical Society, 413 Main St., Mardela Springs.

The workshop will include four in-class sessions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays. Two sections will be offered; one from Feb. 25 through April 6, the other March 4 through April 14.

The workshop will be taught by G. Ray Thompson and Sylvia Bradley, founders of the Nabb Center and retired history professors at Salisbury University. Following the in-class sessions, all enrollees will have the opportunity to do research in four other public libraries on the Lower Eastern Shore on April 21 and 25 and May 2 and 9.

This workshop is offered to beginning first-time family researchers as well as those who are more experienced researchers. The emphasis is on family history, not just genealogy, and focuses on the Lower Eastern Shore, but can be beneficial to those from other areas as well. Basic genealogy and research techniques will be examined as well as delving into one’s own family history. Topics will begin with explanation of varieties of sources and how to find them, following with how to conduct oral interviews, complexities of hitting the dreaded “brick wall,” online sources and interpreting family history through “reading” photographs and treasured family artifacts.

The use of Westside Historical Society’s Family History Research Library will be available to participants throughout the summer and fall. Individual interests of the participants will be a key part of the program’s classes. While the focus is on Delmarva and the mid-Atlantic area, those participants whose roots are from other areas should still find the workshop useful and interesting. Session topics will focus on topics such as sources available in repositories as well as online, learning the language and reading old handwriting, understanding the history of the time ancestors lived in and getting clues from old photographs, maps and artifacts. Participants who have already begun to explore their family history are encouraged to bring in special questions and problems. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. and run to 2:30 p.m. with a break for lunch; participants can bring lunch or send out. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Cost is $65, which includes a manual and workbook, hands-on instruction and research.

Registration forms and fees should be mailed by Feb. 21. Participants who pre-register will receive the “Finding Your Family History” workbook; late registrants may receive the workbook later. Registration forms can be found at westsidehistorical.com, via email to westsidehistorical@gmail.com, phone to 410-726-8047 or mail, Westside Historical Society, P.O. Box 194, Mardela Springs, MD 21837.