Researching biographies at the Prosper Community Library is not uncommon, as students often dig into the lives of famous, and sometimes infamous, people to get a true sense of that person.
“But what if the life and background of the person you’re trying to dig into is your very own?” asks Librarian Leslie Scott. “What if you want to dig into your own family roots? How do you get information on your own background?”
The answer may be as easy as devoting four evenings over the next four months to an assisted genealogy search. The Prosper Community Library, 600 N. Coleman, on the campus of Reynolds Middle School, is offering free classes on how to begin a deep dive into family histories.
Classes will convene at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday evenings from October to January.
“These are open format classes, where each individual can proceed at their own pace,” said Scott. “Among the topics covered are defining a family tree, getting started in a search, refining search techniques, and developing a family tree outline.”
Computers and the appropriate software are provided, but participants should be able to provide accurate names, some important dates, and any documents that might assist in the search.
Classes will meet on Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8 and Jan. 12. While the classes are largely self-paced, assistance can be provided by trained researchers following each class.
“It’s terribly exciting to start this class,” added Scott. “The process of discovery, especially when it relates to our past, our background, our ancestors and our roots, can be extremely rewarding and often quite startling.”
Many amateur and professional novelists, screenwriters, storytellers and public speakers use information gleaned from family histories as starting points for their work.
“Who knows? There may be a budding novelist or movie producer in our midst,” said Scott.