Genealogy class a first for Chilton County

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Genealogy – the study of lines of descent – is not something Thorsby resident Martha Frye takes lightly.

“I tell everybody it’s my second life,” Frye said. “I love it. I’m not a pro, but I figure I know as much as the next person does.”

Pro or not, Frye has spent the last 37 years tracing her family’s heritage back to as early as the 1400s.

Now, she wants to help others find their roots.

Frye will teach a beginners’ genealogy class March 18 at the Chilton-Clanton Library from 3-5 p.m.

Registration is not required, and the class is free to attend.

“I’m trying to get people interested … and maybe start a genealogy society,” Frye said. “I’m willing to help people fill out pedigree charts. I’m just trying to teach them the easy way to do it.”

Frye moved to Chilton County three years ago but is still a member of six genealogy societies in other counties.

She has 15 three-ring binders full of materials she has collected from her years of research.

“Genealogy is nothing but a big scrapbook,” Frye said. “It’s just finding your family. You can carry it as far as you want to.”

Frye said she will teach those in her class how to conduct genealogical research without relying heavily on computers.

“Everyone is not on the computer, and everyone doesn’t have a computer,” she said. “Don’t rely on the Internet. See it in black and white. Don’t put it in your records if you don’t have proof of it.”