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Local church provides family history resource

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Clanton has opened its Family History Center to the public.

The genealogical research area will be available each Sunday from 1-3 p.m.

Wayne Turnbow of the church said use of the facility is free, and volunteers are available to open the library at other times by appointment only by calling 205-755-9416.

Turnbow said similar resources have been made available in other areas, and members of the local church wanted to see one established in Chilton County.

“Our local Family History Center is professionally equipped and will provide valuable training in the research of deceased ancestors and how this research can be easily accessed at home and at work with a personal computer or smartphone,” Turnbow said. “… some of the Family History Centers in Alabama recently helped and participated in the three-year celebration of the Alabama 200. The local Family History Center helps access and train in new technology under the guidance of trained volunteers from the local area.”

This electronic resource features more that 7 billion searchable names and has 12.4 million users.

“The Family Search database gives you access to data input from thousands of volunteers digitizing and entering in public records like birth and death certificates, census records, marriage records, immigration records and so forth,” Turnbow said. “It will also be exciting to find and discover cousins and friends that have worked on your ancestral lines.”

Users set up a free account to begin their research. The database can then be accessed on the internet connection from a computer or smartphone.

Members of the church having been using the resource for the past two years. A recent addition of more computers and trained volunteers made it possible to open the opportunity to the community.

The church will have a booth at this year’s Peach Jam Jubilee on June 29 with a display on ways to start researching one’s family history.