Learn about your family’s history at Mentor Library

This probably isn't your family. But you CAN find out more about your family with the databases at Mentor Library.

This probably isn’t your family. But you CAN find out more about your family with the databases at Mentor Library.

How far back do you know your family’s history? Do you know your great-grandparents? Do you know their great-grandparents?

Do you want to?

Mentor Public Library is having a special, free genealogy class at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, at its Main Branch.

A librarian will explain all of the online tools that people can use to explore their family tree. That includes the ancestry.com database, which compiles centuries worth of official documents.

You can use the Ancestry database for free when you visit any of the Mentor Library branches. You can access it on the Databases page in the Research & Tools section of our website. (Unlike most of our digital services and databases, you do need to use a Mentor Library computer to access the Ancestry database.)

If you know the name of the person you’re researching and somewhere they lived, then you have all you need to begin.

If you know the name of the person you’re researching and somewhere they lived, then you have all you need to begin.

You don’t need to know much to get started on the Ancestry database either—a name, somewhere that person lived and it helps to know his or her approximate birth year. (And, frankly, if you don’t know your great-grandfather or great-great-mother’s birth year, it usually only takes a single search to find out.)

Ancestry then searches through millions of public records for information about him or her: census and immigration information, birth/marriage/death certificates, and more. Not only can you view these documents, but you can email them to yourself and your family members.

So let our librarians help you get started, and soon you’ll be combing through family history you never knew you had.

Give it a shot. After all, you don’t know what you’ll find until you look.

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