Sara Swanson

Manchester District Library Family History Guild: Turning Family History into a Family Story

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The Manchester District Library provides multiple sources for the genealogical researcher. If your family is local, you may find the Claire Reck Local History Room’s collection useful. It contains materials on the history of the Village of Manchester and surrounding townships (Bridgewater, Freedom, Manchester, and Sharon). Call 734.428.8045 or email to set up an appointment with the Claire Reck Local History Room volunteer. The volunteers can help you get access to resources and provide one-on-one assistance with local history inquiries and research.

submitted by Char Major

A lively discussion took place at September 19th’s Manchester District Library Family History Guild meeting after Joyce Meyer’s presentation “Turning Family History into a Family Story.” Joyce has written up many stories about her family members, based on memoirs of her paternal aunt and research she has done. She explained her writing processes and what has worked best for her. Her suggested techniques involved getting organized, using an outline and seeking “feedback” from other readers. Joyce provided handouts with her writing process, “table of contents,” “cast of characters” and the opening story of her father’s birth in 1911 at the home of her paternal grandfather.

Suggested questions were offered by the group for interviewing existing family members, surprise sources for questions such as old, non local newspaper articles,  and talking to people who live in the same community as your ancestors. The group each agreed to present a family story of their own at the January meeting. These stories will be shared as a starting point for the members, since most have not written up a family story.

All are welcome to the meetings. The next Family History Guild Meeting at the Manchester District Library is Tuesday October 17, 2017 at 7 pm. The speaker at the October meeting will be Katherine Willson, renowned professional genealogist, who will speak on “Resources for Genealogical Research in Foreign Countries.” If you are stuck researching your relatives overseas, plan to attend this presentation as it will be chock full of informative and helpful resources.

The ​Family History Guild is a group of local genealogists who meet monthly to help each other with research and learn more about family history topics. On the third Saturday of each month (excluding holidays, etc.), the Family History Guild holds a lock-in at the Manchester District Library after hours (2-5 pm).  This dedicated time allows the Guild to make full use of our public computers. While this is not one-one-one help time for genealogy, Guild members are more than happy to help guide a fellow genealogist in their search and provide them with tips of the trade. For more information about the monthly lock-in, please call 734.428.8045. To confirm lock-in dates, please consult the library’s events calendar.

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