|Grave of Betsey Kezar, my 4th great-grandmother.|
The book I read at the Family History Center traces her line
back to my 10th great-grandfather, George Keyser.
Nine years into family research and I have finally visited a Family History Center. Nine years! That tells me that I am not using the Family Search website enough. If I were, I'm sure I would have had a reason to visit before now.
A week or so ago I was trying in vain to catch up on my blog reading over lunch when a post I read suggested using Google Books in family history research. I have used Google Books in the past, but I'm sure I haven't searched for all of my ancestors, so I plugged in Moses Bean Hatley, the ancestor I wrote about in my last post and the name of the place he settled in Quebec, to see what I would get.
One of the books that came up on that search was available to view on Family Search but only from a Family History Center. So, it was finally time to make the arduous half hour journey to Plainview to check out the library.
What I found was more like a reading room than a traditional library. The main room was lined with bookshelves and file cabinets and also had three large tables; one where two volunteer staff members were helping researchers, one containing two desktop computers for public use and another table with internet connections for users who want to bring their own laptops to plug into the center's internet.
I was able to get on a public computer right away and, since no one was waiting for it, use it until I left. I finished taking notes just as the daytime hours were ending, so I didn't have a chance to explore a lot or ask about the available resources. But I did see a shelf copy of The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society's New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. That's a book I've been wanting for a couple of years now, but the $90 price was prohibitive, so I was excited to see that.
From the conversations I was hearing behind me I gather there are some very serious researchers working regularly at that center. So, I'll have to borrow a laptop and get myself there again very soon.
I'll keep you posted and let you know when I make that grueling trip again.