KINGMAN – A tree needs strong roots to grow, and people need strong roots to feel connected.
“If you know where you are from, you can know who you are,” said Belinda Sharp, president of the Mohave County Genealogy Society. “Once you have roots, you are grounded, and there is a peace that comes with that.”
The Mohave County Genealogy Society will be sharing free classes with the community beginning Saturday, March 16, from 1-2:30 p.m. These classes will be taught in connection with the Family Search Program (familysearch.org).
Classes will be March 16, June 15, and Sept. 14.
Classes will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, 3180 Rutherford St. The first class is “How to Begin With Family History Research.”
Sharp said most people are overwhelmed by the thought of beginning family research. The first step, she said, is just gathering everything in the home.
“It’s great to just get a basket or box and keep it somewhere, and then put anything with family history in that box when you find it,” Sharp said. “Brains are funny, and once you start a project like this, you’ll think of all the other things you had forgotten about.”
Another tip Sharp has is to start by writing out personal history. Not grandparents or great-grandparents, but start with the self and siblings and parents and work from there. Once someone has that, and gets to the first deceased relative, researchers can plug that information into familysearch.org and find other research on their family line.
“So many people are doing this now,” Sharp said. “It’s easy to make those connections.”
Sharp said at the class Saturday, she will go over which services are free and what people can do, both online and with apps on their phones. There will be handouts, and Sharp said there will even be a small amount of homework – making free accounts on the genealogical websites.
“Bring your notebook and be ready to blast off,” Sharp said.
The MCGS meets the first Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts, 400 W. Beale St. Sharp said these meetings are open to everyone, from novices to experts of genealogical research. There are yearly dues of $10 and there is an optional $1 donation per meeting. This money goes toward paying a seminar speaker as well as buying books for the collection.