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family tree
Queen Victoria's family tree, 1901

Trace your family tree at free seminar June 2

(May 25, 2006)--The UTSA Library will host a brown-bag short course in genealogical research, "Trace Your Family Tree," from noon to 1 p.m., June 2 in the John Peace Library on the 1604 Campus. The seminar is free and open to the UTSA community. Participants should go to the reference desk for directions to the meeting room.

The mini-course taught by librarian Devin Zimmerman will offer instruction in using HeritageQuest Online, a resource UTSA staff, faculty, and students can access with Banner ID through the library Web site.

No registration is required, but there is a limit of 25 participants. Attendees can bring a lunch and learn how to explore their family histories by searching the U.S. Census collection dating to 1790, more than 20,000 family and regional history books, an index to nearly 2 million magazine articles with genealogical information, the Freedman's Bank and a vast database of Revolutionary War era records.

"The library has an array of specialized resources, beyond the traditional books and periodicals, that many members of our community, especially staff, would like to learn about, and we're responding to that interest," said Zimmerman.

A recent nationwide survey by Market Strategies Inc. indicates 73 percent of Americans want to learn more about their roots, which is up from 60 percent in 2000. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed became interested after searching for a family surname online, pointing to the increasing popularity of Internet-based genealogy.

"Most of the resources in HeritageQuest Online are not normally available for free online through search engines like Google, so users will find content they have probably not seen elsewhere, including the handwritten pages of census records," said Zimmerman. "Once you see those, you'll be hooked on doing genealogy."

The selection of the John Phillip Santos book "Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation" as the first title in the 1 Book 1 San Antonio program will create even more interest in genealogical research, Zimmerman predicts. "His memoir is a wonderful foray into both personal and cultural identity," Zimmerman said. "I hope to pair this short course in genealogy with discussions of the book later in the summer."

For more information, contact Devin Zimmerman at (210) 458 4894.

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