Genealogy @ the Library

Appeared In the News-Leader 7-21-2010

By Katy Pattison

Genealogy is popular all over the world, and the Internet makes it easier than ever to trace your family history. Knowing where to start, or where to go when you get stuck in your genealogy research, however, can be more difficult. The Christian County Library abounds with historical and genealogical resources, in both online and traditional format.

You might begin by taking one of our free hour-long courses at the library. For new researchers or those who need help getting organized, there’s “Start Your Family Tree,” covering research and organization techniques and basic resources. More experienced researchers might register for our “Internet Research for Genealogists” course, to learn about both well- and lesser-known online genealogy resources. This course is scheduled next for Saturday, August 7th, at 9am. Both courses are offered several times throughout the year. Call the library at (417)581-2432 to register.

Eager to jump right in? Visit the Christian County Library webpage,, for instant access to a wide variety of genealogy resources. You’ll find links to some of the best genealogy sites on the web under the heading “Genealogy and History” on our website. If your family is from Christian County, you’ll want to visit the recently revamped MOGenWeb site. Patti Hobbs, who lives in Clever and works in the Local History department at the Library Center in Springfield, took on the massive task of reorganizing and maintaining MOGenWeb’s Christian County site. Genealogy buffs will find census records, marriage records, obituaries and more dating back to the formation of Christian County up to present day, many transcribed for online viewing by Christian County Library director Mabel Phillips.

Wherever your family lived, don’t miss our subscription genealogy databases. Heritage Quest allows users to search federal census records, 28,000 local and family history books, 2.1 million genealogy and local history articles, Revolutionary War era records, the Freedman’s Bank covering freed slaves from 1865-1874, and more. America’s Genealogy Bank contains obituaries past and present from newspapers all over the United States, the complete Social Security Death Index, plus access to thousands of historical newspapers, books, and documents to help in your research. Your library card gives you access to both from your home computer with internet access. Connect at Christian County Library’s database page at Ancestry Library Edition is the world’s largest online genealogy resource. This is available only in the library, either at a public computer or from your own laptop using our free Wi-Fi. Ancestry has census collections, military records, immigration records, and birth, marriage and death records from all over the world.

If you want to dig deeper into local history, don’t miss the Anderson History room in the Christian County Library. You’ll find hundreds of rare local books and photographs, and in our microfilm area, county records and newspapers back to the county’s 1859 formation. And, as always, our helpful and knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions, genealogical or otherwise

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