Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

September 19, 2019

Perry – The Perry Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1566 W. Julia Street (CR 609), will host free family history classes for the public starting October 3rd at 7 p.m.

The classes are scheduled weekly on Thursdays.

Family history is a way for families to connect generations.

Charles Watson, director of the Tallahassee Family History Center, which supports the Perry Branch, believes family history research connects the generations.

“We believe families are the foundation of our society. Researching our families is a way to link one generation to another,” he said.

Class attendees will be introduced to FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world with more than four billion names researched. The free program helps families and individuals research their family trees.

“A great part of our experience comes because is unique in that it uses a ‘One World Tree.’ Often, after someone adds their first or second generation of deceased relatives to the tree, their lines will connect with research that others have previously added to the tree. They are delighted to see their line automatically fill in with generations of their ancestors,” said Watson.

Local family history experts will teach the Perry Branch classes.

In the classes, family history consultants will provide one-on-one assistance for individuals, couples and families who want to learn more about their ancestors.

“Through FamilySearch, we have access to billions of records that have been gathered around the world. We have the most extensive database of family records anywhere and it is available to anyone who wants to use it. Many of our patrons are not members of our church,” said Watson.

Tallahassee’s family history center is one of 4,745 centers worldwide, offering free family history research assistance. FamilySearch offers image capture, digital conversion, preservation, online indexing, and online access services.

Observes Watson: “Family history research is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. People want to know where they came from. They want to know about their ancestors.”

According to USA Today and Time, genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the United States, trailing only gardening.

As a non-profit organization, FamilySearch relies on the support of volunteers worldwide who help index personal records, provide personal assistance, and share their knowledge about genealogy research.

The worldwide effort is significant. Through its network of family history centers in 132 countries, people tracing their family trees can access names collected from decades of birth, marriage and death certificates, censuses, wills, and other records.

FamilySearch is continuously seeking technological advances to aid in digitally preserving records and making them accessible to the public online. For example, FamilySearch directs more than 500 digital record preservation camera teams in 45 countries to produce more than 100 million new digital images each year for free online use.