March 26, 2020
Though the Marathon County Public Library is temporarily closed due to concerns over COVID-19, there is a bit of good news to share - Ancestry.com: Library Edition will be available to access from home now through the month of April (and possibly longer!)
Ancestry.com: Library Edition can generally only be accessed from within one of the nine MCPL locations, but due to the current pandemic, our subscription has been extended to include home access as well! So, if you're interested in learning more about your family and your ancestors during your time at home, we have a couple of places to start.
First, Ancestry.com contains a wealth of documents that will (hopefully) help fill in the gaps as you trace your ancestry, and get you started filling out your family tree. The site contains military records, passenger manifests from immigration vessels, census records, and even grave site information. We'll be offering an online tutorial on how to use Ancestry.com: Library Edition within the next few days, so keep an eye out on the MCPL Blog for that.
Also, Gale Courses has a great Genealogy Basics class. I just signed up yesterday for the class that began on the 18th, though they have future online sessions planned to start April 15, May 13 and June 17. The class helps folks get started researching genealogy who never have before and gives some great direction on where to look for information, who to contact, and more.
Because we are stuck at home, this is a great time to talk with your family and share family stories with one another. While it’s fun to know if you are related someone famous (or in my case, infamous), these generational stories are what make learning about your family exciting! For example, I had no idea that my grandpa was born in Seattle or that my great uncle served in the military. Give your grandma a call (or Facetime with her! She’ll be so happy to see you!) and ask her about her childhood. What does she remember about growing up in the fifties, sixties or seventies? My Grandma told me about seeing the original Frankenstein movie and how scared she was when a building nearby caught on fire that same night. She was scared of all the fire from the movie and now it was happening in real life! It's details like these that really help bring the past to life.
Feel free to call the MCPL Wausau reference desk with questions at 715-261-7230, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or chat with us online, and we'll do our best to help you out. Good luck, and have fun on your search for your ancestors!
image credit: MCPL