Harford County Public Library Hosts Virtual Genealogy Week January 19-22


Harford County Public Library is hosting Genealogy Week January 19-22 featuring a variety of virtual programs.

Genealogy Week provides four virtual programs featuring experts who will discuss topics of interest to those just starting to research family history as well as to those who have been doing it for years.  

The programs are free of charge, but advanced registration is requested by visiting HCPLonline.org.

“I’ve Got My Ancestry DNA Report: Evaluating My Test Results for Connections” will be held Tuesday, January 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. During this workshop, Patti Gillespie takes understanding the DNA report to the next level. As a warm-up, she will touch on the DNA Ethnicity Report, the DNA Circles and the DNA Story, and she will calculate find matches, evaluate the degree of relationship and compare DNA. The program is for adults who are beyond beginner and looking to build a greater knowledge of the power of genetics in genealogy. Attendees will be entered to win one of three genealogy-related raffle prizes.

“Messages from the Grave: Listening to Your Ancestor’s Tombstone” will be held Wednesday, January 20, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Elissa Scalise Powell will use colorful photographs to illustrate tips for finding ancestors’ cemeteries, what the stone shapes and symbols mean, and reading techniques that make work inscriptions “speak” to you along with other common problems and solutions. The program is geared to adults. Attendees will be entered to win one of three genealogy-related raffle prizes.

“Rogues, Rascals and Rapscallions: The Family Black Sheep” will be held Thursday, January 21, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Playing detective in court records can unmask those black sheep every family has–and it’s fun. In this workshop, Judy G. Russell, a genealogist with a law degree, will explain how to understand the criminal process in both federal and state courts and how to find the records to put meat on the bones in the skeletons in your family’s closet. The program is for adults. Attendees will be entered to win one of three genealogy-related raffle prizes.

“Your Family History Mystery: Discovering Clues and Uncovering Motives” will be held Friday, January 22, from 4 to 5 pm. T.J. Resler explores the first steps to sleuthing out your family background–the who, when, what and where–and how to transform your family tree into family history. Based on her National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy, this workshop is geared toward teens just getting started in genealogy or anyone looking for a fun refresher. Attendees will be entered to win one of 25 copies of Resler’s book.

“Every year, our genealogy programs are very popular with the community, and this year is no exception,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “In addition to Genealogy Week, Harford County Public Library offers an amazing variety of free online resources to customers who are researching their family history. We really do have something for everyone at HCPL!”

Harford County Public Library offers several genealogy databases, including Ancestry Library Edition, fold3, Heritage Quest Online, Newspapers.com and ProQuest Historical U.S. Newspapers.

For 75 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 6.3 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, attending classes and events. In 2020, Harford County Public Library received the Graphic Design USA Inhouse Design Award. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.

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