Amateur genealogists who want to learn about their family history but who are deterred by the cost of services such as Ancestry.ca can now carry out research for free at any Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) branch.
Starting last week, the TNRL has added Ancestry Library to its suite of online resources available at no charge to library patrons. Ancestry Library is a web-based reference tool which will allow patrons to start exploring their roots by searching over 3,000 databases and billions of documents, making tracing family trees more easy and accessible than ever.
“It’s the same as Ancestry.ca in terms of the records you can get,” says Jenny Abramzik, Special Projects and E-Library Coordinator for the TNRL. These include census and military records, baptism, marriage, and death records, and much more.
“You can’t build your family tree,” Abramzik says, since that personalized service is not available through Ancestry Library. However, she adds that users can email documents and links to themselves so that they can have them available at home, and use them to build their own family tree.
Ancestry Library is only available at TNRL branches, but patrons can bring their own devices, such as tablets or laptops, to access the service. Abramzik says that the Ancestry database is the world’s most popular online genealogy resource, and that making it available will help people discover more about their family history.
Obtaining Ancestry Library started last fall, with six months of planning. “It’s all about the budget,” says Abranzik. “But we’ve always had patrons asking about ancestry, so we think it’s something people will like. And we’ve been focusing over the last couple of years on getting more online resources and databases and increasing the number of products we offer.”
Abramzik says that Ancestry Library will be the “big one” in terms of new online library resources this year. “If Facebook is any indication we’ve already had lots of hits and visits. We’ll get statistics at the end of March.
“Ancestry is very popular, and now everyone can be a historian. It’s pretty awesome, and a big money-saver for people.”
For a full list of online resources at TNRL branches—including Ancestry Library—and branch locations and hours, visit www.tnrl.ca.