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Genealogy Day Highlights History

Local historical society will help residents dig up past

All you have to do is follow the paper trail on what ancestors left behind to find out the relatives you may have never known.

The Schenectady County Historical Society is hosting a Genealogy Day on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grems-Doolittle Library on 32 Washington Ave., Schenectady, which will include speakers and open library hours to begin research. Topics will include the churches of Schenectady, online newspaper databases, a personal look into genealogy and how start researching your own genealogy.

It is important to make that connection to the past, said Katherine Chansky, librarian and archivist for the society. "It's kind of a rare opportunity when we stop in our busy lives to learn about the relatives that are still living and the information they can share with us and also try to reach information from people that are no longer here and can't tell us there story."

Chansky said the area has a mixture of colonial American descendants and European and non-European counties. She noted how many people came to work for General Electric and the locomotive industries starting in the 1890's.

"We are a small county, but it has a very big history, said Chansky.

Last year was the first time the library had the event and Chansky said the response was good, which led them to do it again this year. One thing the museum allowed for was more time to start exploring family history and extended the library hours after the presentations. Even though research can now be done at home on the Internet, the event helps people start in the right direction and use available tools.

"I think people get curious about their relatives," said Chansky. "I think it is basically an interest in how we used to do things in the past and how it is so different from today."

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