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We are never too old to learn something new, and the Harris County Library Database has a wonderful list of sites with helpful tools to do just that.  We can find information on many different subjects from auto repair to psychology, and language learning to keep us in the know and enrich our lives. But what could be more enriching than learning about our own family history? 

Family Search is a database where we can find a family history organization that provides free access to digitalized records, genealogy research tools, family history books, and more.  On the first page, it says, “Find your family, discover yourself.”, and that is the experience it has been for me!

When I was growing up, my grandmother told me that we were related to both Edgar Cayce the famous clairvoyant, and Stephen Foster the songwriter of the 1800s.  I was always fascinated by this, but there was no real proof to back the claim.  I had done some searching on Ancestry.com in the past and searched other sites, but I never really found anything that confirmed her words.

Recently, I was searching the database tools and found Family Search.  I created an account and got to looking around.  What I loved was that it was so easy!  It has helpful videos, suggestions, and search tools.  As I was working on my family tree, I found that there were areas of the tree that were filled in already, and the more I branched out the closer I got to see the connection between me and these two famous ancestors.

A family sitting together on the couch.

My connection with Edgar Cayce came down to Shadrack Cayce I and Ann Flowers my 5th great-grandparents.  They had 12 children and one of the sons was my 4th great-grandfather, Shadrack Cayce junior.  The other son, William Cayce was Edgar’s great-grandfather. I was so excited to discover Edgar is my 3rd cousin three times removed on Family Search!  Needless to say, I am not psychic in any way.

Now finally, my connection with Stephen Foster is with John Foster and Mary Fort.  Mary Fort was my 7th great-grandmother, and she was Stephen’s 2nd great-grandmother. Stephen is my 3rd cousin 5 times removed, and I have Family Search to thank for finding that out!  The cool thing is that we do have a bit in common.  He was a song composer, and I write poetry.

Family Search also has some cool activities.  You can get fun facts about your name and the year you were born, compare face images, and much more.

As you can see, Family Search has so much to offer past and present. I hope you take the time to explore it and see what you can find.  Who knows, maybe you will discover some wonderful and fascinating information in the process.

Here are some books and library programs to fuel your exploration experience:

Click on each book for more details.
Family Photo Detective

 

Design Your Family Tree

 

Roots For Kids

 

Kids Family Tree Book

 

The Family Detective

 

Family History 101

 

Family Tree Problem Solver

 

Sourcebook for Genealogical Research

 

The Complete Idiots guide to Genealogy

 

Finding Your Roots on Line

 

Digging Deeper

 

How To Do Everything Genealogy

 

Troubleshooters guide to Do it Yourself

 

The Family Tree Tool Kit

 

Secrets of Tracing Your Ancestors

 

 

If you like to get your information and help from a group setting then here are some library programs that may be just what you are looking for:

Lone Star College -  Has a group that meets called Rootsquad.  They meet every third Tuesday at 10 am to hear family history tips, and discuss research questions.  No registration is required.  Click here for more details.

Parker Williams Branch Library has a genealogy group that meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month from 1 to 3 pm.  They discuss family history research (beginner to advanced).  No registration is required.  Click here for more details.

Kingwood Branch Library has Introduction to Family History. October is Family History Month.  Join them as the Humble Area Genealogical Society (THAGS) presents an introduction to using library databases for family history and genealogical research.

Now for fun, here are some books from and about my ancestors:

Click on each book for more details.
Edgar Cayce American Prophet

 

Edgar Cayce on Auras

 

The Life and Songs of Stephen Foster

 

Doo Dah

 

Thanks to our partnership with Pasadena Public Library, Montgomery County Memorial Library System, and other area libraries, you can check all the books featured in this blog. Reciprocal borrowing means more access to more library materials for more people!

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