Family History Workshop Series

Diggin’ Your Roots . . .

The Providence Public Library’s Rhode Island Collection is excited to continue to present a series of genealogy learning events.  With offerings for both the novice and experienced genealogy researcher, these events are designed to encourage you to research your own genealogy and to document your family stories.  You are welcome to sign up for all the workshops or just the ones that interest you. Reservations are required via the website. Please contact Kate Wells at kwells@provlib.org with any questions.

Also, please note that the PPL will be working closely with the Rhode Island Historical Society in 2015 to cross-promote their genealogy events.  Please visit www.rihs.org to see the events they have planned or check our the full joint calendar of events!

Genealogy 101

January 25, 2015 | 2 - 3 pm  3rd Floor Meeting Room

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.                            

(10 laptops available for reservation or bring your own)

What is genealogy? How do you start to build your own family tree?  This workshop will cover the basics to get you started. We’ll cover basic research methods, traditional numbering systems and free websites that allow you to create your family tree online.

You’ll have time to start your own family tree. Basic comfort using a computer for online research required.

Instructor: Kate Wells, Rhode Island Collection Librarian

Genealogy Databases: Ancestry, Heritage Quest & American Ancestors

February 22, 2015 | 2 - 3 pm 3rd Floor Meeting Room

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.                            

(10 laptops available for reservation or bring your own)

You know some of the basics about your family and are ready to start doing actual research. This workshop will guide you through how to search genealogical databases and how to use the records that you find there to fill in the gaps in your family tree. We’ll discuss what kinds of  records are available online, how to effectively search for them and how to use them to document your genealogy. Basic comfort using a computer for online research required.

Instructor:  Kate Wells, Rhode Island Collection Librarian

Memoir Writing

June 6, 2015 |10am - 12pm 3rd Floor Meeting Room

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.                            

Charley Kempthorne, a writer and teacher who has made a career of helping people write the stories of their life, will conduct a two hour workshop on memoir writing.  Charley, who was a pioneer in the “Memoir Movement” started the first reminiscence writing workshop anywhere in 1976 in his hometown of Manhattan, KS.  “Everyone can write stories,” he asserts, “and often the ones who have the least training as writers do the best job.”  

Instructor:  Charley Kempthorne, the LifeStory Institute.

Research Field Trip to New England Historic Genealogical Society Library  

June 27, 2015 | 7:30am - 5:30pm

Reservations required; Cost $55.  Max 25 participants.

Have you exhausted your local genealogy resources?   Join us for a full day research field trip to the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library in Boston’s Back Bay.  Let us deal with the driving and your check-in while you chat with other researchers.   We’ll get a group tour and orientation to the library by NEHGS library staff and then you’ll have full day to work on your own family history research with access to their vast resources and expert librarians.   Guests will be on their own for lunch, but will have access to an array of restaurant options on Newbury Street.  

Introduction to Oral History

September 19, 2015 | 9:30am -1:30pm 3rd Floor Meeting Room

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.                            

(10 laptops available for reservation or bring your own)

This workshop will provide you with introductory training on how to do oral history.  You will get training and practice on interviewing techniques, review of several digital audio recording devices and learn how to save and share audio files.   You'll leave prepared to complete your own oral history interviews within your family and community. Comfort level with learning new technology required. 

Instructors: Kate Wells, Rhode Island Collection Librarian

                  Tiffany Parisi, Rhode Island Historical Society 

Writing Your Family History: Taking your First Step

November 15, 2015 | 2 -3pm 3rd Floor Meeting Room

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.                            

Learn how to take a first step toward writing your family history, with a focus on print projects. Presenter Penny Stratton, Publishing Director of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, will discuss tips and tricks for creating a family history to share with relatives or others. She’ll discuss setting goals for your family history; assessing your materials; selecting a format; defining your scope; pulling your materials together; writing; and then deciding how to print your project—and will show examples of short or informal family histories; transcribed diaries; photo books; charts; and even family-history calendars. 

Instructor:  Penny Stratton, New England Historic Genealogical Society