Family History Workshop Series

The Providence Public Library Rhode Island Collection is pleased to announce a Family History Workshop Series for 2014. Designed to be cumulative in knowledge, each workshop builds upon the last to  provide you with a basic understanding of how to research your own genealogy and 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 follow links to individual program listings). You may contact Kate Wells at kwells@provlib.org with any questions.

Genealogy 101

January 18, 2014:  10 - 11 am (plus open practice time after)

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

March 15, 2014:  10 - 11 am (plus open practice time after)

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

Genealogy Print Resources

May 17, 2014:  10 - 11 am (plus open practice time after)

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.  

(10 laptops available for reservation or bring your own)

Not everything is online! In fact, a large majority of the records that you need to complete your genealogy is not available digitally. You’ll learn how to research your genealogy the old-fashioned way – using published books, historic newspapers and other print materials. We’ll cover the resources available to you here in the Providence Public Library and give you some pointers to what you might find elsewhere in Rhode Island.  

Instructor:  Kate Wells, Rhode Island Collection Librarian

Kids and Family History   

July 19, 2014:  10 am -12 noon

Reservations required.  Max 20 families.

A child’s interest in history is often grounded in understanding their own place in the world. Where & who did they come from? What is their  family background and culture? This family workshop will get parents, grandparents and kids talking about their shared pasts as they complete and decorate a basic family tree. Illustrated family tree poster provided, but individual creativity is encouraged! Best for children ages 8-12 accompanied by an older family member.

Instructors:  Kate Wells, Rhode Island Collection Librarian

                  Lauren Lancaster, Americorps Project Intern

Oral History

September 20, 2014:  10 am - 2 pm  (light refreshments provided)

Reservations required; Max 30 participants.  

(10 laptops available for reservation or bring your own)

This workshop will provide you in-depth training on how to do oral   history. You will get training and practice on best practices in interviewing, using a digital audio recorder and saving the files, and background information on a particular theme that the Rhode Island Collection is interested in collecting. You’ll leave prepared to complete your own oral history interviews…and hopefully, will donate them to our collection for the benefit of all Rhode Islanders!

Instructors: Kate Wells, Rhode Island Collection Librarian

                 Amelia Grabowski, Brown University, MA candidate in Public Humanities