Genealogy Fair helps Fairbanksans build family tree

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks Genealogical Society held its 4th Annual Genealogy Fair this morning, and welcomed the public to start building their own family tree.

"I just wanted to learn a little bit about how to get started doing some genealogy research and I thought this was a good way to do that," said Darlene McKnight, a Salcha resident.

While some participants are still relatively new to genealogy, one of the co-founding members of the society, Ruth Jolly Knapman, started looking into genealogy when she had a class project in 6th grade.

"I was ten years old, and when we would go down to visit my grandma and grandpa, I'd take my lined school paper and pencil, since that's before ball point pens, and so I would say 'Who was your mommy? Who was your daddy? When did they get married? What's your birth date?', and that's how I got started into genealogy," Knapman said.

And decades later, she says there is always more to learn about her family history.

"So I tell anyone who's starting their family history, that you've got to be careful, because it does get addictive, and there's never an end, because people keep getting married, and keep having babies, so there's always something to add to the family history," she said.

Participants just getting started were pointed in the right direction of resources to help them continue their research.

"I wasn't quite sure how to get started doing that, I think I have a pretty good base now about where to start, and you can come to the Library actually and use your library card to access ancestry or heritage, which is another site I hadn't even heard of," said McKnight.

So you can fill in the family tree, the Fairbanks Genealogical Society welcomes anyone who has questions about their own family history to come to their meetings and learn more.