Conference looks to plant family trees

Tuesday, August 5, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:09 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Many people wonder about their ancestry of long ago, but not everyone realizes there are many ways to trace the past.

The Missouri State Genealogical Association will teach people how to trace their family genealogy during its 23rd Annual Family History Conference on Friday and Saturday in Columbia. The conference is intended to educate people about the growing trend of genealogy and to recognize those who have been instrumental to Missouri genealogy.

“It seems to be one of the most popular uses of the Internet ... judging from improvement in many libraries,” said Robert Clinton, the registration chairman for the Missouria State Genealogy Assocation.

Many of the conference speakers will talk about the resources available in Missouri, such as the state archives and local and state historical societies. Guests will learn how they can access records and the steps to trace their family ancestry.

“All of us, at one point or another, want to know about our family — people who came before us,” said David Sapp, president of the Boone County Historical Society. “There are so many different ways you can go about documenting your family; there is a lot to learn, and people often aren’t aware they exist.”

Sapp encourages the public to come to the free sessions.

“It’s not an intimidating environment; the people are fun and very helpful,” Sapp said.

This year’s conference will feature Curt Witcher, who was a co-editor of the Periodical Source Index, the largest subject index to genealogical and historical periodical articles in the world.

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