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Public Libraries & Hispanic Genealogy Research!



Public Libraries are a great resource that are often overlooked as an option when we start thinking of starting our Genealogy.


For many of us that our roots take us back to Spanish speaking Caribbean, Central and South America, ask ourselves if its even possible to start our Genealogy. One of the reasons why you don't start is because:


"I can't afford it, it is too expensive and where can I get some help?".


Have you thought about checking your local Public Library? Let me give you a few reasons why you should consider it, other than that it is a FREE public resource.


  • Some libraries have free Ancestry accounts, which means you can go to the library and research on Ancestry for FREE and you do not have to pay the monthly membership free.

  • Many libraries are Family History Library affiliate libraries which means that if you have a FamilySearch.org account you can go to your public library and access images of documents that sometimes are not available to view from home. Opening an account with FamilySearch.org is free also.

  • Genealogy Programming, Libraries are starting or have Genealogy programming, where they have professional Genealogists on staff or come in to speak about what is available or with tips on research on specific areas. For example I am usually invited to speak on Hispanic Genealogy on how to research and to highlight what is available.


While there is a lot of work to be done for Genealogy Programming to include genealogy resources for our community. I am optimistic, because I have seen first hand how librarians are working hard to include programming to provide us with information about where we can find information of our roots. Yes there are some hard realities about the availability of documents for some of our Spanish speaking countries, but there is a lot of work being done by many Latino/Latina Genealogists from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador, Uruguay, Bolivia, helping preserve what has survived and make it available for the rest of us.


On the fourth Wednesday of every month, you can find me at the Holyoke Public Library in Holyoke, MA from 2pm to 4pm for Genealogy Drop In Hours. There is no need to make an appointment if you need help with your Hispanic Genealogy research, just stop by during that time!


If you are interested in having me speaking at your organization and in present "Mi Gente Estuvo Aqui Tambien" (My People Were Here Too), contact me at ialicea@descubretuhistoria.com, presentation includes the following:

  • Tips on How to Start Your Genealogy.

  • Talk about the different types of documents in Hispanic Genealogy.

  • Go over Free to little cost resources readily available to the community.

  • Tips and the Cautionary tales of Genealogy research.


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