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Two Free Genealogical Workshops Being Offered at Cultural Heritage Center

Two genealogical workshops will be offered on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. Professional genealogist Paula Stuart-Warren of Roseville, Minn., will present on how to find and use county records and church records for family history research.

The workshops are free and open to the public. Free parking is available. Registration begins at 9 a.m. CDT. The session on county courthouse records will run from 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m. and the session on church records will run from 1:15-4:15 p.m.

The workshops are free and sponsored by the Pierre/Fort Pierre Genealogical Society and the South Dakota State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), with funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

“Studying genealogy tells us about our ancestors,” said Chelle (SHEL-ee) Somsen, chair of the SHRAB board and state archivist for the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center. “And this year, as we celebrate 125 years of statehood on Nov. 2, it is especially important to remember our past. These workshops will give people the tools to do that.”

In “Research Rewards in County Courthouse and Town Hall Records,” participants will learn that the records found in courthouses and related repositories can fill in many details about the lives of our ancestral families and the communities and time periods in which they lived. Learn about tax, divorce, naturalization, deeds, criminal and civil court records, vital records and even the scallywags in the family.

The 1:15 p.m. program is “Lord Preserve Us! Church Records for Family History Research.” From the beginning of our country, many of our ancestors belonged to an organized or semi-organized religion. For those who did, the records which have survived until today can often be a goldmine of details. Names, dates, relationships, places of new and former residences, burial location, entire family listings and other details may be learned.

Stuart-Warren works full-time in the area of genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting and writing. She has been a board-certified genealogist since 1988. She currently serves on the Federation of Genealogical Societies board of directors, is chair of the FGS Awards Committee and has lectured at National Genealogical Society and FGS national-level conferences since the early 1990s.

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