By Angie Georgeff
October flew by us in a flurry of apples, leaves and pumpkins. Now that we’ve arrived in November, many of us tend to turn our thoughts to Thanksgiving and family. For me, family extends well beyond those who can gather at the table with me on Nov. 24.
My ongoing family history research has introduced me to ancestors who lived centuries ago. Many of their lives are more familiar to me than those of my aunts, uncles and first cousins who lived far away in Massachusetts and California.
I also have had my DNA analyzed and discovered deeper roots leading back to Scandinavia and Finland, in addition to my documented ties to the British Isles and Western Europe. I wish I had known that when I lived in Europe during the 1980s. Back then, I didn’t even know about my fairly extensive German ancestry.
I often enjoyed visiting the quaint little town of Bingen am Rhein, but I didn’t realize then that one of my fifth great grandfathers had come from there to settle in Montgomery County, Va., before the Revolutionary War. If I had known, I would have had an even greater appreciation for the historic sites and the terraced vineyards that bask in the bright sunlight reflected by the legendary Rhine River.
Stories about our family were one of our favorite topics of conversation at the Thanksgiving table when I was young. They added personality to the bare names and dates of the forefathers and foremothers that were written on my first family tree. If you are curious about your family history, come to the library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17. Our 90 minute genealogy workshop can help you get started or give you suggestions to try to surmount any of those pesky brick walls that may be blocking your path. Computers will be available for hands-on research, but computer skills are not required.
And while we’re on the subject, if you would like to acquire some basic computer skills, come to the library at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, for our Introduction to Computers class. We will start at the very beginning, learning how to turn on the computer, so don’t be afraid that you won’t be able to keep up. Class size is strictly limited to eight participants, so please call the library for your reservation.
The board of trustees of the Unicoi County Public Library will meet in the library lobby at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. The public is welcome to attend. If you require special accommodations, please call the library at 743-6533 for assistance.