Genealogy 101

WELCOME TO GENEALOGY 101. Doesn’t that sound dry and college like! Lucky for you this course is not graded and you get no credit for it. Almost nobody in your family will care if you succeed. As a matter of fact, if you get good at this, your spouse will soon be tired of listening to you exclaim, Eureka! I found where the Jones family lived in Wales! Oft times such momentous discoveries wake them up at 2 a.m. Get used to being unappreciated for your zeal and passion, at least at 2 a.m.

This series of columns is to give our RBC residents the spark and means to seek out their family tree. If that is something you have always wanted to do, then you have now run out of excuses not to sit down and just do it. Remember, we make time for what is important in our lives. 

I am Ed Peck, a recent transplant from the Front Range. I am a Colorado native who drives a pickup with pioneer license plates and a bumper sticker that reads “Driven by a grumpy old man.” I grew up in Lafayette, Colorado, which at the time contained 2,000 residents, gravel streets filled with kids on their bikes and everybody knew your family. I swear the old RBC High School (Admin Building) on Garfield has an auditorium copied from my old high school. Right down to the pipes supporting the balcony. Genealogy has been my hobby since 1992.

This series will teach you how to start your tree simply; how to contact your living relatives and convince them you are worthy enough to receive the family information they hoard like old magazines; find grave sites, obituaries, county records and other resources; to take that information and create a wonderful patchwork quilt of ancestors. I like to compare genealogy to working a puzzle with most of the pieces missing from the box. Sherlock Holmes always had to find his villian with a handful of obscure clues. You are a detective who needs persistence, work ethics, and a little dumb luck to be successful in your quest. It is more an art to be learned, than science. 

Ed Peck can be reached through this newspaper and also the White River Museum on Park Ave. He is available for guidance at no cost. Contributions to the museum are encouraged.


Special to the Herald Times

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