We recently held an Open House at the Research Center, something we hadn’t done for a while. It was a chance to let people know the extent of our physical and online resources, and gave interested people a chance to ask questions regarding their genealogy struggles. We were very happy to help people find their starting place, or offer some possibilities in order to find their way out of the corner they had painted themselves into.
We were delighted to have 25 people milling around as we (five staff members and a volunteer) introduced them to our massive research materials and bound histories focusing on the New England states, including Pennsylvania, and extending over to Michigan.
Our very first lady in the door had us mesmerized as she expounded on her experiences providing security at the Hall House after the Senior residents had moved out but before WCA had Counseling services in the building. It didn’t take Norm Carlson long to get busy interviewing her and taking note of her many memories.
Several people had specific needs, and several others just wanted a tour around as we pointed out this or that resource and what could be found there. We expounded on some of our unique collections, and 3 different times, I found myself talking about one of our most amazing Swedish resources. Obviously, the subject came up because these researchers were looking for Grandparents and Great Grandparents who had emigrated from Sweden. I always enjoy introducing researchers to the amazing records kept by Christina Vimmerstedt, who was a Midwife in Jamestown between 1897 and 1924. I will focus on her for the October news because she deserves to be the star of the show.
Several people left with an assortment of inspiring finds like information filled obituaries or WWII Veteran records, and most had at least one or two finds and were leaving with a plan for their own path forward. Their excitement filled the air and reminded us of why we love our jobs.