Genealogical Society offers help for when your family story is a brick wall

Genealogical Society offers help for when your family story is a brick wall

This year's annual general meeting of the P.E.I. Genealogical Society will include displays and talks to help you track down your own family story.

Experienced family researchers will be on hand to answer questions. Society president Fred Horne said these questions can come on quickly if a family member dies, or moves out of the old family home.

"All of the sudden there can be letters, there can be photographs," he said.

"A real treat is when there are photographs that are actually labelled."

A helpful community

The P.E.I. Genealogy Fair is not just for people digging through Island family roots. With the online tools available worldwide research is available on P.E.I.

Sarah Fisher has been researching her own non-Island family, and has found the society to be very helpful.

"It's great community, the society, to just be able to talk about where you're going and what's going in your own search," she said.

Fisher will talk about how to break through brick walls in your research, drawing on her own experience getting past the fact that her mother was adopted. She was able to use social media and online genealogy resources to track down her mother's birth mother.

"My mom actually met her birth mother at age 68 last summer," she said.

When a brick wall looks like a window

Sometimes what you think you know about your family can be an issue in itself.

Liz and Bill Glenn will talk about how to verify old family stories.

"Sometimes it can be quite misleading if part of the family story doesn't pan out," said Horne.

"That can be a brick wall. You keep believing that particular story is true but you haven't really verified it."

In addition to the more formal presentations there will be tables set up to help people researching particular materials, such as using hair and clothing styles to date photographs.

The genealogy fair is April 29 starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Latter Day Saints Church in Charlottetown.

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