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Unlocking Ancestral Secrets: Family History Month with Libraries 

October marks Family History Month, a time to celebrate our roots, preserve our heritage, and delve into the captivating tales of our ancestors. Libraries, the repositories of knowledge and history, play a vital role in aiding this journey of discovery. In this blog post, we will explore how libraries are treasure troves of genealogical resources, offering a wealth of materials and expertise to help individuals unearth their family's rich history.

1. A Cornucopia of Genealogical Resources:

Libraries like the Temple Public Library house an extensive array of resources dedicated to genealogy, ranging from books and periodicals to microfilms, maps, and digital archives. These resources are carefully curated to provide comprehensive insights into various aspects of family history. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced genealogist, libraries offer a plethora of materials suited to all levels of expertise. The Temple Public Library hosts a Genealogy Room with resources from around the country that you are free to use!

2. Access to Historical Records:

Libraries often collaborate with local archives and historical societies to provide access to vital historical records such as census data, birth and death certificates, military records, immigration documents, and more. These invaluable records serve as foundational building blocks for piecing together a family's history, offering glimpses into the past. The Temple Public Library oversees the Archive for the City of Temple and works with them to provide research to the community. 

3. Genealogy Databases and Digital Platforms:

In this digital age, libraries provide access to online genealogy databases and platforms like, FamilySearch, and Fold3. These platforms allow users to search through extensive databases, connect with other researchers, and construct family trees. Libraries often offer free in-library access or even remote access for library cardholders, facilitating convenient exploration. For more Genealogy resources, be sure to visit our Databases by Subject page. 

4. Expertise and Guidance from Librarians:

Librarians are an invaluable resource themselves. With their expertise and knowledge, they can guide individuals in navigating the complex world of genealogy. Librarians help users access relevant materials, suggest research strategies, and offer advice on how to effectively utilize various genealogical resources. Every fourth Saturday of the month, Temple Public Library is hosts the Bell County Genealogical Society for Open Office Hours from 11AM to 1PM on the second floor. The Bell County Genealogical Society is also here every Tuesday at 1PM to assist those looking to build their family tree. These are great opportunities to meet and learn from experienced genealogists in our community! 

5. Educational Workshops and Seminars:

Libraries frequently host workshops, seminars, and guest lectures focused on genealogy and family history research. These events provide opportunities for learning about new research methodologies, understanding the importance of primary sources, and mastering the art of creating a well-documented family history. This month, join the Bell County Genealogical Society for a DNA Workshop. This workshop will be from 10AM - 3PM on October 28. For more details, see the event information at the bottom of this blog. 

6. Preservation and Archival Support:

Libraries offer guidance on how to preserve and archive family documents, photos, and heirlooms. They often conduct workshops on proper storage techniques, digitization, and how to create a family archive. Preserving these precious artifacts ensures that future generations can connect with their roots.

For more information about Library and Genealogy services, be sure to visit our second floor adult services desk! 

By Natalie McAdams, Director of Libraries and Museums

EventsBetween the Lines: What Your Ancestors Didn’t Tell You! Understanding and Making the Most of Your DNA Results
Whether you are a beginner or have been working with DNA for a while, this hands-on class is for you. Speaker, Patti Huff Smith will take you from the basics of DNA to working with GEDmatch to enhance your genealogy research.
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023
Time: 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Place: Temple Public Library – McLane Room, 3rd Floor
Speaker: Patti Huff Smith, Vice-President of the Dallas Genealogical Society and DNA Specialist
18+ event
Contact: Bell County Genealogy Society 
  • Judy Tyler:
  • Mary Duke:

Genealogy Open Office
Are you interested in genealogy? The Bell County Genealogy Society is on-hand to help with questions and research.
4th Saturdays 11AM - 1PM
All ages event

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