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Library offers new genealogy service

December 26, 2012
From staff reports , Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - Customers of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County have greater and more convenient access to genealogical resources now that it is a FamilySearch affiliate library.

This new service is available only in the local history and genealogy room of the Schiappa branch during regular operating hours. FamilySearch is the world's largest repository of free genealogical records and manages the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, according to reports. It has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land and court records of genealogical significance from more than 130 countries.

FamilySearch is extending access to its collections by circulating microfilms of the historic records through select public libraries. The Schiappa branch now is one of those libraries. It is a priceless resource for local residents interested in discovering their family tree.

"Less than 5 percent of the world's genealogical records are available online, and most family history researchers cannot afford to travel to an archive nationally or worldwide to find the historic records they are seeking," said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. "If FamilySearch has filmed the records they need, then as far as they will need to travel to view them is the Schiappa branch."

FamilySearch has more than 200 camera teams filming historic records in 45 countries on any given day. The records then are circulated to public patrons through FamilySearch centers worldwide. For example, FamilySearch has filmed more than 60 percent of the Civil Registration (birth, marriage, and death records) of Italy. If patrons have Italian ancestry, chances are they will be able to extend their Italian research by conveniently using the FamilySearch films at the Schiappa branch's local history and genealogy room.

Library customers will order the film and pay online. "Customers can order and pay through computers at the library. Payment goes straight to FamilySearch with no add-on fees from the library," said local historian and genealogist Sandy Day. There is a nominal fee of $7.50 to order a microfilm. Once the film arrives, customers can use one of four microfilm reader/printers in the local history and genealogy room to peruse it. The library staff will assist customers to see what films are available and answer research questions.

Library customers also can search the Family History Library Catalog online at to see what records FamilySearch has available to order through the library.

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