Ancestry research is garnering new attention these days following the popularity of the TLC series, 'Who do you think you are?'
On it stars like Kelly Clarkson and Chris O'Donnell have researched their family trees.
Many people are turning to genealogy research for a better idea of who they are and where they come from. But getting started can seem overwhelming. That's why experts like Quincy Public Library Reference Librarian Bobbi Mock says the starting line for any family tree is in the obituaries of the loved ones you know about.
Click here to learn more about where to start from KHQA This Morning.
"It gives us a place to start and a place to work back from," Mock said. "Reading the obituary can help you find some of their siblings and parents' names. That answers some questions and gives you more people and links to tie your family to."
Click here to learn more about how to use obituaries to trace a family tree.
From there you can check out www.ancestry.com or Heritage Quest, programs accessible for free at the Quincy Public Library with a library card. From there you can find anything from your ancestors' dates of entry into the United States to census data from more than a century ago.
That's not all. The shelves inside the Illinois Room at the Quincy Public Library hold countless answers to where your ancestors lived and what they did. Click here to learn more about the resources offered at the library.
Documents like cemetery canvases and plat books are also a good way to find out where your family lived and where they're buried.
While all these resources are free, it still takes a lot of your own time and dedication. Mock says sometimes the answer to one question can lead to many more questions. It becomes a life quest for many people. Because of that work, many families choose to submit a copy of their family tree information to the Quincy Public Library so its preserved for centuries to come.
"It helps in case you might have been passing through this area of town or if you are the last leg of your family it leaves a record behind," Mock said.
Those records come together to formulate your family's story through the centuries, giving us an appreciation for how we came to be. There are more resources for Quincy families. Click here to learn more.
"There's peace of mind of knowing who you are and there's tremendous value in that," Mock said.
The Great River Genealogical Society has worked tirelessly over the years to publish more than 50 books documenting the cemeteries and county records in Adams County.
Volunteers with the Genealogical Society staff the Quincy Public Library's Illinois Room on Tuesday mornings to answer questions from people looking to research their family's past.