The Danville Public Library , 319 N Vermilion St ., Danville , is a source of information for genealogy research and assistance . Jennifer Bailey photo
pull together your documents ; talk to your mom and dad if they ’ re available ; talk to your grandparents ; talk to your aunts and see what things are available . What do you have ? Do they have the birth certificates , things to fill in the family tree that would be helpful to you ? And if you can , record it ,” Williams said .
Williams , who has lived in Danville for 15 years and is originally from northwest Indiana , has worked at the library for 12 years .
She has experience in researching her family history , a project she started when her oldest son was born . Now , “ I ’ ve been doing it for 44 years ,” she said .
A friend who is Mormon who she worked with at that time , said she should start her family history .
“ I said ‘ why ?” I had no interest in it before ,” Williams said .
He thought it was important that she do it and provided her all the forms and guidance in getting start .
“ I got bit by the genealogy bug that people start working on it , and it ’ s hard not to resist ,” Williams said .
She said she was able to interview her grandmother and find out things .
She said she learned as she went along .
Williams has paper files , vertical files and binders that are color-coded . She said she did the binders to take places for easier transport .
She also has a private online family tree . She said she ’ ll find herself in another state where all her family is , such as a family reunion , and they ’ ll be talking about something , and she ’ ll look up at date on a mobile app on her phone .
“ It ’ s just interesting . I have fun doing it ,” she said .
It can be stressful too , she said .
In addition to doing genealogy research from the past , what about going forward ? Who will keep the family history information into the future ?
Williams said she found in her family , she was really the first one to do the research .
She has found that it seems that people are interested every other generation . Williams said her mother wasn ’ t so much interested in it , but her grandmother was .
Williams started leading the Danville Public Library ’ s Genealogy Club in 2017 , after taking over from a retired employee .
Williams said they got away from calling it a Genealogy Club because people may want to come to certain workshops , but they could feel they aren ’ t a member of the club .
The classes are now called Genealogy Workshops .
The small group has always had fewer than 10 attendees unless there was a special interest workshop such as when they had the topic of Researching Your House History .
“ That was very well attended ,” Williams said .
A past workshop on the 1950 Census had it tailored to the attendees .
There weren ’ t classes during the COVID-19 years .
SPRING 2023 | ILLIANA MAGAZINE