Examine Your Ancestral Ties at the Annual Family History Fair in Raleigh Oct. 26

[This post is a Department of Cultural Resources press release. To learn more about news and events related to cultural resources, visit the department website.]

Examine Your Ancestral Ties at the Annual Family History Fair in Raleigh Oct. 26

RALEIGH — The annual Family History Fair celebrates links to our heritage. This year’s program offers presentations and a panel discussion about the types of evidence used to trace family ancestry-from public records to the mysterious world of DNA. The Fair will be held Saturday, Oct. 26 at the N. C. Department of Cultural Resources at 109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh. The Fair opens at 9 a.m. and the program begins at 10 a.m. Admission is free.

Archivist Debbi Blake will present “Before the Vital Records Law: What’s a Family Historian to Do?” describing alternatives to the recording of births, deaths and marriages. North Carolina’s vital records law wasn’t enacted until 1913 and there was no systematic, statewide method for creating and preserving these data. In her presentation, Blake talks about alternative ways to find the data similar to that now recorded in vital records.

Professional genealogist, Diane L. Richard, principal of MosaicRPM explores the enigmatic world of genes and the double helix in her presentation, “Who’s Your (Great-Grand) Daddy?: The basics of DNA testing for Genealogy.” Richards has recently attended several training sessions on the use of DNA testing for genealogical purposes and has worked with clients and their DNA test results for the last six years. Taking a swab of cells from inside of your check may reveal a heritage unknown to you, or confirm a link to your past but the process and the issues raised are a bit more complicated. Richards’ presentation will give a brief summary of the three types of genealogical DNA testing currently available, who can take them, what they can be used for (and also what they will not tell you), the current major providers and what’s trending now. The second part of her presentation will feature a panel of individuals who will relate their own stories about genetic testing.

Members of the North Carolina Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists will be available for 15-minute “Ask the Genealogist” time slots for free consultations between 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. This service is on a first-come first-served basis.

Vendors at the Fair include the Piedmont/Triad Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum State Historic Site, the North Carolina Genealogical Society, the Wake County Genealogical Society, the Olivia Raney Local History Library, the Historic Jamestown Society, the Raleigh Family History Center and several booksellers, independent historians, researchers and archivists. There will be door prizes including a free online course from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies.

The Fair is sponsored by the State Archives of North Carolina, the Government and Heritage Library of the State Library of North Carolina and the Friends of the Archives.

The Family History Fair provides information and guidance for experienced family history researchers and beginners alike. For more information please visit http://www.ncdcr.gov/FamilyHistory or call (919)807-7450.

The State Library and State Archives are both units of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more information on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.