The Marinette Times of Marinette County, Wisconsin, has an interesting article on “Quests for family roots draw history detectives to Marinette”, a county important to my own family’s history.
It was five years ago in April that the new genealogy branch of the Washington County Public Library opened its research facility in a restored, single-story brick building at 418 Washington St. Since that time, hundreds of people visit each month from all over the United States and beyond all seeking historical information of their own family lineage or information on local history.
When history pertains to a person’s own ancestor (whom you now know by name after research), history suddenly comes alive, relevant and more important, said Ernest Thode, manager of the local history and genealogy branch.
“There are more statistics showing that a large percentage of people are somewhat interested in their family history,” Thode said Monday. “Sometimes a change, when the last parent dies or a person retires, will trigger a serious pursuit. Growth of the Internet at home has increased interest.”
Experts agree that the Internet can provide awesome information, but not all. What makes the big difference is a place, a destination like Marinette’s genealogy library to either begin or pursue the passion.
In our family, the Knapp family lived in Taylor Rapids in Marinette County in Wisconsin, as part of the logging communities around Goodman. We visited the Washington County Public Library in Marinette and found a small but excellent resource and information there, along with very helpful and qualified staff. They are working on building a new library, and I’m sure that the genealogy and local history areas will expand.
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