Have you ever wondered about where your ancestors came from? The Family History Center in Turlock may be your ticket to learning your family history.
Located at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Turlock, the center provides an enormous variety of records and information collected from all over the world.
Genealogy has continued to be a hot topic, and with the help of the over 25 consultants at the center, it makes finding your ancestry a little bit easier.
“People are interested in where they came from and it’s fascinating to glean the history of your ancestors,” said center Director Ron Schell.
The Family History Centers originated in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they continue to be a free service to the public. In Utah, there currently is an underground granite vault containing over 380 billion records and rolls of microfilm that continue to be cumulated from all over the world.
“The goal in Salt Lake City is to put the entire granite vault online for free for anyone who wants to use it,” said Sandy Schell, a volunteer at the Turlock center.
Until they are published online, the Turlock center has access to those 380 billion records, and any records can be shipped to Turlock for a small fee. The center also has a collection of microfilm and microfiche of their own, containing a wide compilation of records from countries all over the globe.
The center’s many knowledgeable consultants donate their time to assist patrons in finding various records and information, and each consultant has their own country of expertise.
There are many computers available with access to any family history research site for free. The research sites provide information from different time periods, areas of the world, and even letters and diaries from various wars. The sites also search cemetery records, wills, newspapers, images, military records, vital statistics, census records, and much more.
Upon finding your ancestors, recent census records can even show the family member’s occupation, how much they paid for their home, languages spoken, and their salary.
The consultants recommend coming to the center with as much information as possible. This can include birth date, death date, full name, and place where family members have lived.
To help guide patrons, a pedigree chart is given that asks basic questions about the last four generations of one’s family.
If not much information is known about the patron’s family, consultants can still dig up family information.
The center holds open houses twice each year, the next one scheduled for this upcoming fall. However, there is no need to wait for fall as the center has its doors open for the public throughout the week.
With the enormous amount of records and information available, the center ultimately can help fill in the blanks and build anyone’s family tree.
“How are you gonna find out unless you get in and start digging?” said center volunteer Bob Royster.
The Family History Center is located at 4300 N. Geer Rd at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Center’s hours are:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
For more information, the Family History Center can be contacted at: (209) 632-9640.