SWLA families explore ancestry through genealogy workshop

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:22 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Ever wonder who your long-lost ancestors might be? The SWLA Genealogical and Historical Library may be able to help.

“I’m very interested in learning about the past,” Linda Staves said.

Staves has done her own research on her ancestry for years, but the genealogy workshop at the library is allowing her to take an even deeper look into her past.

“It is my roots and I think roots are the foundation of the family tree, so I’m very interested for that reason because I know without them there would be no me,” Staves said.

Many people have a natural curiosity about their family’s history, and during the workshop, they were taught how to fill out pedigree charts, research skills, genealogy terms, and what resources to look for.

“They’re going through census records, obituaries, family histories, church records, anything that they can find that can trace back another generation,” Branch Manager Brandon Shoumaker said.

Staves said sifting through that information and coming upon a new discovery is a feeling unlike any other.

“Because especially with African Americans, our line gets cut off. I’m very interested in that and passing it along to my other sibling,” Staves said.

Genealogy can be time-consuming, but for many, it’s well worth it when you make a new discovery.

“It’s like a pot of gold for me its really important to me I’ve always been interested in history so it’s history but it’s my family’s history,” Staves said.

For those interested in getting their start on genealogy, the library’s next event will be held on Nov. 28 at 411 Pujo St. in Lake Charles.