Press Release - Detail
Roy L. Williams
Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library
Work No.: (205) 226-3746
Cell No. : (205) 568-0067
a: 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203

BPL Family History Month October 2020 Kicks Off 

Birmingham, Ala.- The Birmingham Public Library's annual observance of Family History Month is under way- this time virtual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The highlights are two online programs - a presentation on home DNA testing by author Libby Copeland on the BPL Facebook page at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 7, and an October 30 Q & A via Zoom by genealogy expert J. Mark Lowe. Click here for details or read below

Here is a look at all of our virtual BPL Family History Month programs:

October 7, 2020 at 10 a.m. - Author Libby Copeland Presents Home DNA Testing Is Redefining Family History.
Streaming live on the BPL Facebook No registration required.

The presentation will illuminate the many ways in which home DNA testing is redefining family history. It will draw on Libby Copeland’s years of research for her new book, The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are (Abrams, 2020), which the Wall Street Journal calls “a fascinating account of lives dramatically altered by genetic sleuthing.” With more than 35 million people having been tested, home DNA testing is proving pivotal in redefining how family history is understood.

For more info, read our interview with Libby Copeland

October 1 - October 31, 2020 Genealogist author and lecturer J. Mark Lowe presents four different workshops that can be streamed at any time during the month of October.

The webinars are accessible via a password protected link. The link/password is below.
Password: vulcan
You can download the handouts here:

Defining Potential Migration Routes & Crucial Steps

Maps, atlases, and gazetteers provide information relevant to nearly every genealogical search. We will add Emigrant Guides and Travel Manuscripts to our toolbox to make our way more clear.

Defining Potential Migration Routes & Crucial Steps

Discover what prompted our ancestors to follow the Migration Triangle and continue westward. Learn the paths they followed and the process for finding those elusive travelers.

Finding Freedmen Marriage Records

Locating and proving marriage connections during slavery and immediately after emancipation may be rewarding, but difficult. Learn about the records that were created, those that weren’t, and how to find what you need.

Out on a Limb, Trapped by Bad Research

Feeling trapped with nowhere to go? Bad, weak or missing evidence all contribute to misleading research. Review your research findings, sharpen your techniques, evaluate your sources, and map a new course.

October 30, 2020, at 10 a.m. Family History Month Q & A with J. Mark Lowe

Join J. Mark Lowe for a live genealogy Q & A via Zoom. J. Mark Lowe describes himself as a lifelong genealogist. He is a professional genealogist, author, and lecturer who specializes in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. Mark enjoys opportunities to share what he has learned over the years through YouTube, webinars, and institutes.

Use the link below to register:

In addition, be on the lookout for some short videos on the BPL Southern History Department Facebook page as well as some tips and links to what other libraries and organizations are offering for Family History Month.

If you're not already following us on Facebook, go to
About the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) 
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for over 130 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast. 
Page Last Modified: 6/15/2021 9:51 AM