Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
Roy L. Williams
Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067
BPL’s Southern History Department closes out 2016 with several genealogy workshops
-Department also announces Basics of Genealogy workshop schedule for first half of 2017 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department gets calls and visitors daily from patrons trying to unravel the mysteries of their family tree. Southern History Department staffers are presenting several genealogy and local history workshops to close out 2016. Also the department has now set dates for its popular Basics of Genealogy workshop schedule for the first half of 2017.  You can go ahead and register to secure your spot and get an e-mail reminder a few days before the workshop.   

"Genealogy is a hobby for many people,” said Southern History’s Librarian, Laura Gentry.  “The Southern History Department specializes in local history and genealogy, and we are here to help you research your ancestors."

Here is a list of upcoming Southern History Department workshops, including one allowing one more chance to discover what life was like 100 years ago in 1916, to be presented Monday, Dec. 5 at 1 pm at the Homewood Public Library.   

Monday, Dec. 5, 1 p.m., Homewood Public Library
•    Life in 1916-What was life like in Birmingham 100 years ago in 1916?  Get a glimpse into the past as the Southern History Department takes you on a journey through the news, stories, and advertisements gleaned from Birmingham newspapers for the year 1916.  This class will meet in Round Auditorium at Homewood Library.  For more information or directions, please call the Homewood Public Library at 205-332-6620.

 Tuesday, Dec. 20, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
•    Introduction to Genealogy- Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey. This class meets on the first floor of the Linn-Henley building in the Southern History Department.  
 Mark your calendars for the 2017 Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop schedule.

•    Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. - DNA Genealogy Testing Services 
Explore the offerings of the three major DNA genealogy testing services, and learn how to make full use of their websites.
•    Saturday, March 4, 10 a..m..- Digital Dixie 2 
Do you have ancestors from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Texas? In this class, you will discover digital genealogy resources that you never knew existed from these Southern states and learn search strategies to find untapped information and locate your ancestor.

•    Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. - Making Your Sweet Home among Maps: How to Read and Interpret Maps of the Southeastern United States 
Do old maps enchant or intimidate you? Do the symbols intrigue or confuse you? This hands-on workshop explores the symbols and mapping conventions used on 19th and early 20th century maps to tell the story of the development of the Southeast. Students will learn how to interpret and analyze information contained on old maps as well as look for hidden meaning behind what was mapped and what was left off the map.

•    Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. -One for the Record Books: The English Census-Searching for English ancestors? Genealogists know that census records are crucial to family history research, but there are some important differences between the U.S. Federal Census and its English cousin. This workshop will show you how to navigate this important information source.

Workshops are free of charge, but registration in advance is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department at 205-226-3665 or Like us on Facebook at 

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 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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