Columns | Kane County Chronicle

St. Charles Public Library: Unraveling the mystery of Ancestry

It’s clear that the thrill of discovering one’s ancestry has never been more popular than it is today.

There are dozens of TV shows featuring stories of celebrities and everyday people finding out about their roots. For a fee, people can send in a sample of their saliva to companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry to find out countries their relatives likely originated from, as well as connect to close and distant family members. For those ready to do their own digging, the St. Charles Public Library provides resources and programs to support residents who have caught the genealogy bug!

The first step to get connected to genealogy resources is to visit the library’s website at The Learn & Research page contains links to databases with millions of historical records such as birth certificates, obituaries and census data. The most popular sites are Ancestry Library Edition and FamilySearch, which require people to be in the library for access to records. Other resources such as Fold3 and MyHeritage can be used from home for anyone with a SCPLD library card.

The library offers programs for people interested in learning how to properly search historical records. “Genealogy in the Afternoon” happens monthly for people who need a few quiet hours to work on their family tree. For those with German roots, a May 16 program focuses on finding records from their ancestors’ town of origin.

Watch for the summer Discover Your Library newsletter for details on our Genealogy After Hours program. Attendees will have a chance to speak to a professional genealogist and have exclusive use of the library’s genealogy materials.

Information on all library programs can be found on the library’s website under the Programs & Events tab. Some events require registration.

There is something for everyone – experienced and new genealogists alike – interested in ancestry. The library is here to support research efforts and bring history to life. Join us and unravel the mystery of your personal ancestry!

• Kate Buckson is the director of the St. Charles Public Library.