Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

ICON #2 ---- The Saying Of The Day

On Wednesday, February 8, 2012 I was scheduled to work at the Fort Collins, Colorado Family History Center (FHC). I have been working there since 1993, so I have seen our FHC grow and change and improve for a long time. I think of the many people I have worked with, the patrons I have learned to know, the people that have taught me so many things. But today was an especially nice day at the FHC. Nine ladies that belong to a group came in to see what we do there, and what they could find about their ancestors. Some were brand new genealogists and some were more experienced.

This is the thing I like most about working in the FHC --- helping folks get started and showing them what we have for them to use. They asked me to give them a run down of what we have in the room and on the computers. The thing that was the MOST popular was ICON #2. After describing what they can access there they were all ready to get started.

It wasn't long before the ladies were sitting at the computers and working away. There were a few questions, but for the most part they instinctively knew what to do. It is delightful to hear the oooohs and awwwws as they find information about people that lived so many years (and sometimes centuries) ago. Of course, there were the usual comments like, "This printer isn't working" and "Why is it doing that" and "What does this mean". So much is dependent on the computers and printers working when we have a room full of people, but for the most part they behaved quite well (the computers and printers that is). The ladies behaved as well, but after all they are ladies. And they are genealogists, too. The nicest people on the planet.

It was about 3:30 when the ladies started leaving. Two hours is a lot when you are concentrating and learning. They all seemed pleased and happy when they left and I expect they will be returning soon. It wasn't a highly dramatic day, but it was a good day and I was happy to be part of the whole experience.

So you may ask, "What is ICON #2?" It is the ICON we have designated on our computers that opens the Family History Center Portal and it is the gateway to many (about 12) premium websites for genealogy. These cost heavily to subscribe to at home. All are available free when you are in a FHC. It is a gift from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to genealogists everywhere. It is a marvel to me that it is given freely and with no strings attached.

In other words, there are NO conditions when you visit a FHC and use the Portal. Some may think that there will be pressure in a FHC to talk about the Church, but that should never happen and I have never seen it happen. Genealogy is what FHCs are about, not religion. You are invited to stop in some time and visit. Happy ancestor hunting, Patj

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