Branching out

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Branching out

Many in Durango are digging up their family roots
Regina Fallace, left, and Jeannine Dobbins, members of the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit the Greenmount Cemetery headstone of Minnie Pearl Roberts, a charter member of the chapter, which was founded in 1917. In September an insignia was installed on the headstone commemorating her lineage back to a patriot who contributed to the American cause during the Revolutionary War.
Files containing information about more than 200 local families are kept at the Animas Museum under the watchful eye of volunteer Kathy Szelag. They are just some of the reference materials the museum has available to help people doing genealogical research.
Animas Museum volunteer Kathy Szelag takes a look at the stuffed filing drawers that hold the records of 200 La Plata County famillies in the museum’s office. Records are skimpy on local Hispanic families.
Surrounded by historical La Plata County family files and other resources, Animas Museum volunteer Kathy Szelag researches a man whose name is engraved on a bridge in Wildcat Canyon.
An insignia rests on the Greenmount Cemetery headstone of Minnie Pearl Roberts, commemorating her ancestor’s involvement on the American side in the Revolutionary War. The emblem, in the shape of a spinning wheel, represents the Daughters of the American Revolution’s motto of “God, Home and Country.”

Branching out

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Regina Fallace, left, and Jeannine Dobbins, members of the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit the Greenmount Cemetery headstone of Minnie Pearl Roberts, a charter member of the chapter, which was founded in 1917. In September an insignia was installed on the headstone commemorating her lineage back to a patriot who contributed to the American cause during the Revolutionary War.
Purchase
Files containing information about more than 200 local families are kept at the Animas Museum under the watchful eye of volunteer Kathy Szelag. They are just some of the reference materials the museum has available to help people doing genealogical research.
Purchase
Animas Museum volunteer Kathy Szelag takes a look at the stuffed filing drawers that hold the records of 200 La Plata County famillies in the museum’s office. Records are skimpy on local Hispanic families.
Purchase
Surrounded by historical La Plata County family files and other resources, Animas Museum volunteer Kathy Szelag researches a man whose name is engraved on a bridge in Wildcat Canyon.
Purchase
An insignia rests on the Greenmount Cemetery headstone of Minnie Pearl Roberts, commemorating her ancestor’s involvement on the American side in the Revolutionary War. The emblem, in the shape of a spinning wheel, represents the Daughters of the American Revolution’s motto of “God, Home and Country.”
Googlerrific genealogy sites

There has been an explosion of information sites on the Internet that can be a boon to someone researching their genealogy. Here are some that have been recommended by Jeannine Dobbins and Julie Pickett:
b www.ancestry.com (some free services, most by paid subscription)
b www.rootsweb.org
b www.familysearch.org
b www.dar.org
b www.footnote.com
b www.familysearch.org
b www.findagrave.org
b www.genealogybank.com
b www.googlebooks.com
Newspaper archives can be a valuable resource:
b www.newspaperarchive.com
b www.coloradohistoricnewspa pers.org includes more than 200 digitalized Colorado newspapers including the Durango Democrat and Durango Wage Earner. It does not include The Durango Herald.
There are several sources for local information:
b Durango Public Library.The library offers library patrons access to www.heritagequest.com, which can be accessed from home computers, yearbooks, business directories and index cards referencing names mentioned in Durango newspapers in the late 1800s. The library also has microfilm records of Durango newspapers.
b Animas Museum. Among other resources, the museum has files for about 200 local families, a reference copy of Pioneers of the San Juans, with information collected by the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the 1930s, numerous historical photos and notebooks of information about local cemeteries.
b Center of Southwest Studies. The center has extensive archives on Southwest Colorado, including numerous historical photos, mortuary records going back to the early 1900s, correspondence and the records of organizations such as the Reading Club of Durango, which was founded in 1882.
b La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Office records online. The records include deeds and minutes of county commissioner meetings.
b City of Durango. The city of Durango has computerized the records of Greenmount and Animas City cemeteries, which are online at the city’s website under Departments/Divisions and Cemetery.
If all else fails, generous volunteers in thousands of towns around the world may be able to help at www.raogk.org, also known as random acts of genealogical kindness. Pickett and Kathy Szelag are volunteers on the site.

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