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FCCRC Partners with Fayette County Public Library for Genealogy Workshop

Deborah "Debbie" Mack opening up the genealogy workshop.

By Leah Banks –

FAYETTEVILLE — For most people, tracing back their family history is simply looking at pictures and having talks with grandparents, but for Deborah “Debbie” Mack, the Fayette County Public Library’s electronic resource librarian, the goal is to uncover the truth. 

“It’s about uncovering the truth so that your kids can know the true history of their family,” Mack said. 

For Mack and others, searching for family histories is tricky due to the presumed lack of resources. Still, the Fayette County Community Remembrance Coalition (FCCRC) partnered with the library to show citizens that there are methods to adding the missing branches to their family trees. 

On March 30, the FCCRC joined the Fayette County Public Library with the “Find Your Roots” Genealogy Workshop. The workshop was composed of a presentation by Mack and allowed attendees to learn research methods to accurately trace back their heritage. 

Many attendees did their own individual research and brought it to the meeting but were stuck at a dead end. During this workshop, these attendees were able to ask questions and compile research techniques that could be used to find out the truth in their history, whether it be good or bad. 

The library hosts an abundance of databases that can be used to find many facets of family histories, such as birth certificates, death certificates, and past census records. Mack provided keen advice on using the databases, which were the most effective, and which were systems that the library offers. 

“GALILEO is a library website that can be used from home that is connected to the library website. There, you can access many different databases that has a host of different methods for research, such as HeritageQuest and HeritageHub,” Mack said. 

Mack provided her family history as an example, discovering members of her family that she did not know about and further wondered about, but could never find the information to bridge the gap. Through these websites, she was able to discover more than just the easy truths but the hard truths as well.

“You’ll uncover some stuff that you probably won’t want to, but it’s your history,” Mack said, “and oral history will blend the research together and tell the full story.” 

The workshop concluded with attendees sharing their paths for furthering their research and some words of encouragement from Mack as they continued their journeys connecting the missing pieces of their family puzzles.

“You can search all day long, you just need to know how to get there and where to start, and the library has the resources to help,” Mack said. 

By Leah Banks

Leah Banks is a reporter for Fayette News. She graduated from Loyola University - New Orleans with a degree in Journalism in May 2019. As a reporter, she covers mainly Peachtree City and Tyrone areas. Leah has an interest in community outreach as well as local initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery novels and listening to jazz music. Leah can be reached at leah@fayette-news.net.