DeKalb County History Center will offer their seven week genealogy class virtually


Patrick Murphy

DeKalb County History Center

By Jamie O'Toole, Columnist

DeKALB The DeKalb County History Center is offering their seven week Genealogy Class virtually at 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday starting Sept. 22. It is open to all ages. Genealogist Julie Dresser will lead the class and provide hints, tips and tricks for genealogists, according to a DeKalb County History Center news release

Registration is required, and there is limited space available, according to the news release. There is a $25 charge. It will cover all seven weeks and a series of handouts for each class. 

Genealogy is the study of genes. It looks at families, family history and tracing of lineages.

Genealogy can mean different things to different people, according to the news release. Some people focus on names along with birth, marriage and death dates within their family, while others search to get to know their past relatives and the interesting life they lived. 

Dresser, the instructor, started as a genealogist at age 11. Her grandmother used to tell her as a child that their family was related to president Jackson, so that piqued her interest in finding out the truth about her family history, she said. She’s been studying genealogy now for almost 38 years. 

The first week of her class will be an introduction and about home sources everyone might have access to in order to know more about their family, according to the news release. 

  • Week two: birth, marriage and death records
  • week three: discuss census records
  • week four: discuss immigration records 
  • week five: delve into military and court records
  • week six: teach participants about local and national repositories. 
  • Week seven: writing a family history. 

By studying genealogy, anyone can validate family stories, find out if they are related to someone famous, better understand family traditions or reconnect with other family members, according to the news release.  

Dresser has been teaching this course since 2012 because she finds value in teaching others how to do proper research, and not just look up names, she said. She has offered the seven week class in the spring, summer and fall. This year, however, she didn’t get to teach due to COVID-19, so she’s hoping people will sign up virtually, she said. 

Technology might stump some attendees. People who typically sign up are retired, mostly because they have more time to discover family history, but they’re not as familiar with computers as other generations. Dresser hopes it doesn’t turn them away from joining this year. 

For more information or to register call 815-895-5762 or email