Find your ancestors at the Arapahoe Public Library
In 2015, the Arapahoe Public Library is offering something new for the year that director Jennifer Einspahr hopes that will be a continuing tool in the future.
This year, the Library Board agreed to pay for a year subscription to Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com is the largest online web site for family history, including census, SSDI and military records. The website even sponsors a television show on TLC called “Who Do You Think You Are?” which follows some of today’s most beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery to trace their family trees.
So far, the service has been popular with the local patrons of the library. Einspahr said, “It’s going pretty well, we had a big hit when it first came out. We’re kind of getting into a lull.” She says that the spring weather might account for some of the lull.
The reactions of the patrons who have tried the service is almost worth the price. “I wish I could record people’s reactions for when they find things because they just have an “oooooooohhhhh!’ reaction,” she said.
When people research their family tree, Einspahr says it provides a stronger connection to the past as well as the present. “It’s just this affirming connection with a loved one or the past history, it’s just so neat.”
The library workers have incidences of people coming into use the service and being connected to people in unexpected ways. Einspahr said a woman came in to use the service to look for her elderly father’s stepbrothers. “Divorce was not discussed in the past. If there were remarriages or divorces, it was not spoken of – it was hush-hush. Families were split.” The man was born into a family with stepbrothers and then the family split again and he lost track of the siblings. The daughter is going back and figuring out what has happened to these brothers. “She is tracking down these family members and making connections with them.”
Einspahr continued saying that a patron came in to look for a lost loved one. “One of the relatives married a doctor, and she found the doctor and traced back and found out that the woman is still alive. She thought the woman had passed. Now she has a chance to connect with lady again.”
Not only does the service provide a chance to connect with loved ones from in the past but also provides a catalyst for connection between many generations of living family members. “It’s a great chance to go back to their parents and siblings and say ‘remember when…’ and it starts this conversation. It gives them a spark; they are looking back and remembering. It’s really fun. It’s been a great experience,” said Einspahr.
While this entire discovery process has been exciting at the library, it might be a temporary service. “It’s quite pricy for a yearly library subscription, it costs over $1,000. This has been given to us as a gift from our friends of the library group. They had a bake sale before Christmas last year and they were able to raise enough money to do this for a year. If it’s used well, and people like it, then we’ll decide if that’s something we’ll use again and get it for next year,” commented Einspahr.
Ag Valley awards scholarships to area students
Ag Valley Coop is proud to award scholarships to deserving high school seniors in our trade area. The award amount of the Ag Valley Scholarship is $500.00, with 38 area high school seniors receiving the award this year.
The Board of Directors and Management of Ag Valley Coop feel by awarding these scholarships they are making an investment in the future of these students and also in the economic future of our trade territory.
The list of the 38 students and the high schools they attended that were awarded the $500 Ag Valley Scholarships for 2015 are listed below and can also be found on the Ag Valley Coop Webpage (www.agvalley.com) and then click on the SCHOLARSHIP tab.
Arapahoe seniors receiving scholarships were Jordan Crosley and Junior Hilker.