Help on hand to trace family trees
A genealogy centre at a Timaru church is a gem in the community where you can trace your lineage back generations, its backers say.
The Family History Centre at the Latter-Day Saints Church on Pages Road has access to a vast, global database that is free for the public to use.
Trained genealogists volunteer their time at the centre assisting people inquiring about their family history.
The church holds records dating back centuries, tracing family lines from around the world, including New Zealand.
The Timaru centre is one of only four in the South Island.
Visiting team missionaries, Ken and VeaLynn Jarvis, from Pleasant Grove, Utah, said most people were unaware the resource was available to them.
"There are extremely huge odds that you are going to find something you want," Mr Jarvis said.
"It's one of those things in a community that is a real gem.
"This is a service that is totally free. You ain't going to find a service like this that is free . . . and get the kind of help you get here."
He said family connections was the church's forte.
"We keep these records as best we can. The idea is to keep the family together."
Volunteer Doreen Hudson said there was huge interest in genealogy.
"It's actually like the flu; once you get the bug you can't stop," she said.
The volunteers are there to help people who want to use the service 10am-5pm Tuesdays and Wednesday evenings 6.30-9pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News