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Perry Historians Offer Personal Look at County Ancestors - abc27 WHTM

Perry Historians Offer Personal Look at County Ancestors

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"Perry Historians Offer Personal Look at County Ancestors"

For first time visitors to the Perry Historians building just north of New Bloomfield, the amount of research information available can be overwhelming. That's why the group's annual beginner genealogical workshop starts with an overview tour of the facility and what it has to offer.

"Not only do we have Perry County, Cumberland County, we have also other counties in Pennsylvania," explained Perry Historians Donna Heller Zinn, showing a group of attendees around the building.

For these rookie genealogists, it was the first step in tracing the steps of their regional ancestors.

The annual clinic is an introductory lesson in where to begin and how to look for long lost family members through personal records and documents of Perry County's early residents.

"We take them through the entire facility," explained long-time volunteer Arlene Warner. "We help them out as much as we can, using any and all of our resources."

Those resources include an ever-expanding stockpile of church and cemetery records, deeds and estate transactions, Perry County court documents and miles of microfilm newspaper articles.

Lois and Glenn Vacarro were researching her great, great grandfather who was one of five brothers who fought in the civil war, while Teresa Szekeres was searching Newport High School yearbooks for information about her dad.

"He died whenever I was only three years old," said Szekeres. He died in 1962."

"We try not to overwhelm first timers because it can become overwhelming," said Warner, while checking up on the researchers in the Harry W. Lenig Library.

Only two hours into their search, the Vaccaros were already putting faces to distant family names when they discovered a picture of their great, great grandfather and his four brothers.

"All five of the brothers served in the Civil War," said Vacarro, holding up the picture.

And, with the help of Perry Historians volunteer Sylvia Hocker, Teresa Szekeres was able to find a picture of the dad she barely knew.

"It means the world to me, actually," said Szekeres, pointing to her dad's picture. "Just to see the picture and try to connect to him. To see the smile on his face."

"We may not have all the answers," said Warner. "But we try to give them at least a little bit of an answer."

 

Perry Historians Contact:
www.theperryhistorians.org
717-582-4896
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