Gulf Coast Historical and Cultural Exposition returns with software to learn more about family tree

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Research into your family tree can sometimes be a daunting task, however, this weekend at the Biloxi Visitors Center, there is an organization ready to help you learn your family tree.

The Ocean Springs Genealogical Society hasn’t been able to meet much during the pandemic, so they were excited to be able to participate in the Gulf Coast Historical and Cultural Exposition.

To make things more interesting for visitors, they invited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to share their family tree research software, FamilySearch.

“So FamilySearch was developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” explained Andrea Gettys, missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. “Family history is really important to our church so we wanted to create a software that connects everyone’s family lines together, so we can find out more about each other’s family history.”

The software is offered for free by the non-profit organization that began as the Genealogical Society of Utah, but now known as FamilySearch. They have digitized and made more than one billion documents searchable, which makes researching your family’s history much easier.

“Today, we’re just here setting up the FamilySearch accounts to help them get started on that so they can get started on their family history,” said missionary Savannah Cheney.

The Ocean Springs Society knew about the software and invited the church members to join them at the event in Biloxi.

“We just got together,” said Ann Miller, Vice President of the Ocean Springs Genealogical Society. “They said they could come out here and help man the tables and they’ve been wonderful as far as explaining and teaching us about FamilySearch.”

The church sent missionaries who were based on the Coast to help explain the software to the society members and anybody else who wants to learn more about their family history.

“We also have a sign up sheet so if they want to get extra FamilySearch or family history help after they leave or after the expo,” said Cheney. “Then they can put their name and number down there and whoever lives in the are can get in contact with them so they can get personalized help with their history.”

You can see the software at the Gulf Coast Historical and Cultural Exposition Saturday at the Biloxi Visitors Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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