By Schnarr, J.W. on May 17, 2017.
The Lethbridge branch of the Alberta Genealogy Society turned 40 this year.
In those 40 years, more than 100 volunteers have worked to develop, maintain and operate the public service genealogical library and resource facility, located in the old Provincial Building.
The society is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and open in July and August by appointment. As a non-profit community organization, it hosts regular meetings, workshop classes and guest speakers on issues of interest to genealogists.
Len Ross, a member of the society who has been studying his family for about 10 years, said the organization is family-history oriented, including research on why relatives left one place and ended up in another, what their lives might have been like, and the hardships they may have faced.
“We’re a research oriented organization that focuses on the people we are descended from,” he said.
“It takes some detective work,” said Eleanor McMurchy, a volunteer who does research for the society.
McMurchy has been involved in genealogical research for 24 years and has found about 46,000 relatives spanning centuries.
“I can track my father’s roots back into the 1500s,” she said.
Finding these relations has brought with it a curiosity about who these people were. For McMurchy, it means thinking about her great-great grandmother, who came from Ireland alone and made her way across Canada before settling near Edmonton.
“Look what she’d seen in her lifetime,” McMurchy said. “She saw Canada become a country. She saw her family grow up, but she never went home to see her family.
“What could she tell…