Library classes help people discover their ancestral roots

As more people want to explore their family tree and learn about their ancestral roots, Herrick District Library will offer free training in family history research during virtual classes on Feb. 16 and 23. 

Leading the training will be Megan Heyl, a local genealogist who will help those who are just beginning their genealogy search as well as more experienced researchers. 

The virtual programs also open the door to participants sharing strategies and collaborating on research. The Holland library has also updated its website with a new genealogy section, which can be found at

During “Jumpstart your Genealogy Research” on Wednesday, Feb. 16, Heyl will offer suggestions for finding and using local and statewide repositories of genealogical information.

The virtual event is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Those who register at will receive an email with instructions to join the event.

Road trips program

“The program will not only give suggestions of where to look for information but will also give helpful hints from experiences of many genealogists, which will help make your heritage journey a successful one,” HDL librarian May VanderKooy says.

But genealogical research is not confined to the computer screen. “Genealogy Road Trips — Don’t Forget to …” will discuss items many may not think about bringing on their road trips in search of family history. 

The road trips program will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23.

“For those who are interested in doing research at their local library, or for those who may be taking a trip to other places to do genealogical research, there are ways to make your research trip more successful,” Vanderkooy says.

Heyl will discuss items researchers may not think about but should consider before beginning their research. 

Registration is required. Visit to sign up for either event. Learn more about HDL programs at or call 616-355-3100.

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.