Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
New Fairfield genealogy group to meet at library
Courtesy of Alecs Schmidt Mickunas
Nov. 3, 2022 2:57 pm
Starting Monday, November 7th at 2 p.m., the Fairfield Public Library will begin hosting a monthly Genealogy Group at the library meeting room the first Monday of every month.
Local genealogist and volunteer, Barbara Rainbow, will lead the group discussions. Participants are welcome to bring any materials they would like to share or discuss with the group. In the coming months, participants can look forward to presentations on learning to navigate the new electronic world of genealogy research as well as the resources available at the library.
The first workshop will be an introduction to genealogy research and there will be time to answer questions and discuss future topics for the meetings.
Barbara Rainbow began researching her family history around 1993 and soon discovered that some of her Texas ancestors were actually early settlers of what would become Iowa and Missouri. She was surprised to find some of the descendants of her ancestors remained in this area and she has distant cousins living in Fairfield to this day.
She discovered the research materials in the Fairfield Public Library and had the great pleasure of meeting Verda Baird, the local genealogy research expert. In 1996, a group of national genealogists formed the USGenWeb Project with the desire to create free online resources. Barbara was excited by this new development and volunteered to set up the first IAGenWeb chapter for Jefferson County.
About a year later when Ancestry.com offered digital genealogy records, Barbara became an enthusiastic member. When they offered affordable DNA test kits in 2012, she was one of the firsts in line to explore this new tool. Since then, she has learned a lot about genealogy research and wants to share what she has learned.
"I started genealogy research the old fashioned way - going to courthouses, cemeteries, history centers, and libraries; but the internet was quickly providing new research tools,“ Barbara said. ”I sympathize with people jumping into the genealogy haystack now because it can be overwhelming. I would like to help and encourage others to learn more about their family history and preserve it by sharing it with others."