Getting Started with Genealogy  

The Door County Historical Society will host its Saturday afternoon yesteryear programming  “Getting Started with Genealogy,” presented by Laura Kayacan on Saturday, July 15 at 2:00 in the lower level of the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek.

As genealogy is becoming more popular, family research can turn anyone into a detective. Searching through newspapers, government records, family objects and heirlooms allows anyone to learn about their heritage. This presentation will provide an introduction to the basic tools and information used in genealogy, and help participants learn how to use family tree data sheets, databases like, Family Search, and more.

According to Laura Kayacan, “My interest in genealogy was influenced by family stories and an interest in local history passed on to me by my parents and relatives.” One of her relatives, Dorothy Straubel Wittig, helped to establish Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay. Laura Kayacan is a trained reference librarian, which has helped her develop the skills necessary to understand research methods, including those used in genealogy research. Laura remembers when she began as a librarian, “Census microfilms had to be ordered from afar, took weeks to arrive, and had to be searched page by page on a microfilm reader. Internet makes a big difference!”

As the field of genealogy continues to grow, the number of clues grows as well. Whether professional or amateur, genealogists can discover detailed family histories using today’s advances in technology. Currently, Laura Kayacan works as a reference librarian at the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay. Libraries provide access to the internet and valuable tools used in researching genealogy and local history. For her, “The Door County Library Newspaper Archive, which provides historic Door County newspapers online, free, and searchable to the community” is especially exciting.

The program will be held on Saturday, July 15, at 2:00 pm in the lower level of the Collins Learning Center, at 2041 Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay, adjacent to the Society’s Heritage Village. This program does not have an admission fee, but a free will offering will be taken to support the Heritage Village at Big Creek maintenance projects. The Heritage Village is open for tours prior to the presentation beginning at 10:00 am. For further information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or email

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