• 61°

Bridge: Find gems in your family history

Generally, genealogist hopefuls have three thoughts before digging up their family history.

“I think I want to do this, but I’m not really sure. I don’t know what’s involved. I don’t know how to start,” said author and genealogist Cathy Bridge, who has traced her husband’s lineage to the Mayflower. “Hopefully, we’ll give them some tools to get them on that road.”

Bridge, with the help of Sue Dorman, is starting a new club called Genealogical Gems, which is free and open to the public. The first meeting is April 16 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln County Public Library. The club is sponsored by the library and the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society, of which Bridge is a past president. Dorman is the curator for the Lincoln County Historical Museum.

Bridge hopes to arm would-be genealogists with the tools they need to get started searching for long-lost ancestors. Besides information about navigating through Census, military and vital records, Bridge and Dorman will share the tricks they’ve learned along the way in their own searches through history.

Bridge was notified last week that her years of research proved successful and her four applications to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants on her husband’s behalf were accepted. That means she has proven that Kim Bridge had at least four ancestors on the Mayflower when it sailed to the New World 400 years ago.

Her next task is to submit the paperwork to prove he is related to four other Mayflower pilgrims as well.

Bridge plans to start Genealogy Gems slow with an introductory meeting April 16. Then each month’s focus will be driven by the group’s needs and requests.

She will bring in experts “seasoned with genealogical experience” who have been involved with genealogy for many years.

“We can learn from some of their mistakes and they can certainly help guide us,” she  said.