The brand-new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) in Cincinnati delivers personal history alongside US history: The museum houses a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) FamilySearch Center — a type of LDS Family History Center that’s not located in an LDS facility.
The volunteer-staffed FamilySearch Center is open to all researchers, whether or not they’re seeking African-American ancestors. Visitors can access:
? Ancestry.com, the genealogy-database subscription Web site
? The database service HeritageQuest Online, available to libraries and other institutions
? Family History Library (FHL) electronic tools, such as the Pedigree Resource File, Vital Records Index and Freedman’s Bank Records, the FHL’s African-American resource CD, which contains its African-American Guidebook and free Personal Ancestral File genealogy software, plus other resources
Beginners can get research guidance, a getting-started kit and staff assistance organizing their family information in Personal Ancestral File. Jim Ison, the center’s director, says he’ll also encourage fledgling family historians to go straight to the source: “Find the people in your family who have the memory – aunts and uncles, great-aunts and-uncles, grandparents. Visit with those people and talk to them about the people they knew growing up.”
You can use the NURFC FamilySearch Center for free, even if you’re not also visiting the NURFC, but space is limited. Ison recommends making a reservation by calling (513) 333-7737. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.