Libraries and archive genealogy services are adapting to widespread DNA testing and pandemic challenges.
These days anyone can buy a DNA test—in theory, completely bypassing the genealogy research process. But in practice, such tests are just as likely to feed curiosity about what else can be learned. While services such as 23 and Me produce quick results using science as an aggregator, in libraries and archives genealogical histories unfold through books, manuscripts, archives, and preserved heirlooms. And while the pandemic pressed pause on much in-person travel to ancestral homes, librarians, archivists, and researchers across the country are providing new ways for their patrons to access genealogical services during the pandemic.
Taking Local History Online
The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library (CHPL), OH, hosts an array of events available to all patrons virtually. Larry Richmond, manager of the Genealogy and Local History Department, says the library does not receive specific DNA inquiries. However, it does have in its stacks a copy of Libby Copeland’s The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are, an exceptional book about DNA genealogy that is a guide into “traditional genealogy research,” he notes.
Cover Image: Captain William T. Shorey and family. NPS SAFR P00.21578x