Business

Genealogy center opens in Kent

Now open: Janet Camarata, left, and Winona Laird operate a genealogy center in the local chapter of IBEW.  - Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter
Now open: Janet Camarata, left, and Winona Laird operate a genealogy center in the local chapter of IBEW.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter

Genealogists enjoy a good history puzzle and welcome the research necessary to help uncover the past.

They like the challenge, the pursuit to solve a mystery about family ancestry.

"Genealogy to me was rediscovering the roots that I know nothing about," said Kent's Winona Laird, a professional genealogist who has been interested in the study of family history for more than 60 years. "Genealogy is important to us, and it's been a dream for both of ours for a long time."

Laird and Janet Camarata founded and recently opened the Genealogy Training Center LLC in Kent, offering classes with the support of a computer lab. Both specialize in teaching and lecturing on the subject to students, young and old.

Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.

So far, the results have been good as more Kent valley residents tap into the resources, particularly those available online, to trace and document their family's footsteps.

The center combines today's technology with tomorrow's knowledge to develop and build a family tree.

"I realized very quickly that if I wanted to interest (the future generation) in genealogy, I needed to do it with a technical bent," said Camarata, who has researched her family history for more than 25 years. "I'm trying to get the next generation interested by showing the seniors how to build their family stories using technology.

"My objective is to teach people how to do digital stories, to use pictures and music and tell the story orally."

Genealogists are better equipped today to capture family stories, making them technically available while asking those to research, cite sources and document the proof.

As Laird and Camarata explain, the purpose of the center is to raise money to open a research library in the Kent Valley. A percentage of the proceeds will go into an account for the library.

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We're open

• Business: Genealogy Training Center LLC

• Location: IBEW Local #46, 19802 62nd Ave. S., Kent. The union sponsors and donates the computer lab.

• Center: Open for classes and lectures. Students are given the skills, tools, methods and hands-on practice to more confidently research their family's past.

• Information: Call 253-631-3252 or visit www.genealogyintodaysworld.com

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