Family, Family History

What’s Your Story?

Every family has a story. You probably know who your grandparents are, but what about their grandparents? It’s never been easier to find out! Armchair family sleuths can spend an afternoon searching online digitized records, solving family mysteries, and connecting with long-lost cousins. Records from the cradle to the grave are available at the click of a mouse.

Dr. Karen Hollie

Do you want to know more about your family history? Learn how to grow your family tree at the Dallas Family History Fair on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dallas Family History Center in Duncanville with optional virtual classes. The event is open to the public and free of charge. You can register to attend in person or virtually via Zoom at  

Kicking off the event is keynote speaker Dr. Karen Hollie, founder and pastor of Lifeway Church of Dallas. Dr. Hollie’s infectious enthusiasm for tracing her roots will help you understand why family history research is now the second most popular hobby in the United States with Congress officially designating October as National Family History Month.

Fair-goers can take advantage of free classes that include:

  • “An Introduction to FamilySearch and other online tools” FamilySearch is the world’s most comprehensive FREE family research tool and easy to master. Learn the techniques necessary to navigate online genealogy sites. You’ve got this!
  • “How You Can Contribute to the Digital Genealogy Database” Sherry Grabill of San Antonio got her start in family history research from a great-aunt at a family reunion over 46 years ago. Her hobby quickly grew into a passion for helping others find their relatives. She contributes to and by uploading pictures (60,000 in 2020!) and transcribing headstone data.
  • “African-American Family History” Terry Turner, lead pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church and author of God’s Amazing Grace: Reconciling Four Centuries of African American Marriages and Families will provide a roadmap for tackling your African-American roots.
  • “Doing Hispanic Family History” Virginia Ochoa Morrison, with family roots in Mexico, has been working on her family’s genealogy for over 32 years. She has taught classes on “” and “Genealogy for Beginners.” Fluent in both English and Spanish, she has helped many with their Hispanic family history research.
  • “Getting Started with Family History” will be taught in Spanish. Alex Esquivel will share how he, as a novice, grew his family tree to include 14 generations on his mother’s side and nearly as many on his father’s side. He will empower you to fill out your family tree, too!
  • “Family History for Children and Youth”  Kristina Rencher, assistant director of the Dallas Family History Center, will be using her lifelong experience as a teacher to help parents involve young people in family history. She will also have activities for the children. This class is for children and youth of all ages.

Information booths will be available for individual assistance in signing up for the free, consultations with experienced genealogy researchers, and specific help with African-American genealogy, among others.

There will also be tours of the Dallas Family History Center, where additional help from seasoned genealogy experts is available at no cost. The center also provides access to thousands of books, microfiche, microfilm, and other online records that are only accessible in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Centers and Affiliated Public Libraries

The Dallas Family History Fair will be held at the Dallas Texas Family History Center, located at 1017 Big Stone Gap Rd., Duncanville. Register for the free event and sign up for classes online at When registering, you can choose whether you want to attend in person or virtually via Zoom. You must register to receive the Zoom meeting invitation as well as updates about the fair by email.