Who Were They? Family History Research

By Melanie Clifton-Harvey
Endangered Archives Project

As part of my work here as the Endangered Archives Project Principal Investigator and Archivist, I was able to coordinate one of a series of workshops and seminars involving government offices and local church leaders. Joining us was Mr. Tim Law from the Familysearch project in Utah, one of the largest online genealogical sites and repositories of family history information in the world.

The morning involved a presentation by Tim on the history and background of how Familysearch works to digitize and preserve family history records around the world and how the process has changed since the early plate cameras of the 1930’s when it was started. With a lively question and answer session throughout, I followed up with a short Powerpoint presentation on the Basics of Archives. Covering Site, Storage, Handling and Cleaning with some interesting pictures taken from her investigations and preservation work in the Turks and Caicos Islands!

Having already visited the TCI Registry Offices, after the workshop finished Tim and and I  visited the Anglican church with Reverend Mark Kendall, where we discovered the early registers from 1865 from Salt Cay with Births and Burials included!

The last trip was to the Baptist Church where there are also some interesting records from this period regarding North and Middle Caicos and Provo (Blue Hills then). With a little follow-up and contract signing to make sure that all privacy laws are upheld we hope to go ahead with copying all the records we have found so far and enable much greater public access, stay tuned for more information…