Anderson Awarded Ancestry.com Access

Students can search their ancestors' names and where they lived on Ancestry.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Students can search their ancestors’ names and where they lived on Ancestry.

Jordyn Folsom, Editor-In-Chief

After applying for a grant in late September, history teacher Shelene Anderson won free access to three different databases on Ancestry.com that allows anyone in the district on school Wi-Fi to learn about their family history. Anderson first came upon the opportunity online when researching her own family history on the site. 

“When I saw it, I thought for sure there had to be a catch,” Anderson said. “I read and looked up everything and got so excited that my kids could maybe have this opportunity as well.”

As a history teacher, Anderson wants her students to experience learning history that really relates to them, so when she saw the advertisement for a grant that would allow anyone in the district to access Ancestry’s unique resources, she knew she needed to apply.

“Finding out about your own history and your family history is an amazing gift,” Anderson said. “You learn about where they were and what they were doing and what they looked like. Not just random people, but your people.”

The three databases – Fold3, Ancestry Classroom, and Newspapers – allow users to search names and dates in relation to their family, but only when connected to school Wi-Fi according to the grant’s guidelines. Because of the limited access, librarian Pamela Pinkerton will not publicly advertise these resources, but she hopes to collaborate with teachers to incorporate them within a lesson or project on campus. 

“I certainly don’t want to do anything that will violate the terms of the grant,” Pinkerton said. “I do plan on creating a page in the Library Canvas Course with the links to the resources along with instructions and videos on how to use them.” 

In all, Anderson hopes students will take advantage of this opportunity while they can. 

“It’s history and it’s research and it’s fun! It’s definitely a win-win,” Anderson said. “It’s just really cool for me to be able to give this to my students and everyone else who might be interested to try it out.”