By June C.
I was at a dead end to finding my family ancestry when one Saturday morning, sitting at a local tire station waiting for my car, I picked up the Florida Times Union and found an article by Amanda Durish Cook, titled, “Experts will guide the research of Jacksonville’s archive-worthy abodes,” telling the resources that are available at the Downtown branch of the Jacksonville Public Library on the fourth floor. There are a wealth of resources at my hands for FREE to research – I was thrilled and could not wait to get there to see if I had a new door opened for me and low and behold, there was a whole new chapter of my life story opened up. I found out that my great grandparent had come to the United States from Germany to New York, then to Jacksonville, Florida. I found my research at the Downtown Library, then I traveled to the National Archives Library located in Morrow, Georgia and found the gold pot at the end of the rainbow. After countless hours and money, I have located records telling my family history and life style – I even found the name of all the neighborhood stores my family owned and ran in and around the Riverside area and even downtown back in the early 1900’s. On top of all that, I found where my grand parents and great grand parents were buried and tracked down a third cousin that I had never met that had my great grandfather’s gold watch which he sent overnight to me – over a hundred years old! I am so blessed to know where my blood line comes from. This also leads me to work and find records on my husband’s family also. Yes indeed, I would say there is a need for libraries. It helped me find my roots and grounded me to the soil of Jacksonville, Florida even though I was born and raised here. I am soon to be celebrating my 64th birthday. A big thank you to Amanda Durish Cook, the Florida Times Union, and the JPS clerk, Heather Perry, for running this story June 8, 2013. I am forever grateful.