Visit the library to learn what's in your DNA

By Tracy Ihnot


"My interest in genealogy first arose when, decades ago, an uncle began family ancestry tracing, and my family history began to unfold," says Greg Hart, presenter at an upcoming DNA program offered at Delta Library. "When my uncle began his work, he did not have the internet or the various ancestry recording applications to help him, so progress was limited. Fortunately, before his passing, he shared his findings with our family through a book he self-published."

Hart used the information gathered by his uncle to take the helm as his family's genealogist and has continued to expand on it and share his knowledge with others. "It's like a treasure hunt," Hart says of his interest in genealogical research. "The life stories that can be uncovered are fascinating."

Hart's training and career path, along with his personal interest, have made him a valuable resource to local genealogy groups. Certified as a specialist in blood banking, Hart holds a bachelor of science in medical technology from the University of Colorado and managed several blood banks throughout his career in Florida and South Carolina. Born and raised in Cedaredge, Hart is happy to be back after a full career that kept him away for nearly 50 years. Hart has been able to continue his research and use his expertise to help others through local genealogy groups offered at the libraries.

"When I first got my DNA done, a lot of it didn't make sense to me," says Mickey Watts, organizer of the bi-monthly genealogy group that meets at Delta Library. Watts met Hart at the Cedaredge Library during a meeting of its monthly genealogy group meeting. Hart's presentation in Cedaredge helped Watts gain an understanding of her DNA results and she would like to offer the same opportunity to the Delta group. "I thought if I could see how to use my results from his presentation, then other people could benefit from it as well," Watts says.

Hart is offering a two-part DNA program, with the first workshop on Saturday, May 6, and the second on Saturday, May 13, both at 10:30 a.m. at the Delta Library. The first session will cover basic DNA biology and its terminology used in the genealogical sense. The second session will focus on DNA test results and using genealogical applications to "mine" results and link to relatives.

Hart values the resources and partnership offered by Delta County Libraries in his own genealogy research as well as for collaborating with others. "Libraries are repositories of genealogical information that I tap regularly for family tree information," Hart states. "I frequently use the online library for access to historical literature and full genealogical charts of family tree branches. And, Delta County Libraries provides gathering space for our genealogy groups."

Watts agrees with Hart. "When I came to this area, I was excited to see that the library in Cedaredge had a genealogy group," Watts declares. When Watts decided to offer a similar group at Delta Library, she was grateful for the library staff and support. "They gave us access to their computers, printers and other equipment, as well as numerous books on genealogy. The libraries in Delta County have a strong core of people that are always willing to help you out."

The Cedaredge genealogy group meets the first Friday of every month at 10:30 a.m. at the Cedaredge Library and the Delta group meets the second and fourth Mondays of every month at 5 p.m. at the Delta Library. To learn more about the DNA program offered on May 6 and 13, call the Delta Library at 874-9630. For more information on upcoming library programs, visit www.deltalibraries.org/calendar/.