The Moab Family History Center is offering free classes to anyone interested in learning how to research their family tree.

Genealogy research, or family history, is now the second most popular hobby in the United States. Only gardening has more people participating as a hobby. The popularity of such televisions programs as “Who Do You Think You Are?,” “The Genealogy Roadshow” and “Faces of America” are a reflection of this nationwide interest in searching out our roots.

Searching out your family tree is often like detective work, and who knows what surprises you might find. Are you descended from kings, or are you related to one of the presidents of the United States? Did your ancestors come to America on the Mayflower? Did they fight in the Revolutionary or Civil Wars? You won’t know until you get started.

To help meet the demand for people who’d like to research their own family history, the Family Center in Moab will be giving a series of four classes over the next four months to teach anyone who’d like to learn how to get started in this fun, interesting and rewarding hobby. These classes are open to the public and are free of charge. All the classes will be taught at the Family History Center, which is located at 300 S. 100 East. The classes will be taught by the trained staff at the center.

Jill Williams is the director of the Moab Family History Center and is organizing the classes. For anyone interesting in learning how to work on his or her family history, this series of classes will help you get started, teach you how to research your family tree, and how to organize the information you gather. According to Williams, you will get the most benefit from the series if you begin with the first class and attend the whole series. The information in each lesson builds on the knowledge learned in the previous lessons.

The first class is entitled “How Do I Start My Family History?” This class will be offered on April 14 at 7 p.m. In this class, you will learn how to take the first steps in gathering your genealogical information. It will teach you where to go for the basic information you need about your own family, and who to ask to get that information.

The second class is “Roots Magic – A Program for Organizing your Family Tree.” This class will be taught on May 12 at 7 p.m. Roots Magic is award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing and sharing your family history easy. It will also teach you how to get started with this program and will show you how to use it in your own research. While having your own computer at home can be helpful in researching your family tree using the Internet, it is not a requirement. The Moab Family History Center has computers and Internet free of charge for you to use to research your family tree.

The third class is entitled “Family Search/Family Tree” and will be given June 9 at 7 p.m. This class will introduce you to Family Search online. Family Search gives you access to the world’s largest genealogy library, maintained free of charge by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This library is open to all people for working on their family trees. You do not need to be a member of the church to use these resources.

The last class in the series is “” and will be taught on July 14 at 7 p.m. is a commercial genealogy website which gives you access to millions of names and public records, such as census and military records, for researching your family tree. If you have a computer and Internet in your home, you can buy a subscription to and do your research from the convenience of your own home. However, you do not need to buy this subscription service because the Family History Center has the program available for free to use at the center on their computers during its regular hours.

To register for this series of classes, call the Moab Family History Center at 435-259-5563 and reserve your space. Seating will be limited, so call now to make a reservation. The Family History Center is open Sundays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call during these hours to register for the classes.

If you would like to learn how to work on your family tree but cannot attend these classes, you are still welcome to come into the Family History Center during the regular hours listed above. Trained genealogists on staff can work with you on an individual basis to help you get started. This service is free and open to the public.