Some of Minnesota's leading genealogy experts will be on hand at the Hennepin County Library on Saturday to help people research their family's past using some of the best databases available.
Librarian JoEllen Haugo said the Ancestry or HeritageQuest databases are always available for free at the library. She said people don't need to spend money to know more about their ancestors.
"Knowing more about your family's history, the stories, I think it just makes your life richer," Haugo said. "And sometimes it really helps you understand things better -- you know, understand yourself or your immediate family."
Haugo added: "The database, which I refer to as the big kahuna, is Ancestry ... all of the 41 libraries of Hennepin County do offer Ancestry. And if you're to have a subscription yourself, it is very expensive. But if you go into the library you have free access to it."
She cautioned that while some families can be found in records stretching back centuries, others cannot be tracked back for more than a generation.
The event, part of the library's third annual Family History Fair, is being held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Minneapolis Central Library at 300 Nicollet Mall.
Also on Saturday, the Hennepin County Library will also hold a "Wikipedia edit-a-thon," where volunteers write Wikipedia entries about different aspects of the Twin Cities.
• Follow Rupa Shenoy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rupashenoy