How to find your family story: Genealogy at The Rooms
Melanie Tucker helps folks trace their family history through hundreds of years' worth of records
If you want to know more about who you are, Melanie Tucker says, it helps to know where you came from. And if you have any kind of connection with Newfoundland and Labrador, then at least part of that story can be found in the provincial archives at The Rooms museum. But it helps to know where and how to look.
As the The Rooms' reference and access archivist, Tucker has spent more than 25 years helping folks discover their family history in the trove of records she oversees. Hundreds of years' worth of baptism records, voter registries, property deeds, military service records, immigration papers and even a photo registry of tombstones are all housed in the archives. But before you go in, Tucker says, you can make the search easier by doing a little homework.
"The place to start, believe it or not, is at home with a pencil and paper, and like we used to do maybe in school, we'd write down our family tree," she said. "And once you get in there, try to figure out, what don't you know? What are you looking for? And then when you come here, what you're looking for are the pieces that are blanks."
For a demonstration, Tucker surprised reporter Zach Goudie by searching the Goudie family history in Newfoundland, going all the way back to 1854. Click the video above to see how it's done.