Library one-stop shop for old obits, historian says

Published 11:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2014

Research about deceased friends or relatives is a snap for Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

Evangeline Cessna, the library’s historian and weekly columnist in The Vicksburg Post on newly-arrived books, told the Vicksburg Lions Club it’s her stock-in-trade.

“Basically, what I do is look up old obituaries for people who call in requesting them. I also help people who are looking for their family genealogy,” said Cessna. “To get your genealogy recognized, you have to have proof that you are related or that the person you’re looking for is somehow connected to your family.”

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Cessna said that people from all over the country phone in request for their family lineage. She told the story of how she helps connect a family that had roots in Vicksburg.

“Recently, I was doing research for a family in Maryland when a local woman asked me about the same obituary that the family in Maryland were looking for. I asked the lady here if I could forward her name and number to them. A couple of weeks later, she called me back and was excited to have found another branch of her.”

Cessna said that the family has since connected with each other and discussed their family history.

Deb Mitchell, director of the Veto Street library, spoke about some of the services that the library provides to the public.

“We have audio books on mp3 players and pre-loaded media players. We even have a few VHS tapes that we are in the process of selling for 25 cents each,” said Mitchell.

One service that Mitchell said amazes her today is the Internet service. Mitchell said that the library provides a way for those without the Internet to take advantage of their public service.

“We have 11 public access computers that all have Internet access. We’re open 56 hours a week and I believe that if we were open 24 hours, there would still be someone in the library using a computer.”