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Local genealogists help Camp Fire victims recover their history

Donations will rebuild Paradise Genealogical Library
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Posted at 8:23 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 11:23:09-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - Members of the North San Diego County Genealogical Society have found a way to help Camp Fire victims recover some of what they lost in December's devastating fire.

They're donating dozens of boxes of books on history and genealogy to the Paradise Genealogy Society.

"When we heard about the fire, we thought, wow, we have a lot of books that we don’t know what to do with," says NSDCGS President Julianne Adamik. "As you can see, they’re taking up a lot of room in my garage!"

The Paradise Genealogy Society lost their entire library in the fire. Before and after pictures show the building burned to the ground. It housed nearly 2,800 books and another 500 periodicals and articles about genealogy, the study of ancestry.

While some of it, like local records, is irreplaceable, the members of the NSDCGS say the books they can give will help the people in Paradise start to rebuild.

"You need a distraction. You need to get back to your old ways in life," says NSDCGS Vice President Tom Cousineau. "These people were working on their Genealogy fairly regularly and they need to get back to their normal way of life."

Many of the books are duplicates of books the NSDCSS already has in their library in Carlsbad. Adamik says they get donations all the time from people looking to clear some space or from estates of genealogy fans who have passed away.

Volunteers have also searched sites like eBay to see if any of the books are worth selling. Adamik says the society in Paradise could do that as a fundraiser.

The only catch in the plan is figuring out a way to get more than 40 boxes of books from Carlsbad to Paradise. Adamik says they're looking into creating a palate that can be shipped or finding someone willing to drive them up in a truck.

A representative from the Paradise Genealogy Society says the donations will be beneficial and they appreciate all the support the NSDCGS has given them over the past few months.