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Family History Center offers Lodians chance to research ancestors

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Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2013 12:00 am

Kathy Marshall, who authored a book about the Gold Rush, has been a long-time history buff. She also has an interest in psychology and runs the Family History Center in Lodi, where the public can use special software to research their family roots.

Born in the San Diego area, Marshall grew up in Beverly Hills and received a doctorate in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her specialty was moral dilemmas.

“My interest is in why people don’t act on things they know they do,” she said.

They can include overeating, smoking, not exercising, relationship decisions and being kinder to others.

“History provides us with so many opportunities to look at those,” Marshall said.

However, she’s doesn’t have a psychological practice.

“I’m a researcher, not a therapist,” she said.

Marshall’s life changed while teaching seminary at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lodi. She was asked to help out at the Family History Center at the LDS church on North Ham Lane.

One thing led to another, and she became director of the Family History Center.

Marshall noted that she was the keynote speaker at the California State Archives in Sacramento in October and spoke to several genealogical society groups.

Open to the public, people can come in to the Family History Center and use the computers, but what is more enticing is the genealogy software visitors can use free of charge. The same software is available at home, but users have to purchase it, Marshall said.

The Lodi center has a lot of materials from England, including archived newspapers, and Scandinavian records.

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Marshall lives in Woodbridge with her husband John Lloyd Marshall, daughter Margaret from Aliso Viejo and one granddaughter.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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