Nancy Sparks Morrison will present “Can Genealogy Kill You”at the Thursday, Oct. 13 meeting of the Genealogy Club in the Archives and History Library. The discussion will take place from 6 – 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Ancestry can play an important role in health. Inherited illnesses and mutated genetic traits can cause serious damage to the health of a family or just one member of the family. Knowing about these illnesses and about family origins can help save the lives of all the members of a household.

Sparks Morrison will discuss DNA research, which can reveal much about the source of family illnesses.  She will share information on several specific inherited diseases she has researched, as well as her own personal history with DNA and family illness. She became interested in the topic while working on her second master’s degree, when she became sick with an inherited illness. Before her genealogical research, she believed that her family was English, Irish, German and Native American, but her DNA work revealed a different history.

Sparks Morrison holds a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State University and a master of arts in liberal studies degree from Hollins College in Roanoke, Va.

Advance registration for the program is not required, but is encouraged. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the discussion or the club, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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