printer icon Print this Page

This Website was paid for by - Auer Endowment -

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Our Blog

Blog Search

Search our genealogy center's blog


Please select a category below

Meet Our Librarians Expand your search with our team.


Make a Donation You can help with the growth of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Make a Donation
  • Death-related Sources added to Free Databases

    Thursday, Jun 11, 2015

    To start off with one of our most popular databases, the Evangelical Messenger Obituary Abstracts database just keeps growing, and now covers 1848 to 1943 with a total of 188, 555 entries thanks to Anne Dallas Budd, Rita Bone Kopp and Sally Zody Spreng.

    A collection of Obituaries from the Sullivan Daily Times and the Sullivan Union, Sullivan County, Indiana have been added to the Free Databases. Consisting of more than 17,000 images, this material covers many of the years from 1920-2013. These records were compiled by Donna K. Adams, Paula Jewell, and Mark Brown of the Sullivan County Public Library Genealogy/Local History Department, who have kindly allowed us to post them.

    Jim Cox has again donated Jay County, Indiana cemetery records for our Free Databases page. Hillside Cemetery and seventeen other small cemeteries (Bear Creek, Holy Trinity, Mt. Vernon, New Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Hill, Praise Chapel, Sager, Springhill, Stephen, Stevenson, Stratton, Wayman, Wells, Wentz, Whaley, Whicker, Whiteman).

    From Noble County,Indiana, we have posted 281 images from the Oak Park Cemetery Record Book and 2681 records of Oak Park Cemetery burial permits. These records  include Potter’s Field entries and a cemetery map.

    And the Genealogy Tracers of Cleveland, Ohio (Alfreda Spratlen Barnes, Clancy Ware-Simpson, David Simpson, Carmine Vaughn Stewart, Gwendolyn Wynne Strayhan, and Henrietta English-West) have provided an additional 357 memorials consisting of 1661 images of Homegoing Programs and Memorials.

    We are fortunate that all of these great people are doing this wonderful work of preserving various death-related records and making them available to anyone through our Free Databases.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Think of Us Before You Move....

    Thursday, May 28, 2015

    by Delia

    How many times have you moved in your life? Not counting the multitude of trips to and from my college town, and the moves between residence halls and apartments there, I have changes towns seven times in my life, and within those towns my family moved from one residence to another an additional nine times. At every move, we had to dispose of a lot of unnecessary items before moving. Old furniture, clothes or small appliances might go to a charity organization, but many broken-beyond-repair items and other junk ended up in the alley awaiting the garbage truck.
    Why am I sharing these memories? Because sometime in the future, you, too, may make a move. You, too, will go through your possessions, selecting what to take with you and what to jettison. Along with all of the other stuff that you’ve hauled from one abode to another or stored for years will be items that you hate to throw away, but know that, really, are not worth taking. These items could include church or association directories, military or family reunion programs and directories, and school directories or yearbooks.
    Stop! Don’t throw those items out! Send them to The Genealogy Center! We, as genealogists, examine city directories, pour over tax lists and pounce on lists of letters left at the post office, but forget that the records we so blithely think to discard could be valuable to future generations. So when you decide that you don’t need that high (or elementary) school annual, that homeowners’ association directory or those military reunion booklets, send them to us and we will be happy to have them as part of our collection. Contact us if you have questions.
    And remember that if you have friends, family members or neighbors that are clearing out their houses in preparation of a move, ask them to send that type of material to us instead of the putting them in the dumpster. One person’s trash is our collection’s treasure!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Join Us for the Global Family Reunion

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    The Genealogy Center is partnering with Children’s Services and Young Adult Services to host a weekend full of family activities and events June 5-7 as a “branch party” of Global Family Reunion 2015! All activities will take place at the Main Library, 900 Library Plaza.

    Global Family Reunion will be Saturday, June 6, in New York City. The event, brainchild of author A. J. Jacobs, celebrates that we are all part of one big family – we are all cousins! The New York activities, including speakers, games, and other events, will take place on the grounds of the legendary 1964 World’s Fair, now home to the New York Hall of Science. Our local “branch party” will feature live streaming from New York on Saturday. Proceeds from ticket sales to the New York event will go toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Events at ACPL are free.

    Full details about local activities are available in the Global Family Reunion brochure. Besides other events, there will be three family photo opportunities:
    •    Have your family photo taken in The Great Hall and we will email you a copy
    •    Take a silly picture of your family with props in Children’s Services
    •    You Are (Were) Here – Take a photo in front of the green screen in Young Adult Services & we’ll superimpose it on a country of your ancestors’ origin

    In addition, bring heritage family photos and we will scan them, preserve them on our website, and email you a copy!

    There will be chess and board games in Young Adult Services noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as outdoor games – bocce ball on Friday, cornhole on Saturday, and badminton on Sunday – on the Library Plaza!

    The Genealogy Center will present talks on Family History Fun, Ways to Display Your Family History Using Pinterest, Storytelling, Exciting Ways to Share Your Genealogy, and Being Creative … with Your Family History.

    There’s more! Keep watching this blog, The Genealogy Center’s website, our social media outlets and Genealogy Gems to learn times and days for various activities.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Start a Family History Journey -- This Summer!

    Thursday, May 07, 2015

    Congratulations! You’re on the road of family discovery, wanting to learn more about those that came before you. Maybe you have already started be trying Ancestry, or talking to relatives or maybe you are just curious about the paths you can take through the family trees. The Genealogy Center wants to help you navigate your journey with a series for the beginner – or for those who want to make sure they have the process well in hand. These 90-minute classes will be on the last Saturday of each month, June through September, so join us each month to find the route to your roots.

    The first session is “Beginning Your Family History Exploration” on Saturday, June 27, 2015, at 10:00A in Meeting Room A. Discover the basics of gathering information from your living relatives and family sources, and the importance of organization in the research process. A brief overview of what records you may discover in your search, and how they may be used to further your family story. We will also introduce you to Ancestry’s census collection and how to use it as a springboard to other records. Finally, take a tour of The Genealogy Center to familiarize yourself with what you can find.

    Next up on Saturday July 25, 2015 is “Beyond Just Starting,” at 9:30A in Meeting Room C. Learn how to verify the information you find, and the importance of documenting what you find and where you found it. Discover how to harvest as much information as possible from various records. We will also show you how to use the free FamilySearch website, and provide a virtual tour of The Genealogy Center’s licensed databases.

    The series will continue on Saturday August 29, 2015 and Saturday September 26, 2015, with “Following Up With More Records” and “Beginners Guide to Genealogical Software.” Mark your calendars now to attend!

    To register for these free events, call 260-421-1225 or send an email

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Open Sundays This Summer!

    Saturday, May 02, 2015

    In previous years, this is about the time we begin reminding all of our visitors that The Genealogy Center is closed on Sundays in the summer, but not this year! We are happy to announce that The Genealogy Center will be open our regular Sunday hours of 12 noon to 5 p.m. most Sundays this summer.

    We will be closed three Sundays this summer, however, all attached to holiday weekends: Sunday and Monday, May 24th and 25th, for the Memorial Day weekend; Sunday and Monday, September 6th and 7th for the Labor Day weekend; and three days for the Fourth of July weekend (Friday July 3rd, Saturday July 4th and Sunday July 5th). But that leaves twelve “extra” days to do research at The Genealogy Center!

    So make a weekend trip of your visit to Fort Wayne and The Genealogy Center!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Celebrate Juneteenth

    Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

    On Friday, June 19, 2015, Dr. Edna Greene Medford, professor of history at Howard University, will present “When Freedom Came: Emancipation and the Question of Timing” addressing the issue of how we identify the arrival of African American freedom.  As Dr. Medford explains:

    Every schoolboy and girl knows that on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation declaring that all enslaved people in the states (or parts thereof) still in rebellion "are and henceforward shall be free." What happened after that is contested ground. We know that enslaved people experienced emancipation at myriad times and in myriad ways. Some were freed immediately; others were not freed until they exercised agency and fled the plantations; the vast majority awaited the arrival of federal military personnel. Even within certain states that had been visited by Union forces, knowledge of the proclamation did not reach all enslaved inhabitants swiftly or in any uniform way. How, then, do we determine the proper date to celebrate African-American freedom? My talk will consider the case for January 1, the date of the Emancipation Proclamation; June 19, or Juneteenth; and December 6, the date the requisite number of states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

    Dr. Medford teaches courses on African American history, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and nineteenth-century America at Howard University. She is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on African Americans in the Civil War. Dr. Medford is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Lincoln Forum and a recipient of a 2009 bicentennial edition of the Order of Lincoln from the State of Illinois for her study of the Lincoln and the Civil War era.

    Click for more information. Join us on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Main Library Theater!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Participate in "A Day in Allen County!"

    Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

    We invite you to capture a day in Allen County, Indiana! On Friday, May 1, 2015, take pictures of anything and everything that is happening in our county in that twenty-four hour time period, and send them to us! What is your view of Allen County that day? These pictures are not limited to marquee events. We want to capture what is going on throughout the entire community, so pictures can be of people at work, children at play, sporting events, weather and blooming flowers, homes and buildings, traffic scenes, hikers and bikers, and people just hanging out. Include a description you would like put with the picture. If it’s happening in the twenty-four hours of May 1st, it’s worth capturing!

    Email pictures to Genealogy@ACPL.Info

    Twitter #DayinAllenCo2015

    Upload pictures at

    Instagram @GenealogyCenter

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • April 26th to May 2nd: Pass It On -- Through Photography!

    Thursday, Apr 23, 2015

    The American Library Association’s “Pass It On” Preservation Week will be highlighted in The Genealogy Center with a focus on photography. What better way to pass along personal, family, organizational or community history than in photographs! The Genealogy Center has a great week planned, with sessions that discuss how to take better photos, organizing and scrapbooking, posting pictures on social media, and historical photographers in Fort Wayne. And a highlight of the week is “A Day In Allen County,” a chance for everyone to contribute images of the events that take place in a single day (Friday, May 1st) to ACPL’s Community Album. Attend the sessions, take photographs, and Pass It On!

    Sunday, April 26, 2015, 1 p.m., Meeting Room A: "Photographers and Photography of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1843-1930" by John Beatty.

    Monday, April 27, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “How to Look at Your Photographs, Analyze & Organize” by Kay Spears.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “Scrapbooking Your Photographs” by Sara Allen. 

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “Taking Better Photographs” by Bob Albertson.

    Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Meeting Room A: “Preserving Photos on Social Media & in the Cloud” by Dawne Slater.

    Friday, May 1, 2015: A Day in Allen County – Picture sharing event.

    Saturday, May 2, 2015, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Meeting Rooms B & C: A Preservation and Care of Photographs Discussion.

    To register for any or all of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Free Family Resources

    Monday, Apr 20, 2015

     What do you do with the various family materials that you have acquired or written over the years? Are they displayed on bookshelves at home? Shared with relatives? Or stuck away in a box in the garage? The Genealogy Center has obtained several items that can show you the types of material that we are happy to post on our free Family Resources page.

    "William McKendree Lambdin: A Pioneer Methodist Minister and Educator of Texas," by T. Bradford Willis, DDS was published in book format in 2000, but Dr. Willis has given us permission to post it on our website so that anyone can view it.

    The Irving Family Tree was compiled in 1980 by Ian Alfred Lyon with addenda by Jan E. Irving and James M. Irvine in 2013 and 2014. This family tree includes family members from the late 1600s to 2014.

    Mary Hayes Griffin Ancestors is another family tree that has been scanned for posting. Mary Hayes Griffin was born in 1913, daughter of Willard Carl Griffin and Teresa Elvira Briggs. This short volume goes back many generations, and then forward from Mary to her grandchildren.

    These three items have also already been cataloged in our "book" catalog, to facilitate location by other researchers.

    The last item is Memorial Records of Leota May, concerning Leota’s 1971 death, including pall bearers, a register of family and friends and floral tributes, communications with the Batesville Casket Company, and memorial, sympathy and wreath cards. Aside from the valuable family information is the insight into funeral practices in Indiana in the 1970s.

    These great items are just a few examples of what we have been allowed to add to our Family Resources page. Do you have some items you'd like us to include? If so, please contact us.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Free Church Record Databases!

    Friday, Apr 17, 2015

    Thanks to our donors, we have added several church records and histories to out Free Databases recently!

    First off, we have a Brief History of Austin Avenue United Methodist Church of Waco, Texas, provided to us by compiler T. Bradford Willis, DDS. We also have the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Register from Kendallville, Noble County, Indiana.

    Finally, for the first set of Free Databases for New Jersey, we have four registers for Lutheran churches in Trenton: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer Register 1967-1990s and Communicants, 1971-1991; Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church register, 1869-1889 and 1905-1956; Lutheran Church of the Saviour, 1899-1967; and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1851-1967. All of these items were provided by William Mennel, and posted with his permission.
    As always, we are very appreciative of those who allow us to post material here, and we welcome others to do likewise.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for May!

    Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015

    Have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? The Genealogy Center is offering 30-minute personal research consultations with a staff member on some troublesome aspect of your research on Thursday May 7th and Thursday May 28th, from 2PM to 4PM, in The Genealogy Center. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info for an appointment, providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation.

    Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More for Our Military Heritage!

    Thursday, Apr 02, 2015

    Through the generosity of our customers, we have added more than 200 images to Our Military Heritage!

    James and Marilyn Leighty generously allowed The Genealogy Center to post “Charles Byron Burley, Company C, 141st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry” which deals with a group known as the Alexander Volunteer Militia from Alexander Township, Athens County, Ohio, and includes information on the Burley family of Athens County.

    Other Civil War records include pension and/or service records for George D. Barkalow, 134th Ohio; George W. Barkalow, 148th IndianaJames Barkalow, 134th OhioIsaac Biggerstaff, 64th Ohio;  and John M. Clark, 46th Indiana.

    And finally, Lois Stifel has allowed us to post the World War II photos and memorabilia of  naval officer Saul Corush who served on the USS Missouri during the Japanese surrender.

    Thanks to all of these folks who have allowed us to share their soldiers with you!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Closed Sunday April 5th

    Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

    The Genealogy Center, like the rest of the Allen County Public Library facilities, will be closed on Sunday, April 5, 2015 in observance of Easter. We will be open on Saturday, April 4th, our regular hours of 9A to 6P, and on Monday, 9A to 9P.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Masonic Lodges of Greater Fort Wayne

    Monday, Mar 30, 2015

    On March 22, 1823, Wayne Lodge No. 25 F&AM was established in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Nearly  two hundred years later, the Masonic Temple loaned the Minute Books for the Lodge to The Genealogy Center so that the materials in these books would not be lost to future generations. Eleven volumes, ranging from the minutes of the first authorized meeting in 1823 through 1958, document the oldest Masonic Lodge in northern Indiana are now available online for free!

    The collection can be found at Masonic Lodges of Greater Fort Wayne or through Allen County Resources page which is one of The Genealogy Center's Free Databases.

    This amazing collection of original materials, documenting some of Fort Wayne’s influential leaders during the 19th century, can be browsed by month and year. Familiar names such as Ewing, Foster, Rudisill, and Wells are recorded throughout these books, which chronicle the activities of the organization and its members, including discussions about potential new members, hearings concerning some members’ questionable behaviors, and visitors from other Lodges.

    For genealogists researching family members who belonged to the Masons, even those who resided in other states, or for Fort Wayne historians, these records are worth a look.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The Genealogy Center Is on Instagram!

    Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

    By Dawne

    Those of you who have an Instagram account have another way to keep up with what is happening in The Genealogy Center – by following us, @GenealogyCenter, on Instagram. The Genealogy Center will post photos of groups that visit, news, items of interest, and more on its Instagram page.

    Unlike our other social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, it’s not possible to get a “sneak peek” at an Instagram account without logging in. Instagram was designed as a smartphone and tablet app. Its usability is limited on a computer. If you wish to create an Instagram account so that you can follow The Genealogy Center, download the app on your smartphone or tablet from the iTunes or Google Play store. Then create an account, search on your phone or tablet for @GenealogyCenter, and follow us.

    Once you have an account, you can sign in on to Instagram on a PC, scroll through the photos that have been posted by those you are following, and locate one by The Genealogy Center. Then click on “The Genealogy Center” to the left of the photo and you will see all of our previous posts. On your smartphone or tablet, you can use the Search function (it looks like a magnifying glass) to search for us among the accounts you follow, or from your own profile, you can click on “following” to see a list of those you follow. These last two methods are not available from a computer.

    You can “like” a post on Instagram or add a comment on it from a smartphone, tablet or a computer. Follow us! 

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations in April!

    Sunday, Mar 15, 2015

    Have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? The Genealogy Center is offering 30-minute personal research consultations with a staff member on some troublesome aspect of your research on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 and Thursday, April 16, 2015. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info for an appointment, providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation.

    Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    The Genealogy Center, 2:00PM to 4:00PM on Tuesday April 7 and Thursday April 16.

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Free Databases Offer More Cemeteries

    Thursday, Mar 12, 2015

    Almost 9500 new cemetery listings have been added to our free databases in recent weeks, including information from the Midwest and South!

    Twelve cemeteries have been added for Kentucky for Anderson County (Sale Family Cemetery), Calloway County (Parker Cemetery), Campbell County (Ball and Beall Family Cemeteries), and Warren County (Bolling Springs, Crandel’s Chapel, Galloway, Goshen, Penns Chapel, Pioneer, Plum Springs, and Sand Hill Cemeteries).

    We have added thirteen cemeteries for Michigan in Alcona County (Twin Lakes Cemetery), Alger County (Deerton, Grand Island, Holy Rosary, Munising Township, Rose Hill, Serenity Pines Cemeteries), Alpena County (Hope Lutheran, King Settlement, Long Rapids, Sanborn Township, and St. Catherine Cemeteries) and a Native American Catholic cemetery in Baraga County.

    And twenty cemeteries have been added in Louisiana in Allen Parish (Akins and Arkadelphia Cemeteries), Ascension Parish (Richardson Methodist Cemetery), Beauregard Parish (Arnold, Barrow, Bivens, Brushy Creek, Dr. Ross Carter Baby, Felice, Frusha, Green-Oakland, Hagar, Hennigan, Highland, Holly Grove, Jayhawkers, Lone Oak, Lyles Private, Nix Ferry Cemeteries) and Evangeline Parish (Caney Creek Cemetery).

    We are also adding the first digital resources from three new states, with Gillham Cemetery in Allen County, Kansas; Antioch and Beasley Cemeteries in Barbour County, Alabama and Abney Cemetery in Bibb County, Alabama; and Grant Cemetery in Ashley County, Arkansas and Scull and Van Camp Cemeteries in Arkansas County, Arkansas.

    As with all of our cemetery records, you can browse the specific cemetery or use our federated search on our homepage to search all of our Free Databases at once.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Allen County Free Databases

    Monday, Mar 09, 2015

    Recently, additions have been made to two of the free databases for Allen County. More than four thousand records for North Side High School have been added to the Allen County High school Yearbooks Index. A name search in the index provides the year and page number for students mentioned in the local yearbooks for Central High (1914-1971), Central Catholic High (1915-1972), North Side High (1929-1959, except 1937, 1940 and 1947) and South Side High (1923-1974 and 1976-1994). Copies of the yearbooks are held in The Genealogy Center.

    Also, more than 14,000 records have been added to each section (pre-1900 and 1900-2014) for the Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana Area Obituary Index. Many of these additions represent obituaries or dates that we missed in earlier versions of the Index. Volunteers from the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana have been working for several years to fill these gaps to make this a more complete and useful index.

    If you are searching in Allen County, give these indexes another (or a first) try!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Discover Your Female Ancestors for Women's History Month

    Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015

    Female ancestors are difficult to uncover because they are "hidden" within records. Understanding the laws and situations that affected women helps us locate them. Join Melissa Tennant on Tuesday March 17th and discover how to search records and locate your female ancestors. This class is 3PM to 4PM in Meeting Room A. For more information, see the brochure. To register for the free event, call 260-421-1225 or send an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Exploring Some Unique African American Resources in The Genealogy Center

    Saturday, Feb 21, 2015

    On Monday, February 23, 2015, join Curt Witcher, Genealogy Center Manager, in Meeting Room C at 6:30pm as he offers a look at The Center’s “African American Gateway,” the online collection of “African American Historical Newspapers,” the growing collection of home-going programs online, and the “Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive” database. These databases can help you expand your efforts into new avenues of research! For more information, see Celebrating Black History Month. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email to register for this free event!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center