During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.
I have an extensive history of Quakers. Where is the best location to research?
It is difficult to give a general answer, since your question does not state where, specifically, your family lived. If they lived here in Indiana, the Quaker collection at Earlham College is outstanding, and many of the Quaker meeting books for our state are available there and at the Allen County Public Library. Many Quaker records have been published for various states. Perhaps the most famous is William Wade Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, published in multiple volumes.
I have a 30-year-old brick wall. My great-great-grandmother’s age varies on every record found. How might I find a record for proof of parentage in church records?
Different denominations kept different types of records. If you know – or suspect – what denomination your great-great-grandmother might have been, the key is to determine whether the church records for the area where she lived still exist, and where they are located. Keep in mind that if her family lived near a county or state line, they may have gone to church in the neighboring jurisdiction. If a church of the same denomination still exists in the area, it may have absorbed the records of the older church. Most denominations have regional and national archives collections. These may have the records of the church that you seek. Many of these have websites where you can find contact information for the archives. The Family History Library may have microfilmed the records you need. Visit the FHL catalog to see. If so, you can borrow these films to be viewed at your closest FamilySearch Center (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Mormons). In some cases, abstracts or indexes have been published of church records. Check with the local public library in the area where the church was located, as well as with the state library, state archives or state historical society to see whether you can locate abstracts, indexes or the actual record volumes for the church.