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  • Our New Website: Using the Catalog's My Discoveries

    Thursday, Nov 18, 2010

    by Delia

    One new feature that genealogists may find useful within the catalog is “My Discoveries.” "My Discoverie" allows you to keep track of your own lists in much the same way that social-networking sites like Amazon, Goodreads, and LibraryThing do. You can keep track of books that you want to use when you visit and volumes that you have already examined. You can rate books and write reviews, keeping this information private or sharing it with the online community. This feature is available to anyone using The Genealogy Center catalog. You will set up your own account for use either here, from your home, or from any other location with Internet access and be able to keep track of materials you have used or use it to plan your visit to The Genealogy Center.

    To set up an account, from any catalog page, click My Discoveries.

     


    You do not have to be an Allen County Public Library card holder to register for My Discoveries. Create a user name and password, provide an email address, agree to the terms and click "Create account."

     


    Then, anytime you get onto The Genealogy Center catalog, click My Discoveries to log in with your user name and password.

     


    As you search the catalog, click "Save or tag."

     


    You will create or add to a list of your own. You might want to cut and paste the call number into the "tag" box, which will attach the call number to your record. Remember to click "Save" to add it to your list.

     


    You may also rate how useful you found the material and add a review with notes.


    And at any time, you may check the lists you have created.

     


    Click on a list title to view contents of the list, your reviews and ratings.

     


    Always remember to Log Out when you are finished.

    As with any new program, practice is vital to becoming comfortable to the new catalog's My Discoveries feature, but we think once you give it a test run, you will find it an valuable tool for your research.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our New Website: Using the Catalog

    Monday, Nov 15, 2010

    by Delia

    Those of you who visit our site on a regular basis have seen two major changes recently: The Genealogy Center's new website and the Allen County Public Library catalog. The new Genealogy Center website offers an Allen County Public Library’s book catalog search that is limited to just Genealogy Center material, but there are other features as well.


    Start at The Genealogy Center homepage, under “Begin Your Discovery,” you can type in keywords (no abbreviations) into the box that says, “Search the ACPL Catalog.”

    Click Search, and the results will appear. At the top of the page, holdings in book and microtext formats are noted. You can examine all, or select books or microtext, although it is important to note that not all microtext items are included in this catalog at this time, and a search of the Microtext Catalog may be necessary.

     
    You can refine your search further by using the search facets on the right side of the screen or by typing multiple keywords into the Quick Search box. The results list title, author and year of publication, and you may place the results in order by relevance, year, title or author. Then click on the title of the item in which you are interested, and the call number and holdings will appear.


    On the left side of the catalog pages are the “word cloud,” which can assist you with variations of the subject or a surname. If you would rather not utilize the word cloud, you may click hide to remove it. You may also select “Advanced” from the top menu line to search a combination of author, title, subject, series, publisher, publication year, ISBN or call number.  


    Occasionally, as you review the results page, you may see the notation “Web Address” along with a hotlink. The Genealogy Center is active in several initiatives to make significant public domain portions of its collection available online and this note signifies that this volume has been digitized by one of The Genealogy Center’s partners. Clicking on the hotlink will take you to an online copy of this volume.

    One new feature that genealogists may find useful is “My Discoveries.” We'll discuss that next time!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Veterans Day

    Thursday, Nov 11, 2010

    by Melissa

    "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory...”

    With these words from President Wilson in 1919, our country recognized the first anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, when Germany and the Allies agreed to end what became known as World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Armistice Day officially became a U.S. holiday honoring the veterans of that war in 1938. Unfortunately, World War I was not “the war to end all wars,” and in 1954, Congress changed the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in honor of American veterans of all wars.

    You can celebrate Veterans Day at The Genealogy Center by researching your ancestors who served in the military. The Center houses numerous military volumes spanning from the Colonial era to the War in Iraq. With databases, such as Ancestry.com and Footnote.com with their digitized records from the National Archives, researchers can locate records for many veteran ancestors.

    For those who can’t visit our facility, Our Military Heritage database, which includes images of books, pamphlets, government documents, original letters, diaries, biographies, photographs, videos, unit histories, and rosters as well as service and pension records is available for free. If you discover material pertaining to a military ancestor and would like to share with other researchers, consider donating it to this wonderful project.

    However you plan to celebrate Veterans Day, take a moment to remember loved ones who have fought for our country.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Elmhurst High School

    Tuesday, Nov 09, 2010

    by Melissa

    Elmhurst High School closed its doors in the summer of 2010 after almost 80 years in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Many who walked through its halls have fond memories of the school, including the 2009 Girls Basketball State Championship, 1984 Regional Title in Boys Basketball, and the Elmhurst Jazz Festival held from 1970 to 1994. James Hardy, who plays for the Buffalo Bills, set records in the Summit Athletic Conference while playing basketball for Elmhurst.

    Don Weber, a member of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana and volunteer at The Genealogy Center, spent time at the school photographing the building, athletic fields, and memorabilia that adorned the walls.

    The Community Album now hosts over 2,000 images from Elmhurst High School. Photos of the band, student council presidents, choral group, the jazz festival, and outstanding players that graced the school can be found within this database, along with images of pendants, plaques, trophies from the 1940s to 2010. Composite pictures of the Senior Classes of 1936, 1936-1937, and 1945 along with listings of the students, as well as the Military Case to Honor Those Who Died in Service that was dedicated to Army Cpl. Jonathon Blair and Marine Lance Cpl. David Grames-Sanchez were documented. The database can be searched by individual's name, the team, or keywords, such as band.

    Take some time to reflect on the memories of Elmhurst High School.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our New Website: Genealogical Community

    Monday, Nov 08, 2010

    by Delia

    As you browse through our new website, you may have noticed “Genealogical Community” on the menu line at the top. By scrolling over the heading, the drop down menu offers five selections from which to choose: Genealogy Librarians; Blog; E-zine; Facebook; and YouTube. All of these options are avenues through which you can get to know us a little bit better, and through us, others involved with researching family history.

    By clicking the first option, Genealogy Librarians, you will find photos and brief biographies of the eight of us that make up the professional staff of The Genealogy Center, including how long we’ve been a part of the staff, what we do, our varied genealogical interests and how long we’ve been interested in family history, where we’ve lectured, what we’ve written, and a few awards. We’ve tried not to brag.

    A click on the lists’ second offering will bring you here, to our new Blog, where you can find out what programs are planned, guides to using the Center’s resources, highlighted items in the collection, and other news of interest. Plus we’ve migrated all of the old posts to this new location, so you can browse through the various categories or search for a specific entry by keyword.

    Third on the list is a link to Genealogy Gems, the Center’s monthly e-zine. You may read any of the back issues from the first (March 2004) to the latest that’s been loaded (currently December 2009). To see them as they are published, use the boxes to supply your name and email address. New issues are published on the last day of each month. Please be sure your spam filter will allow the issue to arrive on time!

    The next option on the list guides you to our Facebook page. Here, too, you will see alerts of upcoming programs and other news, and have the opportunity to interact with other researchers and see what our other friends are saying, as well as browsing our Friend list to find others addicted to the same pastime.

    The last click will link you to the Allen County Public Library’s YouTube entries. To view the Center’s orientation video or other videos, just type “Genealogy Center” into the search box.

    There you have it! Five clicks to expand your connections to the Genealogical Community! Next, we’ll discuss Databases.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • WinterTech 2010-2011

    Saturday, Nov 06, 2010

    The Genealogy Center is hosting WinterTech 2010-2011. Every second Wednesday of the month starting in November and ending in February, a technology program will be presented from 2:30-3:30 PM. After the class, participants can spend a few hours researching before attending the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana's monthly meeting at 6:30 PM.

    Classes being offered in 2010:

    "Preserving Your Genealogy Research and Documents Using WeRelate" on Wednesday, November 10, from 2:30-3:30 PM, will explore how WeRelate.org can prevent the loss of your genealogical research, photos, and documents.

    "Net Treats" on Wednesday, December 8, from 2:30-3:30 PM, will highlight a few genealogical sites that may open new research windows.

    Ancestry.com is one of the largest genealogical databases available. Join us in learning how to perform advance search techniques, read the results, and "Becoming Expert at Using Ancestry," on January 12.

    Beyond the catalog of the Family History Library, which is the gateway to obtaining microfilmed records from around the world, FamilySearch.org also has searchable record record indexes, collections of digitized images of original records, how-to articles on a wide variety of research topics, the FamilySearch wiki, and more. Visit us on February 9 to go "Exploring the Ever Expanding FamilySearch."

    Please call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info to register for these programs.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Guide to Our New Website, Part 2

    Tuesday, Nov 02, 2010

    by Melissa

     

    In continuation of our series on The Genealogy Center’s Guide to Our New Website, we’ll discuss the Pathfinders section which can be accessed by moving your mouse over the Pathfinders heading at the top of the website. A drop down menu appears providing you with several options.

     

    The items available vary, including a basic multi-step guide on Getting Started in Genealogy, advanced guides for genealogy research and specifics concerning Allen County, Indiana materials. You can learn more about The Genealogy Center by reading the Genealogy Center Collections brochure or the Print and Microtext Guide (which will soon be updated to feature our new catalog).

    The Forms available under the Pathfinders section include the Article Request Form to request magazine articles indexed in PERSI; the Quick Search Form for quick copies from a book or microtext; and the Research Request Form for when you require our Research Center to do a more thorough genealogical search.

    Subject guides on topics ranging from adoption, church, and modern research to ethnic groups, such as Eastern European, Irish, and Swiss are available. Information specific to Allen County, Indiana can be located in the Allen County Births List, Allen County Links, and Allen County Plat Maps pathfinders. The Key Title Index provides the codes, titles, and call numbers for material indexed within the American Genealogical & Biographical Index (AGBI) series.

    More Pathfinders will be available in the future, so please keep checking back. Next we’ll review the Genealogy Community section of the website.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Guide to Our New Website, Part 1

    Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010

    by Melissa

    With the implementation of our new website and catalog, you may be unsure where to click to locate some of your favorite materials or information. Over the next few weeks, we’ll offer a few explanations concerning how to navigate our new website.

    Our home page presents a portal to The Genealogy Center’s online presence, granting access to our materials and information about our facility. If you are new to genealogy, learn the steps to begin the search for your family and then commence your search of our free databases or our catalog to determine what we own, or, in some cases, read our digitized books online.

    Search
box

    The Genealogy Center has a wealth of material to offer and a staff of experts to help guide you in the process. Learn more about the Center, how you can plan a visit to our facility, and our current programming offerings from our home page.

    It is just the first step into our new virtual presence. Next, we’ll offer an overview of the Pathfinders section of our website.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Update to Evangelical Messenger Obituary Index

    Monday, Oct 25, 2010

    Isn't it wonderful when an index grows? The Evangelical Messenger Obituary Index has been updated and now covers the years 1874-1918 and has over 90,000 entries.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Evangelical Messenger Obituary Index

    Friday, Oct 22, 2010

    by Dawne

    Too often when genealogists use newspapers for research, they concentrate on mainstream general-interest papers from their ancestors’ hometowns and neglect special interest papers, such as those of ethnic and religious groups.

    For example, The Genealogy Center has the Evangelical Messenger, the weekly English-language publication of the Evangelical Church, on microfilm. Published from 1848 to 1946, this paper was national in coverage and included secular news, news of the church, children’s and young people’s columns, information about missions, editorials on politics from the church’s point of view and instructional religious messages.

    An issue from 1903 contained teachings from Paul’s epistles, transcription of a song titled “The Christian Life,” the Children’s Corner column with teaching stories, another column labeled Our Young People with a poem or song titled “What Can You Do?,” correspondence from missionaries, editorials on “The Growth of Socialism” and the need for a temperance revival, notes from the mission field in Japan and India and “at home” in the U.S., national and international news briefs, and obituaries.

    The obituaries of those affiliated with the Evangelical Church arguably are the most compelling part of the Evangelical Messenger for genealogists. Abstracts of Evangelical Messenger obituaries for surnames A through Schnerr are in The Bush Meeting Dutch, a quarterly publication (929.102 Ev14d, 1984-1997). However, this series was incomplete – it did not include any surnames alphabetically following Schnerr, and it covered only the early period of 1848 to 1866.

    Complementing the abstracts is a searchable index of Evangelical Messenger obituaries for 1895 through 1913. This database includes more than 45,000 entries and is indexed by decedents and their spouses.

    The Genealogy Center will photocopy obituaries from the Evangelical Messenger via email requests to Genealogy@ACPL.Info. Requests should include patron’s name and mailing address, decedent’s name and the date the obituary appeared. Patrons will be billed $2.50 for each obituary and should allow six weeks for processing.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Easier Access to Facebook

    Tuesday, Oct 19, 2010

    by Melissa

    Do you use Facebook in your personal life? Did you know you can meet other genealogists through Facebook? The Genealogy Center hosts a page on Facebook, where currently more than 1200 genealogists connect, meet, and learn about The Genealogy Center. And now, our Facebook address has become easier to remember. We are located at http://www.facebook.com/genealogycenter. Become a fan of The Genealogy Center at Facebook today.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • How to Examine a Record

    Monday, Oct 18, 2010

    by Delia

    Sounds easy, doesn't it? You find a record. You look at it. You're done.

    Well, maybe. All too often, we are looking for some specific information, find it (or not) and leave, or copy and file the document away in our files. We need to train ourselves to really examine the entire document and do some evaluation while we are at it.

    First off, what kind of evaluation? Note the source of the document and decide how much credence to apply:

    • Is it some kind of legal document? That provides a certain weight of accuracy to date, place and persons involved, but clerks could still make spelling errors.
    • Church records tend to be accurate on dates and events, but if the document is recorded in a different language (German in some Lutheran churches, Latin in Catholic ones), interpretation may be difficult.
    •  Additions can be made to a family Bible at any time and by any person. Attention should be paid to the handwriting and ink. One can often tell if entries were made singly (probably when the event took place) or in groups (when memory errors would be more likely).
    • Census records will only list people living at that time, but the information is not necessarily provided by a family member.
    • City directories may continue to list a husband as head of household (and living!) long after he's deceased.
    • County histories are great, but the biographies are generally written by family members, who may forget information, perpetuate erroneous family legends, or lie to cover embarrassing situations.
    • When was the document created? And why? Knowing the origin can also assist in evaluating the veracity of the information.
    Once you evaluate your source, don't just pull out the information you want. Examine the whole document:
    • The 1900 census shows the names, ages, occupations and birthplaces of each person, but also notes whether someone was a veteran, and of which war.
    • Don't ignore neighbors on the census. Friends or relatives may be the key to the birthplace of an ancestor.
    • Go beyond the biography section of a county history. Your ancestors lived in the community. Find out what was going on, even if they are not mentioned specifically.
    • On a marriage record, note who performed the service. The name of the minister may be crucial in identifying the denomination. (And note the witnesses, too.)
    • Check out the back of the city directory. Some include mortality lists for the previous year.
    • Look at the back of framed photographs. You may learn not only the subject of the photo, but the photographer and his/her location. (Ditto the backs of unidentified newspaper clippings as you hunt for a date.)
    When possible, make copies of the document, and take time to examine your sources at a later date. We all gain knowledge and experience on a daily basis. At some point in the future, information on a document may strike a new chord, leading to a breakthrough in your research.

    So the next time a new document comes your way, take the time to really examine it and wring every drop of data to further your genealogical research.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our Blog is Moving

    Friday, Oct 15, 2010

    With all the excitement involving our new catalog, and new website, we're now pleased to announce The Genealogy Center Blog is moving to its new home on The Genealogy Center website! We are in transition at the moment, so we'll cross-post on both sites. Please join us at our new home!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The Genealogy Center's New Website Debuts!

    Wednesday, Oct 13, 2010

     The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library has launched a new website that provides easier access to the department's online resources both for local residents and those accessing the site worldwide.

     

    Some of the exciting features that can be accessed via the website include a number of free databases that The Genealogy Center has developed, including the African American Gateway, Family Bible Records and Our Military Heritage. The African American Gateway combines more than 1,000 links to Internet sites for African American research, coupled with bibliographic information on African American Sources in The Genealogy Center's collection. The Family Bible Records site features digitized images of bible records that patrons have allowed the Center to scan and upload. These have been transcribed and are searchable. Our Military Heritage is a cornucopia of digitized images of military records and photographs from the Colonial era to the current war in Afghanistan. The Center also has an ever-growing collection of state-specific databases available free for patrons, with a heavy concentration of Allen County information.

     

    Ask a Librarian is a popular feature of the Allen County Public Library's website as a whole. Now patrons can ask a genealogy librarian their reference questions directly from The Genealogy Center's website. The site also features direct links to the book and microtext catalogs and to the Center's orientation video so that visitors from the local area and beyond can plan their research visits and make the most efficient use of their time once at the Center.

     

    The Genealogy Center's website is the launchpad to a number of other resources, including full-text books that have been digitized by Internet Archives, the Center's Pathfinders to various areas of research, and the Community Album, a collection of historical photographs for the surrounding area.

     

    The Genealogy Center offers a wide variety of programming throughout the year. The website is the place to find out all of the details about upcoming class opportunities. Additional Genealogy Center news is available through the Center's blog, Facebook page and by subscribing to the department E-Zine, all accessed through convenient links from the new website.

     

     

     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Coming Soon: A New Catalog

    Sunday, Sep 26, 2010

    Family History Month isn't the only exciting thing at The Genealogy Center this fall. We are launching a new catalog on Thursday, September 30th. To learn more about the new catalog, view the attached video.
    Catalog Video
    Keep watching our website for more exciting changes planned at The Genealogy Center.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Get Ready -- Get Set -- RESEARCH!

    Friday, Sep 24, 2010

    Of course, we all just want to jump right into the research. Whether it's wandering through the cemetery, cranking through microfilm seeking that elusive ancestor or dancing through the various databases in pursuit of great-great-grandma, for most of us, the fun is in the hunt. We sometimes forget to prepare to do our research. If you are getting online to do a bit of electronic sleuthing, prepare yourself by reviewing the family you are chasing. Recheck the vital dates that you have, as well as locations. Think about the names you are seeking. If you are looking for a Mary, remember, she might have been Molly or Polly, or even Marie! Contemplate the many ways that the names could be misspelled. Ask yourself why someone may have provided erroneous information. When you want to go to a courthouse to research, organize what you have and know what you want to learn. Find out, in advance if possible, if the records you want exist and how to access them. For example, a courthouse fire in 1896 may have destroyed civil marriage records, so you won't want to waste time hunting for them. However, it may occur to you that the family was, say, Catholic, so a call to the parish or to a diocesan office may guide you to church marriage records. Also, check to be sure the office you wish to visit will be open the day you plan to be there. And have a back-up plan. Power outages, plumbing problems and severe illness could result in a sudden office closing, so a tentative plan to visit a nearby cemetery or church is good to keep in mind. As you see, preparing for a research trip is always a good idea. Seeking advice from an archivist, librarian, or another researcher can bring fresh ideas to your research, and such consultations are the best part of my job here at the Genealogy Center, but an inadequately organized query can only hinder the success of the quest. Re-evaluate your data to make sure that it follows a logical path. At age 8, that woman was too young to have given birth to your great-grandfather. And your grandmother's uncle really wasn't born 15 months after his father died. Reassessing the information you have may open new avenues of research. So take a few minutes while planning your research activities to consider what you you wish to achieve, what's impossible, and how you might make the impossible, possible.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Lincoln & Civil War Politics

    Monday, Sep 20, 2010

    Running the country and conducting a Civil War weren't the only things on Abraham Lincoln's mind. Political controversy was a daily occurrence. The Lincoln Financial Collection, housed at the Allen County Public Library, contains a vast collection of broadsides, pamphlets, booklets, maps, photographs, and cartoons that provide in-depth background on Lincoln and the politics of his time. To highlight this material, The Genealogy Center Gallery is hosting a display of facsimiles of some of these original documents. Stop in and see this fascinating display.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Are You Ready?

    Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010

    The month of October is always wonderful in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Between the fall colors, the cooling temperatures, the wonderful groups who visit, and of course, the events at The Genealogy Center, we have 31 days of research fun planned. Woven within our various offerings are several special programs that might entice a visit. Every Tuesday (10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26) from 2:00-4:00 pm, we are offering 30 minute one-on-one consultations with our staff concerning your research problems. Please email your consultation request or call 260-421-1225 to schedule your appointment. On Friday & Saturday, 10/8-10/9, the 3rd Annual Military Symposium will feature national speaker, Amy Johnson Crow, who will present The Last Full Measure: Military Burials, Researching Your Civil War Ancestors Online, State and Local Records for Civil War Research, After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans, and For Benefit of the Soldier: Civil War Fraternal Organizations. Registration is required. The last Friday of the month, October 29, we are celebrating Family History Month with our annual Midnight Madness. From 6:00 pm to midnight, researchers will have six extra hours to delve into the Center's collections. Friday, October 29, through Sunday, October 31, researchers are invited to participate in Start Sharing the News! A Celebration of Collaboration. It begins Friday with a dinner at the historic Baker Street Station, followed by multiple sessions on Saturday, ending with a tour of the Lindenwood Cemetery on Sunday. Registration is required. Take time now to schedule your trip(s) to Fort Wayne to take advantage of all these opportunities.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Sunday Hours Returning

    Friday, Sep 10, 2010

    Beginning Sunday, September 12th, The Genealogy Center will once again be open 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm on Sundays. It's a great time to plan a weekend at The Genealogy Center! Our regular hours will be: Mon-Thurs 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Fri-Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm With planned events in October with Family History Month, think of visiting us this fall.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Orientation Video

    Saturday, Sep 04, 2010

    Before visiting The Genealogy Center, you may want to consider viewing our Orientation Video. The video is a 17 minute virtual tour through our department that orients the viewer with all five rooms, how we're organized, ways to access our material, and patron responsibilities. It's one more step to insuring you make the best use of your time when visiting our facility.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center