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  • More Cemeteries

    Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011

    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 is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    Where do I find a missing cemetery? Grandfather missing after 1880. Cinti Ohio.

    Is it your grandfather's burial place that is lost, or do you know the name of a cemetery and can't find it in the place where you think it should be? It is difficult to answer this question. If your grandfather went missing after 1880, we may not be dealing with a missing cemetery. The loss of the 1890 census makes it difficult to locate people in the twenty-year period from 1880 to 1900. Check city directories, death records, church records, land and court records, for the area where you believe he lived. If he left the area, the search becomes even more difficult, but there are an increasing number of statewide and local death record indexes online. A very good website to check is

    If you know your ancestor's death and you have a cemetery name, but you can't find the cemetery, then indeed, it would appear the cemetery, not your grandfather, is missing. The cemetery may have changed its name. Check compiled cemetery transcription books for the county where your ancestor died. There may be a published cemetery directory for the county compiled by a local historical or genealogical society. Check with the Registry of Deeds or a local funeral home in the county, to see if there is another name for the cemetery. Some rural cemeteries have, in fact, gone missing. Although it is illegal, sometimes these cemeteries are plowed over and the stones buried to make room for more farm land. While such activity is illegal, it happens occasionally to small family cemeteries.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • 20th Century Military Records

    Sunday, Nov 20, 2011

    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.

    Where were naval officers stationed during WWII?

    Naval officers were stationed throughout the United States at naval bases, Washington, D. C. (Pentagon), and on ships which they were assigned to overseas. The Historic Naval Ships Association, explains how to find U.S. Navy Records at the National Archives. According to the National Archives, any records that are over 62 years old are listed as "archival" and become part of their public records. In order to determine assignments, locate the service records. Go to the form to request records and send the completed form, along with required documents, to:

    National Personnel Records Center
    1 Archives Drive
    St. Louis, Missouri 63138.

    To locate histories about the Navy in WWII within the Genealogy Center's collection, just type in "World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental histories -- United States" in our online catalog. There will be over 300 results.

    Are there records for military awards recipients? Purple Heart? Military vets – Korea, Vietnam, World War II? My dad was in World War II and Korea, yet he doesn’t come up (he is deceased). Yet my one cousin (still living) comes up for Korea and not my dad or another living cousin. Why are military records incomplete?

    When you say that someone “comes up” or doesn’t “come up,” it must be that you are plugging their names into some kind of database on the Internet. Many databases online are not official records, but material that individuals have compiled and posted and therefore, the information is not complete. This is especially true of family tree-type sites that can be found on and, among others. Did the site you were searching claim to be a list of all Korean War soldiers? To get information about your father, I would suggest that you contact the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the facility that holds the military records of all soldiers who served in World War I and more recent conflicts. That facility did experience a fire in the early 1970s and some records were destroyed, however. You also might try some of the indexes available at However, be sure to be aware of the scope of each index as you search it. It may or may not be complete.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Thanskgiving Holiday Weekend Hours

    Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

    The Genealogy Center will be closed on Thursday November 24, 2011, for Thanksgiving Day, but be thankful that there are still plenty of hours that we are open for you to do research! We are open our regular hours, 9 AM to 9 PM, Monday through Wednesday, as well as Friday and Saturday, 9 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 12 Noon to 5 PM.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Military Seminar 2011

    Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011

    The Military Seminar 2011: You Say You Want a Revolution was a wonderfully attended event. The Genealogy Center, partnering with the local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, had multiple sessions for attendees to learn about various types of Revolutionary War records and an opportunity to discuss applying to the individual patriotic societies.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Latin America

    Monday, Nov 14, 2011

    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.

    My husband has Cuban roots but only knows that his father was born in Havana. Is there a way to trace him? How do you research Guatemala info in last 50 years?

    Information on how to conduct searches in both Cuba and Guatemala can be found on the FamilySearch Wiki. FamilySearch also has several records for Guatemala available online. Scroll down the page to Guatemala. More information on searching for Cuban roots can also be found at CubaGenWeb.

    My grandfather died in Sao Benardo San Paulo Brazil around 1951 or 1952. How can I locate his death record? He was born in Lodrone, Italy, immigrated to the US in 1902, went back to Italy around 1920 and then at some point went to South America. Record in Italy says they learned of his death in 1952 but there is no documentation. And I don’t speak Portuguese!

    FamilySearch is a good place to begin your search. They have Brazilian records relating to Deaths, Catholic Church Records, and Burial Records that might help. On the FamilySearch page, scroll down to Brazil to begin your search. The FamilySearch Wiki has great information on how to obtain death records from Brazil. When searching records, if you can transcribe the alpha letters, Babelfish is a great site for translations.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Lawsuits

    Thursday, Nov 10, 2011

    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 is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    What is the best way to find information about a law suit our grandparents had against the federal government?

    Such a lawsuit would have been filed in federal court. Your question does not indicate the city or state where the grandparents lived. The first step would be to contact the federal courthouse for the place where the family lived. Depending on how far back the suit occurred, the records may be archived in one of the regional National Archives branches. The federal courthouse should be able to advise.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Religious Records

    Tuesday, Nov 08, 2011

    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.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Quick and Easy Gems

    Thursday, Nov 03, 2011

    The weather is turning cooler, fall sports are ending and you are probably raking the last of the leaves out of your yard. You might be able to squeak in a last visit to a cemetery if you hurry. But largely it is time to settle in for what can be a genealogist’s best season – the Armchair Research season!

    Blow the dust off your files and see where you left off last spring when the garden called you outside. One of the activities you may include in your winter research pursuits is catching up on your genealogical reading. If you have not done so previously, now would be a great time to read the back issues of The Genealogy Center’s e-zine, Genealogy Gems. From The Genealogy Center’s homepage, hold your cursor over the words “Genealogy Community” in the dark blue bar at the top of the screen, and click on “Ezine.” The page that opens has all back issues of Genealogy Gems from its advent in 2004 through April of this year.

    Take the opportunity to sign up to receive Genealogy Gems via email, if you are not already a subscriber. It is sent out each month and is packed with news of The Genealogy Center, preservation tips and articles on featured print and microtext items in the collection. It’s straightforward, no-frills and a wealth of resources right at your fingertips each month.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Grave Markers

    Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011

    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.

    On a military grave marker, the information does not match information from the military records on Ancestry. Did the indexer make a mistake, or is the grave marker wrong?

    Could be either one. Indexers and transcribers make mistakes, which is why one should check original sources. But grave markers may also contain errors, caused by misinterpretation of the information, an error by the monument maker, or an outright falsehood from the ancestor or family members. Remember to verify information with as many other sources as possible.

    Who is buried at Mount Vernon with George Washington? One grave is marked Blackburn.

    You should direct your question to the curators of Mount Vernon.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy Center History -- Part 9

    Monday, Oct 31, 2011

    In 1990, the department expanded again, back out into the original building, providing 160 seat, with two storage closets converted to use for our first CD-ROM stations (doors on far right)...


    ... as well as sixty microtext readers.

    Next time: The expansion in the late 1990s.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Were My Ancestors Naturalized

    Saturday, Oct 29, 2011

    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.

    When women and children were automatically naturalized are there records? Where are they?

    Information for those who received derivative naturalization, such as children and spouses, could possibly be recorded in the naturalization application of the intended citizen. Prior to 1906, each court with a seal created its own naturalization application, therefore questions asked by the court varied. Some courts listed spouse or minor children of the immigrant applying for naturalization, but it wasn’t required. Beginning in 1906, when the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization was created, forms were standardized and questions relating to spouse and children were asked on the application. Otherwise those who received derivative naturalization did not have their own paperwork.

    Did an immigrant always become a citizen especially looking in the 1850-1900 time period?

    Not every immigrant became a U.S. citizen. Some immigrants filed first papers or declarations of intent, but never completed the process. According to the 1890-1930 federal censuses, which asked whether the immigrant was naturalized or had filed first papers, it was discovered that only 25% of immigrants had begun the process to become a U.S. citizen.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • We Challenge You

    Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011

    by Melissa

    November is a great time for writers. sponsors a National Novel Writing Month contest on their website, motivating individuals to complete a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. As genealogists, we can use this same format for our genealogy research projects.

    Plan to use the month of November as a time to set goals and complete projects. Many of us will be attending family events in the coming months, so wouldn’t it be great to share some new discovery or present a brief history of the family? Create your own goals such as spend three hours a week researching or write a 5,000 word narrative on your family research or scan/ enter 250 family photographs into your genealogy files or organize the stacks of papers on your desk.

    The Genealogy Center staff challenges you to set a genealogy goal for the month of November and share with us your progress. Do you accept our challenge? If so, like our facebook page and participate in the challenge, which will officially be issued on October 29.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • November 23, 2011 One-on-One Consultations Closed

    Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011

    We are currently scheduling appointments for Wednesday December 28, 2011. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Basics of Adobe Elements Workshop Closed

    Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011

    Registration for The Basics of Adobe Elements Workshop on Friday, October 28, is closed. The waiting list is filled as well, so we will no longer take names for this class. Be sure to check back to see the next time we offer this informative class.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Database Concerns

    Sunday, Oct 23, 2011

    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 is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    Do you know of other databases available for free?

    There are a number of wonderful websites available for free research, including but not limited to Family Search, WeRelate, and US GenWeb.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • National Black Genealogy Summit

    Saturday, Oct 22, 2011

    The National Black Genealogy Summit began on Thursday, October 20, with an informative Pre-Conference and will end on Sunday, October 23, with extended research hours from 8 am to noon. With more than 150 attendees, lots of fun and stories are being shared at The Genealogy Center as well as the Grand Wayne Center.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Online Microfilm Ordering Now Available with the Family History Center

    Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011

    by Cynthia


    Beginning Wednesday, October 19, patrons of the Allen County Public Library will be able to order microfilms online from the Family History Center. Now you have the benefit of ordering films online from Salt Lake City while planning your research trip to The Genealogy Center. The combination of The Genealogy Center collection as well as having films from Salt Lake City readily available is a huge benefit. When you plan your trip, you may want to order films from the Family History Center approximately 3 to 4 weeks before your visit.


    In order to access the order form, you will need to have a Family Search account. If you have created an account in order to see digital images online, you will not need to create an account. To create an account, go to click on Sign In in the upper right hand corner and scroll the screen down to the Create New Account button. For assistance and guidance, a User Manual is available.


    With the new online system, you will be automatically notified if you choose film that is currently in the holdings at the selected facility. Also, you will be able to track your order and see if the film has been shipped or is on back order. The Family History Center will send notifications when your order has been processed, delivered to your selected location, and when the item is ready to be sent back to the Family History Center. At this point in time, you will be able to return or extend (making it permanent) your film requests.


    Please contact The Genealogy Center if you have any questions about the new Family History Center microfilm ordering process.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Requesting Records

    Monday, Oct 17, 2011

    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 a death record that was listed in the WPA indexes of Indiana vital records. How can I get a copy?

    The Genealogy Center has vital records sourced in those indexes for Allen County and a few other counties. For the rest, you will need to contact the health department for the county in question.

    I need 1920-1955 New York City vital records. I know enough to pinpoint, but can’t afford the cost to send for all I need. Any suggestions for alternative online sources? If a person is in New York City today, is there a place to go physically to get this information? Legal name changes – where would I search for this for New York City, 1959-1952?

    First of all, this may be information you already know, but for the sake of others researching New York City:

    • Birth records prior to 1910,
    • Marriage records prior to 1930, and
    • Death records prior to 1949
    are at the Municipal Archives. These are the records you may obtain for genealogical research. Forms are available on the website for ordering these records. The base fee is $15 per record, with additional charges for a search of two years if an exact date isn’t known, for postage and handling, for a certified copy, etc. See the New York Public Library’s website for more information about New York vital records. (New York City information is partway down the page.) For records of events that occurred after the dates shown above, you must be qualified to obtain the records. These are held in the Office of Vital Records in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. These records also begin at $15 each.

    If you are qualified to obtain copies of the records, you can go to these offices in person to get them, but the websites suggest that you order online to avoid waiting in a line. The cost is the same if you get go to the office in person to get them. In localities where the record books are freely available to researchers, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional researcher in the area to photocopy the books for you than to order individual certificates, but in the case of New York City, the cost is going to be the same for the records, whether you order them online or you send a proxy to get them for you. Images of these records are not available online.

    Legal name changes would have taken place in the courts. See whether the Family History Library has filmed the civil court records for the county within New York City where you suspect the name change took place. If not, you will need to search the records onsite or hire a researcher to do it for you. You can find researchers for New York City on the websites of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Quilt Display

    Saturday, Oct 15, 2011

    In honor of the National Black Genealogy Summit, the Sisters of the Cloth, a Fort Wayne quilting guild, installed a display of quilts in the Gallery of The Genealogy Center. Take some time to view these lovely quilts on display and attend the National Black Genealogy Summit being held on Thursday, October 20 through Saturday, October 22.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Michigan Records

    Thursday, Oct 13, 2011

    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.

    Are probate records available on Ancestry (for Michigan)?

    Ancestry has approximately 40 databases that pertain to probate records, but none of those are for Michigan. Michigan's probate records are normally kept at the County Probate Courthouse. Family Search has filmed some of Michigan's probate records if the county's probate court office gave permission. The Archives of Michigan has some probate records (see their circular #6 for details).

    How do I obtain school records from a Catholic Diocese from the early 1900's (Lansing, Michigan)?

    According to staff from the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, they do not have school records. It is the Diocese's policy to have student academic records held at the school where the student attended. Should the school no longer exist, you may wish to contact the Diocese to see if school's records were sent to their Archives. You may contact their archivist, Msgr. George Michalek, via email at or call him at 517-342-2540.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center