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  • World Vital Records.com

    Friday, Jun 11, 2010

    Another database available at the Genealogy Center is WorldVitalRecords.com. The online site takes a different approach to searching for family history. Besides offering you access to information off their site, such as vital records and military records, they are a clearinghouse that guides you to other genealogy web sites. For example, you can search for one individual and find links to Find A Grave, Newspaper Archive, National Personnel Records Center, Footnote, Find My Past, and the Godfrey Collection.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Where Did I Find ...?

    Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010

    It is never too late to start logging your sources. Knowing where you gathered particular details on an ancestor is very important in your research. When evaluating incongruous information, reviewing which source the details are from can help you decide what is more accurate. Another reason to keep track of your sources is so others can verify or follow-up on your research. Some ways you can keep track of where you found information on your ancestors are: 1. Maintain a log of sources in a notebook or on your genealogy software. 2. Copy the title page of sources you have viewed. 3. Note materials you have searched, but in which you did not find information. It prevents you from repeatedly returning to the same source.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

    Friday, Jun 04, 2010

    The traveling exhibition "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" will be available for your viewing pleasure in the Genealogy Center June 18 to July 30, 2010. The Opening Reception will be at Saturday, June 19, at 7 PM in Meeting Room A of the Main Library, with speakers Jason Jividen, Sara Gabbard, and Katherine Tinsely. Other events highlighting the exhibition include:

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Family Reunions

    Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010

    With the end of school, many people will plan family vacations over the coming months. With any luck, some vacations will include getting together with family members and holding a family reunion. The Allen County Public Library has several books available to help you plan your reunion. Even if you can't visit us, you can look for these books at your local library. Your family reunion: how to plan it, organize it and enjoy it How to plan your African-American family reunion The family reunion sourcebook Family reunion: everything you need to know to plan unforgettable get-togethers for every kind of family Another option for a summer trip is to visit the Genealogy Center and enjoy a research vacation.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • You Can't Always Find It By Browsing!

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Sometimes in the Genealogy Center, a useful book pertinent to a particular location is not found under a particular subject entry or title. Consider the book, On the Eve of Conquest: The Chevalier de Raymond's Critique of New France in 1754, edited by Joseph L. Peyser and published by Michigan State University Press in 1997. The book is cataloged as 971 R214o, which is a general Canadian number. However, "New France" in the 1750s, before the conclusion of the French and Indian War, comprised a large portion of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes of what would become the United States. Charles de Raymond, the central figure of the work, was the commandant of Fort St. Joseph at what is now Fort Wayne in the 1750s. The book contains a useful, first-hand account of this and other areas occupied by the French, but not strictly about Canada. If you are researching the French period of Fort Wayne's history, or indeed, those of other French-occupied settlements of the 1750s, this book deserves a closer look.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy Center Closed Memorial Day

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    As you make your research travel plans, please remember that the Genealogy Center, like the rest of the Allen County Public Library, is closed on Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day. Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the library's summer schedule. Hours Monday through Saturday are the same as the rest of the year (M-Th 9A - 9P and F&S 9A - 6P), but the entire library is closed on Sundays until after the Labor Day weekend. We love our visitors, and don't want you waiting in vain on Sundays.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy @ Night

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Summer is around the corner and with it comes Genealogy @ Night. Don't let the name mislead you. We'll make use of the long daylight hours and increase your genealogical research knowledge. In June, July, and August, lectures will be offered on the third Tuesdays of each month from 6:30 PM -7:30 PM. Our first offering is Cynthia Theusch on "French Canadian Research at ACPL" on June 15. On July 20, John Beatty will present "Researching Indiana Court Records," followed by Dawne Slater‑Putt with "Cataloging 3‑D Items & Heirlooms" on August 17. Look for more information at our Website and remember to register via email to Genealogy@ACPL.Info or by phone at 260‑421‑1225. Plan to visit us in the evenings this summer!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Researching Long Distance via RAOGK

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    by Dawne

    The situation happens to everyone eventually – you discover a record that you need copied, a quick look-up to be done, or a photograph of a tombstone – but it is in a distant state and you can’t get there yourself. Sometimes the easiest way to get record copies is through corresponding directly with the courthouse or library in the distant location. But in other cases, that can be expensive and/or take more time than you would like.

    Another option is to hire a professional researcher to do the task for you. The Association of Professional Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists have lists of available professional researchers on their websites. Many libraries and courthouses also have lists of researchers who have placed their names with the facilities. But often these professionals require a multi-hour retainer to make the job worth their while, and if you have just a quick look-up to be done, this doesn’t really suit your needs.

    What to do? See if a volunteer will do the small (but significant to you!) job at the cost of any out-of-pocket expenses. Contact the genealogical society in the area where you need the look-up done and ask whether it has members who will do such work. Or go to the website of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) at and see whether anyone has registered to do lookups in the area in which you are interested.

    Volunteers on the RAOGK have agreed to do one free genealogy research task at least once a month in their local areas. Those who take advantage of this service must pay the out-of-pocket expenses such as record fees, copy fees, postage, parking fees and the like. They also would like a thank you, of course. The RAOGK boasts more than 4,000 volunteers, with a volunteer in every state and many other countries.

    Whether or not you are successful in finding someone who will perform a Random Act of Genealogical Kindness for you, consider adding your name to the list as someone who will do a look-up in your local area. One look-up a time, once a month, we can make long-distance genealogical research easier for everyone and perhaps even bank some good karma for our own genealogical endeavors!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Preservation Week

    Thursday, May 06, 2010

    Next week is the American Library Association's Preservation Week, and the Genealogy Center is offering daily programs on gathering, organizing and preserving family records, photos and other precious mementos:
    • Monday May 10: Photo Restoration Using Adobe Photoshop, presented by Kay Spears, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM, Globe Room
    • Tuesday May 11: Preservation Tips & Tools, presented by Rebecca Schipper, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Globe Room
    • Wednesday May 12: Organizing Information: Hard Copies, Computer Files, Pictures, etc., presented by Dawne Slater-Putt, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Meeting Room A
    • Thursday May 13: Preserving Your Family History -- A Practical Overview presented by Curt Witcher (Part One: Basic Information to Preserve, Conserve, and Store Family Heirlooms & Documents; Part Two: Writing & Recording Your Family Stories) 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM, Globe Room
    • Friday May 14: Basics of Scanning presented by Kay Spears, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM, Globe Room
    • Saturday May 15: Searching Ancestry.com, presented by Delia Bourne 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Meeting Room A
    Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info to register.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Paper of Record.com

    Tuesday, May 04, 2010

    Newspapers provide a wealth of knowledge concerning the everyday life of our ancestors. Besides articles concerning daily and historical events, newspapers also published notices pertaining to visits from family members, births, marriages, divorces, deaths, property being probated, and other details. Paper of Record.com, a database available at the Genealogy Center, provides digital access to historical newspapers from across the globe.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Class of whatever

    Monday, May 03, 2010

    It is the book for which most everyone eagerly awaits in the spring (or fall), and the only one that you could write in without getting into trouble. It is the yearbook, filled with photos and description of students, teachers, and staff in various activities. School yearbooks started at the college level and many were collections of student essays, poetry and fiction, altering over the years to become memory books we know today, and descending through high school, then elementary schools. The Genealogy Center’s extensive collection of local school annuals is a popular draw for current and former residents of the city as they locate themselves, parents or friends. Older yearbooks can also bring a grandparent to life for a younger member of the family, adding information about interests and activities, or can verify the presence of the student in a given place at a specific time. The Genealogy Center actively collects Allen County school yearbooks, and is happy to receive donations of yearbooks from any location, so when you know someone looking to dispose of their old annuals, or if you are thinning your own book shelves, please remember that we’d be happy to find space for these important resources in the collection.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Time for Gems

    Monday, Apr 26, 2010

    With the end of the month fast approaching, we are preparing to publish Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library. The newsletter is published by the staff of the Genealogy Center and sent via e-mail on the last day of each month. It's a another great way to learn about the resources in the department, new plans for the collection, programs, lodging, directions, and to see where our staff is speaking next. Click to read previously published editions. To sign-up for the newsletter, please send an email to Genealogy@ACPL.Info stating you would like to receive Genealogy Gems at your email address.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The changing streets of the city

    Monday, Apr 26, 2010

    If you’ve ever followed a family through the census or city directories, and suddenly find that they have moved to a different address on the same street, it may be that they did not move at all, but that the city had changed street numbering systems. As some towns grew, houses or buildings were often just numbered as they were built, counting out from the town center. This became a problem when additional buildings were inserted. Most cities eventually went to a more organized system, usually counting each block as one hundred, and numbering buildings in a correspondingly appropriate position within the hundred and assigning even and odd numbered sides to the streets.

    The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps may be able to help you to determine the corresponding old and new street numbers. When a city was in the process of making such a change, the maps would print both old and new building numbers, so if you encounter such a situation, check to see if Fire Insurance Maps were made for the city. The Genealogy Center has Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress, which will help you determine if maps were issued for the city you are searching. The maps will also provide answers if the street name itself has changed, and can help you determine exactly where your ancestor lived.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Printing from Ancestry.com

    Thursday, Apr 22, 2010

    Ancestry.com is an online database available at the Genealogy Center, where you can access the 1790-1930 Census, Passenger Lists, Military Records, Family Trees, and much more. Once you find the record you have been searching for years to discover, you might want a copy of it for your records. When printing a record on Ancestry, click on the View Printer-Friendly before clicking on the print button. The information will be condensed and fitted onto a minimal number of pages Record When printing an image from Ancestry, click on the printer icon on the upper green bar. Image

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Musical Memories

    Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010

    Music is often used to call to mind a certain time, location or mood. The popular music created in the '30s ("Brother Can You Spare a Dime?") or 40s ("I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time") evokes the era, and we are lucky that, as time goes by, more of these songs are appearing on digital archives like the Library of Congress's American Memory Project or Internet Archive. Some songs, though written much later, suggest an earlier event. One of the best known of these is "(Coming to) America," released by Neil Diamond in 1980, which strongly brings to mind the great mass of immigrants of the second half of the 19th Century, traveling in steerage as they made their way to what they hoped was a better life. What's your favorite "history" song?

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Tour, Tour, Tour

    Saturday, Apr 17, 2010

    Are you interested in learning what is available at the Genealogy Center? Would you like to have someone explain how the Genealogy Center is organized or how to access material? Join us for a tour and get an insider's view of the Genealogy Center on Sunday, April 25, from 1:00-2:00. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info to register.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Celebrate Preservation Week!

    Thursday, Apr 15, 2010

    Come to the library in May to celebrate the American Library Association’s Preservation Week. The Genealogy Center will offer a variety of programs on gathering, organizing and preserving family records, photos and memorabilia. Find other ideas at the Preservation Week website. Events include: Monday May 10, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Globe Room Photo Restoration Using Adobe Photoshop Kay Spears (Basic computer knowledge helpful) Tuesday May 11, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Globe Room Preservation Tips & Tools Rebecca Schipper Wednesday May 12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Meeting Room A Organizing Information: Hard Copies, Computer Files, Pictures, etc. Dawne Slater-Putt (Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana monthly meeting; visitors welcome) Thursday May 13, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM Globe Room Preserving Your Family History--A Practical Overview Curt Witcher Part One: Basic Information to Preserve, Conserve, and Store Family Heirlooms & Documents Part Two: Writing & Recording Your Family Stories Friday May 14, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Globe Room Basics of Scanning Kay Spears (Basic computer knowledge helpful) Saturday May 15, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Meeting Room A Searching Ancestry.com Delia Bourne (Part of Tree Talks) For more information, visit our website, and register via email Genealogy@ACPL.Info or by calling 260 421 1225. Join us to learn about preserving your valuable family mementoes.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • IGS Conference Wrap-Up

    Monday, Apr 12, 2010

    by Dawne A celebratory air was evident this past Saturday as the Allen County Public Library hosted the Indiana Genealogical Society’s annual conference. Dick Eastman was the featured speaker and presented four well-received lectures on technological topics. In addition, Ron Darrah of Indianapolis and Melissa Shimkus, reference librarian for the Genealogy Center, spoke on immigration topics; Curt Witcher, Genealogy Center manager, gave a presentation on ACPL’s digital initiatives; and Kay Spears, also of the Genealogy Center, gave a real-time demonstration of Adobe Photoshop. Friday, the library was the site of a pre-conference seminar featuring four sessions on preservation topics, from the personal level to the archives level. Many genealogists in town for Friday’s seminar, or arriving Friday night in anticipation of Saturday’s conference, took advantage of the Genealogy Center’s extended hours from 6 p.m. to midnight. It was every genealogist’s dream – to be locked in the Genealogy Center after closing! IGS’s Society of Civil War Families of Indiana held its induction ceremony mid-day on Saturday. Three ladies who successfully proved their ancestry back to a soldier who served in an Indiana Civil War unit were welcomed into the society, and two members who had proved supplemental lines to soldiers also were recognized. The SCWFI ceremony was followed by the IGS annual meeting, including President Curt Witcher’s “state of the society” address, awards and door prizes. One lucky soul won a year’s subscription to Ancestry.com! Attendees summed up the experience in their evaluations: “Great day! The vendors exhibition was nice ... a good variety. ACPL was a great location, too.” “Wonderful facility! Great programs!!” “Very informative sessions – Glad I came.” As staff of the Genealogy Center, we echo their sentiments … it was a great day … the vendors had “good stuff” … the sessions were informative … and we are very glad everyone came!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy Center Tour Redux

    Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010

    Another tour of the Genealogy Center has been scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2010, 1 to 2 PM in the Genealogy Center. The interest in the Genealogy Center Tour on March 14th, part of March Madness Genealogy Style, was so high that we had to limit the number of participants, and had to turn away a number of people. So here's your chance! Space is still limited, so call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info right away to register.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Ellingham Family Papers

    Monday, Apr 05, 2010

    (and other long records in the library catalog) by Aaron Here in the Genealogy Center, we own a number of very large and comprehensive compilations of significant research created by individuals who have committed decades to their respective projects. One such recently cataloged set is the Lewis Ellingham’s Family Papers. Its 363 volumes contain thousands of surnames, accompanied by pedigree charts and genealogical tables encompassing hundreds of years. However, there is no index to these volumes. So how does one find information about specific names of interest? In the Allen County Public Library catalog, type the surname you seek followed by the word “family” (searching it as a subject and limiting your search to the Genealogy Center will help). The results you get will look like this. You’ll notice that the Ellingham family papers (#3 above), includes 158 volumes--volumes 206 through 363. When you click on the Details button, you see this. Then click on the Catalog Record tab. This very long screen of information is easily searched by using the Find command in your browser. In the most common browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox), hold the Ctrl key down and strike the F key. A box will appear on your screen. Enter the surname you are looking for in that box. When you press enter, the browser will locate the text in the record, and in this instance you will know there is a significant reference to a Deetz family in vol. 276.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center