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  • 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 www.facebook.com/GenealogyCenter

    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

  • New Free Family Files!

    Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015

    Through the generosity of a number of individuals, three new and unique family collections have recently been added to our Free Databases Family Files and Resources. The first is Burden Family Reunion, minutes from annual meetings from 1899 to 1939. The Forbing Family Photos, earth twentieth century photographs (with identifying information from the reverse of the photos included) and post cards for the Frank Forbing family.

    The third collection is the George Ely Russell, Jr. Collection, whose research collection was donated to The Genealogy Center. Russell, a well-respected genealogist, maintained a collection of cards which recorded information on the wives and daughters of the extended Russell family. Russell Wives and Daughters is a searchable index to these scanned cards. This first installment includes more than 6700 cards, but more will be added as they are scanned. We thank George’s children for donating, and allowing us to make available, this valuable collection.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • March Madness - Genealogy Style: March 1 Thru 7, 2015

    Sunday, Feb 15, 2015

    Now that our WinterTech series is over, and spring is right around the corner, it’s time to rebound into your research with March Madness, Genealogy Style. Hear about the life of basketball great, John Wooden at the History Center, then join The Genealogy Center staff and friends for some back-to-basics research essentials!

    Sunday, March 1, 2015, 2 p.m., The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Ft. Wayne, Indiana – “Hardwood Glory: A Life of John Wooden,” by Barbara Olenyik Morrow.

    Monday, March 2, 2015, 2 p.m., Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room A – “Colonial Southern Overview: What You Need to Know Before You Start Your Research,” by Delia Bourne.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 2 p.m., Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room A – “Genealogical Research in Colonial New England," by John Beatty.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 2 p.m., Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room A – “Using Clues in the 1880 Census to Solve Earlier Research Challenges,” by Cynthia Thuesch.

    Thursday, March 5, 2015, 10 a.m., Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room A – “Finding Family in Pre-1850 Census Records and Census Substitutes,” by Sara Allen.

    Friday, March 6, 2015, 10 a.m., Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room A – “We All Deserve a Second Chance! Taking another Look at the Early Records in Our Files,” by Dawne Slater.

    Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10 a.m., Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room A – “History and Records of Indiana's ‘Gore,’” by Tina Lyons.

    To register for any of these free programs, call 260-421-1225 or send an email to Genealogy@ACPL.Info. For more information, see the March Madness, Genealogy Style brochure.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New School Records in the Free Databases

    Thursday, Feb 12, 2015

    We family historians know that sometimes a school record, yearbook or souvenir may offer a vital clue in discovering more about an individual. We are pleased to add two school-related items to our Free Databases, and to expand an index for another.

    One can now see the Alumni Booklet for Latty High School in Paulding County, Ohio, which lists all graduates from 1901 to 1952. From the index page, one can browse the book or click on a specific name to go directly to that page.

    The Gilead High School Alumni News from Miami County, Indiana is also available. The Alumni Directory covers 1912 to 1954, It includes photos, a history of the school, and brief biographies of those students who died in service of their country.

    We have also added almost four thousand entries from 1958 North Side (Fort Wayne) High School yearbook to the Allen County High School Yearbooks Index, bring the total number of entries in that index to 85,213. Thanks to our volunteers who continue to add to this wonderful and useful database!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • St. Vincent Villa Sources Online

    Monday, Feb 09, 2015

    Orphanage records are scarce in Fort Wayne in general. The records of the Allen County Children's Home were “lost” many years ago. What records exist for other locations must be obtained through various agencies. But now The Genealogy Center has two great sources for children who lived at St. Vincent Villa, the local Catholic Orphanage.

    St. Vincent Orphan Asylum, originally for girls only, opened in 1867 on 25 acres northwest of Fort Wayne. Over the years, the building deteriorated and in 1932, Bishop John F. Noll had a new facility built to house both girls and boys. Due to difficulties families encountered when one parent died or deserted the family, many so-called orphans of the nineteenth century actually had one parent still living. Such was the case of the twentieth century St. Vincent’s, so Noll called the new facility St. Vincent Villa, to remove the term “orphan.” More than 3500 children lived there over the years.

    A scrapbook covering the 1930s to reunions in the twenty-first century, kept by long-time Villa volunteer Bill McCardle, was donated to The Genealogy Center along with copies of “Inter Nos,” the Villa’s newsletter from 1941 to 1954 and a history of the Villa. These items were scanned and are available for review at our website and are searchable through the federated search on The Center’s home page.

    Thanks to all who contributed to allowing us to scan these items and making them available.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Do You Know Where Important Family Documents Are Located?

    Friday, Feb 06, 2015

    by Sara

    Every so often, a patron visits The Genealogy Center and tells us their own version of the following sad story: “My parent/spouse/sibling is seriously ill and unable to communicate with us, and we need to find her birth certificate, marriage certificate, or military discharge papers in order to qualify for Medicaid, Social Security or Veteran’s Administration benefits.” Often the relative cannot locate the paperwork at the ailing person’s home, and does not know when or where the event took place, so they don’t know where to start. Sometimes we librarians get lucky and find a clue in an online or print index that helps pinpoint for the patron where to look. This strategy doesn’t always work, because few 20th century vital or military records are not online due to privacy concerns. In cases where the event location is unknown, we may have to send the patron back home to seek more information. We might ask them the following types of questions to help clarify the situation: Does another relative or friend of the family know more about the original event and when and where it took place? Is the event on record at the church or synagogue the family attends currently or attended at the time of the event? Is it notated in a photo album or old letter? Might it have been listed in the local newspaper? And is that local newspaper indexed, or would the patron have to scroll through the microfilmed copy of the newspaper page by page, looking for the article? And so on. We can only hope that one of these new avenues of research yields results. Sometimes a county by county, state by state search is necessary when folks married in an unexpected location and there is no state-wide index.

    Don’t let this happen to you! Organize your family’s important paper documents today. Talk with your family members and gather information now. To that end, every person should make a designated location for their important documents, be it a file drawer, strong box, home safe, safety deposit box, or other safe place. After determining where this file will be kept, they should inventory their paperwork and acquire any important personal documents that they are missing now, while they are still able to do so. To request birth, marriage, death and divorce records, contact the county clerk, health department or vital records office in the county where the event took place. Military records are usually filed at the National Archives, and most military veterans or next-of-kin are entitled to their records free of charge.  After acquiring the documents, persons should let their spouse, children or a trusted friend know where these documents are stored, either within the house or at another location.

    Since this is not a situation that I want to find myself in, my family is busy getting our own papers together. My parents have gathered all their documents in one place and notified their children of that location. We also recently requested my dad’s military records from the National Archives. Now, I just need to work on putting together my own documents and leaving them in a safe place for future generations. What about you?

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Baer Field Resources

    Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015

    Fort Wayne’s military air base was opened in 1941, after a frantic summer of construction of more than 100 buildings. During World War II, more than 100,000 service personnel were stationed there, and it continues to be home to the 122nd Fighter Squadron.

    The Genealogy Center has added several items to the Free Databases collection that recall Baer Field history and people. The first is Bear Field, 1941-1991: 50th Anniversary, which provides the history of the facility in a booklet published in 1991. Next is Baer Field Memories, photographs and souvenirs of the World War II era. Fifty Years in Fighters: A Tribute to the 122nd Fighter Wing Indiana Air National Guard is a digital copy of the souvenir program of the 1997 Open House for the 122nd which contains history and images. The last item is Pilot Briefing Folio, Troop Carrier Command, Baer Field, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, a 1942, then-restricted informational brochure provided to new pilots coming to Baer Field, which includes a security memo, advice to pilots, emergency procedures, and a map of Baer Field.

    All of these provide a fascinating look at the military in World War II and profiles a Fort Wayne historic site. Take time to enjoy these additions!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center