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  • 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

  • Louisiana Resources Available!

    Saturday, Jan 31, 2015

    The Genealogy Center is a long way from Louisiana, but we’ve never let distance stop us from collecting records, so if you are searching for ancestors in Allen or Beauregard Parishes in Louisiana, you are going to want to visit our free Other States Resources page to see the records for thirteen cemeteries which are now available. Donated by volunteer Jim Cox, the list includes Bond Cemetery and St. Michael African American Cemetery in Allen Parish, and Archie Clark, Burks, Foshee, Hoy, Peveto, Red Hill, Rigmaiden, Rougeau, Stretton, and Wingate Cemeteries and Squyres United Methodist Church Cemetery in Beauregard Parish. Each cemetery is browseable by itself, or can be searched through the federated databases search on The Genealogy Center homepage. Take a few minutes to examine these great new contributions!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • MORE Added Content to Our Free Allen County Databases

    Friday, Jan 16, 2015

    Two of our most popular collections in our Allen County Resources have had additions recently!

    Almost four thousand names have been added to the Allen County, Indiana Marriage Index, mid-1980s to September 2009, and the search capabilities have been expanded so that one can search by first names, as well as last, and using exact, fuzzy or Soundex. Copies of the applications are available in The Genealogy Center.

    Additionally, 19,630 obituaries have been added to the Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana Area Obituary Index 1841- Dec. 3, 2014. The index provides a citation for the obituary, and copies can be requested through the results website.

    Thanks to our wonderful volunteers who contribute their time to help us to grow these databases!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • 82nd Annual Lincoln Pilgrimage - February 14, 2015

    Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015

    In 1932, the Abraham Lincoln, The Hoosier Youth statue, depicting Abraham Lincoln as a young man in Indiana, was installed outside the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company in Fort Wayne. Two years later, in recognition of Lincoln’s embodiment of the loyalty, kindness, and other qualities in the Boy Scout Oath, area Boy Scouts took their first Lincoln Pilgrimage to the site and honored Lincoln with a wreath-laying and ceremony.  That idea, connecting the Boy Scouts to the qualities that made Lincoln great, spread to other groups, and Lincoln-related statues, sites, and memorials across the country now host Boy Scouts on their own annual pilgrimages.  In Fort Wayne, the tradition lives on.

    February 14, 2015, will mark the 82nd Annual Boy Scout Lincoln Pilgrimage in Fort Wayne. There will be a ceremony and wreath-laying at the Lincoln on the Prairie sculpture in The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, followed by a full day of events.  Participants will hear a speech by Lincoln presenter Murray Cox, interact with Union and Confederate Civil War re-enactors, tour the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, participate in Lincoln Log-building contests, and more!

    The program will run from 10A to 2P, with registration beginning at 9A.  An optional screening of the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln will follow the program at 2:15P in the Main Library Theater. 

    For more information and to register, visit the Anthony Wayne Area Council of the Boy
    Scouts
    . Registration closes on Monday, February 9, 2015.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • All Aboard for the Catalog Tour!

    Friday, Jan 09, 2015

    Next week, two members of The Genealogy Center team will take you on a tour of our book catalog! Aaron Smith, Assistant Manager for the Genealogy Materials Handling Unit, and Melissa Tennant, Assistant Manager for Public Services invite you to join them and learn how to make the most of your searching experience, to locate materials in the collection and online, and to find ways to create your own lists to help you do both! Call 260-421-1225 or send an email to register for this free event.

    Join them in Meeting Room A, at at 3PM on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 to learn how to navigate the catalog!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • It's What We Do

    Tuesday, Jan 06, 2015

    We love making your day. 

    A new customer came in this morning.  He had very little information about his father and grandparents.  He knew that his father was born in South Bend, Indiana area; that his had later changed his name legally to his stepfather’s name, which was done in New Jersey.  Our customer also knew his grandmother’s maiden name. 

    Within ten minutes, staff helped him to find his father in the 1930 census (at age 2) with stepfather and mother living in New Jersey.  Another search found a marriage record with the mother’s maiden name as well as her father’s name.  From there, we found our customer’s grandfather’s immigration record which noted that he had arrived over with his family when he was 8 years old.  More information was discovered about this customer’s great grandparents, including where they lived in the Netherlands.  When he left, our happy customer said he’d always wondered about his grandfather and his family, and was making plans to be back to do more research.

    We always look forward to assisting you in finding more information and records to add to your family history.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • WinterTech in January

    Saturday, Jan 03, 2015

    Our WinterTech series, designed to aid you in expanding your research knowledge through the busy winter months, continues in January with a “Catalog Tour” on Wednesday, January 10, 2015. The Genealogy Center continues refining our catalog to make your search for materials more intuitive and achieve better results. Join Aaron Smith, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager/Materials Handling Unit, and Melissa Tennant, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager/Public Services, as they show you how to make the most of your search experience, to locate materials in the collection and online, and to find ways to create your own lists to help you do both! This class will be held on Wednesday, January 10, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. To register for this free event, call 260-421-1225 or send an email. And stay in The Genealogy Center until 6:30 p.m., when you can come back to Meeting Room A for the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana meeting, when Curt Sylvester will present “Telling Your Own Story.”
     
    WinterTech will conclude on Wednesday February 11, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., when Delia Bourne will discuss “Linkpendium & Mocavo: Using Free Genealogy-Specific Search Engines.” Mark your calendar to take advantage of these classes, and call or email us to register!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for January

    Sunday, Dec 28, 2014

    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. Appointments are available on Thursday, January 8, 2015 and Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM each day, here in The Genealogy Center. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email 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!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center