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  • New Free Database Available

    Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

    Transcriptions of loose pages from the Carmel Congregation of the Associate Presbyterian Church, near Hanover, Jefferson County, Indiana have been added to The Genealogy Center's Free Databases. Photocopies of these pages, which had been removed from the original congregation record book are at Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, Indiana, Genealogy Department. These loose pages, all that remain of the church's record books, were transcribed from the originals by Lt. Colonel John M. Anderson, USAF, in 1975, and entered into digital format by by Janeane Luby in 2007. The searchable index provides events such as deaths and removals, as well as baptisms which supply parents' names. This database illustrates how easily information can be added to our collections and made available to researchers everywhere.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More Free Cemetery Databases

    Friday, Jul 25, 2014

    The last set of cemetery listings provided by Professsor Dawn C. Stricklin, MA of Southern Illinois UniversityMore MIssouri Cemeteries and her Department of Anthropology in Carbondale, Illinois. These cemeteries, which are all in Missouri, include Niswonger Church Cemetery in Cape Girardeau County; Glover Baptist, Graniteville, Mann, Russell, and Schwab cemeteries, all in Iron County; St. Michael's Cemetery in Madison County;  Lesterville and Walker Branch cemeteries in Reynolds County; and Thomas Chap/tman Cemetery in Washington County.  Our thanks to Professor Stricklin and her department for their efforts to preserve this information!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More Cemeteries in Our Free Databases

    Saturday, Jul 19, 2014

    Eight new cemeteries  gathered and compiled by Dawn C. Stricklin, MA, of Southern Illinois University's Department of Anthropology in Carbondale, Illinois have been added to our Other States databases. They are Chapman Cemetery in Dent County, MO; Big Creek Baptist Cemetery and Crocker Stricklin Cemetery in Iron County, Missouri; Fredericktown Negro Cemetery in Madison County, Missouri; Swiney Cemetery in Reynolds County, MIssourih: Potosi Colored Cemetery and Trinity Colored Cemetery in Washington County, Missouri; and Bostick Cemetery in Jackson County, Illinois. Each citation includes photo(s) of the markers, even those that are illegible. Some of these cemeteries are large and others quite small, but kudos to the professor and her group for preserving this information, and our appreciation for allowing us to post this material on our website!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Evangelical Messenger Obituary Database Additions

    Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014

    Recently, 1939 entries have been uploaded to the Evangelical Messenger Obituary Database, bringing that collection to 178,883 records. The Evangelical Messenger was the English-language, weekly denominational publication associated with The Evangelical Church. This index now covers January 1848 through December 1939 and includes the names of the decedents and their spouses. There are more than 178,000 entries in this database. As with many of our Free Databases, more information is added on a regular basis, so check back frequently!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to the Obituary Database

    Sunday, Jul 13, 2014

    New entries have been added to the Fort Wayne and Allen County Area Obituary Index, bringing coverage up to June 1, 2014! Additionally, staff and volunteers have been adding citations for local obituaries for the 1800s and early 1900s.

     

    You may search the database by exact name, choose to Soundex the name or do a “fuzzy search” (put in part of the name: Paul to get Paul, Paula and Paulette or Brand for Ahlbrand, Brand, Brandon and Brandt, among others). Once you locate a citation, you may request a copy to me mailed to you along with a bill for $2.50 per obituary by sending an email.

    If you are interested in local obituaries, it's time to recheck this wonderful database!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Our Military Heritage

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Two new databases have been added to The Genealogy Center’s Our Military Heritage, both highlighting the 52nd Kentucky Mounted Infantry. The first is a searchable roster gleaned from Union Regiments of Kentucky, Vol. 3 by Capt. Thomas Speed (Courier-Journal Job Printing, 1897, pages 650-656), which was transcribed and reformatted by Jim Cox, who had allowed us to post it. Each listing provides name, rank, company, and the place and date the soldier mustered into the regiment.

    The second database, also provided by Jim Cox, is 52nd Kentucky Mounted Infantry, Company A, Pensioners. This alphabetical listing provides the names of the soldiers and widows who received pensions, and his or her state of residence, along with the date of application, and application and certificate numbers.

    Both of these are wonderful additions to Our Military Heritage and our thanks go to Jim Cox for his wonderful work!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The Peter Graber Collection

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    A Review by John

    The Amish are a visible part of the rural community in northern Allen County, Indiana, and indeed throughout northeastern Indiana. Because this sect does not keep church records and has little written history, their story has not been told to any great extent. Some time ago, Josiah Beachey discovered in an attic a forgotten trove of historical letters, written in German, from various Amish congregations dating from 1848 to 1925. Many of the letters are connected to Peter Graber (1811-1896), an Old Order Amish bishop who moved from Stark County, Ohio, and established the sect in Allen County in the mid-nineteenth century. In translating these letters and bringing them into print in his book, The Peter Graber Collection (Hicksville, Ohio: The Author, 2012), GC 977.201 AL5grp, Beachey lifts the veil, at least a little, on the history of the Amish community.

    Letters in the book pertain to Amish communities in the following locations: Stark, Fulton and Wayne counties, Ohio; Adams, Lagrange, Daviess, Allen, and Howard counties, Indiana; and Johnson and Henry counties, Iowa. Some of the letters bear the signatures of multiple men, apparently elders in a particular congregation. They contain words of advice and encouragement and include the names of many congregation members, some of whom had committed various infractions. Sometimes the letters offer a glimpse into how the Amish coped with historical events outside of their control. For example, during the Civil War after the establishment of a draft, Peter Graber wrote from Allen County on 5 January 1864: “Precious children, now I want to let you know about the draft up to the present date, and no one knows what is going to happen, for one says they are going to start drafting today, others say they have put it off for 20 days, others say they won’t draft at all. So no one really knows what is going to happen.”

    Other letters deal with issues of church governance. Jacob Schwartzentruber of Johnson County, Iowa, wrote to Graber, “How many levels of confession or punishment do you have in your church?” He then outlines the steps for penance, including asking for pardon, standing up and making a public confession, and “the highest confession, on your knees, and taken with a handshake and the kiss of peace.”

    This volume makes an interesting addition to our collection of congregational histories and offers insights that deserve closer reading and attention.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Lindenwood Cemetery Listings Updated

    Thursday, May 08, 2014

    Thanks to the efforts of the members of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, we now have the Lindenwood Cemetery Index up to include 2013! Lindenwood is one of the largest and oldest cemeteries in Allen County with burials starting in 1860, and is listed on the National Historic Register. Many local pioneers and settlers are buried here including members of the Hanna and Hamilton families, as well as a few infamous folks, such as Homer Van Meter, but it’s the everyday ancestors whose citations can really help local family historians. Thanks to ACGSI for this great update!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Birth Record Substitute

    Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

    by Delia

    We all want to find birth records for our ancestors – nice, neat little forms that will precisely state the child’s name and birth date and place, along with the parents’ names. If we’re lucky, parents’ ages, occupations and birth places, the child’s weight and length, and the number of children the mother had already had might also be included. Alas, many states did not keep birth records until around the turn of the twentieth century, and even then, children born at home might not be registered with the county.

    There are many substitutes for birth records, but one that is a contemporary source created by the person who delivered the child, is the midwife’s record. Midwives records varied by the midwife herself, and most often contained the medical or financial notes of her practice, naming the mother, the father who would be financially responsible for fees, and medical notes on the birth. Some midwives also served in the role of doctor or nurse, so other injuries, illnesses and deaths may also be noted.

    Few of these records still exist, since when midwives ceased practice, their families often disposed of the records. But some did survive and may be available through various sources. The Genealogy Center has several of these records, in books and on microfilm. These are listed in the book catalog under the midwife’s name as well as the location in which she lived and practiced, or in the microtext catalog, under the location. Some records may also be found in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), also under the midwife’s name, as well as the location, with the keyword “midwife.”

    It is also possible to locate midwives’ records through WorldCat’s advanced search, with a subject of “midwives,” and another subject of the location. You may wish to limit the format to “books” and “archived material” to be sure to locate material that may only be available in one particular location.

    Although searching WorldCat will aid you in locating manuscript material, you will also want to contact local and state historical societies and libraries to see if they hold any of these valuable sources.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More Entries for the Evangelical Messenger Obituary Index

    Monday, Mar 31, 2014

    "The Evangelical Messenger" was a weekly newspaper published in the 19th and 20th centuries devoted to church news of The Evangelical Church in the United States. For many years, one of our great volunteers has devoted herself to indexing the obituaries appearing in The Messenger. These obituaries are rich in family information on the descendants, which may include maiden names, children, parents and residences, as well as much more, and are valuable to anyone searching members of this denomination. She has now sent yet another year (1937), which is now searchable! We thank her for this wonderful contribution!

    As an aside, she has single-handedly entered 173,356 citations into this database over the last few years. This is a great example of what one person can accomplish and contribute to family history.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Potawatomie Travel Journal of 1838 Now Available Online!

    Monday, Mar 17, 2014

    by Delia

     A new original document has been added to The Genealogy Center's Native American Gateway that details the journey of removal of a group of Potawatomie from Indiana to Kansas in 1838. Entitled “Journal of an Emigrating Party of Pottawattamie Indians from the Twin Lakes in Marshall County, Iowa (sic) to Their Homes on the Osage River in the West Territory,” this handwritten document details a journey known as The Potawatomie Trail of Death.

    By the 1830s, the federal government already was moving many Native American groups from all over the eastern United States to lands in the west. In the early 1830s, most of the Potawatomie had signed treaties and had already moved, but Chief Menominee’s band at Twin Lakes, near Plymouth, Indiana, refused to leave. Indiana Governor David Wallace instructed General John Tipton to utilize the Indiana Militia to gather the Band for the journey.

    The Potawatomie, conducted by William Polk, left their home September 4, 1838, and arrived at Osawatomie in eastern Kansas on November 8, 1838. The heat of late summer, the scarcity of water, and the poor quality of the provisions all contributed to make the reluctant emigrants miserable and susceptible to disease. Forty-two of the 859 Potawatomie died during the journey, and more died after arrival from disease facilitated by exhaustion. Deaths are recounted day by day, such as “A child died to-day” (September 10th), “A child died since we came into camp” (September 10th), and “A very old woman … died since coming into camp” (September 12th), but no one, other than chiefs, are identified by name.

    The typed cover of the bound photocopy that The Genealogy Center owns states that these Potawatomie were from Twin Lakes, in Marshall County, Iowa, but the handwritten, original cover properly says “…in Marshall County, IA.” The old abbreviation for Indiana, before Iowa was a state, was “Ia,” hence the error in transcription. Both covers further indicate that the journey was “conducted by Wm. Polk, Esq.,” and, written in a different hand, “Property of Judge William Polk, if called for. S.M.” It is assumed by some that Polk is the author of the diary, but that statement seems to be in dispute.

    It has been reported that the Allen County Public Library owns or owned the original journal. However, when queried by a customer recently, all the staff of The Genealogy Center could locate was the negative image photocopy that had been bound. When it was realized that we had such an important document, steps were immediately taken to digitize it and post it on our Native American Gateway page, both for preservation, but also to make the fascinating original document readily available to all.

    There are several online sources that can provide more information concerning this document, and the forced journey described, which I have used in the writing of this piece. They are The Pottawatomie Indians of Elkhart and South Bend, by Richard Dean Taylor (2005), the Indiana Magazine of History article on the event (December 1925, last updated 2012), and Wikipedia.

    Take a few moments to examine this original document to see the events of one who was there.



    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Family Resource Online - An Example of What's Possible!

    Thursday, Mar 06, 2014

    There’s a new set of records on The Genealogy Center’s Family Resources page: Kincaid and Related Families of North America. Containing more than 109,000 names, this new database is based on the research of Michael B. Clegg, Associate Director of the Allen County Public Library, and many other researchers who have shared information with him during the past 40 years of research. A simple name search is possible from the database’s introductory page as well as The Genealogy Center’s federated search (enter the surname in the “Search Our Free Databases” box on our homepage). One can also use the advanced search feature found on the collection’s introductory webpage.

    This wonderful addition to our collection is an example of how The Genealogy Center can help you preserve and share your own files. Utilizing the Next Generation of Genealogy Site Building Software, we can incorporate your GEDCOM-compatible files to create a searchable and viewable location for your research.

    If you are interested in contributing, please contact us at Genealogy@ACPL.Info for more information.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Presidential Genealogy

    Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013

    by John

    In many respects this month has been one to remember presidents. We have observed the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. We also recall the many presidential proclamations establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

    There is a great deal about our presidents to interest genealogists. A few of us can actually claim a president among our direct ancestors. Those presidents who have living descendants include the following: John Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Van Buren, William H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Andrew Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding (through an illegitimate daughter), Coolidge, Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H W Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama. Others never had children (like Washington, Polk, and Buchanan) or have had their lines die out, including most notably Lincoln and Arthur. One, Andrew Jackson, has descendants (though not of his blood) through an adopted son, while Reagan’s only grandchild is through an adopted son.

    Even if you are not a direct presidential descendant, you may be related to a president through a common ancestor. Many presidents trace their ancestry who immigrants who arrived in the colonial era, and from them, many Americans also claim descent. The Genealogy Center has several books that attempt to trace exhaustively the known ancestors of presidents. Perhaps the best book is Gary Boyd Roberts’s Ancestors of American Presidents (2009 edition) (GC 929.11 R54ab). This work catalogs the ancestry of all of the presidents through Obama, contains kinship charts among presidents, and also shows the royal descents of some presidents. Craig Hart’s book, A Genealogy of the Wives of the American Presidents and Their First Two Generations of Descent (973 H251g), attempts to trace the ancestry of First Ladies, though this work is not as comprehensive as the Roberts book.

    If your interest is in the descendants of American presidents, you may wish to examine Burke’s Presidential Families (second edition, 1981) (929.11 B915), or American Presidential Families (1993) (929.11 Am352). The latter book lists descendants of collateral relatives of those presidents who do not have living descendants, but neither work is documented. Some presidents appear in larger published genealogies. For example, in 1990, the Theodore Roosevelt Association published The Roosevelt Family in America: A Genealogy (929.2 R67rf), an extensive genealogy of this extended New York Dutch family.

    New research is continually being published, and sometimes new discoveries are made with some fanfare, such as the discovery of President Obama’s Irish ancestry several years ago. In 2011-2012, Michael Thomas Meggison and R. Andrew Pierce compiled a multi-part article on descendants of Timothy Bush of Connecticut, the paternal ancestor of the Bush family, which continued over three issues in two volumes of The Genealogist (973.005 G2855), published by the American Society of Genealogists. Their research brings to light much new information about this colonial family, which, until recently, has not been fully investigated.

    The Genealogy Center has much to offer anyone wishing to determine if they have a presidential cousin, but be advised that being related to one doesn’t make you part of an elite club. Millions of Americans share kinship with at least one or two. The best part of being a relative is that you can sometimes benefit from the research on your family being done by these professionals.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New African American Databases

    Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

    Two new additions have been added to The Genealogy Center's On-Site Databases for those interested in African American research. African American Historical Newspapers offers nine distinct newspapers featuring the Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1910-1975), Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), The Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003), The Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002). When the database opens, click on the "Genealogy" link to access the newspapers. Researchers can find obituaries as well as political and society articles by searching for a person's name or keywords. Digital images of the articles are downloadable in a pdf format and and printable.

    Our Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive database has recently been updated with a fourth collection covering the topic of emancipation. The site is searchable by name or keyword and offers an array of original documents, which are categorized on the results page as subject tabs on the top of the screen: Books and pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, manuscripts, U.S. Supreme Court Records, and Reference. The digital images can be downloaded as a pdf or printed.

    These wonderful new resources are available to those who visit The Genealogy Center or a branch of the Allen County Public Library.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Exploring Mayflower Roots this Thanksgiving

    Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

    by John

    Thanksgiving is a most American holiday (though shared by our Canadian friends on an earlier date in the fall). It is also one of our most genealogical of national days, since it affords many a chance to remember the Pilgrims and the harvest feast they celebrated with the Wampanoag tribe in 1621. In an article written for Weekend Magazine in 2002, political commenters Cokie and Steve Roberts estimated that some 35 million Americans are linked by blood to the Pilgrims – and many probably don’t even know of their kinship. The Robertses make the point that while the original band of 102 passengers were Englishmen, their modern descendants comprise all manner of racial and ethnic identities. “Through the centuries,” they write, “the children of those first colonists have mixed with a continuous flow of newcomers, enriching the nation’s gene pool and helping to define our national identity.”

    When we gather at the dinner table with relatives and exchange stories of family history, many of us are curious whether they have a direct Mayflower connection. (I descend from William Brewster, the Pilgrims' spiritual leader, and his wife Mary). A great many genealogical works are now in print about Pilgrims and their immediate descendants. The classic work and most authoritative is the series, Mayflower Families through Five Generations, compiled by various authors and published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (974.4 M45). Produced in 23 volumes with multiple parts, these volumes are easily recognized with their silver binding. This work is still on-going, and thus far volumes have been produced for the following passengers: Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, William White, James Chilton, Richard More, Thomas Rogers, George Soule, William Bradford, Francis Cooke, Edward Fuller, Edward Winslow, John Billington, Stephen Hopkins, Peter Brown, Degory Priest, Edward Doty, John Alden, Isaac Allerton, Richard Warren, Henry Samson, John Howland, and Myles Standish. More volumes are forthcoming (we Brewster descendants are still waiting for our silver volume and must content ourselves with the Mayflower families in Progress volumes, which are incomplete). Families treated in earlier volumes have been revised, in many instances, in later volumes of the series.

    Another gem of genealogical research is Robert Charles Anderson’s The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633 (974.402 P74pn). This work collects the Plymouth settlers from his larger Great Migration series, considered by many to be a modern genealogical masterpiece. In some cases Anderson revised the sketches from his earlier work. New discoveries about the Pilgrims are always being discovered, and researchers should keep regularly abreast of new articles in such journals as the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, American Ancestors, and the Mayflower Descendant.

    For many genealogists seeking their Mayflower connection, the problem isn’t with constructing the five generations of immediate descendants from the Pilgrims in New England in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The brick wall comes later in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century in upstate New York, where many New Englanders moved in the decades following the close of the Revolutionary War. New York did not keep vital records in this period, and the search for a connection can often be exasperating. The New England Historic Genealogical Society’s recent book, Western Massachusetts Families of 1790 (974.4 UL44we) offers some help with families in Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin counties, Massachusetts, bridging the gulf for some families (additional families appear on their American Ancestors website). Most researchers will still have to go through deeds, court records, church records, and estate records to find additional clues.

    Even if your ancestors didn’t come on the Mayflower (and millions more have connections to later arrivals in Plymouth Colony), we can all celebrate our collective diversity on this Thanksgiving and give thanks for the national heritage that they have bequeathed us.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New York Neighborhoods: The 18th Century

    Friday, Sep 20, 2013

    by John

    Sometimes a new book comes into The Genealogy Center that commands our attention on account of the novelty of its thesis or because it breaks convention with its approach to a particular subject. One such title was added to our collection this week, and while it is not “new” by its publication date, it does represent a wonderful new addition to our collection.

    The book is New York City Neighborhoods: The 18th Century by Nan Rothschild (San Diego: Academic Press Inc., 1990) GC 974.702 N422rn. What makes it wonderful is its interdisciplinary approach to local history, employing a paradigm that is refreshingly different and even groundbreaking. It weaves together historical writing with ethnography, archaeology, cartography, urbanization, and architecture, giving us an unusual glimpse into the rise of New York City neighborhoods in the eighteenth century. Beginning with a detailed study of Manhattan at a grassroots level from the beginning of the eighteenth century, when there was still a strong Dutch cultural influence, it carries us to the period after the Revolution, when New York had become transformed into a modern urbanized setting stratified by economics and restructured by many new arrivals that had diluted the former Dutch colony.

    Rothschild’s thesis is this: “Early in the century, clusters of people that shared an ethnic identity lived and worked near each other. They spoke the same language, had a cultural heritage in common, and worshipped at the same church, but worked in a variety of occupations and lived at different economic levels. By the end of the century, after the Revolution, many of these early ethnically defined groups had dispersed, and people lived instead among those with similar occupations and levels of wealth.”

    She argues further that by 1790, powerful landowners had begun to exert influence on residential choices and together with new groups of immigrants and free blacks, shifted the spatial clustering of households and altered a larger pattern of how the city functioned. In support of her thesis, she uses a variety of tools, including archaeological studies of house foundations and animal bones found at the sites of taverns and markets, historical maps, and lists of residents from 1703 and 1789, all of which document this transformation.

    What does this have to do with genealogy? In short, everything. The lists of residents derive from the 1703 and 1789 tax assessment rolls of Manhattan in the Municipal Archives of the City of New York. Like census records, they include the resident’s name, tax rank (by number) street of residence, occupation, job class (by code), ward, and religion. Keys to the codes are provided at the end of both lists. In addition to some reprinted historical maps, a variety of new ones are included throughout the work showing the locations of churches, taverns, markets, and the distribution of ethnic groups by neighborhood and street.

    We learn, for example, that in 1703, the Dutch were found widely in all wards but were concentrated heavily in the North Ward, while few English and Huguenots lived there. The English dominated the East Ward, especially on Queen Street, and in the Dock Ward, and were drawn to Trinity Church. Huguenots also frequented the East, Dock, and South Wards, and many lived close to the Dutch Reform Church. By 1789, Dutch- and English-descended residents were evenly dispersed through all the wards. Scots were spread through the East and Montgomerie wards, Germans lived primarily in the North Ward, Jews in the Dock and East wards, and free blacks almost entirely in the Montgomerie Ward. In other chapters Rothschild correlates the wards and ethnic groups by occupation, and she even studies specific varieties animal bones from archaeological sites to determine what kinds of fowl and fish people ate.

    Even beyond these lists and the amazing array of sources, what makes the book instructive is its highly localized approach to the study of urbanization. By focusing on neighborhoods and using an integrative approach, Rothschild almost puts the reader onto the streets of New York in the eighteenth century, and she reconstructs those worlds in a way that a more generalized history of New York does not. She goes on to say, “The analytic method used here can be applied to any community where the appropriate documentation exists …The research presented is also of concern to many urban scholars, namely, how do people really live in the city? What are their lives like? What kinds of strategies do they use in adapting to the great numbers of these people, most of whom they do not know?”

    These are the same sorts of questions genealogists should ask about their ancestors. As many professional genealogists will tell us, research is all about location, about connecting ancestors to the communities and neighborhoods around them. We do this not only to find associates and possible relatives of our immediate family (which may give us clues of earlier connections), but we should also do it to write more accurate and engaging family histories.

    While New York remains among the best documented places in the United States and offers a wealth of material for any local historian, Rothschild’s book challenges scholars everywhere to take similar multi-disciplinary approaches in more communities. The problem is that many places do not have the treasure of archaeological and textual sources to do them. But where the sources are extant and the interest exists, the possibility for more studies like this one abounds. And for genealogists, that would truly be wonderful.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Family History Sources Aid School Research

    Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

    by Delia

    It's September, and children (grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends) are back in school. Most of us don't think that the sources we use on a daily basis provide any assistance to students unless they actually have a course on family history. But a number of sources with which we are familiar could prove to be very useful to young, non-family historians.

    One great source is The Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Since we at The Genealogy Center produce it, I tend to be a bit more familiar than most with this wonderful source. Many years ago, one of my nieces was working on a long term American history project. PERSI provided numerous citations to articles of interest. My niece wrote a great paper and the teacher was very impressed with the variety of unusual sources.

    For students studying state history, the older state and county histories and atlases available at The Genealogy Center, and online at Internet Archive and Family History Books, can also provide uncommon sources for research.

    Volumes of history and experiences by ethnic groups or someone in military service can also add substance to a historical project. Letters, diaries and reminiscences provide color to the paper, but also provides a greater learning experience to the student. Books and websites of photos and newspaper accounts, which may be available online, are useful as well.

    So this year, when a student you know begins research for a school project, from elementary school to graduate school, suggest some sources from your repertoire that will provide unusual resources to the student, and it just may spark an interest in someone in the next generation in historical research.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More Freedatabase Additions!

    Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013

    by Delia

    We love those big additions to our Free Databases, but it's also satisfying when we add smaller items or additions. Just recently, we added Ebenezer Morton, Bethena Davis, and their Children, by James P. Preusch. This item follows this family from Massachusetts to New York to Michigan, and although it's fairly short, preserves Mr. Preusch's research for all to view. At the same time, we added Notes & Excerpts on Rice Brothers & Descendants: A Work in Progress. Compiled and published by Randall M. Rice, Rainelle, WV, this work begins with a Revolutionary War soldier from Fauquier County, Virginia and his descendants, with several eventually removing to Indiana and includes a very interesting DNA study.

    On a larger scale, we also added nine digitized volumes of John R. Lifsey's Lifsey Family History and Genealogy, which includes more than a thousand pages of family history, documents and photographs.

    And last, but certainly not least, we added Kenneth Otto Graft's World War II Selective Service card, a photo of the very young Mr. Graft and copies of his 1997 Fort Wayne obituaries. These items not only memorialize his life and service, but also provides a very clear example of a Selective Service card.

    From the large collections to the small, we appreciate all of the items that people have generously allowed us to include in our digital collections. If you have something you'd like to make available for all to see, take a minute and contact us!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Some Connecticut Cemetery Listings Available at Free Databases!

    Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013

    by Delia

    Those of you who use our Free Databases may see a preponderance of material from Allen County and Indiana, but we also have thousands of records from around the country and that number is growing all of the time. Most recently, we have the East Granby Center Cemetery listings of Hartford County, Connecticut. This database was provided through the generosity of John T. Rusnock and the East Granby Center Cemetery Association. The database is search able by surname and/ or first name, and provides dates of birth and death, location of the 952 graves, as well as photographs of each of the tombstones. It is also searchable through our federated search on our home page.

    If you or your group has a database that you'd like us to host, please contact us.

    Take a few minutes today to explore this new database, and all of the Free Databases that are waiting at The Genealogy Center!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • How to Archive Family Keepsakes

    Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013

    by John

    The Genealogy Center often gets new books that have a wide interest to a variety of patrons. We recently received a great new book by Denise May Levenick titled, How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia, & Genealogy Records, GC 929 L576h. It deserves to be read by every genealogist, especially those of us who are not as organized as we would like to be. A short book with just over 200 pages, this book is, in fact, a very practical guide for getting a handle on all of the “stuff” that we genealogists and family historians have accumulated (a very real challenge in my household).

    Levenick offers practical checklists throughout her book, starting with a chapter on setting goals for your archival project: organizing, inventorying, deciding how to store, and enlisting assistance, among many others. As an archivist myself by training, I appreciated her early articulation of the Curator’s Commandment: Do no harm. “Think twice, if not three times, before attempting any conservation acts involving irreplaceable family artifacts.”

    She goes on to offer practical advice about selecting proper archival-quality storage media and developing a workable organization scheme. There is an excellent chapter on cataloging archival photos with practical advice about storing as well as digitizing. Another chapter focuses on family heirlooms, such as art, china and glassware, jewelry, toys, clothing, quilts, tools, and other items. Yet another one deals with family papers and genealogy files. Levenick discusses whether to digitize or store in vertical files, showing how to catalog and organize files and showing the advantages and disadvantages of every method she proposes.

    I enjoyed this book both for the simplicity of its organization and for how well it addresses a complex subject. It should be used by any genealogist wishing to get a firm handle on organizing their family “stuff.”

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center