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  • Closed for Holidays December 23 through 25, 2012

    Sunday, Dec 16, 2012

    The Genealogy Center, like all other facilities of the Allen County Public Library, will be closed Sunday,  December 23rd through Tuesday December 25th. We will be open our regular hours, 9AM to 6PM, on Saturday, December 22nd, and will reopen our regular hours, 9AM to 9PM, on Wednesday, December 26th. We wish everyone a safe, happy and genealogically enlightening holiday!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our Ever-Growing Free Databases

    Thursday, Dec 13, 2012

    by Delia

    If you haven't checked The Genealogy Center's Free Databases recently (or ever), now is a good time.

    Fifteen rural cemetery transcriptions have been added recently, from Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Wabash, Wells and Whitley Counties in Indiana and Berrien County in Michigan, thanks to the efforts of a pair of area cemetery preservation enthusiasts. Each entry contains the tombstone transcription and although the cemeteries can be searched separately, one can also use the federated search box on The Genealogy Center's home page.

    More than 450 surnames have been added to our Genealogy Center Surname File,which facilitates contact among researchers who have visited us and added their contact information. The entire Surname File can be searched by last name.

    And finally, more than seven thousand citations have been added to the Fort Wayne and Allen County Obituary Index, 1841-October 2012. Our extensive index of obituaries for the county is a boon to researchers of local families, past and present. This file can be searched separately or through the federated search.

    So take the time to browse through these, and all of the other records available for free at The Genealogy Center!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Add Color to Your Research

    Monday, Dec 10, 2012

    by Delia

    Like other agencies of the Allen County Public Library, The Genealogy Center installed new copiers in early November. Two of them are an upgrade of what we had before, so no real changes there. However, the other two have the capability of producing color copies! The new color copiers are located in the Family History Room.

    Once you select the copier mode and use your copy card, the new machine will provide black and white copies, but all you have to do is press the "Full Color" button, then Start to get a color copy.

    At twenty-five cents, the color copies are a bit pricier than the ten cent black and white ones, but if you find a map, photo or document in color, it's worth the price.

    So come to visit and see our newest aid to our researchers.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Remember and Record

    Friday, Dec 07, 2012

    by Delia

    Today is the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which triggered America's involvement in the Second World War. Many men and women died that day, and many more would die, in battle or from injuries, in the years to come. Each year, veterans pass away without telling their stories, whether from that war or others since. Please take this weekend to seek out a veteran and record his or her story, on paper or with an audio or video recording, and scan or copy photos, letters, diaries and other documents that record the experiences. Keep the information for your family, donate it to a local library or historical society, or send copies or originals to us for inclusion in Our Military Heritage. We can scan typed or digitized material and return the originals, along with an electronic copy. The people who served need to be remembered.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Class to Aid You in Organization

    Tuesday, Dec 04, 2012

    Having trouble keeping your research tasks and needs organized? “Using OneNote in your Genealogical Research” will help you learn how to use Microsoft OneNote, to keep your genealogical notes, references, and research in a single place and accessible from any computer.

    This one-hour class starts at 2:30 PM and will be held in Meeting Room A.

    To register for this free event, send an email or call 260-421-1225.

    This class is part of The Genealogy Center’s WinterTech series. Future classes are “E-Readers & Family History,” on January 9, 2013, and “Plug In Your Armchair Genealogy: Researching from Home,” on February 13, 2013. For more information on any of these classes, see the brochure.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Partings

    Friday, Nov 30, 2012

    On November 30, 2012, Steve Myers will log his last hours as The Genealogy Center's Assistant Manager. He is retiring from the library to pursue other genealogical opportunities. Steve has been with us since 1986, first as a Reference Librarian, then as Assistant Manager. He has helped The Genealogy Center accomplish many great things during his tenure with us, including two major moves (2003 and 2007) of not only the genealogy collection but also of the entire library, and many minor (and not so minor!) shifts of materials through the years. All of our publications, including our subject guides and "Genealogy Gems," have benefited from his high editorial standards. Steve pioneered our two-day mini-courses, and challenged us to keep our customers central in all we do. We are going to greatly miss his professionalism, his customer-service ideals, and his sense of humor. We wish him well as he follows his new path, and we hope to see him almost as much as a customer and a volunteer as we did as colleague.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • FamilySearch Adds 2M+ Images to Indiana Marriage Database

    Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012

    By Dawne

    FamilySearch ROCKS!

    This will be of interest to those who have Indiana ancestors – FamilySearch,org recently uploaded more than two million digital marriage record images to its database titled Indiana Marriages 1811-1959. Members of the Indiana Genealogical Society, as partners with FamilySearch have been indexing the state’s marriage records for several years. Until this recent bump, the database was about 68 percent complete and included no record images. In one significant update, the database jumped to 82 percent complete with the more than two million images attached.

    The database is searchable and includes data for marriage returns and licenses from eighty of Indiana’s ninety-two counties, including some pre-statehood Indiana Territory marriage records. The counties that have not yet been included are Perry, Pike, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Stark, Switzerland, Tipton and Vermillion. FamilySearch reports that additional records will be added as they are completed.

    In a few cases, images for counties included in the database are not yet available for viewing because of contract issues, but they are available on microfilm and may be borrowed from the Family History Library through its film loan program.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • National Day of Listening

    Friday, Nov 23, 2012

    by Delia

    So Thanksgiving is over and the big push to the holidays begin and you hunt for the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But, you know, some people don't need anymore ties, after-shave, or talcum powder. But StoryCorps has a better idea, it costs you very little, if anything, and will please almost anyone, and it kicks off today, the National Day of Listening. This is an opportunity for you to take the time to have someone tell you a story and record it. StoryCorp is saluting veterans and offer some questions for you to use to begin your interview, although you can interview anyone. So give yourself and someone else a gift this year by listening!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • ...And a Small Helping of Family History

    Sunday, Nov 18, 2012

    by Delia

    Thanksgiving is one of the days of the year when family, in the extended sense, gathers. Children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and friends, all gather to share a meal and thanks. This is one of the holidays that doesn't center around gifts or candy, and lest we lose it entirely to football on television, take this Thanksgiving to begin a new tradition within your family: Sharing a story.

    During dinner, or even after the huge rush of post-meal cleaning, set a theme for the stories, maybe "Thanksgiving Memory" would be appropriate, and have every person tell some short memory of a Thanksgiving past. For me, it might be the happy memories of coming home for the holiday when I was in college, or the first time I made a turkey (who knew one had to remove those bags of stuff inside the bird?), or my picky-eater five-year old's plate (one olive, one Mandarin orange, one green bean, a teaspoon of dressing, two square inches of turkey and a roll (to be followed by a huge piece of pumpkin pie). Others' memories might include the memory of a newly returned soldier, the last holiday of a beloved grandparent, or a newly-married into the family perspective. Everyone should be given a chance to share, even a child whose memory might be the meal she just ate. Share the memories, listen and interact so that the younger members at the feast will begin to understand the importance of oral history within a family.

    Begin, or continue, to make your family's Thanksgiving a time for passing along the family memories.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Thanksgiving Day

    Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012

    The Genealogy Center, like all agencies of the Allen County Public Library system, is closed all day Thursday, November 22, 2012, in honor of Thanksgiving Day. The rest of the week, we are adhering to our normal hours, so we will be open Monday through Wednesday, November 19 to 21 from 9 AM to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24, 9 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, November 25, 12 Noon to 5 PM.

    Take the opportunity this Thanksgiving to visit with family. Then listen and record a story or two from older relatives, or share memories with younger ones. You can be the key to preserving your family's oral tradition.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Anticipation....

    Saturday, Nov 10, 2012

    by Dawne

    The Allen County Public Library is excited to be a local co-host along with the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana for the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference next August! Conference lecture sessions will take place at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in downtown Fort Wayne Wednesday through Saturday, August 21-24, with Librarians’ Day on Tuesday, August 20, at ACPL.

    National-level genealogy speakers will present programs on a variety of topics relating to genealogy, from beginner sessions, to problem-solving and lectures based on researching in specific localities and records, to talks on the latest technology for genealogists. Various organizations will offer luncheon sessions, and several hands-on workshops also are planned.

    Special activities during the week of the conference will include an FGS evening at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, the local host event featuring food, entertainment and extended research hours at the library, a farewell brunch on Sunday, and additional extended research hours for The Genealogy Center throughout the week. More information about these will be announced as details become available.

    An exhibit hall featuring books, technology, society information, product and software demonstrations, genealogy products and family history-themed gifts is always a popular feature of the annual FGS conference. The exhibit hall at the 2013 conference will be no exception.

    Attendees may register for the entire four-day conference or for each day individually. You can keep up with developing conference details by subscribing to the conference blog, by visiting the FGS website and clicking on “Conferences,” and by “liking” the conference on Facebook. You can also follow the conference on Twitter@FGS Conference.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Yes, We Are Open Veteran's Day!

    Thursday, Nov 08, 2012

    Though the banks are closed, the Allen County Public Library and The Genealogy Center are open our regular research hours (9 AM to 9 PM) on Monday, November 12, 2012. Not only are we open, but are also offering our fifth annual Military Seminar that afternoon and evening in the Allen County Public Library Theater. Starting at 2 PM with The Genealogy Center's Curt Witcher speaking on "Military Records & Our Military Heritage at ACPL," followed by Laura Prescott, professional researcher, writer and speaker presenting on "Using an Outstanding Military Site: Fold3," at 3:30 PM and "Online Resources for the War of 1812" at 6:30 PM. The day promises to be filled with outstanding educational opportunities on military research. For more information, see the brochure. To register, send an email or call 260-421-1225.

    Celebrate your military ancestors by joining us in observance of Veteran's Day.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Making Your Family History Come Alive

    Saturday, Nov 03, 2012

    by Cynthia

    As family historians, we need to document more concerning our ancestors’ lives beyond the vital records. When we come across significant events that occurred in the area in which they lived, we should incorporate these events into the narrative of the family. A wartime or military experience or a description of what an immigrant ancestor faced are examples of this type of narrative, but other events also should be recorded.

    Recently, I located an obituary for Frank E. Bosley, my 2nd great grandfather, in which his children had written, “In the fire of 1881, he was burned out. At this time, there were four small children. To keep his wife and children from perishing in the heated atmosphere, he dipped water from a well and threw it about them.” I wondered how much time he had to get his family to safety; were they able to protect or save any of their valuables, such as the family Bible; did he rebuild on the property? At first, I thought the fire had only affected his farm, but as I reread the obituary later, I realized that the family had been victims of a significant event in the thumb area of Michigan, the Great Fire of 1881.

    Frank and his family were listed with his parents in the 1880 census for Clinton County, New York, but arrived in Michigan later in the year, settling in Elmwood Township, Tuscola County. During the fire in September, Frank was trying to protect his four young daughters, ranging from 18 months to almost seven years old, and his wife, Eliza, who was pregnant with their first son, Frank. The fire lasted only two to four hours, but the property of more than three thousand families was destroyed, leaving 15,000 people homeless and in need of public aid, which averaged $746 per family. I learned that yes, Frank did rebuild in Elmwood Township. Since the information about the fire was in Frank’s obituary, I wonder if the two oldest daughters remembered or if their parents had talked about how close they came to losing their lives. I searched for more information and found that the Clarke Historical Library has manuscripts about the fire, and I hope to visit and read them someday, and perhaps learn more about the terrifying experience that my family survived in 1881.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • WinterTech Is Coming!

    Monday, Oct 29, 2012

    Spend the winter months learning more ways to use your computer or other electronic devices in your family history quest by attending The Genealogy Center's  WinterTech 2012-2013. These classes, offered at 2:30 on the second Tuesdays of November through February, are on the same days as the monthly meeting for the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, so stick around for their meetings at 6:30 PM.

    The WinterTech classes will highlight how to expand your abilities by using the latest devices and services.First up is Tina Lyons on November 14, who will tell us about "Twitter for #Genealogy." Later classes will teach about "Using OneNote in Your Genealogical Research in December, "e-readers in family history" in January, and finishing up with instructions on how to "Plug-In Your Armchair Genealogy: Researching from Home" in February.All classes will be 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM, in Meeting Room A.

    For more information, see the brochure. To register for any of these free classes, send an email or call 260-421-1225.

    Keep warm through the winter by the glow of your electronics!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • "Shift" Is Not a Dirty Word

    Saturday, Oct 27, 2012

     by Delia

    Although over the next few weeks, you might think that it is.

    When The Genealogy Center opened in the old/new Allen County Public Library Main Branch in 2007, it seemed that the shelves had lots of room for expansion. There was at least six inches of space at the end of each shelf and no books were on the top shelf.

    But in the almost six years since then, our collection has soared to over one million items and some spaces are getting tight. But worry not! We have a plan. We are going to shift some books around, moving some subjects to utilize what may be currently unused space. All of the collection will still be in open, browseable stacks, but a few things will be in slightly different places.

    Over the next few weeks, you will see staff members placing books on move carts and pushing them around the department. We are still open and all of our material will remain available. If you can't locate something, ask a staff member and we will try to locate the item.

    So pardon the extra activity while this is going on, and remember, we are always trying to enhance your experience at The Genealogy Center!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Brick Wall Solutions

    Thursday, Oct 25, 2012

    Family History Month is winding down, but before we say goodbye to October, we must discuss how to handle our genealogy brick walls. On Sunday, October 28, explore techniques for those times we experience "Fail! When the Record is Wrong." Return on Monday, October 29, for "Using 'Whole Family' Research to Break Through Your Genealogical Roadblocks" to learn to examine the family, associates, and neighbors of your ancestor. And the finale is on Tuesday, October 30, where we will be "Breaking Through the Brick Wall."

    To learn more about other Family History Month classes or to register, please call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy Extras!

    Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012

    Take advantage of the three extraordinary genealogical opportunities on October 25-27. Space is still available for the "Basics of Adobe Elements Workshop" on Thursday, October 25, where you can learn how to restore your old photographs. If you're having trouble finding time to research your family, stay until midnight for The Genealogy Center's "Extended Research Hours" on Friday, October 26. And for those interested in writing your family history, ACGSI is offering "Writing a Book Using Family Tree Maker and Microsoft Word" on Saturday, October 27.

    Please see the Family History Month brochure to learn how you can enjoy these genealogy extras by registering for these fun activities.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Celebrate Veteran's Day with the Military Seminar

    Monday, Oct 22, 2012

    To celebrate Veteran's Day, The Genealogy Center is hosting its fifth annual Military Seminar on Monday November 12, 2012, from 2 PM to 7:30 PM in the Main Library Theater.

    This free program will feature Laura Prescott, consultant for the database Fold3, speaking on the Fold3 site and on other online resources for War of 1812 research, as well as Curt Witcher, who will talk about about military resources at The Genealogy Center.

    For more information, see the brochure. To register for this free event, send an email or call 260-421-1225.

    Celebrate your military ancestors by learning more about the resources available for research.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Learn from the Census

    Thursday, Oct 18, 2012

    The U.S. federal census is commonly the first step in genealogical research. Have you practiced your skills on the census? Have you found your ancestors in every census year? From October 21 through October 24, join The Genealogy Center in learning how to piece the census puzzle together, find the 1940 census, and learn about those other schedules. To learn more about other Family History Month classes or to register, please call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • African-American Memorial Cards

    Sunday, Oct 14, 2012

    by Melissa

    Thanks to the continued efforts of Fort Wayne community volunteer and resident, Marsha Smiley, The Genealogy Center currently has 1597 African-American memorial cards comprising 6184 images available on the Memorial Card section of the Marsha Smiley Collection. The memorial cards not only provide information on the deceased individual but also on other family members. Some include obituaries. Some of the cards in the collection are for individuals who were not Allen County residents, but who had family in the area such as Wilma Louise Embry of Richmond, Indiana. Her memorial card featured family photos and her birth registration which listed her maiden name as Turley. To access these wonderful materials, visit the African-American Resources section of the Allen County, Indiana Resources page in the Free Databases section of The Genealogy Center website.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center