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  • Lawsuits

    Thursday, Nov 10, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    What is the best way to find information about a law suit our grandparents had against the federal government?

    Such a lawsuit would have been filed in federal court. Your question does not indicate the city or state where the grandparents lived. The first step would be to contact the federal courthouse for the place where the family lived. Depending on how far back the suit occurred, the records may be archived in one of the regional National Archives branches. The federal courthouse should be able to advise.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Religious Records

    Tuesday, Nov 08, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    I have an extensive history of Quakers. Where is the best location to research?

    It is difficult to give a general answer, since your question does not state where, specifically, your family lived. If they lived here in Indiana, the Quaker collection at Earlham College is outstanding, and many of the Quaker meeting books for our state are available there and at the Allen County Public Library. Many Quaker records have been published for various states. Perhaps the most famous is William Wade Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, published in multiple volumes.

    I have a 30-year-old brick wall. My great-great-grandmother’s age varies on every record found. How might I find a record for proof of parentage in church records?

    Different denominations kept different types of records. If you know – or suspect – what denomination your great-great-grandmother might have been, the key is to determine whether the church records for the area where she lived still exist, and where they are located. Keep in mind that if her family lived near a county or state line, they may have gone to church in the neighboring jurisdiction. If a church of the same denomination still exists in the area, it may have absorbed the records of the older church. Most denominations have regional and national archives collections. These may have the records of the church that you seek. Many of these have websites where you can find contact information for the archives. The Family History Library may have microfilmed the records you need. Visit the FHL catalog to see. If so, you can borrow these films to be viewed at your closest FamilySearch Center (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Mormons). In some cases, abstracts or indexes have been published of church records. Check with the local public library in the area where the church was located, as well as with the state library, state archives or state historical society to see whether you can locate abstracts, indexes or the actual record volumes for the church.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Quick and Easy Gems

    Thursday, Nov 03, 2011

    The weather is turning cooler, fall sports are ending and you are probably raking the last of the leaves out of your yard. You might be able to squeak in a last visit to a cemetery if you hurry. But largely it is time to settle in for what can be a genealogist’s best season – the Armchair Research season!

    Blow the dust off your files and see where you left off last spring when the garden called you outside. One of the activities you may include in your winter research pursuits is catching up on your genealogical reading. If you have not done so previously, now would be a great time to read the back issues of The Genealogy Center’s e-zine, Genealogy Gems. From The Genealogy Center’s homepage, hold your cursor over the words “Genealogy Community” in the dark blue bar at the top of the screen, and click on “Ezine.” The page that opens has all back issues of Genealogy Gems from its advent in 2004 through April of this year.

    Take the opportunity to sign up to receive Genealogy Gems via email, if you are not already a subscriber. It is sent out each month and is packed with news of The Genealogy Center, preservation tips and articles on featured print and microtext items in the collection. It’s straightforward, no-frills and a wealth of resources right at your fingertips each month.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Grave Markers

    Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    On a military grave marker, the information does not match information from the military records on Ancestry. Did the indexer make a mistake, or is the grave marker wrong?

    Could be either one. Indexers and transcribers make mistakes, which is why one should check original sources. But grave markers may also contain errors, caused by misinterpretation of the information, an error by the monument maker, or an outright falsehood from the ancestor or family members. Remember to verify information with as many other sources as possible.

    Who is buried at Mount Vernon with George Washington? One grave is marked Blackburn.

    You should direct your question to the curators of Mount Vernon.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy Center History -- Part 9

    Monday, Oct 31, 2011

    In 1990, the department expanded again, back out into the original building, providing 160 seat, with two storage closets converted to use for our first CD-ROM stations (doors on far right)...


     


    ... as well as sixty microtext readers.



    Next time: The expansion in the late 1990s.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Were My Ancestors Naturalized

    Saturday, Oct 29, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    When women and children were automatically naturalized are there records? Where are they?

    Information for those who received derivative naturalization, such as children and spouses, could possibly be recorded in the naturalization application of the intended citizen. Prior to 1906, each court with a seal created its own naturalization application, therefore questions asked by the court varied. Some courts listed spouse or minor children of the immigrant applying for naturalization, but it wasn’t required. Beginning in 1906, when the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization was created, forms were standardized and questions relating to spouse and children were asked on the application. Otherwise those who received derivative naturalization did not have their own paperwork.

    Did an immigrant always become a citizen especially looking in the 1850-1900 time period?

    Not every immigrant became a U.S. citizen. Some immigrants filed first papers or declarations of intent, but never completed the process. According to the 1890-1930 federal censuses, which asked whether the immigrant was naturalized or had filed first papers, it was discovered that only 25% of immigrants had begun the process to become a U.S. citizen.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • We Challenge You

    Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011

    by Melissa

    November is a great time for writers. NanNoWriMo.org sponsors a National Novel Writing Month contest on their website, motivating individuals to complete a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. As genealogists, we can use this same format for our genealogy research projects.

    Plan to use the month of November as a time to set goals and complete projects. Many of us will be attending family events in the coming months, so wouldn’t it be great to share some new discovery or present a brief history of the family? Create your own goals such as spend three hours a week researching or write a 5,000 word narrative on your family research or scan/ enter 250 family photographs into your genealogy files or organize the stacks of papers on your desk.

    The Genealogy Center staff challenges you to set a genealogy goal for the month of November and share with us your progress. Do you accept our challenge? If so, like our facebook page and participate in the challenge, which will officially be issued on October 29.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • November 23, 2011 One-on-One Consultations Closed

    Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011

    We are currently scheduling appointments for Wednesday December 28, 2011. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Basics of Adobe Elements Workshop Closed

    Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011

    Registration for The Basics of Adobe Elements Workshop on Friday, October 28, is closed. The waiting list is filled as well, so we will no longer take names for this class. Be sure to check back to see the next time we offer this informative class.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Database Concerns

    Sunday, Oct 23, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    Do you know of other databases available for free?

    There are a number of wonderful websites available for free research, including but not limited to Family Search, WeRelate, and US GenWeb.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • National Black Genealogy Summit

    Saturday, Oct 22, 2011

    The National Black Genealogy Summit began on Thursday, October 20, with an informative Pre-Conference and will end on Sunday, October 23, with extended research hours from 8 am to noon. With more than 150 attendees, lots of fun and stories are being shared at The Genealogy Center as well as the Grand Wayne Center.



    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Online Microfilm Ordering Now Available with the Family History Center

    Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011

    by Cynthia

     

    Beginning Wednesday, October 19, patrons of the Allen County Public Library will be able to order microfilms online from the Family History Center. Now you have the benefit of ordering films online from Salt Lake City while planning your research trip to The Genealogy Center. The combination of The Genealogy Center collection as well as having films from Salt Lake City readily available is a huge benefit. When you plan your trip, you may want to order films from the Family History Center approximately 3 to 4 weeks before your visit.

     

    In order to access the order form, you will need to have a Family Search account. If you have created an account in order to see digital images online, you will not need to create an account. To create an account, go to click on Sign In in the upper right hand corner and scroll the screen down to the Create New Account button. For assistance and guidance, a User Manual is available.

     

    With the new online system, you will be automatically notified if you choose film that is currently in the holdings at the selected facility. Also, you will be able to track your order and see if the film has been shipped or is on back order. The Family History Center will send notifications when your order has been processed, delivered to your selected location, and when the item is ready to be sent back to the Family History Center. At this point in time, you will be able to return or extend (making it permanent) your film requests.

     

    Please contact The Genealogy Center if you have any questions about the new Family History Center microfilm ordering process.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Requesting Records

    Monday, Oct 17, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    I have a death record that was listed in the WPA indexes of Indiana vital records. How can I get a copy?

    The Genealogy Center has vital records sourced in those indexes for Allen County and a few other counties. For the rest, you will need to contact the health department for the county in question.

    I need 1920-1955 New York City vital records. I know enough to pinpoint, but can’t afford the cost to send for all I need. Any suggestions for alternative online sources? If a person is in New York City today, is there a place to go physically to get this information? Legal name changes – where would I search for this for New York City, 1959-1952?

    First of all, this may be information you already know, but for the sake of others researching New York City:

    • Birth records prior to 1910,
    • Marriage records prior to 1930, and
    • Death records prior to 1949
    are at the Municipal Archives. These are the records you may obtain for genealogical research. Forms are available on the website for ordering these records. The base fee is $15 per record, with additional charges for a search of two years if an exact date isn’t known, for postage and handling, for a certified copy, etc. See the New York Public Library’s website for more information about New York vital records. (New York City information is partway down the page.) For records of events that occurred after the dates shown above, you must be qualified to obtain the records. These are held in the Office of Vital Records in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. These records also begin at $15 each.

    If you are qualified to obtain copies of the records, you can go to these offices in person to get them, but the websites suggest that you order online to avoid waiting in a line. The cost is the same if you get go to the office in person to get them. In localities where the record books are freely available to researchers, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional researcher in the area to photocopy the books for you than to order individual certificates, but in the case of New York City, the cost is going to be the same for the records, whether you order them online or you send a proxy to get them for you. Images of these records are not available online.

    Legal name changes would have taken place in the courts. See whether the Family History Library has filmed the civil court records for the county within New York City where you suspect the name change took place. If not, you will need to search the records onsite or hire a researcher to do it for you. You can find researchers for New York City on the websites of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Quilt Display

    Saturday, Oct 15, 2011

    In honor of the National Black Genealogy Summit, the Sisters of the Cloth, a Fort Wayne quilting guild, installed a display of quilts in the Gallery of The Genealogy Center. Take some time to view these lovely quilts on display and attend the National Black Genealogy Summit being held on Thursday, October 20 through Saturday, October 22.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Michigan Records

    Thursday, Oct 13, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    Are probate records available on Ancestry (for Michigan)?

    Ancestry has approximately 40 databases that pertain to probate records, but none of those are for Michigan. Michigan's probate records are normally kept at the County Probate Courthouse. Family Search has filmed some of Michigan's probate records if the county's probate court office gave permission. The Archives of Michigan has some probate records (see their circular #6 for details).

    How do I obtain school records from a Catholic Diocese from the early 1900's (Lansing, Michigan)?

    According to staff from the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, they do not have school records. It is the Diocese's policy to have student academic records held at the school where the student attended. Should the school no longer exist, you may wish to contact the Diocese to see if school's records were sent to their Archives. You may contact their archivist, Msgr. George Michalek, via email at gmichalek@dioceseoflansing.org or call him at 517-342-2540.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • What Books Would You Suggest

    Monday, Oct 10, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    Do you know any books on Maryland migration to Kentucky in the late 18th Century?

    You might try these books when you are here:

    A key to Southern pedigrees: being a comprehensive guide to the colonial ancestry of families in the States of Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Alabama Call #: 016.92911 C87K 1985

    Peden, Henry C., Marylanders to Kentucky Call #: 976.9 P34M
    Peden, Henry C., More Marylanders to Kentucky : 1778-1828 Call #: 976.9 P34MA
    Donnelly, Mary Louise. More colonial families of Maryland: pioneers of Westmoreland County, Virginia and Kentucky Call #: 975.2 D718MO
    Frontier forts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Viginia & Ohio, 1740-1794, built by the French, English & Americans Call #: 975 M82F

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Census Clarification

    Friday, Oct 07, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    Is there a way to search census records by specific address/locator?

    The answer is yes and no. To my knowledge, there is no way to “plug” a specific address into the search boxes in Ancestry.com or HeritageQuestOnline.com to find a particular household. However, if your target family lives in a small town, you can use the browse option to the right of the search box in Ancestry.com to narrow down your search to state, then county, then township or town, then (if applicable), enumeration district. Then you can browse page by page, looking at the street names written on the left sides of the enumeration sheets and matching those with the house numbers in the far left column of each household’s information. For 1880 through 1930, there are enumeration district (ED) descriptions and maps available on microfilm that describe the boundaries of the enumeration districts and which streets were included in which ED.

    Is there a way to correct a spelling of a name on the census?

    Sites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry have a system in place for you to submit an alternate spelling of names in their census indexes. If you are hoping to alter the spelling of a name on the actual census record, no changes can be made to the legal document itself. The books for the 1790-1930 federal censuses were destroyed after the records were microfilmed, so there are no documents to alter at this time.

    What will become of family history when the census now are available, from 1980 to 2010?

    There is a 72-year waiting period before a census can be released, due to privacy laws. This means that the 1980 census will be released in 2052. The census was recorded on cards and was mailed to the Census Bureau. These cards have been retained and presumably will be published in some form at that time - presumably in some electronic format.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Elusive War of 1812

    Tuesday, Oct 04, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following is a question asked and The Genealogy Center staff's response.

    What does this mean: Bounty land is returned by widow of 1812 Soldier and assigned to another man on one deed?

    It often happened that land speculators bought the vouchers for War of 1812 bounty land from soldiers or widows who could make more use of money than land. In that case, the person who bought the land may be listed as the seller on the deed when he sold that piece of land, and it may be noted that the soldier or widow “assigned” it to him. Another possibility may be that the soldier or widow has appointed someone to act for him or her, such as an attorney.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our Immigrant Ancestors

    Saturday, Oct 01, 2011

    During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.

    Can you cross reference a visa number?

    At this point in time, the Ancestry database does not have a spot for visa numbers. However, the later passenger lists does indicate whether the person has a passport, visa, or other document, such as a transit certificate.

    Border crossing from Canada to New England records? Early Canadians -did they have to naturalize?

    Immigrants were never compelled to become naturalized citizens. However, if they were Canadian-born, after 1790, they would have had to become naturalized if they wanted to be American citizens capable of voting. Your question does not state when your ancestors came from Canada to New England. If they came before the Revolutionary War, they would not have needed to naturalize. Assuming that they came later, there are two sets of Canadian border crossing records available from the National Archives: "Index to Canadian Border Entries, St. Albans, VT, 1895-1924, and 1924-1952. I am not aware of crossing records before 1895.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Genealogy Center History, part 8

    Friday, Sep 30, 2011

    Less than 20 years after the new building was constructed at 900 Webster Street, the Allen County Public Library was already feeling that it needed more space. The Genealogy Department has moved many materials into subbasement storage and seating was limited. It needed more than its 6000 square feet.

    Plans were made to tear down several buildings along Wayne Street (including the old YWCA), and a new wing added to contain more storage in the two lower levels, expansion space for the Young Adults Department and a new auditorium on the first floor, with all of the new space on the second floor to be the Genealogy Department's new home. Construction began in August 1979. The next year, the library system became the Allen County Public Library. The department was closed to the public December 1, 1980. The move itself took only one day and 125 volunteers. Book carts were labeled with color codes and lines to follow were taped to the floor. The department reopened January 19, 1981 with more seating and a light-controlled room for reading microfilm.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center