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  • 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

  • Jumping Off Points: Getting the Most Out of a Single Record

    Monday, Sep 09, 2013

    It’s all too easy to take basic information from a record without examining what it has to reveal beyond the obvious. Attendees will witness the dissection of a death record to experience where it can lead the researcher beyond the decedent’s date and place of death.

    Part of the Family History Fundamentals series.

    Saturday September 14, 2013, 10:00AM-11:00AM.

    Meeting Room A.

    Instructor: Dawne Slater-Putt.

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Beyond the Basics Two-day Mini-Course, October 11 & 12, 2013

    Friday, Sep 06, 2013

    Interested in moving beyond beginning genealogy sources? Need a refresher of a few of the more advanced sources and techniques? Here's your chance. Margery Graham and Steve Myers are offering Beyond the Basics, a two-day mini-course on Friday and Saturday, October 11 & 12, 2013! The classes will include probate, land, tax, church and military records, problem solving and guidance in getting your ancestor back across the Atlantic, along with assisted research and personal consultations from Marge and Steve, who have more than 70 years of research experience between them.

    9 AM to 4 PM, Friday and Saturday, October 11 and 12, 2013.

    Meeting Rooms A&B, Main Library, Allen County Public Library.

    For course description and registration form, see the brochure.

    Space is limited. Register soon to avoid disappointment!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Public Member Trees on

    Thursday, Sep 05, 2013

    Public Member Trees are one of the most popular yet also most maligned features of Hear how Public Member Trees can really help you. For users of the library's version, you will see tools for evaluating the trees and what to look for as red flags when the evidence seems inconsistent. For Ancestry subscribers, you will discover specific ways of adding value to the Trees, making them more useful for all users.

    Part of the Beyond Ancestry's Leaves & Branches series.

    Thursday September 12, 2013, 2:00PM-3:00PM.

    Meeting Room A.

    Instructor: John Beatty.

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Occupational Thoughts for Labor Day

    Saturday, Aug 31, 2013

    by John

    It is Labor Day weekend, and while for many it is a time to mark the end of summer vacations, the holiday was originally instituted in 1894 to celebrate the contributions of American workers. For us genealogists, it seems to be a fitting time to think about the occupations of our ancestors. How did each of them earn a living, what knowledge and skills did they need to perform their work, and how did their occupation place them into the context of the time and place in which they lived? These are great questions to ask as we research and write our family histories.

    I suspect that for most of our ancestors, especially before the Civil War, farming or some variation of farm labor dominated their lives, since America was overwhelmingly agricultural. However, even in rural areas, there were small shop keepers, millers, doctors, carpenters, and a variety of other skilled tradesmen. The federal censuses since 1850 listed the occupation of the respondent, and these can be extremely useful in documenting our ancestors' work, though sometimes a worker will be listed only as "laborer" without any additional detail. City directories will sometimes list the names of employers and can be useful, especially if we have urban ancestors working in factories or performing a particular skill.

    Several books in our collection offer detailed descriptions of various occupations. In 1939, the U.S. Department of Labor compiled a "Dictionary of Occupational Titles," (973 D5636) which included detailed descriptions of various Depression-era trades. At more than 1,000 pages, the dictionary is surprisingly varied in its scope.

    For earlier occupations, many of which may be archaic to a modern ear, there are several other useful dictionaries. Barbara Jean Evans's book, "A to Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians" (929.03 Ev15aa), lists many unusual occupations, such as "tabellarius" for record keeper and "lacewoman" for ladies maid. Paul Drake's "What Did They Mean By That: A Dictionary of Historical Terms for Genealogists" (929 D78w) is also an excellent source with many occupational descriptions. For the eighteenth century and earlier, Richard Lederer's "Colonial American English" (973.2 Aa1L) is an especially useful source for archaic occupations. German researchers will often find occupations included in parish registers, and Ernest Thode's "German-English Genealogical Dictionary" (929 T35g) remains an essential reference tool.

    So this Labor Day, let's remember our worker ancestors and envision performing their jobs. Whether they were plowing a field or hammering on an anvil near a forge, preaching in a pulpit or selling goods in a store, their legacy of work helped to shape each one of us.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Conference Week at The Genealogy Center

    Friday, Aug 23, 2013

    by Delia

    Time and date: Monday August 19, 2013 at 8:55 a.m.: The Genealogy Center looks great! Everything is on order, no books or microfilm left to shelve. The copiers are all full of paper and working perfectly, and the Allen County Public Library's IT Services have installed an extra bank of computers. The months of planning and hard work have made us ready. It's like when you plan a party at your house, and the happiness you feel just before the first guest arrives. For us, it's the week of the Federation of Genealogical Societies "Journey Through Generations" Conference and we open our doors to more than 1500 guests!

    So now it's Friday. It's an understatement to say it's been a busy week for staff and volunteers of The Genealogy Center. The Conference has finished with Librarian's Day on Tuesday, Society Day on Wednesday, and on Thursday, with the Exhibits Opening and a fabulous Keynote Session with Richard Aquila speaking about the origins of Rock 'n' Roll. He discussed its reflection of culture of the time, and the importance of understanding the culture in which one's ancestors lived. Other great sessions, workshops and luncheons, along with the opportunity to share experiences with other genealogists, have made this a wonderful experience.

    Of course, most of the staff and many volunteers of The Genealogy Center haven't been able to take advantage of the full experience because we are also providing research opportunities, even adding a total of eighteen extra research hours to our regular schedule so that conference attendees would not have to skip sessions to exploring collection. During sessions, the crowds thin out as everyone is busy learning over at the Grand Wayne Center. But during breaks, and especially before and after sessions, The Genealogy Center is packed. There are books waiting to be shelved that will probably have to wait until next week. We've had to call the copier repairman (and thanks to him that he came so quickly!), and IT Services have responded to our cries for help, but it's all good. I think people are having a good time here and at the Conference.

    The one type of question that I've gotten the most (besides directions to the restrooms!) is along the lines of "are you exhausted" and "I'll bet you'll be glad when this is over." Well, yes, I am tired, and I sleep very well these nights. But once I begin to interact with our visitors, listening and answering questions, trying to solve problems, the energy of the researchers and the conference attendees re-energizes me and I'm not tired anymore. Several staff members don't spend much time at the Convention Center, being needed to anchor The Center, but we still feel part of the activities.

    And will we be glad when it's over? Well, you couldn't host a party every day, staff and volunteers probably couldn't sustain the energy levels indefinitely. But there will be a tremendous sadness when it's over. These conferences are a great deal of work, but they also provide a high level of enjoyment for us, too. We enjoy the questions. We like the fact that everyone is so happy to be here. We love the breakthroughs and trying to find new possibilities of research.

    We still have the rest of today and the Special Event tonight in the Great Hall of the Allen County Public Library,  Saturday's sessions luncheons and workshops, and the Farewell Brunch on Sunday morning, so we, and you, have lots of fun left, but I wanted to provide an answer to questions about how we feel. We feel great!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Closed Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2013

    Saturday, Aug 17, 2013

    The Genealogy Center, like all of the Allen County Public Library agencies, will be closed on Monday, September 2nd, for Labor Day. We will be open our regular hours on Saturday, August 31st, 9 AM to 6 PM, and Tuesday, September 3rd, 9 AM to 9 PM.

    Starting the Sunday after Labor Day, September 8th, we begin Sunday hours, 12 noon to 5 PM.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More One-on-One Consultations

    Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013

    Do you have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? Personal research consultations with staff members of The Genealogy Center are now available. You can schedule a  30-minute session by calling 260-421-1225 or email for an appointment. You will be asked to provide information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and you will be contacted with a time for your consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation. 

    Appointments are available on Tuesday September 24, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    Five days of appointments are available during Family History Month, also from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. These dates are: Tuesday, October 2nd; Thursday October 10th; Tuesday October 15th; Thursday October 24th; and Tuesday October 29th. 

    Space each month is limited, so check your calendars early to take advantage of this unique offer!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • ... Research!

    Sunday, Aug 11, 2013

    by Delia

    Congratulations! You've arrived at The Genealogy Center, ready to get down to researching! But I want to cover a few details first.

    1. If you are here during the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, be aware of our hours, especially the Extended Research Hours:

    • Monday, Aug. 19 – 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (regular hours)
    • Tuesday, Aug. 20 – 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (regular hours)
    • Wednesday, Aug. 21 – 9 a.m.-midnight (extended evening hours)
    • Thursday, Aug. 22 – 7 a.m.-midnight (extended morning & evening hours)
    • Friday, Aug. 23 – 7 a.m.-midnight (extended morning & evening hours)
    • Saturday, Aug. 24 – 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (extended morning hours)

    2. Try to make copies and scans as you go along. Don't get caught in a last-minute rush to the copiers!

    3. Remember that, if you are using a book and wish to use it the next day, leave it at your seat with a note that says, "Save." We will leave it for you to use again. However, if you are finished, please don't leave the books on the tables. Thinking that someone forgot the "Save" note, we may leave them for a day or two, and someone else may be wanting them. Instead, place them on a return cart or on the gray shelves so they will go back where they belong.

    4. Remember that if you don't know how to use the copiers, or have a computer question, or can't decipher an abbreviation, or just want to know where the restrooms (in the Great Hall, next to the elevators), just ask. We have many volunteers supplementing our staff for the conference week, and if they/we don't know, we can usually find out. So, just ASK!

    5. And, last but not least, have fun! The genealogical conferences I've attended have not only provided me education in research techniques, but also the opportunity to talk to researchers from all over. And, although we may not have water slides, we hope a visit to The Genealogy Center offers an enjoyable and productive research trip!

    See you soon!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • ... Get Set...

    Friday, Aug 09, 2013

    by Delia

    So, now you know what you want to research. Here are a few items you might want to bring or consider:

    • One or more USB drives. You can save images from our computers, from microfilm and fiche, and now, from books using our new photocopiers that not only make copies (including color copies) but also let you save PDF images! But be sure that there are no program files on your USB drives. Our computers won't accept them if they do. And bring more than one USB drive, just in case.
    • If you have your own computer or other electronic device, great! Bring it! We allow almost anything (except food and drink), but be sure to bring a lock or keep your valuables with you. While no one really wants to abscond with your research notes, your iPad, Netbook and other electronic devices are a great temptation, and, unfortunately, a large gathering will attract non-genealogists interested in acquiring something other than ancestors.
    • Bring one and five dollar bills. Copies and prints are ten cents each, but our new debit card system for photocopies and computer prints requires bills.
    • If you have an Ancestry account, remember that you may not access it from our computers, which are logged into the ACPL Account. If you have your own computer, log into your Ancestry account before coming to the library, and do not shut it down. When your computer accesses our wifi, you will already be on your own account.
    • And last, but not least, if you feel the cold sooner than others, bring a light sweater or jacket. As in all large buildings, there are many cool and hot spots. This is also true of most convention rooms, so if you do not relish the cool indoors after being in the August heat outside, be prepared!

    Next time: Research!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Get Ready...

    Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013

    by Delia

    So the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference for 2013 is almost upon us! I know everyone is ready for all of the wonderful sessions and fabulous speakers, the amazing exhibits, and all of the extra activities (the FGS Opening Social on Wednesday and the Friday Night Evening Local Event, just to name two), but are you ready for researching at The Genealogy Center?

    Whether you are coming for the Conference, or are planning a visit here later, we wanted to provide a few tips for making your research visit more enjoyable and productive. So, first, let's get ready!

    Take a bit of time to plan what you want to search while you are here. Determine what facts you seek, make notes about the family, and what sources you think might be best. Take time to check our book catalog and our microtext catalog. Note titles with the respective call numbers or roll numbers. This will help you hit the ground running when you arrive. Remember to add an extra few research projects, in case you either solve the first quickly, or hit that proverbial brick wall.

    Also, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with our website, especially under Pathfinders to view the Guides and Snapshots.

    Next: Get Set!

    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

  • Something New!

    Friday, Jul 26, 2013

    Have you noticed the new button on The Genealogy Center homepage? It’s in the upper left corner and says, “Family Tree Pillow and Art. Click here.” Go ahead and click! The link will take you to our new partner, Keepsake Threads, who produces heirloom quality textile art and other items. They can take old family photographs or family trees and place the design on throw pillows for your living room, or on a wall hanging. They can also take cloth keepsakes to make quilts, stuffed animals, pillows, and, soon, quilt squares. Do you have all of the neckties worn by your dad from the 1970s? Or your children’s souvenir tee-shirts? They can provide ways to use those items to create a priceless family heirloom. And a portion of the genealogy pillow and wall hanging sales goes to the Allen County Public Library Foundation, which helps to support The Genealogy Center.

    So take a peek at their website, and visit them at their booth at the Federation of Genealogy Societies' Conference in August!

    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

  • What Does That Mean?

    Friday, Jul 19, 2013

    Does it sometimes seem like we're speaking a different language when you ask us something about genealogical research? The world of genealogy does have its own special words or expressions which may be difficult for beginners to understand. In this session, Cynthia Theusch will assist you in understanding words and phrases that are used by The Genealogy Center team.

    Part of the Beyond Ancestry's Leaves & Branches series.

    Wednesday July 24, 2013, 2:00PM-3:00PM.

    Meeting Room A.

    Call 260-421-1225 or send an email to register for this free class!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Tickets? Passport? Research?

    Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013

    by Sara

    Recently we had a visit from a patron who only had about 30 minutes to spend in The Genealogy Center to find the birth date and birth place of his immigrant ancestor. The patron explained that his sister was currently in Greece on vacation and needed the information TODAY so she could search for the family at the General Archives of Greece. This ancestor, let’s call him “Demetri,” came to this country from Greece around 1890* (*details changed to protect patron privacy). We were able to help the patron find Demetri’s birth date from his tombstone via the free website, Find a Grave, and from a World War II Draft Registration (found on Ancestry), although the two dates did not match exactly. A specific place of birth for him was not found, although it might have been possible, had the patron more time to spend on this question. While the patron seemed satisfied with what was found, I’m not sure how successful the sister’s search was at the Greek Archives, with only this sketchy information. What could this family have done differently to ensure greater success?

    Just as you apply for a passport, make your plane reservations, and arrange hotel accommodations all way in advance of your departure date, you need to do your genealogical homework beforehand for an overseas research trip as well. The most important thing you can do to prepare for your trip is to start researching your immigrant ancestral origins as soon as possible. There are many factors outside of our control that can make your particular ancestor search easier or harder. Finding an ancestor who came to the United States within the past 120 years is generally easier because more records were created and have survived from that time period. The search can be complicated by an immigrant’s decision to Americanize their name, and by political upheaval in Europe that has resulted in geographic boundary and town name changes. You will want to look for records created after the immigrant’s arrival in America that provide clues of immigrant origins, specifically, those that might show an ancestor’s date of birth, parents’ names, and/or birth place in the old country. Types of U.S. records to consult include: ship’s passenger lists, naturalization records, death certificates, marriage licenses, Social Security applications, obituaries, organizational records, land records, employment records, newspaper articles, probate records, family papers or Bibles, and church records - most of which are not typically available on the internet. Remember to research all members of the family who immigrated (father, mother, their children, siblings of the parents, cousins, etc.) because if you find where one of them originated, chances are the rest of the family was from the same place. This research may take some time to complete, but will be worth the time spent, if it helps you find your immigrant origins, right? Armed with this data, you can then travel to the old country with the correct information and increase your chances of success in foreign archives and libraries. You might also be able to pre-arrange a visit to your ancestral village(s) of origin.

    A second important task you should complete before your trip is to find the website for or current information about any foreign libraries/archives you wish to visit; check their hours, location, and holdings; and try to set up an appointment via email or telephone for a specific date and time to look at specific records. Not doing this can lead to upsetting situations, such as arriving at an archives on a Monday, only to find out that the building is closed to the public on Mondays or that the English- speaking archivist is only in the office on Wednesdays.

    We want your next family history trip to be a success. So remember to plan ahead for possible future trips, come and see us in The Genealogy Center, and start researching your immigrant ancestor today!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • July 24th: Interpreting Genealogy Jargon

    Saturday, Jul 13, 2013

    Does it seem like we are speaking a different language than you are? The world of genealogy has its own special words or expressions which may be difficult for beginners to understand. Genealogy staff will assist you in understanding words and phrases that are used by The Genealogy Center team.

    Monday July 24, 2 - 3 PM, Meeting Room A.

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

    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

  • Finding and Using Directories in The Genealogy Center

    Sunday, Jul 07, 2013

    by John

    One of the major holdings of The Genealogy Center is its collection of city directories, both bound and on microfilm. With more than 55,000 bound directories alone, The Center has long been a major repository of volumes published by the R. L. Polk Company. Fred J. Reynolds, the Allen County Public Library’s director for whom The Genealogy Center’s collection is named, negotiated an agreement with the company in the mid-1960s for the library to receive a copy of each directory the company publishes each year. While those for some cities and years went out-of-print before a donation could be made, the bulk of what Polk has published since the 1960s is available in book form in The Genealogy Center. Researchers should keep in mind that for many larger cities, no directory has been published for many decades while other smaller cities have either been discontinued or combined with other towns into new county directories. Earlier directories for many U.S. cities published before 1960 are available in The Genealogy Center on microfilm.

    City directories are indispensable tools in historical and genealogical research. Although they contain varying amounts of information depending on the time period and locality for which they were published, they can help a researcher in a variety of ways. They can distinguish people of the same name living in an urban area, provide information about residence and employment, and occasionally, show the names of spouses or widows as well as people of the same last name living at the same address. Rural directories, which are extant for a select number of counties and years, mainly in Midwestern states, will sometimes provide additional information, such as the names of children, the number of acres owned, the value of a farm, and even occasionally the religious and political affiliations of residents. When used in conjunction with federal census records, directories can provide valuable information for intervening years, allowing genealogists to pinpoint years of death and changing places of residence. Twentieth century directories offer an additional street and address cross-reference access, allowing users to determine the names of persons living at an address over time. City and rural directories are also valuable for identifying religious congregations, businesses, governmental offices, professionals, and fraternal orders in a particular locality.

    Users of The Genealogy Center’s catalog wishing to locate directories of various types will want to enter the name of the city and state, combined with the word “directories.” If listings appear, they will be separate entries if the directories were produced by different companies. Holdings information will include the years that The Center holds. Also, if a city directory has been recombined into a county directory, expect it to appear in a separate catalog entry with publishing dates that are usually more recent.

    To locate city directories on microfilm and microfiche, including most of the Center’s holdings before 1960, click on “Databases” from the main web page, and then click on “Microtext Catalog.” Then, under the column marked “Specialty Records,” click on the “City & County Directories” link. It will allow you to enter a state name, and once selected, an alphabetical list of directories will appear, together with the available years. Some cities have an expanded link that takes the user into a new page with more detailed holdings information. Directories on microfiche are the oldest in the collection and pre-date 1860. Some cities such as Philadelphia and New York have runs of directories extending back to the eighteenth century. Directories on microfilm often begin about 1861 and can sometimes run until 1935 or for a few cities, through 1960, though the coverage varies from place to place.

    On your visit to The Genealogy Center, a librarian can show you on a map where both types of directories are located. The bound directories are located, for the most part, in the center section of moveable stacks in the west reading room. They follow the same modified Dewey decimal sequence as books on the main shelves. A few rural directories are not shelved here, however, and are instead to be found with the county histories and other books for a particular county. The pre-1860 directories published on microfiche are housed in in a cabinet marked C and are part of a collection known as “American Directories.” The remaining city directories are filed alphabetically by city in cabinets 26 through 34.

    The breadth and scope of The Genealogy Center’s holdings of city and rural directories make it a major component of our collection. Researchers, especially those with urban ancestors, will be rewarded for taking the time to examine at least a few of them.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Fun Fourth Facts

    Thursday, Jul 04, 2013

    As we celebrate the Fourth of July today, here a few fun facts with which you can dazzle friends and family during the fireworks show:
    • Less than half of the residents of the thirteen colonies supported the Revolution. About one third of the remaining supported the British, and the rest were neutral.
    • African Americans served on both sides during the Revolutionary war, but the first man shot in the Boston Massacre was African-American Crispus Attucks.
    • The only person to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th was John Hancock. Most of the other delegates signed it on August 2nd. Hancock’s signed in such large letters his name became a term for “signature.”
    The Genealogy Center wishes you a happy and safe Fourth!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center