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  • We're Closed But We Miss You!

    Saturday, Jul 04, 2015

    by Delia

    Yes, The Genealogy Center is closed for three days this Fourth of July weekend. The plan to be closed for three day straight was made before the decision was made to begin open hours on Sundays this summer. It was decided that we would be closed in observance of the Fourth on Friday July 3rd, then closed on July 4th as well. When Sunday hours came up, I think the decision was made that we would remain closed on Sunday July 5th because we were all excited about a three day weekend.

    So, yes, we relish our extra days of being closed and being off (no, no extra paid holidays) when family members are visiting and celebrating, and that extra sleep the day after all of the fireworks, whether you attend a show or just hear your neighbors shooting them off in their driveways, will be appreciated. But don’t think that we won’t miss you!

    For me, and I believe all of my colleagues here at The Genealogy Center, the best part of the job is hearing your research tangles and trying to figure out one more place to search for the information you need. One more way to figure out what happened to the man who went missing. One more idea on how to find that woman’s parents. One more notion of what happened to all of the children after their parents died. These are the human stories that drew us to our own family history in the first place, so we understand the desire to search and the satisfaction of finding answers that seemed out of reach.

    So enjoy the holiday! If you gather with family or friends, ask them to share their own memories. Even children have memories of past holidays and gatherings, and sharing memories may engender within them an interest in becoming part of the chain of family historians.

    We’ll see you on Monday, to start the search anew.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Family Files and Resources

    Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015

    A few more family resources were posted to the Free Databases that might provide some clues for family historians.

    The first is the Hut Family Bible Transcription. The original Bible is now lost to this branch of the family, who do, however, own and shared an English translation of the German content written by Theodore Henry Hut, the eldest child of Ludwig and Addelhia Brandt Hut. The couple, Theodore and another, child, Johanna, came of the United States from Germany in 1837, and settled in Ohio. The Bible record is in narrative form and follows the Theodore, his parents, three wives and children through births, marriages and deaths. The item is truly a valuable document for the family and we are pleased it was shared with us, and you.

    The next item, transcribed and donated by Martha Bowes, is the Autobiography of Jane Ivison Scott Hanna, born about 1810 in Scotland and died in 1891 in Indiana. This account is dated 1877 and provides a fascinating look at her life before and after immigration.

    Shelley Cardiel found and “rescued” three photographs of the some of the children of Nicholas and Rosa Bauer Plain of Atlanta, Indiana. Ms. Cardiel also provided identifying information about the family through census and cemetery records, adding to the value of these photos.

    Barbara McCoy donated a copy of a family group record for the John Monroe Kirk family of Pennsylvania and Indiana, as well as an extended family photo taken in celebration of John’s 75th birthday in 1905. The photo features the descendants of John’s father and uncle, Jesse and Alexander Kirk.

    And last, Ms. McCoy also donated a family group record and family photos of Joseph Ray Guernsey and Flora Anderson Phrall, also of Indiana. There are several World War I photos of Joseph Ray, including one with a group of other (unfortunately unidentified) servicemen at Fort Dix in 1918. Take a look and see if you can identify any of the other men.

    We are very appreciative to be allowed to post these images, and welcome any that others may wish to contribute!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More Free Military History Sources

    Sunday, Jun 28, 2015

    Several new items have been added to Our American Heritage recently that you might want to peruse. The first is a photograph of the tombstone of Henry F. Frizzell, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. Along with the photograph is a link to the U.S. Army Center of Military History for brief biographies of Frizzell and other Medal of Honor winners.

    Also uploaded recently were video interviews with a number of Twentieth Century servicemen and their families including  Don Theurer, World War II Army Air Corps; Vicki Khouli, Ominous Odyssey from World War II; Korean War Veteran Chuck Layton; Vietnam War sailor Dana Failor; Vietnam War Marine Bob IhrieBernie Lee, 22-Year Marine Corps Veteran;  Phil Plasterer, 82nd Airborne during the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars; and an interview with Gerard Willis of the Allen County Council of Veterans. These are a fascinating look at big wars from front lines perspectives.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Closed July 3rd through 5th

    Thursday, Jun 25, 2015

    The Genealogy Center, like the rest of the Allen County Public Library facilities, will be closed Friday July 3rd through Sunday July 5th in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. We will reopen with out regular hours on Monday, July 6th. Enjoy the holiday and then get back to your research!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our First Free Database for North Carolina

    Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015

    We now have twenty-six states covered in our Free Databases with the recent addition of an occupational association program for North Carolina. Although the four page program of the 1935 North Carolina State Association of Colored Graduate School Nurses is small, it contains the names of about three dozen people who were involved with the Association or with the meeting that was held on June 6th and 7th at the First Baptist Church of High Point, North Carolina. Talks included “Surgical Technique,” by Miss M. R. Searcy and a case study by Miss M. K. Long of the State Hospital. Other activities included a garden party on the lawn on June 6th and a sightseeing tour followed by a dance on June 7th. This is a wonderful source for anyone searching African-American professionals in the mid-1930s.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Juneteenth Celebration

    Monday, Jun 15, 2015

    The Allen County Public Library is pleased to welcome Dr. Edna Greene Medford of Howard University for a Juneteenth presentation Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. Dr. Medford will speak on “When Freedom Came: Emancipation and the Question of Timing.” The lecture will be in the Main Library Theater on Lower Level 2 and is free and open to the public.

    June 19, 2015, is the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the first known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. The event took place in Texas when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, and told residents that the war was over and the slaves were free.[1]

    Dr. Medford will discuss the various dates to be considered for the celebration of enslaved people gaining their freedom – January 1, 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; June 19, 1865, when word finally reached far-flung Texas; or December 6, 1865, when the requisite number of states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery. Dr. Medford is an author, an instructor on African American history, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and 19th century America, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Lincoln Forum. She received a 2009 bicentennial edition of the Order of Lincoln from the State of Illinois for her study of Lincoln and the Civil War era.Join us for this special presentation sponsored by the Allen County Public Library!


    [1] Juneteenth.com, “History of Juneteenth,” www.juneteeth.com/history.htm. Accessed 12 June 2015.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Fort Wayne Church Scrapbooks Available Online

    Sunday, Jun 14, 2015

    Two local churches have allowed us to scan and post their scrapbooks to our Free Databases page. Included are three scrapbooks from First Baptist Church and five scrapbooks from North Christian Church, both from here in Fort Wayne.

    The First Baptist Scrapbooks contain all types of church activities and news from 1949 to 1995, including selected members’ obituaries and wedding announcements, bulletins and photographs. The North Christian Scrapbooks also contain bulletins, photos, accounts of various church activities and news items pertaining to the church or to its members. Although the scrapbooks are not indexed, the contents listings for each of these eight scrapbooks will provide a valuable guide to anyone searching for news or members of these churches.

    Thank you to these two churches for allowing us to make these great resources available!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Death-related Sources added to Free Databases

    Thursday, Jun 11, 2015

    To start off with one of our most popular databases, the Evangelical Messenger Obituary Abstracts database just keeps growing, and now covers 1848 to 1943 with a total of 188, 555 entries thanks to Anne Dallas Budd, Rita Bone Kopp and Sally Zody Spreng.

    A collection of Obituaries from the Sullivan Daily Times and the Sullivan Union, Sullivan County, Indiana have been added to the Free Databases. Consisting of more than 17,000 images, this material covers many of the years from 1920-2013. These records were compiled by Donna K. Adams, Paula Jewell, and Mark Brown of the Sullivan County Public Library Genealogy/Local History Department, who have kindly allowed us to post them.

    Jim Cox has again donated Jay County, Indiana cemetery records for our Free Databases page. Hillside Cemetery and seventeen other small cemeteries (Bear Creek, Holy Trinity, Mt. Vernon, New Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Hill, Praise Chapel, Sager, Springhill, Stephen, Stevenson, Stratton, Wayman, Wells, Wentz, Whaley, Whicker, Whiteman).

    From Noble County,Indiana, we have posted 281 images from the Oak Park Cemetery Record Book and 2681 records of Oak Park Cemetery burial permits. These records  include Potter’s Field entries and a cemetery map.

    And the Genealogy Tracers of Cleveland, Ohio (Alfreda Spratlen Barnes, Clancy Ware-Simpson, David Simpson, Carmine Vaughn Stewart, Gwendolyn Wynne Strayhan, and Henrietta English-West) have provided an additional 357 memorials consisting of 1661 images of Homegoing Programs and Memorials.

    We are fortunate that all of these great people are doing this wonderful work of preserving various death-related records and making them available to anyone through our Free Databases.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Think of Us Before You Move....

    Thursday, May 28, 2015

    by Delia

    How many times have you moved in your life? Not counting the multitude of trips to and from my college town, and the moves between residence halls and apartments there, I have changes towns seven times in my life, and within those towns my family moved from one residence to another an additional nine times. At every move, we had to dispose of a lot of unnecessary items before moving. Old furniture, clothes or small appliances might go to a charity organization, but many broken-beyond-repair items and other junk ended up in the alley awaiting the garbage truck.
     
    Why am I sharing these memories? Because sometime in the future, you, too, may make a move. You, too, will go through your possessions, selecting what to take with you and what to jettison. Along with all of the other stuff that you’ve hauled from one abode to another or stored for years will be items that you hate to throw away, but know that, really, are not worth taking. These items could include church or association directories, military or family reunion programs and directories, and school directories or yearbooks.
     
    Stop! Don’t throw those items out! Send them to The Genealogy Center! We, as genealogists, examine city directories, pour over tax lists and pounce on lists of letters left at the post office, but forget that the records we so blithely think to discard could be valuable to future generations. So when you decide that you don’t need that high (or elementary) school annual, that homeowners’ association directory or those military reunion booklets, send them to us and we will be happy to have them as part of our collection. Contact us if you have questions.
     
    And remember that if you have friends, family members or neighbors that are clearing out their houses in preparation of a move, ask them to send that type of material to us instead of the putting them in the dumpster. One person’s trash is our collection’s treasure!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Join Us for the Global Family Reunion

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    The Genealogy Center is partnering with Children’s Services and Young Adult Services to host a weekend full of family activities and events June 5-7 as a “branch party” of Global Family Reunion 2015! All activities will take place at the Main Library, 900 Library Plaza.

    Global Family Reunion will be Saturday, June 6, in New York City. The event, brainchild of author A. J. Jacobs, celebrates that we are all part of one big family – we are all cousins! The New York activities, including speakers, games, and other events, will take place on the grounds of the legendary 1964 World’s Fair, now home to the New York Hall of Science. Our local “branch party” will feature live streaming from New York on Saturday. Proceeds from ticket sales to the New York event will go toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Events at ACPL are free.

    Full details about local activities are available in the Global Family Reunion brochure. Besides other events, there will be three family photo opportunities:
    •    Have your family photo taken in The Great Hall and we will email you a copy
    •    Take a silly picture of your family with props in Children’s Services
    •    You Are (Were) Here – Take a photo in front of the green screen in Young Adult Services & we’ll superimpose it on a country of your ancestors’ origin

    In addition, bring heritage family photos and we will scan them, preserve them on our website, and email you a copy!

    There will be chess and board games in Young Adult Services noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as outdoor games – bocce ball on Friday, cornhole on Saturday, and badminton on Sunday – on the Library Plaza!

    The Genealogy Center will present talks on Family History Fun, Ways to Display Your Family History Using Pinterest, Storytelling, Exciting Ways to Share Your Genealogy, and Being Creative … with Your Family History.

    There’s more! Keep watching this blog, The Genealogy Center’s website, our social media outlets and Genealogy Gems to learn times and days for various activities.
    GFRtree

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Start a Family History Journey -- This Summer!

    Thursday, May 07, 2015

    Congratulations! You’re on the road of family discovery, wanting to learn more about those that came before you. Maybe you have already started be trying Ancestry, or talking to relatives or maybe you are just curious about the paths you can take through the family trees. The Genealogy Center wants to help you navigate your journey with a series for the beginner – or for those who want to make sure they have the process well in hand. These 90-minute classes will be on the last Saturday of each month, June through September, so join us each month to find the route to your roots.

    The first session is “Beginning Your Family History Exploration” on Saturday, June 27, 2015, at 10:00A in Meeting Room A. Discover the basics of gathering information from your living relatives and family sources, and the importance of organization in the research process. A brief overview of what records you may discover in your search, and how they may be used to further your family story. We will also introduce you to Ancestry’s census collection and how to use it as a springboard to other records. Finally, take a tour of The Genealogy Center to familiarize yourself with what you can find.

    Next up on Saturday July 25, 2015 is “Beyond Just Starting,” at 9:30A in Meeting Room C. Learn how to verify the information you find, and the importance of documenting what you find and where you found it. Discover how to harvest as much information as possible from various records. We will also show you how to use the free FamilySearch website, and provide a virtual tour of The Genealogy Center’s licensed databases.

    The series will continue on Saturday August 29, 2015 and Saturday September 26, 2015, with “Following Up With More Records” and “Beginners Guide to Genealogical Software.” Mark your calendars now to attend!

    To register for these free events, call 260-421-1225 or send an email

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Open Sundays This Summer!

    Saturday, May 02, 2015

    In previous years, this is about the time we begin reminding all of our visitors that The Genealogy Center is closed on Sundays in the summer, but not this year! We are happy to announce that The Genealogy Center will be open our regular Sunday hours of 12 noon to 5 p.m. most Sundays this summer.

    We will be closed three Sundays this summer, however, all attached to holiday weekends: Sunday and Monday, May 24th and 25th, for the Memorial Day weekend; Sunday and Monday, September 6th and 7th for the Labor Day weekend; and three days for the Fourth of July weekend (Friday July 3rd, Saturday July 4th and Sunday July 5th). But that leaves twelve “extra” days to do research at The Genealogy Center!

    So make a weekend trip of your visit to Fort Wayne and The Genealogy Center!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Celebrate Juneteenth

    Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

    On Friday, June 19, 2015, Dr. Edna Greene Medford, professor of history at Howard University, will present “When Freedom Came: Emancipation and the Question of Timing” addressing the issue of how we identify the arrival of African American freedom.  As Dr. Medford explains:

    Every schoolboy and girl knows that on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation declaring that all enslaved people in the states (or parts thereof) still in rebellion "are and henceforward shall be free." What happened after that is contested ground. We know that enslaved people experienced emancipation at myriad times and in myriad ways. Some were freed immediately; others were not freed until they exercised agency and fled the plantations; the vast majority awaited the arrival of federal military personnel. Even within certain states that had been visited by Union forces, knowledge of the proclamation did not reach all enslaved inhabitants swiftly or in any uniform way. How, then, do we determine the proper date to celebrate African-American freedom? My talk will consider the case for January 1, the date of the Emancipation Proclamation; June 19, or Juneteenth; and December 6, the date the requisite number of states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

    Dr. Medford teaches courses on African American history, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and nineteenth-century America at Howard University. She is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on African Americans in the Civil War. Dr. Medford is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Lincoln Forum and a recipient of a 2009 bicentennial edition of the Order of Lincoln from the State of Illinois for her study of the Lincoln and the Civil War era.

    Click for more information. Join us on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Main Library Theater!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Participate in "A Day in Allen County!"

    Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

    We invite you to capture a day in Allen County, Indiana! On Friday, May 1, 2015, take pictures of anything and everything that is happening in our county in that twenty-four hour time period, and send them to us! What is your view of Allen County that day? These pictures are not limited to marquee events. We want to capture what is going on throughout the entire community, so pictures can be of people at work, children at play, sporting events, weather and blooming flowers, homes and buildings, traffic scenes, hikers and bikers, and people just hanging out. Include a description you would like put with the picture. If it’s happening in the twenty-four hours of May 1st, it’s worth capturing!

    Email pictures to Genealogy@ACPL.Info

    Twitter #DayinAllenCo2015

    Upload pictures at www.facebook.com/GenealogyCenter

    Instagram @GenealogyCenter

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • April 26th to May 2nd: Pass It On -- Through Photography!

    Thursday, Apr 23, 2015

    The American Library Association’s “Pass It On” Preservation Week will be highlighted in The Genealogy Center with a focus on photography. What better way to pass along personal, family, organizational or community history than in photographs! The Genealogy Center has a great week planned, with sessions that discuss how to take better photos, organizing and scrapbooking, posting pictures on social media, and historical photographers in Fort Wayne. And a highlight of the week is “A Day In Allen County,” a chance for everyone to contribute images of the events that take place in a single day (Friday, May 1st) to ACPL’s Community Album. Attend the sessions, take photographs, and Pass It On!

    Sunday, April 26, 2015, 1 p.m., Meeting Room A: "Photographers and Photography of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1843-1930" by John Beatty.

    Monday, April 27, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “How to Look at Your Photographs, Analyze & Organize” by Kay Spears.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “Scrapbooking Your Photographs” by Sara Allen. 

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “Taking Better Photographs” by Bob Albertson.

    Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Meeting Room A: “Preserving Photos on Social Media & in the Cloud” by Dawne Slater.

    Friday, May 1, 2015: A Day in Allen County – Picture sharing event.

    Saturday, May 2, 2015, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Meeting Rooms B & C: A Preservation and Care of Photographs Discussion.

    To register for any or all of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Free Family Resources

    Monday, Apr 20, 2015

     What do you do with the various family materials that you have acquired or written over the years? Are they displayed on bookshelves at home? Shared with relatives? Or stuck away in a box in the garage? The Genealogy Center has obtained several items that can show you the types of material that we are happy to post on our free Family Resources page.

    "William McKendree Lambdin: A Pioneer Methodist Minister and Educator of Texas," by T. Bradford Willis, DDS was published in book format in 2000, but Dr. Willis has given us permission to post it on our website so that anyone can view it.

    The Irving Family Tree was compiled in 1980 by Ian Alfred Lyon with addenda by Jan E. Irving and James M. Irvine in 2013 and 2014. This family tree includes family members from the late 1600s to 2014.

    Mary Hayes Griffin Ancestors is another family tree that has been scanned for posting. Mary Hayes Griffin was born in 1913, daughter of Willard Carl Griffin and Teresa Elvira Briggs. This short volume goes back many generations, and then forward from Mary to her grandchildren.

    These three items have also already been cataloged in our "book" catalog, to facilitate location by other researchers.

    The last item is Memorial Records of Leota May, concerning Leota’s 1971 death, including pall bearers, a register of family and friends and floral tributes, communications with the Batesville Casket Company, and memorial, sympathy and wreath cards. Aside from the valuable family information is the insight into funeral practices in Indiana in the 1970s.

    These great items are just a few examples of what we have been allowed to add to our Family Resources page. Do you have some items you'd like us to include? If so, please contact us.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Free Church Record Databases!

    Friday, Apr 17, 2015

    Thanks to our donors, we have added several church records and histories to out Free Databases recently!

    First off, we have a Brief History of Austin Avenue United Methodist Church of Waco, Texas, provided to us by compiler T. Bradford Willis, DDS. We also have the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Register from Kendallville, Noble County, Indiana.

    Finally, for the first set of Free Databases for New Jersey, we have four registers for Lutheran churches in Trenton: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer Register 1967-1990s and Communicants, 1971-1991; Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church register, 1869-1889 and 1905-1956; Lutheran Church of the Saviour, 1899-1967; and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1851-1967. All of these items were provided by William Mennel, and posted with his permission.
     
    As always, we are very appreciative of those who allow us to post material here, and we welcome others to do likewise.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for May!

    Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015

    Have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? The Genealogy Center is offering 30-minute personal research consultations with a staff member on some troublesome aspect of your research on Thursday May 7th and Thursday May 28th, from 2PM to 4PM, in The Genealogy Center. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info for an appointment, providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation.

    Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More for Our Military Heritage!

    Thursday, Apr 02, 2015

    Through the generosity of our customers, we have added more than 200 images to Our Military Heritage!

    James and Marilyn Leighty generously allowed The Genealogy Center to post “Charles Byron Burley, Company C, 141st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry” which deals with a group known as the Alexander Volunteer Militia from Alexander Township, Athens County, Ohio, and includes information on the Burley family of Athens County.

    Other Civil War records include pension and/or service records for George D. Barkalow, 134th Ohio; George W. Barkalow, 148th IndianaJames Barkalow, 134th OhioIsaac Biggerstaff, 64th Ohio;  and John M. Clark, 46th Indiana.

    And finally, Lois Stifel has allowed us to post the World War II photos and memorabilia of  naval officer Saul Corush who served on the USS Missouri during the Japanese surrender.

    Thanks to all of these folks who have allowed us to share their soldiers with you!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Closed Sunday April 5th

    Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

    The Genealogy Center, like the rest of the Allen County Public Library facilities, will be closed on Sunday, April 5, 2015 in observance of Easter. We will be open on Saturday, April 4th, our regular hours of 9A to 6P, and on Monday, 9A to 9P.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center