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  • Homegoing Programs

    Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017

    A homegoing (or home-going) service is an African-American Christian funeral tradition marking the going home of the deceased to the Lord or to heaven, and is a vibrant part of African American history and culture. Although there may be sadness at a parting, it is also a celebration of a life and the end of suffering in the mortal realm. These observations often include prayers, hymns, scripture, and eulogies, and a program is often printed so attendees can follow the service or to keep as a remembrance. Several groups in our area have been collecting the programs of their communities for inclusion in our databases, and we have recently added new memorials to each of these collections.

    Genealogy Tracers of Cleveland, Ohio, whose members are Alfreda Spratlen Barnes, Clancy Ware-Simpson, David Simpson, Carmine Vaughn Stewart, Gwendolyn Wynne Strayhan, and Henrietta English-West, have recently added 478 new memorials, containing 2597 new images. This collection also includes the Finney Memorial Collection, which have contributed an additional 33 memorials.

    And, here in Fort Wayne, Roberta Ridley, founding chairwomen of the African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne, contributed an additional nine memorial cards to the Marsha Smiley Collection, which also added an additional 63.

    These programs consist of wonderful personal and community histories, and we encourage anyone with a small, or large, collection to provide scans for inclusion in our collection, or contact us about having our volunteers scan them for you.
    Homegoing

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Databases!

    Saturday, Jan 07, 2017

    We’ve added a number of new Free Databases recently that we hope you will find useful.

    From our own back yard, we have the McKee Miles Funeral Home Records, Garrett, DeKalb County, Indiana. Carl McKee opened the funeral home in Garrett around 1972, branching out from his father’s furniture store and funeral home in Avilla. Dick Miles bought into the funeral before Carl McKee retired to Florida in the 1980s. The funeral home closed in 1999. A number of the records here pre-date the McKee-Miles funeral home and are from other funeral homes, though they were among the records of the McKee-Miles funeral home. This was a cooperative project of the Garrett Public Library and The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. One can browse the folders or search for specific names. Information included ranges from the deceased’s birth and death dates and parents’ names, biographical information and the names of people seated in various funeral cars.

    From Indianapolis, we have the Twenty-fifth anniversary history of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Published in 1944, this booklet includes a list of charter members, a photo of the choir, descriptions and photos of the windows, a 1944 Communicant list and a list of the congregation’s men and women in service to their country. For one interested in the history of the church it’s a vital source, made more accessible by the keyword search function.
     
    Several items have come to us from Valparaiso University in Porter County, Indiana, including Baccalaureate Service and Conferring of Degrees booklets for 1950 and 1953; the Baccalaureate Service booklet for 1952; the 25th Anniversary of Ordination of Otto Paul Kretzmann in 1944; and the Gamma Phinian for 1952, which includes pledges for Gamma Phi for 1948-1952. This, too, is keyword searchable.

    From a little farther east, we have the 12 Year History of Community United Methodist Church of Maryland City, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, written in 1975. This short volume includes brief descriptions of all facets of the congregation’s history including church buildings, officers and pastors, Christmas programs, banquets, members and more. And the keyword search makes it a breeze to use.

    Finally, from Wayne County, Michigan, we have the 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 yearbooks for General Motors Research Laboratories. Each yearbook has photos and names of employees by research area and a roster of personnel. The keyword search allows one to search for a specific person, or browse through to see what hip engineers were wearing in 1976.
    Research lab 3




    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Family Resources

    Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016

    We have added a number of new free Family Resources!

    Linda Eder contributed Reverend Nathaniel Clark, Pioneer Preacher. Clark, the first pastor of the First Congregational Church in Elgin, Illinois, in 1833, traveled as a preacher in the area, establishing Sabbath Schools and temperance societies. This volume not only includes a biography for Clark, but also an alphabetical list of the places where he preached, with dates and scripture citation, Letters Written to the American Home Missionary Society from 13 March 1833 to 3 Sept 1838, and a list of funeral sermons he delivered, with the deceased’s name, date and scripture citation.

    Ann H. Emory has supplied Frederick Emory: Promise Unfulfilled. Frederick Emory was born in 1828 in Maryland, served in the Coast Guard, traveled to California during the gold rush, moving to Kansas during the contentious years in the last 1850s before joining the Confederate cause. He lived a quiet live there, dying at the Confederate Home in Missouri. This is a fascinating life told my an interested descendant.

    Harvey Edison Hicks was born Dec. 27, 1879, Tahlequah (Reservation), Oklahoma, son of Homer Hicks and Sylvia Ann Bogle though his father's family were pioneer settlers of Clay County, Indiana. He became an attorney in Brazil, Clay County, and served in several capacities in public service. We are pleased to have Harvey Edison Hicks’ Journal for 1932, in which he kept notes on his various legal activities for the year.

    “Holmes-Porter & Collateral Lineages” is a newsletter published by Paul D. Holmes, who kindly provided us permission to post volumes 1 through 4 (2013-2016). Each issue provides current family events, such as births and marriages, memories, Bible transcriptions, biographies, photos and more. We thank Mr. Holmes for his contribution, which should serve as an inspiration to anyone to create a family publication.
    Holmes

    Connie Jean Ramsey and Dennis McClurg have provided several publications for the Free Family Resources: Jones and Related Families, Volume IV: Jones Ancestors;
    Leland and Related Families, Volume II: Leland Ancestors; and  Ramsey and Related Families, Volume I: Ramsey Ancestors. All three detail the various lines of ancestors of Carol Jean Ramsey. Each volume provides an introduction and charts to explain how the fit together, and all are keyword searchable.

    Jim Reinhart provided us with his work Schindler: Meine Reise Fur Meine Kinder: Stefan und Anna Maria Schindler, which details the family from Germany to Indiana, and includes Civil War pension documents, photos, various records and details of various family connections.

    Finally, Family and Ancestors of Anna Adeline Johnson Wells details the family of “Addie’, who lived from 1865 to 1953, with details of her descendants. It, also, is keyword searchable. 

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New & Updated Records for Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana

    Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016

    We have added great information to our free Allen County, Indiana Resources page!

    For North Side High School, we have Class of 1956 Reunion Booklets for 2011 (55th Reunion) and 2016 (60th Reunion), Class of 1970 Reunion Booklets for 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 200, 2005, 2010 and 2015, as well as Key Club Booklets for 1967-1968, 1968-1969 and 1969-1970.

    We have added 12339 records to the Allen County Marriage Index, bringing the total number to 79715 records, and we’ve added 187,79 records to the Fort Wayne and Allen County Area Obituary Index, bringing the total to 722,375 obituaries.

    There is also an 1812 era map of Fort Wayne came from the cartographic collection of David Rumsey, which shows the three rivers, the Portage, the Wabash Trail, Wayne Trace and more early locations of interest to local historians.

    Log Cabins in Allen County, Indiana was a collection of 31 photographs that, at some point in the past, had been collected into a small scrapbook. No photographer is identified, nor is any information of when they were collected included, but each photo was loosely identified as to location, such as “Log Smoke House; Auburn Road,” “Detail of House Built by Eugene Corneille in 1861,” or “First Frame House Built In St. Vincent Settlement; Auburn Road,” but the images preserved and shared here are amazing.
    Log Cabin

    Finally, sever more Abstracts of title have been added: Fleck’s Subdivision in LaGro Reserve, Lot 8; Forest Park, Block 15, Lot 10; and Windsor Woods, Section II, Lot 80. As usual, these abstracts provide vital information, not only about the single piece of property described, but each will also reflect information concerning property in the area.

    Take time to browse through these great additions!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Holiday Closings

    Saturday, Dec 17, 2016

    by Delia

    We at The Genealogy Center love when you come to visit. We enjoy the research challenges you have and helping to solve them. But, we have to admit, we also love spending holiday time with family and friends. This year, since the holidays are on the weekends, our closings are a bit longer than usual, and we hope you understand.

    Like all Allen County Public Library locations, The Genealogy Center will be closed Friday, December 23rd through Monday December 26th. We will be open our regular hours before then, and will reopen on Tuesday, December 27th at 9 a.m.

    Also like all ACPL locations, we will close on Saturday, December 31st at 5 p.m., and will remain closed Sunday and Monday, January 1st and 2nd. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd, at 9 a.m., ready to help you address all of your research issues!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations - January 2017

    Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016

    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, from 2PM to 4PM on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 and Monday January 23, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and 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!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Chuch and School Material

    Sunday, Dec 04, 2016

    We have some great church and school records added recently to our Free Databases, starting with ten volumes of AME Women’s Missionary Society Materials: Illinois Conference Branch books for 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007; and Michigan Annual Conference 1999, Devotional Service 1999, Flint Area Report 1999, West Detroit Area Report 1999, Societies Report 1999, and the Big MAK Implementation Manual. All are name and keyword searchable and these are a good reminder that tomorrow’s history is now!

    From Bartholomew County, Indiana, we have Sharon Baptist Church Records. There are 17 scanned volumes consisting of 1782 pages of Meeting Minutes 1874-1927, Sunday School records to 1934 and the B.Y.P.U 1922-1923. While these records are not searchable, chronological browsing is easy and, if u for those with ancestors in the county, could be very rewarding.

    We have the Official Membership Record of Mount Pleasant Methodist Church in Kosciusko County, Indiana, contains children’s baptisms, records of members, and a list of inactive members. These records are browseable.

    There are also 18 volumes of Lima Presbyterian Church records from Howe, LaGrange County, Indiana, which includes Benevolent Fund Records, Deacons’ Records, Sessions Minutes and more, covering various years between 1833 and 1960. Again, not searchable, but the volumes’ titles will make browsing easier.

    The records for Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, which covers the 1950s to 1998, are not searchable either, but once can browse through rolls of members, communions, baptisms, confirmations, marriages and funerals by date.

    And, finally, for church records, we have the St. Joseph Catholic Church Directory of Dubois County, Indiana, which includes a history of the parish, photos of the current staff and committees, and a family photograph directory. It is searchable by keyword or name.

    The Manchester College (Wabash County, Indiana) Alumni Directory, 1947 is another nice addition. It contains an alumni directory, a list of four year graduates from Manchester College from 1900 to 1945, and a list of alumni from Mount Morris College, of Mount Morris, Ogle County, Illinois, which merges with Manchester College in 1932.

    Like the Manchester College Alumni Directory, the Topeka (Kansas) High School Sunflower, 1946 is name and keyword searchable. The Sunflower is typical of yearbooks of the era, with lots of photos and advertisements for local businesses. The program for the Spring Concert is an added feature.

    Finally, many items have been added to the Deborah Edison School Collection including Norwoodville School, Polk County, Iowa; Prairie High School, Lucas County, Iowa; Edwards School from Ogemaw County, Michigan; Maple Grove School and Ogilvie School from Osceola County, Michigan; School District 34, Traverse County, Minnesota; Guilford Union School, Chenango County, New York; Harpersfield School, Delaware County, New York; Wileytown School, Hartwick School, School Districts 7 and 12, and the State Normal School from Otsego County, New York; Raymond School, Niagara County, New York; Pardus School, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania; Plank Road School, Mercer County, Pennsylvania; Schortz School, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania; and Pumpkin Hill School, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Browse to view these school souvenirs under Other States Resources and use the search function at each to look for specific names.

    Thanks to everyone who gathers these items and allows us to scan them for all to use!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Family History Materials!

    Thursday, Dec 01, 2016

    We’ve added a number of new Family Resources to our Free Databases recently that you might find useful.

    Bredemeyer family history--Chronik und Genealogie der Familie und Sippe Bredemeyer (Chronicle and Genealogy of the Family and Clan Bredemeyer) was written by Karl Bredemeyer in 1966 and contains maps, coats of arms and photographs. It is in German but is keyword or name searchable.

    The Frederic Hyde fan chart is a large chart that has been in our collection for many years, but has now been scanned and posted for all to see. It is faded and is not indexed, so making it available to view is the best way for others to use it.

    Spencer Coffey has allowed us to post three of his genealogies: The Kilgore Family of Mount Sherman & Low Gap, Arkansas, Amos Burrel Lackey [1818-1896] of Low Gap, Arkansas, and The Spencers of Mount Sherman, Arkansas and its supplement, An Ancestral Supplement to the Spencers of Mount Sherman, Arkansas. These of these families were in Newton County, Arkansas and includes information on the Kilgore, Stevenson and Culpeper families. All of these can also be searched by name of keyword.

    Carl Mumford has provided permission for us to post his Mumford's of the New World: James Mumford, Sr. and John Mumford, Sr., which he compiled in 2016, and we were given permission to post Eugene Perry’s Grogan--A Record of the Grogan Family. Margaret McCarthy has also supplied McCarthy--McCarthy Family History, and Ralph Knee provided Knees in the Civil War, which includes biographical information on the descendants of Philip or George Knee, brothers who arrived from Prussia about 1763. All of these, also, are name and keyword searchable.

    We also have images and transcriptions of the William A. Holladay-Winona Pearl Litton and the James Montgomery-Esther Wood Family Bibles, as well as Nellie Doyle Prack’s My Life as I Remember It, containing the early reminiscences and activities in Chicago. 

    Brothers Ernst August Oehrling and Carl Heinrich Constantine Oehrling immigrated from Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany to Wisconsin, United States, in the 1840s. As the families grew and separated, letters were exchanged to maintain the familial connection. We are happy to be able to post these letters, as well as family journals, photographs, greeting cards and pedigree charts. While these records are not searchable, the material has been divided into sections to make browsing a breeze.

    We also have three documents from the Valentine family of Allen County, Indiana, including the marriage records for James Valentine and Janet (Nellie) Parks, and their daughter Elizabeth to Ralph Fast, as well as a sketch of the John Valentine homestead.

    Margo Butner has allowed us permission to post her Butner Welty Family file in Next Generation presentation format. Other surnames included are Camp, Clare, Gray, Jolliffe, Lindsay, Lyon, Stewart and Ward. Using the Next Generation features, one can search not only by name but by birth, christening, death and burial date and place.

    We also have updates to several previously posted collections, including an Addendum to “Kaess Ochiltree Swartz Family History” and Kaess/Dawson Family History Addendum, both from Brian Paul Kaess,

    Take a few minutes to browse these new collections to see what you might find!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations - December 2016

    Monday, Nov 28, 2016

    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, from 2PM to 4PM on Wednesday December 7, 2016 and Monday December 19, 2016. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and 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!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Thankful

    Thursday, Nov 24, 2016

    by Delia

    Thanksgiving in America is devoted to giving thanks for all that we, personally and as a country, have. Through the years, we have all had many things for which to be thankful, from soldiers returning from war, financial difficulties averted or survived, to medical crises cured or endured. We are thankful for family, friends and home. But as a genealogist of many years (whose mother did family history research even earlier), there are things for which I am thankful, and I hope you will go to our Facebook page and express your thanks for genealogical blessings, too.

    Some of mine are:
    1. Records. When Mother was doing research in the 1940s and 1950s, not many records had been published. She could only go to court houses and go through records. Thank you to everyone who had gather records for publication.

    2. Indexes. Even when I started to do research in the 1970s, many older county histories were not indexed, and most of the 1860 and 1870 federal census had not been indexed. Thank you to everyone who has every worked on an index, either for something small, or for a large indexing project.

    3. Computers and the Internet. What a leap forward! Indexes available online! Optical character recognition (OCR)! Scanners to enable records to be examined! States, counties and private groups placing information online to be searched from home! Or from my phone! And speaking of which…

    4. Smart phones. Storage of information, ease of searching and free calls to court houses, libraries and long lost relatives!

    5. People. Friends and contacts that I’ve made within the genealogical community and all of the wonderful people that come to visit The Genealogy Center, either in person or virtually.

    6. USBs. So that I can save images of documents or copies onto a small device that I can carry with me.

    7. And, finally, that, after 33 years in the department, photocopies are still just ten cents! Plus the prints are on archival quality paper, so no nasty surprises in a few years!

    So, now it’s your turn. Let us know on Facebook what you are thankful for!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Thanksgiving

    Monday, Nov 21, 2016

         Thanksgiving Day is often considered the most “genealogical” of holidays. Generations of family members gather together, remembering stories and enjoying treasured food traditions. Those of us with Pilgrim ancestors often like to remember their connections to Plymouth Colony on this day. Indeed, Thanksgiving remained a most New England holiday well into the mid-nineteenth century, and it only took hold slowly and cautiously elsewhere in the United States.
         The first Thanksgiving was observed in Indiana on December 7, 1837, when Governor Noah Noble issued a proclamation for its observance. Fort Wayne was still a frontier town, and while some of its New England settlers remembered the way the holiday was observed in their former home, they found the experience to be very different here.
         A glimpse of the difference can be seen in the letters of Hugh McCulloch, a native of Maine who headed the Fort Wayne Branch of the Indiana State Bank, and his fiancée, Susan Man. The two had gotten engaged earlier that year, and Susan, a school teacher, had returned to her home at Plattsburgh, New York, to make plans for their wedding and to visit with her family. That year, Susan enjoyed a huge gathering with extended relatives, while Hugh attended a church service without mentioning any special meal or celebration. Susan wrote of her feast, “Genl. Moore, the aged Father & Uncle sat at the head of the table, and between 40 & 50 relatives were seated at the same table.” (Susan Man to Hugh McCulloch, 2 December 1837, McCulloch Papers, Lilly Library, Indiana University). She made no mention of the menu, but she added, “After we had dined, his grandchildren gathered around his chair and while one played on the accordeon [sic], the other sang Thanksgiving hymns & anthems.” 
        Hugh, in his reply weeks later, appreciated the spirit of Susan’s celebration. “There is something in that day observed as it is in New England & some parts of N. York, which excites in my mind peculiar interest. The uniting of families & friends who have long been separated, the good feeling & liberality which seems to fill every breast have ever made me regard it as the best day of the year.” (Hugh McCulloch to Susan Man, 31 December 1837). Not until 1863 did Indiana join other northern states in a coordinated observance of the holiday, and it was only after the Civil War that families regularly feasted on that day.
         May your Thanksgiving be a genealogical one. 

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Our Military Heritage

    Sunday, Nov 13, 2016

    We have more additions to Our Military Heritage!

    For the Civil War, we have the service records for Isaac Allyn and Laban Gurley, both of Company F, 25th Indiana Infantry, the pension record of John Holbert, Company D, 2nd Tennessee Infantry (U.S.), who died at Flat Lick, Kentucky in March of 1862 which includes the Widow’s pension for his mother, Elizabeth, and the letters of William B. Parker, 2nd Michigan, May 1864 through April 1965. Most are to his wife, Polly, whom he left behind in Clinton County, Michigan. Also included at the letters to Polly from her brother, Alvin B. Wonsey, of the 27th Michigan.

    We also have the World War I letters of William Tursman of Chicago to June Beck in Goshen, Indiana.

    The Good Ol’ Days: Remember Our Time in Pearl Harbor and Between the Tours of Duty, by Frank John "Jack" Zwolinski, Jr. provides biographical information on his parents Frank, Sr., and Agnes Zubris Zwolinski, the family and Frank senior’s memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Battle History 473rd United States Infantry provides information on that unit’s experiences in Italy in 1945. It begins with a list of the unit’s men killed in action, along with their home addresses. Following are six chapters detailing the events of the campaign, a list of awards to the unit, messages from various commanding officers, and maps of the theater of operations.

    And we have the Fort Sam Houston, Texas Telephone Directory, December 1944. It includes phone numbers for the various units on the base, and the residents with their ranks, units, address and phone numbers.

    We thank all those who donated the materials so that we can bring them to you!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The Emergence of Lincoln: Because of or In Spite of his Hoosier Roots? A Lincoln Symposium

    Thursday, Nov 10, 2016

    In celebration of the bicentennial of Indiana statehood and the arrival of the Lincoln family in Indiana, historian William Bartelt, Dr. Brian Dirck, and Dr. Nicole Etcheson will present a program on "The Emergence of Lincoln: Because of or In Spite of his Hoosier Roots?"  Each speaker will briefly explore an aspect of Lincoln's Indiana experience:

    • William Bartelt, Lincoln historian, will speak on "The Impact of the Ohio River on Lincoln's Experience."
    • Dr. Brian Dirck, Anderson University, will present "Lincoln's Indiana Experience of Death and Mourning."
    • Dr. Nicole Etcheson, Ball State University, will discuss "Politics as a Pivot for Lincoln's Relationship with Indiana."

    The presentations will be followed by speakers' responses and questions from the audience.

    The Symposium will be held on Thursday, November 17, at 7:00 p.m., in Meeting Room A of the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne.  The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana and is free and open to the public.

    Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 7:00 pm

    Allen County Public Library, Main Library, Meeting Room A

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Indiana and Allen County Free Databases Additions

    Monday, Nov 07, 2016

    We have a few more additions to our Free Databases to share!

    Pioneer Families and Descendants of Tobin Township in Perry County, Indiana contains a list of the Heads of Households form the 1820 and 1830 censuses, then information on families in alphabetical order. Some of this material is searchable by name or keyword, but as many of the pages are handwritten, they are not included in the search. Browse for more information.

    We have the Lot 16 Abstract in the Deer Trail Addition in Marshall County, Indiana. The property was originally owned by William C. VanHorn in 1843, and the abstract lists the owners to Clarence and Marilyn Gay who purchased it from Francis and Delores Bergeron. As usual, the abstract is a fascinating read.

    We have three other Abstracts of Title, these from Allen County for (1) Lot 84 of Eliza Hanna’s Addition, (2) Lot 32 of Johnson’s Addition, and (3) for Range 11E Township 31N Section. These, and many more abstracts, are linked on the following website.

    A commencement booklet for Fort Wayne’s Central Grammar School for 1894 is now available. The booklet lists and contains photographs of the graduates and the teachers.

    And, finally, we have a 1935 Map of the Fort Wayne Business District. The map covers the area of the city bordered by Clinton, Lewis, Harrison and Main Streets, and notes the location of each business.

    Have fun searching and browsing these collections!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations - November 2016

    Friday, Nov 04, 2016

    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, from 2PM to 4PM on Thursday November 10, 2016 and Tuesday November 29, 2016. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and 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!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • A Cemetery Visit with the Voice of Reason

    Monday, Oct 31, 2016

    by Kay

    I often visit cemeteries. There are so many interesting things to discover; so much history. Cemeteries can be peaceful, sad, beautiful, and sometimes – spooky, depending on the vivid imagination of the person walking through the cemetery.
     
    Time for a cautionary tale. In tracking down my relatives, I have often visited graveyards/cemeteries – alone. I will confess that there have been times while planting flowers I have even talked myself into a “they’re coming to get you, Barbara” moment.  But the most “standing-hair-on-the-back-of-my-neck” moment came a few years ago while planting flowers on my great-grandfather’s grave. And, this time I was not alone. Yes, I managed to drag my daughter along with me. She is what I lovingly call a “genealogy helper-whiner.” For those of you who do genealogy or research I know you are familiar with this type of helper. They’ll go along with you, but they’ll be bored or tired or complain or whine or sleep. But sometimes they are also the Voice of Reason.
     
    One of the cemeteries I visit has a plethora of great-great-great-great-great relatives. Here’s the problem with this particular cemetery. It’s very old and located down a winding country road. It’s in a very isolated area along a river bank. Do you know what the ground is like along a river bank? It’s soft. So when one is walking in this isolated cemetery one feels as if one is walking on a sponge. Nothing creepier than walking in a cemetery where the ground has a bit of give to it.
    Kay's blog Grave
     
    Anyway, one day it was time to plant more bulbs, so I pushed my “I’m only going because I love you” daughter into the car and we were off on a road-trip to my favorite soft-ground spooky cemetery, trowels in hand.
     
    We arrived at the cemetery, my daughter’s first comment, “Ewwww, this ground is soft. Ewww.”
     
    That year I planned on planting Irises at my great-grandfather’s grave. Fighting off the devil-mosquitoes we began to dig. Clank! “Oh dear, what was that?” We struck something.
     
    Me: “I hope it wasn’t a coffin.”
    Me: “It’s not a coffin, they’re not that close to the top, it’s probably just a stone.”
     
    More digging, this time with a little bit more trepidation. Something large and white started to appear.
     
    Me: “OMG, it’s a skull, my great-grandfather’s skull!”
    Voice of reason: “It’s not a skull. Probably just some cement they used for foundation.”
    Me: “Nah, that’s not the same texture or color. Maybe it’s a buried treasure.”
    Voice of reason: “Why would one of your poor relatives bury a treasure in a graveyard?”
    Me: “Who knows…I’ve heard some interesting family stories. Let’s keep digging. Hopefully the graveyard police won’t show up.”
    Voice of reason: “I don’t think there is such a thing as graveyard police.”
     
    Flowers momentarily forgotten, we continued to dig. The object got bigger and bigger until it was fully exposed. Guess what it was. Another tombstone. It was in fact the original tombstone of my great-grandfather. Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. I don’t know if every cemetery is like this one, but evidently the old stones are not thrown away if there is a replacement stone. But, there was also a bonus for this particular one – the dates on the original stone didn’t match the dates on the replacement. I guess research never ends – one step forward, one step back.
     
    What did I gain from this experience? Actually, I gained a lot. I had a wonderful bonding experience with my voice-of-reason daughter and I learned that sometimes buried treasures are better than jewels. I also had a brainstorm that day. You know, there are a lot of tombstones in this particular cemetery which have large spaces between them. Could there be more buried tombstones? Could I actually find my missing great-great-great-grandmother? Just so you know, I have been talking to the cemetery's caretaker. I feel another project coming on....


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • DNA Interest Group Meeting - Thursday, November 3, 2016

    Friday, Oct 28, 2016

    Have you done a DNA test for genealogical purposes? Do you completely understand the results you received? Do you need advice in interpreting your results? Are you interested and wonder what the best test is for you? Come to the DNA Interest Group Meeting to share and learn from each other!

    To register for this free event, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info

    6:30P - 7:30P

    Discovery Center

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Share Your Cubs Memories!

    Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016

    Finally! The Cubs are in the World Series! And we are collecting YOUR tales of excitement, wonder, frustration and victory. Stories could include your first game at Wrigley Field, the time Grandpa caught that foul ball, when you met Ernie Banks, seeing Ron Santo clicking his heels together, listening to Harry Caray’s play-by-play of the game, or the game you attended that was called on account of rain. Your family’s moments and memories, including audio or video memories, are just as special. Please send your stories, photos and scans of souvenirs to:
    Genealogy@ACPL.Info
    Instagram @GenealogyCenter
    www.facebook.com/GenealogyCenter
    cubs 


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Family History Month - The End

    Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016

     So we have a few more events until Family History Month 2016 is, well, history.

    On Saturday October 29, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., Cynthia Theusch will discuss “Locating the Records of Your Michigan Ancestors,” in the Discover Center. This class will explain where to find birth, marriage, death, probate, and land records. Discover what records are available here in The Genealogy Center and on the Internet. Discover various facilities that house records and documents to add to your research.

    “The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692: History and Sources” is John Beatty’s topic for Sunday October 30, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. in the Discovery Center. The trials and executions of the men and women charged with witchcraft at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 has become an iconic event in American history. Many genealogists today are descendants of one of these unfortunates or one or more of their accusers. This talk provides an overview of the event and discusses some of the historical and genealogical sources for researching this event.

    And finally, for Halloween on Monday October 31, 2016, at 2:30 p.m., also in the Discovery Ccenter, Allison Duprey Singleton will provide some highlight of “Morbid Genealogy.” It is the season for ghosts, vampires, and witches. While these are not typically part of the genealogical world, we can still discuss the macabre and morbid aspects of genealogy. Come and take part in an entertaining discussion on
    morbid genealogy with a Halloween flair.

    For more information, see the brochure. Register for any (or all) of these events by calling 260-421-1225 or send an email to Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Remember that for each program you attend in October, and each time you interact with us on Facebook, you will be entered into a drawing for door prizes!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Midnight Madness Extended Research Hours

    Monday, Oct 24, 2016

    Has it ever occurred to you that you could get so much research accomplished if only you didn’t have to leave The Genealogy Center when it closes? Ever wondered what your friendly genealogy librarians are like as the hour approaches midnight? Have you fantasized about finding your ancestors’ ghosts in the stacks as the witching hour approaches? Your opportunity arrives on Friday, October 28, 2016, as The Genealogy Center stays open for Midnight Madness – extended research hours from 6:00 PM to Midnight! Stay to research and grab one of the three Mini-Programs (30 minutes each of quick tips), in the Discovery Center:

    6:30 p.m., Digital Organization. Melissa Tennant will tell you how to create a personal digital collection, where your genealogical records and files can be readily organized, updated, and available at your fingertips.

    7:30 p.m., Fabulous Free Websites.  Delia Bourne will introduce you to ten fabulous free websites to use in your research. Free is great, right?

    8:30 p.m., Diggin’ DPLA: Some Tips on Accessing this Growing Resource. Curt Witcher will show you some tips for successfully using this growing database of links to important historical material.

    Be in The Genealogy Center by 6 p.m. on Friday, October 28th, and remember not to park in the library garage, which closes at 6 p.m.

    For more information, see the brochure. Register for any (or all) of these events by calling 260-421-1225 or send an email to Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Remember that for each program you attend in October, and each time you interact with us on Facebook, you will be entered into a drawing for door prizes!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center