Preparing for a Conference

August 17, 2010

Since our colleagues and researchers are at the FGS Conference this week, we thought we should share some ideas of how we prepare for a conference.

1. Review the program schedule ahead of time and print items from the syllabus that way you have it available to write notes.

2. Create handy “business cards” with your name, contact information, and surnames you are researching. It makes it easy to share and connect with new friends and family.

3. Read the websites and blogs for the organizations hosting the conference. Most groups want you to have a fun and productive time, so they will post information concerning local restaurants, events, research facilities, and sites to visit.

4. If setting aside time for genealogy research, create a research plan. Review research center/ courthouse/ library hours, rules, and catalog to save time.


Family Documents

August 13, 2010

What should I do with my family bible? I have my grandfather’s military papers, but am unsure if it will help anyone. I discovered letters among my family papers. Would you be interested?

The Genealogy Center is currently working on several digitization projects. If you would like to share your family documents and make them available online, consider donating or loaning your material to the Genealogy Center to digitize and make publicly accessible.

Family History Month Is Coming!

August 10, 2010

The Genealogy Center is again planning 31 days of research enjoyment and education for your genealogical gratification! As usual, we have something planned for each day, but this year, we’ve divided the month into sections highlighting different aspects of research.

  • General Week, October 1st through 9th, will include a beginning genealogy workshop, classes on land records and Genealogy Center basics, and will finish with the third annual Military Symposium.
  • Preservation Week, October 10th through 16th, will offer classes on preservation, scrapbooking, scanning, as well as a basic lecture on wiring a family history.
  • Technology Week, October 17th through 23rd, will provide information on useful websites and databases, as well the use of Adobe Elements software and creating a family website.
  • Death Week, October 24th through 31st, will highlight death records, obituaries, haunted sites in Fort Wayne, Midnight Madness Extended Research Hours on Friday, and will end with a bang with the Cemetery Seeker’s Start Sharing the News! three day conference.

And every Tuesday afternoon, Genealogy Center staff will offer 30 minute one-on-one consultations to advise you on your knottiest research problems.

For class descriptions and registration information, check our calendar, then mark yours to take part in this exciting month!

Thank You!

August 7, 2010

Who knew genealogy was so popular? Or that a genealogy collection could have so many wonderful people enjoy its services? Our Facebook page has reached its 1000th fan! We, at The Genealogy Center, would like to thank you for your continued support.

Your Story

August 5, 2010

StoryCorps has finished its month long visit to Fort Wayne. The trailer located outside the Allen County Public Library was a continuous reminder to researchers to record their personal history for future generations. The Genealogy Center held four wonderful programs in July commemorating Preserve YOUR Story. We should all continue focusing on the theme to share our stories. Some ways we can insure our lives are remembered are by maintaining journals or blogs, sending postcards documenting our travels, completing a family newsletter once a year, and organizing our photos.

August 3, 2010

Footnote, a database available at the Genealogy Center, maintains partnerships with the National Archives, Library of Congress, and other institutions, including the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, in an effort to provide unique historical documents online. Besides searching for historical and genealogical records for an ancestor on, you can also browse their varied collections of material.

One unique collection on their site is the Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where you can view a digital image of the wall and read comments and stories concerning the soldier.

The Black History Collection contains documents, photos, and pages pertaining to Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws, World Wars, and the Civil War Movement.

The Holocaust Collection carries stories, maps and facts from concentration camps, details from the Holocaust Assets Collection, and National Archives records and images. Other specialized collections currently on are the Native American Collection, Interactive Census Project, World War II Collection, and the Great Depression.

Taking it with you

July 30, 2010

As you plan your genealogical research trip, you may decide to bring your computer with you. After all, you have all of your research notes, your scanned images, and your genealogy software, not to mention the Internet capabilities for mapping the location of the courthouse, your hotel, and the next White Castle. But there may be a few things to check on before you arrive:

  • Make sure that you can bring it with you into the court house, archives or library. Some institutions have limitations on what you may bring with you. The Genealogy Center allows you to bring your computer, scanner or digital camera to record your findings and check your notes.
  • See if your destination has wifi capabilities. It’s best to know before you arrive whether or not you can access your own Ancestry account, or if you can only check the notes that you have on your hard drive. The Genealogy Center has wifi, but, because we also have an Ancestry account, if you want to access your own account while here, you need to log on to Ancestry before you arrive at the library (and leave it running) to keep your own account live.
  • Ask if there is electricity available for visitor use, or if you need to draw on your battery. The Genealogy Center has electrical outlets on all tables, but only about two-thirds are actually live. Check with a staff member to be sure the outlet you are using is actually supplying “juice.”
  • Invest in, and use, a lock for your computer. Sold most places that sell electronics, a computer lock usually consists of a combination or key lock on a plastic covered metal cable that can be looped around a table leg. We genies tend to get very involved with our research, but there are thieves everywhere who prey on our inattention.
  • Last but not least, back up your files before you hit the road. An electrical surge, a spilled drink in the car, or an overly helpful relative cleaning your computer can spell disaster.