Tag Archives: Allen County Public Library

Beginning Principles: Important Repositories

Undoubtedly, the most important repository for you is the one that holds the records you need. I gave some tips on finding records in previous blog posts such as “Accessing Archives from a Distance.” This post is simply meant to highlight some of the important onsite repositories for beginners. “But we are in the middle of a pandemic,” you say. And I say now is the perfect time to get your game plan ready. We can visit all of these repositories virtually and create a research plan, which I will discuss in more detail in a future post in this series, but you can read a previous post on the topic here.

Top repositories for beginning genealogists:

  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah – This is the largest collection of genealogical materials in the world. Much is being digitized and can be found on their website. Some is “locked” due to contractual obligations and requires you to be in the library or at a local Family History Center to access. They have a huge collection of books on site. This is an important repository simply because of the geographical reach one can get from working on site. You can work on several projects at once while at the FHL.
  • Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana – This library is possibly the second largest collection of genealogical materials in the U.S. As the creator of PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index), they hold over 8,000 titles of genealogical society journals, on site, in addition to many other genealogical books and materials from all over the world.
  • Your State historical society or genealogical society library – Find out where your state’s historical and/or genealogical society is and whether they have a repository. Their collection will most likely be tailored to the state you are working in.
  • Any large genealogical collection in a city near you – Many cities have large libraries, and many of those libraries have a genealogy or local history collection that focuses on that city and region.
  • Local public library with a genealogy/local history collection in the area of your research – When you are working in smaller, rural areas, finding a small public library will often be the treasure trove you need. Small public libraries have the granular focus of collecting and saving information for that area.

Get online and find the catalog on the website for each of these locations. Pick a research project and start searching the collection for sources that might be useful for your goals. Then create a research plan. Someday the pandemic will lift and we will be able to travel again. I hope you come away with a ginormous amount of research to do onsite because you will have filled your days with research planning.

My FGS Conference Plans

View of the downtown Fort Wayne skyline, looki...I recently decided to attend the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) annual conference this year which is being held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Allen County Public Library, August 21-24, 2013. When I made my genealogy plans for the year, I hadn’t included FGS. I just had so many trips I wanted to take and I had to limit myself. However, several things lined up that allowed me to go. First of all, I have a travel companion that will help cut down expenses (you know who you are). Second, I have never been to the Allen County Public Library. Third, I really have a hard time resisting the chance to listen to wonderful speakers such as D. Joshua Taylor, John Colletta, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Tom Jones, Mark Lowe, Curt Witcher, George Morgan, and that’s just the beginning; there are dozens of great speakers on the schedule. Forth, did I mention the Allen County Public Library?

In addition to attending lectures that are sure to increase my knowledge and skills, I am planning on doing a bit of research at the Allen County Public Library. From their 16-minute Orientation Video I learned that the Genealogy Center in the ACPL has over 340,000 printed volumes including published family histories, county histories, directories and local records from across the United States and Canada as well as holdings for the British Isles, Ireland and Western Europe. Also, they have over 550,000 pieces of microfilm and microfiche. This video also walks you through each of their five genealogy rooms. ACPL is also the creator of PERSI (the Periodical Source Index) which indexes surnames and topics from periodicals.

I had some collateral ancestors in one of my brick walls that lived in Allen County. Carrill Long married Harry Rudd in Michigan. She was born in Missouri abt. 1892 and died in Fort Wayne, 12 July 1967. She is buried in Wood County, where the rest of her family lived. However, I don’t know a thing about her husband, Harry. I will be looking into Harry Rudd and why they moved to Fort Wayne. The couple are not buried together, she died before he did and I speculate that he remarried and is buried with his second wife. But I need to find the proof!

I am also very interested in learning about what other great treasures can be found at ACPL. Much of my ancestry is based in Wood County, Ohio, which is in the northwestern part of the state. Being that close to Allen County, I hope I might find other resources I had not discovered before. Family histories, county histories, periodicals, maps, microfilms, and more!

With all of the time I will be spending at the conference and then at the library, with their extended hours for conference attendees, I wonder if I will get any sleep! But who needs sleep with all of the great genealogy happening?