When we first started this trip there were a few places I wanted to visit, mainly for the purpose of following up on some genealogical questions I had. But what has happened is I’ve stumbled onto the genealogical mecca tour, quite by accident.
Our first stop on this magical genealogical tour was the ultimate repository, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I had been there before, but it was fun to return with a little more experience, and some questions that needed answers.
The next stop was a couple of weeks ago when we were in Madison, WI and I spent time in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s library and got to look at the actual Draper Manuscripts. That was very cool and I came away with a few stories about ancestors I’ll have to follow up on.
Last week, while in Chicago, I spent two days at the Newberry Library, a center for mid-west and family research. I was able to begin the process of solving one of those perplexing questions, this time centered on German immigration into the Chicago area.
And then today was my second day in the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN. For those who don’t know, this is one of those places with a unique collection. They subscribe to every periodical related to local history and genealogy and create an index of those publications...the PERSI…PERiodcal Source Index. It was pretty cool to actually look in the PERSI and then go get the relevant publication and read the article. Trust me, other genealogists are envious.
A good portion of the second floor is devoted to the Genealogy Center which encompasses five different rooms of stacks, two large rooms with research tables (all with electrical outlets for computers) and a large microfilm reading room with scanners and printers (free by the way). The book copy machines are a nickel a copy.
This is my first visit to ACPL and I’m quite impressed. The staff is helpful, the facilities generous and the overall feeling is one of interesting family stories just waiting to be uncovered.
It was also sort of neat to look up the Humboldt Historian (they subscribe) and find my name.