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15 August 2015

Find Your Family at the Allen County Public Library

by Jeffrey Vaillant

The California Genealogical Society and Jeffrey Vaillant will guide you on the trip of a lifetime at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne Indiana from October 4-11, 2015.

Magic can be the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah AND magic can be the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where wonderful discoveries can be made. 

Join Jeffrey Vaillant, past President of the California Genealogical Society and current President of the Sonoma County Genealogical Society, in his biennial trip to Allen County, Indiana. This year the dates are October 4-11 and includes seven nights at the Mariott Courtyard Fort Wayne, transportation to and from the airport, breakfast each morning, one group dinner, orientation and lectures, computer assistance, and two sessions with Harold Henderson, CG. For more details and to register for this amazing trip, please visit our Eventbrite page. 

Four years ago, during his 2011 trip, a simple walk down the library stacks resulted in solving a 20 year-old mystery on the German village birth place of one of the participants.  

The Allen County Public Library’s Genealogical Center is a great place to do research.  What makes the trip there special is it is done with likeminded folks who share a passion for genealogy.  The trip brings out the best of collegial efforts. While the mornings and afternoons are spent digging into information, the noon hour allows everyone to enjoy a meal together (no host) and share their findings.

Thinking of joining the group? Here are a few comments from previous attendees:

“Jeff, you are a GPS for finding your way in the wilds of Ft. Wayne, your research on the restaurants was flawless and in short, you are a terrific group leader. “
“I actually broke through a brick wall while there, even though I ran into another brick wall behind it.”
and better yet…
“I will go again ….”

The film readers are better than any others -- not entirely easy to figure out unless shown, but with options beyond imagination. They have the standard series of film: DAR Bible records, passenger lists and a number of NARA military series, but they also hold some unusual rolls not seen in Salt Lake: small town records from New York, and will-series possibly purchased from the Ohio state library. The unusual films are not always labeled in detail, just by county, so you have to look at them to know what they contain. There are plenty of early San Francisco books -- back in the shelves where you make certain your feet are on the floor should anyone else want to access the next row over. 

The trip begins on Sunday night with Harold Henderson, CG, author of Finding Ancestors in Fort Wayne, THE guide to using the ACPL. He will get us started on the best way to tackle the information available at the Library. Harold will join us again a few days later to see how things are progressing.

Harold Henderson, CG
Midweek we hope to have dinner with Curt B. Witcher, Genealogy Center Manager.  On our last trip, he shared the insider look at the Library, which included watching the actual digitization of their newspaper collection.

Curt Witcher
If you are worried about how much time you have to research, don’t! The hours are as follows:

Main Library
9AM-9PM       Monday - Thursday
9AM-6PM       Friday & Saturday
12PM-5PM      Sunday

So join us and hum a few bars of Back Home in Indiana!

I look forward to seeing you in Indiana. You may sign up for this special trip through our Eventbrite page. 

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