How far back can you trace your ancestry?
Researching one’s family tree can be a daunting task, but it can be manageable (and fun!), thanks to a great public and free resource in Fort Wayne.
The Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center is the largest public genealogy collection in the country and boasts a collection of more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. Visitors to the department also have access to major online databases that can be costly to individuals. Family records can literally be at your fingertips in a matter of minutes.
Family history is the Center’s expertise. Here you will find more than 50,000 volumes of compiled genealogies that represent work already done on American and European families, and range from brief typescripts to well documented multi-volume works. Nearly 5,000 genealogies on microfiche and numerous family newsletters complement this collection.
Got the genealogy bug? Here are a few things to note before your visit. First, take advantage of the library’s online catalog to prepare for your trip. This prior research can familiarize you with the the collection and help to reduce research time in the department. Also, be sure to check the library’s hours and closures before making arrangements. Normal hours are as follows:
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
(Closed on Sundays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day)
Last, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from the librarians experienced in genealogical research. They are there to help! For groups, be sure to call ahead to (260) 421-1225 so that they can plan ahead to accommodate you.