Sunday, January 13, 2013


esterday, January 12, I attended the joint meeting of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research ( and the Oakland County Genealogical Society ( held at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

John Beatty, a genealogy librarian at The Genealogy Center in Ft. Wayne, Indiana since 1984 (, spoke about the “Genealogical Resources at the Allen County Public Library.”  I was especially interested in his discussion about how the genealogy library got started and how it continues to grow daily. Library Director Fred J. Reynolds, who was not especially interested in genealogy, nonetheless saw its value and pioneered its expansion. For a brief discussion of the library’s history, see

Mr. Beatty’s speech was flawless and informative.  I am anxious to visit the library again and explore its numerous resources, such as:
  • Family histories
  • Census Records
  • City Directories
  • Passenger Lists
  • Military records
  • Native American records
  • African American records
  • Records from Canada, the British Isles, Germany and more
In addition to the microfilm and book holdings, there are numerous databases that you can use for free on site.  For a list of these, check out Because I have hundreds of British ancestors, I would like to visit (

For more details on the Ft. Wayne Library holdings, visit:

If you are lucky enough to live close to the library, there are frequent classes and events. For example, on March 4 there is a presentation entitled “Gathering & Writing the Stories of Your Life -- Beginning Steps.”

John Beatty emphasized that, in addition to the resources available at the Allen County library, there are many items you can explore from the comfort of your home.  See:

Before the lecture, people mingled, ate cookies and had the opportunity to join the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research and/or the Oakland County Genealogical Society. I joined both.

The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research is sponsoring a bus trip to Ft. Wayne on Saturday, February 9, 2013. See:

I visited the Allen County Library last year—it’s just a 3 hour drive from Detroit. I’m still working my way through the piles of genealogical discoveries I accumulated from that trip.

If you plan to visit the Allen County Public Library, be sure to plan ahead so you can maximize your time there. Here is an orientation video:

The Allen County Library has a blog: Sign up. You’ll be glad you did.


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1100 Pictorial Symbols, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

1 comment:

  1. Karin, Thank you for your kind words about the DSGR - OCGS session at Christ Church Cranbrook. This is an annual event in January in preparation for the DSGR Bus Trip to the Allen County Public Library (second largest genealogical library in the U.S.) in February. This year marks our 26th trip down to Fort Wayne. We are looking forward to a very productive visit for all of our passengers.