Midwest Genealogy Center Building

The Midwest Genealogy Center opened in June 2008. The largest free-standing public genealogy library in the United States boasts 52,000 square feet of resources for family history researchers.

Using Evernote to Organize Your Genealogy

This class will introduce you to the computer/tablet/smartphone application Evernote. This app has useful features that will help you keep your genealogy research organized. You will also learn tips and advice to maximize Evernote’s versatility.

About Ancestry.com

Learn all about the genealogy tools available from Ancestry.com. From the card catalog to the Wiki, to search tools and tricks, you will come away armed for searching success.

Beginning Genealogy

This class looks at the fundamentals of beginning a genealogical research project. Organization, census information, vital records, and where to look for information will be discussed.

Genealogy Blogs

Questions Lead to Answers

Have you ever taken a close look at some of the questions the enumerator asked when taking the census? Some questions don’t seem very useful to a genealogist. (Yes, I do realize that censuses were not taken just so I could use them for genealogy.) One particular question caught my attention one day and became a way to track an elusive family. I found my ancestor on the 1855 New York State Census. Looking at the original image, I noticed writing in a column next to his mother and brother that others didn’t have.

Using Microfilm Guides to Find Genealogy Gold

Recently, I received a genealogy research request that brought me to a lesser-known part of the Midwest Genealogy Center’s extensive genealogy collection. The customer’s request was for information regarding an ancestor who had been investigated by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

Even Airplane Crashes Have a Silver Lining!

During a recent patron request, I was asked to look up the service records of an aviator who flew in World War II and was stationed on the U.S.S. Enterprise. I knew that the Midwest Genealogy Center would have many different types of materials to help with this request, and I was right.

What’s in a Surname?

Recently, while searching for the meanings of my family’s surnames, I came across some interesting information on the origin of names. I always knew some surnames were derived from occupations, like Smith, Mason, Shoemaker, Miller, Farmer, etc., but I didn’t realize so many were also derived from nicknames and geographical locations. Classifying surnames and figuring out their origins has long been an interest of historians and genealogists.

Genealogy Brick Walls - A Breakthrough!

As fellow genealogists will understand, brick walls are frustrating. You know the information you’re searching for is out there - but where?! Recently, I was able to burst through a brick wall that had been blocking research on my great-great-grandfather, Frederick Sanderson.

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