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Genealogy volunteers on hand at Carmel library

Genealogy chart

Photo credit: Herry Lawson. Unmodified image used per Creative Commons License.

Where in history do your ancestors turn up? The California gold rush? The Civil War? The Titanic? My father-in-law is always telling us about how his side of the family is six degrees of separation from Daniel Boone and something about some guy named William Field. I don’t pay much attention because I can’t keep it all straight. But talk to me about MY side of the family and I’m all ears. The problem is, I don’t really know that much about my own family’s genealogical history.

A couple of years ago, I was on a tourism junket to Fort Wayne and had a chance to spend a few hours at the Allen County library to use some of their nationally-recognized genealogy resources. It was pretty cool to pull up census images that were handwritten and that gave only the first and last name of the husband, but not the wife. But you don’t have to trek to Fort Wayne to brush up on your family history. Instead, take the short drive (or walk if you’re so lucky) to the Carmel Public Library. On Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., volunteers offer a “Genealogy Lab” in the second floor training rooms at the library (55 4th Avenue Southeast).

Conduct your searches on your own or ask the volunteers for assistance with the library’s genealogy resources, including Ancestry Library Edition, Heritage Quest, Fold 3 and American Ancestors.

If you are new to genealogy research, the library catalog lists 275 resources on the subject available for check-out. Some of those resources are available for download in e-book format.

For more information, call the Reference Desk at (317) 844-3362.

And if you find out that you’re related to some guy named William Field, let me know. We could be cousins.