alvie's genealogy spot

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Genealogy in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Spending a few days at one of the largest genealogy conferences was a fun time. I arrived at the Hilton Inn at Fort Wayne on the first day of the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference on Tuesday, August 14, 2007. This was the beginning of four days of classes, presentations, and programs to educate the masses about genealogy. The other focus was the 2nd largest genealogy library in the United States, the Allen County Public Library. This library has just undergone a major remodelling and facelift. Added to the library was a large quantity of electronic access by offering Wi-Fi throughout the building. I made two visits to the library. One was to see how large the collection of family histories really was and next to present a program about the religious order known as "Primitive Baptists". It was a pleasure to see a large group gather for this program.

The highlight of the entire program was a banquet on Friday evening where we were treated to a program by one of the foremost DNA researchers in the genealogy field, Megan Smolenyak. Megan is on the staff of as Chief Family Historian. She presented a program about finding the "real Annie Moore". This was a young lady who was the first person to cross the gangplank entering the US when Ellis Island opened in 1892. Annie has been mis-identified for a good many years until Megan entered the "chase for the real Annie Moore". Megan presented a Power Point program showing the success and how it was accomplished. As a friend of Megan I got a few minutes to talk with her and congratulate her on her many successes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Baptist History Celebration is history

What a thrill to see so many people gathered in one place to speak on behalf of the various branches of the Baptist denomination. Add to that thrill the fact that I was able to actually handle such historical documents as letters (protected, of course) written by John Newton (Amazing Grace), Isaac Watts, and Charles Hadden Spurgeon. The First Baptist Church in Charleston has the original family bible of Oliver Hart, a former pastor of the church, as well as many other historical documents inside a glass case for viewing.
I will return later to add some of the fantastic photos which were taken by me and my daughter.