This is a weblog about genealogy in and about the State of Ohio. It will feature news and views (mostly mine) about developments of interest to genealogists doing research in Ohio, no matter where they reside.--Wally Huskonen

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Allen Co. Library on the Move

Buckeye genealogy researchers who were planning a trip across the state line into Indiana to research at the Allen County Library during January will have to hold off awhile.

An article in the Dec. 27 issue of the Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette reports that the family history holdings of the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne are unavailable to researchers for about a month, beginning the weekend before Christmas. The library’s genealogy department closed Saturday Dec 23 so that employees could began moving the materials to a new library building on Tuesday, Dec 26. The new $64 million main library will open on Webster Street on Jan. 27.

The main library moved from Webster Street to temporary quarters at Berry and Clinton streets in early 2003.

Workers started moving much of the genealogy department’s 750,000-piece collection Tuesday. The microfilm machines and microfiche cabinets had already been moved. Employees took books, newsletters and other materials off the shelves and placed them on a wheeled cart, which was then taken to a truck waiting at the dock. The carts were loaded into the trucks, which were then driven to the new location and unloaded.

The Allen County Public Library’s genealogy collection is second only to the one at the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ancestry offers powerful search of passenger records

If you have been looking for an immigrant arrival, you should try the free search offered by Ancestry.com until the end of the month.

Here is what Ancestry says about its new collection:

“This is the first time such a comprehensive collection of passenger lists has been made available online, with more than 100 million names from over 100 ports. We’re celebrating this announcement by giving you FREE ACCESS to the Ancestry.com Immigration Collection through December 31st.”

Go to http://landing.ancestry.com/immigration/main/default.aspx

Here is why I am recommending you try this: My grandmother and four children arrived in 1903. I know because I have the page from NARA. I have not been able to find their listing on the Ellis Island website, and I now know why.

The transcriber entered their surname as Hunskanan, and I can understand why when I look at the handwritten entry on the passenger list page. On the Ancestry website, I was able to enter my grandmother’s first name, Ida, her year of birth, 1863, the date of arrival, 1903, the ship’s name, Aurania, and the port of entry, New York. I did not enter a surname.

There she was, the first search result, Ida Hunskanen. Clicking on the link to the image gave me the page, with her listing and her four children (my aunts and an uncle). Note that this surname transcription differs from the Ellis Island transcription.

Obviously, the search engine on Ancestry.com is more powerful and flexible than the Ellis Island search engine (remember I didn’t use a surname when trying to find my grandma), especially when you get into the “refine your search” feature, and I think it works even better than the Steve Morse search engine (www.stevemorse.org).

Good luck in your immigrant searches.