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.

Beginning Census Records

Learn to search thousands of family and local history books and the complete U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940. Census records can be searched by name, place of birth, age, ethnicity, and more.

Digital Family History

Preserve and share your family story with a digital video of your history. This three-week workshop is aimed at adults who would like to tell the story of their family on video. Participants will get to keep a DVD of their final film as well as have a link to the film online.

The Night Before Christmas Carol

Join Charles Dickens in his study for a very special night. On this evening in 1843, he creates his holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol." Renowned Dickens scholar, author, playwright, and lecturer, Elliot Engel has crafted a work that allows David zum Brunnen to portray the 17 "Christmas Carol" characters.

Genealogy Blogs

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: For Storytelling!

We are fast approaching the time of year when family traditions become the focus of our holiday celebrations and family dinners. People will begin gathering from all corners of the world to converge on homes, bringing with them news, presents, recipes, and stories. No matter what your background, ethnicity or religion, we all have family traditions. Those of us without too many living family members have taken to doing an “orphan’s” Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration, getting together with friends for potluck dinners, movies, or just to catch up.

Finding Cousins

Over the summer, my daughter, who is at college, got a new roommate. Her roommate’s last name happened to be my maiden name, so of course my first question was “Did you ask her if you are related somehow?” I didn’t have to see my daughter to know she was rolling her eyes at me because apparently that is not something you would ask your new roommate.

Knocking Through That Brick Wall

As any genealogist knows, brick walls are an inevitable part of genealogy. What is a brick wall you may ask? A brick wall can be defined as a barrier to your genealogy research. These barriers take many forms; maybe it’s an ancestor who seems to disappear or 3rd great grandmother who married three separate times, or you just can’t find that ancestor’s death information. Where do you go next? Why not try city directories, court documents, or state censuses?

Who Really Was Working on the Railroad?

Now you can find out! For the first time ever, you can search the index to over 1.5 million pension records from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board for free online all through your friendly neighborhood genealogy library.

Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War was a war that changed America’s role on the international stage. Expansionism, imperialism, and the idea of Manifest Destiny helped to shape America’s military actions as the 20th century progressed. This war and its media coverage sparked Americans’ furor and patriotism and led to many men volunteering to fight. The 1st US Volunteer Cavalry was comprised of such men and headed by Col. Theodore Roosevelt. This unit was a mix of men from across the country, as well as Indian and New Mexico territories.

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