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.

Story of the Orphan Train

Sourcing memoirs, letters, and interviews, actress Pippa White brings to life the orphans who shared in this heartrending and fascinating chapter of American history.

The Beatles: Band of the Sixties

Travel back to the 1960s, and explore the music of The Beatles beginning with the band's seminal visits to Hamburg, continuing through Beatlemania, and concluding with the release of "Abbey Road."

Using HeritageQuest

Learn how to search thousands of family and local history books, the complete U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940, and much more. As of March of 2015, HeritageQuest Online features a new every-name Census index, improved navigation, and many exciting new features.

Genealogy Blogs

MGC’s Website Has Been Selected As One of 101 Best Genealogy Websites of 2016!

Every year, Family Tree Magazine chooses 101 websites that best represent current trends and innovation in genealogy research, and the Midwest Genealogy Center has been included within the category of Best Genealogy Library Websites. This is an exciting honor because Library staff have been working hard to provide access to quality genealogy content. 

Records from the past

There are two types of records when it comes to genealogy— official and unofficial. Official records are records generated by a governmental agency such as birth records from a state or military service records from the national government. These records are usually available at a cost and are subject to various privacy laws. Unofficial records include these same types of records but are easier to access through databases and other websites and can be obtained at little to no cost.

Where Do You Search When Church Records or Courthouses Burned?

Every genealogy enthusiast will encounter this at some point; you need a record, but that record cannot be found because a church or a courthouse was damaged. All is not necessarily lost! First, determine if the rumors are true that a repository has actually been destroyed and/or damaged. If it turns out that a courthouse burned during the Civil War, there are still ways to access the lost information. You can look for alternative records, partial records, or records that were later reconstructed. After a disaster, there could have been a call to re-record county records.

What does the map say?

Maps can offer rich details about an ancestor. They can show where someone lived, what that land was like, and even show how much land they owned. This last type of map is called a plat map. Plat maps were created by towns, counties, or any type of office that maintained land. These entities would map out property boundaries and land ownership. Information such as this can be a boon to genealogists; you can find out if your ancestor owned land and who owned land around them.

Passport to Happiness

Summer is here, and all I am thinking about is vacation (and, of course, genealogy). My family vacations don’t take me to exotic places, but I do get to see lots of family and do some fun things. I began to wonder if my ancestors took vacations to faraway places or if they simply took their kids to visit their grandparents like me.

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