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. This is a beginner level class.

Using ILL for Genealogy

Come learn how to order microfilmed newspapers from across the country, books from other libraries, and films from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. This class covers internet sources and archival research.

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

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.

You Never Know What You Might Turnbo…

Genealogists love finding clues in unexpected resources. Silas Claiborne Turnbo’s short stories are one example of such a resource. Turnbo wrote around 800 stories documenting the history of the Ozarks in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. In addition to recording the area’s history, Turnbo included a wealth of genealogical information.

Researching Your Musical Heritage

Music can be a powerful force uniting generations. Have you ever wondered if your ancestors were musical? You may have some knowledge of their talents, or maybe you have inherited some musical instruments and wondered what songs they used to play. I have happy memories of listening to my grandmother’s music and her teaching me how to play the organ. Like me, you may be wondering how to preserve that heritage and find out more information.

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