I am not at work!!! Please let me savor that first glorious part of my day!

I am also now in Fort Wayne, Indiana and ready for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2013 Conference. I came in to town this morning barely in time for a Volunteer Orientation, got checked in early, and spent the afternoon chasing down leads on my Great-Aunt’s lines at ACPL’s Genealogy Center.

I happily hit on a few great compiled genealogies (with citations and annotations) on both the Baggett and Bone families who settled in Bond Co., Illinois. I also had a few possible hits on her Snow line, another Bond Co, Illinois family. The Genealogy Center was hopping this afternoon but they’re certainly prepared with extra work tables, volunteers helping direct traffic, and, I’m fairly certain, copy machine repair on speed dial… the machines were getting a workout.

It’s been such a bizarre month that I never had time to even mention that I’d be here, and on a couple of occasions I had the passing thought that I’d have to cancel… but I am so glad I made the trip! A conference like this is enlightening, entertaining, and a great chance to meet up with fellow researchers.

I am looking forward to everything! Volunteering, attending sessions, and sneaking over to the Genealogy Center whenever I have time.

Happy hunting!

Jess

I finally managed to scrounge time and get down to the Allen County Public Library for a couple of days of research last week and I again loaded up my intrepid traveling companions—my mother and my Gran—and headed off for a couple of days in Fort Wayne, IN. This time the non-genie portion of our party had mixed results with their plans but I think we all came out successful.

This time we opted to try a B&B for the novelty value. We stayed at the LaSalle Bed & Breakfast on West Washington (all of a block and a half from the library). It is a lovely historic building now divided into rooms and suites, and run by Rose-Aimée and Clark Butler and their family. We stayed in the beautiful Africa Suite, slept very comfortably, and enjoyed a lovely, filling breakfast with Rose-Aimée. I’d highly recommend it and encourage people to look into their sister site the Sion Bass House Spa.

As for other interesting finds for Non-Genies or when you need down time from the library, this turned into a bit of a foodie trip for Mom and Gran. We had breakfast the first day at Cindy’s Diner on South Harrison Street a 15-seat 50’s diner with fabulous food and a fun family dynamic. They couldn’t pass up a return to trip to DeBrand Fine Chocolates so we had an assortment of fine chocolates. But they also bought a lovely assortment of goods from Pembroke Bakery & Café located on Main St. inside the Auer Center for Arts and Culture. Their baked goods are delicious and all vegan and they have a gluten free selection as well. I will personally vouch for their plain bagels and chocolate chip cookies. And as a group we had dinner at Mad Anthony Brewing Company.  We had a lovely meal and split a flight of beer—my favorite was easily their Amber Lager.

Unfortunately, the Peony Tea House and, more importantly to Mom and Gran, Pfeiffer House & Wayne Street Soda Shop, have both closed though they still show up in the Visitor’s Bureau’s Restaurant listings. It sound like it was a bit disappointing but again I think the trip was still successful for all.

For more information on things to do in Fort Wayne, Indiana check out VisitFortWayne.

Cheers,

Jess

My trip to Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana with members of Western Michigan Genealogical Society has totally snuck up on me. So, I’m taking time out for the next two evenings to prep. For me, that means making a long list of titles and call numbers to have for that first day—generally focusing on two or three branches of the family.

Last trip was spent mostly on the Massy family and while I still want to assemble a list of materials related to them, I am very interested in spending time on some of my other lines. For example, after that interesting session at FGS2011 on Wisconsin research, I’d like to take some time on my Cunningham and Byrne family (my Great Grandpa Robert Shea’s maternal grandparents)—with the eventual plan to add a roadtrip there. And I’ve also been trying to spend a bit of time on the Grove family of Will Co, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania—the line of my 3rd great grandmother who married Smith Lapham’s grandson, Eugene Smith Baker. Then there’s the Morningstars, Helsels, Trotters, Rogers… Did I mention I wanted to limit it to a two or three branches?

So, evidently I’m going in a little unfocused. But I will have options and I will be prepared to start in a section as soon as we arrive, versus spending the first hour working on the catalog. That said, I may totally change my mind on the bus ride to Fort Wayne and go off in a totally different direction—I am one of those contrary women.

Regardless, more than anything, I’m looking forward to relatively uninterrupted time to work on genealogy.

I’ll let you know what I find!

Jess

My most recent trip was my first solo trip to Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’ve been many times but always with a bus trip of friends from Western Michigan Genealogical Society. But this time I wanted to do an overnight trip down and my mother and grandmother opted to ride along. My days were spent in the library researching Gran’s not so Irish line (more later) but I worried about my traveling companions’ enjoyment of the trip.

But I need not have worried. Mom is an ace at research herself as well as taking things a day at a time. I’m still working on the latter. She and Gran found a couple of great places to spend their time while I researched. So if you’ve got travelling companions who won’t be heading into the Genealogy Center with you or if you need some time away from the stacks here are a couple of neat sites in Fort Wayne to check out.

A waterfall at the Fort Wayne Botanical Conservatory

  1. Fort Wayne Botanical Conservatory: I did not go to this but my mother’s photos were lovely. We’re quite spoiled living so close the Fredrick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids but Mom describes this as a beautiful conservatory that was literally across the street from our hotel and she and Gran could have stayed for hours.
  2. DeBrand Fine Chocolates: DeBrand Headquarters & Kitchens at 10105 Auburn Park Drive offers a tour Tuesdays and Thursdays year-round. Both and Mom and Gran enjoyed this outing and I can certainly vouch for how delicious the chocolate was since both purchased boxes of chocolates to bring home and try.
  3. And we all enjoyed a lovely meal at J. K. O’Donnell’s Irish Ale House. They have a nice variety on the menu—both foods and drinks.

Other highlights included the ACPL Friends of the Library bookstore Twice Sold Tales where both browsed. I’ve learned to ignore it because the first two trips I came out with a heavier backpack than I should have.

Some other possibilities that were on my and Mom’s radar for other trips include: visiting Satek Winery (north of Ft. Wayne), Mad Anthony Brewery Tour  (a 5 minute  drive or 20 minute walk from the Library), and catching a show at the Embassy Theater (on the opposite side of the Grand Wayne Center from the Library).

It’s interesting and not always easy to balance travelling with people who aren’t planning on hanging out at the library but it can be very fun as well. For more information on things to do in Fort Wayne, Indiana check out VisitFortWayne.

Cheers,

Jess

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