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Jump-start your genealogy Saturday at Fort Wayne Ancestry Day

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What: Fort Wayne Ancestry Day workshops on genealogy.

When: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.

Cost: $20 per person. Guests can register online under the “Events” tab at www.genealogycenter.org or at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Grand Wayne Center.

Information: Contact the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center at 421-1225.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 12:01 am

From finding ancestors who served in the Civil War to tracking health history, genealogy resources enrich and inform.

The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center and Ancestry.com will co-host a full-day conference on researching and documenting family history Saturday at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. Called Fort Wayne Ancestry Day, the event will be preceded by an evening reception Friday for those interested in meeting with Ancestry.com representatives Loretta Szucs, Anne Mitchell, Karen Ober, Juliana Smith and Kim Harrison.

With more than 6 billion historical records and 20 million family trees, Ancestry.com is the leading genealogical database company in the world and the sponsor of the NBC TV network show, “Who Do You Think You Are?”

“Ancestry.com has done a number of ‘Ancestry Days,' but they're usually in big cities,” said Curt Witcher, manager of the local main library's genealogy center.

“They were interested to see if it would work in a smaller city like Fort Wayne. I think they're intrigued by the fact that there's already 700 people registered.”

Overall, Ancestry Day is projected to bring more than 600 people to Fort Wayne.

On Saturday, the first conference session, “Insider Search Tips for Ancestry.com,” begins at 9 a.m., followed by “How to find Civil War roots at Ancestry.com” at 10:15 a.m.

During a lunch break at 11:15 a.m., guests have the opportunity to visit four or five work stations at the Grand Wayne and more than 30 workstations at the main library, where they can talk to staff members about Ancestry.com.

At 1 p.m., the conference continues with a discussion of the hidden treasures among the genealogy center's 1 million-plus item collection, including books, periodicals and microfilms. Along with Ancestry.com, the genealogy center has licenses to other major genealogical databases, such as HeritageQuestOnline.com, Origins.net, WorldVitalRecords. com and Footnote.com.

The genealogy center also has more than 2 million records freely accessible online.

At 2:15 p.m., the session “A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Project” helps guests research and record their genealogy.

The conference concludes with an “Ask the Experts” panel at 3:30 p.m.