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For more information
•For information on preserving documents, call the Allen County Public Library at 421-1252 and ask for the genealogy center or visit the Allen County Genealogy Society’s website at
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Margery Graham stresses the value of preserving local historical records Sunday at the History Center.

Genealogist: ‘Don’t throw anything away’

Funeral cards. Sports tickets. Church bulletins. Playbills.

If they’re lying around collecting dust, local genealogist Margery Graham wants them – all of them.

Graham, northeast Indiana director for the Indiana Genealogical Society, talked on preserving historical documents Sunday at the History Center.

She said everything from brick roads to manhole covers have historical significance and encouraged people to contact the Allen County Public Library or the Allen County Genealogy Society if they think they might have something worth preserving.

“Don’t throw anything away,” she said. “Hold on to it. We’ll find a place for it.”

During her hour-long talk, “Preservation of Records at the Local Level: Using and Preserving Local Historical Records,” Graham gave tips on how to compile family histories.

She encouraged the use of Facebook and other online sites to store and share pictures. She plugged the vast resources for genealogical research available at the Allen County Public Library, which houses the second-largest collection of genealogical records in the country behind the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Graham became fascinated with genealogy after taking a continuing education course in 1981. Through her research, she says, she has become amazed by how fast trends change.

Bernadine Krieg, who has been gathering her family history off and on for the past 40 years, said she came to the lecture to learn more effective ways to research.

“We’re still in the finding names and dates phase,” she said. “Everything you find is like a prize. And whatever prize you find, it doesn’t go away.”