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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Sunny Morton, an author and speaker on genealogy, takes time Thursday to do some research at the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center downtown.

Friday, August 24, 2018 1:00 am

Genealogy conference home in city

Exhibition hall at national event provides all things family history

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The exhibition hall at the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2018 conference is a treasure trove of material for genealogists and history buffs alike. 

Dozens of tables lined the Grand Wayne Center convention hall Thursday afternoon for more than 700 attendees offering books on genealogy, maps, jewelry and other items. Presentation areas for sites such as Ancestry, Celebrate DNA, Genealogy Gems and Family Search spread throughout the crowd like so many branches on a family tree. 

On Thursday morning, local TV personalities compared DNA results and research from the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and elsewhere in the convention center, experts led member workshops on various topics, including how to use Google to trace an ancestor, German historical geography and Indiana genealogy.

“The Federation of Genealogical Societies has been in existence since the 1970s, and our purpose is to support local genealogical societies across the country and help them reach out to their neighbors and help them do genealogy,” said Faye Stallings, the organization's treasurer. “Allen County has a reputation for having one of the best genealogy libraries in the country.” 

Stallings said the organization likes to hold its conference in areas where there is interest in genealogy. 

“We come to Allen County on a regular basis because of the library,” Stalling said, noting that other popular locations are the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. “A lot of organizations might pick places because of the sights, but we pick places based on the richness of the genealogy resources.” 

The exhibit hall is open to the public and runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.