The opportunity of  a lifetime!  That’s the only way to describe the unique synergy that will happen  August 21-24 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  All of the families that I research, except my own, ended up in the West and in doing so passed through the Midwestern states, particularly Ohio and Indiana. New England and New York ancestors  made their way West through these more northern parts while Kentucky and Tennessee were common transition states for those moving from the southern states like the Carolinas.  These states and more will be featured at FGS this year.
One of the tracks of the FGS Conference is all about researching in Midwestern and Neighboring States.  Distinguished presenters with expertise in individual states will be sharing the secrets that they have learned over the years and we can just glean the benefit of their years of familiarity with these new localities.  An important concept that I embraced from the recent NGS convention in Las Vegas was the use of locality guides.  Now, the presenters in Fort Wayne will not be able to give us everything we might need for a locality guide in their 1 hour presentation, but they will most definitely be giving us a head start!

Once we have been given this head start, we will have the opportunity to immediately apply some of the knowledge by visiting the nearby Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library .  A brief look at the brochure describing some of their holdings can be found at http://www.genealogycenter.org/pdf/AboutUsBrochure.pdf   I am particularly looking forward to taking advantage of their extensive genealogy and local history periodical collection which is the largest English language collection in the world.  They have current subscriptions to 6200 periodicals and over 10,000 titles.  This amount of material would seem daunting if it were not for the amazing work that has been done by the library staff in compiling the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).  This index is not the place to plug in your surnames as it is not an index of all words in each article, but it is ideal place to learn about the areas, occupations and life of your ancestors and maybe you will be lucky enough to have one of those 10,000 titles be a periodical dedicated to your family.
This periodical collection is something that is unique to the Allen County library.  Other genealogical libraries have some periodicals, but nothing like ACPL, so this in itself is a great reason to come to Fort Wayne in August.  I will be hard at work between now and then putting together my research plans.  Hope to see you there!