Thursday, May 1, 2008

Willard Library - The Tri-State Treasure

Have you started thinking about summer vacation? Do you plan to include research in your trip? I have a suggestion for a trip to a great facility for genealogical research. Willard Library, located at 21 First Avenue, just off the Lloyd Expressway in Evansville, Indiana, is planning their annual Midnight Madness 16-20 June 2008. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the resident ghost, the Grey Lady. For information on Willard Library, go here:

The Special Collections Department, where all those books, CDs, microfilm, and computers are located, will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight on the above dates. In addition to extended hours for personal research, a number of workshops will be held on a variety of topics. In addition, A representative of Evansville Bindery will be available by appointment to discuss Publishing Your Family History. A special event during Midnight Madness will be the Red Bank Reunion Band performing a concert on the lawn. All workshops and the band concert are free, but it will be helpful if you make reservations to insure seating. I’ll post more information about Midnight Madness on this blog a little later. You may also call 812-425-4309 or email for additional information.

I want to mention some of the holdings of Willard Library’s Special Collections. The library may be located in Indiana, but the collection reaches far beyond the Hoosier state. The book and CD collections consist of county and state records throughout the United States plus a large selection of family histories. Many Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois county records on are also on microfilm.

Former readers of the Western Kentucky Journal may remember that several articles were published in the WKJ of western Kentucky people who married in Vanderburgh County (Evansville), Indiana. If you have been unable to find a marriage in western Kentucky, you might just find what you are looking for in the Evansville marriage records. This is especially true if you are searching for people from the Kentucky counties of Henderson, Union, Webster and Hopkins. The database of Evansville marriages can be searched here:

The Evansville newspapers are also often overlooked when searching for information on western Kentucky ancestors. Death notices and even community news are often reported in the Evansville Press or Courier.

To be most effective, you must expand your research to include resources outside western Kentucky. The place to look might be Willard Library.

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