Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ancestry Library Edition

Hello! It's me again, Lisa Rienerth, Kathy' co-worker.  I just presented this topic at our Genealogy Lock-In and Kathy thought it would be a good idea to cover it on her blog...and I agreed!

How many times have you been doing online genealogy research and one of the links you were hoping would lead to your ancestor's birth record led you to Ancestry.com and you needed a subscription to view it? Frustrating...I know.

I have an alternative to the free 14 day trial! The Medina County District Library (MCDL) has access to the Ancestry Library Edition (A.L.E.) database which is only available if you are in the library, but many of the records which are on the subscription Ancestry.com are available through Ancestry Library Edition and it's FREE!

Let me show you how to get to this database if you are in one of the MCDL branches. If you are using one of our computers you will automatically open up to our home page. If you are using your laptop, you will need to put in our web address: www.mcdl.info.

On the left hand side of the page you will see a list of "Quick Links". In that list click on Online Resources & Databases. 

This will take you to another page where you will scroll down to the bottom until you see the Medina Library's databases and a tab marked "History & Genealogy". If you click on this tab it will show you a list of databases with Ancestry Library Edition listed first.  Click on this and you will be taken to Ancestry Library Edition.

The first thing you will see is the lovely historical photos and the title of what type of records you can search.

However, you can also use the tool bar at the top. If you click on the "SEARCH" tab, you will see a drop-down menu which also lists the different topics you can search.

I like using the drop-down menu because this search provides more information. For example, if you click on "Census and Voters List" you will be able to search a wider variety of census records then you would if you clicked on the photo box of the couple that says "Search Census". These census records will only be from the U.S.

If you want to search all of the records A.L.E. has all at once, then click on "SEARCH" and then "ALL CATEGORIES".

There is a  SEARCH box where you click on "Show more options" to see the advance search box.
Advance Search Box

 Scroll down the page to see how you can narrow your search by a specific country, state or area.

On the right hand side you will see a listing of the Special Collections which are available on A.L.E.

The SEARCH box is pretty self-explanatory. You put in as much or as little information you have and hit SEARCH. I like to start out with just a little information, such as, Name, birth place & gender. Some people like to start by putting as much information they know and then narrow it down if the information they are looking for doesn't come up. Either way is fine!

When you hit search a list of the records will come up that your search prompted.

On the left hand-side of the page there is a list of Search Filters which can help you narrow down your search.

When doing this search you may even bring up a Family Tree that has been put on A.L.E. by a member.

WARNING: Do not accept the information as complete truth! Look for sources and I mean sources other than another person's family tree. You can use this information as a stepping stone for further research not as a replacement for research.

Another warning is on the HOME page it states "Receive Records at Home" and "Send Your Find Home". Please know that if you do not have a subscription to Ancestry.com, you will NOT be able to view the records you email yourself from A.L.E. What happens is that it sends you a link, which when you click on it, it will only open up if you have a subscription at home.

If you are looking for a specific type of record you can click on SEARCH and then the type of records  you would like to search.


For example: if you want to only research Census Records & Voter's List, click on this and it will take you to the Search Page.


You will see a SEARCH BOX....



The layout of this page is the same for all of the source collections.

Take the time to check out all the categories and read the collection Information. There is a lot of important and interesting information. For example, if you click on U.S. Federal Census Collection under NARROW BY CATEGORY, it will list all the different types of U.S. Census records and if you click on the different ones it will give you a brief history and some search tips.

After filling out the Search Box, click on search and a list of records that best match your data input will be shown.

Scroll over View Record on the left of the person's name and it will give you a synopsis of the record and below this a source citation and more information on the source.

 Click View Record and a digital image of the record will download for you to see.

This viewer has great search aids. If you are looking at a census record and need to scroll down the record, the heading titles will follow the page so you will know what information should be in that column.

 If you scroll from left to right, a left hand scroll will follow with your ancestor's name so you don't forget which line is his/hers.

The tools on the right hand side of the viewer are as follows:

The open box will put the screen in full screen mode.

 The arrow will list  information on the person.

 The Hammer and Wrench icon is for settings, such as, Printing, rotating, inverting, etc. The

Plus and Minus will enlarge or reduce the image.

The other categories: Birth, Marriage, Death; Military and Immigration; and Travel, all have similar tool aids when viewing the record.

The tool bar at the top also shows the topic MESSAGE BOARDS. You can use this to help find others who are researching the same topic or surname. It is helpful if you have run into a brick wall with your research, because sometimes you can get in touch with who has either faced this problem or is researching the same surname.

There is also the LEARNING CENTER where you will find search aids, maps & Wikis on all types of genealogical information.

You can also download and print blank charts & forms to help organize your research.

Remember, you must be in the library to access this database and if you have any questions about searching on this site, you can always ask any one of us at the Reference Desk to help you! The information you can find on Ancestry Library Edition is worth the trip!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Time is running out to sign up!

There are still a few spots open for the Lock-In!

(Click on the Lock-In link toward the bottom of the page.)

The April Genealogy Lock-In is scheduled for the 22nd, Friday, from 6:30-10:30 p.m.

If you have never been to one of the Library's lock-ins, let me explain. The Lock-Ins are an after-regular-library-hours genealogy program where we bring in special speakers and spend the night talking about and researching genealogy. The Medina Library co-hosts them with the Medina County Genealogical Society, twice a year, once in April and once in September.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     This April, we are pleased to be offering a session on Researching your Polish Ancestry. Ben Kman of the Polish Genealogical Society of Cleveland will be our speaker. This is part of the Library's efforts to provide training on Eastern European roots, which Lisa and I do not have a lot of experience in. We know there is a need for it from the questions we get at the Reference Desk and during our sessions as the Genealogist is In! This presentation will run from 7-8 p.m. 
After a brief intermission to re-energize with some of the light refreshments provided by the Library, we resume at 9 with a second educational session.

This April, Lisa will be talking about Ancestry Library Edition (ALE), the library subscription database that is the sister site to Ancestry. com  ALE is very similar to the commercial database with some of the personalized options not available. And it is FREE from inside any of the Medina County District Library branches.

You do not have to stay the whole 4 hours.You do not have to come to the educational sessions.  You do have to be present to claim your door prize. You could spend the whole evening doing genealogy research using library computers and databases. Genealogical  society members and library staff will be on hand to help you. 

April Genealogy Lock-In

22 April - Friday
6:30-10:30 p.m.

You can sign up to attend it here: 


Door prizes, provided by the Library and the Medina County Genealogical
Society are awarded during the intermission. You must be present to win.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NEW Medina County History Book

Established author and historian, Joann King, is launching her new book this Thursday April 7th, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Medina Library.

Medina County Coming of Age 1810 – 1900

A long-awaited NEW history book on Medina County that chronicles its earliest history. Uncovering new stories and including previously ignored segments of Medina's history, i.e. women and minorities. Joann will present her research, her findings and discuss the book at the event.

Guests should come to the Quiet Reading Room on the second floor of the Medina Library, located at 210 S. Broadway Street, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm for the open house style event.

King is past president and curator of the  Medina County Historical Society. This is her third book about Medina County. She has also written:
  • “Building a Firm Foundation. Medina County Architecture 1811 – 1900”
  • “Letha E. House: From Foundling to Philanthropist”.

If you have not read her earlier books, you will enjoy her smooth easy reading style. As I have often told her, "Your history books read like fiction, they are so entertaining."

Remember: April 7 5- 8 p.m. Quiet Reading Room on the second floor of the Medina Library.
No registration required.

See you there!