The PERSI and Genealogy

A summary of what the PERSI is and how to find it

The Periodical Source Index or PERSI contains more than 2.7 million, fully-searchable entries from articles and records in over 8,000 historical, genealogical and ethnic publications. It is currently available on the website. Here is a short description of the collection:

The Periodical Source Index is compiled quarterly by the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and will be simultaneously updated on findmypast. Along with these updates, findmypast is also working to provide access to the same articles indexed in PERSI through our site. Images from PERSI-indexed articles are regularly added every month.

The main limitation of the collection is that the actual articles aren't included in the PERSI in most cases, just the index to the articles. Once you locate information in the PERSI that you want to use, you must locate a copy of the periodical. The PERSI does include a list of institutions that hold copies, or one can pay a small copying fee and get copies from the Allen County Public Library. Some of the publications that are older may also be in the public domain and have been digitized on sites such as Google Books, the Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, or FamilySearch Books.

The quality of the articles varies from useful to useless but there is always the chance that what is included is unique and available no where else. On occasion, the local journals and historical society publications contain list extracted from original records that are either hard to locate or have long since disappeared.

Written by James L. Tanner. Used with permission.

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