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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course US: Occupational Records  by Beverly Rice, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).


Genealogical and historical periodicals are an excellent source for information on a variety of subjects. They will assist you in locating articles on an individual and will help to determine their occupation or possibly source material related to a specific occupation.

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) as developed a comprehensive index that will assist a researcher in locating a specific article.

“The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogical and historical periodical articles in the world. Created by the foundation and department staff of the Historical Genealogy Department of the library here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, PERSI is widely recognized as being a vital source for genealogical researchers.

PERSI is a comprehensive subject index covering genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French (Canada) since 1800. The time period of the articles ranges from the 1700s to the present. More than 1.9 million index entries from nearly ten thousand titles are represented by this work.”[1]

The index is available through the branches of the ACPL, on CD ROM, through or Heritage Quest (available through some public libraries) .

The PERSI search on is a keyword search. The researcher will need to use the broadest of terms to capture all possible options. One search on the term “ railroads”, returned 1695 articles.

The researcher can order the article through the Allen County Public Library, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An order form can be printed from:

The PERSI search of historical and genealogical journals would be separate from the NUCMC search of manuscript collection. There is a tremendous volume of research material available on a variety of topics. It is matter of locating the material to complete the research. Just another example of the availability of resource material is the following article that explores the contributions of women that are often forgotten and yet so vitally important to the growth of a county.


  1. Allen County Public Library Website


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course US: Occupational Records offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.