2019 Austin Families Association of America Conference

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Wednesday & Thursday, October 2nd & 3rd

Early arrival activities • Thursday evening social hour

Friday & Saturday, October 4th & 5th

Speakers and workshops • Saturday evening dinner

UPDATE: The deadline for making reservations at the Fort Wayne Hilton at the conference rate of $119/night has been extended until the end of the business day on Monday, September 9th. Reservations made after this time will be at regular rates on a space-available basis.

Fort Wayne, the county seat of Allen County, derives its name from a U.S. military fort established in 1794 by Gen. Anthony Wayne. This fort, built where the St. Joseph and St. Mary’s rivers come together to form the Maumee, followed Wayne's victory over the Miami Indians. Originally the capital of the Miami nation, the first European settlers were French fur traders who established their trading post during the 1680s. The first French fort, named Fort Miamis, was built in 1697. It was annexed by the British in 1760, after the French and Indian War, and renamed Fort Miami, but it was taken over by the Indians following Pontiac's Rebellion. Indian rule lasted for about 30 years, following which the United States army attacked the region and established their hold. Settlement took place in 1815. Fort Wayne was platted in 1824, and was made the county seat. The city charter was obtained in 1840.

The local economy was aided by the arrival of the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1843, linking the navigable water of the Maumee River with the Wabash through the seven mile portage at Fort Wayne. This provided easy and rapid travel for incoming settlers and a convenient way for moving their agricultural and other products. The arrival of immigrants from Germany and Ireland during the 19th century increased the population and brought about a mixed culture in the city.


Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center ~ 900 Library Plaza ~ www.genealogycenter.org
The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne boasts the second most complete genealogical collection in the United States, with over 350,000 printed volumes, 513,000 microfilm and microfiche items and over 50,000 compiled genealogies. The library’s holdings include family histories, state, city and town histories, census records, city directories, passenger lists, military records, Native American records, records for Canada, the British Isles, Germany and other countries, periodicals and PERSI, the periodical index.

Allen County Courthouse ~ 715 S. Calhoun St. ~ www.allencountycourthouse.org/history.php
A National Historic Landmark, and one of the finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture, the restored Allen County Courthouse boasts magnificent art glass, exquisite murals and intricately patterned tile floors. Completed in 1902, it was meant to express in art and architecture the dignity of the government and the grandeur of the law.

The History Center ~ 302 E Berry St. ~ www.fwhistorycenter.com
The History Center, managed by the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, is a museum housed in the Old City Hall building, which was constructed in 1893 and served as the seat of city government until 1971. The center holds an extensive collection of archival records and more than 22,000 artifacts that trace the community’s heritage from the Glacial Age to the Information Era.

Historic Old Fort ~ 1201 Spy Run Ave. ~ www.fortwayneparks.org/facilities/historic-old-fort.html
The reconstructed Fort Wayne is a faithful copy of the post built by American troops in 1815-1816. The original complex was perhaps the most sophisticated all-wooden fort built in North America. The Old Fort is a public park, so you can always wander and enjoy the Fort’s grounds. The buildings are open for special events.

Botanical Conservatory ~ 1100 S. Calhoun St. ~ www.botanicalconservatory.org
Three indoor gardens cover over 25,000 square feet and showcase 1,200 plants (over 500 species). Stroll through four outdoor gardens featuring a variety of ornamental grasses, rhododendrons, trees, shrubs and perennials. Visit the Showcase Garden with its lush seasonal displays, and the Tropical Garden where orchids and palms thrive in the shadows of a cascading waterfall, or retreat to the quiet beauty of the Desert Garden.


Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Center
1020 S. Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802

The Hilton is a modern downtown hotel, only two blocks from the Allen County Public Library with its well-known Genealogy Center. Other nearby places you might want to visit include the Old Fort, the historic Allen County Courthouse, the History Center and the Botanical Conservatory.

The conference rate of $119 + tax includes a microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker and free WiFi. There is a complimentary airport shuttle for those who will be arriving by plane, and attached covered parking for $8/day.

A block of rooms has been reserved, at the conference rate, for the nights of Wednesday, October 2 through Saturday, October 5th (checking out on Sunday, the 6th). The conference rate will also apply three nights before and three nights after these dates (beginning September 29th and ending October 8th), but on a space-available basis. Reservations at the conference rate must be made by September 3rd or before the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. So make your reservations early!

NOTE: At this time, we have plenty of rooms reserved in our AFAOA block, October 2nd - 5th. However, due to several large groups staying at the Hilton earlier in the week there are currently no standard king rooms available September 29th - October 1st. If you wish to arrive during this time, there are rooms with two double beds available at the conference rate of $119, or deluxe king rooms at a higher rate (this would require a second reservation if you then wanted to move to a standard king room for the rest of your conference stay). There is plenty of availability of both types October 6th - 8th, so if you want extra time for research in Fort Wayne it would be easier to extend your stay after the conference.


Booking a reservation is simple, and can be done one of four ways:

  1. If your reservation will include nights before or after the group block, it is recommended that you call the hotel directly (260-420-1100) and speak to the front desk. Refer to the Austin Families Association or the group code - AUS.
  2. Call Hilton Reservations at 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667). Please mention Austin Families Association, or the group code, ‘AUS’.
  3. Reservations may be made online at www.ftwayne.hilton.com. Attendees should enter their arrival and departure dates and click on ”Add special rate codes”, then enter ‘AUS’ next to the box labeled Group Code.
  4. Hilton has created a personalized group reservation link for AFAOA. No need to remember a group code! Just click on the link, then choose your dates and room type.


The conference registration fee is $100 per person, which includes Friday and Saturday speakers and workshops, the Thursday social hour and the Saturday night dinner. The fee is $75 per person for those who wish to attend only the social hour and dinner.

Print the 2019 Conference Registration Form

Send your registration form, with check payable to AFAOA, to the Conference Registrar:
Paula Mackey
5104 Golden Lane
Fort Worth, TX 76123

For more information, please contact the Conference Chairman.