Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
From: genealogygems (
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 19:36:08 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 8, October 31, 2004

In this issue:

*Giving Thanks and Religious Holidays
*City Directories & Phonefiche
* Confederate Pension Application Sources Available in the Historical
Genealogy Collection, Part 1
*Hotel of the month
*Area Calendar of Events
*ACPL Librarians on Tour
*Driving directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Curt B. Witcher

The end of October heralds the beginning of the season of celebrations
for many.  Harvesting across the country has been in full gear for many
weeks, and talk of Thanksgiving festivities is already filling many
households.  As citizens of this great country, there is certainly much
for which we all can be thankful--and as genealogists engaged in the
wonderfully enriching activity of discovering our ancestry and heritage,
we are doubly blessed. As you begin your Thanksgiving plans, remember
what a great time of year it is to record family stories.  It is also an
excellent time to update your photograph albums with new family shots. 
And it is certainly an excellent time to solicit as many eyes and minds
as possible in identifying some of those nameless photographs.

In these last sixty-one days of the year, nearly every religious
tradition celebrates some holiday or feast day.  What a perfect
opportunity for all of us to see when the last history of our church,
meeting-house, mosque, synagogue, or temple was written.  If it has been
a while (or never!), why not get a group of interested individuals
together and commit to compiling an early twenty-first century history? 
In the process of doing such compilations, it is amazing the number of
records that are uncovered, both official records of the religious
entities and the letters, diaries, and daybooks of the leaders.  Such
endeavors also typically uncovered some wonderfully unique photographs. 
Researching and recording these histories helps ensure the information
is available for future generations of genealogists and historians.

And of course, the Historical Genealogy Department would be interested
in receiving a copy of any work that might be compiled, whether
published or not.  Our library also provides nice homes for older church
histories, yearbooks, and directories that folks may not have a need for
anymore.  Please do keep us in mind.  

A couple of news items: 
+The department Surname File on the "Friends of Allen County" website
<www.FriendsOfAllenCounty> has been updated recently.  
+Two mortality list databases have been added, one for the Indiana Farm
Colony for the Feeble-Minded and one for the Fort Wayne State School.  
+The number of Allen County, Indiana church burial databases has
doubled from five to ten.
+On October 1st, the library introduced a brand new email reference
service called "Ask a Librarian."  A part of this new service is an "Ask
a Genealogy Librarian" feature.  While the service is not designed for
conducting individual research, it is a way for you to gain knowledge
about what we have in our collection and get some suggestions on a
genealogical research problem that might have you stumped.  Simple send
an email to <Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info>.

Elaine M. Kuhn

Looking for an ancestor in between censuses? Trying to track down an
old classmate? Some very useful tools when searching for friends and
relatives are city directories and telephone books. City directory
listings include the head of each household along with the spouse's
name, the person's address, their place of employment (if any), and
often some mention of whether the person owns, boards, or rents at that
address. More recent directories list telephone numbers and how many
years a person has resided at their address. Some directories are called
"criss-cross" directories, meaning that one looks for an individual by
their address and/or telephone number, rather than by their name.
Telephone books provide similar information to city directories such as
the name and address of the resident, but they do not list a resident's

The Historical Genealogy Department holds a vast collection of city
directories in various formats. City directories from some 240 American
cities covering the years 1785 to 1860 are available on microfiche while
directories from over 100 American cities covering the years 1861 to
1935 are available on microfilm. As the department is a repository for
R.L. Polk directories, we also have over 45,000 print directories for
U.S. cities ranging from 1964 to the present. The department also holds
directories from various Canadian localities, primarily from the mid to
late twentieth century. 

To determine which areas the department holds print directories for,
use the library's online catalog at and search by the
name of the city or county you are interested in. Currently the
department's microfilm and microfiche holdings are not part of the
online catalog, but they are searchable in the Microtext section's card

A little-known source that might help researchers tracking relatives in
the late twentieth century is Phonefiche. Phonefiche is a collection of
microfiche copies of telephone books for hundreds of U.S. cities.
Phonefiche is an excellent resource to employ for cities that no longer
publish annual directories or to fill in the gaps for years where city
directories are not available. ACPL's collection covers the years
1978-1990, and is arranged alphabetically by city. There is a Community
Cross-Reference Guide (ACPL call no. 973 P5665) shelved in the Microtext
section of the department for determining which smaller towns are
included in larger city telephone books.

By Delia Cothrun Bourne

At the end of the Civil War, the Federal government provided pensions
to Union soldiers who were disabled, or to widows and dependent parents
of those who had died. Later, the government provided pensions to all
Union veterans or widows. Confederate veterans were not eligible for
Federal pensions because they had fought for another country, the
Confederate States of America (CSA), which no longer existed. In the
decades following the war, the various state governments of the former
CSA stepped in to provide pensions for those who had served their states
by serving the Confederacy. Of course, no state outside of the Southern
states provided pensions for Confederate veterans.    

Through a mutual agreement of reciprocity among the states, pensions
were granted from the state of current residence rather than the state
of service. Most states had regulations that linked length of residence
to eligibility. Applications for the veterans could include such
information as the veteran's name, current address and length of
residence, birth date and place, regiment and company with dates of
service, statement or proof of disability or indigency, and information
on employment, financial status and dependent children. Widows'
applications could include much of the same information, as well as
marriage date and place, and death date and place of the veteran. Also
included in the applications may be witness or physician statements.
Some of these applications may have been indexed. Some of these indexes
provide a great deal of information to aid in identifying the veteran;
others provide only name and application number. Copies of some states'
pension applications, and/or indexes to the pensions are available at
the Historical Genealogy Department. 

In 1867, Alabama began granting pensions to disabled Confederate, and
expanded this to include widows in 1886, and then all indigent veterans
or widows in 1891. The applications are listed alphabetically at the
Alabama Department of Archives in Montgomery, but are not available in
the Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library.

Between 1891 and 1939, the state government of Arkansas enacted a
number of legislative measures to provide for veterans and widows. The
Historical Genealogy Department owns copies of the applications for
pensions on 123 rolls of microfilm. Two indexes exist for this set: One
is Desmond Walls Allen's "Index to Arkansas Confederate Pension
Applications" (ACPL call no. GC 973.74 AR48ALR), which includes name of
veteran and widow; company, regiment and division; application date and
county from which enrolled; and death dates. The other index is Frances
T. Ingmire's "Arkansas Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension
Applications" (ACPL call no. GC 973.74 AR48I). The citations in this
index include veteran's and widow's names and application numbers;
company, regiment and division; dates of service and applications;
county of residence; and the death dates of the veterans and widows.
Both of these indexes can be found in the Genealogy Department.

To be continued.
Each issue we will feature a local hotel, for visitors from

Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Center
1020 South Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne
260 420 1100; fax 260 424 7775

The great advantage of the Hilton is its location - only two blocks
from the library. Stroll through the garden behind the Summit Square
building and you've arrived! The large hotel, recently renovated,
features spacious rooms with pillow-top mattresses. All areas have
complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access. There are two
restaurants and a bar in the hotel itself, and many fast-food places are
a short walk away, as well as the more traditional Bill's Palace. The
hotel has an airport shuttle service. 

Allen County Public Library
3rd floor atrium display area
Passages: Immigration

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI) 
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Aboite Branch of the ACPL, 5630 Coventry Lane
6:30 pm social time, 7:00 pm program
Sharon Zonker appearing in costume and presenting "Civil War Ladies"
13, 2004

Computer Users Group
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 7 pm.  Aboite Library, 5630 Coventry
Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 260-421-1310

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
First Wednesday of each month in the Genealogy Department 9am - 3pm.
Expert help from members of the DAR in becoming a member of that


Curt Witcher
November 6, 2004:       Niles, MI, Niles District Library 
November 13, 2004:      Cincinnati, OH, Hamilton County Genealogical
Society Program
January 8, 2005:        Bloomfield Hills, MI, Detroit Society for
Genealogical Research
February 19, 2005:      Madison, FL, Florida Genealogical Society
April 30, 2005:         Kalamazoo, MI, Kalamazoo Valley
Genealogical Society

Wondering how to get to the library?  Our exciting transition location
is 200 E. Berry, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We will be at this location
late 2006.  We would enjoy having you visit the Genealogy Department.

To get directions from your exact location to 200 E. Berry, Fort
Indiana, visit this link at MapQuest:

>From the South
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 102.  Drive east on Jefferson Blvd. into
downtown. Turn left on Barr Street to Berry Street.  The library is
located on the corner of Berry and Barr Streets.  

>From the North
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 112.  Drive south on Coldwater Road, which
merges into Clinton Street.  Continue south on Clinton, the library
be on your left when you cross Berry Street.  

>From the West
Using US 30: 
Drive into town on US 30.  US 30 turns into Goshen Road.  Coming up to
an angled street (State Street.) make an angled left turn.  Turn right
on Wells Street.  Go south on Wells to Wayne Street.  Left on Wayne
Street.  When you cross Clinton, the library will be on your left on
Wayne Street.  

Using US 24: 
After crossing under Interstate 69, follow the same directions as from
the South.

>From the East
Follow US 30 into and through New Haven, under an overpass into
downtown Fort Wayne.  You will be on Washington Blvd. when you get
downtown.  Turn right on Barr Street.   Turn left on Berry Street. 
library is on your left on Berry Street. 

Lot in front of the library, east side
Available for short-term library parking.  Limited to one hour.

Tippman Parking Garage
Clinton and Wayne Streets.  Across from the library, however the
skybridge is NOT accessible.  Hourly parking, $1.25 per hour up to a
maximum of $5.00 per day.

Park Place Lot
Covered parking on Barr Street at Main Street.  This lot is one block
away from the library.  Hourly parking Monday through Friday, 9am to

Street (metered) parking on Wayne Street and Berry Street.
On the street you plug the meters 8am - 5pm, weekdays only.  It is
to park on the street after 5pm and on the weekends.

Visitor center/Grand Wayne center
Covered parking at Washington and Clinton Streets. This is the Hilton
Hotel parking lot that also serves as a day parking garage.  For
parking, 7am - 11 pm, charges are .50 for the first 45 minutes, then
$1.00 per hour.  There is a flat $2.00 fee between 5pm and 11pm.

The Historical Genealogy Department hopes you find this newsletter
Interesting and helpful.  Thank you for subscribing.  We cannot,
however, answer
personal research emails written to the e-zine address.  The
provides a Research Center that makes photocopies and conducts
for a fee.  

If you have a general question about our collection, or are interested
in the Research Center, please telephone the library and speak to a
librarian who will be glad to answer your general questions or send
a research center form.  Our telephone number is 260-421-1225.  If
like to email a general information question about the department,
please visit the "Ask a Genealogy Librarian" link at the library's web

This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public
Library's Historical Genealogy Department, and is intended to
readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them
the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library.  We welcome the
wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward
to their friends and societies.  All precautions have been made to
errors.  However, the publisher does not assume any liability to any
party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, no matter
the cause.  If this issue of "Genealogy Gems" has been forwarded to
and you would like to receive your own copy in the future, visit and fill out the subscription form at
the bottom of the page.  Another way to subscribe is to send an email
genealogygems-subscribe [at]

Sue Kaufman, editor

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