Genealogy Gems, December 2004
From: genealogygems (
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 13:32:58 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 10, December 31, 2004

In this issue:
*Planning for the Positive
*Ships of Our Ancestors
*Confederate Pension Application Sources, Part 3
*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

Planning for the Positive
Curt Witcher
Another year is in the books.  Don't they seem to roll around faster
and faster?  I trust it was a fruitful one for you in your family
history endeavors.  

This is the time of year when thoughts turn to New Year's resolutions. 
I think I am going to finally give up on New Year's resolutions this
year.  While they are a great concept, I believe the basic procedure
that I have used (and, I am guessing many others use) is flawed.  I
spend a bit of time making a list.  It can be long or short--it really
doesn't matter.  But I spend no time really planning to do anything on
the list.  This year, I think I'll just plan a little--and I would
encourage you to do the same.

Plan to be a little more active in a genealogical society or organized
group that helps you with your genealogy.  If that means joining, then
write the check between now and January 15th.  If that means attending
one of their meetings, go to their website in the next forty-eight
hours, find their list of meetings for the next six months to one year,
pick one, and put it on your calendar now.  If that means finishing the
abstract, article, or project you've promised a society, get out your
2005 calendar and put a big red "X" on Thursday, March 31st.  Then place
green "Xs" on March 1st and February 2nd (Groundhog Day!) to remind you
that by the time the red "X" arrives, your article or abstract needs to
be in the society's hands.  

Plan to do one positive, proactive undertaking that may lead to a
genealogical break-through on a problem line.  If that one thing is to
attend a family reunion, find out the details of the event before
mid-January, mark the dates on your calendar, and complete your travel
itinerary before it's time to start on your federal income tax return. 
(Sorry for bringing up the "taxing" subject!)  If your one proactive
undertaking is to attend a conference, look at your wide range of
options and choose one before February dawns.  There are great events at
the local, state, and national levels all over the country.  National
conference events include:  New England Regional Genealogical
Conference, Portland, ME, March 31st to April 3rd; National Genealogical
Society Conference, Nashville, TN, June 1st through 4th; Midwestern
Roots Genealogy Conference, Indianapolis, IN, August 19th & 20th; and
the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Salt Lake City, UT,
September 7th to 10th.

Plan a trip to a major research facility that has records complementing
what you have found on the web and what you already have in your files
from previous research trips.  While online genealogy sites, with their
indices and digitized documents, are tremendous treasure troves of
information, tips, and research leads, there remains a mountain of
copyrighted, published material and many millions of manuscript pages
not on the web.  The Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County
Public Library is an outstanding complement to what you can access on
the Internet.  Pick a date to visit our vast collection and benefit from
the expertise of our staff, and then finalize your travel plans before
all your holiday decorations have been packed away for another year.

Whatever you decide to do, join me in giving up New Year's resolution
list-making and actually do some concrete planning that will make a

Best wishes for a most prosperous and genealogically fulfilling New

Ships of Our Ancestors
Steven W. Myers
More than 35 million immigrants came to the New World between the
sixteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Their journey across the
dangerous Atlantic Ocean was made on sail and steam-powered vessels of
all shapes and sizes. Published accounts of some of the voyages, made in
different eras, paint vivid pictures of the hardships and tragedies of
the shipboard life endured by these pioneers. Still, many researchers
want to know more about the specific trip made by their own immigrant
ancestor. One basic question that springs to mind is: what did the ship
look like? Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to
help answer that question. 

Michael Anuta's Ships of Our Ancestors is a standard reference known to
many genealogists, and provides pictures of about 1000 ships that
crossed the Atlantic from the 1850s through the 1950s. Many other
publications provide pictures of ships as well as details on their
construction and history. One of these is the six-volume set Great
Passenger Ships of the World by Arnold Kludas, which covers all
passenger liners of more than 10,000 gross tons built between 1858 and
1986. Some works, such as the Picture History of the Cunard Line
1840-1990, feature the ships of one particular company. The history of
the Norddeutscher Lloyd line of Bremen, Germany proudly claims that
one-quarter of the immigrants arriving at Ellis Island traveled on one
of their ships. The line's two-volume history is full of historical
details, and is wonderfully illustrated with ship photographs and
facsimile documents. 

Images of vessels that carried immigrants to these shores before the
Civil War are a bit more difficult to locate. A published catalog of The
Marine Paintings and Drawings in the Peabody Museum helps by providing
illustrations of many sailing vessels in the period before widespread
photography. Other books, such as Clipper Ships of America and Great
Britain 1833-1869, are short on illustrations, but do provide
fascinating historical information on numerous sailing vessels of the
period. When an image of a particular ship is unavailable, this kind of
background information may help identify a nearly identical sister ship
for which pictures do exist. William Filby's "Passenger Lists"
bibliography, available in the department, provides call number
references for these and other sources of pictures or historical data on
the ships of our ancestors.

Confederate Pension Application Sources Available in the Reynolds
Historical Genealogy Collection, Part 3
Delia Cothrun Bourne
Although the state of Mississippi granted a few pensions in the 1890s,
the applications for these pensions contained very little information.
The applications specified by the Code of 1906 included information
similar to that required by other states. These applications are
available at the Mississippi Department of Archives in Jackson. Betty C.
Wilshire's Mississippi Confederate Pension Applications (GC 973.74
M68WI, volumes 1-3) indexes these applications and includes name,
regiment, county of residence, and date of application. 

The first Confederate pensions in Missouri were given in 1913. More
than 4,000 applications exist on file at the Missouri State Archives in
Jefferson City. These applications are grouped together by letter, but
are not in strict alphabetical order. An alphabetical list of the
applications is contained in Peggy Barnes Fox's Missouri Confederate
Pensions and Confederate Home Applications Index (GC 977.8 F83M). This
index lists only the veteran's name and county of residence.

North Carolina began granting pensions to Confederate veterans with a
service related disability in 1867. In 1885, the State began granting
pensions to all disabled or indigent Confederate veterans or widows.
Both the pension applications and an index are available at the North
Carolina Division of Archives and History in Raleigh, but are not
currently available elsewhere.
The first provision for Confederate veterans in Oklahoma occurred in
1915. In the first year, approximately two-thirds of the applications
were rejected. Causes for these rejections included the inability to
prove eligibility and the state's lack of funds.  The Historical
Genealogy Department owns a copy of these applications on 21 rolls of
microfilm, the last two reels being supplemental applications. The
Department also owns the index to this material. Index to Applications
for Pensions from the State of Oklahoma Submitted by Confederate
Soldiers, Sailors and Their Widows (973.74 OK4i) was published by the
Oklahoma Genealogical Society. Strictly a name index, it supplies
application and reel numbers. There is also a copy of this index
available online at In
this version, references to the supplemental applications are included
with the others to form a single index. 

Although state law allowed Confederate veterans and widows to apply for
pensions in South Carolina starting in 1887, few applications survive
from the 1888-1918 era. Beginning in 1889, the State Comptroller began
publishing lists of such veterans receiving pensions in his Annual
Report. To obtain a copy of an application from the 1888-1918 era, the
researcher needs to know the exact year in which the veteran or widow
applied for a pension. From 1919 to 1925, South Carolina granted
pensions to Confederate veterans and widows regardless of financial
need. These files are arranged alphabetically, and are available only at
the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. An index is
available at the South Carolina Department of Archives website at There is a volume
of abstracts of South Carolina's African American Confederate Pensioners
1923-25, by Alexia Jones Helsley (975.7 H36SO). This volume also
includes a listing of some of these African American applicants on the
1920 census. 

To be continued.

Each issue we will feature a local hotel, for visitors from

Hallmark Inn
3730 East Washington Boulevard, Fort Wayne 46803
Telephone 260-424-1980

Formerly the Days Inn, the Hallmark is located two miles east of
downtown. It is a simple and easy drive to the library. The newly
renovated Hallmark has 60 rooms, an outdoor pool, two lounges with live
entertainment, a full service restaurant, and a guest laundry. There are
oversize parking spaces, which can be helpful for those with trucks or
campers. The rooms are equipped with hair dryers, cable television, and
irons and ironing boards. Small pets are welcome. Rooms under $40 are

Allen County Public Library
3rd floor atrium display area
Documents from resources highlighted in earlier issues of Genealogy

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Dupont Branch of the ACPL, 536 E. Dupont Road, Fort Wayne, IN
6:30 pm refreshments, 7:00 pm program
Maureen and Alan Gaff: "Historical Civil War Research". 

ACGSI Computer Interest Group
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 6:45pm.  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

DeKalb County Indiana Genealogy Society  Meetings:

Monday, January 10, 2005 at 6:30 p.m., refreshments & social time at
6:00 p.m.
Location: Eckhart Public Library, 603 S. Jackson Street, Auburn, IN
Program: Neil Strock will speak on the Butler Company of Butler, IN

Monday, February 14, 2005 at 6:30 p.m., refreshments & social time at
6:00 p.m.
Location: Eckhart Public Library, 603 S. Jackson Street, Auburn, IN
Program: Craig Berndt  will speak on Interurban Transportation in
DeKalb County and Northeast Indiana

Curt Witcher
January 8, 2005: Bloomfield Hills, MI: Detroit Society for Genealogical
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 until
late 2006.  We would enjoy having you visit the Genealogy Department.

To get directions from your exact location to 200 E. Berry, Fort Wayne,
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 will
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 into
downtown.  Turn right on Barr Street.   Turn left on Berry Street.  The
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 free
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 hourly
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.  Thank you for subscribing.  We cannot, however, answer
personal research emails written to the e-zine address.  The department
houses a Research Center that makes photocopies and conducts research
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. We will be glad to answer your questions or send you a
research center form. Our telephone number is 260-421-1225.  If you'd
like to email a general information question about the department,
please email: cwitcher [at]   

Publishing Note:  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]

Ryan Taylor, editor

Curt B. Witcher
Manager, Historical Genealogy Department
NE Director, Indiana Genealogical Society
Allen County Public Library
P. O. Box 2270, 200 E. Berry Street
Fort Wayne, IN  46801-2270
CWitcher [at]
Fax: 260-421-1386
The views, opinions, and judgments expressed
in this message are solely those of the author.
The message contents have not been reviewed
or approved by the Allen County Public Library.

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