Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 16, June 30, 2005
From: genealogygems (
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 12:30:05 -0700 (PDT)
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Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 16, June 30, 2005

In this issue:
*A Few Words from Curt Witcher
*Place-Name Dictionaries
*State Census Records
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*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

New to the Department and the E-zine
by Curt Witcher
Earlier this month, we welcomed a new librarian for the Historical
Genealogy Department, Donald Litzer.  Don's most recent previous
experience was at the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids,
WI where he served as Adult Services Librarian from 1996 to 1998 and
Head of Adult Services from 1998 to 2005. Some of his previous library
experience includes five years at the Public Library of Cincinnati and
Hamilton County as well as work at Western Reserve Historical Society
in Cleveland, Ohio.

In his capacity as head of Adult Services at the McMillan Memorial
Library, Don was the library's liaison with the Heart O'Wisconsin
Genealogical Society and assisted in developing their digital
collection known as "Local History On-Line."  He also initiated,
researched and implemented a project to have more than two thousand
pages of previously un-microfilmed Wood County, WI newspapers
microfilmed at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Don has been and is a member of a number of genealogical and
historical societies including the Ohio Genealogical Society where he
served on their board of trustees from 1993 to 1995 and the Heart
O'Wisconsin Genealogical Society where he served as vice-president
from 1999 to 2002.  He is currently a member of the Wisconsin
Historical Society and the Pommerscher Verein of Central Wisconsin.  A
number of years earlier, Don won the "Genealogist of the Year" award
from the Nebraska State Genealogical Society.  Don has also
self-published a genealogical work entitled, "Roots and Wings:  A
History of the Danielsson-Carlsson, Bengtsson-Johansson and
Mansson-Johansson Families of Tjallmo and Hallestad Parish,
Ostergotland, Sweden, in Sweden and America."

I look for Don to be a very strong member of the department's
reference team and all of you should look for him as a future
contributor to this e-zine.

Also debuting this month is the first "Preservation Tip of the Month."
 This will be a regular feature of the e-zine provided by the
library's preservation technician, Becky Schipper.  I trust you will
enjoy this new feature as a way of quickly learning easy, doable steps
to preserving your valuable family documents and treasures.

If you're looking for a cool place to beat some of the summer heat,
remember that a couple of days of researching here in the Historical
Genealogy Department might just be what you need to recharge yourself.
 New materials are being added weekly, making the extant microtext and
book collections a wonderful complement to the,, and subscriptions we
have for your use.  Come see us on your summer vacation travels.

Place-Name Dictionaries
by Elaine M. Kuhn
Have you always wondered how a place got its name? Do family records
show that your ancestors were born near Forty-Five, Tennessee or
perhaps Henpeck, Ohio, and you have no idea where these places are, or
were? The answers to these questions can often be found in place-name
dictionaries. The Historical Genealogy Department is home to hundreds
of place-name dictionaries or gazetteers.

Arguably one of the most heavily-used sources in the Historical
Genealogy Department is the "Rand-McNally Commercial Atlas & Marketing
Guide" (912 R15c) which serves as an excellent starting point for
identifying county and location information of current cities and
towns. Some of the more common types of place-name dictionaries
concentrate on a single state, like Ronald Baker's "Indiana Place
Names" (977.2 B17i) and Larry L. Miller's "Tennessee Place Names"
(976.8 M612miL). There are also titles covering specific local areas
such as Rhoda Ellison's "Place Names of Bibb County, Alabama:
Abercrombie to Zuzu" (976.101 B47ea) and Henry Steiner's "Place Names
of Historic Sleepy Hollow & Tarrytown" (974.702 T17st).

Some place-name dictionaries specialize in particular ethnic or
international origins. "Swedish Place-Names in North America" by Otto
R. Landelius (929.182 L233s), for example, discusses the Swedish roots
of geographic entities across North America while William Bright's
"Native American Placenames of the United States" (973.003 B768nat)
details the probable origins of geographic names such as Machodoc,
Virginia and the Wapsipinicon River of Minnesota and Iowa.

The collection of place-name dictionaries is not limited strictly to
the United States. Among the Canadian sources one will find titles
such as "Geographical Names of Manitoba" (971.27 G292), Michael
Dawber's "Where the Heck is Balaheck?" (971.3 D32w), and "Noms
Geographiques de la Province de Quebec", 2d ed. (971.4 Q33n). For
lands across the Atlantic Ocean, try titles like Adrian Room's
"Placenames of France" (944 R674p) which includes both the location of
a place and the origins of its name along with appendices detailing
habitative names of residents (people from Paris are Parisiens,
residents of Lyon are called Lyonnais) and towns that were renamed
during the French Revolution. Another international source worth
looking at is the "Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names" (942
W3498c) which provides the etymology, historical spellings and
pronunciations of place names throughout the country.

The above titles are just a sampling of the numerous place-name
dictionaries located in the Historical Genealogy Department. To
identify similar sources in the collection, search the Allen County
Public Library's online library catalog at with the
phrase "names geographical"; narrow the search further by adding the
country or state of interest as in "names geographical Wyoming". Happy

State Census Records
by Timothy Dougherty
The Genealogy Department collection includes many of the state and
territorial census records available on microfilm. These are special
censuses that were conducted by the states themselves, and are
separate from the more widely known Federal census records. The
reasons for having taken these censuses varied. Territories and states
took them to qualify for statehood, to try to gain additional
representation in Congress, and to qualify for special funding
projects, among other reasons. A researcher may find clues in these
records that are not available anywhere else.

The state censuses are valuable for several reasons. For one, they
were conducted in years other than the federal censuses, often in
mid-decade (e.g. 1875, 1885), affording a researcher the hope of
filling in gaps existing in the federal censuses. By examining an 1885
or 1895 state census, for example, a researcher may pinpoint someone
lost because of the destroyed 1890 federal schedules, or checking the
1852 California state census may yield an ancestor in one of the
"lost" counties of the 1850 federal census.

Secondly, state censuses often contain questions that the federal
censuses do not. For example, the 1895 Minnesota state census asks how
long the individual has been a resident of Minnesota, and how long
he/she has been a resident of that particular enumeration district.
The 1855, 1865, and 1875 New York state censuses list county of birth
for natives of New York, and the 1865 Rhode Island census lists town
of origin for those born in Rhode Island.  Finally, the state census
records can help further develop the stories of our ancestors, and may
help solve genealogical problems.

Although the Allen County Public library does not house all of the
existing state and territorial censuses, it does maintain at least
some of the available records for Alabama, Colorado, Florida,
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New
Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island,
Washington state and Wisconsin. Not all states conducted their own
censuses, and not all counties were recorded or are extant for the
ones that did.

Most of the state census material is not indexed, but the Genealogy
Department does have indexes for a few states or for individual
counties. The vast majority of the state census records, however, will
need to be scrutinized line by line. The schedules are generally
arranged by county and then by township or ward, so that may make the
quest a little easier.

ACPL's Preservation Technician Becky Schipper offers advice on
conserving your documents:
The best way to label your photographs is to print or type your info
on acid free labels and affix them to the back side of the photo.

Each issue we will feature a local hotel, for visitors from out-of-town.

Comfort Suites South, 5775 Coventry Lane, Fort Wayne 46804
(260) 436-4300; fax (219) 436-2030

Very handy for those approaching Fort Wayne from the south, this
Comfort Suites can be reached by leaving I-69 at exit 102 (US24). Room
amenities include free local calls, coffee makers, microwaves,
refrigerators, sofa beds. There are also whirlpool suites. The hotel
includes an indoor pool and fitness room. Although it is about nine
miles from downtown, the drive in is very simple, along Jefferson
Boulevard. Good shopping and many restaurants are nearby. Internet
ratings include top marks for service and cleanliness. Room rates
start at $85.

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

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
The meeting schedule will resume in September on Tuesday the 14th.

Computer Users Group
The computer users group will meet again in September.

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 organization

Curt Witcher
11 July: "Effective Use of the Allen County Public Library & the
Internet for Genealogical Research." Decatur Public Library, 128 South
Third Street, Decatur, IN, 7pm.

18 August: Midwestern Roots Pre-Conference, Panel Discussion on
"History and Genealogy: Why Not Both?", Indiana History Center
(Indiana Historical Society Headquarters), Indianapolis, IN, 6:00pm

27 August: "Your Society Wants YOU! Effective Recruiting Strategies
for Genealogical Societies." Ohio Genealogical Society Chapter
Management Seminar, Batavia, OH, 1:15pm

7-10 September: Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Salt
Lake City, UT
9 September: Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery
10 September: Using the Forgotten and Maligned: Key Government
Documents for Genealogical Research

14 September: "Timelines and Treasures: Future Plans and Current
Collections in the Genealogy Department." Allen County Genealogical
Society Meeting, Aboite Branch Library, 5630 Coventry Lane, 7pm.

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

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/then 930 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 who will be glad to answer your general 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: Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public
Library's Historical Genealogy Department, and is intended to
enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as
inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public
Library.  We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and
encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.  All
precautions have been made to avoid 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.

To subscribe to Genealogy Gems, simply use your browser to go to the
website: Scroll down toward the bottom
of the first screen where it says, "Enter Your Email Address to
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If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
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Ryan Taylor, editor
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