Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 22, December 31, 2005
From: genealogygems (
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 12:51:37 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 22, December 31, 2005

In this issue:
*Family History Storybooks and a Special New Database
*Farm Directories
*Colonial Records of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Archives
*Tribute to An Old Friend
*New Family History Show
*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

Family History Storybooks and a Special New Database
by Curt B. Witcher
Storybooks for the New Year

Whether you receive this e-zine in the waning moments of 2005 or the
dawning moments of 2006, you have likely enjoyed some holiday events
with family and may even be looking forward to a few more holiday
moments with family in the next week--and perhaps a family reunion
sometime in the New Year. When you spend time with young children and
grandchildren at holiday family gatherings, it can be a special time
to share with them through storybooks why genealogy is fun for you and
important to you. The Children's Services Department of this library
has compiled and published on their website a very nice list of books
about genealogy for young people. 

The list is divided into four categories: picture books, chapter
books, non-fiction books, and parent/teacher resources & non-print
materials. Each title listed has the author named as well as a brief
description of the contents. The call number provided may differ from
the call number used at your library; however, looking in your
library's online catalog by author or title will give you the correct
number. This list represents a neat collection of materials to get
children excited about being family history detectives—and I
particularly like the descriptions.

Two picture books I particularly like are Caroline Castle's "Grandpa
Baxter and the Photographs" ("children" from age 2 to 102 enjoy
looking at photographs!) and Patricia Polacco's "The Keeping Quilt."
Polacco's story takes a special quilt through four generations of a
Jewish family. It is fascinating for young people to see and read
about family symbols passed through several generations. And the
non-fiction titles do a very nice job in getting children started
doing family history when they become interested.

In addition, there are two stories about adoption that I am especially
fond of that aren't on the list. They are Jamie Lee Curtis' "Tell Me
Again about the Night I Was Born" and Deborah Hodge's "Emma's Story."
Both are masterful in the way words and illustrations work together to
paint a picture of how adopted individuals become a special and
important part of a family's history.

A New Database

We are pleased to announce an exciting new database on the
FriendsOfAllenCounty website called "American Ancestors of Michigan
Governors" <>. Dr.
Joseph Druse, the first state of Michigan genealogist, had collected
lineage information on the Michigan governors and their spouses for
more than fifteen years. A colleague, Judy Pfaff, assisted Dr. Druse
in keying this data into a FamilyTreeMaker program and took over the
project completely when Dr. Druse died in the fall of 2004. There are
nearly ten thousand persons and over four thousand marriages listed in
the file. As was reported in the 16 June 2003 edition of "Eastman's
Online Genealogy Newsletter," many of the families of Michigan
governors were of New England ancestry who later moved to New York,
Ohio, and then Michigan.

Best wishes for much genealogical success in the New Year!

Farm Directories
By Elaine M. Kuhn
While city directories are a popular tool for finding urban ancestors,
researchers should keep in mind that there are farm directories geared
toward the rural population. Not only do farm directories provide
valuable family information—especially for those years in between the
federal censuses—they also offer a kind of "snapshot" of life on the
family farm.

Several publishers produced farm directories from the mid-nineteenth
through the mid-twentieth centuries with the "Prairie Farmer's
Reliable Directory of Farmers and Breeders" series out of Chicago
being one of the most popular. Early farm directories usually list the
name of the farmer, the township and section of the farm, whether the
farmer owns or rents, the number of acres owned or rented, and the
farmer's post office address. Prairie Farmer directories built upon
this basic information and, though their entries are still brief,
provide a fantastic amount of data. Each entry includes the farmer's
name, the wife's maiden name, the first names of the children (names
of children followed by an asterisk indicate children not living at
home), the farm name (if any), the post office address, the township
and section of the farm, how many acres the farmer owns, the land
owner's name (if the farmer was a tenant), and the year when the
farmer first moved to the county. Some directories also include the
names of parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews and grandchildren
living in the home and occasionally give the farmer's primary crop and
names of any farm hands. Owners of purebred animals such as cattle,
chickens, hogs, goats, ducks and even bees are then listed by types of
animal and breed. Later directories provided a listing of automobile
owners and the makes of their vehicles as well as tractor owners and
the makes they owned and even what type of silo a farmer possessed.  A
directory of county businesses is always included; as with modern
directories, advertisements from local proprietors financed much of
the publication costs and can be found throughout.

As informative as the general farm directory information is, the
supplemental data can prove as much a gold mine. Don't hesitate to
look all through the directory to see if there are any pictures of
your ancestors' homes, their livestock, or even your ancestors
themselves. Some farm directories include brief histories of the
county's settlement and its early pioneers. Finally, remember to check
nearby city directories for farmers and others living in outlying
areas. Residents of rural Allen County, Indiana, for example, are
listed in the back section of older Fort Wayne city directories.

Use the ACPL Library Catalog at <www.ACPL.Info> to identify what farm
directories the library owns in book form. Search by the name of the
county to see what is available (use terms such as "lorain county ohio
directories"). The Genealogy Department also holds a number of farm
directories on microfilm. Researchers visiting the library can check
the microtext card catalog to see what is available. Some farm
directories can also be searched and perused through the
and HeritageQuest Online databases, both of which are available for
researchers to use in the Genealogy Department.

Colonial Records of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Archives
by Ryan Taylor
The Colonial Records of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Archives are ten
series of volumes published by the state between 1838 and 1935 which
reproduce various records of great use to genealogists. Government
minutes, revolutionary war records (including many lists of soldiers)
and tax lists from the mid-18th century make up most of the volumes.

All ten series are available in their entirety at ACPL. We have
recently recataloged these volumes to make them more accessible to
you, whether you are searching the catalog in the library or at home.
In particular, we have added detailed contents notes to each record,
so that you can find the individual volume you need quickly.

A search on the internet reveals many sites which have references to
the Pennsylvania Archives series, and they often contain notes about
the contents. No site has a complete listing of all the volumes and
all the series, however, and that is another reason why we have noted
these contents so carefully. Even if you are going to use these
volumes at another library, you might find it easier to consult the
ACPL catalog for details.

There are no every-name indexes to the Pennsylvania Archives volumes.
Such an index would be very large, as there are many thousands of
names. However, there are some more general indexes, which are also at
ACPL. To locate them, type "pennsylvania archives indexes" in the
subject line of the catalog search form. On the shelf, they are found
at the end of the ninth (and last) series of Pennsylvania Archives.

Many genealogists know about the Pennsylvania Archives series and use
them, but we suspect others have not taken advantage of the goldmine
of material available there. Since many of them deal with that
difficult period in the last half of the 18th century, they may answer
your dead-end questions.

An Old Friend
It is with sorrow that we note the passing of an old friend.  Carole
Callard, once a reference librarian in the Historical Genealogy
department and a distinguished Michigan genealogist, died in December
aged 64. She held the Abrams Chair in Genealogy at the Library of
Michigan and was a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the
country. Her gentle nature and sense of humor endeared her to all who
met her, and her former colleagues at the library miss her.

New Family History Show - You could be a part of it.
History Television (Canada) is creating an exciting new series about
family history. This is your opportunity to share your stories, your
research and your research challenges. If your story, research or
question is chosen, it could appear on Ancestors in the Attic.

Were your ancestors sheep-thieves or war heroes, saints or sinners, or
something quite unexpected? Are there family secrets you'd still like
to unlock or legends you've already untangled? Let Ancestors in the
Attic help you solve your dramatic, personal family mysteries or
feature the stories you've already uncovered.

Whether you're a historical researcher or a family historian,
Ancestors in the Attic would like to hear about astonishing stories
with a Canadian connection that you've already unearthed.

Discover more on the History Television website: or go
directly to the Ancestors in the Attic page at:

In 500 words or less, tell Ancestors in the Attic about your story and
briefly outline the evidence you gathered in your research. Send all
information to:
Ancestors.Search [at]

- - Permission is granted to share this message with others - -

Preservation Tip of the Month
by Becky Schipper
ACPL's Preservation Technician Becky Schipper offers advice on
conserving your documents:

Letters, newspaper clippings, birth, marriage, & death certificates,
and other legal documents, as well as photocopies and computer
printouts are on paper of varying quality. If these papers are acidic
they should be cleaned and deacidified before storing. An easy way to
test paper for acidity is with a ph testing pen.

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

Coliseum Inn
1020 North Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne IN 46805
260 424 0975

This two-story hotel has a bar, and a fax machine is available. Rooms
include high-speed internet access, free local calls, microwaves and
mini-fridges, and king-size beds are available. Pets accepted. The
hotel is conveniently located for shopping and other places to eat. It
is near Value-City Furniture, K-Mart and Home Depot and grocery
stores. The library is about five miles away, an easy drive along Lake
Avenue. Rates start at $34-$44.

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
Refreshments at 6:30, meeting at 7:00. Questions: contact Marge
Graham, 260 672-2585 or gramar57 [at]
Wednesday, 11 January: Dupont branch ACPL. Gary Kasunic, This is Your
Life Time  Video:
Create a lasting legacy, a family heirloom for your children,
grandchildren and generations to come.

Computer Users Group
Wednesday 18 January: Aboite branch ACPL, 7:00.

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
First Wednesday of each month in the Genealogy Department 9am – 7pm.
Expert help from members of the DAR in becoming a member of that organization

Curt Witcher

January 14 Terre Haute, IN: Wabash Valley Genealogy Society--3P, "The
Road Not Taken:  Mega Internet Sites for Genealogists 'Off the Beaten
6P Banquet talk, "The Great American Tapestry:  Voices of Our Ancestors."

February 18 Youngtown, AZ: West Valley Genealogical Society,
Arizona--all day workshop.

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 of the lot.
Available for short-term library parking.  Limited to one hour.
There are handicapped parking spots near the door.

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
Subscribe to "Genealogy Gems."  Enter your email address in the yellow
box and click on "Subscribe." You will be notified with a confirmation

If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
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the subject line.

Ryan Taylor, editor
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