Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 23, January 31, 2006
From: genealogygems (
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 13:47:13 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 23, January 31, 2006

In this issue:
*News for the New Year
*Captured at Sea and in Ports Abroad
*The Belfast Newsletter and Index 1737-1800
*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

News for the New Year
by Curt B. Witcher
The New Year often brings new things to our homes and our lives—and it
is no different here at the Allen County Public Library. Thanks to the
dedicated work of Allen County Genealogical Society volunteers, there
are two brand new databases at The first
database is an abstraction of the earliest D. O. McComb & Sons funeral
home records, 1926 to 1950. 
<>  It was quite a job to
abstract the information from microfiche and accurately key the data
for publication. It is so very important to have the early records of
this family-owned funeral home as a part of the complement of early
twentieth century Allen County, Indiana, record indices available to

The second database is an 1883 burial list found in and abstracted
from the "Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel" by Donald Weber. 
Though civil birth and death registration was officially required in
most Indiana counties beginning in 1882, and a bit earlier in cities
like Fort Wayne, researchers are well aware that many individuals in
the early decades simply did not get registered. Having burial lists
compiled from funeral home records, as this list was, helps
genealogists fill-in those early gaps which complement newspaper
obituaries and published death notices.

Finally, more than thirty thousand obituaries have been added to the
Fort Wayne and Allen County area obituary index. 
<> These obituaries
represent most of those published in the last quarter of 2005 as well
as a very substantial number of obituaries not yet uploaded for the
1988 through 1994 time period. The department continues to engage in
reconnaissance work to ensure that the more than one hundred and fifty
years of obituaries for this area are referenced as completely and
accurately as possible.

New for the New Year is a "genealogy tee-shirt" being sold by the
Friends of the Allen County Public Library. The attractive casual wear
sports a bright tree with the slogan "Branchin' Out" and the library's
name. The cost is $15 plus Indiana sales tax. If you're looking for
that special something for the genealogist in your family, or your
genealogist friend, you won't want to miss this unique item. For an
ordering address, simply click on the following link. 

Captured at Sea and in Ports Abroad
by Roberta Ridley
"Registers of Applications for the Release of Impressed Seamen
1793–1802" is among the one-reel wonders of the microfilm collection
that may contain a missing piece to your ancestral puzzle.

From the end of the American Revolution until the conclusion of the
War of 1812, the U.S. government was concerned with the impressment of
seamen on American ships and with their repatriation. American seamen
were essentially being kidnapped by the British (and occasionally the
French or Spanish) and detained or forced into service in foreign
navies. "If the impressment occurred within a foreign port, masters of
U.S. ships were to 'make a protest' to the American consul. If the
impressment occurred on the high seas, it was to be reported to the
collector of customs at the first U.S. port at which the vessel
arrived." The vessel master's protest stated the name, place of
residence and citizenship of the person impressed or detained, the
manner of the impressment, and by whom it was made. An account of
these impressments or detentions was to be submitted to the Secretary
of State.

This reel contains four volumes of registers relating to applications
for release of impressed seamen and covers an inclusive date span of
July 19, 1793 through May 1, 1802. The substantive content varies.
Volumes 1, 3, and 4 include an index arranged roughly alphabetically
by the first letter of the seaman's surname. Volume 2 is arranged
chronologically by date of the application for release. The
information provided about each seaman may include: native state,
American ship from which he was taken, the British ship on which he
was carried off and the name of its captain, date of impressment,
evidence of citizenship, and result of the application.

Was a seafaring ancestor really lost at sea, or captured and taken
into government service with the British or the French? Continue your
missing ancestor search in the single reel on impressed seamen.
(Microcopy # M–2025 Roll 1)

The Belfast Newsletter and Index 1737-1800
by Steven W. Myers
Most genealogists have looked in an old newspaper to record the
valuable information connected with an individual's marriage notice or
obituary. Some have even gone so far as to read through all the local
items in a town newspaper covering many decades, in order to glean a
wide variety of otherwise unknown details about their ancestral
families—illnesses, accidents, house fires, visits by relatives,
school awards, membership in local organizations, business
advertisements and the prices of everyday household items. This type
of search has been made easier for many localities with the advent of
computer indexing and the internet. Even our foreign research efforts
can benefit.

The Belfast Newsletter is one newspaper that should be of interest to
anyone with Scots Irish ancestors living in Northern Ireland in the
latter half of the eighteenth century. While only about one quarter of
the issues published from 1737-1750 have survived, the run from
1750-1800 is nearly complete. Published three times weekly, the papers
are full of local news items that may provide a vital clue in
otherwise difficult Irish research. As an example, ship captains
occasionally published signed testimonials from satisfied passengers
they had already landed in North America, sometimes leaving the only
surviving written record of such a passage.

An index to The Belfast Newsletter by John C. Greene, covering
1737-1800, is available here on microfiche and provides access to
nearly 300,000 news items and ads. Every significant word and date was
indexed. Researchers may check this microfiche index by personal name,
place name, subject, and ship name or for advertisements. An online
version of this index allows wildcard searching and is available free
at  Users are reminded that Irish place
names were not yet standardized at that time, and are cautioned to
check spelling variations of both personal and place names they are

Brief abstracts of referenced news items can also be viewed free on
the website, but sometimes are a bit cryptic. Fortunately, the
Historical Genealogy Department also owns copies of the original
newspapers, dating 1737-1800, on 45 reels of microfilm. Visitors may
make photocopies of the original text for items they have identified
in the indexes, or just enjoy browsing a contemporary Irish newspaper
that can help provide historical context for their searches. Those
with ancestors from Counties Antrim and Down, or the neighboring
region, will find this source fascinating and particularly useful.

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

A method of preserving brittle or acidic documents is to photocopy the
item onto acid-free, alkaline-buffered paper. Photocopying will
preserve only the contents of the document. If the physical object
itself is valuable you may want to encapsulate it in Mylar.
Encapsulation is reversible.  Encapsulation materials and acid-free,
alkaline-buffered paper are available from most suppliers of archival

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

Don Hall's Guesthouse Hotel
1313 W. Washington Center Road Fort Wayne IN 46825
phone (260) 489-2524; toll-free 1-800-348-1999
FAX: 260-489-7067

The Guesthouse is locally-owned, one of a chain of Don Hall's
restaurants. In addition to the food, the Guesthouse is a substantial
hotel, visible from I-69 (use exit 111A north and turn right onto
Washington Center Road). It offers upscale rooms and facilities,
including a pool, exercise room and two restaurants. Other restaurants
are nearby and the staff will be glad to direct you to the various
Hall's restaurants in Fort Wayne, one of which is only two blocks from
the library. Those arriving in Fort Wayne by air can be met by the
Guesthouse van. The library is an easy fifteen-minute drive from the
Guesthouse. Rooms start at $89.

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]
February 8, Dupont branch ACPL: Don Litzer, "Not Just Ancestry—Learning About
Genealogy and the Internet, A four-step strategy for success."

Computer Users Group
Wednesday, February 15:  7 PM at Aboite Library

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

Don Litzer
February 8          Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Fort Wayne

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
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Ryan Taylor, editor
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