Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 25, March 31, 2006
From: genealogygems (
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 07:11:12 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 25, March 31, 2006

In this issue:
*Taking a Break and Making a Breakthrough
*Gazetteers for German and Germanic Research—Beyond the Basics
*The Alabama Records Series by Jones & Gandrud
*New Medieval Sources
*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

Taking a Break and Making a Breakthrough
by Curt B. Witcher
This is the time of year when many families are either just getting
back from spring-break or just leaving for spring-break.  Watching
this year's annual migration of people looking for a break from winter
doldrums and seeking some sun left me with a couple of thoughts.

First, seeing folks engage in one kind of a break or another makes me
think of how important breaks are in many aspects of our lives. 
Certainly as genealogists, many of us have experienced some of our
best finds (and climbed over many of those proverbial brick walls!)
after putting things aside for a while, sometimes even working on a
completely different line.  If you find that your research isn't going
as well as you would like, perhaps you need a genealogical break. 
Plan a little "research road-trip" to a county of interest; attend
your local genealogical society's next meeting and seminar just to get
out from behind that computer and dialog with folks that are doing the
same kind of work as you are; and see if planning a day or two worth
of on-site research at the Allen County Public Library might provide
some fresh clues and new perspectives.

Second, observing the break from school and studies reminds me of how
important, yet so under-utilized, school records are for genealogists.
 Whether yearbooks and other annuals, alumni booklets and special
publications, enrollment records, attendance and grade rosters, or
records of teachers' contracts, the records generated by educational
institutions of all types are so significant.  The Historical
Genealogy Department contains many school records, and continues to
aggressively build that collection of materials.  Indeed, if you have
school yearbooks and other annuals that are looking for a good home,
we would be pleased to be that home!

Finally, speaking of school records, thanks to the dedicated efforts
of staff and volunteers, indices to Fort Wayne Central High School
yearbooks and Fort Wayne Central Catholic High School yearbooks are
now both available at  Indices to other area
schools' yearbooks are planned for the future.  Stop by and take a

Gazetteers for German and Germanic Research—Beyond the Basics
By Donald Litzer
One can never have too many maps and gazetteers, especially when doing
German research, because no "Germany" existed before 1871. The
original Atlantic Bridge to Germany series by Charles M. Hall (943
H14a v.1-10) and the reissued series by Origins, for which volumes for
Baden (943.46 H434a), Alsace-Lorraine (944.38 H434a), and Pomerania
(943.16 H434p) have been published, are foremost among worthwhile
English-language gazetteers. Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des
Deutschen Reichs (Meyers Geographical and Commercial Lexicon of the
German Empire) (943 W93m) is the premier pre-World War I
German-language gazetteer, and gazetteers covering specific regions
can also be very useful.

In addition, the following authoritative German-language sources of
multi-regional or national scope, all of which are noted in Shirley
Riemer's The German Research Companion, can help you match Germanic
place names to places.

Das Postleitzahlenbuch's (The Postal Code Book) (943 P8465) format is
readily understood once one realizes its similarity to the arrangement
of U.S. zip code directories. The first section lists places
alphabetically with their postal codes. The second section, arranged
alphabetically by major city/metropolitan area, lists postal codes by
street name within each area. This directory was published in 1993
after a reunited Germany instituted a five-digit postal code system.

Müllers Grosses Deutsches Ortsbuch (Müllers Large German Gazetteer)
(943.003 M91m) is the standard contemporary German gazetteer—a review
of a recent edition notes that Müllers is the official authority of
catalogers in German libraries for designating place names in subject
headings. Entries in the 1974 edition show—for more than 107,000
places—governmental, commercial and other jurisdictions, population,
and the section in the Shell Atlas where a place can be found.
Additionally, the gazetteer is printed in roman typeface, and is
therefore easier to read than the Gothic typeface used in Meyers'

Deutsch-fremdsprachiges (fremdsprachig-deutsches) Ortsnamenverzeichnis
(German-Foreign Language and Foreign Language-German Place Name Index)
(940.003 K87d), published in 1931, shows places located in German and
Austrian territories that were ceded to other countries after World
War I.  For each country, an alphabetical list of places by German
name is followed by an alphabetical list of places by the names given
to them in their present country.  Each entry shows the German name,
the present name, the Kreis (district/county) and the province where
the place was located before World War I.

Henius Grosses Orts- und Verkehrs Lexikon für das Deutsche Reich
(Henius Large Geographical and Commercial Lexicon for the German
Empire) (943 H388G), published in 1928, has briefer entries than the
Meyers gazetteer, which makes deciphering them easier. As in Müllers
gazetteer, church information is not included, but commercial and
governmental information is. A separate section lists, alphabetically
by German name in a single list, all cities, towns, and estates taken
from Germany after World War I, along with the names in their present
country. Entries include the country, present name and district where
the place is now located.

Only a handful of United States libraries have all of these gazetteers
available for researcher use. We look forward to you visiting the
Historical Genealogy Department to use these items and the rest of our
collection for your Germanic ancestral research.

The Alabama Records Series by Jones & Gandrud
by Ryan Taylor
In the 1930s, Kathleen Paul Jones and Pauline Jones Gandrud began
compiling their Alabama Records series. Over forty years, they put
together 245 volumes, each focusing on a single county, mostly in
northern Alabama, and consisting of miscellaneous records taken from
original manuscripts. The list of counties included is extensive, but
Madison, Lauderdale, Limestone and Tuscaloosa lead the pack,
particularly Madison.

ACPL has all but a couple of volumes. Each has been cataloged
individually, to make its contents as accessible as possible. The
whole series sits together on the shelf at 976.1 J71a.

The volumes are all indexed, and the indexes are useful ones. In
addition, there are detailed tables of contents and where possible,
they have been included in the catalog. They were copied exactly as
they appeared in the books, including variations in spelling and
format. Some include peoples' names for the sections listing extracts
from wills and from military pension records. By including these names
in the contents notes, we have made them searchable in the catalog,
simply by doing a keyword search using the individual's name.
Unfortunately there are the usual spelling discrepancies which may
make imaginative searching necessary. Also, the page numbers in both
the table of contents and indexes may be only approximate, so hunt a
little if you have trouble.

Occasional volumes consist of one kind of record only. The most common
specific records are marriages and probate records. Some volumes are
completely newspaper extracts, usually from Huntsville (Madison
County) papers.

How can we use these? Researchers should find them in the catalog if
they do a general search for resources on a particular county: for
example,  "Madison County (Ala.)" in the subject line. If you are
inclined to simply go to the shelves, however, the volumes are not as
accessible, because the Madison County volumes do not sit with the
other Madison County materials. So, use of the catalog is a good idea
to obtain an exact volume number.

Also remember that if you are looking for military pensions, wills or
probate records, the names of the principals involved are in the
record and searchable. This is also true of the (more limited)
sections of genealogies of specific families. Most of the pensions are
for Revolutionary soldiers and War of 1812, with a scattering of
others (Mexican War, Indian Wars, Civil War).

This series contains a massive amount of data. It is indexed and it is
cataloged in a way so that it can be used to maximum advantage by
researchers. You should now be able to access the contents to a much
greater extent than previously.

Ways to access these volumes through the catalog:
Put in an author's name—Kathleen Paul Jones or Pauline Gandrud
Do an advanced search with "Alabama records" in the title line and the
name of the county in the subject line
Put your relative's name in the keyword ('word or phrase') line

Remember, this searching can be done from your home computer as well
as in the library.

New Medieval Sources
The Historical Genealogy Department has many volumes of medieval
English records of various kinds.  We have recently added to this
collection with reprinted finding aids and indexes for documents in
the Public Record Office (now The National Archives) in London.  Among
them are Patent Rolls for all reigns from 1216-1509 (Henry III to
Henry VII), and also 1547-1572 (Edward VI-Elizabeth I).

These have nothing to do with what we call patents, which concern
intellectual or proprietary ownership. They are official listings of
Letters Patent.  Wikipedia describes Letters Patent as "...a type of
legal document which is an open letter issued by a monarch or
government granting a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or
some entity such as a corporation...Letters patent can be used for the
granting of coats of arms, for the creation of corporations, or by a
monarch to create an office."

A great many names of individuals appear in the Patent Rolls, and all
the volumes are indexed, so finding your relations will be relatively
easy--if they are there.

Preservation Tip of the Month
by Becky Schipper
ACPL's Preservation Technician Becky Schipper offers advice on
conserving your documents:
Scapbooks which contain acidic photographs and documents should be
interleaved with buffered tissue. This will help to prevent acid
migration.  Store scrapbooks in ph-balanced, lignin-free, boxes to
protect them from light and pollutants.

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

Sleep Inn
2881 E Dupont Rd
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
(260) 490-8989; fax (260) 490-8848

The Sleep Inn is located at I69 and Dupont Road (Exit 116). It is
about eight miles from downtown Fort Wayne, north of the city in the
developing commercial area which has grown up near the new Parkview
and Dupont hospitals.

Every room includes coffeemaker, HBO and cable, refrigerator,
microwave, high-speed Internet, data port, dual-line phone, iron,
large work desk with office chair. There is an indoor pool, fitness
room and business center. Full hot breakfast is included, with Belgian

Nearby restaurants include the usual chains, Fort Wayne's own Casa
Grill and the new Cebolla's (Mexican). Rates start at $75.

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

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, April 12: 6:30 p.m. at the Dupont Branch. Shirley Harris
will speak about the adventures of her Revolutionary War ancestor who
fought with Daniel Boone.

Computer Users Group
Wednesday, April 19: 7 PM at Aboite Branch

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
April 24: South Bend. South Bend Area Genealogical Society,  "New
Collections and New Facilities for Genealogy in Fort Wayne."
April 26: Fort Wayne, Grand Wayne Convention Center.  Emmanuel
Lutheran Older Adult Seminar, "Discovering and Sharing Your Family
April 28: Toledo, Ohio. Ohio Genealogical Society Conference,
"Exploring the Crossroads of the Nation:  Indiana Records &

Elaine Kuhn
April 20: Columbia City, Indiana, Peabody Public Library. Whitley
County Genealogical Society, "PERSI"
April 29: Toledo, Ohio. Ohio Genealogical Society's Annual Conference,
"Heritage Quest Online."

Steven W. Myers
April 29: Vincennes, Indiana. Northwest Territory Genealogical Society Workshop
        "Resources for Tracing Early Settlers in the Old Northwest Territory"
        "Doing Your Irish Homework in North American Sources"
        "Irish Church Records & Heritage Centres"
        "Irish Civil Registration & Other Vital Records Sources"

Ryan Taylor
April 7: Ottawa, Ontario. All-day workshop on English parish registers
and online census, sponsored by British Isles Family History Society
of Greater Ottawa, and Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society.
April 8: Ottawa, Ontario. British Isles Family History Society of
Greater Ottawa. "Family History in the Newspaper."
May 18: Columbia City, Indiana. Genealogical Society of Whitley
County. "Common Errors in Genealogical Research."
May 26-28: Oshawa, Ontario. Ontario Genealogical Society Annual Seminar.

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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