Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 27, May 31, 2006
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 13:09:20 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 27, May 31, 2006

In this issue:
*Springing into Summer, Remembering Our Veterans. . .and Beyond!
*Library of Congress G&M Land Ownership Maps
*Researching the Early History of Fort Wayne
*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

Springing into Summer, Remembering Our Veterans . . . and Beyond!
Curt B. Witcher
This past weekend marked the unofficial beginning of summer, and
before the next issue of this newsletter is published the official
start of summer will have passed.  So, how are those summer vacation
plans coming?  I hope they include some family reunions, heritage
trails to ancestral home-places, and a research visit or two to the
Historical Genealogy Department here in Fort Wayne.  This is the
perfect time to gather those family stories and advance your research
so you will have much to talk about when the flurries fly and you're
gathered around those holiday dinner tables.

A couple of days ago we had the opportunity to remember in a special
way those who gave their lives in service of this great nation--a day
to memorialize deceased veterans from our families, our communities,
and the nation.  Indeed, most genealogists have a very special regard
for their military ancestors.  I would like to invite you to
memorialize your military ancestors in a unique and meaningful way.
Between Memorial Day and Veterans' Day of 2006, I invite and encourage
you to make digital copies (scanned as uncompressed ".tif" files on
CD-ROMs or DVDs) of letters you may have written by your military
ancestor(s) as well as discharge papers, awards, certificates and
citations, pension papers, and other historical write-ups.  Share them
with other family members who may not have been so honored as to have
access to this material earlier.  And seriously consider sharing a
copy with our Historical Genealogy Department.  (Simply send the disk
of military data to the attention of the Historical Genealogy
Department at the address on the library's homepage.)  The information
would be well preserved and accessible to generations of researchers.
What a neat way to pay tribute to one's military ancestors.

There has been a lot of recent activity at the website.  The big announcement is that there
are now more than ONE MILLION searchable Allen County, Indiana records
at the website!  Some of the more recent entries include names from
ten more years of the earliest South Side High School yearbooks and
the 1940 through 1983 Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery burials.  If you're
doing Allen County, Indiana research, you really must peruse that
website via the "Site Search" feature.  You may be amazed at what you
find.  In addition, if you have Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana
data you would like to contribute to the site, please let us know.

These are very exciting days for the Allen County Public Library and
its Historical Genealogy Department!  The work on the new main library
building is progressing very nicely.  Recently, library director, Jeff
Krull, took a group of more than sixty local genealogists on a
"hard-hat tour" of the building. It was a fantastic tour--and a
wonderful way to get an up-close look at the expansion and all the
improvements!  It is really going to be an extraordinary place to
conduct family history research!  Tentative plans are for the main
library to close sometime in early December of this year to move back
to the newly renovated facilities, and open some time in January 2007.
For those planning research trips in December 2006 and January of
2007, it is imperative that you check the library's homepage at
<www.ACPL.Info> for the latest closing and opening announcements.
Being subscribed to this e-zine is another excellent way of staying
informed.  Just think, a year from now, we will be in research heaven!

Library of Congress G&M Land Ownership Maps
Timothy Dougherty
The Historical Genealogy Department houses an impressive collection of
land ownership maps for the United States. One particular set is
reproduced on 1700 microfiche from originals housed in the Geography
and Map Division of the Library of Congress. When originally issued,
these maps provided more accuracy and detail than had previously
existed and were popular among local farmers and merchants. Today's
genealogist will find them important because many predate the earliest
bound county atlases which they may have already consulted. The maps
are invaluable in tracing family background and establishing
connections between families, researching the rural landscape of years
ago, and reconstructing the cultural life of a vanished era.

The original publication dates range from about 1850 to 1900 or so,
though some are earlier. There is a portion of one map from Anne
Arundel County, Maryland, for example, that covers 1639-1665. Coverage
varies greatly by locality and time period. Arrangement of the
collection is alphabetical by state, and by county within the state.
Within each county, maps have been placed in chronological order. Most
of the maps cover just one county (or a major part of it), but a few
feature more than one.

These maps depict the ownership of land by outlining the land parcels
that individuals owned. Additionally, the maps delineate township
boundaries. The township and range numbers are generally included on
the maps. Also illustrated are the chief natural  features and
man-made structures of the region: the rivers, lakes, vegetation,
hills, mountains, valleys, minerals and mineral springs, roads,
railroads, towns, villages, post-offices, principle bridges and
canals, and the most remarkable public buildings, churches, mills and
manufactories. Sometimes, towns or villages within a county are
represented by clusters of blocks. In these cases, a separate map for
each town or village may appear elsewhere on the microfiche.

The original maps were issued by a variety of publishers. They often
include business directories, and sometimes other types of
information. For instance, the Carroll County, Indiana map for 1897
lists county trustees by township, county commissioners, county
officers and justices of the peace by P.O. address. The Blue Earth
County, Minnesota map for 1879 has a section that lists the land
owner's name and occupation by town or village. Some include elegantly
rendered sketches of local buildings and farms. A cursory examination
of several maps, however, revealed that inclusion and type of the
additional material fluctuates widely from map to map.

Researching the Early History of Fort Wayne
John D. Beatty
Founded in 1794 at the confluence of three major rivers, Fort Wayne
was a natural hub of transportation from the time of the French
voyageurs to the early Federal period of the United States. It also
became a regional center of the fur trade and a distribution center,
through its Indian agency, for federal annuities paid to the Miami and
Potawatomi tribes.

Conducting historical and genealogical research in the period prior to
the opening of the federal land office and the formation of Allen
County in 1824 can be challenging. There were no formal land, court,
or probate records. Documents from Fort Wayne's Indian agency,
including its letterbooks and account books, do offer glimpses of some
of the residents and activities that surrounded the fort.

One of the essential sources is Bert Griswold's Fort Wayne, Gateway of
the West, 1802-1813: Garrison Orderly Books, Indian Agency Account
Book. Published in 1927, the volume contains a transcription of
commandant orders and courts martial conducted by the garrison, as
well as ledgers of supplies stocked at the agency.  Occasionally,
lists of debtors of the agency will appear, and the book is enhanced
by a full name and subject index.

Two complimentary works are Gayle Thornbrough's Letter Book of the
Indian Agency at Fort Wayne 1809-1815, and Nellie Robertson and
Dorothy Riker's three-volume John Tipton Papers. Published in 1961 by
the Indiana Historical Society, Thornbrough's volume contains a
transcription of letters both written and received by the agents John
Johnston and Benjamin Stickney. A few local names appear in these
records, and there is a useful index, though much of the material
focuses on Indian policy at the fort and offers a first-hand account
of the tensions in the West that preceded the War of 1812.

The correspondence of John Tipton, who succeeded Stickney as agent,
dates from 1809 to 1839 and includes the period when the agency was
transferred from Fort Wayne to Logansport in 1828. Numerous references
to Indiana residents, both white and Native American, appear in the
documents, including an 1831 pay roll of Potawatomi that serves as a
kind of census.

Because many of the early traders and residents of Fort Wayne were
French Roman Catholics, the parish registers of St. Anne's Church in
Detroit (under whose jurisdiction Fort Wayne was located in the early
nineteenth century) are a useful source of vital records. Christian
Denissen's Genealogy of the French Families of the Detroit River
Region, 1701-1936 contains references to many of these families,
though they are not always distinguished by their location.

Brian Leigh Dunnigan and Chris Cramton's Biographies of People Who
Lived at or near Old Fort Wayne in 1816 employs many of the above
works as well as additional sources to inventory all known residents
of Fort Wayne in 1816 when the last of several forts was constructed.
The work is also useful as a genealogical sourcebook and includes
biographical information on garrison soldiers and sutlers, area Miami
and Potawatomi tribal members, and French traders.

Preservation Tip of the Month
Becky Schipper
Scrapbooks that contain acidic documents and photos should be
interleaved with buffered tissue.  Store scrapbooks in pH-balanced,
lignin-free flat file boxes to protect them from light and pollutants.

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

By special request, this month we feature a Fort Wayne campground. The
Johnny Appleseed Campground is located on U.S. 930 (Coliseum Blvd.) in
Fort Wayne behind Memorial Stadium. It is a 10-15 minute drive to the
library. The campground's name is based on the fact that Johnny
Appleseed is buried here. Among its features are 36 sites, with
electricity, dump station, restroom/shower facilities, fishing and
playground. Campsites are available on a first-come, first served
basis. The campground will be closed to the public 11-20 September
2006 for the Johnny Appleseed Festival. For more information, call
(260) 427-6720 during the camping season.

Fees for the 2006 camping season:
RV per night fee--$15
RV per night w/phone--$18
RV weekly fee--$90
RV weekly w/phone--$94
Tent per night fee--$12
Tent weekly fee--$73
Only 2 adults per site.  An extra fee is charged for any additional
adults ($3/adult per night).

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, June 14: American Legion Post 330, 330 Entrance Dr., New Haven.
The annual dinner will feature the presentation of First Families and
Homesteaders certificates and the election of officers.

Computer Users Group
The computer group does not meeting during the summer. Join them again
in September!

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

Ryan Taylor
15 June: Ottawa, Ontario. Canadian Library Association.

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 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.  Look for a general
genealogy query email address coming soon.

Publishing Note:  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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Ryan Taylor, editor
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