Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 30, August 31, 2006
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 10:46:22 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 30, August 31, 2006

In this issue:
*Maps and More Maps
*Cherokee National Records – Microfilm Series
*The Federal Direct Tax of 1798
*"Dorchester Illustration of the Day"
*Family History Month Extravaganza!
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*Countdown to Conference 2007
*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

Maps and More Maps
by Curt B. Witcher
In recent months, the Historical Genealogy Department's collection of
land ownership maps has expanded greatly. We have updated our
collection of Rockford Publishers' land atlas and plat book
compilations, adding many hundreds of plat books from across the
country. These latest additions cover years in the second half of the
twentieth century for many states.

Another major addition to the department's land ownership maps is a
growing collection of works compiled by Arphax Publishing Company, a
relatively new enterprise. Called their "Family Maps" series, the map
volumes we have acquired each cover an individual county. The volumes
combine data from various mapping sources into very useable and rather
fascinating compilations. The majority of the data comes from the
General Land Office's Bureau of Land Management, the Department of the
Interior, and the Census Bureau.

The deluxe editions of this series provide maps that detail
homesteads, waterways and railways, cities and towns, and cemeteries.
Knowing the routes our ancestors traveled to both arrive at the places
we find them and move their goods, produce and supplies can provide a
much clearer picture of their lives and help us discover earlier
places of origin. In addition, knowing who their neighbors were can be
of great consequence as well.

As genealogical researchers, we know the value of being able to place
our ancestors and potential ancestors in the most complete contexts
possible, with geographic contexts being among the most significant in
our research.  So, when you're poking around in our online catalog
<www.ACPL.Info>, do a search under the counties in which you have
research interests--and keep your eyes peeled for these new maps.

Cherokee National Records – Microfilm Series
by Roberta F. Ridley
The Cherokee Nation/Indian Territory located in what is now
northeastern Oklahoma consisted of the following districts: Canadian,
Cooweescoowee, Delaware, Flint, Going Snake, Illinois, Saline,
Sequoyah, and Tahlequah, which was the Nation's capital. After their
forced removal from their native lands, the Cherokee established a
local as well as a national government in an effort to rebuild and
retain the history of their families and their nation. This extensive
microfilm collection offers historical documentation of the ongoing
cases between the Cherokee and the federal government on land
ownership, as well as the stories and events of everyday life and
genealogy. The researcher will find records of census rolls (a
separate collection from the Indian reservation censuses) and similar
lists, applications for citizenship (admitted and rejected), court
records, land purchases, marriages, subject files (diverse in content,
such as orphan names and their guardians), and tribal records. These
materials present events through oral, photographic, and written
history from tribal leaders, missionaries, military men, traders,
intruders, cattlemen, slaves and freedmen. The bulk of the collection
(depending on the category), covers a time period of 1858-1906, while
some supplementary materials such as missionary records, manuscripts
containing journals, correspondence and other records, provide
information from the 1820s to 1996.

This 130 reel collection includes a subject index reel which will
allow you to identify the volume, document number of your topic or
person, and the appropriate microfilm for viewing the chosen
information. The guidebook entitled "Guide to Cherokee Indian Records
Microfilm" (970.3 C42a) is also an excellent help in using this

In the index we find a listing for August 16, 1877, document number
892, regarding the case of John B. vs. Eliza B. Saunders for divorce
in Sequoyah District Court. Cherokee divorce documents numbered
884-917, dated May 30, 1874–September 16, 1895 are found on reel
number CHN 75, where you will find a copy of the original divorce

The Cherokee Nation was and still is the largest Native American tribe
in North America. This may explain why most researchers seeking their
Native American roots, tend to say "My ancestor was Cherokee."  The
challenge is to prove it through some historic documentation. When you
try to validate this family tradition, we would like to suggest the
ACPL Genealogy Department's microfilm collection of Cherokee National

The Federal Direct Tax of 1798
by Steven W. Myers
A publication that crossed my desk last week reminded me of a source
few genealogists use–the Federal Direct Tax of 1798. In July of that
year, under the threat of war with France, Congress authorized a
special tax on real property and slaves to raise money for a potential
conflict. Although the records generated by this tax have survived in
only a fragmentary way for most states, those that have survived can
be extremely useful for family and local historians.

Assessors used a variety of schedules in valuing property occupied as
of October 1, 1798. Form A is the "Particular List, or Description, of
each Dwelling House" and associated outbuildings on a lot not
exceeding two acres, but which property was valued at more than $100.
Form B contains the "Particular List, or Description, of all Lands,
Lots, Buildings and Wharves" except those on Form A. Form C is a
Particular List of Slaves and provides the names of the
superintendents and owners of slaves, as well as the number of taxable
slaves, but fails to give the names or ages of individual slaves.
Forms D, E and F are "General Lists" that consolidate some of the same
information found on Forms A, B and C, while Forms G, H, I and K are

Returns are arranged by first letter of the last name, under each
township or town and county within tax districts. Forms A and B can be
particularly useful, providing the names of owners, occupants, and
adjoining landowners, as well as detailed descriptions of property.
Besides assessed values, these include the size of the lot or land
occupied, the dimensions, number of stories, number of windows, and
construction material for dwellings, and the number, description and
dimensions of various other buildings called "outhouses." These might
include a barn, shed, kitchen, stable or smokehouse, for example, or
give other occupational clues, as do listings including a smith shop
or wagon maker's shop. Assessors sometimes added other valuable
comments such as "new house upper story not finished" or "The man is
an old blind poor man."

The Genealogy Department has microfilm copies of surviving schedules
for Maryland, Massachusetts (including Maine) and Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania's schedules are the most complete, occupying 24 reels of
film. A number of published books and articles in the collection also
index or abstract the tax schedules for a particular locality and can
be identified by checking our online catalog and the Periodical Source
Index at HeritageQuest Online. Patrons can also search a database of
Maine and Massachusetts returns through our in-house subscription to No lists are known for Kentucky, New
Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia/West Virginia,
while some lists for other states can be found at the relevant state
historical society or state archives.

Dorchester Illustration of the Day
The Dorchester Historical Society in Boston issues an emailed
newsletter called "Dorchester Illustration of the Day," which is
exactly what it says--an historical picture with a little background.
It's a great idea--it means the historical society has a daily
presence in its members' lives, and helps to educate them in the
history of their area in a painless way.  It's some work, but for a
librarian or archivist who lives surrounded by the photos every day,
it would not take much effort to pick one for the daily mail. The
public relations and educational benefits would be enormous.
In fact, people could even do this on a family basis--maybe not a
daily illustration, but what about Family Picture of the Week? The
family historian could send out the photos to interested family
members. It would be a way of keeping in touch, and helping people
learn about their relations. The cost would also be very low.  The
Dorchester Historical Society's website is at, but it doesn't mention the
e-newsletter. Back issues of Dorchester Illustration of the Day can be
found at ACPL.

Family History Month Extravaganza!
As mentioned in the last issue of Genealogy Gems, the Historical
Genealogy Department is celebrating Family History Month in October
with a wide variety of workshops and lectures. Valuable research tips
and resources will be discussed in presentations such as "Immigration
Research," "Genealogy Snapshots: Digital Photography for
Genealogists," and "Irish History for the Genealogist."  "Genealogy
Searching in the Online Catalog" and "Using" are among
the computer-related sessions that will help researchers looking to
expand their electronic sleuthing skills. And, again, don't forget our
Midnight Madness extended research hours on Friday, October 27th!
We'll be staying open until midnight for lots of late-night digging
and camaraderie.

You can see the complete calendar of events at  Several
sessions are limited in size, so sign up soon by calling the
Historical Genealogy Department at (260) 421-1225 or by sending an
email with your name, phone number and sessions you would like to
attend to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. See you in October!

Preservation Tip of the Month
by Becky Schipper
The following is a very good website, encompassing many varied types
of preservation information:

Countdown to Conference 2007!
As plans progress for the 2007 Federation of Genealogical Societies
Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, remember that there are lots of
reasons to visit the Historical Genealogy Department before next
August. The primary reason for visiting is that we are open and happy
to serve you!

Until December of this year, we are operating in our temporary
location at 200 East Berry St. while we wait for the finishing touches
to be applied to our new Main Library (see some recent photos of the
Main Library's renovation at
Our temporary facility affords "open stack" access to our materials,
meaning that researchers can browse the bookshelves and pull out
materials to use without having to fill out request slips – how great
is that?!

Researchers can use as many books, magazines and microforms as they
desire and if they find items of interest, they can make photocopies
at only ten cents a each (twenty cents for microtext copies). A
bargain, to be sure. Researchers are even welcome to bring in their
digital cameras to document their findings, if they are so inclined!
Visitors to the department are able to use the many electronic
resources we have available including,, and

Identifying the many wonderful items the department owns on microfilm
and microfiche just got a whole lot easier with the introduction of
our online microtext catalog! Take a look at the new catalog at

Finally, another important reason for visiting our department is to
stop by our reference desk and consult with one of our librarians.
Perhaps you've encountered a nasty "brick wall" in your research or
you're just getting started on your genealogy project and you're not
sure how to proceed. Our librarians have many years of research
experience and will gladly offer tips and suggestions for you to
employ to make your searching more fruitful.

Any more questions about the Historical Genealogy Department? Check
out our website at or phone
us at (260) 421-1225 or email us at genealogy [at]  As they say
in many parts of this great country, ya'll come!

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

Fairfield Inn By Marriott
5710 Challenger Pkwy, Fort Wayne 46818
260 489 0050

This conveniently-located hotel is about six miles from the library,
straight down Lima/Clinton to downtown (about 15 minutes), and right
at I-69 exit 111B. The 105 rooms feature a well-lit desk and the hotel
emphasizes its cleanliness. Continental breakfast is included. There
is an outdoor pool for those who visit in good weather. There are many
restaurants of varying prices in the area, and stores for shopping or
groceries. Rooms start at $74.

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI) 30th anniversary year
Refreshments at 6:30, meeting at 7:00. Questions: contact Katie Bloom
kathrynabloom [at]
Aboite Branch Library, Wednesday September 13:  Curt Witcher,  Manager
of the Historical Genealogy Department of ACPL, will bring us an
update on the library re-opening in January of 2007.

Computer Users Group
Aboite Branch Library, Wednesday September 20:  7:00  p.m. "What new
web site I found on summer vacation." ACGSI members share their new
and exciting finds.

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

30 August-2 September:  Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual
Conference, August 30-September 2, 2006, Boston, MA; "The Future of
the Past:  Rights and Responsibilities," "Your Society Wants You!
Effective Recruiting Strategies for Genealogical Societies," "Lookin'
& Bookin':   Effective Use of Record Repositories," "Fingerprinting
Our Families:  Using Ancestral Origin/Ethnicity as a Genealogical
Research Key."

14 September:   Woodburn Branch Library, 4701 State Road 101 North,
Woodburn, "Beginning Your Family History."

23 September:    Permian Basin Genealogical Society Conference, Odessa,
TX, "Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery," "Doing Effective
Genealogical Research in Libraries," "Mining the Mother Lode:  Using
the 'Periodical Source Index,'" "Pain in the Access:  Getting More
from the Internet for Your Genealogy."

29-30 September:  Pennsylvania Genealogy Conference, Pittsburgh, PA,
"The Road Not Taken:  Mega Internet Sites for Genealogists Off the
Beaten Path" and "Pain in the Access:  Getting More from the Internet
for Your Genealogy."

John Beatty

22 September:    Clan Ewing Family Association Reunion, Don Hall's Guest
House, Fort Wayne, "The Ewing Family of Fort Wayne and their Fur
Trading Empire."

Don Litzer

28 October:  Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County History
Fair, "Not Just Ancestry: Learning about Genealogy and the Internet."

Ryan Taylor

18 September:  Noble County Genealogical Society annual dinner,
"Creating a Family Cookbook."

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
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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Ryan Taylor, editor
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