Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 32, October 31, 2006
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 15:01:01 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 32, October 31, 2006

In this issue:
*Autumn Musings
*Ancestral Roots: An Important and Easy First Step to Royal and Noble Genealogy
*Passport Applications
*Countdown to Conference 2007
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*Area Calendar of Events
*ACPL Librarians on Tour
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Autumn Musings
by Curt B. Witcher
The end of the year is rapidly gaining upon us, and with it comes the
holiday season and rich opportunities to gather with our families.  I
hope you will take every chance to create memories, share stories, and
record family history.

The construction and finishing details at our newly renovated and
greatly expanded Main Library are coming along very nicely.  New
digital microtext reader-printers have arrived; nearly all of the
shelving for our ever expanding book collection is installed--and that
includes a nearly a sea of moveable stacks; and a new installation of
microtext cabinets is nearly complete.  Reference and information
areas are nearly finished, and staff members are hard at work ensuring
the technology to complete the picture is operating nicely on opening
day.  These are truly exciting times.  Even if you reside in an area
quite removed from Fort Wayne, some time in '07 you really must make
the Genealogy Center of the library your destination!  Bring a friend
or two--there will be plenty of room!

For those who may not have seen the announcement in other places on
web, October saw the official launch of  What a
truly wonderful asset to the genealogical community--to watch
television programs of high quality and current interest on your
computer screens and HD projection devices!  Programs about the
genealogical research process, DNA, leaving a legacy, and more.  This
is certainly one of *the* sites to watch over the coming months for
additions of outstanding content.

Ancestral Roots: An Important and Easy First Step to Royal and Noble Genealogy
by John D. Beatty
Tracing descent from medieval forebears of the royal and noble houses
of Europe can be an interesting and appealing part of genealogical
research. It is easy, however, to be misled by erroneous research,
especially if one puts too much faith in some published genealogies of
the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in which authors
attempted to trace the lineages of American families to royal or
biblical antecedents and made other claims that were neither
documented nor provable.  Genealogists are urged to exercise caution
when consulting them, as they should with any secondary source that is
not documented.

That said, there are also several well-documented secondary sources on
medieval and royal genealogy in print that are highly acclaimed for
reliability and widely accepted in the genealogy field.  None of these
is more renowned than Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists
Who Came to America before 1700, now in its eighth edition. Created by
the late Frederick Lewis Weis and continued and greatly expanded by
the late Walter Lee Sheppard Jr., the book is often nicknamed the
"Weis" book and is considered a basic source for doing medieval
genealogical research. Genealogists interested in royal genealogy
should make it a place of first resort because of its solid research,
excellent documentation, and ease of use.

First published in 1950, the Weis book initially contained data on
sixty English immigrants to early New England whose lineages could be
reliably traced to royalty in British and continental sources.
Subsequent editions authored by Sheppard and more recently edited by
William R. and Kaleen E. Beall have revised that number to seventy
immigrants, several of whom lived outside of New England.  Later
editions have also included numerous corrections and additions that
are cumulative, and for this reason, researchers should consider only
the latest edition, published in 2004, as the most authoritative.

If you have traced your ancestry successfully to one of these
so-called "gateway" ancestors whose lineage has been documented in
Weis, it is a relatively simple matter to trace that line to European
royalty and nobility. Looking first in the book's index, one is guided
not by page numbers, but by the corresponding lineage and individual
numbers beside each name. Each line appears in numerical order in the
text, and each line contains multiple generations that are also
individually numbered. The eighth edition includes 398 lines or
lineage summaries, most which are tied to other lineages in the

For example, the "gateway" immigrant Gov. Thomas Dudley (1576-1653) of
Massachusetts has many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of
descendants living today in the United States. While these descendants
are not traced in Weis, Dudley himself appears as number 40 in Line
143, which traces his lineage back twenty-five generations to Louis
II, King of the Franks, who flourished about the year 860.  Other
ancestors in this pedigree are linked to other lineage numbers in the
book, including that of Louis himself, who, in addition to being
number 16 in Line 143, is also number 16 in Line 148.  Turning to Line
148 allows one to extend Dudley's lineage back to Charlemagne, whose
ancestry, in turn, is extended back even further as number 13 in Line
50.  Users of Weis will find themselves jumping from line to line in
this way as they gather additional data. They will also find
documentation for each generation in notes that are imbedded in
brackets throughout the text, and are encouraged to consult these
references for "proof" of descent. A bibliography of sources, along
with a list of abbreviations, is included in the front of the book.
Research into royal and noble lineages remains on-going, so be sure to
look for newly corrected and revised editions of the Weis book to
appear in the future.

Passport Applications
by Timothy Dougherty
The Historic Genealogy Department recently received microfilmed copies
of passport applications housed in the National Archives. This eagerly
anticipated acquisition is composed of four collections. Two comprise
the records themselves, and two make up the index.  While we only have
the first of the collections (M1372) processed and ready for use, we
anticipate having the other three collections available before the end
of the year.

M1372, Passport Applications, 1795-1905 is reproduced on 694 rolls.
These are the "regular" applications. Early, letter-format requests
gave way to primarily standardized forms by the 1860s. Content
includes: date and place of birth, physical description, occupation,
foreign destination, and naturalization. The quality of information
varies from entry to entry.

M1834, Emergency Passport Applications (Passports Issued Abroad),
1877-1907 is a separate 56 reel collection. These applications were
issued for emergency purposes, usually as means of identification, and
were valid for only six months. Content is similar, but not identical
to that of the regular applications.

M1371, Registers and Indexes for Passport Applications, 1810-1906.
These nine reels cover Dec. 21, 1810-Oct. 7, 1817; Feb. 22, 1830-Nov.
15, 1834, and Nov. 14, 1834-Feb. 28, 1906.

M1848, Index to Passport Applications, 1850-52, 1860-80, 1881, 1906-23
is a 57 reel collection of several smaller index groups.

While passport applications can be genealogical goldmines, there are
certain limitations in using them. Though 19th century overseas travel
was more common than we may suppose, many of those travelers did so
without a passport. Until June of 1941, U. S. citizens were not
required to have one for travel abroad, save for periods during the
Civil War and Great War. A further limitation is that aliens, with few
exceptions, were not eligible for passports. Naturalized citizens were
generally eligible.

For illustration, the name Benhard Stein was plucked randomly from the
index. Much can be gleaned from scrutiny of his application. Mr. Stein
was born at "Strassburg, Germany" on April 4, 1851. He arrived in the
United States April 15, 1881, in his words, "on a steamship, the name
of which I cannot recollect." He reported further that he had resided
in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, San Francisco and
Chicago, was a "merchant," and intended to return to the States within
one year. When the application was filled out in March of 1897, Mr.
Stein was 45, with stature of 5 feet 3½ inches, low forehead, and
hazel eyes. His mouth was small, with no teeth, chin pointed, and his
hair, dark brown. He had a dark complexion and an oval face.

Researchers will relish this unique opportunity for glimpsing their
own ancestor.

Countdown to Conference 2007!
by Elaine Kuhn
As we near the holiday season, some tasks tend to fall by the wayside
in favor of the bigger projects such as cooking the Thanksgiving
dinner, preparing for holiday visitors, and shopping for holiday
gifts. One task you might want to leave on your to-do list in red
letters is your reminder to plan for the FGS/ACPL 2007 Conference to
be held August 15th through the 18th in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You'll be
glad you made time for four days of outstanding speakers, valuable
workshops and many hours of research time in one of North America's
premier genealogical collections. You can start your plans to attend
the conference by downloading the informational brochure at

Also remember that the holiday season is a perfect time to gather more
information for your family tree. If you are fortunate enough to have
older relatives who are able to answer family history questions for
you, by all means, ask! You'd be surprised at what Aunt Mary might be
able to tell you about older family members long since past and what
life was like when she was a little girl. Not sure of what kind of
questions to ask? Try some of the questions provided in books such as
"To Our Children's Children" by Bob Greene and D.G. Fulford (Call no.
929 G83t) and "Reaching Back" by Alice Chapin (Call no. 929 C35r).
Answers to some of the questions you ask may give you a better idea of
how your ancestors lived, where they worked, where they traveled, how
they worshipped. Plus, spending some extra time with Aunt Mary and
listening to her stories could very well make her day, and isn't that
what holiday gatherings are really all about? In any event, enjoy the
upcoming holiday season!

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

The last place you should consider storing archival materials is a
low-cost storage facility without temperature or humidity controls.
Items stored in these type facilities are also at risk for theft, fire
or flood.

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
Refreshments at 6:30, meeting at 7:00. Questions: contact Katie Bloom
kathrynabloom [at]
Wednesday November 8, 2006, Aboite branch: James DeVinney will speak
on the topic "'WILD CARROT' The story of the William Wells family."

Computer Users Group
Questions? Contact Marge Graham, gramar57 [at] or 672-2585.
November 15, 2006, Aboite branch, ACPL, 5630 Coventry Lane, 7 p.m.

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

John Beatty
November 14:  7pm, at Main Library, 200 East Berry Street.  John will
participate on a panel discussing the Art of Writing Local History,
with examples from the new Allen County history book.  Sponsored by
the Reader's Services Department of the library.

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.

Curt Witcher, editor pro-tem
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