Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 39, May 31, 2007
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 16:13:00 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 39, May 31, 2007

In this issue:
*Our Military Heritage
*Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…and Steamships, Canal Boats, and
Prairie Schooners: Transportation Periodicals
*Sacramental Records for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
*Countdown to Conference 2007
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Our Military Heritage
by Curt B. Witcher
I don't know why this year's Memorial Day celebrations struck a
particularly strong chord with me, but they did.  Perhaps it was the
fact of another Memorial Day when our brave military men and women are
actively engaged in the defense of our freedoms and liberties; perhaps
it was how today's technologies of 24-7 online news, YouTube, and
MySpace can bring such vivid, touching, and meaningful bits of
national and personal military history and happenings right to my
desktop; perhaps it was remembering how many of the volunteers who
provide such meaningful service in our Genealogy Center are themselves
veterans of twentieth century engagements; perhaps, too, it was how I
continue to be impressed with the vast resources the Allen County
Public Library has for those interested in researching their military
history and heritage.

From the excellent battle histories and military biographies in our
Readers' Services Department to the millions of pages of government
documents and publications about military hardware and strategies
housed in our Business, Science, and Technology Department, the
immense military record holdings of the Genealogy Center are well
complemented by the entire library collection.  Using the library's
online catalog linked right off the homepage is an excellent way to
explore the print holdings of the entire institution.  Clicking on the
orange "Genealogy" link on the library's homepage and then clicking on
"Microtext Catalog" will get one an increasingly detailed list of the
Genealogy Center's military holdings on microfilm and microfiche.

One might wonder why military records and history are so important for
genealogy and family history research.  I believe the answer rests in
a favorite phrase of mine relative to this important research:  "Every
generation the possibility."  And what does that mean?  If you place
this country's history along a timeline from before the revolution to
this present day, you will realize that scarcely does a generation go
by without some significant military activity.  From the French and
Indian Wars in colonial times to the founding of this country with the
American Revolution; from the War of 1812 to the Indian skirmishes and
the Mexican American War; from the War Between the States to the
Spanish American War and the Philippine Insurrection; from the World
Wars to Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, the timeline
of our country's history is intersected with many military
engagements.  Hence, if you have ancestors in this country, every
generation there exists the possibility one of your ancestors may have
provided military service and further, that you may find more
information about him through military records, histories, letters,
diaries and reminiscences.

Between this Memorial Day and Veterans' Day this November, look for a
special announcement about accessing some unique military data online
at our GenealogyCenter.Info site.  In the meantime, look for your
family's military history and the documents that evidence that
history--and make a commitment to save those documents for future
generations of researchers.  And if you have military photographs and
diaries that you would like to preserve and share with future
generations of researchers, contact the Genealogy Center about getting
those valuable items digitized.  Whatever you decide to do, take the
time to explore your family's military history and heritage.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…and Steamships, Canal Boats, and
Prairie Schooners: Transportation Periodicals
by Elaine M. Kuhn
In the December 2006 issue of "Genealogy Gems" we discussed the myriad
military periodicals held by the Genealogy Center. (To read back
issues, go to the Allen County Public Library's website at This month's
article focuses on periodicals devoted to the means by which our
ancestors and their worldly goods moved from one place to the next –
in essence, transportation periodicals. Though the idea of a
periodical dedicated to canals or roads might seem dry and boring,
these publications are anything but. You'll be surprised at some of
the fascinating information you can find.

Many transportation periodicals focus on a particular region or body
of water. The "Sea Chest" (call no. 979.7 P963s), published by the
Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society is one such publication.
Another periodical of this type is "Inland Seas" (call no. 977 In52),
a quarterly journal published by the Great Lakes Historical Society.
Also available in the Genealogy Center is "Canal Record" (call no.
975.9 P191c), published by the Panama Canal Society. "Overland
Journal" (call no. 978 Ov1982) focuses on the many trails used by
pioneers heading west. Other periodicals devote themselves to one
particular transportation route such as the "Lincoln Highway Forum"
(call no. 973 L638f) and "Wagon Tracks" (call no. 978 Sa591), the
latter being a publication of the Santa Fe Trail Association.

Some transportation periodicals limit themselves to just one method of
transportation such as the "Arkansas Railroader" (call no. 976.7
Ar48716r) put out by the Arkansas Railroad Club and "Heartland Rails"
(call no. 977.202 F77trq) from the Three Rivers Railroad Heritage
Council. The "AAHS Journal" (call no. 973.006 Am3517ja) published by
the American Aviation Historical Society highlights U.S. aviation in
all its forms both public and private. "Steamboat Bill" (call no.
973.005 St31a) is another publication of this type. Published by the
Steamship Historical Society of America, the journal highlights all
manners of self-propelled vessels. Each issue contains photographs and
illustrations of a variety of ships. One publication addresses not
only the means of transportation, but also the passengers who
traveled. That periodical is "Crossroads" (call no. 973 Or699c),
published by the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America.
"Crossroads" is chock-full of stories, first-hand accounts, and
photographs of former orphan train passengers.

The Genealogy Center also receives transportation periodicals of a
scholarly nature. One such publication is "Canal History and
Technology Proceedings" (call no. 973.006 C16a) from the Canal History
and Technology Press of the National Canal Museum in Easton,
Pennsylvania. Another scholarly publication is "Northern Mariner"
(call no. 971.006 C164n) from the Canadian Nautical Research Society.
"Northern Mariner" articles are published in English and French, and
each issue contains a number of book reviews related to maritime
events and inland waterways.

As with most periodicals in the Genealogy Center, transportation
publications are indexed in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), a
database at – just one of many electronic
resources available through the Allen County Public Library's
computers. In these transportation periodicals and in thousands of
other publications you will discover a host of articles related to the
movement of people and goods. For example, to find articles about the
history of railroads in Minnesota, try searching in the Places section
of  PERSI by selecting the state "Minnesota" and entering the keyword
"rail*" (the asterisk at the end of rail will pick up rails, railway,
railroad, etc.) and the record type "History." To find articles about
diaries written by travelers on the Oregon Trail, search the Places
section, leaving the state as "All" and entering under keyword the
terms, "oregon trail diar*". To find articles about Jesse Williams,
engineer of the Wabash & Erie Canal, search the People section by
entering the surname "Williams" and the keyword "canal."

Sacramental Records for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
In the late 1980s, the Genealogy Center was fortunate enough to
acquire microfilmed copies of sacramental records for the Diocese of
Fort Wayne-South Bend. Consisting of 43 rolls of microfilm, the
records cover the early parishes of the diocese in the 14 counties of
northeast Indiana: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Huntington,
Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wabash,
Wells, and Whitley. The sacramental records include baptisms, first
communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths or burials.

The amount of information included in the parish records varies by
time period, parish, and rector. Most records are in Latin, or a
mixture of Latin and the most common language of the parish – French
in the early records of Sacred Heart parish, Hungarian at Our Lady of
Hungary Parish, both in South Bend. Records start with the formation
of the parish, as early as 1830, and go to the end of the volumes that
were present in the archives during the microfilming process,
occasionally as late as the 1970s.

Baptismal records typically include child's name, parents' names,
birth date and place, baptismal date, sponsors, and priest. Some
records contain notes with the child's death, marriage or other
information. Marriage records usually include the principals' names
and witnesses. Death records often provide dates of death and burial,
birth place,  cemetery, and officiating priest, as well as notes which
could include hospital of death or where the deceased stood in
relation to the Sacraments. As might be expected, the later records
include more information. Most are arranged by sacrament and date, and
only a very few have some type of index. Also in the set are the
University of Notre Dame Campus Cemetery Records, which includes
funerals, lot purchases, and a list of those interred.

Selected records of two orphanages are also included in the Diocesan
records. St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum and Manual Labor School was
founded in 1867 in Rensselaer, Jasper County. At one time, more than
60 children were residents, but in 1876 the boys were transferred to a
new facility in Lafayette, and the girls sent to St. Vincent's in Fort
Wayne in 1887.

The St. Vincent Orphan Asylum took children from all over the Diocese,
and the records are varied. Baptismal records list age, birthplace,
parents when known, and sponsors. Some children are listed as
foundlings, others as illegitimate or half-orphans, with one or both
parents identified, and notations such as "parents divorced in civil
court." Occasionally, a baptism was a "conditional baptism," when the
priest or caregivers did not know if the child had already been
baptized a Catholic, or baptized in a non-Catholic ceremony that would
have been valid under canon law. Other notes on the baptismal record
could include when, where and to whom the child married many years
after coming to the orphanage. Reception records include the date the
child arrived at the institution, residence, age, notes concerning
parents, confirmation record, from whom the child was received
(usually a parish priest or another orphanage but occasionally an
identified parent), to whom the child was released, date and place of
birth, and death and burial, if the child died in the orphanage. Other
records include inmate listings and correspondence, such as the 1931
letter from Mrs. James Plunkett of Kentland, who was searching for
information concerning her recently deceased mother, Mary Riley.

For a researcher in northern Indiana, these records can be a valuable
vital record substitute. Other researchers might want to examine the
material to see what information Catholic records elsewhere could

Countdown to Conference 2007!
by Elaine M. Kuhn
As we approach the final months before the FGS/ACPL 2007 Conference to
be held in Fort Wayne on August 15th–18th, now is the time to tie up
those last important conference details before all of your summer
activities kick in. Have you made your conference and hotel
reservations? There is still time to register online and save thirty
dollars before the June 1st early registration deadline! Remember that
you can quickly and easily register online at the conference website
at Also remember that rooms can
still be reserved at several of the lodging facilities in Fort Wayne.
Check out the list of hotels at

Are you a librarian who will be attending the conference? If so,
remember to sign up for the Librarians' Day activities to be held on
Wednesday, August 15th. The day will be filled with knowledge sharing,
an in-depth tour of the newly-expanded Allen County Public Library's
main facility and the Genealogy Center, and plenty of camaraderie.
Plus, you get lunch! Registration for the Librarians' Day events is
free. You can sign up at the conference website at

Finally, are you looking for a roommate to share hotel expenses? FGS
is offering a Roommate Service again this year. You can go to the
conference website at and
fill out the form. You'll be notified by email if someone looking for
similar room requirements is available. Hey – you save money and make
a new friend to boot!

So, before you get caught up in the debate over whether Roger Clemens
can pull off another summer with the Yankees or planning your trip to
the lake with the grandkids or even Harry Potter Mania, get your
genealogy to-do list in order. You won't want to miss out on all of
the excitement and learning opportunities waiting for you in August!

Preservation Tip of the Month
by Becky Schipper
Summer holidays and reunions are a good time to ask family members
questions concerning the provenance of family treasures.  Family
gatherings also create opportunities to compare notes, identify old
photos, record stories and anecdotes, and photograph relatives.

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
Wednesday, June 13, 2007, Main Library at 900 Library Plaza: Annual
Dinner and awarding of First Families and Homesteader certificates.  A
registration form can be downloaded from their website at

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) "First Wednesday" program
of lineage assistance is Wednesday, May 2nd from 9A – 7pm.  Expert
help from members of the DAR on becoming a member of that

Driving Directions to the Library
Wondering how to get to the library?  Our location is 900 Library
Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the block bordered on the south by
Washington Boulevard, the west by Ewing Street, the north by Webster
Street, and the east by the Library Plaza, formerly Webster Street.
We would enjoy having you visit the Genealogy Department.

To get directions from your exact location to 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, Indiana, visit this link at MapQuest:

From the South
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 102.  Drive east on Jefferson Boulevard
into downtown. Turn left on Ewing Street. The Library is one block
north, at Ewing Street and Washington Boulevard.

Using US 27:
US 27 turns into Lafayette Street. Drive north into downtown. Turn
left at Washington Boulevard and go five blocks. The Library will be
on the right.

From the North
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 112.  Drive south on Coldwater Road, which
merges into Clinton Street.  Continue south on Clinton to Washington
Boulevard. Turn right on Washington and go three blocks. The Library
will be on the right.

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.  Turn left on
Wayne Street.  The Library will be in the second block on the right.

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.  Library Plaza will be on the right.

Parking at the Library
At the Library, underground parking can be accessed off of Wayne
Street. Other library parking lots are at Washington and Webster, and
Wayne and Webster. Hourly parking is $1 per hour with a  $7 maximum.
ACPL card holders may use their cards validate the parking ticket in
the Great Hall of the Library. Out of county residents may purchase a
subscription card with proof of identification and residence. The
current fee for an Individual Subscription Card is $65.

Public lots are located at the corner of Ewing and Wayne Streets ($1
each for the first two half-hours, $1 per hour after, with a $4 per
day maximum) and the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Harrison Street
($3 per day).

Street (metered) parking on Ewing and Wayne Streets. 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 garage 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.

Genealogy Center Queries
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.

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
Subscribe to "Genealogy Gems."  Enter your email address in the yellow
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If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
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Curt Witcher, editor pro-tem
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