Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 47, January 31, 2008
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 18:46:49 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 47, January 31, 2008

In this issue:
*Who Went Where and Did What?!  The Importance of Directories
*Directories of Photographers Can Help Identify Old Photographs
*Why Microtext?
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*GenealogyCenter.Info Site Update
*March Madness--Genealogical Style
*Librarians On Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Who Went Where and Did What?!  The Importance of Directories
by Curt B. Witcher
Many of us use them every day--most of us use them every week.  They
are all around us, both in print and online.  Some of us keep printed
ones forever while others of us toss them out as soon as the next
edition is published.  What are they?  Directories!!  Genealogists
have long appreciated the important role new and old directories play
in helping us locate both living family members and ancestors or
potential ancestors.  However, many somewhat frequently find
themselves in a quandary about what to do with directories deemed no
longer useful.

I fear that many times these directories simply get tossed.  I have
what I believe is a better solution--gift the directories to the
Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library.  There are many
different kinds of directory publications though most of us typically
know them as simply directories or yearbooks.  The Genealogy Center
already maintains one of the largest directory collections in the
country.  The core of that directory collection is the nearly 51,000
print city directories, a large number of them published by R. L. Polk
& Company.  In addition, we have several thousand rolls of city
directory microfilm covering major cities around the country from
1861-1960 and hundreds of microfiche covering even earlier time

Though we have a significant quantity, city directories are not the
only type of directory we collect.  The Genealogy Center also contains
church directories and yearbooks, school directories and yearbooks,
alumni association directories, occupational directories, and rural or
prairie farmers directories.  Just last year, we were able to add more
than two thousand school yearbooks to our collection.  And our
treasure trove of rural directories can just amaze one with the
quantity of data presented.  For some counties, a rural directory may
not only contain the names of the farmers but also an exact legal
description of their property, whether native born or the date they
came to the county, their religious and political affiliation, marital
data, and names of children.  In a very real way, directories and
yearbooks can constitute a type of census as they place people in a
particular geographic location at a specific time.

In this issue of "Genealogy Gems," my colleague John Beatty
illustrates more reasons why directories are significant in his
discussion of directories of photographers.  Clearly directories are a
source to be included in your research; and what is equally clear, the
Genealogy Center is the place for your unwanted directories.

Directories of Photographers Can Help Identify Old Photographs
by John D. Beatty
Many genealogists face the unenviable task of identifying unlabeled
family pictures.  They may have inherited a boxful of nineteenth
century studio portraits, but since no one who knew the subjects ever
thought to label them, the genealogist now must try to give each one a
proper identity. Many photographs in this era bear the name or mark of
a photographer. By identifying when and where a photography studio
existed, a genealogist might be able to discern some clues about the
subject, especially if one has identified specific relatives living in
a city at the time period when the photographer worked there.

Several historians have worked to compile historical directories of
photographers for this specific purpose. Daguerreotypes, the earliest
type of photograph, appeared on glass and were mounted in cases,
beginning in 1839. They are notoriously difficult to identify, in part
because there was no place on the case to affix an identifying label.
John S. Craig's two-volume "Craig's Daguerreian Registry" (2003) (973
C844cj) attempts to identify every maker of daguerreotypes who worked
in the United States between 1839 and 1860, as well as persons in
related fields, such as case-making, apparatus manufacturing and
die-engraving. Volume 1 is arranged alphabetically by photographer
surname, and the accompanying biographical sketches are often quite
detailed and drawn from city directories, newspaper advertisements,
and a variety of other sources. Volume 2 contains a geographical
directory by state and city.

Diane VanSkiver Gagel has compiled "Directory of Photographers in the
United States 1888 & 1889 and Canada 1889," (929 G121wia), which is
based on a much more obscure, earlier work: the first and second
annual editions of the "Lithographers' and Photographers' Directory: A
Directory for Lithographers, Photographers and for All Allied Arts and
Trades in the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South
America," published in 1889. Though not a biographical work, Gagel's
book, like Craig's, is divided into two parts. The first is an
alphabetical listing of photographers and includes for each one, if
known, their street address, city and state. The second part is
arranged geographically by state and city.

In addition to the above works, a variety of photographer directories
attempt to list photographers by state. Gagel has also written "Ohio
Photographers 1839-1900" (977.1 G121o) that not only lists every known
photographer in that period, but also provides useful biographical
sketches. A search of our online catalog under "Photographers
Directories" will produce a list of similar directories for other
states, including California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Texas,
as well as for Ontario and western Canada. A useful bibliography to
these and other directories is Peter E. Palmquist's "Photographers: A
Sourcebook for Historical Research" (2000) (929 P566pL). This work is
international in scope and significantly includes references not just
to books, but also articles about photographers from a variety of
historical journals.

Identifying an unlabeled family photograph is always a challenge, but
with an arsenal of photographer directories now in print, the task can
sometimes be made less daunting.

Why Microtext?
by Don Litzer
Microfilm and microfiche, collectively called "microtext" at the
Genealogy Center, have long been valued as low-cost, reliable,
standardized, and preservationally stable storage media for document
images. The Genealogy Center has been able to purchase, accumulate,
and make available millions of otherwise unavailable or unaffordable
records through a microtext format. However, as computers and the
Internet have heightened expectations for ease and speed of
information access, to some researchers microtext seems archaic, dowdy
and cumbersome. Should genealogists still care about microtext?

Microtext images may be the closest a researcher can get to a
document's original. In some cases, as with the 1900, 1910 and 1920
U.S. federal censuses, whose original copies were destroyed after
filming, microfilm is literally the best available copy.

It is also erroneous to presume that any digitized image is an optimal
rendition of an original. The collective utility of U.S. federal
census images produced by (in grayscale) and
HeritageQuest Online (in black-and-white) testify that no one method
is always best. Individual scanned pages may bring out faded text in
one section, but thus render another section unreadable --detail
possibly recoverable in the microtext image. It may require the
efforts of a persistent researcher to discover that a scanned image is
of suboptimal quality.

A case in point is the New York State Census Collection, digitized by and held, in large part, by the Genealogy Center in
microtext format. A search for "Sally Casselman" at's
basic Historical Records search screen will lead you to page 2 of the
1892 census for Busti District, Chautauqua County, New York, where
Sally is enumerated. The names immediately to the left of Sally's are
impossible to read--on Ancestry's scanned image. However, on the
microfilm of that same document, those persons are identifiable using
the Genealogy Center's S-T Imaging digital film viewer. The 58, 31,
28, 5, and 3-year old persons identified only as "Stoddard" in
Ancestry's every-name index are revealed as Orlando J., Merle C.,
Mary, Clayton, and Abbie Stoddard. The twelve persons following the
Stoddards, omitted from Ancestry's index altogether, can also be
identified, including Hulda Carlson, age 17, domestic, born in Sweden.
Since another 17-year old Hulda Carlson, born in the U.S., is
enumerated only two pages later in the same district, a Carlson
genealogist searching for western New York ancestors might be confused
and misled!

For the above reasons among others, while digitization provides an
important tool for accessing original documents, it is extremely
likely that microtext resources will continue to be a source of
authoritative information, critical to the compilation of solid
genealogical research, well into the future.

Preservation Tip of the Month
Many individuals engage in scrapbooking as a part of displaying and
preserving family history documents.  If you are among that number,
the official website of the Scrapbook Preservation Society might be
worth a look.  <>  The mission of
this organization is "to collect, review, organize, and distribute
science-based preservation information to the scrapbook community
through the publication of preservation guidelines, informational
articles, and technical papers, and through the presentation of
educational programs."  The articles and links are well done and

GenealogyCenter.Info Site Update
We are pleased to announce that a searchable index to the recently
published "History of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, 1700-2005"
is now live on the site.  More than fifty-seven thousand individuals,
organizations, places and events are indexed.

This month's update to the Allen County Obituary Index takes the
number of records in that data file over the half million mark.
Through the diligent work of Genealogy Center staff and volunteers,
numerous corrections and modifications to previous entries have been
made.  Truly, the index is better than ever.

The new Military Heritage component of the site has more than eight
thousand images, and growing.  With its own "Search" and "Roll Call"
features, it is an interesting area in which to browse or look for
specific individuals.  <>

March Madness--Genealogical Style
As mentioned last month, we are offering a great line-up of programs
the first week in March.  Now is the time to reserve a place on your
calendar and sign up for these great learning opportunities.  A
complete descriptive listing is on our website at:
<>  Dates and topics are
listed below.

Saturday March 1, 2008: "Beginning Genealogy," Margery Graham,
Instructor, sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of
Indiana, Meeting Room A.  Fee $10. Pre-registration required. Call
260-672-2585 for more information, or use the form at to register.

Sunday March 2, 2008: "The Five Forts That Make Fort Wayne." Presented
by John Beatty. ACPL Theater, 1-2 PM.

Monday March 3, 2008: "Searching" Presented by Melissa
Shimkus. Computer Classroom, 2:30-3:30 PM.

Tuesday March 4, 2008: "Fingerprinting Our Families:  Using Ancestral
Origins as a Genealogical Research Key." Presented by Curt Witcher.
Meeting Room C, 1-2 PM.

Wednesday March 5, 2008: "Using PERSI at"
Presented by Delia Bourne. Computer Classroom, 2:30-3:30 PM.

Thursday March 6, 2008: "Ask the Librarian." Meeting Room A, 2:30-3:30 PM.

Friday March 7, 2008: "Not Just Ancestry: Using the Entire Internet
for Genealogy." Presented by Don Litzer. Meeting Room A, 10-11 AM.

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
Feb. 13, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza.
Topic: "All That Other Stuff!: Other Census Records Beyond the
Population Schedules."
Feb. 23, 2008, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. James Episcopal Church,
Port Charlotte, FL.  Charlotte County (FL) Genealogical Society Spring
Symposium.  Topics:  Passenger & Immigration Research; Using Church
Records in Your Genealogical Research; Who Went Where . . . And Did
What? Using Directories in Genealogical Research; and More than
Surname Surfing:  Best Practices for Using the Internet for
Mar. 4, 2008 at 1 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Meeting Room C.  Topic: "Fingerprinting
Our Ancestors: Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research

John Beatty
Mar. 2, 2008 at 1 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Theater.  Topic: "The Five Forts That Make
Fort Wayne."

Delia Bourne
Mar. 5, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Computer Classroom.  Topic: "Using PERSI

Don Litzer
Mar. 7, 2008 at 10 a.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Meeting Room A.  Topic: "Not Just
Ancestry: Using the Entire Internet for Genealogy."
Mar. 12, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza.
Topic: "What's in a German Place Name?"

Melissa Shimkus
Mar. 3, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Computer Classroom. Topic: "Searching"

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)

Feb. 13, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza.
Genealogy Center manager Curt Witcher will present "All That Other
Stuff!: Other Census Records Beyond the Population Schedules."

Mar. 12, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza.
Genealogy Center librarian Don Litzer will present "What's in a German
Place Name?"

Apr. 9, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza.  ACGSI members Adam Barrone, Sue Downey,
and Phil Husband will present "Software Available for Doing

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) "First Wednesday" program
of lineage assistance is Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 9 am – 7 pm at
the Allen County Public Library's Main Library, 900 Library Plaza, in
the Genealogy Center.  Expert help from members of the DAR on becoming
a member of that organization.

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN

Feb. 3, 2008, 2 p.m., Rubin L. Brown presents "In Need of Change:
Early African-American Doctors in Ft. Wayne"

Mar. 2, 2008, 2 p.m., Gen Dornbush and Jacqui Seals present "Quilting:
Art, Politics and Superstitions" (Featuring work by Sisters of the

Apr. 6, 2008, 2 p.m., Terry Lacy presents "The Artist as Historian:
Painting the Wabash & Erie Canal"

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

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 Ave. which
dead-ends at West State Blvd.  Make an angled left turn onto West
State Blvd.  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 from 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
library card holders may use their cards to validate the parking
ticket at the west end of 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 $70.

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 Genealogy Center 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

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 Genealogy Center, 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:  www.GenealogyCenter.Info. 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 email.

If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
the very bottom of the issue of GenealogyGems you just received or
send an email to kspears [at] with "unsubscribe e-zine" in
the subject line.

Curt Witcher, editor pro-tem
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