Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 50, April 30, 2008
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 19:38:36 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 50, April 30, 2008

In this issue:
*Mountains of Research Opportunities
*Ontario Place Name Research: Administrative Divisions, Part One
*Registers of Lighthouse Keepers, 1845-1912
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*Genealogy Center Launches New Workshop Series
*Tree Talks--A Family History Lecture Series
*Military Symposium
*Librarians On Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Mountains of Research Opportunities
by Curt B. Witcher
Flying into Salt Lake City on Monday of this week to participate in
the 2008 Utah Library Association Conference and meet with some
colleagues in the Genealogical Society of Utah's Family History
Department, I was impressed again (I think at least for the one
hundredth time!) with the size and majesty of the Rocky Mountains.
This native Hoosier can often forget just how flat Indiana is.

That juxtaposition between majestic mountains and fertile plains
reminds me of the research offerings of the Genealogy Center.  The
core collection of print materials, microtext, and online databases is
certainly fertile ground for one's research.  Hundreds of new books
are added each month--both newly published monographs and gems from
yesteryear found in antiquarian book catalogs and on society websites.
 The collection of licensed genealogical databases is truly second to
none.  Physically and virtually, it is an immense collection.

Perhaps the majesty comes in when you consider the many decades of
research experience the reference professionals have to assist you in
using the Center's resources.  Their expertise is given at our ASK
desks, in one-on-one consultations, and through our many program
offerings.  Between the Center's offerings and those of the Allen
County Genealogical Society, not a month goes by without there being
some opportunity to learn more and become a better researcher.  The
program offerings below are especially worthy of notice.
++Tree Talks programs presented the fourth Saturdays of the warmer months
++Two-day mini courses scheduled for July and October **NEW**
++The Military Symposium in September

When you put it all together, you certainly have "mountains of
research opportunities" in the Genealogy Center!  Make plans to take
advantage of those opportunities throughout this coming summer and

Ontario Place Name Research: Administrative Divisions, Part One
by Don Litzer
Changes in names and administrative structures can complicate place
identification in Canada's most populous province, Ontario. Genealogy
Center resources can help you sort out this complexity.

Townships were established in present-day southern Ontario, then part
of Quebec, with the arrival of Loyalist settlers, many of whom are
noted in Taylor and Parnall's "Mini Atlas of Early Settlers in the
District of Niagara, 1782-1876" (971.3 T21mia). In 1788, districts
were created establishing local government in the territory that, in
1791, became Upper Canada, and from 1841 to 1867 was known as Canada
West. In 1867, this territory, as Ontario, became one of independent
Canada's four original provinces.

Upper Canada was split into several administrative districts. While
counties, townships and local governments existed within these
districts, their autonomy was limited until 1849, when districts were
abolished and counties became the key administrative unit. A
definitive and detailed source for the pre-1849 period is Frederick H.
Armstrong's "Handbook of Upper Canadian Chronology" (971.3 Ar5ha),
which identifies and defines the scope of districts, counties, and
townships at that time, and lists government officials that served in
those jurisdictions.

Eric Jonasson's "The Districts and Counties of Southern Ontario,
1777-1979, Two Centuries of Evolution," published with detailed charts
and county outline maps in the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal
"Families" (971.3 F21, v. 20, no. 2), is a valuable overview of county
consolidations, boundary revisions, and other changes into the 1970s.

A useful collection of Ontario county maps on the Web at
displays plates from a mid-20th century atlas depicting counties,
townships, and other places. Other than municipal consolidation in
metropolitan Toronto and Ottawa in the early 1950s, the boundaries on
these maps were largely intact from 1882 until 1968, when a six-year
process of consolidating all or some of 14 counties into 10 regional
municipalities began.  Administrative divisions represented by these
maps, from the common (county, township, etc.) to obscure (borough,
united county, police village, etc.) are defined by Alan Rayburn in
the "Administrative Terminology" chapter of "Place Names of Ontario"
(971.3 R21p).

When Rayburn's book was written in the mid-1990s, a major municipal
restructuring was on the horizon. Because of that restructuring, the
Canadian place where your ancestor lived may still physically exist,
but it may no longer exist as a governmental entity.  Municipal
restructuring has reduced the number of Ontario municipalities from
815 in 1996 to 445 in 2004. Townships, cities, villages, and counties
have vanished from the map, either absorbed into or combined with

Registers of Lighthouse Keepers, 1845-1912
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
The image of a lighthouse may invoke a sense of strength and safety
set in beautiful, wild nature. The thought of the men or women who
staffed a lighthouse may elicit notions of weathered independents or
lonely misfits who just wandered into the position. But manning a
lighthouse was just another government job, so naturally, records of
employment exist, and the Genealogy Center owns the film.

These records consist of nineteen "Registers of Lighthouse Keepers,
1845-1912" (NARA M1373) that have been transferred onto six rolls of
microfilm, organized geographically by facility, for New England, New
York through Virginia, North Carolina through Texas, two rolls for the
Great Lakes divided by date, and one roll for Alaska, Hawaii and the
West Coast.

Although administrative control of the lighthouses passed through
various Federal government agencies, the registers are continuous, and
can, depending on the time period, include, by facility, lighthouse
keepers' and assistants' pay rate, dates of appointment and vacation
(leaving the facility through death, resignation, transfer or
retirement), birthplace, and military notes, if any.

Each roll includes indexes and maps. The index lists facility and
personnel names, providing page numbers. This was a single index, but
different pages of this index appear in each section on the film. It
is possible that the identified page could be on another roll, so
attention must be paid to the geographic area. The reference maps are
at the beginning of each roll and show lighthouse districts for each
region, and facilities' locations and names. The earliest maps are
dated 1889.

Many Keepers and Assistants were born in states in which lighthouses
are located, but natives of Kentucky and other states, as well as
natives of Portugal, Norway, Ireland, Germany and other foreign
countries staffed the facilities, too. Some Keepers or Assistants
remained only a few weeks, others for decades. Robbins Reef Lighthouse
in New Jersey became a family affair, as Lighthouse Keeper John Walker
died in July of 1886, and, after two other Keepers, John's wife, Kate,
became Keeper, and later her son Jacob became Assistant Keeper.

One can also combine the Register with other sources to study family
or facility dynamics. In 1870, New York native Willis Warner was a 34
year old sailor living with his wife and two sons in St. Clair County,
Michigan. By 1880, he was Keeper of South Fox Island Light, having
been appointed in 1876, with only his fisherman son, William living
with him. Willis remained there until 1882, and earned $560 per

So if an ancestor seems to be missing at some point, especially if he
lived in states with coastlines, take a few minutes to check these
fascinating registers.

Preservation Tip of the Month
by Becky Schipper
The Regional Alliance for Preservation (RAP) is a nationwide
cooperative offering preservation resources. As a network of
non-profit organizations, it is predominantly for the professional but
also has a number of services available to the public. Their web
address is: <>

Questions are best answered when directed to member organizations in a
particular geographic area.  Member organizations can be found under
the "Contact and Locations" link on RAP's homepage.  Members are
divided into four geographic areas:  Eastern Seaboard, Gulf
Coast/Southern U.S., Midwest, and West Coast.

Members offer a wide range of services including but not limited to
book conservation, paper conservation, photograph conservation, photo
duplication, digital imaging, textile conservation, microfilming, and
matting & framing.

Genealogy Center Launches New Workshop Series
by Steven Myers
This summer, the Genealogy Center will launch an exciting new series
of educational workshops featuring an invigorating combination of
expert lectures, individual consultations and assisted research in the
vast resources available at the Allen County Public Library. These
compact, two day mini-courses will be offered quarterly, and cover a
variety of subject areas of interest to the family historian.

Margery Graham, CG and Steve Myers, MLS are presenting the inaugural
mini-course "Family History 101" on Friday and Saturday, July 18th and
19th, 2008. Each day will feature three lectures and time to research
and consult with Marge, Steve and the Genealogy Center staff. The
inaugural workshop is an excellent way for the beginner to get
started, or for newer researchers to review important concepts and
sources. Of course, attendees are free to bypass any individual
session to take advantage of additional research and consultation
time. Lectures for "Family History 101" will cover the following

Session 1: Getting Started on Your Family History
Start your family history adventure off on the right foot. Learn about
important first steps, home sources, interviewing, organizing what you
collect, standard forms, using computer catalogs, and more!

Session 2: Basic Research Methods
Learn how to plan a successful search, gather evidence, and record and
document what you find.

Session 3: Census Records – A Cornerstone Source
Learn how federal population schedules, state census records, as well
as auxiliary schedules and census substitutes can all help advance
your research.

Session 4: Vital Records – Birth, Marriage & Death
Learn how to use published and online sources for vital records, how
to contact record offices, and how newspaper and cemetery records can
fill in the gaps.

Session 5: Published Local History & Family History Sources
Learn about the wealth of information available in local history
publications, how to track down obscure sources, and how to find out
what others have already done on your families.

Session 6: Directories, Maps & Gazetteers
Learn about the many features of directories, maps and place name
dictionaries that can help you pin down exactly where your ancestors
lived and what they were doing there.

The registration fee for the "Family History 101" mini-course is $50.
Checks should be made payable to "ACPL Foundation" and mailed to:
Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library, P.O. Box 2270, Fort
Wayne, IN 46801-2270. Mini-course attendance will be limited, so
register early to avoid disappointment. Additional information and a
workshop schedule will be posted soon on our Web site at

Researchers interested in future two day mini-courses will find
details in upcoming issues of "Genealogy Gems." Margery Graham and
Steve Myers are already scheduled to offer "Family History: Beyond the
Basics," covering more advanced sources and problem solving, on Friday
and Saturday, October 24th and 25th, 2008. An "Irish and Scots-Irish
Genealogical Research" mini-course is also tentatively planned for
March, 2009. Future workshops will feature advanced research topics,
English research and German research.

Tree Talks--A Family History Lecture Series
by Delia Bourne and Melissa Shimkus
Continuing our fourth-Saturday educational opportunities for
researchers is Don Litzer presenting "Networking Genealogically on the
Internet" on Saturday May 24, 2008, at 10 a.m., in Meeting Room A of
the Main Library. Don will discuss how e-mail, web published family
histories, genealogy blogs, and genealogical social networking sites
can aid a researcher to locate others with similar surname or locale
interests, providing more sources, new clues for your research, and
how to fully utilize Internet in your family history quest.

Mark your calendars now for other upcoming Tree Talks lectures include
" Genealogy" presented by Sara Patalita on Saturday, June
28, and "An Introduction to Medieval English Genealogy" presented by
Steven W. Myers on Saturday July 26, 2008, both at 10 a.m. in Meeting
Room A.

Military Symposium
by Delia Bourne and Melissa Shimkus
Don't forget the Military Symposium presented by Marie Varrelman
Melchiori, CG, CGL, on Friday and Saturday, September 26 & 27, 2008.
Ms. Melchiori will discuss National Archive records for the Civil war,
and research sources for Confederate and Federal soldiers. Curt
Witcher will highlight the Our Military Heritage website at Friday
evening's dinner.  And Saturday afternoon will provide opportunities
for individual consultations on your research challenges. Click on for
program and information on registration.

Registration (including Friday evening dinner) is $50 payable to the
Allen County Public Library.  You can simply send a check for $50 with
your name, postal address and email address to:  Military Symposium
2008, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, P.O. Box 2270,
Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270.  If you have any questions, please feel
free to contact us at 260-421-1225 or Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
May 27, 2008 at 6:30 p.m., Bluffton-Wells County Public Library, 200
W. Washington St., Bluffton, IN.  Topic: "Historical Research
May 28, 2008 at 7 p.m., Theater, Allen County Public Library, 900
Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN.  Topic: "Capturing & Preserving Family
June 10, 2008 at 6:30 p.m., Bluffton-Wells County Public Library, 200
W. Washington St., Bluffton, IN.  Topic: "More than Surname Surfing:
Effective Use of the Internet for Genealogy"
June 29, 2008 at 10:30 a.m., American Library Association Annual
Meeting, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA.  Panel Presentation:
"What Can Genealogy Do For Your Library?"

Don Litzer
May 12, 2008, DeKalb County Genealogical Society, Willennar Genealogy
Center, 603 S. Jackson St., Auburn, IN. Topic: "What's in a German
Place Name?"
May 24, 2008, Allen County Public Library, Tree Talks Series.  Topic:
"Networking Genealogically on the Internet"

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

May 14, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library's Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza.  ACGSI member Marge Graham will present
"How to Retrieve Information from Other Sites."

June 18, 2008, Annual Meeting and Dinner, Don Halls Guesthouse.
Social starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) "First Wednesday" program
of lineage assistance is Wednesday, May 7, 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

May 4, 2008, 2 p.m., Donn Werling presents "Down on the Farm"
(Following the lecture, History Center members will be invited to
visit the historic Werling farm which dates back to 1856.)

June 1, 2008, 2 p.m., Jim Sack presents "A Most German Town: How
Germans Came to Dominate Fort Wayne"

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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