Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 59, January 31, 2009
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 15:28:30 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 59, January 31, 2009

In this issue:
*Exciting Program Line-up for 2009
*An Aid to Researching Residents of the Southwestern United States
*Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks Series
*Preservation Tip of the Month-- Cleaning Soiled Pages
*Last Chance for WinterTech 2008-2009
*March Madness, Genealogy Style!
*Irish & Scots-Irish Genealogy: Part 1--A Two Day Mini-Course
*Beginning Genealogy Class
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Exciting Program Line-up for 2009
by Curt B. Witcher
As many likely read in Dick Eastman's "Online Genealogy Newsletter" or
saw in the NBC press releases, a new genealogy-based television
program is debuting on NBC this spring.  The first of six episodes of
"Who Do You Think You Are?" is set to premiere on April 20, 2009 at
8:00 p.m.  Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Susan Sarandon will
explore their family histories in what NBC is calling a new "U.S.
reality series."  The former "Friends" star, Lisa Kudrow, is also the
executive producer.

>From the NBC press release:  "In conjunction with Kudrow's production
company, Is or Isn't Entertainment, and the U.K.'s Wall to Wall
productions, the new show is an adaptation of the hit, award-winning
British television documentary series of the same name. A NBC
spokesperson said 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is intended to 'lead
celebrities on a journey of self-discovery as they unearth their
family trees that reveal surprising, inspiring and even tragic stories
that often are linked to crucial events in American history.'"  The
Fox network is also in the planning stages of a similar series.

Now before exclaiming that the last thing you want to do is hear about
another celebrity's ancestry, please note it is a very significant
event for genealogy-based programming to make it onto mainstream,
American network television.  I, for one, would like to see much more
family and local history based programming along the lines of the
U.K.'s "Who Do You Think You Are?" and PBS's two very successful
"Ancestors" series, as well as their most recent hit with Henry Louis
Gates, Jr., "African American Lives."  We should all support the
American version of "Who Do You Think You Are?" to ensure we see more
of this type of programming.  There are so many lessons that can be
taught and learned through exploring genealogy.  Even Lisa Kudrow said
in talking about the show, "This show personalizes history and turns
it into a gripping narrative.  The most striking thing about the show
is the realization of how connected we all are."  The Genealogy Center
may have a premiere party on the night of April 20th.  Details will be
forthcoming in next month's ezine.

While our Genealogy Center programs don't make the television airways,
we nonetheless have a fantastic line-up already planned for this year
that you simply won't want to miss.  Throughout this ezine, you will
find many programs described--from the last program of WinterTech and
the first program of the Tree Talks 2009 series to mini-courses,
seminars and "March Madness."  These programs provide you with
excellent opportunities to expand your genealogical knowledge, network
with others interested in the same areas of research in which you are
engaged, and consult with experts on the really tough challenges.

In addition to the abovementioned fare, we are planning some special
events.  In cooperation with the Allen County Genealogical Society, we
will be presenting a program entitled, "Climbing Your DNA:  Genetic
Genealogy" May 22 & 23, 2009.  It will be an exciting one and a half
days of up-to-date information on this revolutionary aspect of
documenting your family history, making connections with heretofore
unknown relatives, and using science to begin solving some of your
research brick-walls.  Specific details will be available next month.
Further on in the year, June 18-20 and October 29-31 to be exact, the
Genealogy Center and the Library will be hosting the Palatines to
America Conference and the first International Black Roots Conference
respectively.  You won't regret reserving all these dates on your

An Aid to Researching Residents of the Southwestern United States
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
Newspapers are a wonderful genealogical source, but researchers often
limit their search for relevant publications to a specific town or
county. Even broadening the search to surrounding counties may not be
enough. A wonderful compilation by the El Paso Genealogical Society
perfectly illustrates the point that in wide open spaces, where towns
were far apart, the newspapers of the largest city in the area may
well have served the functions of a local paper for a very large
territory. El Paso was one such city, its papers providing news of
people who lived in and moved through the area on their way west.
"Births, Deaths & Marriages from El Paso Newspapers ... for Arizona,
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Indian Territory" (call number 979
B539) was the result of a twenty year project and consists of four
volumes covering newspapers to 1900.

Each volume is divided into sections by event. Death notices are by
far the most numerous and normally include the decedent's name, age,
and place, date, and cause or circumstances of death, but can also
provide names of survivors, birth place, residence or destination, and
occupation. Some entries are brief, such as that for Boatman, a Negro
who "dropped dead" in San Antonio in 1884. Others include detailed
biographical information. Entries are arranged alphabetically, but
there is an index of other names mentioned at the end of each volume.
So, if one knows only that Frank Middleton killed someone in
Smithville, Texas, in 1895, looking up his name will lead you to the
citation for Alexander Jenkins, the victim.

Marriage notices include the names of bride and groom, place and date
of marriage, and might include birth places, officiant's name, and the
names of other family members. These notices can also supply
unexpected details, as in the 1897 report that Laura E. Flint married
Thomas W. Wiggins, after obtaining a divorce from her former husband
the same day.

Birth notices normally include parents' names (usually Mr. and Mrs.),
birth date and place, or other information about the family, but may
not name the child, only note its gender. The birth sections also
include announcements for birthdays, baptisms, and adoptions, as well
as items such as the 1885 note that Fannie, Adolph, and Helen Schultz
were being educated in New York City.

Additional sections, labeled "oddities" or "funnies" appear in some
volumes, and volume two includes a UFO section with a sketch of an
airship that appeared in El Paso in 1897. So, as with all newspapers
of the time, one never knows what treasure one will find.

Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks Series
by Melissa Shimkus
 "Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks: Petitions to Southern Legislatures
and County Courts, 1775-1867" is an enlightening source for those
researching southern ancestors. Upon receiving a grant in 1991, the
University of North Carolina collected copies of race and slavery
petition records from state archives and county courthouses in fifteen
southern states and the District of Columbia. The resulting collection
was microfilmed in two series and reproduces approximately 18,500
petitions containing 144,000 pages of documents concerning
manumissions, military service, wills, estate inventories, slave
contracts, and debt records.

The microfilm is simple to use, thanks to Loren Schweninger's "A Guide
to the Microfilm Edition of Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks, Series I,
Petitions to Southern Legislatures, 1777-1867" (call number 975 G941)
and "Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks, Series II, Petitions to Southern
County Courts, 1775-1867" (call number 975 G941A). A name index at the
end of each volume directs the researcher to a document abstract in
that book. The number provided in the abstract correlates to the
petition on microfilm. The UNC Race & Slavery Petitions Project also
provides an online index to Series I documents at

The records are fascinating, even if an ancestor is not involved. In
1859, the Mississippi Legislature was petitioned by 53 residents of
Kemper County concerning Gillam, a free black man. According to a new
law, Gillam would not be allowed to live in the area, but the
petitioners felt an exception should be made, since Gillam was a man
of "good character" and employed as a carpenter.

Samuel Ridout, executor of the estate of Richard Tydings, petitioned
the Anne Arundel County (MD) Court in 1783 for help in the disposition
of Tydings' property. Rachel Tydings, widow of Richard, argued that
her dower rights nullified her husband's willed manumission of their
slaves. The petition consists of nine pages explaining the details of
the case, as well as seven pages pertaining to the estate records,
including the will and inventory. Genealogical information concerning
the deceased, his widow, his children and their spouses, and slaves
can be found within these records.

The "Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks" series provides access to primary
source documents valuable to anyone investigating southern culture and
history from the beginning of our country to the immediate post-Civil
War period. Anyone researching ancestors in the South will find these
records worth exploring on their next visit to the Genealogy Center.

Preservation Tip of the Month--Cleaning Soiled Pages
by Becky Schipper
Remove pencil marks and other spots with an eraser. This can be an art
gum or plastic eraser. Use a light touch so as not to abrade, thin, or
grind down the paper. Crayon, ink, and marker are typically very
difficult to remove and in most cases, impossible to remove
completely. Using chemicals or other liquids will only wrinkle the
paper and/or cause the paper fibers to swell.  When the paper fibers
are further apart, it is easier to loose parts of the ink.

Document cleaning pads are another good option for removing dirt and
soil from paper. They should be held above the page and twisted to
release their powder. Then gently move the powder over the page with
your fingers or a soft brush to absorb the soil. Finally, brush off
any residue. Document cleaning pads can be purchased through art or
library supply sources such as Gaylord, Demco, and Metal Edge, Inc.

Gum and other sticky material can sometimes be removed by placing the
book in a plastic bag and putting it in the freezer for several days.
The hardened substance can then be lifted with a knife or spatula.

Last Chance for WinterTech 2008-2009
by Melissa Shimkus and Delia Bourne
The WinterTech series concludes with Don Litzer presenting "Not Just
Ancestry: Using the Entire Internet for Genealogy" on February 11, at
2:30 PM in Meeting Room A. The Internet's potential for family history
research is much more than trolling for names.  This
session will offer strategy for successful Internet research,
recommend a short list of must-see websites, and provide examples. And
remember that this is the same day as the Allen County Genealogical
Society of Indiana's monthly meeting, held at 7 p.m. To register,
please call 260-421-1225 to register, or email Genealogy [at]

March Madness, Genealogy Style!
by Melissa Shimkus and Delia Bourne
Our third annual "March Madness, Genealogy Style" is March 1st through
7th, 2009, and we hope you take a bit of time away from watching
basketball to attend!  The schedule is listed below.  All programs
will be held at the Main Library, and all programs except "Tech Time"
on March 6th will be held in Meeting Room A.  "Tech Time" will be held
in the Genealogy Center.

Sunday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. Melissa Shimkus presents, "Southern
Lore." After the Civil War, many changes occurred in the Southern
States. Learn about historical events that affect your research in the
South. Discover your Southern ancestors through records from the
reconstruction era. Bring your ancestors to life by learning about
their history.

Monday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m. Cynthia Theusch presents, "Family Search
Labs." Learn about LDS's beta website, featuring family history
technologies not yet ready for prime time.  Test innovations in using
the Internet to find, research, organize, and share information--for

Tuesday, March 3 at 10:00 a.m. Cynthia Theusch presents, "Civilian
Conservation Corps, 1933-1942." This presentation will provide
background and historical information on the Civilian Conservation
Corps (CCC), which was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.
Learn more about how the CCC helped the nation and about the men who
joined and became known as Roosevelt's Tree Army. Learn where and how
you can obtain their enlistment papers.

Wednesday, March 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Daughters of the
American Revolution provide Research Assistance for Membership. DAR
members provide assistance to anyone interested in research to join
the Society.

Thursday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m. John Beatty presents, "Evaluating
Published Family Histories." The Genealogy Center owns more than
57,000 volumes of published family histories. How do you, as a
researcher, evaluate them effectively in your research? This class
will look at techniques for assessing the quality of published family
histories, from format and style to footnotes and evidence. It will
present examples of some of the most outstanding genealogies in the
collection and discuss what makes them great.

Friday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. Delia Cothrun Bourne presents, "Tech
Time." Copiers, printers, scanners... Lost amid the Genealogy Center's
machinery? Take a brief tour among the gears and microchips for tips
on using these valuable resources. *Space is limited.* Please

Saturday, March 7 at 10:00 a.m. Sara Patalita presents, "Using Flickr
to Document Your Genealogy." Sharing photos and scanned documents has
never been easier, thanks to new online software. Sara Patalita will
discuss the ins and outs of Flickr, one of the most popular programs
for storing and documenting your historic photographs.

Please call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] to register for
any or all of our programs. Keep an eye on our Special Programs
website for class
descriptions and registration information.

Irish & Scots-Irish Genealogy: Part 1--A Two Day Mini-Course
by Melissa Shimkus and Delia Bourne
The first of our 2009 two-day mini-courses will be presented March 13
& 14, 2009. Steve Myers, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager and
well-known lecturer on Irish research, will provide a thorough
grounding in the sources and techniques that lead to success. The
mini-course schedule is below.

Friday, March 13, 2009:
9:00 a.m.:  Library Opens
9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.:  Course Introduction
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.:  Doing Your Homework in North American Sources
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.:  Break
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.:  Getting the Lay of the Land: Irish
Place-names, Maps & Gazetteers
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.:  Lunch on Your Own (A map of local
restaurants will be provided.)
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.:  Griffith's Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Books
1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.:  Break
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.:  Tour of Genealogy Center
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.:  Assisted Research / Consultations
6:00 p.m.:  Library Closes

Saturday, March 14, 2009
9:00 a.m.:  Library Opens
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.:  Church Records & Heritage Centres
10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.:  Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.:  Civil Registration & Other Vital Records Sources
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.:  Lunch on Your Own (A map of local
restaurants will be provided.)
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.:  Censuses & Census Substitutes
1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.:  Break
1:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.:  Assisted Research / Consultations
6:00 p.m.:  Library Closes

The complementary Part 2 mini-course, tentatively scheduled for March
of 2010, will cover additional topics such as using Irish manuscript
collections and local history publications. Steve says you'll learn
lots and have fun too!  Class descriptions and registration
information will be posted soon on our Web site at

Beginning Genealogy Class
On Saturday March 28, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Margery Graham
will present a program on "Beginning Genealogy." This event is
sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, and
will be held in the Orientation Room on the west end of the Main
Library's first floor.  The program will cover how to begin your
search into your family history, gathering and organizing your
information for best results, application of basic and proven research
methods to keep your research on track, and a tour of the Genealogy
Center.  Pre-registration along with a $10 fee are required.  Call
260-672-2585 for more information, or find a registration form at . This is the first of the Tree Talks series for
2009. Future subjects include Kentucky research at ACPL, preservation,
and much more! Watch our Special Programs site for more

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
February 11, 2009--Allen County Genealogical Society Meeting, Allen
County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room
C, 7 p.m.  Topic:  "Electronic Publishing."
February 28, 2009--Whittier Area Genealogical Society Seminar,
Greenleaf Masonic Temple, 7604 Greenleaf Avenue, Whittier, CA, 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. "Doing Effective Genealogical Research in Libraries," "Using
Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research," "Pain in the Access:
Getting More from the Internet for Your Genealogy," and "All That
Other Stuff!: Other Census Records Beyond Federal Population
March 3, 2009--Indiana State Historic Records Advisory Board
Conference, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room C, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  A seminar format to begin
a conversation about some pressing issues in the archival community in
March 18, 2009--Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, 1710 West St. Andrews,
Midland, MI, Library Lounge, 7 p.m.  Topic:  "Preserving Military

John Beatty
March 5, 2009--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 2:00 p.m.  Topic:  "Evaluating Published
Family Histories."

Delia Bourne
March 6, 2009-- Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 10:00 a.m.  Topic:  "Tech Time."

Cynthia Theusch
March 2, 2009--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 2:00 p. m.  Topic:  "Family Search Labs."
March 3, 2009--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 10:00 a.m.  Topic:  "Civilian Conservation
Corps, 1933-1942."

Melissa Shimkus
March 1, 2009--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 1:00 p.m.  Topic:  "Southern Lore."

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

February 11, 2009 at 7 p.m. (social time begins at 6:30 p.m.) at the
Allen County Public Library's Main Library, 900 Library Plaza, Meeting
Room A.  Curt Witcher will present "Electronic Publishing."

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

February 1, 2009 at 2 p.m.  Dr. Curtis J. Jones will present "They,
Too, Came as Pioneers: Early African-American Settlers in Northwest

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 Genealogy Gems you just received or
send an email to kspears [at] with "unsubscribe e-zine" in
the subject line.

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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