Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library: No. 60, February 2009
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 07:55:40 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 60, February, 2009

In this issue:
*Springing Into Action
*Searching Irish Wills Before 1858
*Patent Interference Case Files, 1838-1900
*Preservation Tip of the Month--Advice from the National Park Service!
*March Madness, Genealogy Style!
*Irish & Scots-Irish Genealogy: Part 1--A Two Day Mini-Course
*Beginning Genealogy Class
*April Tree Talks: WeRelate Overview
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Springing Into Action
by Curt B. Witcher
With spring only a few days away, I am sure many of you are anxious
for the cold, the ice, the wind and the power outages of the last
couple of months to truly be behind us.  And all of us are probably
itching to get started on those wonderful spring and summer
activities.  As I have done a number of times in the past, I am again
strongly urging you to use the advent of spring as a time to commit to
being more active in your genealogical life--to spring into action.

A number of genealogical and historical societies hold conferences,
seminars and workshops in the spring.  Spring into action and commit
to attending one or two.  Yes, there is so much we can do online all
by ourselves.  Equally true, though, is the fact that there is so much
we can learn and experience when we share our research challenges and
successes, or when we listen to experts who can enlighten our efforts
and open new windows of possibilities on our problems.

For many, spring cleaning has turned into more of a spring organizing
and planning time.  Spring into action and organize the records and
photographs you have from holiday gatherings, as well as all those
“I’ll get around to it someday” documents.  So your investment
portfolio is barely recognizable--see if you can breathe some life and
fun into those “stay-cation” things we’ve heard the media talk about
for months. Spring into action and discover what kind of genealogical
fun is right in your backyard.

As has been our tradition for a number of years, we’re offering quite
a suite of programs in the Genealogy Center this spring--from one hour
presentations to half day seminars and two day mini-courses.  Spring
into action and join us.  We’d love to spend some time with you.

Searching Irish Wills Before 1858
by John D. Beatty
Wills, as every genealogist knows, are an excellent tool for
researching one’s ancestry. In the case of Ireland, probate research
is considerably more challenging, in part because the original copies
of most early wills were burned in 1922 during the Public Record
Office fire. However, not all wills were lost. Sometimes the originals
were copied by genealogists, and those abstracts survive. In other
cases, Irish lawyers or solicitors made copies of wills for court
cases, and those copies have since been deposited in either the
National Archives of Ireland or in the Public Record Office of
Northern Ireland. Furthermore, many indexes of wills survive, so that
even if the full text of a will is no longer extant, it is at least
possible to determine whether a will for your ancestor once existed.

Irish wills were filed in two kinds of ecclesiastical courts before
1858, because the official Church of Ireland had jurisdiction over
probate matters. When someone died and all of their property holdings
were contained in a single diocese, the will was probated in that
diocesan court. If the testator had holdings of sufficient value in
more than one diocese, the will was probated in a prerogative court.
The majority were of the former category. A useful “Index to Irish
Wills” (941.50004 P54i), edited by Phillimore and Thrift, lists
diocesan wills from the seventeenth century through 1858. This
five-volume set is divided by diocese and arranged alphabetically by
testator. Volume 1 covers Ossory, Leighlin, Ferns, and Kildare. Volume
2 covers the combined Diocese of Cork and Ross, as well as Cloyne.
Volume 3 includes Cashel and Emly, Waterford and Lismore, Killaloe and
Kilfenora, and Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe. Volume 4 covers
Dromore, Newry, and Mourne. Volume 5 covers Derry and Raphoe. A number
of other dioceses are not represented in the series. Wills from the
Diocese of Dublin through 1800 are indexed in the “Appendix to the
Twenty-sixth Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records”
(941.50004 Ir216p), while a similar “Appendix to the Thirtieth Report”
indexes those from 1800-1858. Prerogative wills are listed in Arthur
Vicars’ “Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810”
(941.5004 V66in).

Some wills also were recorded in the Registry of Deeds, and those
dating from 1708 to 1832 have been abstracted in P. Beryl Eustace’s
three volume “Abstracts of Wills” (941.50004 Ir24r). Be sure to check
online in the new e-Catalogue of the Public Record Office of Northern
Ireland ( or in the Origins Network’s “Irish Wills
Index 1484-1858,” to which the Genealogy Center subscribes, to see if
an abstract of a will exists. Many of the prerogative wills were
abstracted by Sir William Betham and are available on microfilm from
the Family History Library. Finally, John Grenham’s handy guide,
“Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” (941.5 G865t), provides a list of
additional sources for surviving will indexes and abstracts.

Patent Interference Case Files, 1838-1900
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
When we think of inventors, we think of the famous ones: Thomas Edison, Charles
Goodyear and Philo T. Farnsworth. But some of our ancestors also
invented, as they sought new tools for performing daily tasks or new
ways to make life easier for themselves and their families. As they
invented, they would often patent their ideas, perhaps hoping to make
some money for their efforts, just as today’s inventors patent the
next great vegetable slicer before marketing it on late night

Sometimes, the same idea came at the same time to different people in
different places, and multiple patents were requested, even given, for
what was essentially the same product. Under certain circumstances, if
two or more parties claimed a patent on the same invention, an appeal
could be made by the second party. The resulting appeals to a panel of
administrative law judges of the Board of Patent Appeals and
Interferences produced Interference Case Files. Unlike the actual
patents which only describe the invention, these case files detailed
the process of invention. The case files are also useful to
genealogists because they can provide biographical details about the
inventor and others that may have testified on his or her behalf.

The Genealogy Center holds indexes for the “Patent Interference Case
Files, 1838-1900” on a set of five microfiche. The first fiche
provides an introduction including brief information on the patent
process, a description of the contents of the files, and instructions
on using the indexes. The first index is by case number. Cases prior
to 1870 are listed by the year and a letter, while files covering 1870
to 1900 are listed numerically by case number. The names of the
plaintiff(s), defendant(s) and a brief description of the invention
are provided. The inventions range from a hair crimper and shoe trees
to knitting machines and grain binders. The second index lists all
parties involved in the case and provides the case number. The last
index is by invention, for example bean separator or raisin seeder,
and again supplies the case number.

The introduction and index of inventions is also available in a
printed book as “Patent Interference Case Files, 1838-1900” (973
Un325bj) compiled by John P. Butler. The records themselves are
located at the National Archives and Records Administration in
Washington, DC as part of Record Group 241, Records of the Patent and
Trademark Office.

Preservation Tip of the Month--Advice from the National Park Service!
by Curt B. Witcher
It is said that one can find anything and everything on the Internet,
and sometimes from the most unlikely sources.  Did you know the
National Park Service (NPS) publishes technical leaflets to help one
preserve, repair, and conserve documents and other artifacts?  Their
publications, available for free online, are called
“Conserve-0-Grams.” They cover a wide range of topics with simple,
easy-to-understand procedures.  Intended for NPS staff, they have wide
applicability for many everyday preservationists.  A number of the
leaflets are a bit dated, but sound advice and strategies never really
go out of date.  Check out the website.

March Madness, Genealogy Style!
by Melissa Shimkus and Delia Bourne
Sunday, March 1st, marks the beginning of our third annual "March
Madness, Genealogy Style," a Week of genealogical treats for spring.
The schedule is listed below.  All programs will be held at the Main
Library--indeed all programs except "Tech Time" on March 6th will be
held in Meeting Room A of the Main Library.  "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.

Take advantage of these free classes! Please call 260-421-1225 or
email genealogy [at] to register for any or all of our programs.

Irish & Scots-Irish Genealogy: Part 1--A Two Day Mini-Course
by Melissa Shimkus and Delia Bourne
Register *today* for the first of our 2009 two-day mini-courses, to be
held on March 13 & 14, 2009. Steve Myers, Genealogy Center Assistant
Manager and well-known lecturer on Irish research, will teach Irish &
Scots-Irish Genealogy: Part 1. 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

Class descriptions and registration information are on our Web site at
http://www.ACPL.Info/Genealogy/programs.html . Space is limited so
register today.  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.

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

April Tree Talks:  WeRelate Overview
For our second Tree Talks event of 2009, back by popular demand,
Cynthia Theusch will offer a " Overview" on Saturday April
25, 2009, at 10 a.m. in Meeting Room A. Find out how to use the
world's largest genealogy wiki to interact with other researchers
online, upload GEDCOM files, annotate scanned documents and photos,
and more! Please call 260-421-1225 to register, or email your
registration to Genealogy [at]  Watch our Special Programs site for information on
future Tree Talks, mini-courses, and other programming.

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
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
April 2, 2009--Ohio Genealogical Society Conference, Sawmill Creek
Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Drive, Huron, OH, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Topic:
“Preserving Your Family History: A Practical Two-Hour Mini Course.”
April 18, 2009--35th Annual Quad Cities Genealogical Conference,
Viking Club of Moline, 1450 41st Street, Moline, IA, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Topics: “Hunting in the Hoosier State and ACPL Genealogical
Resources,” “Using Church Records in Your Genealogical Research,”
“Pain in the Access: Getting the Most from the Internet for Your
Genealogy,” and “Using Government Documents in Your Genealogical
April 25, 2009--Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Conference,
Marriott Center East, 7202 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, IN, 11 a.m.
to 12 noon. Topic: “Marching On: Major Military Sites on the

Steve Myers
March 28, 2009--The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County,
800 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH, Huenefeld Tower Room, 9:30 a.m. to 12
Noon. Topics: “Using Irish Manuscript Collections” and “The Irish
Rebellion of 1798 as a Source of Genealogical Records.”

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.”
March 24, 2009--Calhoun County Genealogical Society, 17111 G Drive
So., Marshall, Michigan, 7 p.m.  Topic:  "Organizing Your Genealogical

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)

March 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.  Amanda Blackman and Roselyn Wells of the DeKalb County
Genealogical Society will present “Identifying Photos for Genealogical

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

March 1, 2009 at 2 p.m.  Jan Shupert-Arick will present “The Lincoln
Highway Across Indiana.”

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
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the subject line.

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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