Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 63, May 31, 2009
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 03:57:56 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 63, May 31, 2009

In this issue:
*Our Role in Preserving Our Records
*Searching the Last Frontier: Alaskan Vital Record Notice Compilations
*“The Liberator”: A Source for Researching Abolitionist and Fugitive
Slave Ancestors
*Preservation Tip of the Month--Tightening Loose Hinges
*WeRelate News
*Palatines to America--German Genealogy Conference **THIS JUNE 2009**
*Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Our Role in Preserving Our Records
by Curt B. Witcher
The warmer, early summer days already have many genealogists on the
road visiting libraries and other record repositories, as well as
walking cemeteries, attending seminars and workshops, and joining in
the fun of family gatherings of all sizes.  I enjoyed a small family
gathering myself over the Memorial Day weekend--it seems summer
holidays are just perfect for such occasions.

While the summer months have us again thinking about taking a little
time off and perhaps doing a few extra genealogical activities, I
would urge all of us to also think about our collective role in
preserving the records that document our history and heritage.
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (which typically don’t go
very far or last very long!) let’s try a new approach--Mid-Year
resolutions!  Some very concrete, simple, straightforward activities
can make a tremendous difference.

Let’s take active steps to preserve the family data we have collected
and other family information that has been entrusted to us.  Each
year, regrettably, there are ample occurrences of natural disasters.
Flooding from melting snows in the spring and deluges at any time of
the year annually cause untold damage to personal, institutional and
governmental archives.  The ravages of fire, accidental or
intentional, have caused great record losses over time.  Recall the
devastation caused in the south and west with the wild fires of ’08.
Some areas of the country have experienced wildfires already in  ’09.
And in our own state of Indiana, the Jefferson County courthouse was
heavily damaged by fire that started on May 19th.  If not microfilmed
or digitized previously, many of those early Jefferson County records
could be lost forever.

How many times are we going to do nothing after watching a television
interview with a family indicating, post disaster, that they have lost
*everything*?  What steps have you taken to ensure your family records
are safeguarded against these natural disasters?  You might want to
plan a genealogy “stay-cation” where you spend some time organizing
your family documents and then making copies to share with family
members and record repositories such as libraries and genealogical
societies.  The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library
continues to welcome organized groups of documents and papers for
inclusion in our collections.  It truly never has been easier and less
expensive to distribute your family data for safekeeping and ready
access.  Burning a DVD of your materials costs no more than a very few
dollars, and typically less than that.  Uploading genealogical data to is free and provides a wonderful way to preserve
information about your ancestors, as well as images of the documents
and photographs that support your research.

Indeed, what about finally publishing some or most of your family
data?  Publication is a very good form of data preservation.  In
addition, publication also has the advantage of providing wider access
to copies of documents, information, and conclusions drawn about
particular sets of data.  In addition to the traditional method of
publishing on paper, one can also publish on a personal website,
provide a copy of one’s data to the Genealogy Center to publish on the
library’s website, or again, upload the data to

Are we being responsible in our collective role to ensure that
historical and genealogical data is well preserved for future
generations of researchers?  Let’s take the summer months to get
active and make sure we are.  Stop by the Genealogy Center and let us
know how you’re doing.

Searching the Last Frontier: Alaskan Vital Record Notice Compilations
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
For such a large place, the population, and resulting genealogical
records, are comparatively light for Alaska, but there are three
publications held by the Genealogy Center that have a veritable gold
mine of information on the state’s residents.

“Death Notices for Persons Born Prior to 1900, Extracted from the
Alaska  Sportsman/Alaska Magazine, 1960-1989” (979.8 D34), published
by the Sleeping Lady Chapter of the D.A.R., is the first of these
collections. This three-volume set, divided by decade, lists names
alphabetically. As is typical, the obituaries contain varying amounts
of information, including age, birth place, brief biography, and date
and place of death. Occupations and nicknames, such as that for
William “Woodsaw Bill” Sherwin, a woodcutter who died in 1968 at age
90 at the Sitka Pioneer Home, are among the interesting facts
contained in some notices. While most entries are transcribed, a few
seem to be photocopied from clippings.

“Vital Records of Alaska & Yukon (Marriage, Death, Birth, Divorce,
Anniversary & Christening): As Reported in the Weekly Douglas Island
Newspaper, Douglas, Alaska” (979.8 V83), published by the Gastineau
Genealogical Society, includes entries from 1898 to 1922. The volume
contains, first, an every name index that supplies year and page
number for each entry. The chronological entries provide date of
newspaper, page and column, event, subject, and date and place of
event. Christenings often list father and gender of child, but not
mother’s name. Some death citations will offer additional information,
such as that identifying Rita Miller, who died December 28, 1911 in
Oregon, as “George Bach’s daughter.” Native Americans, such as “Old
Sunnyheart,” Chief of the Haidas, who died January 18, 1912 in Kassan,
are included.

Betty J. Miller’s five-volume set, “Vital Records from Alaska Daily
Empire, Juneau, Alaska” (979.802 J95M), covers 1916 to 1936, and is
similar in format, starting with an index, and providing citations for
funeral, death, marriage, engagement, birth, and divorce notices.
Adoptions, such as that of Lavern Campen by William D. and Hansine
Gross in 1916, are also mentioned.

All three sources include former residents, visitors and others
important to the history and development of the area, as well as
people who died elsewhere, such as Fred D. Parr, who reportedly took a
load of lumber to the new town of Anchorage in 1915 on the steam
schooner San Ramon, and died “recently” at age 79 in Richmond,
California in 1965. Remember that your “Lower 48” ancestor may have
resided in or visited Alaska for a brief period, and been remembered
by friends and acquaintances.

“The Liberator”: A Source for Researching Abolitionist and Fugitive
Slave Ancestors
by John D. Beatty
One of the most divisive national issues in the antebellum period was
slavery. The question of whether enslaved African Americans should be
freed not only divided large sections of the North from the South, but
also created fissures within many northern communities. Some
northerners were willing to leave slavery alone in the interest of
national unity. Some advocated its continuance in the South, but
opposed its extension to new western territories. Many others opposed
slavery in principle, but were divided over how slaves should be
manumitted, and once freed, whether they should be allowed to live in
the North or colonized in Africa.

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), a newspaper editor, was
uncompromising in his demand for the complete and immediate
emancipation of all slaves, and in doing so became one of the most
visible and outspoken leaders of the abolitionist movement. On January
1, 1831, he began publishing “The Liberator,” a weekly newspaper
printed in Boston that garnered a national circulation. In the
inaugural issue, he pledged: “I am aware that many object to the
severity of my language, but is there not cause for severity? I will
be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.”

While the newspaper stressed non-violence and passive resistance, it
became a catalyst for abolitionist activity because of the news and
editorials it circulated. Garrison published letters from many
sympathizers. He also issued commentaries, reprinted sermons, reported
on court cases involving fugitive slaves, and published anti-slavery
constitutions and other resolutions that were frequently signed by
local abolitionist leaders. “The Liberator” also printed accounts of
anti-slavery activities, speeches, and events held in various towns
across the nation.

For example, in July, 1835, S. G. Wilson reported on his efforts to
give an abolitionist speech at a Methodist church in Sandusky, Ohio,
listing the names of several supporters and opponents that he
encountered. Other issues contained copies of wills and other
documents that either supported or helped stoke the fires of the
anti-slavery cause. Garrison continued to publish until December 31,
1865, well after the conclusion of the Civil War.

The greatest value for the genealogist is this newspaper’s record of
names and local accounts. If you have ancestors who belonged to
abolitionist congregations, especially Quakers, Universalists, and
Presbyterians, or if they were “free blacks” living in the North, you
might find a reference in “The Liberator.” The Genealogy Center has a
complete set of the newspaper on microfilm (cabinet 102-B-8). Some
academic libraries subscribe to a fully digitized, online version of
the newspaper, which can be searched through Gale’s “19th Century U.S.
Newspapers” collection, but regrettably, the database is not available
free on the Internet and the Allen County Public Library is not a

Preservation Tip of the Month--Tightening Loose Hinges
by Becky Schipper
Loose hinges are one of the most common problems occurring with books
that receive heavy use. If the problem is repaired at this early stage
more serious problems, such as detached covers and split or torn
endpapers, can be avoided.  Materials needed to repair a loose hinge
are listed below.

*knitting needle or small diameter plexiglass rod
*pH-neutral adhesive
*bone folder
*wax paper
*weights or book press

Coat the knitting needle or rod with pH-neutral adhesive. I store
adhesive for this purpose in a taller container with a small opening,
such as a liquid dish detergent bottle.  Using such a bottle, you can
insert the rod through the opening and coat it without making a mess
or wasting adhesive. Slide the rod through the gap left by the loose
hinge inside the case, turning it to coat the paper. Do the same from
the other end if the book is taller than your needle or rod. Rub down
with a bone folder. Wipe off any excess adhesive at the top or bottom.
Insert a sheet of waxed paper between the flyleaf and the cover, and
put the book under weight or in a press.

WeRelate News
by Cynthia Theusch
*************************************** has created another way to back up your genealogy files.
If you have uploaded any GEDCOM files to WeRelate during 2008 and
2009, you can now download your GEDCOM files from WeRelate.  To
download these files, just click on “Trees” in “My Relate.”  Select
the download link for the GEDCOM of your choice.  Coming
soon--exporting GEDCOM from your WeRelate trees.

Palatines to America--German Genealogy Conference--REGISTER NOW
The Palatines to America National Conference and Annual Meeting will
be held at the Allen County Public Library, June 18 - 20, 2009--less
than three weeks from the time you receive this ezine!  Visit their
website for all the details.  <> The general schedule is

Thursday June 18, 2009 4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Workshop A - Palatines Along the Hudson: Researching 18th Century
Settlers on Livingston Manor - Steven Myers
Workshop B - Researching Your North German Ancestors - Robert Rau
Workshop C - Advancing Your Research with PERSI - Delia Bourne

Friday June 19, 2009 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Workshop D - Researching in Germany - James Feit
Workshop E - Preparing Your Research for Publication - Barbara Gargiulo
Workshop F - Swiss Genealogical Records - John Beatty

Friday June 19, 2009 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Workshops A - B - C will be repeated

Saturday June 20, 2009 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Workshops D - E - F will be repeated

Online registration at the National Conference Registration site .

Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
Our very popular mini-course, “Family History 101,” will be offered
July 10 - 11, 2009. It is time to put this on your summer calendar and
sign-up today.  The classes, with instructors Margery Graham, CG and
Steve Myers, MLS, provide an excellent way for the beginner to get
started, for newer researchers to review important concepts and
sources, and for seasoned researchers to refresh their skills. “Family
History 101” will cover the following topics:

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
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, September 18-19, 2009.

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
June 10, 2009--Fort Wayne, IN, Allen County Genealogical Society
Annual Banquet, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 7:00
p.m.  Topic: “This I Believe: The Urgent Need to Record Living
June 22, 2009--Mansfield, OH, Mansfield/Richland County Public
Library, 43 West 3rd St., Mansfield, 7:00 p.m.  Topic: “Finding the
World with WorldCat.”
June 22-23, 2009--Mansfield, OH, Ohio Genealogical Society Summer
Workshops, OGS Library, 713 South Main Street, Mansfield.  Monday,
June 22nd, 9:30 a.m.--“Doing Effective Genealogical Research in
Libraries,” 10:45 a.m.--“Using PERSI, The Periodical Source Index,”
and 3:30 p.m.--“’Pain in the Access:’ Getting More from the Internet
for Your Genealogy.” Tuesday, June 23rd, 9:30 a.m.--“Using Government
Documents for Genealogical Research” and 10:45 a.m.--"All That Other
STUFF!: Other Census Records Beyond the Population Schedules.”

Three topics on genealogical research methodology.

John Beatty
June 19 & 20, 2009--Fort Wayne, IN, PalAm German Genealogy Conference,
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 2:00 p.m. and 1:00
p.m. respectively.  Topic: “Swiss Genealogical Records.”

Delia Bourne
June 18 & 19, 2009--Fort Wayne, IN, PalAm German Genealogy Conference,
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 4:45 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
respectively.  Topic:  “Advancing Your Research with PERSI.”

Steve Myers
June 18, 2009--Fort Wayne, IN, PalAm German Genealogy Conference,
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 2:15 p.m.  Topic:
“German Genealogical Resources at the Allen County Public Library.”

June 18 & 19, 2009--Fort Wayne, IN, PalAm German Genealogy Conference,
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 4:45 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
respectively.  Topic:  “Palatines Along the Hudson: Researching 18th
Century Settlers on Livingston Manor.”

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

June 10, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library’s Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza, First Floor Meeting Rooms.  Annual
dinner--includes the election of officers, awarding of certificates
for First Families and Homesteaders, and presentation by Curt Witcher
entitled, “This I Believe: The Urgent Need to Record Living History.”

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

June 7, 2009 at 2 p.m.  Jim Sack will present “World War I Repression
of Fort Wayne’s Germans"

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
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the subject line.

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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