Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 64, June 30, 2009
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 19:20:31 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 64, June 30, 2009

In this issue:
*Bigger and Better Bytes
*School Yearbooks and Alumni Directories
*Joseph Gavit’s American Deaths and Marriages
*Preservation Tip of the Month--Removing Deteriorated Rubber Bands
*An Opportunity to Support the Genealogy Center
*Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
*Tree Talks for August: Preserve Your Family Treasures
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Bigger and Better Bytes
by Curt B. Witcher
This past month has seen a flurry of virtual activity on the library
and the Genealogy Center websites.  There are some amazing
opportunities for research and participation outlined in the
following.  I invite you to take a look.

The “Pence Descendants” online collection went live this month and can
be found at <>.  The data
presented at that site represents more than four decades of
genealogical research done by Richard Pence.  Many of you may
recognize the name of the compiler--Richard is among the pioneers of
computer genealogy.  He was part of that first group of visionaries
who truly saw the power that technological advances would bring to the
genealogical field, and further, shared that vision in many books,
articles, and lectures over the years.

It is an honor for the Genealogy Center to host the “Pence
Descendants”--a data file of more than seventeen thousand searchable
records.  One can execute a basic search by the first name of a Pence
ancestor or an advanced search by first name of a Pence ancestor,
birth year, place of birth, death year, place of death, spouse’s first
name, and/or spouse’s last name.  Over the coming months, Richard’s
textual collection, as well as other electronic files, will become
part of the Genealogy Center’s collections.  It is an incredible
addition of data for those interested in Pence family research.

We remain grateful for the *tremendous* work volunteers in our area
continue to do in making historical data available for researchers.
This month, with the addition of more cemetery transcriptions by Jim
Cox and Penny L. (Baughman) North, we reached a milestone of more than
one hundred “Indiana and Other States” databases searchable on the
GenealogyCenter.Info site.  We remain strong in our commitment to make
increasing amounts of digitized historical data available on the web.

More than one thousand pre-1886 burial records for St. Paul's
Evangelical Lutheran Church (Allen County, IN) were added to
GenealogyCenter.Info in June.  That brings the total number of Allen
County, IN Church burial records contributed by our stellar volunteer,
Margery Graham, to more than 6800!  Church records are so very
valuable for researchers investigating time periods that pre-date the
civil registration of vital records.  Newspaper accounts and church
records often are the best sources of birth and death data in
pre-civil registration time periods.  Even in times of civil
registration, one always wants to find the maximum number of records
to document an ancestor’s life events.  This collection of records is
a very useful resource for those looking for early Allen County

In June, a joint project of the library's Genealogy Center and the
Indiana Genealogical Society was kicked off with the posting of a new
data file, “Indiana’s African American Settlements.”
<> Compiled by Genealogy
Center staff member, Dawne Slater-Putt, and cross-posted on the
Indiana Genealogical Society’s website, this database is part of an
ongoing, larger study of Indiana’s African American settlements from
their earliest days through about 1930.  It contains more than one
thousand records and includes each person’s name, approximate year of
birth, date of death if known, and the names of the townships and
counties with which the individual was associated. Women are
cross-referenced under their maiden names, if known.  Names and other
data will continue to be added to this database, and new information
is always welcome.

In the waning hours of this month, an exciting new data file was added
to GenealogyCenter.Info through the dedicated efforts of a former
Allen County Public Library employee, Anne Dallas Budd.  Anne has been
contributing to the genealogical community for many years through her
excellent research, writing, lecturing, and work on the Periodical
Source Indexing Project.  Her latest contribution is an index to
obituaries found from 1900 to 1912 in the “Evangelical Messenger,” an
English-language, weekly denominational publication associated with
the Evangelical Church.
<> More than
thirty-three thousand records were created to assist researchers in
finding obituaries for those thirteen years.  Though one will
certainly want to read the actual published obituaries as they are so
rich with family data, the index entries Anne has abstracted provide
one with a tremendous amount of information.

Finally, through the efforts of our colleague, John Beatty, and his
work with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Historical Society, we have
obtained an image of a historic ribbon detailing Fort Wayne, Indiana’s
reaction to the assassination of President Lincoln.  It is a most
interesting historical artifact.  Take a look at
< >.

This truly has been a month of bigger and better bytes!

School Yearbooks and Alumni Directories
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG
October 28, 1897, freshman Charles Krinn had a new haircut, according
to the Marion High School “Juggernaut” (977.202 M33j 1897). Yearbooks
can be a rich source of information for adding color to the names,
dates and places on a pedigree chart.

For each class, the “Juggernaut” included a group photograph, names,
history, officers, colors, motto and yell. The annual detailed clubs,
football teams and excursions; listed the alma maters and degrees of
teachers; and included poetry, essays and jokes. A calendar featured a
fact about an individual student for each day. Many of these appeared
to be tongue-in-cheek, including the note about Charles Krinn’s
haircut. The Alumni Record listed each graduate in the school’s
history and his or her status in 1897: occupation, residence and
women’s married names. Some were noted as deceased.

The Genealogy Center collection includes yearbook titles from nearly
1500 schools and more than 500 colleges, as well as more than 200
alumni directories that each supply brief biographical details on the
graduates of a single institution. The Center actively seeks yearbooks
and new titles continue to be cataloged. To determine whether the
collection includes a specific yearbook, researchers should search the
online catalog for the subject “school yearbooks” or “college
yearbooks” and the desired city or state. Also, a name index for the
yearbooks of three of the larger high schools in Allen County, Indiana
is available at

Information typically found in yearbooks includes names and
photographs of students, teachers, clubs and athletic teams. Other
information varies by time period and individual school. Earlier books
may include class colors, yells, mottos, verses, essays, and sections
on alumni. Recent books typically include candid photographs,
individual student pictures and sometimes an index. Annuals of all
time periods may have advertisements for local businesses.

Other sources for yearbooks include city, county and state libraries
where the school is located and the collections of local and state
genealogical and historical societies. In some cases, digital images
of yearbooks may be available online. The U.S. School Yearbooks
database at contains an estimated 6,151,452 personal
names. This collection includes digitized annuals from schools,
colleges and universities. It is searchable by name, with limiters of
state, city, school name and yearbook year. Researchers also may
browse the database by state, city, school and year.

Virtually all yearbooks found in library collections or online will be
second-hand, rather than pristine copies. This is a boon for
genealogists since researchers may find the signature of a relative
who was a classmate of the original yearbook owner. A high school
annual also may be the only inspiration for a mental picture of
Grandma as a teenager, chanting her class yell: “Hobble, Zick, Rah!
Boom-a-lack, Bah! ’99, right in line, Zig-sag, Ah!”

Joseph Gavit’s American Deaths and Marriages
by Cynthia Theusch
Researching in the early 1800s, we often experience difficulty in
locating important vital records to document events in our ancestors’
lives. The two reel microfilm collection of Joseph Gavit’s “American
Deaths and Marriages” may help you to locate those elusive dates.

Joseph Gavit, a librarian at the New York State Library, spent
approximately ten years abstracting marriage and death notices from
sixty-five newspapers onto index cards. The end result contained about
40,000 marriage and death notices that were published principally
between 1784 and 1829, although some later dates are included. Notices
are concentrated on events in the state of New York, but Mr. Gavit
also included those mentioning marriages and deaths in other states,
Canada, and a few other countries. The complete set of death index
cards are on one reel of microfilm and those indexing marriages are on
the other. The cards are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of
the decedent, for deaths, and by the names of both bride and groom,
for marriages.

Each index card contains the event, newspaper, date, surname, first
name, and place of event. In addition, entries may mention related
persons (parents, spouse, children, and siblings), occupation,
residence, and military, patriotic or governmental service. There is
also a possibility of learning whether the individual’s spouse or
parent was deceased at the time.

A typical death notice abstract reads: “Died Argus 20 Oct 1829.
Holmes. At his residence in Sampson Co., N.C., on Tuesday, 26th ult.,
Gen. Gabriel Holmes, in his 61st year; educated at Cambridge, and for
many years a public officer, in 1821 elected Governor of North
Carolina.  Representative Elect from the District of Wilmington to US
Congress.” A typical marriage entry reads: “Married. Albany Gazette 13
June 1811. Abbott-Wolford. At Schenectady, on Sunday, 9th inst., by
Rev. Mr. Bogardus, Miss Eliza Abbott, dau. of Major Asa Abbott, to Mr.
John Wolford, Jr., both of Berne.”

There is a published index compiled by Kenneth Scott entitled “Joseph
Gavit’s American Deaths and Marriages, 1784-1829:  Index to
Non-Principals in Microfilm Copies of Abstracts in the New York State
Library, Albany, New York” [974.7 Sco8j]. Two separate indexes in this
volume contain the names of other individuals mentioned in death
notices and wedding announcements, such as ministers and/or parents.
It does not contain names of the deceased, or of grooms and brides.
Page numbers given refer to the microfilm pages.

Preservation Tip of the Month--Removing Deteriorated Rubber Bands
by Becky Schipper
Removing deteriorated rubber bands that are on your old documents or
family papers, albums, and books can be a bit of a challenge. Before
you begin the task, you will need a microspatula and weights.
Eliminating deteriorated rubber bands requires a very light touch. And
it is a tremendous help if the documents or papers are in good

To eliminate rubber bands that are soft and sticky, place the document
on a clean, flat, substantial surface. Hold the document in place with
a weight on each end. Gently lift the rubber band with one hand and,
with the other hand, slide the microspatula between the paper and the
rubber band slowly separating the two.

To remove residue left by dried rubber bands use the microspatula to
gently scrape the residue from the paper. Be careful not to damage the
paper in the scraping process. Removal of rubber band residue or tacky
material from fragile documents or photographs should be done only by
a conservator.

An Opportunity to Support the Genealogy Center
by Curt B. Witcher
Last week, a new graphic appeared on the Allen County Public Library’s
main webpage.  In the bottom right-hand corner of the page--you may
need to scroll down to see it--there is a graphic with the words,
“Support Your Library, Foundation or Friends.”  This is a new link to
the library’s online donation process.  You can also use the following
link:  <>

When you click on the orange graphic, you will be led to a page that
offers you the opportunity to donate to the library, to donate to the
ACPL Foundation which takes care of endowment funds for library
services and departments, or to donate to the Friends of the Library.
I like giving gifts that “continue to give,” so I would click on the
link in the “Donate to the ACPL Foundation” section and use the “Gift
Designation” drop-down menu to find “Genealogy Endowment Fund.”
Indeed, I already have--and it’s pretty slick.  Complete a few simple
online forms and you’re done--it's that easy.

No matter where you’re doing your research, if you have access to the
web, you have access to a growing number of searchable databases
through the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library.
Consider supporting our efforts by making a donation to the Genealogy
Endowment Fund.  Together, we will continue our long-standing
tradition of service excellence.  We deeply appreciate your support.

Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
Remember to register soon for “Family History 101,” July 10 - 11,
2009. 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. The registration form and more
information are 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.

Tree Talks for August: Preserve Your Family Treasures
What do you do with the original documents, antique quilts, and
photographs that you acquire as the family's historian? Where do you
put these materials and how do you make sure they are preserved for
future generations? The end of summer will bring Rebecca Schipper, the
Allen County Public Library's Preservationist, to answer some of these
questions in her presentation "Preserving Family History: Basics of
Care & Storage" on August 22, 2009, at 10 AM in Meeting Room A. Becky
will discuss the correct storage and care of textiles, books,
documents, and photos. Mark your calendars for this free program!
Register by calling 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] .

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
July 10, 2009--Chicago, IL, American Library Association Genealogy
Preconference, Sheraton Chicago, 301 East North Water Street, Chicago,
IL, 9:00 a.m.  Topic: “Discovering & Documenting African American
Family History and Heritage.”
July 18, 2009--Lansing, MI, Library of Michigan, 2009 Abrams Genealogy
Seminar, 702 West Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI, 2:15 p.m.  Topic:
“Treasurers for Researchers at the Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne."

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

The society does not meet during the summer months.  Mark your
calendars for their first fall meeting, September 9, 2009 at 7 p.m. at
the Allen County Public Library’s Main Library, 900 Library Plaza.
Fort Wayne, IN.

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

Saturday, July 11, 2009, 12:00-6:00 p.m. at Historic Fort Wayne, 1101
Spy Run Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN.  Event:  Three Rivers Festival "Siege
of Fort Wayne 1812." Come to the Old Fort on July 11 and 12 and learn
why the War of 1812 has become the Forgotten War. Talk with the
soldiers as they go about their daily schedules, see the women and
children as they complete their tasks. Meet with the Mounted Militia
and hear how the militia was so important in the continuation of our

July 15-August 10, 2009 at the History Center, 302 East Berry Street,
Fort Wayne, IN.  Event:  "Images of Native Americans: The Wanamaker
Collection" exhibit.  The History Center hosts this national traveling
exhibition from the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana
University. This exhibition features stunning photographs of early
20th century Native Americans, drawn from an 8,000 piece photograph
inventory featuring over 150 individual tribes. This display will be
supplemented with local artifacts, images, and documents from the
History Center's collection.

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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