Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library No. 71, January 31, 2010
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 03:28:43 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 71, January 31, 2010

In this issue:
*Black History Month & the Importance of Ethnic Resources
*What Did They Mean By That?
*North Carolina Cohabitation Records
*Technology Tip of the Month--Photo Restoration with Adobe Photoshop,
Version 9.02: The Nitty Gritty IV, Feathering.
*Preservation Tip of the Month--How to Clean Soiled Pages
*WinterTech: Photographs in February
*March Madness, Genealogy Style
*Beginning Genealogy
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Black History Month & the Importance of Ethnic Resources
by Curt B. Witcher
For quite a number of years, February has been recognized as Black
History Month.  It is a great time to recognize the abundance of
resources available for African American family history research.  It
is also a good time for all to recall again and appreciate anew the
importance of researching ancestors in an ethnic context.  Ethnicity
was determining factor in where your ancestors settled, and may have
influenced what schools their children attended, what churches they
attended, and what newspapers announced their births, weddings,
burials, and social activities.  I often refer to the ethnicity of
one’s ancestors as a research “fingerprint” that can guide us to clues
and sources.

Engaging in African American genealogical research can be particularly
challenging.  Millions of African Americans can trace their ancestry
back to slavery, increasing the importance of exploring property
records as well as researching the European-American families
associated with the slave families.  In recent times, these challenges
have been met with a dramatically increasing number of resources.  And
the Genealogy Center has one of the largest collections of research
materials for African American genealogical research anywhere.

Beginning with local resources, researchers can find African American
names abstracted from numerous Allen County, Indiana records on the
GenealogyCenter.Info website.  For other areas of Indiana, many
thousands of records have recently become available.  Names and
abstracted data from the Jacobs Brothers funeral home records are
being posted on that same GenealogyCenter.Info website.  Funeral home
records not only detail the specifics of the funeral arrangements but
also have spaces to record family information including maiden names
for wives and mothers.  A joint project of the Genealogy Center and
the Indiana Genealogical Society has created an Indiana African
American Settlements data file of more than seven thousand entries.
In the fourth quarter last year, the Indiana State Archives posted
mid-nineteenth century negro, mulatto, and slave registers for six
Indiana counties.  All these resources are linked from

Elsewhere, the number of online resources for African Americans is
growing at an amazing rate.  Ancestry, Footnote, and ProQuest’s
“African American Heritage” databases all provide significant data
sets.  The site also offers data sets of African
American records as well as a tremendous in-depth guide to finding
African American records from 1870 to the present.  In addition to
those popular sites, there are thousands of lesser sites on the
Internet that contain remarkable collections of data typically
available for free.

A good way to get a handle on the many online resources as well as
many thousands of print resources is to engage the “African American
Gateway” compiled by the staff of the Genealogy Center.  Found on the
GenealogyCenter.Info site at
<>, one can select a state,
region, or country of interest as well as a number of subject
categories.  Upon selection, one is presented with two links--one to
online resources and one to a bibliography of books, periodical
titles, and microfilmed records from the Genealogy Center’s vast
collection of African American materials.  The lists of online
resources have brief descriptions and links to the sites while the
lists of print and film materials provide content details and specific
call numbers for the Allen County Public Library collection.

The Genealogy Center’s print resources for African American family
history research are indeed tremendous.  The local history records and
periodical publications from around the continent contain so much
information.  The collection of nearly six hundred African American
history dissertations is packed with research discoveries and robust
bibliographies to enhance nearly any genealogical endeavor.  Many
transcriptions, abstracts, and methodology articles can be found by
utilizing the “Periodical Source Index” available through both
HeritageQuestOnline and Ancestry.

I invite you to take every opportunity during February to hone your
research skills and increase your successes by engaging the many
ethnic resources available for your genealogical endeavors.

What Did They Mean By That?
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
If an ancestor’s diary recorded that she had used a mangle on the
family’s clothes, would you wonder why she destroyed their wardrobes?
And if she gave her husband a “diet-drink,” was she helping him watch
his weight? Using an unabridged dictionary, it might be possible to
locate the definitions of many of the terms found while doing
genealogical research, but some words or combinations may not be
listed. While it may seem that one must continue to puzzle over
phrases our ancestors used, there is hope for discovering the meanings
of those mystery expressions.

“What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical Terms for
Genealogists” by Paul Drake (929 D78w) can help you solve the
linguistic mysteries encountered in your research. A volume two (929
D78wa), as well as “More What Did They Mean By That?” (929 D78m), both
also by Drake, provide a wealth of information on additional terms and
expressions. For example, one could learn that a mangle was a device
consisting of two plates or rollers that smoothed or pressed cloth,
aiding our ancestors in doing laundry. And a “diet-drink” was
“medicated liquor…prescribed to promote general well-being.” Other
entries provide the meanings of legal terms such as matrix, “that
edition of a document from which all copies must be made.”

The first volume of this handy series also includes common
abbreviations, a comparison of the English and Saxon alphabets, and a
list of English regnal years used to date early documents. Fold-out
reproductions of early financial accounts and an estate inventory
allow researchers to see handwritten abbreviations and spelling in
context. Volume two contains common abbreviations of first names and a
map of Ohio’s major land surveys, as well as an illustration showing
various subdivisions of a section of land, with measurements in
chains, acres and rods. “More What Did They Mean By That?” includes an
expanded list of abbreviations, noting the difference between “sil”
for son-in-law and “siL” for sister-in-law, and features abbreviations
for Latin legal terminology such as “d.s.p.” (decessit sine prole, or
died without issue) and “d.s.p.m.” (decessit sine prole mascula, or
died without male issue). A fascinating list of obsolete
twentieth-century terms, such as “curb feelers” and “fender skirts” is
also included.

In the Genealogy Center, these three volumes are kept on the Ready
Reference shelves near the Ask Desk. Help yourself to the books, or
ask a staff member for assistance in finding them. Aside from being
quite useful, they also are absorbing just to browse through to widen
one’s vocabulary and knowledge.

North Carolina Cohabitation Records
by Melissa Shimkus
Before the end of the Civil War in 1865, enslaved African Americans
were the property of their owners and had virtually no rights
concerning their belongings, their children or themselves. They could
not purchase items, legally marry or form contracts involving
employment. Although formal unions between slaves were not recognized
until after the Civil War, many slaves did participate in marital
ceremonies such as “jumping the broom.” After the Civil War, the
Freedmen’s Bureau sought to legitimize the marital status of freed men
and women in states that didn’t have a legal precedent involving
marriages between former slaves.

On March 10, 1866, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed “An
Act Concerning Negroes and Persons of Color or of Mixed Blood,” which
required former slaves to have their marriages recorded by the Clerk
of County Court or Justice of the Peace before September 1, 1866, to
ensure the legality of their unions. The proofs of marriage for twenty
counties in North Carolina are available on microfilm at the Genealogy
Center under various names, such as “Record of Marriages by Freedman,”
“Negro Cohabitation Certificates,” “Record of Cohabitation,” or
“Cohabitation Record.”

In Bertie County, the record includes only brief notes about couples
who appeared before the Justice of the Peace. For example, on August
27, 1866, Dick Rascoe and Delia Jones stated they had been man and
wife for twenty three years. In Columbus County, an acknowledgment
ledger documents names, date of commencement, and date of
acknowledgment of cohabitation. For example, on August 9, 1866, James
Smith and Amey Nance declared they began cohabitating in 1855 and
wished their relationship to be legally recognized. Records created in
Rowan County mention former slave owners’ names along with
acknowledging the couple’s marital status. In April 1866, Mack Davis,
a former slave of George O Tarrh (or Tarr), and Lucy Thomason, a
former slave of Jane Thomason, reported they had cohabitated together
since July of 1864.

The North Carolina Cohabitation Records prove marriages that otherwise
would be lost to time. For those researching enslaved people of color,
evidence of a couple’s union also may provide other valuable clues to
their life before emancipation.

Technology Tip of the Month-- Photo Restoration with Adobe Photoshop,
Version 9.02: The Nitty Gritty IV, Feathering.
by Kay Spears
Feathering is a technique that is often used in retouching (notice I
said retouching, not restoring) a photograph. I’m sure you’ve seen old
photographs or wedding portraits in which the image appears to fade
into the background. This effect is called a vignette and a vignette
can be created by feathering.

According to Adobe, “feathering blurs edges by building a transition
boundary between the selection and its surrounding pixels.” In Adobe,
you can use the Marquee tool, Lasso tool, or Polygonal Lasso tool to
feather. The feathering effect becomes apparent after you move, cut,
or fill the selection.

How is this effect applied when restoring a photograph? Sometimes
damaged photographs have large pieces missing, and these require some
creativity to repair. We could use a Clone tool; however, the Clone
tool only works if you have matching pixels. I have found that by
using the feathering technique in combination with the Layers Palette
the problem of a missing piece is easily fixed.

First, using the Marquee, Lasso, or Polygonal Lasso tool, select an
area of pixels that might be a close match to the missing piece. While
holding down the left button on your mouse, drag and draw a line
around a selection of these pixels. Release the left mouse button. If
you’ve done this correctly, you should see a moving dotted line around
the area you selected. Next, without changing the tool, position the
cursor on the selected area and right click. A menu will open; choose
>Feather. The Feather Selection dialog box will open and give you the
option of typing in the number of pixels that will be deleted from the
selection. I suggest starting with a low number. Click OK to apply the
feathering effect to the edges of your selection. Right click on the
selection again and choose > Layer via Copy. You should now have two
layers on your palette. In the Layers Palette, click on the new layer,
then choose the Move tool from the toolbar. Choosing the Move tool
allows you to move the selected pixels into place by using your
keyboard arrow keys. When you start to use the arrow keys, you will be
able to watch the pixels move across the image until they are
positioned above the missing portion. Because you have feathered the
edges of the pixels on the top layer, the patch will blend in with the
bottom layer. Sometimes a little tweak is needed with the contrast,
but you should end up with a photograph that doesn’t have any missing
parts. When you are satisfied with the results, merge the layer down.

Next: Thoughts on Color Correction

Preservation Tip of the Month--How to Clean Soiled Pages
by Becky Schipper
Materials needed to clean soiled pages include a dull knife or micro
spatula, art gum eraser, plastic eraser, and a document cleaning pad.

Remove pencil marks with the eraser type that works best on the paper
you are cleaning. Use a very light touch and go over the marks several
times rather than using pressure to remove stubborn marks.

Crayon marks are very difficult and in most cases almost impossible to
remove. Sometimes the top layer can be removed using a dull knife. Ink
or marker is also difficult to remove, but some can be lightened with
the use of an eraser.

Soot and dirt are best removed using a document cleaning pad. This is
filled with a slightly gritty material that you lightly rub over the
surface of the paper. The residue is then removed with a soft brush.

All of the materials mentioned may be purchased at art supply
retailers and through archival conservation supply catalogs. They are
also available online at:

WinterTech: Photographs in February
No, a pixel is not a friend of Tinker Bell, a TIFF is not what you
have with your neighbors on when the holiday decorations need to be
taken down, and a JPEG is not a piece in a board game. These are all
terms used in scanning photographs! Kay Spears will reveal these
secrets and many more in the "Basics of Scanning Photographs," on
February 10, 2010. She will share the essentials of organizing,
scanning, and storing family (or other) photographs digitally, as well
as provide suggestions on the equipment you may need. The session
starts at 2:30 PM in Meeting Room C, and is the last of the Genealogy
Center's WinterTech series for this season. For more information , and call
260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] to register. And remember to
stick around for ACGSI's monthly meeting at 7 PM!

March Madness, Genealogy Style
As winter winds down (we hope that’s happening by mid-March!), the
Genealogy Center is ready to help you "rev up your research" with
"March Madness, Genealogy Style." Running the week of March 14th to
March 20th, we are hosting a week of daily events to prepare you for a
summer's worth of research. Daily events:

+Sunday March 14, 2010, 1:00-2:00 PM: “Genealogy Center Tour” --
Genealogy Center Entrance
Join us for a tour of the Genealogy Center. If you ever have felt
overwhelmed by the sheer size of the department, this tour will help
familiarize you with the different areas and their contents, as well
as research procedures. Space is limited. Call 260-421-1225 or email
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to register.

+Monday, March 15, 2010, 2:00-3:00 PM: “How To Use the Genealogy
Center Basics” -- Globe Room
Have you taken the tour of the Genealogy Center and still felt
confused? Do you wonder how all the details make sense to other
people? Spend time with a staff member who will explain the catalog,
microtext area, and how to use the facility. Note: This session is not
a beginning genealogy class, but rather an explanation of the
collection. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to

+Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 2:00-3:00 PM, “Using Periodicals at the
Genealogy Center” -- Meeting Room A
Why would anyone want to use those little newsletters for genealogy
research? What can you find in those little newsletters? And where can
you find those little newsletters? This lecture will discuss the
benefits of using all types of genealogy and local history periodicals
in the quest for your ancestors, provide a brief overview of how to
use the “Periodical Source Index” (PERSI), and give information on how
to locate the specific issue you seek in the ACPL Genealogy Center's
massive collection. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to

+Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 10:00-11:00 AM, “Writing Your Family
History: A Primer” -- Meeting Room A
This course will present an overview of some of the attributes of good
genealogical writing and will offer some guidance on how to produce a
book or article of lasting quality. The class will NOT discuss or
review genealogy software. Instead, we will look at various forms of
genealogical writing, the philosophy of documentation, and other
aesthetic attributes that go into making a quality family history.
Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to register.

+Thursday, March 18, 2010, 10:00-11:00 AM, “Using” --
Meeting Room A
Learn how to browse through documents or search for an individual's
documents or a specific historic event using View,
print, and save original historical and federal documents from the
Colonial era to events of the 20th century. Footnote also allows you
to share personal stories and upload digital copies of historic
documents that you own. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info
to register.

+Friday & Saturday, March 19 & 20, 2010, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, “Irish &
Scots-Irish Genealogy: Part 2, A Two Day Mini-Course” -- Meeting Room
This workshop is an excellent way for researchers with some experience
in using basic Irish records to learn about additional sources and
techniques that lead to success. Topics covered include Irish local
history publications and manuscript collections. There is a fee for
this program. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info for more

Beginning Genealogy
April showers bring the popular Beginning Genealogy seminar on
Saturday, April 3, 2010, 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Margery Graham, C.G.,
will lecture on beginning research, methodology and organization, and
finish with a tour of the Genealogy Center, but it's not just for
those just starting to climb the family tree. Experienced researchers
can also appreciate a refresher in basic techniques. This program is
sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana. Fee
$10. Pre-registration required. Call 260-672-2585 for more

Librarians on Parade
Dawne Slater-Putt
February 10, 2010, Heritage Jr./Sr. High School, 13608 Monroeville
Road, Monroeville, IN, 12:30 to 1:30P. Presentation: “How to Begin a
Genealogy Project after Interviewing Older Relatives.”

Kay Spears
February 10, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room C, 2:30 p.m.  Presentation: “Basics of
Scanning Photographs”

Cynthia Theusch
February 10, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 7 p.m.  Presentation: “The Civilian
Conservation Corps”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
February 10, 2010, 6:30 p.m. social time; 7 p.m. program.  Allen
County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room
A.  Cynthia Theusch will present “The Civilian Conservation Corps.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
February 7, 2010, 2:00 p.m. – Dr. Quinton H. Dixie will present
“Migration of African Americans from Alabama to Fort Wayne."
February 20, 2010, 2:00 p.m. – Peggy Seigel will present “The
Underground Railroad in Allen County.”

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
  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.