Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library No. 74, April 30, 2010
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 10:53:51 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 74, April 30, 2010

In this issue:
*Pass It On!
*Southern Presbyterian Newspapers
*Voter Records, Valuable Resources
*Technology Tip of the Month--Further Adventures with Adobe Photoshop:
Three Tools You Should Know!
*Preservation Tip of the Month--Separating Old Photographs That Are
Stuck Together
*Celebrate Preservation Week
*Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
*Learn About
*StoryCorps Is Coming in July!
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

Pass It On!
by Curt B. Witcher
In my more than three decades of work with family historians in the
Genealogy Center here in Fort Wayne, it has been amazing and
gratifying to see all the wonderful ways genealogists have shared
their knowledge, their experiences and their work with others. More so
now than ever, it is vitally important that we take active steps to
ensure that our family histories, and the records we use to document
them, are available for our children’s children to discover and enjoy.
That is why I am excited about the American Library Association’s
“Preservation Week,” May 9th to the 15th.

This first-ever initiative, entitled “Pass It On: Saving Heritage and
Memories,” encourages communities across the country to celebrate and
educate around the themes of collecting and preserving local and
family history. Libraries are encouraged to get involved by creating
displays and offering programs. And we are doing just that in the
Genealogy Center. Each day of preservation week, we will offer a
program addressing some aspect of “passing it on.” Monday’s program,
“Photo Restoration Using Adobe Photoshop,” is a crowd-favorite and
features Kay Spears demonstrating effective ways to utilize Adobe
Photoshop, so that you are passing on the best and truest digital
images. The library’s preservationist, Becky Schipper, will discuss
practical preservation tips and tools that everyone will find useful
in her Tuesday presentation. Wednesday evening, Dawne Slater-Putt will
present a program on organizing your genealogical information--hard
copies, computer files, photographs and so much more. I think we all
could use a little help with organization. Thursday afternoon, I am
presenting a two-hour session that will focus, first, on simple,
practical ways of preserving family documents and heirlooms and,
second, on simple ways to begin writing your family story. Writing
down what we know about our family stories, recording how our research
has enlightened us, and sharing our memories of important life events
are all part of passing it on. Friday, Kay Spears will share her
expertise again, this time offering important tips and techniques for
scanning documents. Preservation week will conclude with a program on
how to effectively search It is important to improve our
use of online sources, so we can construct better genealogies to pass
on to our children and their children.

There are other ways to “pass it on” as well. The FamilySearch
research wiki is a new and phenomenal way to share your expertise with
the larger genealogical community. If you know the unique
repositories, records, and strategies for successfully researching in
your locale, why not share that with others? If you do share, more
people will be able to do better research and compile more worthwhile
histories. And isn’t that what we want? Then those histories can be
passed on. is an excellent site for posting family and local history
data, so that a number of individuals can work together online. It’s
also a great site for posting what I call orphan data--data that you
don’t believe fits into your family history, but that is too valuable
just to discard.  Examples of such data might be photographs of
non-relatives, certificates, daybooks, and even GEDCOM files. Instead
of burying these orphan documents in a file cabinet, why not post them
where others can benefit from them? Another researcher may be able to
provide additional context for your orphan data.

Another way of passing it on is to provide a copy of your work to the
Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. For years, we
have offered a photocopy exchange program. If you grant us permission
to copy your compilation for our research collection, we will make a
complimentary bound copy for you and return your original no worse for
wear. We also accept electronic copies, and we welcome the opportunity
to scan “all things military,” from service and pension records to
posters, images of medals, and discharge papers, as well as letters
and diaries.

It is so important to take the time and make the effort to “pass it
on.” Of what ultimate use is our research if others cannot benefit
from it? One of the saddest things to discover is a lifetime of
genealogical research being thrown away by disinterested family
members because they just didn’t know what it was--because it wasn’t
passed on. Step up this month and pass it on!

Southern Presbyterian Newspapers
by Melissa Shimkus
When searching for vital records in the southern United States,
researchers quickly discover that some records have been destroyed.
They also may find that their ancestors lived in an area that did not
require birth, marriage and death records until the 20th century.
Knowing the religious denomination of an ancestor can suggest
supplemental records, such as baptism, marriage, and burial registers
or religious newspapers. Researchers looking for Presbyterians in the
South should consult Brent H. Holcomb’s four volumes of abstracts of
marriage and death notices in southern Presbyterian newspapers. Each
volume is organized by date and has a name index.

The abstracts found in “Marriage and Death Notices from the
‘Charleston Observer’ 1827-1845” (975.7 H73MD) are not only a
substitute source of vital records data, but also of additional
details about an ancestor’s life. For example, Revolutionary War
soldier Col. James M. C. Montgomery, who later served from 1791 to
1792 during Indian disturbances at Dean’s Station, Tennessee, had been
a school-mate of General Andrew Jackson. The notices from this volume
also can be accessed at

An ancestor’s obituary may reveal the family’s migration route, as
does that for James M. Morrison, who joined the Presbyterian Church in
Rocky River, North Carolina, in 1809, moved to Valley Creek, Alabama,
in 1816, and settled in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, in 1835, where
he died in 1848. These details appear in Holcomb’s volume titled
“Death and Marriage Notices from ‘The Watchman and Observer’
1845-1855” (975 H69DE). Though “The Watchman and Observer” was
published in the South, it included marriage and death notices of
church members who had moved north, such as those for the Rev. Garner
A. Hunt, who died in New Jersey at age 84, and Mrs. Mary Gildersleeve,
who died in Canandaigua, New York.

Excerpts from “Marriage and Death Notices from ‘The Southern
Presbyterian,’ Vol. 1: 1847-1865” (975 H69MB) illustrate how these
vital event items can define relationships and provide other clues for
additional research. For example, the marriage notice for Fannie
Maxwell and R. Wilson who wed in Belair, Florida, in 1859, noted that
Fannie was the eldest daughter of John Maxwell. Alabama resident
Robert Sprait’s 1862 obituary mentioned that he was born in County
Down, Ireland, and immigrated to America 22 years earlier. A second
volume of notices from “The Southern Presbyterian” extends coverage to

In the absence of a vital record, determine an ancestor’s religious
affiliation and look for a substitute in ecclesiastical sources.
Holcomb’s volumes of abstracts of southern Presbyterian newspaper
notices are examples of this type of valuable source.

Voter Records, Valuable Resources
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
Voter lists often are cited as possible sources for research, but many
disregard their value believing that, at best, they are only
indications of a person’s presence in a specific place, at a specific
time. But voter record collections can supply much more information
than that.

The Genealogy Center holds “The Foreign-Born Voters of California in
1872,” a microfiche edition of a publication compiled by Jim
Faulkinbury in 1994. Entries in this list are arranged alphabetically
and include voter’s full name, age, birth country, date and place of
naturalization, court in which naturalization took place, year
registered to vote and county. For example, Carl Schneider of San
Francisco, age 49, was born in Prussia, was naturalized in the
Cincinnati, Ohio Superior Court on 7 October 1844, and registered to
vote in 1867. Martin Schnabel of Placer County, age 24, was born in
Germany but received his citizenship by the naturalization of his
father. Henry Martyn Scudder, age 44, was born in Ceylon to American
parents, so was a citizen even though born in a foreign country. He
registered to vote in San Francisco in 1866. And Juan Maron, age 61,
was born in Baja California, Mexico, but became a citizen by treaty
when California became an American possession. Also included are
demographic tables showing, for each county, the percentage and number
of voters by country of birth. This is an invaluable source for those
researching ancestors who lived in the Golden State both before and
during early statehood.

Another example of the bounty of information that can be found in
voter records is the “Deceased Voter Registrations 1934-1975” for
Allen County, Indiana. These records, held in the Genealogy Center on
ten reels of microfilm, are arranged alphabetically and provide name,
original address and subsequent addresses of the voter, ward and
precinct, and the voter’s signature. For example, Hugh M. Stephenson’s
record indicates that he was born in Selina (Celina), Ohio, was 41
years old when he registered to vote on 22 January 1934, and died 4
December 1969. His residence was listed as 1002 Northwood Boulevard
throughout that period. Dewey Gillespie was born in Rhea County,
Tennessee, 31 August 1896 and lived at 1121 Thayer Street when he
registered on 29 September 1942. During the next few years, he lived
on McCulloch and Eliza streets. He died 19 April 1974. And the
registration card for Rex Potterf, director of the public library,
lists his multiple residences and captures for future generations his
flamboyant, sweeping signature.

Voter records provide a wealth of information and offer multiple clues
for genealogical research. Be sure to take advantage of these valuable

Technology Tip of the Month--Further Adventures with Adobe Photoshop:
Three Tools You Should Know!
by Kay Spears
In the next short series of articles, I will explore three tools in
Adobe Photoshop. These tools are a little more advanced, but you will
find them to be very useful.

The first tool, Levels, can be used to correct both black & white and
color photographs. It is located in two places, on the Menu bar and in
the Layers palette. I will be working with the one “nested” in the
Layers palette.

Secondly, I’ll discuss how to correct black and white photographs
using the Channels tool located on the Layers palette.

And finally, I will tell you how to restore those oversized, rolled-up
military or family reunion photographs. I’ll review how to flatten
them, scan them and then merge the scanned pieces together into a
panoramic view by using the Photomerge tool.

Next article: Correcting Black & White and Color Photographs Using a Levels Tool

Preservation Tip of the Month--Separating Old Photographs That Are
Stuck Together
by Becky Schipper
I was asked recently how to separate photographs that had become stuck
together over time. I also have had questions about removing the old,
paper album pages from the backs of photos. I have searched far and
wide to find answers to these questions. I have not been successful.

I have gathered information from many reliable sources including: the
Image-Permanence Institute, Heritage Preservation, RetouchPRO, FEMA,
the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Solinet,
Gaylord Brothers, Etherington Conservation Services, and the Library
of Congress. All of these agencies recommend contacting a photographic
conservator for this procedure.

There are several websites that give advice on separating photographs,
but they differ widely on the steps and materials to use. I did *not*
find any that I would recommend. The suggestions range from soaking in
warm water to soaking in cool water. Other suggestions include putting
the items in the freezer for 20 minutes, microwaving them for five
seconds, using a scrap booking product called Un-du and holding them
above a pot of steaming water. None of these procedures are tested or
recommended by preservation professionals.

Photographic conservators may be located through the following two
Guild of Bookworkers ( and the American
Institute of Conservation (

Celebrate Preservation Week!
Come to the library in May to celebrate the American Library
Association’s Preservation Week. The Genealogy Center will offer a
variety of programs on gathering, organizing and preserving family
records, photos and memorabilia. Find other ideas at the Preservation
Week website . Events include:

Monday May 10, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Globe Room
Photo Restoration Using Adobe Photoshop
Kay Spears
(Basic computer knowledge is helpful with this class.)

Tuesday May 11, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Globe Room
Preservation Tips & Tools
Rebecca Schipper

Wednesday May 12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Meeting Room A
Organizing Information: Hard Copies, Computer Files, Pictures, etc.
Dawne Slater-Putt
(Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana monthly meeting--visitors welcome)

Thursday May 13, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM Globe Room
Preserving Your Family History--A Practical Overview
Curt Witcher
Part One: Basic Information to Preserve, Conserve, and Store Family
Heirlooms & Documents
Part Two: Writing & Recording Your Family Stories

Friday May 14, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Globe Room
Basics of Scanning
Kay Spears
(Basic computer knowledge is helpful with this class.)

Saturday May 15, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Meeting Room A
Delia Bourne
(Part of Tree Talks)

For more information, visit our website at and register via email at
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or by calling 260 421 1225. Join us to learn about
preserving your valuable family mementos.

Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
Our very popular mini-course, "Family History 101," will be offered
June 18 and 19, 2010.  Instructors Margery Graham, CG and Steve Myers,
MLS, will again 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 17-18, 2010.

Learn About
Learn how to get more from, one of the largest research
databases, on Saturday, May 15, 2010, in Meeting Room A, from 10 11
a.m. Delia Bourne will discuss the various collections available and
provide techniques to maximize your research efforts. For more
information, visit our website at and register via email at
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or by calling 260 421 1225.

StoryCorps Is Coming in July!
We are pleased to announce that StoryCorps is coming to Northeast
Indiana! Since 2003, more than 50,000 people have had their stories
recorded by StoryCorps and preserved at the American Folklife Center
at the Library of Congress, and millions have heard some of these
stories over National Public Radio stations. With the stated mission
of providing Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs the opportunity
to record, share and preserve their stories, StoryCorps uses everyday
people to record 40-minute interviews with their friends, family and
neighbors. Sponsored by Northeast Indiana Public Radio, the StoryCorps
MobileBooth will be in the area in July.

To help you take advantage of this opportunity, the Genealogy Center
will offer a number of events on preserving personal, family and
community history. Lectures on scrapbooking, photograph restoration,
and organizing and preserving of family treasures are being planned to
supplement NIPR’s activities during StoryCorps’ visit. Watch our
website at for more

Librarians on Parade
Curt Witcher
May 13, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Ft.
Wayne, IN, Globe Room, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Two part presentation:
Preserving Your Family History--A Practical Overview
Part One: Basic Information to Preserve, Conserve, and Store Family
Heirlooms & Documents
Part Two: Writing & Recording Your Family Stories

Delia Bourne
May 15, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Ft.
Wayne, IN, Allen County Genealogical Society meeting, Meeting Room A,
10 a.m. Presentation: “Searching”

Dawne Slater-Putt
May 12, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Ft.
Wayne, IN, Allen County Genealogical Society meeting, Meeting Room A,
7 p.m.  Presentation: “Organizing Information: Hard Copies, Computer
Files, Pictures, etc.”

Kay Spears
May 10, 2:00, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Ft.
Wayne, IN, Globe Room, 3:30 p.m. Presentation: “Photo Restoration
Using Adobe Photoshop”
May 14, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Ft.
Wayne, IN, Globe Room, 2 p.m. Presentation:  “Basics of Scanning”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
May 12, 2010, 6:30 p.m. social time; 7 p.m. program.  Allen County
Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A.
Dawne Slater-Putt will present “Organizing Information: Hard Copies,
Computer Files, Pictures, etc.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
May 2, 2010, 2:00 p.m. – Peggy Seigel will present “Fort Wayne’s
Medical Pioneers."

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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