Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library No. 75, May 31, 2010
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 17:03:09 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 75, May 31, 2010

In this issue:
*“Land of the Free Because of the Brave”
*Colonial Court Records: An Underutilized Source
*The “Wisconsin Necrology”
*Technology Tip of the Month--Further Adventures with Adobe Photoshop:
 Levels Eyedropper Tools
*Preservation Tip of the Month--Protecting Your Keepsakes
*Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
*Genealogy @ Night
*Preserve YOUR Story
*Librarians on Parade
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

“Land of the Free Because of the Brave”
by Curt B. Witcher
I trust you took some time this Memorial Day to honor the men and
women who have served, and are serving, in the military.  Truly, this
is the “land of the free because of the brave.”  In that honoring, I
hope you also thought of ways you could pay tribute to your ancestors,
in recent or distant generations, who served in the military.  There
are great ways to do that.

The “Our Military Heritage” portion of the Genealogy Center website
<> continues to be a great place to
have service, pension, and other military records posted, both to
share and to preserve that valuable historical information.  Just this
month, we added the “World War II Letters and Papers of Jack Raymond
Oxley” to the site, as well as dozens of 19th century pension files
contributed by patrons of the Center.  Many more documents and files
will be loaded this summer. The current pathways for contributing are
found under the “Share Materials” link on that website.

The website is also a good vehicle for sharing and
preserving military information because it enables anyone to upload
historical data and images of documents.  Not only can you upload the
materials yourself at this site, you can also add to your document
image collections at any time and modify information as you discover
more facts about an ancestor’s military service.  There is a beginning
collection of tombstone images under the heading “Deceased Veterans of
North Carolina” and links to some Delaware military burial sites as
two examples.  Much more could be added.

I invite you to use the weeks between Memorial Day in May 2010 and
Veterans’ Day in November 2010 to do something tangible to document
any military service history you may have in your family and to help
preserve military documents and records.  First, if you have an
ancestor living during the time of a military engagement, explore the
possibility that he may have served in the engagement.  If you find he
did serve, commit to the task of completely documenting that military
service.  Once documented, engage in the rigors of joining a patriotic
or military heritage society so that your family’s military
information will be part of a larger organization’s records
preservation efforts.

Second, actively engage in preserving historical military records by
contributing to preservation and publication efforts.  Many local and
state archives around the country are digitizing military records to
make them more accessible to researchers.  Are you able to support any
of those initiatives where you live?  The National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA) has asked the Federation of Genealogical
Societies (FGS) to coordinate raising the funds necessary to digitize
all the War of 1812 pension files.  NARA indicates that the War of
1812 pension files are among the most requested record groups by
researchers, with more than three thousand files being requested each
year.  The files are ready for immediate digital imaging.  The task
that remains before us is to raise the $3.7 million necessary to scan
the more than 7.2 million images.  That is certainly a formidable
challenge.  But what a worthy goal--to make this information freely
available to historians, genealogists, military enthusiasts, students,
and interested others.  Digitizing more than seven million images is a
tall order, but remember so was defending a new country struggling to
ensure that its independent democracy would prevail.  Visit the FGS
“Preserve the Pensions!” website at to learn more
about the project, see sample pension files, and explore the many
options for giving.  Are you able to support this important activity?

Before our next ezine is published, it officially will be summer.  I
hope you are actively planning to fill your summer days with many
genealogical activities.  Include in those activities preserving your
military heritage as well as visiting the Genealogy Center here in
Fort Wayne!

Colonial Court Records: An Underutilized Source
by Steven W. Myers
Genealogists, who may have come to the field with a popular view of
the late twentieth century as the birthplace of most modern social
ills, will be disabused of that notion by a simple stroll through
colonial court records. Adultery, arson, beating, bestiality,
counterfeiting, defamation, devil worship, divorce, executions,
forgery, fornication, incest, murder, piracy, prison breaks,
profanity, rape, riot, robbery, treason, vandalism, and witchcraft are
all represented in surviving records of the 17th and 18th century
courts. In short, people have been people for a very long time.

The recent publication of the “Colony of Connecticut, Minutes of the
Court of Assistants, 1669-1711,” (974.6 UL44c) transcribed and indexed
by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, makes one group of these early
court records easily accessible. The detailed index includes names,
places and many subjects save “common ones such as debt, land titles,
or disputes over boundaries, hay, and timber.” Name entries indicate
when a person’s estate is being referenced or if someone appears as a
juror. Inclusive headings for Indian, Negro, Animals, Occupations and
Weapons provide references for those individuals and subjects.

The Court of Assistants heard appeals from lower courts and had
jurisdiction over divorce and murder. In 1673, the court convicted
Daniel Bly of “notorious prophane cursing” and “scandalously defaming
Mr. Handford & violently assaulting one of his Majesties officers.”
Fined, but unable to pay, Bly was sentenced to servitude in the
Barbadoes and to “be whipt once a week” if he returned. In 1706, the
court dealt with a case concerning the charge that “Joseph Mallerie of
the towne of Newhaven In the Countie of Newhaven Labourer…did
willfully wickedly and Violently Assault Sarah the wife of Thomas
Beech…with felonious Intent to Committ a Rape…” The religious
sensibilities of the time are in evidence with the accused often
described as “not having the fear of God” and acting “through the
instigation of the Devill.” In one case, the minutes cite “their
wickedness to the Great dishonor of the name of God and prouocation of
his Just wrath by such a crying sin…”

Similar early court records of ancestral disputes and criminal
mischief would be worth investigation for anyone with colonial
forebears. Relationships, occupations and other details unavailable in
other records are the potential reward. Of course, many of these
colonial court records have never been published or microfilmed, let
alone digitized, so visits to state archives and a familiarity with
the handwriting and flexible spelling of the day may be necessary.

The “Wisconsin Necrology”
by John D. Beatty
Obituaries, as every researcher knows, are often goldmines of
genealogical information. If they are collected for a particular place
and indexed, they become much more accessible, especially when the
original newspapers may no longer exist. One such valuable collection
is the “Wisconsin Necrology,” gathered over many years by the
Wisconsin Historical Society and available in the Genealogy Center on
seven reels of microfilm under the title, “Wisconsin Deaths Taken from
Assorted Wisconsin Newspapers.” The collection consists of 52
scrapbooks containing nearly 30,000 obituaries gleaned from various
Wisconsin newspapers spanning the years 1846 to 1944.

The obituaries in the Necrology are recorded in various formats. Some
are original clippings, mounted on paper with the newspaper name and
date, and occasionally contain additional comments or annotations.
Others are handwritten, evidently copied from a newspaper or intended
for later publication. These also contain annotations, sometimes in
the hand of Lyman Draper or other Wisconsin Historical Society
librarians. While the volumes generally follow a chronological format,
especially after 1892, some of the earlier volumes overlap in their
dates of coverage. For example, volume two covers the years 1869 to
1889 while volume three spans from 1875 to 1891. Each of the 52
volumes in the collection opens with a typewritten index that
references page numbers in that particular scrapbook. Researchers will
find all of these entries included in the Wisconsin Historical
Society’s “Wisconsin Genealogy Index,” available online at

It is not immediately clear what criteria the society used to select
obituaries for the Necrology. While the obituaries of prominent white
men – pioneers, lawyers, judges, clergy, and business leaders –
predominate in the earlier volumes, sometimes with accompanying
newspaper portraits, those of women begin to appear with increasing
frequency by the 1880s. In 1883, for example, we find the Milwaukee
Sentinel obituary of a former slave, Mrs. Lucy Burel, reportedly aged
110. While the complete obituary was not clipped, the remnant states
that she had served in bondage in Kentucky and Missouri and that she
had ten children, of which only four reached maturity. Two have since
died “and one has not been heard of since some time before the war. It
may be possible that he is still alive, but Mrs. Carter, the sole
remaining daughter, believes him dead.”

This source is valuable for anyone with Wisconsin connections and can
be helpful in locating a place of death, if not already known.

Technology Tip of the Month--Further Adventures with Adobe Photoshop:
Levels Eyedropper Tools
by Kay Spears
The Levels Eyedropper tools provide just one method for restoring the
color in old photographs that are faded and have developed a yellow or
pink cast.

For this lesson, we are going to use the Levels tool located in the
Layers Palette. There are two ways to open the Levels tool: by going
to the menu bar and clicking on Image>Adjustments>Levels, or by
opening the one in the Layers Palette. When you run your cursor along
the icons located at the bottom of the Layers Palette, a pop-up box
should appear that says “Create new fill or adjustment layer.” Click
on that icon, then click on the word Levels to open the Levels dialog
box. In that dialog box is a histogram, which looks like a graph.
Right below the histogram is a sliding bar with three little
triangles. Below that is the output levels bar and over to the right,
above the “preview” checkbox, are three little eyedroppers. It is
these eyedroppers that we are going to talk about, because they can do
magical things to your old photographs.

First, study your photograph. Imagine which areas might have been
neutral or gray. Go to the middle eyedropper (gray point) and click on
it. Your cursor’s appearance will change to an eyedropper. Click the
eyedropper on the area in the photograph that you believe to have been
a neutral color. If you guess correctly, the unwanted color cast will
be removed. At this point, your photograph may look the way you want
it to and no further repair will be necessary. However, we have two
more eyedroppers. The left eyedropper is the black point and the right
eyedropper is the white point.

Study the photo again and locate what you consider to be the darkest
point. Click the left eyedropper (black), then return to the
photograph and click on the area you consider darkest. The photograph
should become quite vibrant at this point. You may do a similar thing
with the right eyedropper (white) on the lightest point or, if you are
happy with the results already, you can stop at this point. Or you can
use the white eyedropper first, then the black. A word of warning –
you do not want your black and white points to be pure black and pure
white, so you may have to tweak the photo with the slide bars under
the histogram. Since we’ve used the Layers Palette, if you don’t like
the results, you can take this Levels layer and drag it to the trash
bin without altering your photograph.

You can apply this eyedropper fix to black and white photographs too.
Remember that every photograph is unique and each fix yields a
different result. So, if you want your skills to improve, experiment
and practice are the best ways to learn Adobe.

Next:  Using Color Channels (RGB) to Correct Black and White Photos

Preservation Tip of the Month--Protecting Your Keepsakes
by Becky Schipper
Some tips from the American Institute for Conservation’s online guides
to “Caring for Your Treasures.”

*Books require a cool, dry environment. Extremes in moisture and
temperature can promote mold growth and cause the books to expand and
contract, damaging the pages and their binding.
*Avoid prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light sources like sunshine
and fluorescent bulbs.
*Books displayed on shelves should stand vertically, supported on both
sides by an adjacent volume or bookend (but not too tightly). Leaning
them diagonally against opposing surfaces can distort the spine and
damage the cover.
*When packing your books for storage, use acid-free corrugated cardboard boxes

*Keep paper products like letters, drawings, and newspapers cool and dry.
*Limit exposure to ultraviolet light. Use incandescent or tungsten
bulbs when viewing the documents or lighting them for display.
*Whether you’re storing or displaying paper materials, make sure you
do it using chemically stable folders, boxes, and mat boards strong
enough to prevent bending.

*Always keep photographs in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place.
High temperatures and moisture levels can accelerate deterioration and
the growth of damaging molds.
*Protect photos from dust and light damage by storing them in plastic
or paper containers that are chemically stable and free of acids,
sulfur, and peroxides. When using photo albums, avoid those with
magnetic or sticky pages, and store them in custom-fitted, acid-free
*Avoid prolonged exposure to light. Whenever possible, display a
duplicate in place of the original, and frame it with acid-free
materials and ultraviolet-filtering

For more information on protecting your keepsakes, visit the American
Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Genealogy Center Mini-Course: Family History 101
Hurry and register for our very popular mini-course, "Family History
101," being presented on June 18 and 19, 2010.  Instructors Margery
Graham, CG and Steve Myers, MLS, will again provide an excellent way
for beginners to get started, for newer researchers to review
important concepts and sources, and for seasoned researchers to
sharpen their skills. "Family History 101" will cover the following

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.

Genealogy @ Night
Remember our summer series will be in the evenings of the third
Tuesdays of each month. On the third Tuesday of June, July, and
August, the Genealogy Center will offer a research guidance lecture.
Cynthia Theusch will offer information on doing "French Canadian
Research at ACPL" on June 15, John Beatty will present "Researching
Indiana Court Records" on July 20, and Dawne Slater-Putt will cap the
series by telling us about "Cataloging 3-D Items & Heirlooms" on
August 17. All of these are at 6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A. Look for
more information at our Website and remember to
register soon via email to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or by phone at
260-421-1225. Plan to visit us in the evenings this summer!

Preserve YOUR Story
The Genealogy Center will offer the following lectures on preserving
personal, family and community history to supplement NIPR's activities
during StoryCorps' visit to northeast Indiana.
<>  All of the programs will be at the Allen
County Public Library’s Main Library at 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne,
IN in one of the first floor meetings rooms.

Basics of Scanning
by Kay Spears
This lecture will cover the essentials of organizing, scanning, and
storing family (or other) photographs digitally, as well as provide
suggestions on the equipment you may need. (Basic computer knowledge
is helpful in getting the most from this presentation.)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Preserving Your Family History
by Rebecca Schipper
Discover how to care for and store documents, photos, books, textiles
and other precious family treasures.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Cataloging" 3-D Items & Heirlooms
Dawne Slater-Putt
Many of the objects in our home are heirlooms - they were passed down
to us from someone else. Others have a story or an anecdote associated
with them that has become part of our family's oral history. As
genealogists, we organize our paper files; but when we are gone who
will know that the sugar bowl in the cupboard belonged to Great
Grandma Mattie, or which child made the clay handprint in
kindergarten? And who will know why a particular wine cork was saved?
This talk will discuss ways of recording information about
three-dimensional objects so that future generations can enjoy not
just the objects, but the history and special stories that go along
with them.
Monday, July 19, 2010

Being Creative with Your Family History
Cynthia Theusch
You've spent a lot of time gathering information about your ancestors,
but you’re not quite ready to write the family genealogy book. This
program will highlight a variety of creative ways to present your
family history and gift ideas for family members.
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Please register via email to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or by phone at 

Librarians on Parade in June 2010
Curt Witcher
June 9, 2010, Allen County Genealogical Society Annual Dinner Meeting,
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN,
Meeting Rooms A-B, 6:00 p.m.  Presentation: “Preserving YOUR Story“
June 11-13, 2010, Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Los Angeles
Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank, CA. Presentations: “Native
American/First Nations Research,” “Roll Call: New Sites and Sources
for Military Records and Research,” “Finding the World with WorldCat,”
and “Hunting in the Hoosier State: Genealogical Research in Indiana.”

Cynthia Theusch
June 15, 2010, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 6:30 p.m. Presentation: "French Canadian
Research at ACPL."

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
June 9, 2010, 6:00 p.m. annual dinner meeting.  Allen County Public
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Rooms A-B.  Curt
B. Witcher will present “Preserving YOUR Story”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
June 6, 2010, 2:00 p.m. – Dennis Giere will present “History of the
Fort Wayne Fire Department."

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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