Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 87, May 31, 2011
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 17:09:04 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 87, May 31, 2011

In this issue:
*A Recipe for Writing
*Indiana Amish Directory
*Ohio Public Land Records
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Surface Cleaning Documents
*One-On-One Consultations
*Fort Wayne Ancestry Day 2011
*August Tree Talks: Kentucky Research
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

A Recipe for Writing
by Curt B. Witcher
Many find writing a challenging endeavor, yet most know how important
it is for us to write our stories. The details of our lives in our own
words are among the very best things we can offer to our children and
their children. Our stories are truly the way we can remain a part of
their lives long after we are gone. Quite simply, the value of our
stories in our own words cannot be overstated.

As the passing of Memorial Day weekend heralds the unofficial start of
summer, and thoughts of cookouts and family reunions fill our heads,
we might use these summer culinary rituals to create some writing
opportunities for ourselves. It has been articulated many times that
often writing is done most successfully in small, manageable pieces
rather than by trying to find the time and energy to write an entire
chapter, or heaven forbid, an entire book. So why not use the event of
a holiday cookout to record some of your memories?

Do you remember the first time your family had a summer holiday
cookout? Was the event a Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day,
family reunion, or church picnic? Were you fascinated by watching your
mom or dad, an older sibling, or perhaps your grandparents, start the
fire? In your mind, can you still smell that fire? What did you eat?
What are your favorite cookout foods? Do you remember the most recent
family cookout? What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever cooked, or
eaten, at a holiday cookout?

Begin writing your vignette by detailing the context for the cookout.
Why were you cooking out? Who was there? Why did the people at your
cookout decide to come—someone's birthday? a holiday? a reunion? Where
did you have the cookout? What did you eat? What did you do before and
after the meal? Answering a few simple questions can really put one
well on the way to writing a memorable piece, particularly if
attention is paid to describing the oft overlooked details. Talk about
the cool, creamy coleslaw; describe the pulsing orange, yellow and
white charcoal embers; recount how evening brought the waves on the
lake to a still, glassy surface while your roasting marshmallows
caught fire if you held them too close to the fire--and that you
didn’t really mind because the smores still tasted mighty fine.

Another way to begin creating your vignettes is to fashion stories
around the actual recipes you use with cookouts and other family
gatherings. Where did they come from? a family member? a cousin’s
cookbook? That special “marvelous mashed-potatoes” recipe in our
household dates back two generations on my in-laws side of the family.
It wouldn’t be a holiday without that side dish (which for many in my
family is a main dish!). That special mustard, spicy sauce, pepper and
ketchup rub for grilling chicken came into existence years ago when
two very young sons were just having fun mixing things together,
secretly hoping for something more than grease and fat to spark the
grill’s fire.

Simply going through your recipe box can spark some great memories
from which you can cook-up some wonderful family vignettes! Give it a
try--it might be just as enjoyable as some of the terrific cookouts
you’ve experienced over the years.

Indiana Amish Directory
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG*
Those who have family connections to the Amish in northern Indiana may
find the “Indiana Amish Directory: Elkhart, LaGrange and Noble
Counties, 2007” (GC 977.2 M6128IB) an invaluable source. Compiled by
Jerry E. Miller with the help of his immediate family and others, the
directory was created to provide a reliable source of birth, marriage
and death information for the Amish church districts in the community,
along with accurate addresses, home sites and school and cemetery

The volume includes some 3,900 families in 131 church districts. For
each family, the following information is given: address, husband’s
name and occupation, wife’s maiden name, the names of subsequent
spouses if applicable, marriage date, husband’s and wife’s dates of
birth and of death, if applicable, parents’ names for husband and
wife, including mothers’ maiden names, and children’s names with birth
date, death date if applicable, marriage partner, and place of
residence. The children’s names also include a code indicating whether
they are still living at home with the parents; married, Amish and
living within the community; married, Amish and living in another
community; no longer Amish, with the name of the marriage partner and
address given; or single but not living at home with the parents.

“Indiana Amish Directory” also includes a history of the Anabaptist
faith written by the late Eli Gingerich in 1970, occupational
statistics, maps showing schools and cemeteries, diagrams showing the
location of homes of community members, and a list of present and past
ministers of the community with their years of birth and death,
migration information and sometimes father’s and grandfather’s names
if those men also were ministers.

A search for “Amish Directory” in The Genealogy Center’s catalog
returned 27 “hits,” including additional years’ directories for
Elkhart, LaGrange and Noble counties, as well as directories for Allen
County, Indiana and vicinity; Adams County, Indiana; Nappanee and
Kokomo, Indiana; Geauga County, Ohio; Holmes County, Ohio and
vicinity; Lancaster and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania; Mifflin and
Juniata Counties, Pennsylvania; multiple counties in Pennsylvania with
St. Mary’s County, Maryland; Arthur, Illinois; Iowa, Johnson and
Washington Counties, Iowa; the Michigan Amish Directory and the
Aylmer, Ontario, Amish Directory. Some Amish directories are also
available for purchase at <> and <>.

Amish directories include a wealth of family information. For those
researching members of this relatively small population segment in a
recent time period, locating an applicable Amish directory may be of
great assistance.

[*“CG” & “Certified Genealogist” are service marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists, and are used by authorized associates
following periodic, peer-reviewed competency evaluations.]

Ohio Public Land Records
by John D. Beatty
The sale of public land in Ohio has a complex history, and no single
source lists all of the original purchasers. Many genealogists are
familiar with the online database of General Land Office Records at
<>, which indexes public land sales in various
states and includes images of the original land grant certificates.
While Ohio is represented, the database does not contain the names of
those who bought land on credit before 1820.

The records of Ohio’s public land sales, including those omitted from
the GLO database, are available on microfilm in The Genealogy Center
in a series titled “Ohio Land Records” (cabinet 80). The set includes
records of the Virginia Military District, as well as the land offices
at Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Marietta, Steubenville, and Zanesville.
The Virginia Military District comprised a large, irregularly-shaped
block of land north of the Ohio River between the Little Miami and
Scioto rivers. Surveyed through a system of metes and bounds, it was
reserved by Virginia to pay its Revolutionary War soldiers with bounty
land warrants. Many of the soldiers who received the initial bounties
later sold or reassigned their claims to others. These reassignments
can be found in the records of this district. The distribution of land
proceeded differently at the federal land offices, where land was
offered for public sale after a new rectangular survey. Purchasers
could buy on credit at $2 per acre, though any tract not completely
paid for within a year could be offered to others.

Land grant records can sometimes provide important genealogical clues.
Purchasers usually provided their addresses, and while these were
often in Ohio, they will occasionally list some other place outside
the state. Sometimes, members of the same family purchased land
jointly, allowing one to speculate on possible relationships not found
in other records. Thus, when Andrew and John W. Edgar purchased land
jointly in Champaign County at the Cincinnati Land Office on 10
October 1811, the resulting record leads one to speculate that they
may have been brothers, even though the documents do not spell out
their relationship. Types of records featured on the microfilms
include Homestead Entries, Registers of Certificates, Tract Books, and
Auditor’s Records.

To find whether an ancestor purchased land on credit and was not
included in the GLO database, one should consult Ellen T. and David A.
Berry’s three-volume “Early Ohio Settlers” (GC 977.1 B45e, B45ea, and
B45eb). These volumes present the records by land office and provide
indexes of names, sometimes in more than one alphabetical sequence.
Volume one includes land sales in southeastern Ohio as recorded at the
Marietta Land Office in Washington County. Volume two contains an
index to purchasers at the Cincinnati Land Office in southwestern
Ohio, while volume three includes purchases made in eastern and
east-central Ohio through the Steubenville and Zanesville offices.
Grants in the Virginia Military District are indexed in Clifford Neal
Smith’s “Federal Land Series” (GC 973.004 Sm5f). Researchers should
check all of these volumes first before examining the microfilms. The
Genealogy Center’s Microtext Catalog provides a detailed listing of
the microfilm set, showing the land office or district, record type,
and inclusive dates found on each roll of film. A helpful search
strategy is to identify the date of an ancestor’s purchase and then
search the records of purchases for that date. If you have an ancestor
who purchased federal land in Ohio or received military bounty land
for service in the Revolutionary War, these records are well worth

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Surface Cleaning Documents
by Curt B. Witcher
Memorial Day weekend often kicks-off a summer of family gatherings and
reunions. These gatherings increasingly find families sharing
information and documents about their ancestors. Some of these
documents may not have been stored in the most ideal conditions and
will need to be cleaned-up for proper storage and preservation.

The Alabama State Archives has a well-written, easy to understand and
easy to implement set of instructions on their website for those
interested in properly surface cleaning a document.
<> Some of the
highlights are summarized in the following.

Cleaning documents can be time consuming if done properly, so it
shouldn’t be a task one is trying to accomplish quickly. Cleaning
methods should be gentle to avoid causing damage. Cleaning always
begins with the gentlest method, brushing, and progresses to more
aggressive methods.

For brushing, begin with a clean work surface covered with a large
sheet of paper. Wear a clean, white cotton glove on one hand to hold
the document in place during cleaning. Various tools may be employed:
long-bristled, soft brushes; dry-cleaning pads; and vinyl erasers. If
a document is very large, use weights to hold it in place during

Use soft, long-bristled brushes as a first cleaning step. White
bristles are best, because it is easy to see when they are dirty and
need to be washed. Begin in the center of the document and brush
surface dirt toward the edges. Continue this process over the entire
document. Many times, brushing is the only cleaning method necessary.
If dirt remains and the document is strong enough, use a dry cleaning
pad to remove more unwanted particles.

Dry cleaning pads are small bags of art gum eraser particles. Deposit
the eraser particles onto the document by squeezing and kneading the
pad. Squeeze a small number of particles onto the dirty part of the
document. Then use the tips of the middle and index fingers to gently
rub the particles in a circular motion. The eraser particles darken as
they pick up loose dirt. Carefully but thoroughly brush the eraser
particles from the document so that they do not adhere to it. If this
method does not remove sufficient dirt, use a Magic Rub eraser.

Magic Rub erasers only should be used as a last resort. Clean only the
portion of the document containing the surface dirt. Use short, light,
one-directional strokes to remove the dirt. Brush the particles away
before moving on to another area of the document. Because this
cleaning method is more abrasive than previous methods described, take
care to avoid damaging the document's surface. If surface dirt cannot
be removed by a Magic Rub eraser, leave the document as is.

Most all of one’s cleaning products can be purchased at art supply stores.

One-On-One Consultations
The Genealogy Center is offering a new monthly program: 30-minute
“One-on-One Consultations” with a staff member! Consultations are held
on the fourth Wednesday of each month, from 2 pm to 4 pm. Just contact
us by email at Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info and provide a detailed summation of
your research quandary, and indicate which fourth Wednesday works best
for you. Based on your research challenge, a staff member will be
selected, and a date and time established. Space is limited with this
popular program, so contact us in advance to insure you get the date
you need. If you have questions, contact us at Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info, or
call 260-421-1225.

Fort Wayne Ancestry Day 2011
The Genealogy Center is pleased to announce that the experts at are coming to Fort Wayne July 22 and 23, 2011 to share
their knowledge and expertise with you! The fun and learning will
start Friday night, July 22, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., when
you can pick up your name tag, handout materials, and chat with the
experts at the Fort Wayne Hilton Atrium. The actual classes will start
Saturday morning, July 23, 2011 at the Grand Wayne Center, which is
connected to the Fort Wayne Hilton. The schedule for that Saturday
includes the following classes.

9 a.m.--Insider Search Tips for
10:15 a.m.--How to Find Civil War Roots at
11:15 a.m.--Lunch break: Catch a bite at restaurants nearby and/or
talk with the experts
1 p.m.--Hidden Treasures of The Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne
2:15 p.m.--A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Project
3:30 p.m.--Ask The Experts Panel

The cost for the full day's classes, held at the Grand Wayne Center,
right across from the library, is just $20. For more information and
to register, click
Register for this event today! Don't miss this wonderful opportunity
to join us for Ancestry Day!

August Tree Talks: Kentucky Research
Our Tree Talks offering for August will be "Beginning Kentucky
Research at The Genealogy Center," presented by Delia Bourne, on
Saturday August 27, 2011, from 10A to 11A in Meeting Room A. Many of
our ancestral families passed through Kentucky, staying for a
generation or two before moving on to points north, south and west.
This lecture will be an overview of records and collections to aid one
in best utilizing The Genealogy Center's Kentucky sources. For more
information, or to register for this free program, call 260-421-1225,
or send us an email at Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Out and About
Curt Witcher
June 11, 2011, Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Marriott Los
Angeles Burbank Airport Hotel, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA, 10
a.m.: “Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a
Genealogical Research Key” and 7 p.m. banquet: “The High Tech and High
Touch of 21st Century Genealogy.”
June 12, 2011, Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Marriott Los
Angeles Burbank Airport Hotel, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA, 10
a.m.: “An Ancestor’s Death--A Time for Reaping.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
June 8, 2011--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, Indiana. 6:00 p.m. Annual Dinner & 35th Anniversary
Celebration, 7 p.m. program: Curt Witcher will present: “35 Years of
the Allen County Genealogical Society: A Celebration of Coral and

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
June 5, 2011, 2 p.m.--Dan McCain will present “Allen County’s Unique
Landscape, from the Glacial Age to Today.”

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: Scroll to the bottom, click on
E-zine, and fill out the form. You will be notified with a
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If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
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Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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