Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 88, June 30, 2011
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 18:12:30 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 88, June 30, 2011

In this issue:
*Musings on Conferences, Connecting, and Collaborating
*Colonial Bounty and Donation Land
*Peonage Case Files, 1901-1945
*Technology Tip of the Month--Adventures with Microsoft Office Suite 2010
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--File Formats & Sizes for
Digitizing Projects
*Fort Wayne Ancestry Day 2011
*August Tree Talks: Kentucky Research
*Family History: Beyond the Basics Mini-Course
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Musings on Conferences, Connecting, and Collaborating
by Curt B. Witcher
I recently returned from the American Library Association’s annual
conference in New Orleans, LA. More than twenty thousand librarians
from across the continent, as well as from Europe, Asia, and other
countries around the world, convened to share experiences and learn
new strategies and techniques for dealing with the many challenges
facing twenty-first century libraries and archives. They also gathered
to sample and test some of the latest products and services available
for current customers as well as those who will shape a new generation
of services just beyond the horizon. Attendance at these conferences
is a blessing--the benefits of being able to network with other
colleagues, share collective wisdom, and update one’s knowledge base
are critical to both personal satisfaction and professional success.

Even in this era of online meetings and virtual work spaces, there
seems to remain a significant synergy and an enhanced
“knowledge-share” that occurs when meeting together in one place and
communicating “live and in-person.” I can’t help but muse how that is
also true with genealogy and family history conferences, gatherings,
and seminars. The best attended, and arguably most genealogically
consequential conference of this young twenty-first century was the
RootsTech conference this past February--yes, a *technology*
conference. More than three thousand individuals, whose paths normally
don’t cross, got to interact with experts in different areas of the
genealogy space. Researchers were able to see new solutions to age-old
challenges and contribute their own expertise and ideas to plans for
doing things better. Oh, and some family history got accomplished as

The Genealogy Center hosts a number of conference and seminar
activities in the coming weeks you should consider for this type of
premium twenty-first century experience. In just a few weeks, on
Saturday, July 23, 2011 we are sponsoring an Ancestry Day. What an
amazing opportunity to learn and engage with experts from
and The Genealogy Center. In August, we will provide an opportunity to
learn about beginning Kentucky research; with September will come
another of our ever-popular mini-courses; and October will be filled
to capacity with our annual Family History Month programming. In
addition, October 20-22, 2011 a National Black Genealogy Summit will
be hosted by the library and the local African American Genealogical
Society. The top speakers in the field will be here in Fort Wayne to
engage with you on best practices for African American family history.
You’ve just got to check it out at www.BlackGenealogyConference.Info.

I offer another reflection from the recent library conference. At this
event attended by tens of thousands with so much to see and do, a
handful of library school students, public librarians, archivists,
academic librarians, and special collections managers met for half of
one morning to discuss ways we should be using both technology and our
human resources to record and preserve living memory. There is such a
need for this issue to be addressed in new and meaningful ways. Rare
book and manuscript librarians are rightly concerned that if we don’t
engage the “wisdom keepers” of our times, we may not only lose their
words and the stories of their lives, we may also lose critical
manuscripts (letters, diaries, telegrams, and other communiques) that
document what people in “our days” did, thought, and believed.
Genealogists have this same concern--this is more common ground for
these two groups of individuals. Increasingly, it is critical to
recognize that today’s activities, thoughts, and writings are
tomorrow’s history. The time to act is now--what is your role?

At the library conference, there were a number of excellent programs
specifically on recording oral history. Some communities and
individuals call these “memory projects.” One such program highlighted
the collection of stories from Jewish women who survived the horrible
ordeal of Katrina. The power of telling one’s story was so clearly and
vividly emphasized to me all over again. Genealogical and historical
societies all over the continent could further the cause of recording
local history by actively engaging in memory projects. Story Corps is
the national project that captures a few moments from the lives of a
very small percentage of the population. What can we do to capture the
rest? Is there an ongoing project here for our societies?

Finally, we are just hours away from celebrating another holiday that
was bought and paid for by the brave actions of our ancestors in
military service. Make this 4th of July special beyond fireworks and
sparklers by really getting to know your military ancestors. From the
battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the French and Indian wars,
our military ancestors have paid the price for what we enjoy. Discover
their lives; write their stories; preserve the knowledge of their
actions and memories; share their unique place in your family history
and in our history. Do something tangible and immediate. Post a
digitized photograph(s) to a wiki page. It’s free and
straightforward. Share a digitized service or pension record with The
Genealogy Center, so we can post that information on the military
heritage portion of our website. Tell the stories of their lives by
making available letters they wrote and received from the war front
and the home front. Truly celebrate this weekend.

Colonial Bounty and Donation Land
by Melissa Shimkus
Genealogists may find that many Colonial-era records provide limited
leads for further research, but sources are available that can suggest
additional research options. One such source is “Bounty and Donation
Land Grants in British Colonial America” by Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck
(973.001 B631BO). It provides such genealogical nuggets as residence,
details of military service, familial relationships and evidence of
migration patterns for those who received land from the government.
The book is simple to use with material organized alphabetically by
surname, then given name, of the soldiers who received land. The
introduction lists sources used to compile the book.

The volume documents those who received land in Britain’s American
colonies, primarily as payment for military service. Conflicts with
Indians and with settlers from other European nations abounded in the
colonies, including King William’s War, Queen Anne’s War, the War of
Jenkins’ Ear, King George’s War, and the French and Indian War. The
presence of soldiers was imperative to maintain the safety of the
colonies during this time. The British government offered “bounty
land” to induce men to enlist, and promised “donation land” as
compensation following military service. The government had additional
incentives for providing land to those who had served in the military:
Having former soldiers stationed in the interior ensured a strong
defense when necessary without having to pay for soldiers, and land
was readily available in the frontier areas of the colonies.

In addition to information about military service, Bockstruck’s book
also provides family details in some cases, since either the soldier
or his next of kin may have been awarded the land. For example,
Michael Holland died before receiving his land for service in the
French and Indian War. His brother, John Holland, accepted his land in
Virginia. And after John Sheldon was killed by Indians in Deerfield,
Massachusetts, his children, Ebenezer Sheldon and Mary Clap, wife of
Samuel, received land in Massachusetts. In addition, some individuals
received land as payment for reasons other than military service.
After spending one hundred pounds searching for his child who had been
kidnapped by Mohawks, Robert Keyes of Princeton, Massachusetts, was
compensated with land near his home. Family migration patterns also
may be revealed as in the case of Thomas Weymouth of Boston,
Massachusetts, whose heirs accepted property in Bedford, New

“Bounty and Donation Land Grants in British Colonial America” provides
genealogical gleanings that go beyond the obvious and suggest
subsequent research avenues in military records, deeds, probate
records and other resources.

Peonage Case Files, 1901-1945
by Cynthia Theusch
 “The Peonage Files of the U.S. Department of Justice, 1901-1945” is
among The Genealogy Center’s many microfilmed resources for African
American research (26 reels – cabinet 64-O-5). Peonage is the illegal
bondage of a worker who is involuntarily compelled to work off a debt.
Such involuntary servitude is contrary to the 13th Amendment and was
outlawed by federal statute in 1867, but the law was not enforced
until 1898.

These files reveal not only an unseemly aspect of American history but
also personal details about victims and perpetrators useful to the
genealogist and local historian. In the case “U.S. v. Eberhart,” the
complaint of H. O. Johnson called for an investigation into the “reign
of terror” perpetrated in Oglethorpe County, Georgia by William
Eberhart and his allies. File correspondence details the situation of
Charles Calloway, who was free to leave Eberhart’s employment in
November or December of 1897, but “was hand-cuffed and beat by said
Eberhart and one Thomas Erwin” until he signed a contract to work for
another three years. Calloway’s wife, Mary, was also forced to sign a
contract that bound her and their six children to Eberhart. Included
in the case file is a copy of a newspaper article with the headline
“Slavery is Found on Georgia Farm…Charges of a Most Shocking Nature.”
The article summarized several peonage charges made against Eberhart
by the Federal Grand Jury.

Case files typically include correspondence and investigative reports.
If the case went to a grand jury or court, a transcript of the
proceedings is included. The investigative report includes a section
giving a personal description of the complainant and/or perpetrator.
In case number 50-703, the alleged perpetrator, Lee Davis, was
described as age 45 years, 6 foot 1 inch, 235 pounds, light blue eyes
(no glasses), light brown hair, full face, regular teeth, ruddy
complexion, clean shaven, occupation farmer, and was married with four
children. The file also notes that he had a brother, Bob Davis, who
was the Deputy Sheriff living in Post, Texas.

A printed “Guide to the Microfilm Edition of The Peonage Files” (975
G9411) is available in The Genealogy Center and provides background
information, a reel index, and a subject index. The Reel Index details
the contents of each microfilm listing the frame number, case file
number, alleged perpetrators and the type of case. The Subject Index
includes references to cases by state, specific law, organization, and
type of worker. The Peonage Files contain considerable genealogical
information supplied by both complainants and investigative agents. By
browsing the Guide, you may identify a case of potential interest for
your own research.

Technology Tip of the Month--Adventures with Microsoft Office Suite 2010
by Kay Spears
Here at The Genealogy Center we recently experienced the joy of
upgrading to Microsoft Office Suite 2010 from Version 2003. As you
might imagine, this process was interesting. So, in the next few
articles, I have decided to share some of the problems, solutions, and
work-arounds that may be helpful to those of you who have the same

At the top of the screen in any program of the new Microsoft Office
Suite (Power Point, Excel, Word, or Access), you’ll notice the
“ribbon,” which was introduced in 2007 as a replacement for
Microsoft’s menus and toolbars. Tabs on the ribbon separate each group
of commands. I’ll discuss the ribbon more in my next article.

First, I’d like to address the BIG changes made to Word. Microsoft, in
their infinite wisdom, changed the default line spacing from the
publishing standard of 1 to 1.5. It is my understanding that this was
done for better online compatibility. Here are two ways to change it

One way to change the spacing is to click on the ribbon’s “Home” tab,
then on “Change Styles.”  Select “Style Set” and click on “Word 2003”
in the list of choices. Your line spacing will now change to 1. You
can always change it back if you want to.

Another way to change the line spacing is to go to the “Paragraph”
group under the “Home” tab, then click on the tiny drop down arrow in
the bottom right hand corner of that group. This opens the “Paragraph”
dialog box. You may also get to the paragraph dialog box by right
clicking on the document. Under the “Indents and Spacing” tab, change
the “Line spacing” from Multiple or 1.5 to Single. Then click “Set as
Default” at the bottom of the dialog box. A message box will pop up
giving you two choices, to set the default for “This document only?”
or for “All documents?” If you don’t want to do this every time you
open a Word document, choose “All.”

While you are changing defaults, you also may want to change the
default font from Calibri to Times New Roman. Once again, Microsoft
altered this default setting based on web usage. They also assumed
that all recipients of your documents would have Calibri on their
computer. To change your font default setting, go to the “Font” group
under the “Home” tab and click on the tiny arrow in the lower right
hand corner of that group. This will open the “Font” dialog box. As
before, a right click on the document will also let you open this
dialog box. Scroll through the options and find the Times New Roman
font. You may, of course, choose another font, but remember that your
documents will not display properly when sent to a recipient whose
computer does not have the same font. As you did with line spacing,
click on “Set as Default.” Again, you will be asked whether you want
to change the default for “This document only?” or for “All

Next article: The Ribbon

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--File Formats & Sizes for
Digitizing Projects
by Curt B. Witcher
Though compiled more than a decade ago, the National Archives’
“Scanning and File Format Matrix” for digitizing records is still
valid, clear and a worthwhile guide to follow. One can find it at the
following URL. <>

Fort Wayne Ancestry Day 2011
Time is running out to register for Ancestry Day, when the experts at come to Fort Wayne on 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 badge, 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, go to <>.
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, “Beginning Kentucky Research at
The Genealogy Center," will be presented by Delia Bourne on Saturday,
August 27, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 11a.m. 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
provides an overview of records and collections that will 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.

Family History: Beyond the Basics Mini-Course
The popular mini-course, "Family History: Beyond the Basics," will be
offered September 30 & October 1, 2011.  Instructors Margery Graham
and Steve Myers will share their knowledge as well as guide tours of
The Genealogy Center and provide assisted research and personal
consultations. "Family History: Beyond the Basics" will cover the
following topics.

Day One:
Session 1: Problem Solving: Breaking through Brick Walls in Your
Research - Every family historian eventually encounters obstacles in
their research that seem insurmountable. Learn some basic strategies
for tackling these so-called "brick walls" that can lead you to
genealogical breakthroughs.

Session 2: Probate Records - Learn how to find and use wills,
administrations and guardianships, as well as the other "goodies"
contained in probate records.

Session 3: Land Records and Tax Lists - Learn the basics of land
descriptions and how deed and land grant records, as well as
associated tax lists, can all help advance your research.

Day Two:
Session 4: Military Records - Following an overview of military record
sources, learn the basics of researching ancestors who served in the
American Civil War (1861-1865) and in the American Revolutionary War

Session 5: Church Records - Learn how to identify, locate and use
these important sources of early birth, marriage and death information
for a time period that pre-dates government registration of so-called
"vital records."

Session 6: Tracing Your Ancestors Across the Atlantic - Learn how to
find and use the many sources that bear on this crucial research step.
Naturalization records, passenger lists, European emigration records
and other sources will be discussed.

This course will be in Rooms A & B of the Main Library, 900 Library
Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The registration fee for the "Family
History: Beyond the Basics" mini-course is $50. Checks should be made
payable to "ACPL Foundation" and mailed to: The 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. In the past this mini-course has filled very quickly
so act today! Additional information and a workshop schedule will be
posted soon on our Web site at

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
There are no society meetings during the summer months. Meetings
resume in September.
September 14, 2011--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m. refreshments and social time, 7 p.m.
program. Curt Witcher will present: “America’s Second Revolution:
Records & Resources for War of 1812 Research.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
The George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series will resume again in September.

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
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
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the subject line.

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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