Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 93, November 30, 2011
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 16:52:14 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 93, November 30, 2011

In this issue:
*Chronicling Our Lives and Times
*Medal of Honor Recipients
*Delaware Tax Assessment Records
*Technology Tip of the Month--The Microsoft Word 2010 Ribbon:
References Tab, Part 1
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Weeding your photograph collection
*LDS/FamilySearch Online Film Ordering
*WinterTech: Locating Books Online
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Chronicling Our Lives and Times
by Curt B. Witcher
I trust some of your Thanksgiving holiday celebrations included time
to share stories and memories with family members. And I hope those
moments put you in the mood to make this entire holiday season a time
of capturing family stories and preserving them for future
generations. Those memory moments are truly the best times in our
holiday seasons. Your life in your words is the very best gift you can
give to your descendants.

So many things remind us to make time for the important activities of
recording and sharing. The Genealogy Center issued a challenge at the
end of last month for you to set a genealogy goal. Such a goal could
be to spend a certain amount of time each week researching, or to
write a several thousand word narrative on a particular branch of the
family or a favorite ancestor, or to scan a couple of hundred
photographs in an organized manner such that the images can be linked
in your genealogical database and shared with other family members.
Did you set a specific goal? Are you making tangible progress? For the
last several years, the day after Thanksgiving has been designated the
National Day of Listening. Did you listen? Did you pick-up on this
year’s theme and remember the teachers who were a part of your life?

As you are putting together your holiday lists of things you’d like to
receive as gifts or things you’re shopping for, remember to include
some of the wonderful pieces of technology that help record and
preserve our stories. There are amazingly compact digital audio
recorders that will capture more than six hours of conversation at a
time. What a great tool to have at this season’s family gathering!
Yes, your iPad and Android can capture images, but wouldn’t a fine
digital camera with 8X+ optical zoom and many mega pixels for getting
premium images of those records, gatherings, and even HD video
recordings be a fine complement to your family history tool kit? Who
couldn’t use a FlipPal for mobile scanning needs? You would assuredly
make use of its image-stitching software. Roots Magic just came out
with version 5 of their terrific software, if you’re looking for an
easy to use yet full-featured genealogical program. Family Tree Maker
just released their 2012 edition software that will sync data on your
desktop with your online trees at

Finally, as your end of December thoughts may turn to making New
Year’s resolutions, I challenge you to make at least one very specific
family history resolution that deals directly with chronicling your
life and times, and the lives and times of your ancestors. Please
don’t settle for something as vague as “I’m going to do more research”
or “I’m going to talk to my older relatives more.” Those resolutions
are typically broken almost as soon as they are made. Rather, commit
to putting a Gedcom file on by the start of the RootsTech
conference in Salt Lake City on February 2nd, resolve to put at least
two hundred family photographs on by Valentine’s Day,
or set aside the third Saturday afternoon (yes, the entire afternoon!)
of each month to talk with living family members about your shared
family history. Increasingly, with state governments and the federal
government restricting our access to records that document our
heritage under the guise of protecting our privacy and identity, what
we leave behind in the form of records, recordings, and images that we
generate may be the best of what our descendants will have of our life

Best wishes for an extraordinary holiday season filled with many
wonderful moments with family and friends.

Medal of Honor Recipients
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
Since the Civil War, the Medal of Honor has been awarded to soldiers
and sailors who exhibit extraordinary valor in combat, usually
considered beyond the call of duty. A two-volume set of books compiled
by George Lang, Raymond L. Collins and Gerald F. White titled “Medal
of Honor Recipients 1863-1994” (973 M467) provides detailed
information about the nearly 3400 men and one woman who had received
this prestigious award from the Civil War through the Nicaraguan
Campaign of the early 1990s.

The data for each soldier includes rank, arm of service, date and
place of birth, date and place of death, cemetery, place of entry into
service, unit, battle or place of action and date, date of issue of
the medal, and reason for the award. For example, Frederick Randolph
Jackson was born 18 February 1844 in New Haven, Connecticut. In June
1862, while serving in Company F of the 7th Connecticut Infantry
during the Civil War, he had his left arm shot off during a charge on
the enemy at James Island, South Carolina. Jackson participated in a
second and a third charge before becoming exhausted from blood loss.
He died 14 February 1925 at Smithville, New York and was buried there.

Mary Edwards Walker, the one woman awarded the Medal of Honor, served
as a Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon at the Battle of Bull Run and
other locations during the Civil War and was a prisoner of war in
Richmond, Virginia, for four months.

Soldiers’ sketches are arranged chronologically by war or service
period. Several appendices in Volume II help researchers who may be
interested in studying the information from another angle, however,
and include a master index by surname, lists of recipients by state,
and a section on foreign-born recipients of the Medal of Honor. In
addition, a table of Medal recipients gives statistics on how many
Medals were awarded for each branch of the service for each war or
service period. The specific requirements for an individual to be
eligible for the Medal of Honor have changed over the years, and
Volume I includes a history of the award that explains these changes
as well as design changes in the physical Medal throughout its

[*“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.]

Delaware Tax Assessment Records
by John D. Beatty
Tax records offer researchers a useful substitute for census records,
providing information about the financial status of residents aged at
least 21 years. From the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, Delaware
conducted several colony-wide and statewide assessments, listing
owners of both real and personal property. The earliest of these
consisted of lists of residents paying quitrents in each of Delaware’s
three counties, Kent, New Castle, and Sussex. They exist for various
dates between 1681 and 1713. Bruce A. Bendler’s transcription,
“Colonial Delaware Records, 1681-1713” (GC 975.1 B43co), is arranged
by precinct and contains a few detailed descriptions of real property.

In 1782, Delaware undertook its first statewide tax assessment. The
resulting lists were published by the Delaware Genealogical Society
under the title, “Delaware – 1782 Tax Assessment and Census Lists” (GC
975.1 D37t). Taxpayers are listed both in original order by hundred
(similar to a township) and alphabetically.

The Genealogy Center also owns a number of nineteenth century lists
that have been reproduced on microfiche under the title, “Delaware Tax
Assessment Records” (cabinet I-2). The earliest, from 1803-04, consist
of assessments levied on both real and personal property and contain
images of the actual assessments with arrangement by hundred. In New
Castle County, assessors kept tax “workbooks” with more detailed
information about specific items of personal property, which were then
summarized in the final assessment volumes. Like an agricultural
schedule, they list the specific number of various types of livestock
for each owner. The workbooks are extant for all hundreds except
Appoquinimink and White Clay Creek. For Kent and Sussex counties, only
the summary volumes remain.

Tax assessment books for later years are also available on microfiche.
For 1816-17, only the records of New Castle County exist. Arranged by
hundred, they include detailed summaries of both real and personal
property, as well as “error lists” of delinquent or indigent
residents. Karen Ackerman’s “Tax Assessments of New Castle County,
Delaware, 1816-1817” (GC 975.101 N43a) contains a transcript of the
microfiche. Another assessment on microfiche for 1852-53 is nearly
complete for New Castle and Sussex counties, though the lists of only
four hundreds remain from Kent County.

Taken as a whole, these lists offer excellent primary source records
for documenting Delaware ancestors. At a minimum, they allow you to
locate someone in a particular time and place. Sometimes they can also
provide clues to other nearby relatives, and they often include names
of people who were not listed as heads of household on the federal

Technology Tip of the Month--The Microsoft Word 2010 Ribbon:
References Tab, Part 1
by Kay Spears
For those of you compiling a family history, this tab includes many
useful tools organized into the following groups: Table of Contents,
Footnotes, Citations & Bibliography, Captions, Index, and Table of

A Table of Contents is always a handy tool for researchers and
Microsoft Word has made it relatively painless to create one. You can
build a Table of Contents in Word either manually or by using a
wizard. Before looking at both of these methods, I suggest that you
delay making a Table of Contents until your book is nearly complete.
It will be less confusing and you will be less likely to introduce a
mistake because of any changes you have made while compiling your

Let’s explore the manual method for creating a Table of Contents.
These instructions may seem like a lot of work, but once you get used
to them, you’ll find that they are pretty easy. You may even decide to
incorporate the Tab Alignment for other purposes. First, make sure
that the Show/Hide feature is turned on. You will find Show/Hide in
the Paragraph Group on the Home Tab (it looks like a backward P). Once
you have completed setting up your tabs, you may want to turn off
Show/Hide, as it does clutter the page.

Now, type the first entry for your Table of Contents – for instance,
“John Smith.” Press the Tab key on your keyboard, then type the page
number for the first entry. If Show/Hide is turned on, you should see
an arrow between the name and number; that arrow is called a tab stop.
Using your cursor, select that arrow, go to the Page Layout or Home
tab and click on the Paragraph group. Then click on the Tab button
located in the lower left corner. In the Tab Stop Position, type the
number of inches of space you want between the name and number. Under
Alignment, click Right. Under Leader, select the option you want and
click OK. Your page number should align right with whatever leader
you’ve chosen. Press Enter on your keyboard and start typing the
second name and number, remembering to press the Tab button after each
name entry. You should start seeing what looks like a Table of

To create a Table of Contents using the wizard, you will need to
incorporate the use of Headings in your document for any text that you
want to appear in the Table of Contents. The title of each chapter or
section is a common choice. Select the text for the first item that
you want to appear in the Table of Contents. Next, click on either
Heading 1 or Heading 2 in the Styles group on the Home tab. Then,
click on the spot where you want to place the Table of Contents – most
likely a blank page near the beginning of your document. Finally, on
the References tab, in the Table of Contents group, click Table of
Contents, then click the table style you want and it will magically

Next Article: The Microsoft Word 2010 Ribbon: References Tab, Part 2.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Weeding your photograph collection
by Dawne Slater-Putt
With the advent of digital photography, it is perhaps easier to keep
our current photograph collections under control. Since we can preview
the pictures we take, it's a quick step to delete any that are blurry
or poor in composition. Also, we may tend to print only the photos
that we plan to give to others or put in frames or photo albums.

But what about those boxes of older photographs? How can we get
control of our snapshot chaos? Here are some tips:

*Gather all photographs together and sort by time period, or by
subject if appropriate (such as in the case of school portraits).

*Be ruthless! Throw out any photos that are bad, i.e., out of focus,
too light, too dark, of poor composition, or unflattering. Make an
exception to this rule if you have no other pictures of the person or
event. (Note: Before throwing away your "bad" photos, take one last
look to be sure the background doesn't capture something of interest
like a former residence, the family pet or a car you once owned.)

*If you had duplicate prints made, give away or throw away the second copy.

*Label your photos with a marker or pencil made specifically for this
purpose. Other types of pens and markers will bleed through the photo

*Organize pictures in photo-safe boxes with dividers or in archival
quality photo sleeves in binders.

LDS/FamilySearch Online Film Ordering
by Cynthia Theusch
Now you can have the benefit of ordering microfilms from Salt Lake
City online while planning your research trip to The Genealogy Center.
The combination of The Genealogy Center’s collection and the
availability of microfilms identified in the Family History Library
Catalog can enhance your opportunities for research success. When
planning your trip to Fort Wayne, consider ordering microfilms from
the FamilySearch Microfilm Ordering Service approximately 3 to 4 weeks
before your visit.

To access the order form online, you will need to have a FamilySearch
account. If you already have created an account in order to see
digital images at, you can use that account to order
microfilm. To create an account, go to, click on
the “Sign In” link in the upper right hand corner and scroll down to
the Create New Account button.

The new online ordering system will alert you if the microfilm you
chose is already on loan to The Genealogy Center. Notifications will
be sent when your order has been processed, when it has been delivered
to your selected location, and when the item is ready to be sent back
to FamilySearch. At that point in time, you will be able to extend a
microfilm’s loan period or place it on indefinite loan for an
additional fee. For additional information, a User’s Guide is

Please contact The Genealogy Center if you have any questions about
the new FamilySearch Microfilm Ordering Service.

WinterTech: Locating Books Online
Anticipating colder days and grayer skies, increasingly you may want
to stay inside and do more of your research on your computer. Discover
sources for locating books (and maybe even view them) online with the
second program in our 2011-12 WinterTech series, "Locating Books
Online." This program will be on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at 2:30
PM in Meeting Room C.  Held in the afternoons on the second
Wednesdays, November through February, to coincide with the Allen
County Genealogical Society of Indiana's monthly evening meetings,
WinterTech expands your knowledge of family history research using
technology. Other WinterTech sessions in January and February will
provide a virtual tour of The Genealogy Center's Catalog, and a survey
of the website for British, Irish, and Scots research. For
more information, see the flyer at
Please call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to register.

Out and About
Curt Witcher
Bloomfield Hills, MI--Joint program of the Detroit Society for
Genealogical Research and the Oakland County Genealogical Society,
Christ Church Cranbrook, 470 Church Street, January 7, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
to 4 p.m. “And the Rockets’ Red Glare: Online Resources for War of
1812 Research.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
December 14, 2011--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m. refreshments and social time, 7 p.m.
program.  Walter P. “Skip” Sassmannshausen will present: “I’ve Been
Working on the Railroad.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
No George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series presentation in December 2011.
January 1, 2012, 2 p.m. Sara Gabbard will be speaking on, “Mystic
Chords of Memory: The Opening of the West in American Memory.”

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
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Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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