Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 102, August 31, 2012
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 18:28:12 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 102, August 31, 2012

In this issue:
*History in Our Hands...
*Women in the Revolution
*The American West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880
*Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Photoshop: Reducing a Moire Pattern (Part 1)
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preservation of Clothing
*Family History: Beyond the Basics, A Two-Day Mini-Course!
*Family History Month--October 2012: Celebrate Every Day!
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

History in Our Hands...
by Curt B. Witcher
As our summer days are waning, and many of our children and
grandchildren are back in school, my thoughts turn again to all the
great family information discovered and shared at reunions and other
gatherings over the past several months. There is always such
excitement when connecting with family, meeting new relatives, and
sharing discoveries--whether from the recently released and indexed
1940 census or from a newly discovered photograph album. What happens
after the initial excitement, though, remains a constant concern for
me. Do we really appreciate that we have “history in our hands?” What
happens to that family history is in our hands as well.

I encourage making a practice of actively archiving family information
at least several times a year. Be creative when thinking of how to
“archive” family data. Recall the LOCKSS mantra written about
previously--lots of copies keeps stuff safe. Share those summer
discoveries with family members who may not have been able to attend
that recent reunion or who don’t have access to all the data and
images shared at the reunion. Sharing family data widely creates an
informal network of backups, which helps ensure that it will remain
available for future generations.

Don’t just place that newly discovered information and those images in
the piles of unrecorded and unfiled data that fill many of our
studies, offices, and dining room tables. Organizing your discoveries,
research, and conclusions, and inputting the information into a
genealogical data management program, e.g. Family Tree Maker, Master
Genealogist, Roots Magic, and the like, is another means of caring for
the “history in our hands.”

Another different but amazing “history in our hands” moment happened
mid-August. A colleague and friend from Historic Fort Wayne brought in
a number of War of 1812 artifacts to complement the “Nation Forged by
War” display that starting getting attention in The Genealogy Center
around the first of this month. Holding the artifacts and authentic
reproductions in my hands gave me a renewed sense of what it meant for
those of our ancestors who defended this country during its “second
Revolutionary War.” The artifacts and authentic reproductions include:
chain shot, bar shot, and expanding bar shot that were fired from
cannons to disable a ship’s rigging; a brass blunderbuss with flared
muzzle; a shot and ball mold as well as a vent pick and brush; a wood
and glass rumlet, captured from the captain of the Privateer L’Activ
by American Captain Allenson; a sailor’s wooden rumlet; and a small
black powder barrel and a powder horn. You simply must stop by to see
them if you’re in the area.

My hands touched items that War of 1812 soldiers would have
touched--truly “history in our hands.” How awesome is that?! [Note:
Nearly three hundred thousand War of 1812 pension images are available
on for free use from anywhere in the world. It’s a good
start. <>]

Finally, we know how newspapers are the chroniclers of the lives and
times of people in a particular community. For a number of months, I
have had the distinct pleasure and honor of serving with an extremely
talented group of individuals on an advisory committee for the Indiana
Historic Newspaper Digitization Project. With federal grant money, the
Indiana State Library is working on digitizing over one hundred and
twenty thousand pages of pre-1922 Indiana newspapers. When the first
phase is complete, these historic newspapers will be freely available
on the Library of Congress’ “Chronicling America” website, as well as
on the Indiana State Library’s website. I can hardly wait to view
these treasure troves of history from my own netbook. This outstanding
project is being undertaken by a corps of dedicated professionals who
are working hard to put “history in our hands.”

Women in the Revolution
by John D. Beatty
Bibliographic works are often overlooked and underappreciated by
genealogists. In the rush to find specific names in compiled family
histories and record extracts, researchers often fail to discover
sources of a more general nature that could illuminate their
ancestors’ lives and place them into larger contexts. These sources
are worth examining if for no other reason than they provide us with a
more thorough understanding of the times in which our ancestors lived.
If we’re lucky, they also may offer additional clues.

By gathering into a single source a listing of related books and
articles, bibliographers perform an important service. They shine a
spotlight on the obscure and present new avenues for historical
inquiry. Such is the case with Eric Grundset’s three-volume “America’s
Women in the Revolutionary Era: A History through Bibliography,”
published in 2011 by the National Society Daughters of the American
Revolution (973.3 G925AM). In more than 3,000 pages, Grundset
categorizes thousands of books, articles, published manuscripts,
online sources, and dissertations that discuss or document women and
girls at the time of the Revolutionary War.

The scope of the project is breathtaking. Volumes One and Two contain
four parts: “General Studies;” “Women in the Family and in Society;”
“Women, Culture, Education, and the Creative Arts;” and “Women, Girls
and the War Effort during the American Revolution.” These four parts
divide thirty chapters and a huge array of subheadings that cover a
wide gamut of topics. Education, labor, paintings, toys, clothing,
disease, death, abuse, childbirth, child rearing practices,
illegitimacy, sexual relations, legal status issues, women’s rights,
foodways, folklore, domestic arts, courtship, divorce, camp following,
and runaways represent just a fraction of the subjects covered.
Grundset devotes several chapters to both African-American and Native
American women, including aspects of slavery, abolition, and domestic
life for one, with sections devoted to specific tribes for the other.
Some subcategories contain references to specific women, including
their roles as diarists, witnesses, and in performing specific
occupations or skills. An index at the end of Volume Two lists not
only these women, but also provides multiple cross references to the
many subcategories. For example, if you have an interest in women as
fortune-tellers during the Revolution, you will find that category
along with related subjects and can locate easily a variety of
references within the two volumes.

Volume Three takes all of the references found in the first two
volumes and reorganizes them. The first part contains an alphabetical
list of all of the authors, since they are not included in the index
to the first two volumes. The second part sorts all mentioned
published works chronologically by publication date, year by year.
This sorting allows researchers of a defined period – say the 1860s –
to find specific works of interest, since that era may have influenced
how a subject was treated.

Genealogists who limit their experience with these volumes by only
delving into the indexes in search of ancestors will come away
disappointed. But if they are writing a family history and want to
know more about their eighteenth-century female ancestors – what they
ate, how they educated their children, how they dealt with such
personal issues as menstruation, and how they viewed the war around
them, these volumes will lead to sources that provide a wealth of

The American West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880
by Steven W. Myers
Many genealogists have ancestors, or siblings and cousins of
ancestors, who were among the pioneers making the long and dangerous
trek across the plains in the mid-nineteenth century. Nothing captures
the adventure and hardships of such a journey quite like the personal
accounts of those that made the trip. Many of these narratives have
been published, offering researchers opportunities to discover details
of travel in the precise year and on the specific trail used by their
family relations. Mentions of particular individuals also may be
found, doubling rewarding the diligent.

A large number of these trail accounts is collected in “The American
West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880,” available on 663 microfiche in
The Genealogy Center (cabinet E-1). Included are histories and
personal narratives of westward migrations by covered wagon, foot and
stagecoach for those traveling the Butterfield Stage Route, and the
Bozeman, California, Gila, Mormon, Oregon, and Santa Fe trails. The
accounts are organized by trail, and then by author within the section
for each trail. A printed “Guide” (978 Am359g) to the collection
provides a brief introduction, a list of the publications reproduced
in the set, and a subject index. The entry for each trail narrative
supplies the author, title, publication information, and a list of the
major topics covered in the account. The subject index includes names
of individuals, places and Indian tribes, as well as references to
accounts that cover topics as diverse as cannibalism, forts and
trading posts, the fur trade, maps, mining, religion, ship travel,
vigilantes and frontier justice, and women.

An index entry in the “Guide” under appendicitis refers the reader to
Charles Steedman’s “Bucking the Sage Brush; or, The Oregon Trail in
the Seventies.” There we find described the painful demise of a young
man named Harris or “Billy,” who suffered for days before his death
with what could only be described at the time as “an inflammation of
the bowels” on the lower right side. The author, writing of his
journey after the identification of appendicitis in 1886, lamented the
fact that even the army surgeon they encountered on the trail could do
nothing for Billy but offer him pain medication. Another index entry,
under “prisoners,” leads to Fanny Kelly’s lengthy “Narrative of My
Captivity Among the Sioux Indians.” Fanny’s journey west in 1864 was
interrupted when her wagon train was attacked by a large party of
Sioux Indians, who killed three and took her and three others captive.

These and many other detailed accounts contained in this microfiche
collection will help any family historian, with relatives who traveled
west, write the story of that arduous journey.

Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Photoshop: Reducing a Moire Pattern (Part 1)
by Kay Spears
I would like to repeat something I’ve said before. Some photographs
cannot be restored. It doesn’t matter how hard you try or how many
steps you go through trying to correct the problem. The more
experienced you become with image restoration, the easier it is to
recognize photographs that should be set aside. Photoshop programs are
not magic fixers in every situation.

One problem that can cause a lot of frustration is the Moire pattern.
What is a Moire pattern? If you look closely at a photograph printed
in a newspaper, magazine or brochure you may see a grid of little
squares or dots. This pattern is created by the offset screen printing
process and is a problem that often cannot be fixed. However, if a
printed photograph is the only image of Uncle Mortie that you have,
you may want try reducing the effect of the Moire pattern. Before you
attempt to correct a Moire pattern with Photoshop, try to correct the
image by rescanning it. Usually, I do not recommend correcting
anything with a scanner, but most scanners come with a “descreening”
option. If your scanner has this option, you need to figure out the
number of lines per inch (LPI) used in screening the original image.
Newspapers, magazines, and books generally use different LPI settings,
with newspapers being the lowest, usually at 85LPI, then magazines at
133LPI or 150LPI, and some books at 200LPI. These LPI options should
be available to you in your scanner settings. When you choose
“descreening” on most scanners, a drop down box will allow you to
change the LPI settings. Choose the LPI that matches the source you
are scanning. When you rescan the image using “descreening,” the Moire
pattern will disappear, but the resulting image will be slightly
blurred. You will need to decide which you prefer, a photo that is
slightly blurred or a photo with a visible Moire pattern.

What if using Photoshop is the only option you have in correcting the
problem? Next month, we will review how to use Photoshop to reduce the
effect of the Moire pattern.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preservation of Clothing
by Delia Bourne
(Editors’ Note: Earlier this year, we published a brief item on
textile preservation highlighting the Minnesota History Center’s
website which contains information on the display and storage of
clothing and textiles. The following article complements the previous
piece by providing useful, specific details about preserving your
family’s heritage clothing.)

As you sort through a deceased relative’s closet or cedar chest, you
may discover items of clothing that you want to save--maybe an antique
wedding dress, an heirloom baptismal gown, or a military uniform.

Many items start out in a closet or dresser. Although hangers are fine
for day-to-day use, they will cause damage to the shoulders of items
that hang for long periods of time, stretching the fabric as the
garment’s own weight pulls it down. In addition, metal hangers can
rust (no more wire hangers, ever). Items in a dresser or trunk will be
pressed down by other items stored on top of them.

To preserve a piece of clothing, first make sure it is as clean as
possible. Check any instructions that came with the item. If the item
is washable, use as mild a detergent as possible, perhaps one made for
washing infants’ clothing. If it cannot be washed, consult with a
professional dry cleaner. Many dry cleaning shops are branches, so be
sure to ask for the main store, and ask to speak to an expert. Some
dry cleaners offer a service that will vacuum seal an item, but many
experts feel that this process is unnecessary.

Once the item is clean, fold it with as few creases as possible. Pad
the sleeves, shoulders and bodice with acid-free tissue paper, white
cotton sheeting or muslin. Also pad each fold so that no sharp creases
form. Place the item in an acid free box and place the box in a cool,
dry place. You may place more than one item in a box, but remember not
to pack the box too tightly or make it too heavy. The whole idea is to
allow space around items so that they aren’t crushed. Inspect the
items you have preserved annually. Refold them in a different
direction so that creases will not set, and replace any tissue or
cloth that is discolored.

With just a little care, the clothing that is important to your family
can be preserved for generations.

Family History: Beyond the Basics, A Two-Day Mini-Course!
Time is running out to register for "Family History: Beyond the
Basics," a mini-course presented by Margery Graham and Steve Myers on
Friday and Saturday, September 7 & 8, 2012. This workshop is an
excellent way for beginners and intermediate researchers to build on
what they know or to review important concepts and sources. Attendees
are free to bypass any individual session to take advantage of
additional research and consultation time. Marge and Steve say you'll
learn lots and have fun, too! Classes include Problem Solving:
Breaking through Brick Walls in Your Research; Probate Records; Land
Records and Tax Lists; Military Records; Church Records; Tracing Your
Ancestors Across the Atlantic; and a tour of The Genealogy Center.
Program and registration details are included in the brochure at Attendance is limited, so registering
early is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.

Family History Month--October 2012: Celebrate Every Day!
Family History Month 2012 is a month away, so it's time to make plans
to attend some - or all - of the genealogical events offered every day
during the month. The month will feature researching family history in
other departments of the library, analyzing photographs, brickwall
research, instructional classes on some of our electronic databases
such as the Origins Network, Ancestry, and the Periodical Source Index
(PERSI), and sessions on using some of the machinery in The Genealogy
Center.  A highlight of this year’s Family History Month is the return
of our traditional Midnight Madness Extended Research Hours on Friday,
October 26, offering the opportunity to do family history research
until midnight. For detailed class descriptions, more information, and
to register for individual sessions as well as the extended research
hours, see the brochure at

Out and About
Curt Witcher
September 18, 2012--IPFW “Rewire, Refire, Reboot” Adult Education
Program, IPFW Alumni Building, 1528 East California Road, Fort Wayne,
Indiana, 10:45 a.m. Topic: “Finding Your Family History: An Adventure
of a Lifetime!”

September 20, 2012--IPFW Hispanic Heritage Month presentation, Allen
County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Meeting
Room B, 6:30 p.m. Topic: “Finding Your Latino Roots.”

September 22-23, 2012--Ewing Family Association 12th Biennial
Gathering, Quality Inn, Rt. 7 North, Gallipolis, OH. “Down the Ohio
and Westward.” Dinner presentation on Ewing Archives on Saturday,
September 22nd. Breakfast Q & A on Sunday, September 23rd.

September 29, 2012--Ivy Tech “Finding Our Voice, Sharing Our Spirit
Within & Across Cultures” Community Workshop, Allen County Public
Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Meeting Room C, 3:30
p.m. Topic: “Introduction to Family History” and tour of The Genealogy

Melissa Shimkus
September 22, 2012, DeMotte Public Library, 901 Birch Street
Southwest, DeMotte, Indiana, 10:00 a.m.: "Ancestry: The Beginners Way
To Search” and 11:30 a.m.: "Becoming Expert at Using Ancestry."

Cynthia Theusch
September 8, 2012--Western Michigan Genealogical Society, Grand Rapids
Public Library, 111 Library Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI, 1:30 p.m.
Topic: “Works Project Administration (WPA)”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
September 12, 2012--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m. refreshments, followed at 7 p.m. by
Curt Witcher’s presentation: “All that Other Stuff: Other Census
Records Beyond the Population Schedules.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society/The History Center, 302
East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
September 1, 2012, Miami Indian Heritage Days, 1-4 p.m., Dani Tippman
will present on “Miami Harvest.” This event will be at 5705 Bluffton
Road, Fort Wayne.
September 28, 2012, Buffalo Tro, 6-9 p.m. Ticketed event focusing on
the frontier times of the area with a catered meal provided. Paid
reservations are a must (260-426-2882, This
event will be at 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne.
George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series resumes in October.

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
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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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