Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 104, October 31, 2012
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 03:38:43 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 104, October 31, 2012

In this issue:
*The Call to be Thankful . . .
*Civil War Prisons
*Blacks Nominated for Appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, 1870-1887
*Technology Tip of the Month--Working with Color Photographs Using
Adobe Photoshop
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Use the Upcoming Holidays to
Preserve Your Family Stories
*Military Seminar 2012 Slated for November 12th
*WinterTech 2012-2013
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

The Call to be Thankful . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
We frequently allow the pace of our lives to push out or overshadow
opportunities for us to be thankful. As we welcome November 2012, and
with it another Thanksgiving holiday, let’s start early in giving
thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, both as genealogists and as
citizens of our great country.

November 12th is the official observance of Veterans Day, a day to
honor all who served. One special way to give thanks and pay tribute
to our military ancestors is to locate their records, tell their
stories, and ensure that those stories are preserved for future
generations. Contributing digital copies of military records and
photographs to The Genealogy Center’s “Our Military Heritage” website
is one way of preserving and sharing those stories--one way of showing

If it’s been a while since you’ve explored military records, or you
would like to learn more about one of the best military sites on the
Internet, then you really must attend our Military Seminar 2012.
Scheduled for the afternoon and evening of November 12th, this seminar
features renowned genealogist, Laura Prescott. After an opening review
session at 2 p.m. covering military records held by The Genealogy
Center and the “Our Military Heritage” website, Ms. Prescott will
present a program at 3:30 p.m. on how to use Fold3, an outstanding
military website. Her evening program, beginning at 6:30 p.m., will
cover online resources for the War of 1812.

A remarkable way to give thanks to family members who carry stories of
our ancestors in their hearts and in their heads is to participate in
what has become the “national day of listening”--the day after
Thanksgiving. This year, the national day of listening falls on
November 23rd. StoryCorp’s listening website at
<> encourages us to participate,
listen, and share. It is an amazing way to give thanks for the lives
lived that made our lives possible. And it is a great way to advance
our family history research, providing context to go with the names,
dates and places we have gathered.

Every year since 2004, the Surgeon General of the United States has
asked that we also observe the day after Thanksgiving as Family Health
History Day. From his website: “Over the holiday or at other times
when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to talk
about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in
their families. Learning about their families’ health histories may
help ensure a longer, healthier future together.” One can begin
compiling that family health history with assistance from the
following website: <>. Researching our
families’ health histories may just provide us with even more reasons
to be grateful, since the health data we collect may help us extend
our lives.

Wishing you a family-filled, story-packed, heart-warming Thanksgiving
and 2012 holiday season!

Civil War Prisons
by Delia Bourne
Civil War prisoners were held far from home in unsanitary conditions
for months or even years. They were subjected to cold and heat with
little food, unsafe drinking water and poor medical attention. Such
suffering often left scars, physical and mental, that lasted a
lifetime. Some prisoners kept diaries or composed memoirs after their
release, and these may be used to learn of daily experiences and
events of importance in a specific camp. In addition, The Genealogy
Center has two volumes that provide detailed information on each
prison camp.

The introduction of Frances H. Casstevens’ book, “Out of the Mouth of
Hell: Civil War Prisons and Escapes” (973.74 AA1CARX ), discusses the
numbers and types of prisoners, the facilities in general, the
soldiers’ duty to escape, and which prisoners were most likely to try.
The main text is divided into separate sections for Federal and
Confederate prisons. A chapter on each facility begins with the
prison’s location and a brief history, and may include a description
of the institution, details on prison personnel, numbers and types of
prisoners, conditions, escapes and attempts, and factors affecting the
facility during the war, such as epidemics, mortality, security,
unrest, and executions. The disposition of each prison after the war
and its current state is also described. An appendix provides
statistics on escapes from Federal prisons. The bibliography lists
contemporary sources (newspapers, archives, public and official
records, unpublished manuscripts, published diaries, letters and
memoirs), and derivative sources (articles, pamphlets and online
articles). An index provides access by name, location and subject.

Robert E. Denney’s “Civil War Prisons & Escapes: A Day-by-Day
Chronicle” (973.74 AA1DE) provides a detailed, chronological history
of prisons and prisoners, beginning with a brief account of the
historical and military events that led to the war. The many factors
affecting prisons and prisoners are covered, including: inspections,
fevers, food, clothing, exchanges, transfers, battles that impacted
the capture and disposition of prisoners, camp administrators, and
treatment of captured slaves. Appendices feature information on the
Prisoner Exchange Cartel; U.S. Army and Confederate policies on the
capture and treatment of prisoners; the parole to be used for captured
officers; and on deaths in the northern prisons. The index includes
names, places, ships and camps. Although the volume does not include
comprehensive lists of prisoners, it does spotlight the experiences of
a number of detainees within each system, adding depth to the

Whether your ancestor was held at Elmira, Andersonville, or elsewhere,
these volumes will provide background information and a deeper
understanding of his life as a prisoner of war.

Blacks Nominated for Appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, 1870-1887
by Melissa Shimkus
Individuals researching African American history or Reconstruction era
military history will be interested in “Selected Documents Relating to
Blacks Nominated for Appointment to the U.S. Military Academy during
the 19th Century, 1870-1887,” available on 21 reels of microfilm in
The Genealogy Center. Contemporary documents concerning early African
American nominees to West Point were gathered from files in four
separate National Archives Record Groups. Items on the films are
organized by nominee (listed chronologically by the date of
appointment), then by record type, including nomination
correspondence, examinations, weekly reports, orders, and in some
cases court martial proceedings. The material covers each cadet’s
entire Academy career, from initial appointment to departure.

These records not only detail the nominee’s experiences, but also
chronicle community reactions to the politically charged appointments.
Of the twenty-seven African Americans recommended to the Academy,
twelve passed the admission exams, and only John Hanks Alexander,
Henry Ossian Flipper, and Charles Young graduated and were appointed
second lieutenants in the Army.

Each of the nominees encountered some form of prejudice and
retaliation. Documentation of specific incidents can be found in
Charles Howard’s file. Included are investigative reports concerning
altercations, as well as an 1870 newspaper clipping detailing his
nomination, arrival, and the treatment he received from officers and
other cadets at the Academy. Several candidates had an initial
nomination denied, but were re-appointed a few months later. For
example, William Trent Andrews of South Carolina was nominated in
August 1884, but was rejected when the Secretary of War questioned
whether he was qualified. Andrews was nominated again in October 1884
and reported to the Academy in June 1885. The examination papers and
weekly reports present in the files are for the entire cadet class and
not one particular individual, so anyone who attended West Point from
1870 through 1887 might appear in these records. James Elias Rector’s
files, for example, include the 1871 grades for more than one hundred

The microfilmed set of “Selected Documents Relating to Blacks
Nominated for Appointment to the U.S. Military Academy during the 19th
Century, 1870-1887” is a valuable resource for African American
researchers, military historians, and anyone whose ancestors were West
Point cadets during Reconstruction.

Technology Tip of the Month--Working with Color Photographs Using
Adobe Photoshop
by Kay Spears
Before you start restoring color photographs, keep in mind the
following considerations. First, make sure that you are very
comfortable working in Photoshop. You will have all the problems
encountered with black and white photos, plus the additional issues
presented by color. Also, remember that each photograph is unique and
the solution that works well with one problem may not produce the same
results on a different photograph. Adobe Photoshop does not have a
“magic button” that will correct a problem photograph. Instead, it is
loaded with numerous tools that can be used separately or in
combination to get the desired effect.

You will also need to know about color. A computer uses RGB colors, or
Red, Green and Blue. When you look at photographs on a computer
monitor, these three colors combine to make all the colors you see on
the screen. What is added to these colors, that does not show up on
your print copy is light. In contrast, most printers use CYMK colors,
or Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black, to reproduce a color photograph.
Wait a minute, you say; if I have RGB on my computer and CYMK on my
printer, how are they ever going to look the same? Well, that's a good
question! I only wish I had a good answer. Some people who work with
Adobe Photoshop recommend calibrating your monitor for best image
results. I suggest you talk to someone knowledgeable about computers
before taking that step. I am unable to calibrate my current computer
here, and so far I haven't experienced any problems. If you are using
a professional print shop, call and ask what color settings they
require, so that you get the results you want.

Now, let's look at some restoration problems starting with color cast.
I have an old photograph of Aunt Nell in which everything is tinted
red, including her. This is color cast. Color casts can be any color
depending on how the photo was developed and what conditions it has
experienced in the intervening years. For example, I have a number of
yellow and blue cast photographs in my collection. Usually, you can
identify a pronounced color cast just by looking at the image. For a
more subtle color problem, click on the Eyedropper Tool located in the
Tool Box, then open up the Info Palette by clicking on “Info” located
under “Window” on the Menu bar at the top of the screen. Once the Info
Palette is open, run your Eyedropper over gray, neutral or white areas
in the photograph. You will see the number values next to R, G and B
changing. Neutral, gray and white have equal values of RGB. When there
is a color cast on a photograph, the RGB values will be noticeably
different. So, if the R value is high when you perform this Eyedropper
test, your photograph has a red cast.

Next month: Correcting Color Cast Using Variations.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Use the Upcoming Holidays to
Preserve Your Family Stories
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
[Editor’s Note: As most will begin their holiday decorating around
Thanksgiving, and not receive another edition of “Genealogy Gems”
before then, this tip seemed particularly timely.]

This year, as you decorate the family Christmas tree, or put up
decorations for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, slow down and think about each
piece. Are there items that have been passed down through your family,
hand-crafted by your children, or especially chosen by you for a
specific reason? Are there decorations that have specific memories
associated with them?

Consider ensuring that this information isn’t lost to the ages by
noting where these special ornaments came from or by detailing the
stories that are associated with them. There are several methods of
doing this.

***Create a notebook featuring your holiday ornaments. Take a
photograph of each one, attach it to a sheet of paper and write
information about the ornament on the paper around the photo. Slide
the pages into acid-free sheet protectors and store them in a
three-ring binder.

***Affix a photograph of each ornament to a 4- by 6-inch index card
and write the ornament’s story on the back of the card. Keep these in
an index card file box and store it with your ornaments.

***Create a spreadsheet for your ornaments on the computer in a
program like Excel. You might include fields for the approximate date
of the ornament, a brief description, name of the person associated
with it (child who made it; person from whom you inherited it; person
who gave it to you), and significance. In this last column, you can
note if you bought it for your first Christmas as a married couple,
for example.

***Create a word processing file about your ornaments. You can insert
digital images of them into the file and wrap your text around the
photos. The bonus with this method is that you can print out multiple
copies to share with family members!

In my family’s boxes of Christmas decorations, I have some that were
on my parents’ tree when I was a small child, a few that were
purchased by our foreign exchange student from Spain back in the
mid-1990s that she left with us when she went back home, and some that
my mother made. My two sons have an ornament for each of their
Christmases that I have given to them and that they will take when
they establish their own homes. Most of these are associated with some
interest or milestone in their lives for each particular year.

So before you take those boxes back up to the attic or down to the
basement and make your resolutions for 2013, consider resolving to
document the memories that fill your mind each year when you bring out
those cherished family holiday ornaments.

[*”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.]

Military Seminar 2012 Slated for November 12th
It is often said, “Every generation, the possibility” when referring
to our nation’s history and the opportunities for ancestors to provide
military service. From the earliest days of settlement on this
continent to the present day, brave men and women have taken up arms
to defend property and our liberties. The Genealogy Center is
celebrating Veterans' Day with our 5th Annual Military Seminar on
Monday, November 12, 2012.

Leading off the program at 2 p.m. in the Main Library Theater will be
The Genealogy Center Manager, Curt Witcher, presenting "Military
Records & ‘Our Military Heritage’ at ACPL." Then Laura Prescott,
researcher, writer and Fold3 consultant, will present a talk on "Using
an Outstanding Military Site: Fold3," at 3:30 p.m. She will discuss
"Online Resources for the War of 1812" at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, see the brochure at
To register for this free seminar, call 260-421-1225 or email
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. Honor your military ancestors for Veteran's Day
by learning how to research their service.

WinterTech 2012-2013
No need to be sad that Family History Month is over. The Genealogy
Center has more classes to offer over the next few months! Our annual
WinterTech classes start in just a couple of weeks. Held the second
Wednesday of each month, from November through February, these
WinterTech classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and cover a technology topic in
the genealogy space. After these afternoon presentations, one can do
some research in the Center, network over a dinner snack with fellow
genealogists, and then attend the Allen County Genealogical Society's
monthly meetings at 7 p.m.

This year's classes start with "Twitter for #Genealogy." Tina Lyons,
Indiana Genealogical Society vice president and avid blogger, will
explain how genealogists everywhere use Twitter to share their
research, collaborate with others, participate in conferences, and
cultivate friendships. Join us on November 14, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. in
Meeting Room A to learn the basics of using Twitter.

Future WinterTech classes will feature "Using OneNote in Your
Genealogical Research," on December 12th; "e-Readers & Family
History," on January 9th; and "Plug-In Your Armchair Genealogy:
Researching from Home," on February 13th. For more information about
these classes, see the brochure at
To register for any of these classes, please call 260-421-1225 or
email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. Stay inspired through the winter months
with technology for your genealogy!
Out and About
Curt Witcher
November 1-3, 2012--Texas State Genealogical Society’s Conference,
“Saddlebags to Social Networking: Following Ancestors through
History,” The Riley Center, 4726 Stanley Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas.
Topics: “The Best of Times--for Genealogists & Their Librarians,”
“Becoming the Outstanding Leader Your Society Needs,” “An Ancestor’s
Death--A Time for Reaping,” “Using Government Documents for
Genealogical Research,” “Finding the World with WorldCat,” and “Doing
the History Eliminates the Mystery!”

November 8-10, 2012--Florida State Genealogical Society Annual
Conference, “The Best of Times, Genealogy + Technology,” Hilton
Deerfield Beach/Boca Raton, 100 Fairway Drive, Deerfield Beach,
Florida. Topics: “The High Tech and High Touch of 21st Century
Genealogy,” "Pain in the Access: Getting More from the Internet for
Your Genealogy,” “Finding the World with WorldCat,” and “Roll Call:
New Sites and Sources for Military Records and Research”

Dawne Slater-Putt
October 15, 2012--Family History Library, 35 North West Temple Street,
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150. A BCG panel participant on the topics of
(1) most valuable/critical genealogical lessons learned and (2) one’s
biggest genealogical surprise; cases that shocked or amazed or went
against all reason.

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
November 14, 2012--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m. refreshments, followed at 7 p.m. by
Steve Myers’ presentation: “International Research.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society/The History Center, 302
East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN
November 4, 2012 at 2 p.m. Michael Galbraith will present, “’…and with
one of the most shrewd men in North America at their
head’-Jean-Baptiste de Richardville and Myaamia Treaty Making.”

Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Office of Diversity,
WALB Student Union Ballroom, November 1, 2012 at 12 noon. In honor of
Native American Heritage Month 2012, there will be a panel discussion,
“The Pan-Native Vision of Tecumseh.”

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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the subject line.

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors

N.B.--This is Steve Myers’ last issue as co-editor of “Genealogy
Gems.” After an amazing career here in The Genealogy Center of the
Allen County Public Library, highlighted by numerous stellar
accomplishments, he is retiring on November 30, 2012. He will be
missed by many!
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