Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 105, November 30, 2012
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 20:28:23 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 105, November 30, 2012

In this issue:
*Blessings in Our Midst . . .
*Fraternal Organizations
*Name Index to Early Illinois Records, 1810-1950
*Technology Tip of the Month--Correcting Color Cast Using Variations
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserve Historical Ephemera
at, a “Virtual Filing Cabinet”
*WinterTech 2012-2013 Continues
*War of 1812 Pension Digitization Update--FamilySearch Rocks!
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Blessings in Our Midst . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
During this extended season of Thanksgiving and gift-giving, thoughts
often turn to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. No matter our
station in life, our current challenges, or the unexpected changes
that we might have experienced during the past year, there still is
much for which we can give thanks. If we pay attention to our thankful
heart, it might inspire us to slow down, even in the midst of the busy
holiday season, to appreciate the truly important things in our lives.
Coincidentally, some of these just might turn out to be truly
important “genealogical” things.
At the close of this day, November 30, 2012, my long-time assistant
manager, e-zine co-editor, colleague and friend, Steve Myers,
officially ends his career in The Genealogy Center. He is retiring
from the library to pursue other genealogical opportunities. Steve has
been with us since 1986. During that time, he has helped The Genealogy
Center accomplish many great things. He assisted with two major moves
(2003 and 2007) of not only the genealogy collection, but also of the
entire library. He has been editor of our subject guides and co-editor
of “Genealogy Gems,” has provided top-shelf programs and reference
service to patrons, and pioneered our two-day mini-courses. Throughout
all of these duties and more, Steve has challenged us to keep our
customers central in all we do. In reflecting on Steve’s nearly
innumerable contributions to The Genealogy Center, the library, and
the genealogical community for more than a quarter of a century, I am
reminded again of the ever-present need to recognize and appreciate
the blessings in our midst.

And in some way, isn’t this also a lesson for our genealogical
endeavors? As we hurry from website to website, as we plan a full
calendar of research trips year after year, trying to find time for
those family gatherings and reunions, do we do enough analysis of the
data we collect to discover all the answers--the blessings, if you
will--that it might provide? How often, when we finally carve a moment
or two out of our hectic schedules to organize our research notes and
document copies, do we find answers and “new” discoveries that have
been there all along? Those, too, truly are blessings in our midst.

Sometime each December, The Genealogy Center staff and volunteers
gather to share a meal and good conversation. It’s a great way to
connect with individuals each of us may not see that often during the
year. As people arrive and depart over the gathering hours, I am
always impressed with the number of individuals who contribute to the
Center’s success by giving of their time and their amazing talents.
They prepare preservation photocopying for binding, file
correspondence, index local marriage records and obituary notices,
keep our collections in order, assist in answering information
requests, scan thousands of photographs, organize donations, and
digitize many thousands of books. Our volunteers are indeed more
blessings in our midst.

Many among us, year after year, lament the hustle and bustle of the
ever-more-commercial holiday season. Yet we continue to get caught up
in the same activities each year, letting the gift buying, party
scheduling, present wrapping and mass-mailing of holiday cards crowd
out those things that might really provide us with some meaning and
contentment. During the next several weeks, I encourage you to take a
breath, grab a moment, and consider a more unique holiday gift--the
gift of you. Digitize some seldom-seen family photographs and give
them on a USB drive, or upload them to a shared online space for
nephews, nieces and grandchildren to enjoy. Send a picture of yourself
at the same age that your grandchildren are now, and include a note
promising to take them on an “ancestral adventure” during the holidays
or next summer. Consider giving a digital recorder as a gift so that
family members can record their favorite holiday memories. Maybe they
will be inspired to go beyond holiday memories and record other life
stories. Capturing living memory could be one of the best gifts you’ll
ever give OR receive, yet more blessings in our midst . . .

Fraternal Organizations
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
Part of the reward of family history research is going beyond the
names, dates and places, to discover how our ancestors fit into the
tapestry of history as a whole. For this reason, once a newbie
genealogist gets his “sea legs,” he may begin to seek out books
pertaining to the history of localities, events, and social topics.
Alvin J. Schmidt’s “Fraternal Organizations” (366 Sch5f) is one such
volume. The library has a second copy in Readers’ Services that can be
checked out by ACPL cardholders.

Entries for the various organizations are arranged alphabetically by
society name, with cross-references to alternate names. Each sketch
includes a brief history of the organization, information about its
purpose, rituals, parent and offspring societies, and a reference for
the information provided. The volume has a table of contents and
index, as well as a section in the front titled “The Fraternal
Context” that explains the rise and history of and reasons for the
establishment of fraternal organizations in the United States.
Appendices list fraternal organizations chronologically, provide
geographic headquarters, group societies by ethnic affiliation and
religious affiliation and discuss interrelated fraternal
organizations, such as the multiple variations of Freemasonry.

Many of the organizations are fascinating, such as the Order of
Anti-Poke-Noses, founded in Searcy County, Arkansas, in 1923 in
opposition to the Ku Klux Klan. In the preamble to its constitution,
this group professed to be “opposed to any organization that attends
to everyone’s business but [its] own.” Another group described on the
same page is the Arctic Brotherhood, founded as a secret society by
gold-seekers to Alaska in 1899 and espousing kindness to horses and
dogs. While most societies have a few sentences to a few paragraphs of
information, the section on Freemasonry spans about twenty pages
since, as the book explains, “No other organization in the fraternal
world is so prominent and so large as Freemasonry.”

Schmidt points out in “The Fraternal Context,” that America has been
called a nation of joiners. Citing Charles Merz, he said that about
half of the 60,000,000 individuals listed in the 1920 census were
members of a fraternal organization, and that by 1927, more than eight
hundred different such societies were in existence. Chances are good
that we all have ancestors who belonged to one. We might discover this
in a county history biography, in an obituary, or by spotting a
fraternal symbol carved on a cemetery marker. “Fraternal
Organizations” can help us begin to understand what it meant for our
ancestors to be part of one of these societies.

*“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.

Name Index to Early Illinois Records, 1810-1950
by John D. Beatty
For many years, the staff of the Illinois State Archives (ISA)
maintained the card index, “Name Index to Early Illinois Records,
1810-1850.” These alphabetized cards, both handwritten and typed,
included information extracted predominantly from state and federal
census schedules for 1820 to 1850. The source was intended as an
internal finding aid for Archives users. The Genealogical Society of
Utah microfilmed the index in 1975, and The Genealogy Center’s copy
consists of 340 reels of film. Unfortunately, many of the card images
are dark and difficult to read.

Initially it would seem that since the Illinois federal and state
census schedules have been digitized and made widely available, this
set offers little of value to modern researchers, but such a view
would be premature. The index also includes references from and
abstracts of a number of lesser-known Illinois governmental and
manuscript sources not widely available in other formats. Two examples
are election returns for various local offices (justice of the peace,
constable, county clerk, judge, school commissioner and recorder) from
the source “Election Returns,” and militia officer commissions,
appointments of public notaries and names from petitions, all
extracted from the “Executive Record.” While the abstractors usually
made only brief summary notations, they included the name, date and
county, with a reference to the source (often abbreviated) and page
where the original record was found.

In a few cases the cards provide more extensive information. Abstracts
of federal land patents in Illinois include the grantee, township,
range, section number and date of the grant. Other cards are extracts
from a “Receipts and Disbursements Ledger, 1813-1820,” little-used
property tax records taken from an unpublished manuscript.

The title of the set, “Name Index to Early Illinois Records,
1810-1850,” is somewhat misleading since it includes some data from a
much earlier time period. Of interest are references from the Perrin
Collection, part of the “Record of Registration and Donation in
Kaskaskia District, 1739-1796.” This unpublished manuscript collection
of eighteenth-century French settlers in present-day St. Clair and
Randolph counties includes royal land grants, property donations,
marriages, probates and other court business. In this record subset is
the marriage abstract of Theresia Archange Boucher de Montbru, widow
of Chenier, to Alexis Doza on May 4, 1795, by G. Richard, curate of
St. Mary’s of Kahaskia. One entry traces John Boucher from his arrest
for assault and battery in 1812 through 1818, when he signed
petitions, was sued for debt and registered the crop marks of his
livestock. Other cards describe Marie Therese Bourgeois, “a business
woman dwelling at Post St. Louis, wife of Rene Choutaud, merchant
absent,” who donated a lot with a stone house and several slaves,
including both Africans and Indians, most of whom were named with
their approximate ages.

Some of these cards include surprising detail, as noted above, but are
not fully cited and researchers will need to try to identify the
original ISA record from which they were extracted. These gems make
this set worth a look, even if the census information is more easily
accessed elsewhere.

Technology Tip of the Month--Correcting Color Cast Using Variations
by Kay Spears
Last month’s column mentioned color cast problems that can occur with
color photographs and mentioned some of the tools in the Adobe
Photoshop and Elements software package that may help counteract them.
Remember that fixing problems with photographs often will require the
use of more than one tool. Unfortunately, there is not one magic
button that says “fix all.”

When working with color problems in photographs, it is helpful to have
a general knowledge of the color wheel. Usually when there is a color
cast problem, the fix is to add color from the opposite side of the
color wheel. So if the photo is too red, adding green probably will
help. If it is too blue, it may look better with yellow added, and so

One way to correct color cast in a photograph is to use the Variations
tool. The Variations tool may be found in different places on the
screen in different Adobe packages and versions. In Adobe Photoshop
(included with Creative Suite), go to Image>Adjustments>Variations. In
Adobe Elements, go to Enhance>Adjust Color>Color Variations.
Regardless of the path to find Variations (or Color Variations) in the
different Adobe products, this is the same tool and produces the same

To use the Variations tool, open the problem photograph within Adobe,
then open the Variations tool. Within the dialog box that appears,
again there is a difference in verbiage, depending on which Adobe
product is being used. In Photoshop, the terms Original, Current Pick,
More Red, More Blue (additional colors) and Lighter and Darker will
appear, each with a thumbnail of the photograph. In Adobe Elements,
the terms below the thumbnails of the photo will be Before, After,
Increase Blue, Increase Red (additional colors), Decrease Blue,
Decrease Red (additional colors) and Darken and Lighten.

Both Photoshop and Adobe Elements have the choices
Midtone/Highlight/Shadows/Saturation and a slide bar to adjust the
color intensity. Before beginning to correct the photo’s color cast,
move the slide bar completely to the right and notice how the
thumbnail changes to almost primary colors. This exercise demonstrates
how intense the colors in the photograph can be. Then move the slide
bar back to its original position. Now, make sure that the Midtone
check box is checked.

The photograph I like to use as an example has a too-red cast to it,
so I begin to correct it by clicking on the thumbnail that says
Increase Green or More Green, depending on my Adobe product. When I do
this, the thumbnail that says Current Pick or After changes. If the
altered photograph still looks too red, I can click again to balance
it with green. It is important to look at the altered photograph
itself – outside of the Variations tool – after the first click; the
thumbnails within the tool really are too small to show the changes
clearly. Once the too-red cast is no longer apparent in the photo, the
use of the color thumbnail buttons in the Variations tool is complete.

At this point, it may be desirable to darken or lighten the photograph
with the Variations tool, or you may choose another method.

In my example photograph, increasing green balanced the color and
caused the red cast to lessen. However, the little girl (me) is
wearing a leather jacket that I know was red although it still appears
in the photo to be magenta. So another tool will be used to fix this
problem – the Hue and Saturation tool.

Next month: Using the Hue and Saturation Tool.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserve Historical Ephemera
at, a “Virtual Filing Cabinet”
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
As genealogists, we often have a natural interest in history and a
tendency to save or collect paper ephemera, including items that do
not specifically pertain to our ancestors. These documents and
photographs might have historical significance for organizations to
which we belong, or for our local communities. We can scan and upload
our genealogy documents and photographs and link them to our
ancestors. But what can we do with those other miscellaneous items we
have saved like school play programs, theater tickets and flyers from
neighborhood historic home tours? One answer is to upload them to the
WeRelate website at

WeRelate is a free wiki site that bills itself as “different than most
family tree websites.” It promotes a shared approach to genealogy
through which anyone can create a page for a person, a family unit or
a place, and anyone can change data on those pages and add more
information to them. Some genealogists may squirm at the idea of
anyone being able to make changes to their people and family pages.
But where this collaboration shines is for the genealogist/pack rat
with the piles of historical ephemera mentioned above.
can be used as a virtual filing cabinet for those local history
documents by scanning them and uploading them to the site, linking
them to a locality page. Anyone can be a contributor by creating a
username and password. There are tutorials on the site, and uploading
and linking images takes just a little practice to master.

The Genealogy Center becomes a home for hundreds of individual
clippings, flyers, programs and photographs annually. Many of these
come to us tucked inside high school and college yearbooks that are
donated to the collection. Over the years, this has caused a dilemma.
The Genealogy Center does not maintain vertical files, and it is not
cost-efficient to bind a single graduation program into a book and
give it a call number. Yet these items are pieces of history, usually
include names – sometimes many names – and are too valuable to discard

The solution has been to scan and upload each item to WeRelate and
link it to a locality page, then to try to find a museum or historical
society in that area to become its forever home. Church dedication
programs, sports team photographs, high school theater tickets,
community event flyers and many other pieces of ephemera of all types
have been handled this way.

Treat yourself to a visit to soon. If you have explored
the site previously and have limited yourself to searching by name,
try looking at the pages for your ancestor’s town, county or state of
residence. You may find some treasures in the gallery of images at the
bottom of the page.

*“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.

WinterTech 2012-2013 Continues
In the midst of the myriad of end-of-year activities, be sure to take
time to attend December's WinterTech class. WinterTech classes are the
second Wednesday of each month, November through February beginning at
2:30 p.m., and cover a technology topic in the genealogy space.

Following these afternoon presentations, spend some time researching
at The Genealogy Center, network over a dinner or a snack with fellow
genealogists, and then attend the Allen County Genealogical Society's
monthly meetings at 7 p.m.

December's WinterTech offering is “Using OneNote in Your Genealogical
Research.” Are you having trouble keeping research tasks and needs
organized? Learn how to use Microsoft OneNote to keep your
genealogical notes, references and research in a single place. The
class will be in Meeting Room A on Wednesday, December 12, beginning
at 2:30 p.m.

Future WinterTech classes feature “e-Readers & Family History" on
January 9, and “Plug-In Your Armchair Genealogy: Researching from
Home," on February 13. For more information about these classes, see
the brochure at
To register for a class, call 260-421-1225 or email
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. Stay involved through the winter months with
technology for your genealogy!

War of 1812 Pension Digitization Update--FamilySearch Rocks!
by Curt B. Witcher
A colleague posted on our Genealogy Center blog
<> this week that
“FamilySearch Rocks!” as she was talking about the more than two
million Indiana marriage record images that were recently added to the
FamilySearch website for free use by all. I certainly echo that
statement and that sentiment for many reasons! On Tuesday of this
week, FamilySearch announced a $250,000 donation to the “Preserve the
Pensions!” Project--a project to digitize and make freely available on
the Internet the War of 1812 pension files! That is a huge boost, a
true pace-setter gift, to this effort being spearheaded by the
Federation of Genealogical Societies. With’s match, it
represents a half million dollars toward the goal of $3.7 million.
Incoming Federation President, Joshua Taylor, encourages everyone in
the genealogical community to show thanks to FamilySearch by
personally contributing to the project. Together we can make it

A copy of the press release is below for those who may not have seen
it earlier this week.

War of 1812 Pension Digitization Fund Receives Generous $250,000 Donation

AUSTIN, Texas—The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is
pleased to announce that the War of 1812 “Preserve the Pensions”
Digitization Fund received a generous donation this week of $250,000
from FamilySearch, a nonprofit organization and world leader in the
genealogy community. The donation helps move the Fund closer to its
goal of $3.7 million in donations to digitally preserve and index the
War of 1812 pension and bounty land records.

The War of 1812, often called the “Second Revolution,” was a pivotal
moment in our nation’s history. Individual states struggled to become
one nation after a long-fought Revolution, and the “American
Experiment” was still at a precarious stage. The strength and courage
of the patriots who fought in the War of 1812 ensured that our
American Revolution did not end up as a mere footnote in British
history. Instead, valiant farmers, merchants, seamen, fathers and sons
became soldiers to fight for what they and their fathers had believed
in: Their American home.

Now, two hundred years later, the War of 1812 “Preserve the Pensions”
Digitization Fund celebrates their success, honor and memories by
digitally preserving the veterans’ pension records and making them
freely accessible to all online. The initiative will digitally
preserve the 180,000 War of 1812 pension records (7.2 million pages)
located at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA),
and create a searchable index online. Currently, NARA receives more
than 3,000 patron requests per year for copies of soldiers’ files.

“The Federation is extremely grateful to FamilySearch for its generous
support of this enormously important endeavor,” said Curt Witcher,
vice president of development for FGS. “Linking the genealogical
community, marshaling that community’s resources, preserving and
making accessible records that document our heritage--all are central
to the Federation's mission. FamilySearch's very generous pacesetting
gift helps ensure that this 21st century preservation and access
project is a reality.”

David Rencher, chief genealogy officer for FamilySearch, said,
“FamilySearch publishes over 400 million images of historic documents
online for free each year, and is honored to support community efforts
like the War of 1812 ‘Preserve the Pensions’ Digitization Fund to
preserve and make additional high priority historic records more
widely available.”

The War of 1812 files are very valuable to family historians and
genealogists because they contain rich information such as:

• Veteran’s name and age
• Residence
• Widow’s name and maiden name
• Service history and dates
• Military rank and organization
• If Bounty Land was granted and information about those warrants
• Marriage information
• Death dates for soldiers and widows
• Additional names of neighbors and comrades

Anyone can donate to the project at Each pension
page costs 45 cents to digitize. Each dollar of contribution digitizes
two pages. Every little bit helps. To view the FREE images already
online, go to:

Out and About
The Genealogy Center staff members are “home for the holidays.”
Wishing you and yours a joyful one!

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
December 12, 2012--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza,
Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m. refreshments, followed at 7 p.m. by
Dawne Slater-Putt’s presentation: “How to Use the FamilySearch

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society/The History Center, 302
East Berry, Ft. Wayne, IN. Next program will be in January 2013.

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
send an email to kspears [at] with "unsubscribe e-zine" in
the subject line.

Dawne Slater-Putt, CG & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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