Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 108, February 28, 2013
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:40:38 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 108, February 28, 2013

In this issue:
*The Power of Story
*Pauper Limerick: The Register of the Limerick House of Industry, 1774-93
*Library of Congress American Memory Website
*Technology Tip of the Month--A Look at Blending Modes, Part I
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Memories through
Scrapbooking with “Little” Projects
*The Wait is Over! March Madness Genealogy Style
*Visitor from Australia To Share Research Tips
*ACGSI Offers Beginner's Workshop
*Take a Tour--of Our Catalog!
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

The Power of Story
by Curt B. Witcher
When one contemplates the nearly countless and wide-ranging reasons
people engage in family history, I believe a common thread to be found
among all those motivations is the impact and power of story.
Discovering, telling, and preserving one’s story has such meaning. And
for our children, and their children, our ability to discover,
document, and share our family stories may be all that remains for
them to know us--our challenges and triumphs, our thoughts and
beliefs, our work and wisdom, our passions and hobbies, indeed, that
we even existed at all.

I forever will be fascinated by the twinkle in children’s eyes when
grandparents tell them about yesteryear, and what life was like when
they were much younger. I recall with great clarity how my own sons
would come home from a day at Grandma and Grandpa’s house with stories
of life “way back long ago.” Our own house would echo after such
visits with exclamations that began, “Well, Grandpa said . . . !”
Those stories made a connection across generations; those stories tied
generations together in a way that nothing else could or did.

The examples of “story” being powerful and enlightening are countless.
When a young Darfur student from a local high school was with her
class in The Genealogy Center last year, there was some noticeable
dissatisfaction that records from Sudan are virtually non-existent in
North America. How could she begin to put together her family’s
history? When it was suggested that using technology to communicate
back to family and town members in Darfur about what they could
remember about their earlier lives, what they remembered about the
exodus of family members to safer locations, and how political strife
was affecting their lives in very real and personal ways, there was a
bit of skepticism. But the young woman did just that, and wove
together an intriguing story about her life that fascinated her
classmates. Her story, in so many amazing ways, tied her to her
classmates. The threads of her story, while so very different from
those of her classmates, were an important part of the entire tapestry
that made up her class, her school, her community.

An entirely different, and deeply meaningful side of military service
comes to light (and comes to life!) when one goes beyond textbook
accounts and reads letters written by those who participated--when one
examines their stories. There is something special about the stories
of service during the Korean conflict told by Maxwell Smith in a
series of letters he wrote that all began with “Vaun darling, I love
you!” and ended with “All my love always.”
There is something extraordinary in the stories told to Ann Adang by
the more than one dozen soldiers with whom she corresponded during
WWII. <>
A North Side High School student who was researching in The Genealogy
Center just a couple of weeks ago was so pleased to find the obituary
of a grandfather who served in Vietnam. He carefully read each line,
eager to discover every shred of his grandfather’s story that he

The wonderful and engaging aspect of family history, and the power of
story in family history, is that everyone has a family--and everyone
has a story to discover, document and tell. No matter one’s age, race,
sex, education, religion, station in life, etc., everyone has a story!
For many, discovering and appreciating their own story reinforces that
they are somebody. They count. They came from somewhere and from

The interesting times in which we find ourselves place our ability to
discover, document and tell our stories at increasingly greater risk.
Whether we realize it or not, collectively we have entrusted the care
of the official records that document our heritage largely in the
hands of disinterested strangers. Typically few individuals show up at
local public record commission hearings where decisions are made about
record retention and who will have access to the records that are
retained. Access to records that we have enjoyed for generations is
being curtailed or completely restricted. There are contemporary
discussions taking place all over the country, in local and state
jurisdictions, regarding who should have access to what records.
Elected state officials are moving at an amazing pace to restrict,
curtail, and in some cases completely eliminate access to parts of
birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Local funeral homes and
cemeteries are being taken over by large networks of funeral,
cremation and cemetery service providers who increasingly believe the
records of their respective businesses are just that--theirs.

Of course, there are individuals advocating on our behalf. However,
when there is a chance for politicians to wrap themselves in the flag
and declare they are protecting us and our children by restricting
access to records, there is precious little that can be done on the
advocacy front. Indeed what is politically expedient seems to trump
all else. Even if compromise is possible, by the very definition of
the term each side gives and each side loses something. How much of
our ability to tell our stories can we afford to give away?

While the abovementioned assessment may seem gloomy, you and I may
have more control than we think. We can commit to writing parts of our
stories every day. All of that genealogical research we have been
doing for years--what about compiling it into a family history?
Instead of piles of papers and drawers of folders, why not take the
information we have gathered and weave it into a story? If we commit
to writing our stories, and further, to documenting the stories with
records that we can access now, we will help ensure that, whether
records are open or closed, our stories will be filled with
information from once-available records.

In just a few days, the first full week of March, The Genealogy Center
will be offering a series of free presentations with the theme of
"Telling Your Story." These presentations will examine the various
ways family stories can be saved and documented for future
generations. Look for specific details about each of the sessions
identified below further in this ezine.

Monday March 4th: “Gathering & Writing the Stories of Your Life --
Beginning Steps”
Tuesday March 5th: “Did It Really Happen That Way? Documenting Oral History”
Wednesday March 6th: “Insuring Our Story: Recording & Transcribing Oral History”
Thursday March 7th: “Tracking Heirlooms & Telling Their Stories” and
“Beyond the Family Bible: Making the Most of Heirlooms and Artifacts
in Genealogical Research”
Friday March 8th: “Writing Personal History”
Saturday March 9th: “Creating a Family History Storybook”

Join us next week to discover anew ways to tell your story. And above
all, commit to writing your story. Your history is truly in your

“Pauper Limerick: The Register of the Limerick House of Industry,
1774-93,” edited by David Fleming and John Logan (Dublin: Irish
Manuscripts Commission, 2011). GC 941.9042 L733fld
by John Beatty
Genealogical sources for the poor are exceedingly rare in Ireland in
the period before the Great Famine of the 1840s. Catholic and even
Protestant parish registers and vestry minute books remain lost or are
non-existent in many places, and where they do survive, they often
leave out the lowest strata of society – the destitute, the aged, the
mentally ill and those dying in the street. When a source becomes
available that opens a window into this lost world, especially in the
late eighteenth century, it is worthy of note.

“Pauper Limerick,” a recent publication of the Irish Manuscripts
Commission, offers a transcription of the admission and discharge
register of the Limerick House of Industry, a workhouse for the poor
in the city of Limerick, dating from 1774 to 1793. Preserving the
order, format and columns of the original, the volume lists the person
being admitted together with age, religion, occupation, last
residence, date of admission and whether it was voluntary or
compulsory, bed number, condition when received (including a specific
disease, if known), date of departure (whether by formal discharge,
death or escape), condition at the time of discharge, and other
observations. While nearly 70 percent of the inmates were from County
Limerick, a substantial number came from other areas, most notably
Clare, Tipperary and Kerry. Although only about 15 percent of the
inmates died at the House (the majority were discharged), the volume
preserves death dates that likely are not documented in other sources.

The “Observations” column offers many interesting details about the
inmates. Many were discharged to an infirmary. Some were made
apprentices or enlisted in the Army; others made their escape through
the door or over the garden wall. Some were discharged “after coming
to their senses.” Still others escaped after being allowed out to
attend Mass or to wash in the river. A few who were admitted
involuntarily were offered discharges if they promised to leave town.

Genealogists may have difficulty discerning family relationships from
the records, although the time of admission can provide clues. For
example, when Mary Ahern, 22, a housekeeper, was admitted drunk on 11
July 1781, three children of the same surname – Corns, 4, James, 2,
and Mary, four months – were admitted at the same time and were
presumably her children. Mary was discharged on 14 September, while
Corns and James “were stole over the wall by the Mother” the day
before. The baby was discharged two weeks before. Occasionally an
inmate was discharged into the care of a husband or wife, but the
relative was usually not named.

“Pauper Limerick” is a useful source for families in late eighteenth
century Limerick, but genealogists using the volume will have a
challenge in establishing connections to later residents of the
mid-nineteenth century.

Library of Congress American Memory Website
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
The Library of Congress American Memory website at
comprises, quite simply, one of the coolest compilations of digital
ephemera freely available to us via the Internet. But don’t let my
personal opinion sway you--after a description of what you can find at
the American Memory site, this article will suggest a few ways the
site can help you with your own family history endeavors.

American Memory’s objective is “free and open access through the
Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and
moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the
American experience.” More than 9 million items are categorized into
more than 100 collections by format, subject matter or
creator/assembler. Categories of materials include advertising,
African American history, architecture and landscape, cities and
towns, culture and folk life, environment and conservation, government
and law, immigration and American expansion, literature, maps, Native
American history, performing arts and music, presidents, religion,
sports and recreation, technology and industry, war and military and
women’s history.

Each of these is subdivided into more specific collections. It’s
possible to browse by topic, time period, type of material or
geographic location, or to generate all titles in one alphabetical
listing. Many of the print items, like manuscripts, prints,
photographs, posters, maps, books, pamphlets and sheet music, are
full-text searchable. An “Ask a Librarian” service is available for
questions about the materials.

To whet your appetite, a few of the collections that are available are
Ansel Adams photos of Japanese-American internment, baseball cards,
Edward Curtis North American Indian photographs, panoramic maps for
1847-1929, Works Progress Administration posters, railroad maps, San
Francisco earthquake films, and written and audio slave narratives.

How can these items help your research?
• In some people’s cases, there may be items in the collection that
pertain directly to their ancestors. Peruse the collection titles to
see if this may be true in your case.
• The materials can help you learn about events that may have affected
your ancestors’ lives and help you to research more effectively
because of your deeper understanding of the events, the time period
and the available records.
• These items may motivate you as you “step into” the lives of your ancestors.
• You surely can find material to use as background to add interest to
your family history writing.

There is no need to stop with names, dates and places when this rich
bank of material can provide you with greater detail about the times
when your ancestors lived and the subjects that were of importance to

*“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. Certificate
No. 386 awarded 4 July 1996; expires 4 July 2016.

Technology Tip of the Month--A Look at Blending Modes, Part I
by Kay Spears
This month, let’s turn to the Blending Modes tools in Adobe Photoshop
and Elements. These tools are used to correct problems with both color
and black and white photographs. Blending modes are great for use with
overexposed or underexposed photographs. They also can add some very
dramatic effects to otherwise mundane photos. In this article we will
look at the different modes and their definitions. To look at the
tools in Blending Modes, you need to have a photograph open.

In the upper left-hand side of the Layers Palette is a drop-down box
with the word “normal” on it. Normal is the default, and does not do
any blending. All the others interact and blend. For the Blending
Modes to work, you have to have two or more layers.

Darkening Modes:
Darken chooses the darkest color of the image, and as a result, pixels
in the photo that are lighter will be replaced, but pixels that are
darker do not change.
Multiply is one of the blend tools that you will probably use most.
This tool multiplies the base color. No part of the image will become
lighter, and white becomes transparent.
Color Burn burns the color of the top layer to the lower layer. It
will not become lighter.
Linear Burn is similar to Multiply, with more intensity.

Lightening Modes:
Lighten does the reverse of Darken. No part of the image gets darker.
Screen is another tool that may become a favorite. This tool brightens
the lower layer based on the lightness of the upper layer. It’s a
great tool for correcting photos that are too dark.
Color Dodge decreases contrast, but no part of the image will be darkened.
Linear Dodge combines Color Dodge and Screen, with more intensity.

Contrast Modes:
Overlay is a very useful tool that multiplies the light colors and
screens the dark colors, often with some very dramatic results.
Soft Light multiplies the dark tones and screens the light ones.
Hard Light multiplies the dark colors and screens the light colors.
Vivid Light either Dodges or Burns the lower layer neutral gray,
depending on the upper layers. It also adjusts the contrast of the
lower level.
Linear Light is the same as Vivid Light, but works on the brightness
of the lower level.
Pin Light can either Multiply or Screen, depending on how bright the
pixels are in the upper layer.
Hard Mix adds red, green and blue to layers. It does extreme posterization.

Comparative Modes:
Difference reacts to Differences between the layers.
Exclusion is similar to Difference, but with less contrast.
Subtract blends colors from the base colors.
Divide separates the blend color from the base.

Image Component Modes:
Hue combines the luminance and hue of the lower layer with the hue of
the active layer.
Saturation combines the luminance and hue of the lower layer with the
saturation of the active layer.
Color changes the hue and saturation, but leaves luminosity alone.
Luminosity changes the luminosity, but leaves hue and saturation alone.

Please do not let this list overwhelm you with all of the
hue/saturation/tone/color/active, etc. “rigmarole.” As always, Adobe
provides more tools than we actually need. Next month’s article will
discuss in more detail the ones you are likely to use the most:
Screen, Overlay and Multiply.

Next article: Adobe Photoshop/Elements: A look at Blending Modes, Part
II, What to do with Screen, Overlay and Multiply Blending Modes.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Memories through
Scrapbooking with “Little” Projects
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
The thought of creating a scrapbook with our treasured heritage
photographs can be daunting for so many reasons:
• It’s overwhelming – we don’t know where to start
• We may not know when and where the various photos were taken
• There are photos that are unidentified and we still hope to get them
identified before we take on such a project
• We are afraid we will ruin the photos if we put them into a book
• We are afraid that once the photos are in place, others will be
discovered that belong with them
• We feel that we aren’t “creative enough” to put together a fitting
tribute to these priceless photos . . . and the list goes on.

But as time passes, our memories fade, as do the memories of the older
relatives some of us may still have living. Now is the time to take
action and tackle our fears about preserving these photos before it’s
too late.

• Instead of trying to tackle the whole collection of photos at once,
why not take a small bunch on one subject and begin with them?
• Put aside the photos that are unidentified, or that don’t have
stories to tell at this moment.
• Scan the small group of photos that you have chosen, print them on
photo paper and use the copies to create your scrapbook. Put the
originals away in photo-safe storage. Or, if you feel strongly that
you want to use the originals, use photo-safe materials and mount the
pictures using photo corners. Then you will be able to remove easily
them if needed.
• Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a creative person! The
most important aspect of creating a heritage scrapbook is to preserve
the photos and the memories. If you feel so inclined, you can decorate
the pages, but no decorations are necessary.

What kinds of subjects can you focus on for your small scrapbook
project? You will be the best judge, according to what photos you own,
but here are some ideas:

• Memories of your grandparents
• Your childhood
• Family homes (or pets, automobiles, hobbies, Christmases)
• Photos of one person – your great-grandfather, for example
• One significant event for which you have a number of photos –
perhaps a wedding or a sight-seeing trip
• An ancestor’s military career
• One branch of a large family

Once you have made a decision about the subject of your scrapbook,
enlist the help of other relatives by asking them to share any related
family stories. You can add these stories into the book with the
photos and make an heirloom that your family will treasure for

*“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. Certificate
No. 386 awarded 4 July 1996; expires 4 July 2016.

The Wait is Over! March Madness Genealogy Style
It's almost time for March Madness, Genealogy Style. Our 2013 theme is
"Telling Your Story." The classes are scheduled for Monday, March 4,
through Saturday, March 9, with two classes on Thursday. They will
highlight gathering and documenting oral history, using heirlooms in
your family's saga, and preserving family stories and memorabilia for
future generations. Classes are:

Monday, March 4, 2013, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A
Gathering & Writing the Stories of Your Life - Beginning Steps - Curt Witcher

Tuesday March 5, 2013, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A
Did It Really Happen That Way? Documenting Oral History - Delia Bourne

Wednesday March 6, 2013, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A
Insuring Our Story: Recording & Transcribing Oral History - Melissa Shimkus

Thursday March 7, 2013, 11 a.m.-noon - Meeting Room A
Tracking Heirlooms & Telling Their Stories - Dawne Slater-Putt

Thursday March 7, 2013, 2-3 p.m. - Meeting Room A
Beyond the Family Bible: Making the Most of Heirlooms and Artifacts in
Genealogical Research - John Beatty

Friday March 8, 2013, 10-11 a.m., Meeting Room A
Writing Personal History - Dawne Slater-Putt

Saturday March 9, 2013, 10-11 a.m., Meeting Room A
Creating a Family History Storybook - Cynthia Theusch

For more information, see our brochure at
To register for any or all of these free classes, email
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

Visitor from Australia To Share Research Tips
Friday, March 15, 2013, The Genealogy Center will host Liz Pidgeon,
Local and Family History Librarian at Yarra Plenty Regional Library,
in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, who will present "Researching
Australian Family History & Tips for Finding Americans in Australia,"
2 to 3 p.m. in Meeting Room A. During this rare opportunity, Liz will
provide an introduction to research in Australia and an overview of
sources, including archives, genealogy and family history societies,
convict research, military resources and libraries, including the
National Library's Trove website. To register for this free
presentation, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225. Don't
miss this important event!

ACGSI Offers Beginner's Workshop
On Saturday, April 6, 2013, the Allen County Genealogical Society of
Indiana will offer "Getting Started in Family History and Genealogy
Research," taught by Margery Graham. This full-morning seminar starts
at 9 a.m. in Meeting Rooms A&B at the Main Library, and will help you
as you begin your search in family history. Ms. Graham will discuss
gathering and organizing your information, basic research methods, and
how to apply proven methods to keep your search on track. The seminar
will end at noon with a tour of the Genealogy Center. Cost is $10
pre-paid. For more information, see the flyer at, call 260-672-2585 or email gramar57 [at]

Take a Tour -- of Our Catalog!
If you're like many of our visitors, The Genealogy Center’s online
catalog of material is more than a little confusing, which is why
Melissa Shimkus and Aaron Smith will offer "What Can I Find at The
Genealogy Center: A Catalog Tour" on Thursday, April 11, 2013, from 2
to 4 p.m. in Meeting Room A. Melissa, our Center Assistant Manager of
Public Services, and Aaron, the Center Assistant Manager of the
Materials Handling Unit and Cataloger, will teach you how to locate
materials in the more than one million items in the collection, and
will highlight the special features of the system, including special
notes and making lists. To register for this free presentation, email
Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
13 March 2013--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m.
refreshments followed at 7 p.m. by Ron Darrah’s presentation:
“Populating Hoosierland.”

African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne
14 March 2013--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, Indiana. 5:00 p.m. reception followed at 6:00 p.m. by Roma
Stewart's presentation: "Fort Wayne Pioneer Families."

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
3 March 2013--History Center, 302 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne,
Indiana. 2 p.m. George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series featuring Scott
Bushnell & Isaac Jenkinson on “A Warrior in Ink.”

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
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If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
the very bottom of the issue of Genealogy Gems you just received or
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Dawne Slater-Putt, CG & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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