Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 110, April 30, 2013
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:06:27 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 110, April 30, 2013

In this issue:
*May is for the Memories . . .
*South Carolina’s Royal Grants
*Register of Free Colored Persons Entitled to Remain in State, 1840-1863
*Technology Tip of the Month--Time for Some Fun! Blending Modes III: Using Blending Modes in Adobe Photoshop/Elements to Create Exciting Images
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Old Paper Ephemera
*What's Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches
*Family History Fundamentals
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

May is for the Memories . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
Numerous activities take place every May that should cause us to remember all kinds of events from yesteryear. And how wonderful it is when that remembering further prompts us to actions that result in more of our family stories being discovered, preserved and shared.

On the last Monday in May--this year May 27th--we celebrate Memorial Day by commemorating the many hundreds of thousands of lives that have been lost defending this country and our freedoms. This commemoration started after the War between the States to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in those bloody 1860s years. Originally called Decoration Day, the commemoration has been extended to honor all those who lost their lives in any war or military engagement over our country’s entire history.

Memorial Day, and even the weeks that surround it, is a perfect time to not only remember our ancestors who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but also to renew our familiarity with them and their lives. If you find that your knowledge of your military ancestor is a bit brief or sketchy, finding out more about the individual could be a great summer activity. There are more easily-accessible sources than ever to learn about the military activities of our country, as well as the men and women who participated.

Once you have expanded and enriched the information about your ancestor(s) who served, make the time to share that information. Create an electronic file you can share with other family members. For the benefit of those not comfortable with receiving and reading electronic attachments to emails, be prepared to print a copy or two to take to cousin gatherings, summer picnics, and family reunions. You might consider putting up a website or creating a blog so that new information can be added as it is discovered. Recall that widely sharing data is a good way to preserve that same data. Finally, consider having some of your family’s military heritage shared on The Genealogy Center’s “Our Military Heritage” website.

May is typically the month when many graduations are celebrated. Such celebrations are usually great times in the life of a family! The pride and excitement of the graduate, as well as the joy and great satisfaction of the graduate’s family and friends--few things in life can match that. Graduation “season” is a super time for all of us to think about the school-related materials from our own days of formal learning, and the school-related materials of our children and grandchildren. Do you still have your yearbooks, and from all the schools you attended that published one? Do you still have your certificates and diplomas as well as the commencement programs? Other interesting school-related documents might include grade cards, class photographs and other photographs of sports teams and clubs. Are you sharing images of all those documents as a way of telling and preserving a piece of your family’s story?

School-related materials tend to be some of the most quickly discarded materials when family members who are not quite as “plugged-in” to family history as they might be have to make decisions about collections of “stuff” after a parent or grandparent has passed on. It is amazing to see the number of individuals who bring school pictures, grade cards, yearbooks, and even attendance records to The Genealogy Center, confident that we will not want them, only to be surprised by our excited and jubilant answer, “Yes, yes, we’d love to include those materials in our research collections!”

May is also the month when we honor our mothers. Among all the traditional ways we can honor our mothers, living and deceased, we can certainly honor them by ensuring that their stories are documented and shared with family members. Doing this ensures that their memory will live beyond their children and grandchildren.

We know how challenging researching female ancestors can be--our mothers’ and fathers’ mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. Consider making some time to brush-up on your “finding female ancestors” skills. Numerous websites and some methodology publications are carrying increasingly productive suggestions for finding more specific names than Mrs. John Smith for our female ancestors. Commit to exploring these.

May your May be filled with remembering--the people, the stories, our military ancestors, and all of our “mothers” through the generations.

South Carolina’s Royal Grants
by Melissa Shimkus
When a charter was granted to the Lord Proprietors of Carolina in 1663, the Province of Carolina was established and the Lords essentially acted as landlords. The colonial government was divided into North Carolina and South Carolina in 1712, but South Carolina was still owned by the Lord Proprietors until 1729, when the Crown purchased the colony. Colonists began to purchase land under the Crown governance beginning in 1732.

“South Carolina’s Royal Grants” (975.7 H69SO) by Brent H. Holcomb, is a seven-volume set containing abstracts of more than 24,000 land grants issued either by the Crown or the Lord Proprietors. The volumes, covering 1670-1785, are not organized chronologically but rather by the book and page number of the Royal Grant Books held at the South Carolina Archives and History Center. Each volume has an everyname index including the grantee, neighbors and family members mentioned in the grant.

Each abstract provides the name of the grantee, the date of the grant and plat certification, the county and sometimes the township, and waterways on which the land was situated, along with names of the adjoining landowners. In the case of Elizabeth Chovin, who received a land grant in 1758 for 800 acres in Berkley County, her four neighbors were listed along with her five children. Family connections can be further confirmed by these abstracts, as in the instance of Champeneau Handlin who was granted 450 acres in Craven County in 1747 following the death of his father, Edward, who had the land surveyed but died before receiving the grant. For those immigrants to the colony who acquired land, the word “BOUNTY” appears in the abstract, as in the case of John Millan who acquired property in 1770 in Colleton County.

With an entrepreneurial spirit influencing many land seekers, researchers should check each volume to determine whether an ancestor acquired land, since some individuals bought multiple pieces of property. Peter Sinkler, who received eight royal grants, is one example. If seeking ancestors who traveled through the Colonial era Carolinas, “South Carolina’s Royal Grants” series is a resource to search.

Register of Free Colored Persons Entitled to Remain in State, 1840-1863
by Delia Bourne
Whether emancipated or born as free people, a small number of free African Americans called the Antebellum South home. In some areas, slaves who were emancipated were required to leave the area while those who were not born into slavery could remain, but even then, legal acknowledgment of one’s free status was often desired. The Mayor’s Office of New Orleans began keeping such a register in 1840, and The Genealogy Center owns a copy of this register on one roll of microfilm. 

Filmed by the Louisiana Records and Archives Service in 1970 for the New Orleans Public Library, which holds the original, “Register of Free Colored Persons Entitled to Remain in State, 1840-1863” is divided into sections covering 1840-1857, 1856-1859, 1859-1861 and 1861-1864. It records free African Americans not born in New Orleans or those born in New Orleans and then emancipated. In each section, the listings are alphabetical, by either last name or by first – since in the majority of cases, only the first name was recorded – and adds each individual’s sex and color, age, occupation, place of birth, miscellaneous observations and date the entry was recorded. Occasionally, the date of arrival in New Orleans is also noted.

The category “Color” featured specific terms in use at the time, including negro/negress, mulatto, quadroon and griffe (offspring of a mulatto and either a black or a Native American). Among the occupations listed were seamstress, tailor, washer woman, drayman, brick layer, plasterer, cigar maker, carpenter and housekeeper. Observations included affidavits of those who testified to the person’s legal status and notes, such as emancipation information or the height of the individual. Early entries were in French, reflecting the city’s heritage. Most places of birth were New Orleans or Louisiana, but there were listings for people from Virginia, Delaware, Philadelphia and Congo. Elliott James, a 49-year-old cook on the steamboats, was born in Vincennes, Indiana, and possessed an affidavit from J. E. Montgomery to prove his legal status.

Other examples include Isaac Oliver, who was emancipated in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1841 and Adeline, who was emancipated in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, by Dr. Philip W. Johnson in 1853, as well as Nellie, a griffe seamstress born in St. Martin Parish, for whom her five children had a judgment from the 14th Judicial Court of Louisiana to prove her status.

The Genealogy Center also holds a number of books with free registers from Virginia and Maryland, as well as a few from South Carolina and one each from Illinois and Indiana. These free persons of color were often ignored or overlooked in other records, so sources such as this could be the best way to track your ancestors.

Technology Tip of the Month--Time for Some Fun! Blending Modes III: Using Blending Modes in Adobe Photoshop/Elements to Create Exciting Images
by Kay Spears
Sometimes Adobe is more than just frustration and work – sometimes it can be a lot of fun. Now it’s time to have a bit of fun with the Blending tools in Adobe Photoshop and Elements.  The more you experiment with these tools, the more extraordinary effects that you can achieve. I like to use the Blending tools to add a little excitement or edge to some of my photographs.

First you need to start with two photographs. For the purposes of this exercise, I used an old photograph of my mother in a row-boat and a landscape photograph I found online. If you don’t have a favorite landscape photo, usually computers come with some sample photographs in the picture folder and you may choose to use one of them. Because the photograph of my mother was faded, I fixed that before starting to have fun with Blending. However, for you to see the effects of the Blending tool, you do not have to fix anything before starting. 

Open both photographs and drag and drop the landscape picture into the other photograph. You can drag and drop a couple of different ways. One way is by just clicking on the photograph, holding down the left mouse key and dragging the landscape picture over to the other photograph. I usually drag from my Layers Palette by clicking on the layer I’m going to drag, hold the left mouse key down, and then dragging it over to the other photograph and dropping it.

My “mother” photograph now has two layers showing in the Layers Palette. One says Background and one says Layer 1. In most cases the landscape image will be smaller than the background image, but it can be stretched to fit.

Make sure Layer 1 is selected, then click Ctrl+Alt+T. You should see a box with six points around the top image; this means the image is selected. Hold the shift key down and position your cursor on one of the corners and pull till it fits the canvas. Now double click on the image, this will release the selection. Notice that you now have three layers in your Layers Palette: Background, Layer 1 and Layer 1 Copy. Delete Layer 1 by dragging it to the trash bin on the Layers Palette. Now, you have two layers, the “mother” layer, or background, and the “landscape” layer or Layer 1 Copy. You may choose to rename the layers.

Activate the top layer – Layer 1 Copy, or the “landscape” layer – by clicking on it. With the top layer selected, go to the Blending Mode drop down box (look for the word that says Normal). Choose Dissolve. You probably won’t notice anything, depending on the photographs you have chosen. What we are going to do is go through all the choices on the drop down list and look at all the interesting effects that happen to your image. If you want to, you may use your arrow key to go through the drop down list. As you move through the drop down choices, you should start seeing some interesting effects. 

There are so many things you can do with the Blending tool. Instead of adding a second image, you might add a layer with just color or gradient. You can add as many layers as you want and do different blends with each layer. At some point, you might even choose to add some filters from the Filter Gallery. Another option is to change the Opacity option on different layers. Perhaps you will even want to add a layer of text.

As you experiment with the Blending Modes, remember that some photographs will give you better results than others; don’t be afraid to try different things. This is a tool that can be used to fix photographs, however it also can add excitement to images that are going to be used in brochures, websites and posters. Have fun.

Next: Using the Blur Tool to Make a Line Drawing.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Old Paper Ephemera
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
A patron recently wrote to Genealogy [at] asking,

I have some old letter 1850's on that are showing serious acid damage. I was wondering if you had suggestions on the best way to preserve the 'remaining' parts of the page? I am scanning them and putting in archival sheet protectors and hope to transcribe them eventually, as there are at least 100 letters. I thought by scanning I could magnify them for easier reading and also enhance the faded print. Other thoughts?

And we responded,

We don't have a preservationist on staff at the current time, so we have no one equipped to give you "official" advice. But here are some of the things that we have learned:

• Provided the light from your scanner does not cause further deterioration to the documents, scanning them is an excellent idea. This will preserve digital images of them before they fade further, and you might be able to enhance the images to make them more readable, as you mentioned. To create archival copies that do not deteriorate each time that you open the documents and make changes, scan them as TIFFs at the highest resolution possible. TIFFs usually are not the preferred file format for sharing images on the Internet because many sites have image size requirements that are much smaller, but you can easily convert a TIFF to a JPG to share it online or attach it to an email message.

• If you are concerned about the process of scanning harming the documents, you could take photographs of them with a digital camera without using flash. If you have Microsoft Office, you can then open the individual photos on your computer, convert them to TIFFs and edit/enhance them as you would a scanned document.

• To preserve the originals and prevent as much further deterioration as possible due to the acid in the paper, you can use acid-free supplies that you can order online on the websites of archival storage companies. Flatten the documents so that they do not further deteriorate along their creases and place a sheet of acid-free tissue paper between each one. Store them in acid-free folders and/or storage boxes. You should keep these kinds of treasures in a cool, dark place as much as is possible. The shelf of a hall closet or in an acid-free box under a bed in an air-conditioned house is much better than a hot attic, a damp basement, or a garage that ranges from hot to cold with the seasons.

• The archival sheet protectors that you mentioned can be okay, too, provided that they are made of a photo-safe plastic and not of a material that will cause further damage to your letters. Also, you will give them extra support by adding a sheet of acid-free cardstock in the sheet protector as a backing for each document, especially if you are storing them in three-ring binders.

• You can find links to online resources--articles and outlets for supplies--in the Preservation and Conservation category of Cyndi's List of Genealogical Sites on the Internet,

Kudos to you for taking on the project of scanning and transcribing these documents to be preserved for the future!

*“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.

What's Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches
The next event in The Genealogy Center's "Beyond Ancestry's Leaves & Branches" series is "Finding Births, Marriages and Deaths Online," 10-11 a.m., Wednesday, May 29, in Meeting Room A. In research, we want to locate the most important records for recording an ancestor's life, and, of course, we want it NOW, which means online. Delia Bourne will show how it may be possible to locate these "vital" records online. Future sessions in this series include "WeRelate Overview," 2-3 p.m. Monday, June 24; "Genealogy Jargon," 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, July 24; and "Public Member Trees on," 2-3 p.m. Thursday, September 12. All of these sessions will be held in Meeting Room A. To learn more, see the brochure at To register for any of these presentations, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225. Check to see What's Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches!

Family History Fundamentals
Coming up in our other series, "Family History Fundamentals," is "Researching Church Records," on Saturday, May 25, 10-11 a.m. in Meeting Room A. Churches played both a social and religious role in our ancestors' lives. John Beatty will provide a basic overview of the steps one needs to take in finding church records. This presentation will feature many different examples of records from different denominations and will offer strategies for research and interpretation. Future sessions in this series are: "Locating Newspapers Online," Saturday, June 8; "Just Start 'Looking' on" on Saturday, July 13; and "Jumping Off Points: Getting the Most Out of a Single Record," Saturday September 14. All sessions are 10-11 a.m. in Meeting Room A. To learn more, see the brochure at To register for any of these free classes, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225. It's time to get back to fundamentals!

Out and About
Curt Witcher

May 8, 2013
National Genealogical Society Conference – Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, 3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV, 12:15 p.m. PST. Federation of Genealogical Societies' Luncheon talk. Presentation: “Re-Think, Re-Boot, Re-Connect: It's a New World!”

Dawne Slater-Putt

May 10, 2013
National Genealogical Society Conference – Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, 3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV, 8 a.m. PST. Board for Certification of Genealogists Skillbuilding session. Presentation: “Fail! When the Record Is Wrong.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
8 May 2013--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30 p.m. refreshments followed at 7 p.m. by Stan Follis’ presentation: “Saving Information Found on the Internet and Placing It in our Personal Records.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
5 May 2013—History Center, 302 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 2 p.m. George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series featuring Mac Parker on “You’ll Never Believe What Happened at the Coliseum.”

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 fee. 

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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