Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 111, May 31, 2013
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 19:06:52 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 111, May 31, 2013

In this issue:
*Water on a Stone . . .
*Potawatomi Research
*The New York Slave Conspiracy of 1741
*Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Photoshop/Elements: Using the Smart Blur Tool to Create Line Drawings
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project
*Innovation! Personalized Textile Products
*What's Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches--A Overview
*Family History Fundamentals--Using Newspapers
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Water on a Stone . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
Most of us are at least passingly familiar with the concept of “water on a stone.” Though something may be literally, or figuratively, as hard as a rock, persistent drops of water trickling over the stone will eventually cause the stone to crack and break apart. And yes, it typically takes a long time.

We know this is true in our research. Continually looking to discover every shred of information about a potential ancestor’s life--from where he lived and worked to the church where his family worshipped, and special activities and records of the ethnic group of which he was a part--can break nearly every one of our brick walls. It can take a lot of looking as well as significant time evaluating, but eventually we usually crack that stone.

The concept of “water on a stone” can work in other ways in the genealogy space, other not-so-positive ways. Often we become so focused on our own research that we don’t notice all of the small but extremely consequential events occurring around us that eventually will have dramatically negative effects on future generations being able to discover and tell their stories. Individuals from coast to coast perennially forget to secure their family keepsakes and records from natural disasters. Almost every time a house is lost to a fire, flood or tornado, a little personal library also is lost forever. It’s heart-breaking to watch families in Moore, Oklahoma, desperately search through mounds of rubble for family heirlooms, or flood victims in San Antonio, Texas, search through water, mud and destruction for pictures and family albums. There is such joy and excitement when an individual finds one military citation or a family Bible, and yet the unspoken reality is that most all of the precious, unique family documents are gone. If each of us continues to do nothing about safeguarding and sharing our family stories, it’s “water on the stone” of future generations’ ability to find relevant data.

Schools all over the country are deciding to no longer allow their local libraries to acquire their yearbooks under the pretext of protecting their students’ identities and privacy. Certainly not one of us wants our young peoples’ lives put in danger, or their identities and privacy placed in peril. However, in the haste and zeal to appear to be doing something about an important issue, there are many unintended consequences whose effects are long lasting. It’s particularly disturbing when such decisions are not fact-based but rather, purely emotion-based. There is no personal, identifying information with a student’s name in a school yearbook that couldn’t otherwise more easily be obtained from other sources. But yet, it’s today’s yearbooks that will suffer extinction in local history collections. Ironically, just a few short years from now, those same school officials likely will be contacting their local libraries for their own personal research purposes, or to work on a celebratory account of the school, and be irritably surprised not to find the yearbooks and the slice of history they would have provided. More “water on the stone” of future generations’ ability to find relevant information.

Coast to coast, legislative bodies are actively seeking to restrict access to vital records and other documents that are key to our ability to discover and tell our stories. Numerous states are proposing to close access to birth records for 125 years. At the same time, many are proposing that death records be closed for 75 years after an individual’s demise. One state’s change to the access to its death records would technically/legally only qualify the deceased to have access. Really?! All this is being done under the guise of protecting identities and privacy. Yet the overwhelming majority of identity theft activities are perpetrated without even a hint of these records being used. Most every citizen is so disenfranchised from these legal processes that he or she doesn’t even notice or know that these codes and regulations are being written into law. The many thousands of fraudulent tax returns based on false identifications and stolen social security numbers have nothing to do with everyday citizens accessing the records that document their history; they have to do with a federal government entity that engages in processes that are neither contemporary nor secure. It is yet more “water on the stone” of our grandchildren’s ability to find their stories.

We see abandoned cemeteries year after year on our vacation treks and muse what a shame it is, but take no action, not even to preserve the cemeteries in our own hometowns. Where are the sextons’ records and the cemetery plat maps? Who is capturing the images of the tombstones eroding from acid rain and other environmental impacts? In courthouses across the country, dedicated, hard-working clerks and their staffs are trying to deal with generations, and sometimes centuries, of old, deteriorating records with precious few resources. The examples are nearly infinite. I challenge us to significantly increase our awareness of the hundreds upon hundreds of seemingly small and disconnected events that, like water on a stone, continuously erode our abilities to discover our families’ stories and pass them along to our descendants.

Honoring Our Veterans . . .

During this past Memorial Day weekend, The Genealogy Center posted two small collections of military information on our website as a modest way to honor our veterans. As with all the data we post, it is free for everyone to use.
1. Fortville Grand Army of the Republic Post #228, Hancock County, Indiana. This Sol. D. Kempton post was in operation from 1883-1930.
2. The GAR Section of Cedar Hill Cemetery, Newark, Licking County, Ohio
If you have images of your military ancestors and data files documenting military service of family, friends and community, we would be pleased to host them on the “Our Military Heritage” site for others to access.

Preserving, Sharing, Supporting . . .
Did you notice the new button in the top left corner of the homepage, just under the navigation bar? Check it out! It’s a neat way to have unique heritage pieces specific to your family made just for you, and to support The Genealogy Center at the same time. Read more about this endeavor further on in this ezine.

An Awesome Time in An All-America City . . .

August 21st through 24th are going to be awesome days for family historians gathered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The upcoming Federation of Genealogical Societies 2013 Conference is going to pack those days with opportunities to learn, network and engage with some of the best presenters and vendors in the genealogy space. You definitely will want to be a part of this gathering. Read more in an article in this ezine, and register today at It would be great to see you in person in just a few months!

Potawatomi Research
by Sara Allen
The Genealogy Center has historical and genealogical materials about many of the First Nations peoples, including the Potawatomi, one of the indigenous tribes to inhabit the land that became Indiana. There are at least three bands of Indiana-related Potawatomi about whom we have records here at The Genealogy Center: the Pokagon, Citizen and Prairie Bands.

For a general history of the Pokagon Band, see “The Pokagons, 1683-1983: Catholic Potawatomi Indians of the St. Joseph River Valley” (970.3 P85clc). This book details the fascinating history of a band that was not forcibly removed from this area as other natives were. Instead, Chief Leopold Pokagon negotiated an amendment to the Treaty of Chicago (1833) that allowed his St. Joseph River Valley Band to establish a home in southwest Michigan, in part because of the tribe’s conversion to Catholicism. A second copy of this book, with the alternate call number 970.3 C61po, is in the main collection and may be checked out. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi (, now centered in Dowagiac, Michigan, is federally recognized and will enroll as members those who can trace an ancestor to one of two censuses, Cadman’s Roll of 1895 and the Shelby Roll of 1896. For an abstract of Cadman’s Roll, see Raymond Lantz’s “The Potawatomi Indians of Michigan, 1843-1904” (977 L29P). 

Other bands of Potawatomi from Indiana were forced westward by the U.S. government beginning in the 1830s, with stops along the way in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, ending eventually in Kansas (Prairie Band) and Oklahoma (Citizen Band). Bands from Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois also were forced west to these reservations during the mid-nineteenth century. The Citizen Band ( requires that a person have a lineal relative on the 1937 tribal census in order to qualify for membership (see Microtext, Indian Census, Roll 496). This census provides an English name (and infrequently an Indian name), sex, age, tribe, degree of blood, marital status, relationship to head of household, residence and annuity information for each person. Occasional handwritten marginal notes indicate further information, such as date of death. The Prairie Band ( requires one-quarter Prairie Band Potawatomi blood to enroll in the tribe.  Our microtext holdings for this tribe include Indian censuses from 1891-1942 (Rolls 393-395). These census records include each person’s enumeration number, name (Indian and English), relationship to head of household, age, and sex. For histories of these groups, see “The Prairie People: Continuity and Change in Potawatomi Indian Culture, 1665-1965” (970.3 P85cl) and “The Potawatomi People (Citizen Band)” (970.3 P85ca). If you are interested in First Nations peoples of Indiana, be sure to consult this group of records.

The New York Slave Conspiracy of 1741
by John D. Beatty
One of the most significant events in the history of colonial New York City, all but forgotten until recently, was the alleged Slave Conspiracy of 1741. Between March and April of that year, a series of 13 fires destroyed a number of buildings in lower Manhattan, leading many to suspect that they were set intentionally in a conspiracy by slaves and poor whites against the city’s white leadership. Much of the city was already on edge from a conspiracy in South Carolina two years earlier and a previous slave conspiracy in New York in 1712. Fears were also heightened by the belief that Spain, at war with Britain at the time, had an interest in stirring up trouble in the city and destabilizing the colony. 

Mary Burton, a 16-year-old Irish born indentured servant, was arrested for receiving stolen goods and was coerced by a local judge, Daniel Horsmanden, to give testimony against others involved in the conspiracy. More fires, arrests and forced testimony followed in a climate of hysteria reminiscent of the Salem witchcraft trials. At its height during the summer, 152 blacks, nearly half of the city’s population of male slaves older than 16, were imprisoned, along with 20 whites. Some were burned at the stake, others hanged or gibbeted, and 72 were deported.

Historians differ as to whether the events of 1741 constituted an actual conspiracy. The Genealogy Center has several books that address the event from these varied viewpoints. Peter Charles Hoffer, in his book, “The Great New York Conspiracy of 1741,” (Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 2003), GC 974.7 H675g, contends that there was a slave plot at the root of the fires, in spite of the obvious racism and hysteria that surrounded the arrests and trials. Some of those executed were clearly guilty, but many innocents also were accused and punished. A second copy of this volume is available in the main collection with the call number 974.71 H67g and can be checked out.

Jill Lepore takes a differing view in her book, “New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan” (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), GC 974.702 N422Lef. Exploring in detail the racially-explosive climate of the period and the likelihood of perjured testimony, Lepore concludes, “Whether enslaved men and women actually conspired ... is a question whose answer lies buried deep in the evidence, if it survives at all.” She places much of the blame for the events on Horsmanden and his abuse of witnesses. Significantly for genealogists, Lepore includes an extensive appendix listing all of the people accused, the dates of their arrest and trial, and their sentences. The last names of the slave owners also are included, along with their full names listed alphabetically in a second appendix. The library owns a second, circulating, copy of this book also, with the call number 974.71 L55n.

Horsmanden's journal of the trial has been published in various editions, the most complete being the 1744 edition, available digitally. A recent edition, greatly abridged by Serena R. Zabin, was published in 2004: “The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741: Daniel Horsmanden's Journal of Proceedings,” GC 974.702 N422nyco.

As disturbing and lurid as the events of 1741 may seem to a modern audience, they open a window into early 18th-century Manhattan, and if you have ancestors there during this time period, the Hoffer and Lepore books are well worth reading.

Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Photoshop/Elements: Using the Smart Blur Tool to Create Line Drawings
by Kay Spears
Maybe sometime in your future, you will want to create a line drawing from one of your photographs. This article will describe one way to do that using the Smart Blur tool available in Adobe Photoshop and Elements.

As always, some photographs work better than others. Photographs that have good contrast have been the ones that seemed to work best for me whenever I tried to manufacture a line drawing.  

To create a line drawing, first open your photograph, and then create a duplicate layer. Make sure that the duplicate layer is the active layer when you do this exercise. Next, go to the Filter tab and find Blur in the drop-down list. The Blur tool you want to choose is Smart Blur. When you click on Smart Blur, a dialog box will open that includes the Zoom Tool, Radius Slide Tool, Threshold Slide Tool, and drop-down menus for Quality and Mode. In the Quality drop-down menu, choose “High.” In the Mode drop-down menu, choose “Edge Only.” This will cause your duplicate layer to change so that the image is black with white lines – it might look kind of like a negative. Experiment with the slide bars of both the Radius and Threshold. You can achieve different amounts of lines using those tools. It’s up to you what amount you want for your finished work. When you are satisfied, click OK. Your photograph will now be black and white, but mostly black. 

Next, for Adobe Photoshop go to Image>Adjustments>Invert and invert the image. In Elements, Invert is located under Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Invert. In Elements, a dialog box appears for you to name the layer. After doing so, click OK. This creates another layer in your Layers Palette, which is the invert.  Merge this layer down and this is your inverted image.

Now you have a line drawing and what you do with it is up to you. There are numerous effects that you can achieve by combining your line drawing with other tools available. Experiment with changing the opacity, adding color, changing the blending modes, experimenting with the filter gallery or adding a mask. Some of the results are very amazing!

Next: Adobe Photoshop/Elements, a Look at Perspective.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
When we consider the word “preservation” as connected with genealogy and family history, possibly the first thing that comes to mind is the conservation of personal documents, photographs and heirlooms, and how to preserve those for future generations. But many of our local and state genealogical societies and other groups have cast a wider net and initiated projects to preserve large and small sets of documents for the future.

One of these larger efforts is the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project spearheaded by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). The War of 1812 pension and bounty land files are one of the most requested types of records among researchers at the National Archives and because of this heavy use, were suffering marked deterioration. FGS, in conjunction with the National Archives, Fold3 and, is raising money for the digitization of the 7.2 million pages of documents within these files.

The digitization of each page costs 45 cents. has established a grant for the project, matching every dollar donated. So a donation of $45, which initially would pay to digitize 100 pages, will ensure the preservation of 200 pages of pension files with the matching Ancestry grant. The files are being uploaded to, where they will remain free for public viewing indefinitely.

To date, about 590,000 pages of pension and bounty land files have been preserved, with just about 32 percent of the total funds needed raised. The goal is to have the total amount raised by the end of the War of 1812 Bicentennial in 2015. If you are interested in helping with this important project, details about how to donate are at

*“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.

Innovation!  Personalized Textile Products
By Kathy Carrier of Keepsake Threads
In May, The Genealogy Center launched an initiative to offer personalized textile products to genealogy enthusiasts. Partnering with a Fort Wayne, Indiana, company, Keepsake Threads, The Center has developed an initial product line that includes pillows and wall art. Customers can order these items using the pink Keepsake Threads link in the top left-hand corner of The Genealogy Center’s website. The new product line is now “live” at:

Both the pillows and the wall art will be created using customers’ family trees or cherished family photos. The pillows are $40 and the wall art is $35. Larger, custom items that incorporate more complex family trees also can be ordered for an additional charge. In addition, if individuals have a particular color preference for the fabric and the look of the product, Keepsake Threads can customize the order with by color preference as well.

The initiative was created with the genealogy enthusiast in mind and also to build the Allen County Public Library Foundation's Genealogy Endowment Fund. A percentage of the sales from this venture will be directed into the Foundation, which “was created in 1984 as a private, non-profit 501(c)3 trust to receive, administer and distribute income exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes of the Allen County Public Library. The Foundation raises private dollars to enhance the library’s acquisitions, innovations and special projects beyond the capacity of the normal operating budget.”

If you attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne this August, you will be able to see samples of the product line at the Keepsake Threads booth. Stop by and see the pillows and wall art first-hand!

The Keepsake Threads-Genealogy Center product line will grow as customers express an interest in other products. So, if you are interested in featuring your genealogy research on a quilt, a fabric animal, a scarf or a tie, simply email Keepsake Threads at familytree [at], or call 877-99THREADS.

We are anticipating a great response to this service and look forward to the opportunity to expand this product line and innovative initiative. 

What's Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches
The next event in The Genealogy Center’s “Beyond Ancestry’s Leaves & Branches” series is a “WeRelate Overview,” 2-3 p.m. Monday, June 24, given by Genealogy Center librarian Cynthia Theusch. is one of the largest genealogy wikis. Explore this free site and how it can help you post your family information on the Internet. Other upcoming sessions in the series are: “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
“Hear ye, hear ye!” Newspapers chronicle the lives and times of our ancestors. Instructor Delia Bourne will show what may be found in newspapers, and explain how to find what is available online on Saturday, June 8, 2013, 10-11 a.m., in Meeting Room A. Future sessions in the “More Family History Fundamentals” series are: “Just Start ‘Looking’ on” on Saturday, July 13, and “Jumping Off Points: Getting the Most Out of a Single Record,” on 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!

Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference Excitement!
The Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference, being held in Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Convention Center (GWCC) 21-24 August 2013, actually kicks off on August 20th with Librarians’ Day at the Allen County Public Library. That day there will be several sessions aimed at librarians who serve genealogists. Also offered on that Tuesday will be one-on-one consultations and a Q&A panel at the GWCC. The Q&A panel is open to the public; the consultations are for conference registrants.

Four days of conference sessions follow, with Wednesday as Focus on Societies Day. The conference will feature experts in the field of genealogy presenting sessions for all levels of family historian, from the beginner to the expert. A large exhibit hall will feature books, technology and software, and will highlight societies. The week also will include workshops, daily luncheons sponsored by organizations, and evening social events.

Learn more about this marvelous opportunity at the conference website at In addition, you can:
view or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at,
“like” the conference on Facebook at,
and follow the conference on Twitter at and hashtag #FGS2013.

Out and About
Curt Witcher
June 28, 2013
American Library Association Genealogy Pre-Conference--Harold Washington Library Center, Multi-Purpose Rooms A & B, 400 South State Street, Chicago, IL, 9:45 a.m. CDT. Presentation: “And the Rockets’ Red Glare: Sources for War of 1812 Research.”

John Beatty
June 7, 2013
“Primetime39” live call-in program with host Bruce Haines, 7:30-8 p.m. Topic: Fort Wayne as a “City of Churches.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
12 June 2013--Allen County Public Library, First Floor Meeting Rooms, Annual banquet, 6 p.m. Reservations are required. Featured speaker is Jana Sloan Broglin giving her presentation: “’Hookers, Crooks and Kooks’ Aunt Merle Didn’t Run a Boarding House.”

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
2 June 2013--History Center, 302 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 2 p.m. George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series featuring Todd Maxwell Pelfrey on “Fort Wayne’s Park and Boulevard System: A Centennial Perspective.”

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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