Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 112, June 30, 2013
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 17:29:58 -0700 (PDT)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 112, June 30, 2013

In this issue:
*Oh, I’ve heard all that already . . . !
*Directory of Oral History Collections
*Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Photoshop/Elements: A Look at Perspective, Warp, Liquefy, Part I
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving the Integrity of Our Writing with Relevant, Consistent Citations
*The Federation of Genealogical Societies 2013 Conference in Fort Wayne--Register Today to Save!
*Genealogy for Teens
*Looking Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches--"Genealogy Jargon”
*Family History Fundamentals for
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

“Oh, I’ve heard all that already . . . !”
by Curt B. Witcher
I remember attending my first national family history conference in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1988. It was sponsored by the National Genealogical Society, and marked the farthest point south I had been outside the states of Florida and Texas. My excitement about going was only matched by the sheer delight of the trip down as my dear friend and colleague, Anne Budd, and I were able to sit on a plane between flights (remember this was pre-9/11) and talk for a quite some time about history, libraries, families, and genealogy. Experiencing many hundreds of individuals descend on that quiet southern town to learn, network, and share stories was amazing, and I still have some of those same feelings when I attend family history conferences well into the twenty-first century.

With a world that technology continues to shrink, and with such rich online experiences, why in the world would there be any interest in physically attending a family history conference anymore? And indeed, I have overheard numerous individuals in recent years comment about local, regional and national conference program offerings with the retort, “Oh, I’ve heard all that already!” I must admit that my initial reaction nearly always is, “Really?!” Yes, I am a huge fan of online learning and virtual experiences. There is nothing, though, that requires an individual to give up one for the other. Why not enjoy the benefits of both? They both have much to offer.

So you’ve heard everything . . . about census records? Do you know all about the new viewing options of some of the digital presentations? Isn’t it worthwhile to hear how to make’s enhanced 1940 census images and impressive viewing experience work for you in understanding all the data recorded about a particular person and the associated family rather than just the information that is easy to decipher? Isn’t it good to know about census substitutes and census complements that make identifying specific individuals in particular geographic areas easier, and further, build important contexts for their lives? I believe it’s a great thing when one hears the term census and thinks of not only the federal population schedules but also of the non-population schedules, as well as the state and local enumerations. I would imagine that one could listen to more than a dozen well-organized and well-presented talks on census records and come away with a couple of meaningful tips from each. So, are you sure you’ve heard everything?

So you’ve heard everything . . . about researching in libraries and archives? You must know, then, about the many thousands of record repositories that have not only continued to support brick-and-mortar structures but also have growing, consequential virtual collections as well. And you also would certainly know all the best ways to access that virtual data, ensuring that you are able to find all the information that is available online for free, not just all the information that is available from the most popular Internet sites. Of course, you’re comfortable with finding all these sites, many of which are well off the “beaten path.” Again, are you sure you’ve heard everything?

So you’ve heard everything . . . about analyzing evidence and drawing proper conclusions from the documents you discover? There’s nothing you can learn from listening to yes, another methodology presentation? Hearing a presenter address questions similar to challenges you have in your research would not be of benefit? Simply listening to the various questions being asked in question-and-answer sessions at the end of presentations covering your geographic or ethnic area of interest would not be beneficial to you? Are you sure you’ve heard everything?

So you’ve heard everything . . . about the latest technologies? There is nothing you can learn about remote “cloud” storage? You’re aware of best practices for sharing information, and the best practices for media storage and refresh rates? You’re up on the latest personal scanning devices, and which are appropriate for different types of scanning? You’re familiar with the archival standards libraries and archives have for accepting digitized entities into their digital libraries? Your digital audio recordings will be useable by your children’s children? I live in the library and technology space, and I am continually hungry to learn more and understand fully what the latest technological advances offer to family historians, librarians and archivists. Are you really sure you’ve heard absolutely everything?

In just a few weeks, the Federation of Genealogical Societies will hold its 2013 annual conference in Fort Wayne--August 21-24. And in just about twenty-four hours, the early registration period that saves you $50 off of the regular registration price expires. If you’ve already registered for the Fort Wayne conference, thank you. You’re in for a great time of education, networking, and discovery!

If you’ve yet to register, don’t let this opportunity to know more and to discover new sources and methods pass you by. There is an awful lot you truly may not have heard before, or heard lately. The 2013 conference is a great combination of a top-shelf convention center, a data-rich program, and a first-class research center. You’ll really want to know all about it--firsthand!

Continue your family history journey, and join us in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the FGS Conference, “Journey through the Generations.” Register today at

Directory of Oral History Collections
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
Telling our stories has been a popular topic in genealogy circles as well as in the popular news media in recent years. However, the concept of oral history is not at all new. Many cultures have passed down their ancestral stories for generations, from the Native Americans to slaves to members of fraternal organizations. Fortunately, some of this oral history has been put in print and preserved in collections – providing a treasure for the researcher.

“Directory of Oral History Collections” by Allen Smith (016.907 Sm5d) is one resource that can help researchers locate oral history material in collections all over the United States. While somewhat out-of-date – it was published in 1988 – the information that is included remains valuable. Entries for the collections are arranged by state and within each state by city. Included in each entry is the contact information for the facility (address and phone number, but not email address or website URL), staff contact name, collection size, hours, conditions of access (such as by appointment), purpose, finding aids and general and notable holdings. Any of these elements might now be out-of-date. The references to finding aids and the holdings descriptions probably are the most valuable parts of the entries.

For example, the Richmond Public Library in Richmond, California, had at the time of the book’s publication a collection of 45 tapes of oral history. The purpose of the collection was “to provide a permanent record of eyewitness accounts of all aspects of life in Richmond, California, especially before and during World War II.” Someone whose ancestors lived in that area prior to World War II might be very interested in listening to those tapes! The Oral History Office at Sangamon State University in Illinois had among the subjects in its collection the black community in Springfield, Illinois.

Other books in The Genealogy Center’s collection on oral history collections include: “Guide to Oral History Collections in Canada” (971 F77G), “Guide to Oral History Collections in Louisiana” (976.3 R39G) and “Directory of Oral History Collections in Idaho” (976.9 M84d. See also “Oral History Collections in Oklahoma Survey,”

The information for Allen Smith’s book was collected via questionnaires from the Oral History Association (OHA). His preface says that the OHA planned to act “as a clearinghouse or registry of oral history collections,” whether future record of these collections would be in print or electronic. More information about oral history collections can be found on the OHA website 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.

by Cynthia Theusch
Many genealogists and family historians might be familiar with the Seeking Michigan website – – as a resource for digital images of Michigan death records dated from 1897 through 1920. These images are copies of certificates that were sent to the State of Michigan’s Division of Vital Statistics. Users may search by surname, given name, county, city, father’s surname, father’s given name, death day, month or year.  A search for the name of my great grandmother, Edith Church, produced five results, with death years ranging from 1901 to 1914. Counties were Isabella, Chippewa, Genesee, Tuscola and Montcalm.  My ancestor, Edith N. Church, died in Montcalm in 1907. What a wonderful resource!

But, beyond the death records, have you explored the rest of what has to offer? The Seeking Michigan website has a variety of digitized record collections from the Archives of Michigan holdings. The section titled “Discover” has the Digital and Audio Collections. These collections can be browsed or searched. Besides Death Records, other collections are Maps, Plat Maps, Civil War Service, WPA Rural Property Inventories and Michigan State Census, 1884-1894. Michigan’s state census records include similar information to what is on the federal schedules, but also indicate the number of years individuals had been living in Michigan as of 1884 and 1894. The 1894 census also includes the number of years each individual had been living in the United States.

It is possible to browse the Michigan Civil War Service Records for information or records for particular units. For example, the following is a brief snippet of a report for the 15th Michigan Infantry, dated 13 October 1862, written from a camp near Corinth, Mississippi. “Sir, I have the honor to report the part taken by the 2nd Brigade of Your Division in the series of operations between Chewalla and Corinth, at the battle of Corinth and the pursuit of the enemy to Ripley. The Division being at first under command of Brig. Gen’l McArthur. I have made a report embracing as concisely as possible the whole of its operations, and submit the same report to both of those officers.”

Seeking Michigan is a free website. One of the perks of such a site, of course, is the ability to view and download or print records at your leisure without leaving the comfort of your home. But if you should get in the mood for a road trip, check out the list of the Archives of Michigan’s circulars (think “finding aids”) for the facility’s collections. Some subjects handled by the circulars include census records, state census records, special census records, circuit court records, school records and genealogy research. These guides will help you prepare for a visit to the Archives of Michigan and can add detail to your family history.

Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Photoshop/Elements: A Look at Perspective, Warp, Liquefy … Part I
by Kay Spears
Years ago, I inherited numerous family treasures; among those was this rather large photograph of three of my father’s brothers. Now, the problem wasn’t that the photograph was large, but that it appeared warped in the middle. It had taken on the shape of a big dome. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that these dome/bubble/convex photographs were actually made that way! For some reason, people wanted these big dome-shaped photographs along with the dome-shaped glass hanging on their walls. Maybe they looked nice then, but how does one make a digital copy today when all one has is a flatbed scanner? There is a reason this piece of equipment is described as a “flatbed” scanner – it’s flat! Flat does not equal dome-shaped. Even if you eventually figure out how to scan one of these bubble photographs, the resulting image looks warped. But there is a solution. Let’s take a look at this problem photograph.

We begin with scanning the photo. It would be ideal to have access to a 3D scanner, but most people don’t have one close at hand. Here is the solution I discovered: I put my photograph on a scanner and instead of closing the lid, I covered the back of the photograph and the glass with cloth. The scan came out pretty good, with just a slight contrast problem. The major problem with scanning a bubble/convex photograph on a flatbed scanner is that the digital image is warped. The image has developed a perspective problem. Let’s look at how to fix this warping.

If I wanted to, the easiest way to adjust the perspective would be to use the Elliptical Marquee tool to draw around the part of the photograph that’s not warped and just delete the edges. However, in the case of the photo of the three brothers, deleting the warped edges of the photo would mean that two of the brothers would be missing theirs heads. Since using the Elliptical Marquee tool is not a good option in this case, let’s see what else is available.

First, open the image and make a duplicate layer. Then make sure that the duplicate layer is selected. In Adobe Photoshop, go to Filter>Lens Correction. A dialogue box appears with your image open for viewing. In the dialogue box, click on Custom. At the very top of the Custom tab is the Remove Distortion slide bar. Adjust this slide back and forth and watch what happens to your image when you do. You should see the image’s warp disappearing. After you adjust it to where you want it, you may then save it. While you’re in the custom tab, experiment with some of the other slide tools – they might come in handy at another time.

For those of you using Adobe Elements rather than Photoshop, go to Filter>Correct Camera Distortion. There are not as many options available in the Elements dialogue box, but you do have the ability to adjust the slide bars.

Next article: A Look at Perspective, Warp, Liquefy … Part II

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving the Integrity of Our Writing with Relevant, Consistent Citations
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
“Cite your sources.” It’s something that, with luck, we learn to do early in our genealogical pursuits. We all know how difficult it can be to try to retrace our steps to determine just where we found a certain piece of information when we don’t write down the book or website! Sometimes we need to go back and be sure that we wrote down the correct information, or to see if there is additional evidence that we missed, or maybe we can’t read our own handwriting. Perhaps we need that citation so that we can use the information in an official lineage society or First Families application, or in an article that we are writing for a genealogical society publication.

One way to make citing sources easier in genealogical writing is to create a word processing file with a citation example for each of the sources that you use most often, such as census schedules, the World War I draft card database, the Social Security Death Index and so on. This will serve as your personal citation style sheet. Then you can cut and paste the examples into your documents and change the necessary elements. This ensures that you include all of the necessary information in your citations (no retracing steps to gather forgotten elements) and that your citations are consistent. To illustrate, two examples from my personal citation style sheet are:

Buckingham Cemetery (Buckingham Road east of Morey Road, Deemston Borough, Washington County, Pennsylvania), Henry Bane marker, photographed by Dawne Slater-Putt in April 1990., Social Security Death Index [database online], (Provo, Utah: Operations, Inc., 2011); Patricia J. Saxon entry, accessed 12 June 2012.

I can use the first example any time I have information from a cemetery that I have visited, pasting the example citation into my footnote or endnote and changing the cemetery name, location description, person whose marker is being discussed and the date I photographed it. This helps me be certain I have included all relevant information. The second example requires only that I change the name of the person whose entry is being cited and the date I accessed the database. At the very least, it saves me time in typing and frustration in trying to remember how I have cited this database previously.

Including consistent and relevant citations with our work helps to preserve its integrity by allowing us to retrace our steps and others to evaluate what we have written, thus helping to ensure that it will stand “the test of time.”

*“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 Federation of Genealogical Societies 2013 Conference in Fort Wayne
The Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference will be in Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Convention Center (GWCC) 21-24 August 2013.

The conference kicks off on 20 August with Librarians’ Day at the Allen County Public Library – several sessions aimed at librarians who serve genealogists. Also offered on 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. And you only have hours left to take advantage of the early-bird registration! Register right now!

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.

Genealogy for Teens
Young Adult Services (YAS), in partnership with The Genealogy Center, will offer “Genealogy for Teens,” a four session program to encourage individuals ages 11-18 to begin to unlock the fascinating history of their families. Sessions will be Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will include “Beginning Steps in Ancestry” July 11 in the Globe Room, “The Genealogy Center” July 18 in The Genealogy Center, “FamilySearch and Other Free Websites” July 25 in Meeting Room B, and “The Name Game” August 1 in Globe Room. Each session includes an hour of hands-on research.

*Registration is required, since space is limited. Call YAS at 260-421-1255 to register.

Looking Beyond Ancestry's Leaves and Branches--"Genealogy Jargon"
Next up in The Genealogy Center's "Beyond Ancestry's Leaves & Branches" series is "Genealogy Jargon," 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, 2013, in Meeting Room A. The world of genealogy has its own special words and expressions which beginners may not understand. Instructor Cynthia Theusch will assist you in understanding words and phrases that are used by The Genealogy Center team. The last of the series will be "Public Member Trees on," 2-3 p.m. Thursday, September 12. 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 for
"You don't even have to know what you're looking for. You just have to start looking," or so says the popular commercials. Melissa Shimkus will provide an overview of that will demonstrate how to look for people, places, records, and information using the largest commercial genealogical website on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 10 a.m. in Meeting Room A. And prepare for the last session of Family History Fundamentals on Saturday, September 14th with "Jumping Off Points: Getting the Most Out of a Single Record." 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
July 10, 2013
Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute, Harris-Stowe State University, 3026 Laclede Avenue, St Louis, MO, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Four presentations:
*Finding the World with WorldCat, NUCMC, and ArchiveGrid
*Going Big: The Library of Congress Online, Government Documents, and University Special Collections
*Records, Research, & Resources: FamilySearch and Its Digital Partners
*Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe: The Abundance of African American Books, Periodicals, and Online Resources in Fort Wayne’s Genealogy Center

July 20, 2013
“Hoosier History Live!” WICR-FM (88.7), Indianapolis, IN live radio program, 12 p.m. EDT. Presentation: “Tracing Your Roots: Some Tips and Advice.”

July 22, 2013
Defiance County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society July Meeting, St. John United Church of Christ, Defiance College Campus, 950 Webster St., Defiance, OH, 7 p.m. EDT. Presentation: “Genealogy Resources of the Allen County Public Library.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
Programming resumes in September.

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, Chief Richardville House
6 July 2013—5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1-4 p.m. Miami Indian Heritage Days featuring Andrew Knight on “Miami Weaponry.”

Historic Fort Wayne
13-14 July 2013—1201 Spy Run Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday & 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. “Revolutionary War—The Western Front.”

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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