Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 117, November 30, 2013
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2013 20:50:13 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 117, November 30, 2013

In this issue:
*Thanks . . . and Giving
*Opening the Ozarks: First Families in Southwest Missouri, 1835-1839
*Margaret Hobson, “The Iron Men of Indiana’s 44th Regiment”
*Technology Tip of the Month--A Look at the Quick Selection Tool in Adobe Photoshop/Elements
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Back to Basics: Paper Preservation
*WinterTech for December
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Thanks . . . and Giving
by Curt B. Witcher
Many of you reading this issue of “Genealogy Gems” may still be full from your Thanksgiving meal. I hope your gatherings were filled with family and friends, good food and safe travels. Among all the activities of the day, I hope you took some time to share stories from holidays past and tell new stories to be recounted for holidays to come. That is so very important. As much as any year I can remember, this Thanksgiving season seemed to be invaded by the pervasive commercialism associated with Christmas and other end of the year holidays. At times, it seemed like Thanksgiving almost didn’t exist. How sad it would be if that ever happened.

Why do I like Thanksgiving? There are a couple of reasons. I believe it holds a special place for me because more than any other holiday, it is about remembering our families’ past traditions as evidenced in the foods we cook. My sons and our extended family have benefited from the food their grandparents and great grandparents made at the Thanksgivings of yesteryear. A dish we always make is “marvelous mashed potatoes.” It’s quite simple (that, too, is a most wonderful thing!), and slightly different than other recipes of the same name. Yet having that dish, besides the rich, warm, pleasing taste of potatoes so wonderfully prepared that fill us up so completely, reminds our sons of the nearly countless holidays, weekends, and other good times they spent at their maternal grandparents’ home. A dish that nourishes bodies and memories--how awesome is that?

My youngest sister (among the best Witcher family historians) and her family often join us at Thanksgiving and other holidays. This past summer she obtained the pumpkin pie recipe that our paternal grandmother made decades ago. She decided to make one of those pies from scratch. And, oh my, what a treat that was! Yes, the pie looked a bit different from those mass produced, store-bought pumpkin pies we all know so well. And it was thicker and heavier, but was it ever good. I am known for my ever-present sweet tooth, and that was the sweetest pumpkin pie I think I ever had. As good as the pie was, it was made even better by the stories my sister and I shared about our recollections of our Grandma Witcher and the cousins we hardly ever got to see. With that pumpkin pie, my sons could reach through generations and touch a great-grandmother they never knew. And again, how awesome is that?

My affinity for Thanksgiving may also be derived from it being one of the few holidays, if not the sole remaining holiday, where giving or exchanging gifts is not needed, or even wanted. In the truest sense, our presence is valued far beyond any presents we could offer—presence, not presents. What a great time to share family stories, to recall events from yesteryear, and make memories for our children and their children to remember and share.

I am writing this column on Black Friday, which ironically is also StoryCorps’ “National Day of Listening.” I wonder how much listening will happen this day among the mad rush to obtain the latest “whatever.” You likely will be reading this column just before Cyber Monday. In between the visits to all the commercial online sites, I encourage all of us to take more than a moment to reach-out to a family member or friend, and share a hello, a warm recollection, and a photograph. Reconsider the notion that you don’t have time; consider that it truly could be the best gift you possibly could give.

As we have been for most of the past month, I am sure the coming weeks of December will see us bombarded with advertisements in every form of media imaginable. There will be a full-court press to get us engaged in shopping frenzies. As you’re thinking about what gifts to get, I urge you to consider giving the gift of you--your family stories, your memories of generations from long ago, and your memories of the person to whom you are giving the gift. I can almost guarantee it will be the most valued gift. Take some time to create a person page on and fill it with generations of details, stories, and pictures, and share it with close as well as extended family. You’ll be a hit!

There are other options as well. With the simplest of word-processing and imaging software, you can create an entity that can be a digital album as well as a physical scrapbook. Recently a patron of The Genealogy Center electronically created and shared with us two scrapbooks. I had to smile when I saw one was titled, “Christmas Memories of Jessie Parker Jones: A Scrapbook Album with Photographs and Letters” ( The other scrapbook, a bit shorter, can be found under “Samuel William Jones Family Scrapbook Album” ( These are neat compilations that any family or individual would love to get. The personal touch really does touch. If you feel you really must give something tangible, why not tie it to something family-related? There are a number of suggestions at Keepsake Threads (

Best wishes for a story- and picture-filled holiday season!

Opening the Ozarks: First Families in Southwest Missouri, 1835-1839
by Sara Allen
When the Ozark Mountain region of Missouri and Arkansas was opened to federal land sales in 1835, it attracted settlers primarily from the states directly to the east, such as Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia. These intrepid westward pioneers often migrated seeking affordable land, improved circumstances, to satisfy wanderlust, or to escape situations in their hometowns. Migrating ancestors often seem to disappear mysteriously from records back east with no indication of where they moved, or they may appear suddenly in a new state or locality with no hints pointing to their prior residence. A resource that can help with both situations is the four-volume set “Opening the Ozarks: First Families in Southwest Missouri, 1835-1839” by Marsha Hoffman Rising (977.8 R49op). These volumes provide a short biographical sketch for each of the first one thousand individuals who purchased land located in the Ozarks from the Springfield, Missouri, Federal Land Office.

Rising’s stated two-fold purpose was to document where these land owners lived before they moved to Missouri, and to determine if a migrating person’s origins could be ascertained by studying his relatives, friends and associates in the new location. She found the geographic origins of 854 of the 1,000 persons and concluded that 52 percent of the time, clues in Missouri among the land owner’s friends and associates, led to his previous locality. One point to remember when using this set: Rising purposely did not verify secondary information or material from derivative sources, leaving that for the researcher to undertake. Therefore, this set should be considered as providing clues to follow, rather than as a definitive genealogical work on these individuals included.

A typical entry, such as the one for Greenberry Adams, consists of the following information, if known: birth, marriage and death dates and locations; names of spouse, parents and children; details of the land purchase; residence before the move to Missouri; and some abstracts of land, court and probate records. Greenberry’s previous residence was identified by following up on a mortgage that he contracted in Missouri with associate Jasper Ruyle. Ruyle was found to have lived in Wilson County, Tennessee, prior to his move. After pursuing this lead, Greenberry was also located in Wilson County records prior to 1835.

The information in this set should prove very helpful to genealogists, since it covers the pre -1850 era, before federal census records identified family members by name. Records can be scarce for this time period, so this set fills a welcome gap. If you are seeking a Mid-South ancestor who disappeared and went “West,” do consult this set for possible clues to his or her whereabouts.

Margaret Hobson, “The Iron Men of Indiana’s 44th Regiment”
by John D. Beatty
The writing of Civil War regimental histories was extremely popular in the fifty years following the Civil War. Hundreds of volumes were published, sometimes but not always in connection with veteran reunions.  During the past fifty years, a resurgent interest in the Civil War has brought new scholarly interest in the stories of many regiments. This has resulted in histories of these regiments, some written by academics and published by university presses, and others by non-academics who have either self-published or had their works published by a company specializing in military history.

This past year, Indiana Civil War aficionados have been treated to an impressive two-volume work by Margaret Hobson titled “The Iron Men of Indiana’s 44th Regiment” (973.74 In2hm). Volume 1 is subtitled “Biographies and Regimental Statistics,” while Volume 2, published just this month, is titled “Formation and Photos.” A second copy of Volume 1 is available in the Readers’ Services department with the call number 973.7472 H65i and can be checked out. The manner in which these volumes were compiled makes them instructive to other military historians as well as genealogists fortunate enough to have ancestors listed in them.

The 44th was mainly a northeastern Indiana regiment. Its commanding colonel, Hugh B. Reed, owned a Fort Wayne pharmacy and led recruitment for the regiment in an orderly fashion at Fort Wayne’s Camp Allen in the fall of 1861. The first volume includes detailed records, arranged alphabetically, of all of the men who served in the regiment, including their ages at the time of enlistment, their places of enlistment, their dates of enlistment and discharge, their places of residence after the war and their dates of death (if known). In assembling this part of the work, Hobson went well beyond what is offered in the Indiana Adjutant General reports to develop significant biographical details. She rounded out the volume with a variety of statistical information about the soldiers. Then in Volume 2, she tells the story of the regiment and its leaders, bringing to light a wealth of new information not previously published. For example, she clarifies much erroneous information previously in print about Reed and uncovers new documents from an unpublished memoir written by Reed’s daughter.

Genealogists researching a Civil War ancestor should always seek out original documents about his service, namely, pension and compiled service records available from the National Archives. But where they exist, regimental histories will often add context and dimension to the understanding of that service that the study of individual records alone will not provide. By knowing how an ancestor related to the others in his company, we get a clearer view of what his war experience was like, and that, in turn, gives us more material to draw upon when we write our family histories.

Technology Tip of the Month--A Look at the Quick Selection Tool in Adobe Photoshop/Elements
by Kay Spears
Isn’t there a saying about old dogs being led to water, or something like that? I've been using Adobe Photoshop a long time, and as with all software products, there are little changes that happen between versions. Now because I've been doing this for a while, I’m in the habit of doing certain things the way I’ve always done them. But just recently a tool that has been included in the last few updates of Photoshop – and that I had overlooked – was pointed out to me: The “Quick Selection Tool.” And what a wonderful tool it is!
Before I discovered the Quick Selection Tool, I was using the lasso tool, the magnetic tool and the eraser all in combination to restore photographs that had been torn apart. But let’s look closer at the Quick Selection Tool for this task. We are going to pretend that you have a photograph that has been torn into numerous pieces. The first thing to do is scan all of those pieces together into one TIFF image, keeping a bit of space between the torn parts. Do not scan the pieces separately. Next, open the image in Adobe Photoshop/Elements. On the toolbar is a tool that looks like a paint brush with a rounded square drawn around the brush. If you hold your cursor over the tools, a pop-up label appears that says “Quick Selection Tool.” If you are using Windows, the keyboard shortcut is shift+w. Once you have selected this tool, the cursor changes from an arrow to a small cross. As with all tools in the toolbar, you can change the size of this tool by using the sub-menu option bar.
Now we are going to make a layer for each one of the pieces of the torn photograph. Choose a piece, hold the left mouse button down, and drag the tool. The Quick Selection Tool very quickly selects the area you want. One of the nice things about this particular tool is that if you select too much you can “subtract” the area you don’t want by using the “subtract from selection” option in the option menu bar. You can also “add to the selection.” This tool is not as hard to manage as some of the mouse tools that are in Photoshop. Once you have the area selected, click right for the dialog menu. Select “Layer via Copy.” Now you should have two layers. If your photograph has only two pieces, you are now ready to move one of those pieces together, just like a puzzle. If you have more than two pieces, you will need to do this again until you have created a layer for each piece, and then move them together.
Using the Quick Selection Tool is a much faster way to select parts of an image and yes, you can show horses new tricks.
Next month: A Look at Microsoft Power Point

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Back to Basics: Paper Preservation
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
The Genealogy Center gets calls on a regular basis from people who are interested in preserving – or conserving might be a better term – their paper memorabilia. This might include old family bibles, cookbooks, military discharge papers and countless other treasures. It’s all well and good to extract the information in these documents into a genealogy program, and even to scan them and create a digital copy that can guard against loss of the information if the original deteriorates further. But how can one try to preserve the original paper document or book?

Some suggestions are:

*Contact an antique dealer, preferably one who handles old paper items if that can be determined, and ask for advice.

*Contact used book dealers in your area and ask if they use or know of a paper restoration/conservation specialist locally.

*Historical societies and museums also might be a source of information.

*The State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) could be an important resource. Contact information for each state can be found here: While these boards are largely advisory and administrative, some have expanded their mission and conduct workshops on paper conservation.

*Locally-owned (not chain store) stationers might know of other “paper people” and be able to give you some leads.

*Scrapbooking or paper arts stores often know a great deal about working with acid-free and photo-safe materials and might be able to give you the names of companies that sell tissue, file folders, storage boxes and clear sleeves designed for keeping documents from deteriorating further.

*Check out the section on Cyndi’s List of Genealogical Sites on the Internet that is devoted to preservation of paper and books: Cyndi has thirty-one links to articles and information on the Internet about paper conservation. Many of them have tips for things you can do at home to preserve your documents.

Keep in mind that all of the above suggestions might serve as “middlemen.” They might not be able to help you directly or give you an answer to your specific question. But any one of them might provide a lead to someone who can provide the paper preservation/conservation services or advice you need.

*“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.

WinterTech for December
WinterTech continues in December with “Researching Indiana Digital Collections” on Wednesday, 11 December 2013, at 2:30 p.m. in Meeting Room C. Melissa Shimkus will provide an overview of resources that can be found in Hoosier digital collections. These online repositories are critical for the researcher of Indiana families and history. WinterTech programs are held every second Wednesday of the month (to coincide with the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana's monthly meetings), November through February, at 2:30 p.m.

Future WinterTech classes will include “’Net Treats” on Wednesday, 8 January 2014; and “Apps & Programs for Genealogy” on Wednesday, 12 February 2014. For more information see the brochure at .
Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to register for any of these free classes.

And remember that this year for WinterTech we are adding “Basics of Adobe Elements Workshop,” a four-part series on Monday evenings in February, 6 to 7 p.m. in the Computer Classroom. This hands-on class has limited seating, so register early.

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society
11 December 2013 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 6:30 p.m. Gathering time, followed by business meeting and presentation, “Cousin Bait,” presented by Tina Lyons.
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
18 December 2013 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

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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