Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 120, February 28, 2014
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:55:26 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 120, February 28, 2014

In this issue:
*Opportunities . . .
*“Delaware Families, 1787-1800”
*County Histories
*Technology Tip of the Month--Adding Animation to a PowerPoint Presentation
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Unconnected Information in a Searchable File
*March is Women's History Month
*March Madness, Genealogy Style 2014: Skillbuilding
*ALA’s Preservation Week: Pass It On
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Opportunities . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
The pace of our lives and the weight of our everyday responsibilities often conspire to make us believe we are doing all we possibly can and living the fullest of lives. When we pause for just a moment, though, and look a little outside our routine, we almost always realize an additional bounty of opportunities all around us is really begging for our attention. I am challenging you to take advantage of this additional bounty.

You assuredly will note further on in this ezine that there are several great program line-ups. These presentations are grand opportunities for learning and networking. In one of the line-ups, we are excited to be celebrating Women’s History Month – March – this year with three uniquely focused programs. As you might expect, one of the programs will focus on methods for solving the challenges of identifying females in our ancestral research. (We’ve all experienced the frustration of having a potential female ancestor identified as the “Misses” of her husband, e.g. Mrs. David Franklin.) Another one of the programs will present information about an amazing group of women who helped settle the west – the Harvey Girls. It’s a neat piece of history you will really enjoy hearing. Finally, the life of Fort Wayne’s own Edith Hamilton will be examined by renowned Hamilton family expert, Dr. Victoria Houseman.

Immediately after “Celebrating Women’s History,” we will offer our now famous “March Madness Genealogy Style” slate of programs. This year’s “March Madness” will have a skill-building focus with a basics twist. Starting the week with an entertaining “Starting, or Starting Again: Having Fun Finding Family” program, we move on to cover vital records, census, tax records, newspapers and church records. “March Madness” will round-out with a session on strategies for breaking down those brick walls in our research.

While I realize they don’t take place next month, I want to tease you a little with April’s outstanding opportunities. Toward the last of April, The Genealogy Center will be participating in the American Library Association’s “Preservation Week” with some timely and valuable presentations for anyone interested in making sure you can “Pass It On.” “Pass It On” is the theme of ALA’s Preservation Week. What a gift for our children and grandchildren – the gift of the knowledge of our families’ histories and heritage.

Even before “Passing It On” in April, you will have a rare opportunity on the first Saturday, April 5th, to enjoy one of the truly superb presenters in the genealogy field, J. Mark Lowe. The Indiana Genealogical Society is holding its 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference at the Allen County Public Library, and Mark is the featured presenter. Mark has done many years of extensive genealogical research, and was featured both as an expert researcher and on-camera talent for the popular “Who Do You Think You Are?” television show. Not only does he know how to research well, he is absolutely superb at conveying his extensive knowledge in a comfortable, engaging and easy-to-follow way. And if that wasn’t enough, Mark is genuinely the absolutely nicest person one could ever meet! Those of you who have heard him before assuredly will confirm the abovementioned attributes, and those who have not heard Mark speak definitely will not want to let this opportunity pass you by. His topics will include online newspapers, document analysis, Freedman’s marriage records, and how to do better research. And if having a top-shelf national speaker wasn’t enough, there is a second track of technology presentations running through the entire day. More details are available at:

Since the opening session at RootsTech 2014, when FamilySearch CEO Dennis Brimhall announced that 2014 was the “Year of the Obituary,” much has been written about this tremendous project FamilySearch has undertaken to image and index as many obituaries from across the United States as possible. We know that the death events in our ancestors’ lives typically hold some of the greatest potential for record generation, and often-sought obituaries are a part of those records.

There are a number of reasons I think this project so important. First, there are so many obituaries and death notices that have been published since the founding of this country. It would be great to make these records more accessible and useable. Second, while it isn’t true in every case, many obituaries are extremely name-rich. Third, unlike traditional or many twentieth century obituary indexing projects where only the decedent is indexed, with this project *all* of the names found in an obituary are being indexed. For some communities and time periods, literally dozens of names can be found in one obituary. Indexing everyone – relatives, neighbors, friends, associates, colleagues, etc. – will put the deceased in a better context and help researchers discover more information about individuals who may not have many official records due to frequent movement, economic status, and the like. The “Year of the Obituary” is a tremendous opportunity for us to sign-up with FamilySearch indexing and contribute to making tens of millions of names more available to researchers in a richer context.

In closing, some of you might have heard that my father passed away just a few days ago on February 10th. Opportunities taken and opportunities missed fill many of my waking moments. The funeral provided an opportunity for our entire family to be together. That doesn’t happen often enough. We should change that. Talking with those who offered their condolences was a neat opportunity to hear stories about my father – most I had heard before but in different ways, and some I had not heard. I think we all need to share more stories, and more often. My so-full-of-life nieces putting together the photo-poster for their grandfather’s service brought to light a number of photographs I saw for the first time (like my mother and father stealing a kiss on their wedding day, and a couple more of the precious few images of my father as a young boy with his two sisters). Among many other things, my father’s passing is a not-so-gentle reminder that we should pay more active attention to the opportunities before us.

We are so fortunate to have our lives filled with many valuable opportunities. Let’s make sure we take advantage of as many of them as we can. We will be so much richer for having done so.

“Delaware Families, 1787-1800”
by John D. Beatty
A notable addition to The Genealogy Center’s book collection late last year is “Delaware Families, 1787-1800,” a new publication from the Delaware Genealogical Society (GC 975.1 D37dd). As stated succinctly in its introduction, this work “commemorates families who lived in Delaware during its earliest statehood, from 1787, when it became the first state to ratify the new United States constitution on 7 December, until a new century began – the first families in the first state.” It is much more than a commemoration, however, as it contains three-generation family studies – all fully annotated – that center on this era. As such, it follows in the path of scholarly reference sources for other states focusing on families from the era of the 1790 census. Since Delaware’s 1790 enumeration is lost, this book takes a great step forward in filling that void.

The compilers have organized the information by county, and within each, alphabetical by surname, together with the name of the hundred where each family resided. With only three counties (Kent, New Castle and Sussex), the arrangement is not burdensome for the reader, and a full index provides ready access to any individual name. The introduction notes that variant versions of a surname may not necessarily be grouped together, however. The book also contains an extensive bibliography of published sources, but the unpublished sources so often cited in many of the notes do not have separate bibliographic references.

All of the information in the volume comes from individual contributors, most of whom are members of the Delaware Genealogical Society. The name of each submitter with his or her city and state of residence follows each sketch, a format that follows similar works, such as the highly-acclaimed “Maine Families of 1790” series. Thus the user can easily find the submitter and contact that person with any additions or corrections. In those instances where the submitter is deceased, there is an appropriate reference. Some sketches had more than one compiler.

The extensive annotations make this book an especially valuable reference tool. Many of the citations are to direct sources such as wills, deeds and court records, which will please those seeking authoritative references for vital events. The book has value, too, for documenting migrations into and out of Delaware in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The 1790s are a pivotal decade that serves as a bridge between the Revolutionary War generation and its immediate successor, many members of which established residences in other states. The introduction offers an appropriate caution to users, stating that each conclusion is “no more sound than the evidence that supports it,” and each “remains subject to reevaluation if new evidence comes to light.” This is sound advice for using any secondary work, and the society also offers a disclaimer that no attempt was made to verify the sources provided by the submitters.

Even with these cautions, “Delaware Families” will find a place quickly as an important reference tool for researching the late 18th century in this state.

County Histories
by Sara Allen
County history books can often contain very detailed descriptions of pioneer life, history of businesses, organizations, churches, politics, towns and townships, and more, as well as short biographical sketches of the area’s citizens. They are an important genealogical source that should be consulted for each county where your ancestors lived. The Genealogy Center has an extensive collection of published county histories available for every state in the Union. A lesser-known fact is that The Genealogy Center also owns state-specific collections of county histories and atlases in microtext format for the states of California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These microtext collections often represent resources that are not owned in print. They may be scarce or rare, and in many cases are not available online in digital format.

For example, included in the 116 rolls of New York County and Regional Histories and Atlases on microfilm, there is a copy of the book, “Cayuga County: a Bibliography of Local History” by Janet Ellis (Roll 19) that is not available in The Genealogy Center’s print collection, and from a cursory search, apparently also is not available online. The only way patrons can access this book is via microfilm. Also in this collection is the “New Topographical Atlas of the Counties of Albany and Schenectady New York,” (Roll 12) which is not in The Center’s print collection. This work is available online through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections website (, but an alternative way to view this item is microfilm at The Genealogy Center. And finally, the book “'Early Glimpses of the New Berlin Area' and other Articles: The Tory-Patriot Struggle & Our Carr Farm and New Berlin Center History” by Floyd Wilbur (Roll 24) is not available at The Genealogy Center in print or online, and is indeed a scarce book, available in only about 15 libraries worldwide, according to WorldCat ( Yet, it too is available in this microfilm collection. These are only a few examples of the publications found only on microtext at The Genealogy Center.

Whether you research New York state or Washington state, remember that in order to locate all the materials that The Genealogy Center owns about a particular town, county or state, always consult both the Library Catalog and the Microtext Catalog (under the “Free Databases” drop-down menu at for localities of interest.

Technology Tip of the Month--Adding Animation to a PowerPoint Presentation
by Kay Spears
Adding animation to a presentation is a very individual thing. Some presenters include very little animation and others should be nominated for best animation in a slide show. What you do is up to your personal preference; I am not recommending one way over another. However, I will describe where the tools are to add animation so that you can try them and make your own choices.
Let’s start with a fairly simple animation. On one slide, insert clip art and a text box with text. You should have two items on your slide. Now go to the Ribbon at the top of the page and click on the Animation tab. The very first thing you need to do is click on the box labeled “Animation Pane.” It is very important to keep this pane open when adding animation. Not only do you adjust the order of your animation effects in the pane, but if you have several elements that are animated on one slide, the Animation Pane helps you keep track of the order of the animations.
To begin this exercise, start with the text box. When the Animation Tab is open, you should see a scroll box with an assortment of different colored items, mainly stars. The stars are grouped by color; each color represents a different type of animation. Click on the Text Box, go to the Animation Scroll tool and choose the star that says Fly In (that star should be green). When you do this you will notice that the text appears to fly into the slide. Congratulations! You have just added your first animation. With your Animation Pane open, you will notice that you now have the words “Text Box” and a small icon representing Fly In with a number 1. Each time you add an animation, a number is assigned, helping you keep track of the order of your animation effects.
Next click on the image on your slide, go to the Animations scroll box and choose the green Fade star. Notice in the Animation Pane you now have two items listed, number 1 is the text and number 2 is the image. They should have different star icons because we have chosen different styles of animation – one fly in and one fade.
What comes in must go out, so let’s make our text and image go away.  Click on the image. Instead of working in the scroll box, click on the Add Animation button located in the Advance Animation section of the Ribbon. When you click on this button, a drop-down box appears with more stars similar to the ones in the Animation scroll box. Choose one of the Exit stars, and notice that you now have three animation items in the Animation Pane.
To create an exit animation for the text box, repeat the process. Now there should be four items in the Animation Pane. At the bottom of the Animation Pane, you can change the order of your animation effects. If you do this, make sure that the order matches the way you want your elements to appear on the slide. Also on the Animation Pane is the word Play. Click this to see a preview of your animation effects. If you want to see a bigger preview, click either the F5 key or start the slide show. On Windows, the F5 key will start the slide show; on a Macintosh, it is Ctrl+Shift+S. Or use the icons at the bottom of the screen next to a slide bar. If you move your cursor over the icons, pop-ups appear identifying their purpose. One of them should say Slide Show; that’s the one you choose to start your show. You can also start your show from the Slide Show tab>From the Beginning.
While you are on the Animations tab, I suggest you play with some of the different effects to see what they do and which ones appeal to you or best suit your needs for your particular slide show.
Next article: Looping a PowerPoint Presentation.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Unconnected Information in a Searchable File
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
Sometimes a tip that can save us considerable time is a simple one. This issue’s Preservation Tip of the Month is to copy all of those loose notes and documents in your paper genealogy files onto a standard size of paper.

As genealogists, many times we find ourselves in a position to learn family information when we are not prepared with our regular notebooks. We might be at a funeral, wedding or other family event and someone begins telling family stories that we don’t want to forget, or we unexpectedly are able to spend some time at a library when we don’t have our research materials with us. We have one-quarter sheets of scrap paper and golf pencils at the Ask Desk in The Genealogy Center for those patrons who come in and say to us, “I didn’t expect to be able to stop here, so I don’t have my genealogy with me – do you have any scrap paper?”

What happens to the smaller scraps of paper, the envelope or deposit slip that we find in our purse in a pinch, the napkin with the bride and groom’s initials, the odd Post-It® Note? They might get filed in our genealogy files when we get home, but small papers can fall out of file folders, Post-It® Notes can get stuck to other pages and accidentally discarded. Napkins are not good for long-time preservation of notes.

Why not take one file at a time and photocopy those odd-sized notes onto 8 ½-by-11-inch paper so they can be organized and filed in a way that the information they contain won’t be lost? While you are doing so, copy any notes that are on sheets that have been torn out of spiral notebooks, or cut off those tattered edges so that they don’t catch on each other or other papers. This will make filing much easier and neater.

And while you are working with each file folder, look through it and see if anything can be discarded, making your files slimmer and the contents easier to find. Occasional maintenance of our paper files like this can make our job finding material and knowing what we have more efficient.

*“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.

March is Women's History Month
Celebrate Women’s History Month with The Genealogy Center by attending any or all of these free events. Sessions include techniques on researching women, a study of a fascinating group of courageous women who helped settle the West, and a single Fort Wayne resident who had a world-wide impact on female scholars. Join us for three afternoons as we Celebrate Women’s History.

*Thursday, March 13, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Finding Her: Our Female Ancestor” – Melissa Shimkus

*Friday, March 14, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“The Harvey Girls” – Cynthia Theusch

*Saturday, March 15, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Edith Hamilton of Fort Wayne, Indiana: Classics, Aesthetics, and the Origins of The Greek Way” – Dr. Victoria Houseman

To register for these free events, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

March Madness, Genealogy Style 2014: Skillbuilding
Add to your research skills during our annual March Madness – Genealogy Style. Learn new techniques and refresh your skills by joining us for any or all of these free classes.

*Sunday, March 16, 1-2 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Starting, or Starting Again: Having Fun Finding Family” – Curt Witcher

*Monday March 17, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“What's So Vital About Vital Records?” – Delia Bourne

*Tuesday, March 18, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Tallying the Census: Counting Down Its Uses” – Melissa Shimkus

*Wednesday, March 19, 10-11 a.m., Meeting Room A.
“Using Tax Records in Genealogical Research” – John Beatty

*Thursday, March 20, 10-11 a.m., Meeting Room A.
“Read All About It! Historical Newspapers for Your Research” – Delia Bourne

*Friday, March 21, 10-11 a.m., Meeting Room A.
“More than a Prayer: A Look at the Records of American Churches” – Curt Witcher

*Saturday, March 22, 10-11 a.m., Meeting Room A.
“Breaking Down Ancestral Brick Walls” – Sara Allen

To register for any of these free events, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

ALA’s Preservation Week: Pass It On
This year's American Library Association Preservation Week’s theme is “Pass It On,” which devotes an entire week to the care and preservation of documents, artifacts and information. To celebrate Preservation Week, The Genealogy Center is offering a week of events designed to capture, preserve and disseminate the information and heirlooms of your family. Classes are:

*Sunday, April 27, 1-2 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Heirloom Succession Planning” – Amy Beatty, C.E.S., G.P.P.A.

*Monday, April 28, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“‘To Infinity and Beyond:’ Ensuring Our Family Histories Live Well Beyond Our Years” – Curt Witcher

*Tuesday, April 29, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Archives 101: Organizing and Preserving the Heirloom Paper in Your Life” – John D. Beatty

*Wednesday, April 30, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Archives 102: Organizing the Bytes in Your Life” – Dawne Slater-Putt

*Thursday, May 1, 6:30-8 p.m., Meeting Rooms A & B.
“An Evening of Storytelling”

*Friday, May 2, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Using iMovie to Capture Family Memories” – Mari Hardacre

*Saturday, May 3, 10-11 a.m., Globe Room
“Up in Lights: Your Family History on Screen” – Cynthia Theusch

To register for any of these free events, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

Out and About
Curt Witcher
March 13, 2014 – Public Library Association National Conference, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN, 1-2 p.m. Panel participant: “Launching Online Special Collections using CONTENTdm.”
March 15, 2014 – Public Library Association National Conference, Indiana Convention Center, Wabash Ballroom 1, Indianapolis, IN, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Panel participant: “What Do Genealogists Really Want from a Public Library?”

March 25, 2014 – Cedar Creek Woman's Club, Don Hall's Factory restaurant on Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne, IN, 12-1:30 p.m. Presentation: “The Importance of Family History . . . and Getting Started on Yours.”

March 29, 2014 – Genealogical Society of Monroe County (MI), Monroe County Community College, Monroe, MI, all-day seminar. Presentations: “Using Military Records for Genealogical Research,” “Effective Use of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center,” “Mining the Motherlode: Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research,” and “Historical Research Methodology: Engaging the Process to Find all the Answers.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society
12 March 2014 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 6:30 p.m. Gathering time, followed by business meeting and presentation, “Genealogy by Understanding our Ancestors’ Religious Heritage,” presented by Curt Sylvester.
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
19 March 2014 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County History Center
02 March 2014 – The History Center, 302 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN, 2 p.m. Tom Logan will present, "The Irish in Fort Wayne & How They Came to be Here."

Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting & Conference
5 April 2014 – ACPL Meeting Rooms, Fort Wayne, Indiana, with registration & vendor browsing beginning at 9 a.m. Featured speaker, J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, professional genealogist who appeared on “Who Do You Think You Are?” Topics: “Pioneers of the Frontier: Using Online Newspapers to Find Early Settlers,” “Quick, Complete and Accurate: Document Analysis for Researchers,” “Finding Freedmen Marriage Records” and “Out on a Limb: Trapped by Bad Research.” Second track with all technology topics. For more information or to register, go to

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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