Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 122, April 30, 2014
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 21:08:39 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 122, April 30, 2014

In this issue:
*To Infinity & Beyond: Ensuring Our Family Histories Live Well Beyond Our Years.
*The American West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880
*Voices from the Civil War
*Technology Tip of the Month--Add Looping as an Introduction to Your Presentation
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Use Music as a Prompt to Write Your Personal Memories
*ALA’s Preservation Week Continues
*Coming This Summer: Digital Discoveries
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

To Infinity & Beyond: Ensuring Our Family Histories Live Well Beyond Our Years.
by Curt B. Witcher
Increasingly, I believe those who have been engaged in family history research for a number of years are concerned about what will happen to all of their research when they pass away. If the past two weeks are any kind of harbinger, many people are more than casually anxious.

While I was presenting a workshop in Baltimore just before Easter, several individuals spoke with me during the breaks about their desire to have their research benefit others long after they’re gone. Last Friday, a TSA agent at Fort Wayne’s airport recognized me as being from The Genealogy Center and started telling me about all the work his mother had done, both on her own family history and the genealogies of others who hired her. He indicated that she had both published works and nearly-published works. His main concern revolved around what should be done with his mother’s life’s labor. At my engagement with the Topeka Genealogical Society this past Saturday, numerous individuals posed the same kind of concern, typically as a form of the question: What should I be doing with all of this?

How appropriate, then, that this year’s American Library Association Preservation Week (April 27-May 3, 2014) theme is “Pass It On.” We do need to pay considerably more attention to passing on our family history materials to interested parties and welcoming organizations. And we live in the best of times to do this—a time when there are more options, better technology and better awareness of the significance of doing something appropriate and meaningful.

As family historians, much of our time is spent in pursuit of information. One might even class our initial research efforts as information gathering. That is not a bad thing, but as most know, that can’t be the only thing. At some point we need to analyze what we have gathered to determine if we’re on the right track--if we’ve actually identified an ancestor or simply someone with a similar name in the same general area. I would like to suggest that in addition to gathering and analyzing, we should also devote appropriate attention to compiling what we believe to be true about our ancestors and determining the best way to “pass it on.” Gathering, compiling and sharing, and passing it along--that is what I believe we should be devoting our time and energies to accomplishing.

Our collected family history information may take several different forms: Compiled works we have created, organized folders and boxes of identified and described documents and photographs, digital assets (anything we have scanned or converted to a digital format such as a digital voice recording), and other “stuff,” such as heirlooms and family Bibles. We should develop a plan for passing along these important materials upon our demise.

Planning for what happens to our family history has a number of advantages. First, it provides us with some control over what happens to our research. We don’t have to worry about those settling our estate sending the materials to the land-fill or disposing of them through a yard sale. It’s the “peace of mind” factor that can be quite important to many. Having a plan helps ensure that legacy and heirloom items are not destroyed or lost. And in a consequential way, it helps ensure that our families’ stories will continue to be told.

How can you begin to develop a succession plan for your research? I like to use the LOCKSS concept for assistance. If during our lives as researchers, “lots of copies keeps stuff safe,” then it seems to me the same is true for passing on our research. Many copies distributed geographically help protect from theft, fire, and natural disasters so we can continue researching during our lives; many copies given to interested individuals and organizations ensure our research won’t die with us. Establishing a mechanism for doing just that can be rather straight-forward.

First, for anything you have compiled, make copies and place those copies where you know they will be respected. Why did I say “respected?” I have heard numerous genealogists lament that their children and grandchildren really aren’t interested in their research. They feel that these family members’ lack of interest eliminates them from being a part of their collections’ succession plans. That may not be the case at all. Maybe it’s true that two generations of descendants really don’t care to continue your research and advance the discoveries you have made. However, there may be some among those two generations whose love and respect for you will prompt them to protect and care for your materials well enough and long enough for them to find interested relatives and/or willing institutions to accept your collection and make it accessible for future generations of researchers.

For your filing cabinets of organized folders and your archival boxes of organized documents and photographs, I encourage you to use the same tactic--make copies (in this case, digital copies) and place those copies where you know they will be respected. For your digital assets (FTM, TMG, Legacy, Roots Magic, PAF, Brother’s Keeper, scanned images, scanned documents and the like), again engage in the same kind of sharing. A number of organizations, and certainly The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library, welcome digital assets. Share your GEDOM files, share your complete Family Tree Maker database, and share those Access and Excel files where you have logged your research findings, cemetery readings, and vital record transcriptions. They can be passed on by sending the data on physical media such as DVDs, USB drives and external hard drives. They also can be passed on through sharing files in cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive.

You may notice that I have said nothing about sharing or passing on unorganized collections of materials. I believe part of our responsibility as researchers is to make sure what we intend to pass along is much more than a collection of “stuff.” After all, we’re genealogists, family history researchers, historical detectives--not stuff collectors. We respect those to whom we wish to pass on our collections by putting those collections in appropriate contexts and organizing them in such a way, complete with appropriate narrative and documentation, that others can easily and meaningfully use them. Even with a loose collection of miscellaneous papers, one can bring some order to the collection by grouping papers by surname, geographic location covered, time period, and/or ethnic groups. Sometimes engaging more than one of the aforementioned factors brings more order and adds additional clarity to the collection.

In passing your collections on, it is important (and for numerous organizations, necessary) to include a statement that you are also conveying future publication and posting rights. And granting this permission should necessarily imply that you have the right to grant that permission. I particularly like the conveyance documents that include a statement like “non-exclusive, perpetual access.” That typically means anyone with whom you’ve shared your materials during your lifetime has no new restrictions on continued use, and you as the new curator of the items can make decisions about its best use in your care.

Preparing to “pass it on” when it comes to your genealogical materials involves consistent action: Evaluate your collection of materials, make decisions about the retention and disposition of those items, and get your materials organized. And finally, equally important, is to communicate those decisions to the involved parties, whether individuals or institutions. An important part of communicating our decisions relative to our genealogical holdings is to make our collections of family history and related materials a part of our estate planning. Include wording in your will that specifically identifies which parts of your genealogical collection you’d like to go where.

The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library has long “opened its doors” to be the new home for genealogical materials of individuals who have passed on, from compiled works to organized collections of family papers. We continue to welcome being a part of your plan to “pass it on!” Interestingly, and excitingly, we can cooperate on ensuring infinity!

The American West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880
by Delia Bourne
Although some of our ancestral families lived for generations in one location, many moved from place to place. Some families moved once a generation, as younger members pushed onward in an effort for new opportunities, while other people moved several times in their lifetimes, seeking ever-new territory. From the time of the 20th century, we either hired moving companies to truck our possessions across country, or rented a truck and did it ourselves. Either way, the roads were paved and fairly safe. Food, fuel and medical care was just as far as the next town, and aid, in the form of law enforcement and mechanics, was readily available. The journeys were usually grand adventures, with sightseeing along the way.

This was not the case for our ancestors who traversed the continent. Roads were dirt paths and river crossings were dangerous. Supplies were easily lost or stolen, and disease and injury could mean a slow, agonizing death. Of course, our ancestors, usually expecting these adversities, might also have seen these treks as grand sightseeing adventures.

But few of our ancestors actually kept diaries or passed the stories of their crossings down to their descendants, so we are fortunate that various published accounts of mid-19th century have been microfilmed and are available at The Genealogy Center. Even if these sources do not specifically name your ancestor, the experiences described on the road will be indicative of your forebear’s experience.

“The American West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880,” produced by University Microfilms, consists of more than 150 sources on 663 sheets of microfiche. The set is divided into general references and sections on the Butterfield Stage Route and various trails: Bozeman, California, Gila, Mormon, Oregon and Santa Fe. The Genealogy Center also holds a guide to the collection (978 AM359g), compiled by Dan Elasky. This guide is available on the Microtext Guide Shelves, and describes each publication, identifying the number of the first fiche of the set, title, author, publishing information, pagination, the source institution for each publication, as well as a list of major topics included in the publication. An index of topics will guide a researcher to publications that have information on specific subjects, such as stream fording, rivers and river travel, crime and criminals, traders and wagon trains, ship travel, specific locations, Native American tribes and some specific individuals.

Anyone whose ancestors traveled across the country in search of the future will find this a fascinating and useful resource.

Voices from the Civil War
by Melissa Shimkus
Currently, the Civil War (1861-1865) is being commemorated by a number of individuals and organizations in the United States. One of the remarkable highlights of the Library of Congress’s “The Civil War in America’ exhibition, which closed in January 2014, is still freely accessible: The “Voices from the Civil War Blog,’ (, which showcased materials from the physical and online exhibit, and features entries from the personal memoirs, diaries, and letters of those who lived through this turbulent era.

The website is a blog rather than a static site, which means that the entries are organized by the date the item posted on the website rather than chronologically by the original document date that is displayed. The blog can be searched by any keyword in the post or browsed by the author or month and year of the original document.

The entries are transcripts of specific passages from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division and chronicle both Northern and Southern views. These entries are the personal words of people like Walt Whitman, Ulysses S. Grant, Clara Barton, Robert E. Lee, and many others. Clicking on the image provided redirects to the online exhibit which offers an enhanced experience. Further details relating to the individual and document are supplied, along with links to any other materials in that particular set of papers. Each of the images can be enlarged and printed, and for those who have trouble reading the handwritten script, a transcript is also available.

The personal accounts, from those who were directly affected by the War that describe both events and daily life are a bonus for historical and genealogical researchers who seek to learn more about this era. Stories that should be preserved can be found within these papers, such as John Chase’s tale of being left for dead following the Battle of Gettysburg. Chase, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, is chronicled in the blog because after losing his right arm and suffering an assortment of other injuries, he won a “left-handed penmanship contest” held by “Soldiers’ Friend Newspaper.”

As our country continues remembering the War Between the States, take the time to read the words of those who truly experienced our great nation when it was divided. Some examples of these are available on the “Voices from the Civil War Blog.”

Technology Tip of the Month--Add Looping as an Introduction to Your Presentation
by Kay Spears
All ready to go? Are you ready to stand in front of that audience and stun them with your knowledge? As your audience enters the room what is on the screen up front? The projected title, that’s what and some members of your audience might be there a good half hour before the presentation starts.  Maybe there is a way to perk up their interest before you begin your presentation. Why not create a looped introduction? This introduction doesn’t have to be long and you can stop it whenever you’re ready to begin your talk.
I am using Power Point version 2010. Version 2003 is similar. However if you have an older version of Power Point, some of the tools will be in different locations other than the “ribbon.”
For our purpose, we will add four new slides to our presentation; these will be our Introduction Slides. There are a number of different ways to do this. In fact, you can even create an introduction slide show and insert it into the main presentation, but I find this method an easier way. First insert a slide into your presentation. You can try to get your cursor at the very top and if you do there will be a black blinking line, or you can insert the new slide and drag it to the beginning. Insert three more slides. Now add whatever you want to these slides, whatever transitions, text or animation you want.
In the Slide Pane, select the four slides you inserted by clicking on the first one, holding down your Shift Key and clicking on the last of the four slides. You should have only the four Introduction slides selected.  Making sure the slides are still selected, go to the Transition Tab. Within the Transition to This Slide group, select a slide transition. Then in the Timing group, uncheck On Mouse Click and select After. Enter the number of seconds you want, I suggest 3 to 5, but it’s up to you.
With your four slides still selected, go to Slide Show Tab>Set Up Slide Show. A dialog box appears, you need to click on Loop Continuously Until Esc. Also, make sure the Using Timings, If Present option is selected and click OK.
Now we will create our Hyperlink buttons on the Introduction slides. Go to the Insert tab and in the Illustrations group, select Shapes, then the Action button Custom. Custom is the button with the square on the far right of the choices under Action. In the lower right corner of the first Introduction slide, click, hold, drag and draw a rectangle. When you release your cursor, an Action Settings dialog box appears. Pick Hyperlink to: and open the drop down box by clicking on the arrow. You should see all of the slides in your presentation. Choose the beginning slide of the main presentation – in this case it should be the fifth one. Click OK. Now you want to copy and paste the Shape box on all four of the introduction slides. The reason is that you want to be able to stop your loop at any point in the show. You will also notice that your box is colored.  I suggest that once you have practiced doing this exercise, you change the box to transparent so it cannot be seen when doing the show.
In the Slides Pane, the next step is to select all of the slides EXCEPT the intro slides (Click the first slide, hold down the shift key, then click the last slide). Go to Slide Show>Hide Slide. When you do this, the slides in the Slide Pane appear to fade. With the slides still selected, confirm that the slides selected are set up to advance On Mouse Click by going into the Transition tab. Now, it’s time for a test run. Begin your presentation. The four slides should loop. At some time click on the button in the right hand corner and the Introduction loop will end and you will be at the beginning of your main presentation. 
Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Use Music as a Prompt to Write Your Personal Memories
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
We have advocated in this ezine previously that readers take the time to write their personal memories to preserve them for future generations. We all wish our grandparents and great-grandparents had taken the time to record such everyday memories as the games they played, what an average day was like, reminiscences about their school days, friends, family get-togethers and so on. This is something we can do for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Taking just a few moments every day, several times a week, or a few times a month to write down some key words and going back later to expand those into paragraphs, or writing a journal entry now and then about a favorite memory, are ways of breaking down the daunting task of writing a lifetime’s worth of memories.

One way to prompt our minds to recall times, places and people of our past is to use music that was associated with those memories for us. There are several ways we can do this:

• Here at the Allen County Public Library, the Art, Music and Media Department has the Billboard Hot 100 charts in books. Browsing through the song lists for any given year can bring back many memories. If you are not near Fort Wayne, your own local public library might have these as well.
• You can also find Billboard charts online at
• You can search for particular songs, or all of the songs by a particular artist at If you don’t already have iTunes downloaded, you will need to do so. Once you find a particular song, iTunes has a sort of “Reader’s Guide” feature that shows you other songs similar in genre that you might like.
• If you prefer Google to iTunes, you can also find music in the Google Play Store at
• Or go to and search for songs and artists to see music videos, old commercial jingles and more.

Dick Clark is credited with having said that “Music is the soundtrack of our lives,” and it is often true that hearing a particular oldie can transport us back to a specific place and time. Take advantage of this powerful sensory journey to put those memories into words for future generations.

*“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.

ALA’s Preservation Week Continues
There are a few more opportunities to take advantage of our celebration of ALA’s Preservation Week. In keeping with this year’s theme of Pass It On, The Genealogy Center has offered events designed to capture, preserve and disseminate the stories of your family. Three days of events remain in the week, and those classes are:

*Thursday, May 1, 6:30-8 p.m., Meeting Rooms A & B.
“An Evening of Storytelling”
Telling the stories in our lives is not only a great way to engage people in learning about their families and ancestors, it is a terrific way to “pass it on”—a terrific way to ensure the wonderful things we know about our families are passed on to the next generation. Join us for an evening of music and storytelling. It will inspire you to tell your stories.

*Friday, May 2, 2-3 p.m., Meeting Room A.
“Using iMovie to Capture Family Memories” – Mari Hardacre
Learn how to use the iMovie app for Apple mobile devices to take photos and videos, and edit them into short movies to share with family and friends. Please bring your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running the latest operating system (iOS 7) and download the iMovie app (cost $4.99) before the workshop, if possible. Space limited; registration required.

*Saturday, May 3, 10-11 a.m., Globe Room.
“Up in Lights: Your Family History on Screen” – Cynthia Theusch
As we research and gather information about our ancestors and their families, it is difficult to determine who gets the final research projects. Why not create a special video that can be saved to a DVD and distributed to family members? Both non-genealogists and children will enjoy watching your family story and learning about their family’s past.

For more information, see the brochure at To register for any of these free events, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

Coming This Summer: Digital Discoveries
This summer, The Genealogy Center will concentrate on helping you learn more about the wonderful world of electronic databases. We want you to be able to navigate what we believe are five of the most important online genealogical sources available, and on the second Wednesday afternoon of each month, one of our staff members will provide an overview of a database, with search techniques and information on how to print or save the information located.

The first of these hour-long events is Wednesday, May14, at 3 p.m. in Meeting Room A, as Delia Bourne guides you in “Discovering Fold3.” Millions of documents await discovery at Fold3! Learn how to browse and search records in this premier collection of military records, newspapers and city directories. These valuable documents could be a welcome addition to your family history research. Future sessions will be “Discovering Ancestry,” on June 11; “Discovering FamilySearch,” on July 9; “Discovering PERSI,” on August 13; and “Discovering Newspaper Databases,” on September 10. To register for any of these free events, email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225.

Out and About
Melissa Shimkus
May 2, 2014
Ohio Genealogical Society 2014 Conference, Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Sandusky, OH, 10:15-11:15 a.m. Presentation: “Thinking Outside the Box.”

May 3, 2014
Ohio Genealogical Society 2014 Conference, Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Sandusky, OH, 9-10 a.m. Presentation: “City Directories: More than Basic Facts.”

Dawne Slater-Putt
May 9, 2014
National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference, Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. Third St., Richmond, VA, 8-9 a.m. Presentation: “Indexes and Databases.”
Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society
14 May 2014 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 6:30 p.m. Gathering time, followed by business meeting and presentation, “Indiana Territory Genealogy,” presented by Ron Darrah.
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
21 May 2014 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

The History Center--The Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
04 May 4, 2014, 2 p.m. - Craig Leonard will present, “John Henry Bass: The Man, His Times and His House.”

Historic Fort Wayne
3-4 May 2014 – Primitive Skills Weekend, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday & 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Historic Fort Wayne
17-18 May 2014 – Muster on the St. Mary’s: A Time Line Event, Historic Fort Wayne, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday & 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Historic Fort Wayne
25 May 2014 – Memorial Day Observance, Historic Fort Wayne, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana. Noon-5 p.m.

Historic Fort Wayne
31 May 2014 – Northern Imperial Garrison Weekend, 1754-1763, Historic Fort Wayne, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana. 10 a.m.-5 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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