Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 123, May 31, 2014
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sat, 31 May 2014 21:24:36 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 123, May 31, 2014

In this issue:
*Leave No One Behind . . .
*“Genealogy Standards” from the Board for Certification of Genealogists
*Slownik Geograficzny Krόlestwa Polskiego = Geographic Dictionary of the Former Kingdom of Poland
*Technology Tip of the Month--PowerPoint – SmartArt
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Tracking Genealogy Correspondents
*Make Some Digital Discoveries
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Leave No One Behind . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
Oh my, is the current Veterans Administration hospital situation ever a mess, a national embarrassment! When I reflect on the many news stories I have encountered and the ones that continue to be broadcast, I can’t help but think about the “Soldier’s Creed.” I have keyed it below.

“U. S. Soldier’s Creed”
I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

If our military men and women are willing to do that for us, wouldn’t it be amazing . . . and appropriate and so very meaningful if those who serve our veterans would be bound by a similar creed or oath? “I will serve the people of the United States by serving those who put themselves in harm’s way to defend our liberties; I will always put my veterans’ well-being first; I will never quit or believe the task of true service is too big; I will be proficient in all my tasks on behalf of my veterans; I am an expert and a professional, and I know I can engage and execute the necessary duties to see that our guardians of freedom are fully served”--wouldn't that be awesome?

Continuing my musing, wouldn’t it be equally awesome if we as genealogists and family historians committed to *our* own version of the Soldier’s Creed? Let’s challenge ourselves to do that, and focus particularly on “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” Modifying that phrase for our field, let’s commit to never leaving an ancestor who provided military service unremembered, undocumented, un-memorialized. Let’s don’t think about it, plan for it, discuss it--let's just do it. Let’s make the weeks between Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day the time when we create a memorial for each of our military ancestors--and then share that memorial.

I know this step-at-a-time approach works. Over the Memorial Day weekend, The Genealogy Center posted three new items from three different wars on the part of our website known as “Our Military Heritage.” <http://www.GenealogyCenter.Info/military> We started this past weekend with a simple little goal: Post one military “something” (anything!) for each day of the weekend. By the time of the fireworks on Monday evening, the following items were posted.

Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware, Ohio, Memorial to Unknown USCT Soldiers, Civil War

Biographical data and single document about Vincent Siemowski, 10th Infantry, WWI

Biographical data and single document about Louis G. Mossburg, U.S. Army Air Forces, WWII

There’s nothing flashy or terribly extraordinary about the above-mentioned three files, except that now they’re available for anyone in the world with an Internet connection to use and enjoy. Perhaps as important, or more important, these men and their service are now memorialized in a virtual place many visit, in a place where anyone can visit. We have honored their service by helping ensure they are not left behind, that they are not forgotten.

Leaving no one behind--it is really very straightforward and doable. Within the next seven days, identify an ancestor who served in the military, or a family member or relative who is currently serving or has recently served. At a minimum, gather this basic data: Full name, unit(s) in which s/he served, period of service, and enlistment location as well as discharge location. If you want to add a picture of the individual in uniform and/or a picture after service, that would be terrific. If you have service documents (muster records, pension papers, discharge papers, etc.), and/or a letter or two from the battlefront or the home-front, including those would help tell a better story of the service rendered. Write a couple of sentences or a paragraph articulating what you know about this person.

Follow these simple yet profound steps, and then share what you have gathered and compiled! Share it in an email to a family member, blog about it, pin it on Pinterest, post it on Facebook, and/or put it on your family webpage. If you need a little inspiration, see what a couple of proud mothers did in honor of their sons’ service. Go to the “Our Military Heritage” portion of our website and click on “Afghanistan & Iraqi Wars.” Explore the links for Jay S. Gibson and David Temby.

If you want to ensure that this memorial you have created is around for generations, email the data with attachments to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. We will post it and maintain it on the “Our Military Heritage” site. You can also send us the data on a DVD or USB drive. After you’ve done one, the next ones get easier and easier. And you will want to start a second memorial immediately after you have finished your first one. For those who will visit our Center in the summer months, a military display at the entrance will serve as a reminder of this great work we must be doing. We truly can leave no one behind.

“Genealogy Standards” from the Board for Certification of Genealogists
by John Beatty
Most genealogists, whether they are professionals or amateur hobbyists, seek ways to improve their skills. They do so for a variety of reasons. They may have encountered “brick walls” in their own research and want to develop the expertise to overcome them. They may wish to become better writers and produce genealogical books or articles at the highest professional level. They may want to transition from amateur to professional and actually undertake research projects for paying clients. They may only seek a formal benchmark with which to compare their skills with other genealogists without transitioning from amateur to professional.

Whatever their aspirations, genealogists need standards – standards for everything from note-taking and source labeling to evaluating evidence and constructing proof arguments. All of us in this field, even those who have been doing research for decades, know that we can always improve our research skills and writing techniques.

For more than fifty years the Board for Certification of Genealogists has promoted professional standards and offers a certification process for those wishing to become Board-certified genealogists. Using manuals and following published rubrics, applicants submit portfolios of their work samples that are evaluated by a panel of three judges who work independently. The process is both rigorous and challenging, but it often sharpens the analytical skills of those who attempt it.
Though the formal certification process is not for everyone, every genealogist can benefit from studying the standards that BCG promotes. Its latest manual, titled simply “Genealogy Standards” (Washington, D.C.: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2014, Genealogy Center call number: 929 B63cb), will bring any genealogist up-to-speed with the latest tenets of what is expected of a genealogist working to these established standards. More streamlined than the earlier “BCG Genealogical Standards Manual” published in 2000, this latest volume offers benchmarks for conducting research, documenting sources, evaluating and reasoning from evidence, assembling results, and constructing proof arguments.

The manual elucidates what is meant by the “Genealogical Proof Standard,” a five-step process that contains the following elements: 1) a reasonably exhaustive search for all information pertinent to a genealogical question, event, or identity; 2) complete citation information for each item of evidence; 2) analysis and correlation of the data collected to assess its quality as evidence; 4) resolution of any conflicts caused by the evidence that are contrary to solving a genealogical question; and 5) arrival at a soundly reasoned, coherent conclusion. The book explains each of the points in greater detail and offers precise guidelines for what elements a genealogical proof argument should contain or how a genealogical report should be prepared.

Wading through the guidelines set forth in “Genealogy Standards” and applying them to one’s own projects can sharpen perceptions, heighten awareness of various types of evidence, and help anyone write a better family history. For those wishing to hire a genealogist – an unknown individual gathering and analyzing records for you at a distant locality – it provides guidance for what to expect in a prepared client report. In short, “Genealogy Standards” offers a blueprint for all that is professional in the field and is a must-read for anyone wishing to do genealogical research at a more accomplished level.

Slownik Geograficzny Krόlestwa Polskiego = Geographic Dictionary of the Former Kingdom of Poland
by Sara Allen
Researchers studying Eastern Europe will want to consult the “Slownik Geograficizny Krόlestwa Polskiego i Innych Krajów Słowiańskich,” compiled by Filip Suliemierski between 1880 and 1902. Loosely translated into English, the title reads “Geographic Dictionary of the Former Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Lands.” A copy of this 15-volume set is available on 173 microfiche in The Genealogy Center (filed under Poland).  This gazetteer is an A to Z compilation of places in Eastern Europe that were once part of Poland or had Polish inhabitants in the 19th century, including the partitions of Austrian and Russian Poland, but not German Poland.  It also incorporates portions of these other modern-day countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.  The reader is cautioned that because of the 20th century turmoil in Europe, many place names, jurisdictions and boundaries have changed since the publication of the gazetteer. Therefore care must be taken to locate the places within their modern context. However, this source is still especially useful to genealogists because it names the parish location for most villages, which is needed in order to locate and research church and synagogue records in Eastern Europe. The dictionary also indicates those communities that had Jewish inhabitants at the time, which is helpful for those undertaking Jewish research.

Each entry in the gazetteer usually contains the following information: Type of locality (village, city, etc.), district, community, parish, population figures (including the number of Jews, if applicable) and more. For example, the entry for Drągi Wypychy notes that it is a village in the community and parish of Sokoly and district of Mazowieckie. In 1827, the village had 19 homes and 119 inhabitants. The gazetteer is written in the Polish language, and as of yet, has not been completely translated into English. There is a detailed translation guide at the beginning of Volume 1 that allows readers to translate key points of the entries, and was used to translate the Drągi Wypychy text above. Another option for translation includes copying out the text and entering the information into an online text translation tool such as Google Translate:

A digital version of this gazetteer is also available online at the University of Warsaw’s website ( Several online translations of selected entries are also available at the Polish Genealogy Society of America’s website (, Polish Roots website (, and other locations.

This gazetteer is just one of the many reference works The Genealogy Center owns for the European countries where many of our ancestors formerly lived. Careful examination of gazetteers, historical dictionaries, maps and encyclopedias for the area you are researching might help you solve geographical genealogy problems.

Technology Tip of the Month--PowerPoint – SmartArt
by Kay Spears
PowerPoint. What a puzzle. I’ve talked about all I know about PowerPoint, except adding music, but there must be more. I know this because there is a giant menu ribbon at the top of my PowerPoint screen and if I meander through the library aisles, there is an 800-page book on Microsoft PowerPoint, so that means there must be more. Let’s explore some of the other mysteries in PowerPoint, starting with SmartArt.
According to the big Microsoft book, “SmartArt lets you easily create organization diagrams from within PowerPoint.” All right, let’s see how easy it really is. Evidently there are numerous ways to do this, however here is what I did.
First I opened a blank slide, and then I chose a Text Box. Next I typed five names in a column or list. The next step is to highlight those names and right click. A floating Menu opens up. Choose the Convert to SmartArt option. At this point you should see a plethora of choices. I chose the one with five circles. When you click on your choice, a couple of things happen. First of all, the names you typed should appear in circles, and there should also be a dialog box open to the left of the circles. If you want to, you can make the circles larger by dragging down the box in which they appear. You also may add new names to the group by typing them into the open dialog box. I added two more names/circles.  
While you are still in the box, look at some of the other tools available that will enhance your circles. You should see a SmartArt Tools tab. It appears that SmartArt defaults to blue, so, I changed the color of my circles by using the Change Color drop down tool. I selected one of  the Colorful options so that all of my circles became different colors. It’s also possible to change the style by selecting one of the SmartArt Styles. In this case, I chose Polished. I ended up with multi-colored shiny circles with names on them.

My next task was to add some animation. First I closed the text dialog box, and then I selected all of my circles. With all of the circles selected, go to the Animation tab and select one of the Animation options. In this case, I selected Fade. All of the circles will now fade. But what if I wanted the circles to fade one at a time? Once you choose the Fade option for all of your circles, another tool appears in the Animation tab. This is the Effect Options drop-down box. Your choices will be: As One Object, All At Once or One by One. Choose One by One. Now you are free to play with the In and Out Animation tools. I suggest you also play with the Path tools located in the Effects drop-down box. It is easy to get carried away with all of the animation, so it is handy to have the Animation Pane open just in case your effects get out of order. Unless you format it otherwise, this animation works by clicking with your mouse or on the arrow keys.
Next article: More from the big Microsoft book.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Tracking Genealogy Correspondents
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(sm)*
Most genealogists find it rewarding to connect with others who are researching the same family lines in order to share information, photographs, scans of the family Bible, and other material. However, even the most avid family historian usually has other activities in life that take his or her attention away from genealogy from time to time and before we know it, months or even years have passed since we last were in contact with a genealogy correspondent.

One way to keep track of contact information for your genealogy correspondents is to record the data all in one place, either in an address book just for that purpose, a Rolodex, an index card file box, or – perhaps more convenient these days – in a program or application you can access on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You could even store the file in Google Drive or Dropbox so that you can access it on-the-go!

This can be as simple as a Word file, with headings for the surname of the family in common and correspondents listed under the appropriate heading with their address, phone number, email address and the most recent date of correspondence. Or you can create a spreadsheet file in a program such as Excel, with fields for each of these pieces of information. You might also include how your distant cousin is related to your common ancestor.

There are address book apps specifically for tablets and smartphones that are available through the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store that could be a helpful way to store this information. You can access the Apple iPad App Store at The Google Play Store is at Use keywords like “address book” or “contacts” to find appropriate apps for storing your genealogy correspondents’ contact information.

*“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.

Make Some 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.

June’s session is “Discovering Ancestry,” on June 11, 2014, at 3 p.m. in Meeting Room A. It isn't quite as easy as it looks on the television commercials, but has hundreds of millions of records of records and connections, just waiting for you to find them. Delia Bourne will show you some techniques to make your search more successful.

Future sessions will be “Discovering FamilySearch,” on July 9; “Discovering PERSI,” on August 13; and “Discovering Newspaper Databases,” on September 10. 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.

Out and About
Curt Witcher
07 June 2014
Local attractions program for the Indiana Republican Party Convention, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 11 a.m. to noon. Presentation: “Discovering The Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne.”
09 June 2014
Association of Christian Librarians, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Rooms A-B, 9 a.m. to noon. Presentation: “Something for Everyone: Genealogical Reference Services in the 21st Century.”
11 June 2014
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Annual Banquet, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, Meeting Room A, 6-8 p.m. Presentation: “Re-Think, Re-Boot, Re-Connect—It’s a New World!”
12 June 2014
Senior Circle, Ash Centre, 1701 Freeman St., Fort Wayne, IN, 11:30 a.m. to noon. Presentation: “Discovering Your Family Stories.”

27 June 2014
American Library Association Annual Meeting, History Section Pre-Conference, Caesars Palace Hotel, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV, Milano V Room. Panelist on “Getting More Than You Pay For: Free Access to Genealogical Resources” panel, presenting on “State and Public Libraries, the USGenWeb and Beyond.”

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society
11 June 2014 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana. ACGSI Annual Banquet, 6 p.m.. Curt Witcher will present, “Re-Think, Re-Boot, Re-Connect – It’s a New World!” Paid reservation required.
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
18 June 2014 – ACPL Meeting Room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

The History Center--The Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
01 June 2014, 2 p.m., The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN. Brad Skiles will present, “Hugh McCulloch: From Cashier to Treasury Secretary.”

The History Center--The Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
08 June 2014, 2 p.m., The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN. Blake Sebring will present, “Fort Wayne Sports History.”

Historic Fort Wayne
7-8 June 2014, Historic Fort Wayne, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday & 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday. Siege of Fort Wayne: 1812.

Historic Fort Wayne
21-22 June 2014, Historic Fort Wayne, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday & 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday. Camp Allen Muster, 1861-1865.

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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