Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 125, July 31, 2014
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:34:31 -0400

Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library

No. 125, July 31, 2014


In this issue:

*Working The Website

*Leave No One Behind . . . Continued--Month Three

*War of 1812 Resources

*Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records

*Technology Tip of the Month--More from the Big PowerPoint Book

*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Vacation Memories

*August's Digital Discoveries

*Out and About

*Area Calendar of Events

*Driving Directions to the Library

*Parking at the Library

*Queries for The Genealogy Center



Working The Website

by Curt B. Witcher


Recently, The Genealogy Center was informed that our website,, was chosen by Family Tree Magazine as one of the “Best US Genealogy Websites” for 2014. We are honored to receive the distinction. Musing about how valuable library websites are in the lives of family historians and historical researchers, and how a consequential amount of historical and genealogical data on many public library websites may not be as discoverable or accessible as one might first think, I thought this might be a good time to take a quick tour of


Among the best features of is that all of The Center’s free databases, as well as its catalog of physical holdings can be searched from the opening screen. When arriving on The Genealogy Center’s homepage, you will find attractive, rotating slides encouraging you to engage in family history and announcing forthcoming events. In the bottom right of that slide space is a box titled, “Begin Your Discovery.” Typing a single word – such as a surname – into the top box in the “Begin Your Discovery” panel and clicking Search will bring back results from the more than 2.5 million records and images in the free databases on the website. Keying search terms in the bottom box and clicking Search will bring back matching results from The Genealogy Center Catalog. This catalog includes listings for all of The Center’s books and periodicals, as well as much of the microtext collection. (The microtext collection can be searched more extensively on another area of the website.) So immediately upon arriving at, a virtual visitor can begin exploring for a surname or geographic area of interest.


Another attractive feature of is how key data can be discovered in drop-down menus under tabs on the top navigation bar. This bar is also repeated at the bottom of every page. Tabs that I find particularly useful and important are “Pathfinders,” “Genealogy Community,” “Databases” and “Events.”


There is an amazing amount of data to be found under the “Pathfinders” tab. There are three key areas that might be of specific interest. First, for those interested in Allen County, Indiana, research, “Allen County, Indiana Guides” will highlight many important sources. While I appreciate that most individuals who visit the website might not be researching The Genealogy Center’s home county, as the library of record for Allen County, Indiana, we continue to be committed to preserving and making accessible the richest collection of historical data for this largest-land-mass county in the state. Feel free to take ideas from what we collect for our local county and express those ideas to your local libraries to see if they will engage in building the same type of rich collection. Together, we can create a national network of locality-specific resources available through public library websites.


Second, we continue to digitize and make accessible National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) guides. These guides can be challenging to find on the NARA site, so we try to provide an enhanced experience at the site. The guides are divided into four general categories by publication type. Most of the guides are searchable. These guides can enhance one’s knowledge about NARA holdings, and they also can provide a better idea of what to look for in digitized collections of NARA records. More NARA guides are continuously added to the site.


Third, the “State and Subject Snapshots” tab opens the door to lists of important works for a particular state or research topic. While these downloadable or printable publications are specifically geared toward The Genealogy Center’s collection (with the GC-specific call numbers), they actually may be useful wherever you are researching. Using and other online resources, you might be able to identify these same materials in repositories closer to home or along a vacation “trail.”


Under the “Genealogy Community” tab, visitors will find direct access to The Genealogy Center’s blog, ezine and Facebook page, among other features. All include useful information about the collection, about doing historical and genealogical research, and information about forthcoming events.


Rolling the cursor (“mousing”) over the “Databases” tab on will highlight two major categories – Free Databases and On-Site Databases. As indicated by the name, on-site databases are available to those physically present in Allen County Public Library facilities. We are fortunate to provide on-site access to some of the best genealogy databases available. The on-site only databases and the physical collection of materials are two great reasons to keep The Genealogy Center on your travel itinerary!


To complement these large subscription genealogy sites, The Genealogy Center continues to grow a collection of databases that are freely available to anyone, anywhere, with an Internet connection. These free, searchable data files have been compiled by Genealogy Center staff members and volunteers over the years, as well as obtained through the generous donations of many dozens of individuals across the country. As stated previously, more than two and a half million records and images are available for free. Some of the categories of databases are listed below:


**Family Bible Records – A unique collection that will see numerous additions this year. And yes, we would welcome images and transcriptions from your family Bibles. It is another way of ensuring that precious information is protected from loss or disaster.

**Family Resources – Data donated to and digitized by The Genealogy Center that pertains to specific families. Several large collections soon will join materials already available there.

**Indiana Resources and Other States Resources – These two categories are just what one would think. The first one presents Indiana databases and the second presents the rest of the country.

**Our Military Heritage – A growing collection of military records and images.


There are a number of other significant free databases under the Free Databases category at Take some time this coming month to explore them. I will cover details about additional ones next month. Also next month, I will offer why you may want to make a springboard to other fantastic places on the web. Surf's up!



Leave No One Behind . . . Continued--Month Three

by Curt B. Witcher


While our patron counts have been modest most of this summer (you’re always welcome to visit us on your vacation travels around the country! <g>), this month has been a busy one for The Genealogy Center relative to our digitizing activities. Of particular note – we continued to meet our goal of posting at least one new military item from May through November. This month’s military posting is a very poignant, personal story about F. F. McMillan, M.D., of Charlevoix, Michigan, and his teenage son, Fray Albert McMillan. One of our Lincoln librarians identified this photo and story in the files of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection.


The photograph accompanied a letter to the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company from the father, F. F. McMillan, and in it he explains that the photo was taken in 1937. It shows "the two of us, in the rain, gazing at the statue of Lincoln before the Capitol Building in Springfield, Illinois... We...were not posing for it. I am sending a copy of it to you in the thought that it might be of some interest." Click on the following link for the rest of the story.


It also was with great delight and pleasure that I received a package this month from a Michigan friend of The Genealogy Center. It was addressed to me followed by “Leave No One Behind Military Project.” You have to love that! We were provided with a disk that contained thirteen different files for veterans from the Civil War through Vietnam. We are so honored to be entrusted with this historical information. We certainly will not leave these veterans behind. Look for them to be posted in August.


As I have done twice before, I have to ask: What have you done to leave no veteran behind? And more, what will you do this coming month of August to leave no one behind? Please consider doing what our friend from Michigan has done.



War of 1812 Resources

by Melissa C. Tennant


Our nation is in the midst of celebrating the War of 1812 bicentennial and, as family history researchers, this is the time to discover those ancestors who fought in the Second War of Independence from 1812-1815. Battles and skirmishes ranged across Canada and the newly-developed United States, stretching into the Midwest, yet this military conflict is typically forgotten. Records for those who served in the War of 1812 are not readily available online or on film, although there are several places to search. The Preserve the Pensions Project is currently raising funds and digitizing the War of 1812 Pension Files, making them accessible for free on Other War of 1812 materials of interest to genealogists can be found in printed volumes at The Genealogy Center.


When researching an ancestor who might have served from a particular state, one can locate a number of volumes within The Center’s shelves. One such item is “East Tennesseans in the War of 1812: 150 Muster Rolls, 8500 men” (973.524 T25FO) by George Fox, which transcribes the muster rolls for all East Tennessee companies. Information found within this title includes attendance, desertions, deaths, promotions and transfers. A similar item, “Ohio and the War of 1812: A Collection of Lists, Musters, and Essays” (973.524 OH3J) by Eric E. Johnson provides a variety of information ranging from abstracts of pensions; lists of captured men; muster rolls; and historical accounts of battles, laws and boundaries.


For those ancestors who migrated following the War, there are materials that focus on the veteran’s last residence and burial, such as “Known War of 1812 Veterans Buried in Minnesota” (977.6 F49KN) by Arthur Louis Finnell, and “Burials of the War of 1812 Veterans in the Commonwealth of Virginia” (975.5 L989B) by Mike Lyman. The latter title includes more than simply burial details. The compilers documented vital statistics and military service, providing parental and spousal information gathered from obituaries, estate records, muster and pay rolls, pensions and bounty land warrants, and marriage records.


If seeking an ancestor who lived in the United States during the War of 1812 era, consider searching The Genealogy Center catalog for the keywords “War of 1812” or narrow the search parameters by limiting to a specific state or region. And for those interested in learning more about the Preserve the Pensions’ War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project, visit



Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records

by Delia Bourne


Evidence of a death can often be the first link to a person’s life, be it a death record, an obituary or cemetery listings. Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records,, is often my first stop when seeking 20th- and 21st-century deaths in the United States. The main page also includes links to various Social Security Death Index sites, a general Online Obituaries Guide and Genealogy Records & Resources.


The page is very easy to navigate. Select the state you wish to search, or one of the Big City Guides (Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and St. Louis). Information varies from state to state. First on the state’s list are links to statewide death and obituary indexes. Then links are listed by county. The links are to a wide variety of sites. These include, but are not limited to, USGenWeb pages, the websites of genealogical and historical societies and libraries (like The Genealogy Center), and large database sites, such as The entries often include the dates of coverage as well as a notation indicating whether it is linking to a subscription (fee-based) website.


Of course, what is found can actually provide more information than might be expected. For example, there is a link for Daviess County, Kentucky, which led to the Owensboro Area Obituary Index and Abstracts, 1842 to present, a database hosted by the Daviess County Public Library Kentucky Room. A search of the surname Daly provided a number of hits, including one for an Owensboro Messenger obituary for Narcisus Daly, who died in 1947 in Pleasant Ridge at age 91. A note on the abstract also cites an Owensboro Inquirer article on page 5 in the January 16, 1898, issue which notes that “Miss Delia Daley (sic) of the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood & E. M. Holt of Galveston, TX will be married on 18 January 1898 in Owensboro, she is a niece by marriage of Dr. E. B. McCormick of Owensboro.” No mention is made that Delia Daly was the daughter of Emilius and Narcissa Daly (the subject of the obituary), and married Edward M. Holt, though family members in the know will be pleased to have the citation for the 1898 article.


The same group that created has also started Online Birth & Marriage Records Indexes for the USA at, which also divides the country into states, then provides links to birth and marriage indexes and abstracts. However, neither the Online Deaths or the Online Births and Marriages site links to, another great source for vital records.



Technology Tip of the Month--More from the Big PowerPoint Book

by Kay Spears


Let's continue with a look at the big PowerPoint book. I'm pretty experienced with copy/pasting/inserting images and shapes, but I noticed on the PowerPoint ribbon there are other things that can be inserted. Three of these are Objects, Video and Audio. In the next few articles we will be exploring these three tools. Since there may be challenges involved with all of these, we will take them one at a time, starting with Video.


When I say Video I do not mean a GIF, which is a moveable image, not a video. Before you insert a Video make sure that it is compatible with your computer. There are PC formats and Mac formats and it is not one-video-clip-fits-all!  Beginning with PowerPoint Version 7, there was a change in the way video clips were inserted. In older versions of PowerPoint they were linked. Now they are embedded by default, although you still may link them if you want to. The difference between embedding clips and linking them depends mainly on space. Embedding video clips will increase the size of your presentation file dramatically.  If you think adding regular images to your presentation makes for a large file, wait until you embed a video clip!  If you have copious amounts of space on your computer this won't be a problem.


So if embedding clips requires so much space, why not just link them? The problem with linking things to a PowerPoint presentation is that you have to make sure that wherever your presentation with the video link goes, the video clip must go also. If you happen to transfer your presentation to another computer, you may lose the link and then the slide with the video clip in it will not work. My advice is that each time you create a presentation, create a folder and store everything you use for your presentation (including video clips that are linked but not embedded) in that folder. This comes in handy if you have to transfer your information from one computer to another – just transfer the folder.


For Windows, the video file extension formats that are compatible are .wmv and .asf.  For Mac, they are .mov and .swf.  For both Windows and Mac they are .mpg or .mpeg and .avi.


If you want to create your own video for your presentation, be careful with its name because that can cause a compatibility problem.  Stay away from spaces, hyphens, underscores, punctuation and other special characters. PowerPoint may have trouble reading clips with these characters in their names. Something else to watch for if you chose to use a video from online sources is copyright. Carefully read any restrictions that have been posted with the video or with the website from which you download the video.


If your video has sound, or if you have audio of any sort in your presentation and you are going someplace else to do the show, it would probably be advisable to check ahead of time to see what equipment is waiting for you. If no video playback is available, you might just be humming along with your slides.


Now that we have our folder ready and all of our size and compatibility issues worked out, it’s time to insert the video, which we will be doing in the next article.



Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Vacation Memories

by Delia Bourne


Now, I know all of you are going on a genealogy vacation this year. You’ll go visit court houses, cemeteries, churches, make contact with some distant cousins, maybe even take in a conference, or visit The Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Good for you! We’re hoping to see you! I know that you will take copious notes as you research and add them to your paper or digital files. Again, good for you!


But what if you (gasp!) take another type of vacation, one with only a few libraries and cemeteries along the way? What if you go to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone? Maybe you will have a huge family reunion with lots of cousins at some resort. Or even – my favorite – you visit the overpriced land of the famous Mouse in central Florida to spend a week standing in lines and sweating. But once your trip is over, what do you have except a lot of photos, a few postcards and a handful of souvenirs? This year, keep a trip diary for your vacation. You can use a small tablet and pen or use your digital tablet to note highlights of your journey.


When recalling a vacation, it’s easy to remember the big memories like visiting the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the St. Louis Arch) or Zoo Atlanta, but you might also want to remember the great tour guide at the Warren G. Harding Home, the terrific barbecue place in Murfreesboro, or how miserable changing a tire in the driving rain at mile marker 81 on Interstate 30 in Arkansas can be. Take a few minutes during the day to keep notes and/or write an account of the day each evening. Record your impressions and feelings, what your companions said and did, and what you saw – or smelled – during the day. Later on, you can create a trip scrapbook, either in paper or in digital form, adding photographs and souvenirs.


In a perfect world, all of your friends and neighbors would be clamoring to view your vacation diary. In reality, maybe not. First and foremost, this is the type of record to keep for yourself, so that you will be able to recall of those golden, and not-so-golden, moments. But eventually, your descendants may be very interested to know what you did on your summer vacation – in 2014!



August's Digital Discoveries


This month’s installment in The Genealogy Center’s “Digital Discoveries” series is “Discovering PERSI.” Cynthia Theusch will show you how to search PERSI at its new home at You will learn a variety of ways to search for items mentioned in the genealogical and historical newsletters, quarterlies, journals and magazines. Make plans today to attend on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Meeting Room A, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne.


The last session in the series, “Discovering Newspaper Databases,” will be offered on September 10. For more information, see the brochure at To register for any of these free events, email Genealogy [at] or call 260-421-1225.



Out and About


Curt Witcher

August 1, 2014

Midwestern Roots, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 10:30 a.m. Presentation: “’To Infinity and Beyond:’ Ensuring Our Family Histories Live Well Beyond Our Years.”


August 2, 2014

Midwestern Roots, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1 p.m. Presentation: “Remembering Those Who Have Passed: Why Obituaries, And Crowd-Sourcing Access to Them, Are So Vital.”


August 9, 2014

Sheldon Family Association Reunion, Comfort Inn & Suites, 5775 Coventry Lane, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 6:30 p.m. Presentation: “Dream New Dreams, and Have New Visions: The Challenges Facing Our Societies.”


August 19, 2014

Library Camp 2014, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Presentation in PechaKucha format: “Everyone Has a Story! Awesome Tech Times.”


August 27, 2014

Federation of Genealogical Society 2014 Annual Conference, Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX, 4:30 p.m. Presentation: “Re-Think, Re-Boot, Re-Connect: It’s a New World.”


August 29, 2014

Federation of Genealogical Society 2014 Annual Conference, Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX, 8:30 a.m. Presentation: “From Bayonets to Bombshells: Often Forgotten Online Sources for Documenting the Military Service of Our Families.”


August 30, 2014

Federation of Genealogical Society 2014 Annual Conference, Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX, 1:15 p.m. Presentation: “’Gave Proof through the Night:’ Resources for Documenting War of 1812 Service.”


Delia Bourne

August 8, 2014

Sheldon Family Association Reunion, Comfort Inn & Suites, 5775 Coventry Lane, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Presentation: “How to Best Utilize The Genealogy Center.”


Melissa Tennant

August 28, 2014

FGS 2014 Conference, Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX 78205, 1:15-2:15 p.m. Presentation: “Discovering Female Ancestors.”


August 28, 2014

FGS 2014 Conference, Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX 78205, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Presentation: “Before Crossing the Ocean.”



Area Calendar of Events


DAR Research Help

9 August 2014 – Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, 9 a.m.-noon. The Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is available to help prospective DAR members research their lineage to prove ancestry to an American Revolutionary Patriot. The DAR has a table in west reading room of The Genealogy Center.


Historic Fort Wayne

23-24 August 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. Post Miamies: 1754-1763.



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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