Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 128, October 31, 2014
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:20:46 -0400

Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 128, October 31, 2014

In this issue:
*Tell Me a Story . . .
*Marching On . . .
*The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction
*In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience
*Technology Tip of the Month--More from the Big PowerPoint Book – Creating an Outline
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Consider Family History-Related Gifts this Holiday Season
*WinterTech Time!
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Tell Me a Story . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
Numerous times in the past, this ezine has declared and described the importance of story--discovering our stories and telling our stories. As we approach Thanksgiving Day 2014 as well as the many December and January celebrations after that, it’s appropriate to illuminate again the power and consequence of story. The gatherings at these times of year, with their laughter and conversations, and sometimes dampened eyes, are really all about the stories we share. Wherever and whenever families gather, stories are among those special things that bind them together. As with a woven piece of cloth, these stories become the fabric of our lives and are the vehicles through which we tell others about who we are. And at the end of the day, that is what we do as family historians--we discover and recall, preserve, and pass-on the stories that articulate who we are, whence we came, and what events guided the course of our lives.

Somewhat regularly when individuals are first exposed to genealogy and family history pursuits, whether they are actually making a commitment to get involved or just observing activities of those who are engaged, those goings-on can seem complicated, overly-detailed, and, let’s face it, a tad bit intimidating. All that searching, all those copies (on paper or virtually) of seemingly endless documents and data types, all the buzz over newly offered online databases, all of it certainly can lead one to wonder what this genealogy “stuff” is all about. In my opinion, the easiest, most straight-forward, and assuredly the most enticing, way to describe what we are doing as genealogists is to say we’re finding and telling our stories. Even the uninitiated will quickly understand, and likely be rather unable to resist getting involved in finding and telling their stories.

It is easy to overlook how significant story can be in our lives. How many of us can recall the requests of children and grandchildren to “tell me a story?” Knowingly or not, we gave a part of ourselves to them when we told them about our school days, the automobiles of yesterday, our early work lives, and those “interesting” hairdos. Stories are discovered, created and shared in so many different ways, and nearly always their impact is of great consequence.

My paternal grandfather died years before my parents were even married, and I know him only through the stories I have been told. Indeed, there are stories about learning the stories of good ol’ Valentine Witcher. A favorite is the story of a week-long visit my older brother and I were fortunate to have at our paternal grandmother’s home in Jasper, Indiana when we were just little boys. Our parents had given Grandma strict instructions about our bedtimes (which of course we believed were terribly and unreasonably too early!). So we hatched a grand plan (at least in our minds!) one evening to see how long we could get Grandma to talk as she was tucking us in for the night--how long we could blow past our official bedtime. We decided to ask her about Valentine. Every little snippet led to another question or two. We were fascinated both by what Grandma was telling us about Valentine, and by the fact our plan was working. It was nearly midnight before the lights were out, and quite some time after that before my brother and I were over taken by sleep.

There are times when we tell stories through our writing and journaling, and times when each of us is our only audience with those mediums. That’s certainly fine, too, though I urge ensuring our writings, diaries, and journals live well beyond our years. Our stories are what our grandchildren, and their grandchildren for generations will treasure about us and possibly the best part of what they will know about us. I like writing short snippets, since that makes it easier for me to stay in the habit of writing something every day. Most don’t see my writings, that part of my “storytelling,” but I have taken care that they will be easily found and at least initially appreciated upon my demise. One snippet, one story, that I have shared before in gatherings and presentations on living memory and storytelling is below.

“I awoke to a strong wind--I heard it creak the rafters in the house. I got up, walked down the hall, and looked out the kitchen window. I took a second, longer look--very surprised to see a near-perfectly-still early-morning night in the shrubs and trees. I quietly walked toward the back of the house, wondering what I had mistakenly attributed to the wind. Moments later, the phone rang. And I knew--I just knew--before I answered that Charlie had passed. I picked it up and heard Tom simply say, “He’s gone.” I realized then the strong wind was Charlie stopping by one last time . . . to see if we were okay . . . or to say good-bye. I don’t know which right now, but I plan on asking him some day . . .”

Of course, there can be many levels to, and numerous audiences for, nearly any story. It’s yet another thing about story that makes it golden. Not only what happened, but our beliefs and innermost feelings about those happenings can be expressed and shared. In the preservation article further on in this ezine, you can get ideas for using story as gifts. Here’s to giving and receiving the wonderful gift of story during the many holidays we will celebrate during the next several months.

Marching On . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
In April of this year, I offered the challenge that everyone do at least one thing each month, Memorial Day through Veterans’ Day, to document and honor those who have served or are serving in the military. And here we are, nearly at Veterans’ Day 2014. I hope you have found this little challenge enjoyable, inspiring, and perhaps even a little motivating. It is my aspiration that engaging in this activity will have made “leaving no one behind” such a regular part of what we do that we will naturally just continue the activity well into the future.

For as much as has been written on nearly every military engagement in the history of this great country, there are still so many more stories waiting to be discovered, written, and told. There are still regiments that participated in the War Between the States, for example, about which histories have not been written. And there are numerous companies and regiments for which more detailed and robust histories are needed.

This past month saw several more military offerings added to The Genealogy Center’s “Our Military Heritage” online collection.
 “Battery Adjust” is a brief history of the 899th Field Artillery Battalion in World War II from November 1944 to May 30, 1945. This battalion was part of the 75th Infantry Division. We are grateful to Ray Rhoads of Hendersonville, North Carolina for making this work available.

We thank Jeannette Maxey who contributed biographical sketches of Civil War veterans, William Willis of the 84th Illinois Infantry and the 7th Illinois Cavalry, and Orrin C. Tooker of the 15th United States Regular Army Infantry.

Continue to honor; continue to leave no one behind.

The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction
by Delia Bourne
Most genealogists are familiar with the history of Orphan Trains in America. In the mid-19th century, some reformers believed that orphaned or indigent children in eastern cities would thrive in the wholesome outdoors of the mid- and far West, bringing joy to new families and finding love and a supportive family in the process. Of course, like many plans, this one often fell far short of ideal. Children were regularly taken in by those who wished to exploit them for free labor or worse, some children were removed from loving, albeit impoverished, families, and siblings were separated at train stops along the way. The Orphan Train Riders have formed organizations to aid them in uncovering records that can provide information about birth families and backgrounds, and to provide emotional support to those affected by this process. The best known of the reform societies that sent orphans west was the Children’s Aid Society. Though the Society was a Protestant group, many of the Riders were actually of Irish descent and Roman Catholics.

The Catholic Sisters of Charity of the New York Foundling Hospital had a similar outplacement process, but instead of shipping the orphans west hoping to locate families willing to take them, placements were arranged in advance in families that had been interviewed and approved by the local priests. To the Sisters, the local priests and G. Whitney Swayne, their western placement agent, the biggest issue was placing the children in Catholic homes, where their faith would be nurtured. Although the New York Foundling Hospital did not specifically classify by race, race did play a part, and these racial divisions identified Blacks, Poles and Irish as separate identities.

In “The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction” (979.102 C61g), author Linda Gordon highlights these issues in recounting an incident when race and religion clashed over what was best for a group of waifs.

On October 1, 1904, several nuns, Swayne and a group of mostly Irish orphans arrived in Clifton, Arizona. The orphans were to be placed in homes that had been pre-selected by the local parish priest, a French missionary. Most of the homes for which the children were destined were Mexican households, selected because the parents were educated and more economically advanced than their neighbors. In the anti-Irish atmosphere of the east, these were not white orphans, but Irish Catholic. To the children’s guardians, faith was the most important issue.

The travelers were welcomed at the station by the local priest and church women, but there were many Anglo women who, having read about orphan trains, assumed they could just pick one of the light-skinned children on the train for their own. They were not pleased to be told that the children were already assigned, primarily to the Mexican families waiting on the outskirts of the crowd.

Over the next 36 hours, tensions rose as some children were claimed by their pre-selected families. The Sisters tried to resist interference by the local Anglo community, but eventually convinced that the dissimilarity between children and families might be too great, they contemplated returning to New York with the children. Matters were removed from their control when a vigilance committee was formed and some of the children were removed/kidnapped from the Catholic homes to which they had been assigned, giving the children over to white, mostly Protestant families.

Legal difficulties followed when the Protestant families ran into trouble adopting the children without the permission of their legal guardians, the Sisters of Charity, resulting in a lawsuit that went to the Arizona Supreme Court. The situation played out in the country’s newspapers.

This is a fascinating volume, and Gordon has set the incident within the historical context of the time period and specifically to the region in which company versus labor was an ongoing conflict. It is an enlightening account for anyone interested in the time.

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience
by Melissa Tennant
When researching migration patterns for African-Americans, it is difficult to fully comprehend the complexities surrounding the transitory movements that African-Americans established when forging across America. The transatlantic slave trade during the colonial era, the domestic slave trade of the 19th century, and the urban development of the 20th century were dictated by uniquely different factors that led to a distinctive set of migration patterns specific to African-Americans. These migration experiences are documented on The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s website “In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience,”

With more than 16,500 text pages, 8,300 images, and 60 maps, “In Motion” documents the African-American experience from the 1450s to current day. The website focuses on thirteen specific migration patterns: Transatlantic Slave Trade (1450s-1867); Runaway Journeys (1630s-1865); Domestic Slave Trade (1760s-1865); Colonization & Emigration (1783-1910s); Haitian: 18th & 19th Centuries (1791-1809) and 20th Century (1970-present); Western (1840s-1970); Northern (1840s-1890); Great Migration (1916-1930) and Second Great Migration (1940-1970); Caribbean (1900-present); African (1970-present); and Return South Migration (1970-present). Access to the collections can be cross-referenced by browsing the migration, geography, and timeline categories or by searching by phrase or keyword.

Each migration pattern featured on the site includes articles, letters, narratives, and other source materials describing the motivations and factors involved with the movement. Images reveal those who became plantation workers, settlers, miners, and more, while chronicling their resettlement in the different regions and eras. Maps highlight the unique patterns formed by African-Americans relocating across America and the Caribbean. Lesson plans for each topic are available for instructors.

“In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience” is an informative resource for anyone researching African-Americans, since it details the historical significance and impact of these migration patterns. The graphics component of the website provides the user a visually stimulating way to learn more about the exceptional African-American migration experience.

Technology Tip of the Month--More from the Big PowerPoint Book – Creating an Outline
by Kay Spears
Sometimes when you give a presentation, you may find it necessary or desirable to have an outline to pass out to your audience.
First of all, there are a variety of options available from PowerPoint presentations to use as handouts. I have been to numerous presentations where I have been handed a semi-duplicate of the slide show, with lines beside the images and I can use those to take notes. This option is located on the menu File>Slides. If you select Slides, you should see numerous options in the drop-down menu. One of them is “three slides.” This option has the lines for taking notes.
Outline method Number 2 is to Go to the View tab and in the presentation group, click Normal. If you have your slide pane open, you will see that in addition to the slide tab, there is also an outline tab. Click on it. Next, go to File>Print>Settings>Slides and you should see Outline in that dialog box. Click on it to print an outline.
The third outline option has numerous choices. Go to Save/Send>Create Handouts> and click on the Create Handouts button. A dialog box with five options opens up. The options are: Notes Next to Slide, Blank Lines Next to Slides, Notes Below Slides, Blank Lines Below Slides, Outline Only. Chose one. These will be exported into a Microsoft Word document.
As far as I know these are all of the outline options, however, one never knows, does one?
Next month: More from the Big PowerPoint Book – The Difference Between Transition and Animation.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Consider Family History-Related Gifts this Holiday Season
As the holidays approach, consider giving those hard-to-buy-for individuals in your family a family history-related gift. This might be something they treasure more than anything that could be purchased in a store, and it serves the double purpose of preserving family history at the same time.

Photo albums or scrapbooks are family history-related gifts that can be excellent preservation projects for important photos. Besides preserving the actual photos or good quality copies of the images, they can ensure that the identification of who is in those photos is passed down to subsequent generations. Scrapbooks also can be a place to record memories of the individuals or events in the pictures. They do not have to be elaborately-decorated like the ones featured in magazines about the craft. Scrapbooking your photos can be as simple as using adhesive to attach the pictures to the pages, making sure to use all photo-safe materials, and identifying the individuals and events by writing on the pages around the photos. Or you can choose photo-safe albums with clear sleeves in pre-set sizes that fit the individual photos. Consider using some of the sleeve pockets to hold paper or cards with written information about the photos.

Another possible family history holiday gift might be to record your personal memories for the younger members of the family. There are many ways to do this. You can write on paper in your own handwriting, type a document in a word processing program on the computer, or create a series of index cards in a box, each one holding a specific memory and categorized with dividers. You might choose to audio- or video-record yourself telling family stories or relating memories. A related idea is to video-record family heirlooms and tell the stories behind each one or, better yet, have someone record you pointing out or holding each object and describing it, telling who it belonged to and any associated stories.

Give your loved ones the gift of their heritage this holiday season. As these kinds of gifts take time, start today.

WinterTech Time!
Whether it’s driven by the all the data and documents we collected during a summer of research and reunions, or the falling temperatures, falling leaves, and falling snow, it seems like many things entice us to spend more time indoors this time of year. And that means it must be time for The Genealogy Center to offer its series of WinterTech programs. The Genealogy Center has a great series planned this wintery season. We start off with “Basics of Adobe Elements,” on Monday, November 3, 2014, and Monday, November 10, 2014, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Computer Classroom at the Main Library. This two-part class, conducted by Kay Spears, will be devoted to learning the basics of using Adobe Elements. In it you will discover how to restore images of old photographs using techniques similar to those in Adobe Photoshop. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their own family photographs on a USB (“flash”) drive for hands-on instruction in applying what they have learned to their personal photos. Space is limited. Email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info or call 260-421-1225 to register for these free events. Copies of photos must be on a USB (“flash”) drive.

WinterTech will continue on December 10, 2014, with “Google It! Using Google Maps, Google Earth and More” from 3 to 4 p.m., with John Beatty and Dawne Slater-Putt. On January 14, 2015, 3 to 4 p.m., Aaron Smith and Melissa Tennant will conduct a “Catalog Tour,” and Delia Bourne will wrap up the series on February 11, 2015, 3 to 4 p.m., with “Linkpendium & Mocavo: Using Free Genealogy-Specific Search Engines.” Mark your calendar to take advantage of these classes!

Area Calendar of Events
The History Center
1-2 November 2014--Miami Indian Heritage Days, Chief Richardville House, 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., November 1; noon-4 p.m. November 2. Program: Traders Days. Traditional Miami and regional tribes’ crafts, goods and wares for sale, hands-on demonstrations and interactive educational programs. Free to public.

The History Center
2 November 2014--George Mather Lecture Series, 302 East Berry, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2 p.m. Ruth Ann Ingraham will present “’Cap’ Cornish, Indiana Pilot: Navigating the Century of Flight.” Lecture & book signing.

Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the NSDAR
8 November 2014--DAR Research Help, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 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.

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Meeting
12 November 2014--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m. Kelli Bergheimer will present “Clear the Mess from Your Desk.”

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Technology Group Meeting
19 November 2014--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

The History Center
28 November-14 December 2014--Gingerbread Festival, 302 East Berry, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays-Fridays; noon-5 p.m. Saturdays; noon-5 p.m. first Sunday of the month.

Historic Fort Wayne
29 November 2014--Christmas at the Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana. 11 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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