Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 130, December 31, 2014
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 18:04:40 -0500
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 130, December 31, 2014

In this issue:
*2015, Here We Come!
*Using Records in Tandem
*Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries
*Technology Tip of the Month--Another Look at Adobe Elements
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Photographs & Documents with Library Equipment
*WinterTech Time!
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

2015, Here We Come!
by Curt B. Witcher
Another year is quickly winding to a close--I hope it was a good one for you in every way. And I trust your family history activities, both the modest and the grand, left you longing for more, and committed to making that happen in 2015. As I have been known to proclaim, these truly are the best of times for genealogists and family historians!

Benchmark the Year

At the end of a year I hear many say, and also find myself saying, statements along the lines of, “Wow, has this year ever gone by quickly!” or “I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already!” Such statements are typically followed by a list of things (usually fairly lengthy) that we wanted to get accomplished but didn’t. If we don’t actively commit now to do something about “the list” we’ll be right back articulating the same lament next year.

We might be more successful if we establish a number of benchmarks at the start of 2015. A set of benchmarks might look like the following.
*By January 15th, I will have recorded, copied, or otherwise preserved the stories, cards, emails, texts, communiques, and photographs of the 2014 holiday season.
*By the first day of spring, I will have chosen three new networking activities to accomplish in the remainder of 2015 (e.g. seminars, webinars, tradeshows, meetings, etc.) to expand my skill set and enhance my connectivity.
*By June 1st, I will have completed one of two volunteer activities in the genealogy space to “pay it forward.”
*By the Fourth of July, I will have found one more fact about a military ancestor and/or discovered a new military ancestor.
*By Labor Day, I will have compiled, vetted, and shared my genealogical estate planning document.
You get the idea. I am confident most of you can think of even more creative and meaningful benchmarks.

Be Wise & Socialize

Some may think social media, what we experience today and what is just over the horizon, is the absolute best while others still may think it’s not worth one’s time. Regardless of where you fall on the like-dislike spectrum, I believe engaging social media is deploying tools to make us more consistently engage in the family history space.

Most of us have made or heard comments akin to “I need to work more on my genealogy,” “I am going to try to organize my family letters,” “I need to scan and share my collection of photographs,” etc. Such general statements turn into general goals that typically don’t amount to much. Pick a social media tool or two and engage on a regular basis--at least once a week. While some may think it is silly, why not use Twitter to post interesting (odd, funny, emotional, heroic, pensive, etc.) facts about our ancestors? Tweets clearly can be organized by hashtags. Such deployment entices us to act--discover, compile, share. Surely one can rather easily, and for quite some length of time, find 140 characters worth of information about one’s ancestors. Pinterest and Instagram can be powerful sharing tools as well, while making it easy for us to be consistent. If you don’t consistently engage in discovery and sharing, it quickly will fall by the wayside and become one more thing lamented at the end of a year.

Make a Tradition--Leave a Legacy

Recently I read an article titled, “Forty Portraits in Forty Years, Photographs by Nicholas Nixon.” It is linked below.

It really is a pretty neat idea. And who knew forty years ago that taking a picture of four sisters every year would get so much attention, have this kind of impact, or even last for forty years? Yet, here it is because someone took the challenge of committing to doing something a little unique. What a neat photographic legacy this family has to share literally forever.

There is a spark of an idea, an inspiration, in each of us waiting to be acted upon. What events happen in your life each year that would be a good forum for engaging in a specific activity? Group photograph around the Thanksgiving (holiday) dinner table? Photograph from the annual vacation? Detailing activities on the official changes of seasons? First words from the first person you encounter on the first day of the month? Unique or not, I encourage you to act on that spark so that you, too, are telling your stories and leaving a living legacy.

For several years, we’ve had a tradition at the Allen County Public Library of designating one day each year as the “Day in Allen County.” On that day, we encourage anyone living in Allen County, Indiana to digitally capture images of anything of interest and share them with us. May 1st is the “Day in Allen County” for 2015. For readers in Allen County, mark your calendars early so you will be sure to participate!

Here’s to a New Year of wonderful discoveries, and of creating legacy treasure troves of stories and artifacts for our descendants to enjoy, learn from, and build upon. May we live all of our days!

Using Records in Tandem
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(SM)*
Cemetery transcription books can be the equivalent of a gold mine for genealogists, particularly if the book has the transcriptions arranged as the stones are in the cemetery, and not alphabetized. It is possible to see who is buried in the same lot or row as our ancestors, and to identify others who potentially are related. Cemetery “indexes,” as we often refer to them, usually are compiled by walking in the cemetery and taking notes of the inscriptions on the stones. Therefore, although we don’t always keep this in the forefront of our minds, these transcription volumes are not really indexes to people buried in a particular cemetery, because they are almost always incomplete. The names of those whose stones have long-since disappeared when the cemetery was read for the transcription book, or those who never had a stone to begin with, usually do not appear in the cemetery volume.

This is a wonderful example of why it can be useful to use records in tandem, instead of relying on one type of source to answer a particular genealogical question, such as “When did my ancestor die and where was he buried?” Other types of records that can be used in tandem with cemetery transcription books, both at The Genealogy Center and elsewhere, are funeral home records, the records of religious bodies (churches, synagogues and temples), and the actual burial records of the cemetery itself, if they can be found. Obituaries and burial permits can provide additional information as well.

For example, The Genealogy Center has a series of cemetery transcription books for Allen County, Indiana, compiled in the 1980s by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc. The Wayne Township volume in this series (977.201 AL5altb) includes inscriptions for the Orthodox Jewish Cemetery on Old Decatur Road. Information from the stones is given in the volume, including such rich detail as: “In memory of: Sabine Gartner, Otto Gartner, Tea Gartner, and relatives killed in Concentration camp,” as inscribed on the reverse side of the marker of Gertrude R. Gartner, Frankfort, Germany, 1921-1975, and Kurt Gartner, Ruppinchteroth, Germany, 1918-.

To complement the information from the transcriptions of the stones in the Orthodox Jewish Cemetery, The Genealogy Center also has a volume titled “Orthodox Jewish Cemetery Records, Fort Wayne, Indiana” (977.202 F77foj). This book is not indexed, but if your ancestor’s name appears in the Orthodox Jewish Cemetery listings in the Wayne Township cemetery transcription volume, or was a member of the Jewish community in Allen County, it might be worth your time to page through the book to see what additional information you might glean. It is likely that there are at least some people in the cemetery record book whose names do not appear in the cemetery transcription volume.

The Genealogy Center also has numerous volumes of photocopied, transcribed or abstracted funeral home or mortuary records, including D. O. McComb, Klaehn and Mungovan, among others. Fort Wayne’s Jewish residents have not traditionally used one particular funeral home, so records of the individuals buried in the Orthodox Jewish Cemetery might be found in any of the several funeral home record volumes in the collection.

Finally, The Genealogy Center has a series of record books for the Congregation Achduth Vesholom of Fort Wayne, the oldest synagogue in the state of Indiana (977.202 F77foje). This synagogue is a Reformed congregation and the cemetery noted at the beginning of this article was founded as an Orthodox Cemetery. However, the cemetery is now known as the Fort Wayne Jewish Cemetery and is open to all Jews and not affiliated with either of Fort Wayne’s Jewish congregations, according to the website of The Temple – Congregation Achduth Vesholom at

Another popular burial place for Fort Wayne’s Jewish residents is an area of Lindenwood Cemetery. The Genealogy Center also has copies of the original internment books and abstracted burial records covering particular periods of years for Lindenwood in its collection, as well as a database on the website at

Used together, these several types of records can provide a myriad of information for ancestors that possibly could not have been collected by using just one record type alone.

*“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.

Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries
by Cynthia Theusch
This special collection showcases hundreds of microfilmed manuscripts, the originals of which are in the holdings of college and university archives and libraries throughout the southern states. There are 611 rolls of microfilm in the set, which can be found in The Genealogy Center’s Microtext area in drawers 68-B-3 through 68-B-11.

From the Series A segment, I reviewed some items from the Mary Susan Ker Papers (1785-1923), including several letters, some bills, an election precinct paper, and an account book of a club she served as treasurer. She received letters from two of her brothers, her father, and some nieces and nephews. 

A letter from Mary Susan’s brother, Wm. H. Ker, said: “My darling Sister. We did not get here last night, owing to trouble with drift wood in the wheel house till after 12 o’clock, and I had almost made up my mind to go to Mrs. Curry’s with the children, but finally concluded to go to Mrs. Boyd’s direct, and she seemed very glad to see us and made us all very comfortable. Lizzie & Mamie Chaplain are staying there …” The letter is dated 17 January 1869.

This is a wonderful collection for providing historical context - to get an idea of what it was like when our ancestors lived. If you have southern ancestors, it’s possible you might even find a family or two who were in the area where your family lived, which can add depth to your personal family history.

The Genealogy Center also has the printed Guides to the Microfilm Collection of Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries. See the call numbers for the Guides, listed below. Each guide includes a table of contents describing the material on the reels of that series. The reel index includes the reel number, the title of the collection, the beginning frame number of the manuscript collection, an introduction to the collection, and brief information about what it may include of biographical and/or historical note. Each guide has alphabetical and subject indexes. 

Two examples from the guides: 

Series A, Parts 1-3 contain Mary Susan Ker Papers, 1785-1923; Roach and Eggleston Family Papers, 1830-1905; and Louisiana and Mississippi Collections
Part 1:  Reels 1-25 contain Mary Susan Ker Papers
Part 2:  Reels 1-18 contain Roach and Eggleston Family Papers
Part 3:  Reels 1-6 contain 8 different manuscript collections

Series D, Part 1 – Reel 6, Section 19 contains Angelina Selden Edrington material. This Edrington family was from Stafford County, Virginia.

Call numbers of the Guides to the Microfilm Collection of Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries are:
*Series A (975 G94d Pts. 1-8)
*Series B (975 G94b)
*Series C (975 G94c)
*Series D (975 G94a Pts. 1-4)
*Series E (975 SCH348sm)
*Series F (975 G94af)
*Series G (975 SCH348so Pts.1-2)
*Series H (975 SI472so Pts. 1-3)

Technology Tip of the Month--Another Look at Adobe Elements
by Kay Spears
Change. You know, there are all kinds of sayings about accepting change. Well, those sayings must be for someone else and not me. Why am I saying this you may ask? Well, not too long ago we updated some of our computers in The Genealogy Center and installed the latest version of Adobe Elements on them. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the latest version to make sure it was running and the whole look of Elements had changed. Even my beloved Tool Options had been moved from the top menu to the bottom. I don't know why. I was never consulted. However, it looks like it’s time to review some of the changes made to Adobe Elements.
Let's open our new Elements by clicking on the Desktop Icon. Right away, there is a difference. On our Welcome screen, instead of two buttons on the left-hand side that say Organize and Edit, we have Organizer on the left-hand side and Photo Editor on the right-hand side. For the purposes of this tutorial, click on Photo Editor. If this is the first time the editing portion of Elements has been opened, it should open by default in the Quick mode. If you take a look at the tools available to you in the Quick mode, you will notice that your selection is rather limited. There are only nine Tool Options available on the tool bar. They are: Zoom, Hand, Quick Selection, Red Eye Removal, Whiten Teeth, Text, Spot Healing Brush, Crop and Move. A couple of these tools have itty-bitty arrows on the tool bar. These indicate that there is more than one option available for that tool. Those are the Quick Selection, Text and Spot Healing Brush tools. When you click on one of these tools, look at the bottom of your workspace. What used to be just the Project Bin has now been enlarged to encompass not only the Bin, but also Tool Options, Undo, Redo, Rotate, Organizer. So anytime you select a tool from the Tool Bar, the tool option linked to that tool will appear at the bottom of your workspace.
Something that may be of interest is that in the top left corner of your work space, there is a drop-down box with the words View: After Only. This gives you a choice of views of the image you are working on. Open an image and test all of the options. I'm not sure how handy they are, but you now have the option of looking at the original image while you are working on the current image.
On the far right side of your workspace in the Task Pane are four choices: Adjustments, Effects, Textures, Frames. Click on each one and the drop-down boxes that become available when you do. You should be able to see a thumbnail of what each effect will do to your image if you click on it. In the Adjustment Option, if you hover over each thumbnail, your image will temporarily change to reflect that change. Notice that I didn't talk about the Frame option. That is because that option has numerous steps, and we will save that for next time.
Next month: Continuing With Adobe Elements Changes and Additions.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Preserving Photographs & Documents with Library Equipment
by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG(SM)*
One of the best ways to preserve our photographs and paper documents is to convert them to digital format. In this way, we capture an image of the item as it is, though the colors in a Polaroid print from the 1970s may continue to fade and change, or that old newspaper clipping from the early 1900s to crumble.

But what if you don’t have a FlipPal or a flatbed scanner and your current budget doesn’t stretch enough to purchase the equipment you need to scan your documents? Or what if you don’t have photographs but only negatives or slides? Your local public library might have equipment you can use for free or at a low cost.

Here in The Genealogy Center, all of our copy machines will allow patrons to scan photographs and documents and save them to a USB drive. The default format is PDF, but the machines do support other formats. They are not ideal for archival preservation in the most pure sense, since there are some limitations in format choice (they will only allow PDF or JPG, but not TIFF for photographs, for example), but they are an option for creating digital files. Currently there is no charge for making scans to a USB drive on the copiers.

In addition, there is a digital sender in The Genealogy Center that allows patrons to scan documents and photographs and send them to their email address at no charge. PDF, JPG and TIFF formats are available, and there are other settings that can be manipulated as well.

Erik Mollberg of Access Fort Wayne at the Allen County Public Library, reports that the Maker Lab on the first floor of the main library has equipment patrons can use to scan documents and photographs as well. The scanner can accommodate pictures, negatives, slides and documents. Documents can be scanned as Word or PDF files. The photograph/35mm slide option will allow the user to save files to a USB drive in BMP, JPG or TIFF formats, and the scanner can be set from 50 to 1,200 dpi. Erik noted that there are also settings to adjust for dust removal and color restoration. The computer has Adobe Photoshop Elements onboard for basic photograph and 35mm slide corrections.

The Maker Lab also has two sets of equipment for making VHS to DVD transfers, but Erik said the VHS machines will only transfer VHS tapes that were recorded at “SP,” or Standard Play. VHS tapes recorded at “EP” (Extended Play) or “SLP” (Super Long Play) will not operate properly, but the machines will play VHS-C if the patron has a cassette adapter.

Hours for the ACPL Maker Lab are Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Contact your local public library to see what equipment might be available for your use in preserving your genealogical materials.

*“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.

WinterTech Time!
Our WinterTech series, designed to aid you in expanding your research knowledge through the busy winter months, continues in January with a “Catalog Tour.” The Genealogy Center continues to refine its catalog to make your search for materials more intuitive and to allow you to achieve better results. Join Aaron Smith, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager/Materials Handling Unit, and Melissa Tennant, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager/Public Services, as they show you how to make the most of your search experience, to locate materials in the collection and online, and to find ways to create your own lists to help you do both! This free class will be Wednesday, 10 January 2015, from 3 to 4 p.m. To register, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. After the program, network and research in The Genealogy Center until 6:30 p.m., when you can come back to Meeting Room A for the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana’s monthly meeting, during which Curt Sylvester will present “Telling Your Own Story.”

WinterTech will conclude on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 from 3 to 4 p.m., when Delia Bourne will discuss “Linkpendium & Mocavo: Using Free Genealogy-Specific Search Engines.” Mark your calendar to take advantage of these classes, and call or email us to register!

Area Calendar of Events
The History Center
4 January 2015--George Mather Lecture Series, The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2 p.m. Marsha Wright will present “Life Lessons Learned from a WASP.” Lecture & book signing.

Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the NSDAR
7 January 2015--DAR Research Help, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 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
14 January 2015--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Meeting Room A, 6:30 refreshments, 7 p.m. Curt Sylvester will present “Telling Your Own Story.”

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Technology Group
21 January 2015--Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Meeting Room B, 7 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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