Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 133, March 31, 2015
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:46:04 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 133, March 31, 2015

In this issue:
*Clicking . . .
*“Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology”
*Genealogy Gophers (Beta)
*Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Elements 12 New Tools
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Advice from Expert Websites on the Preservation of Textiles
*Preservation Week: Pass It On . . . Through Photography
*A Day in Allen County: May 1, 2015
*Global Family Reunion – Satellite Location Events
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Clicking . . .
by Curt B. Witcher
The clicking of keyboards and touchpads, the clicking of iPhones and iPads, the clicking of digital cameras and digital recorders, the clicking of ball-point pen plungers—all can be signs of family historians getting busy discovering, documenting, and recording their families’ stories. How exciting is that?!

As spring is traditionally a time of renewal and even initiating new projects, let’s all commit to getting busy on our family history projects. For a number of years, the American Library Association has identified one week in the springtime to draw attention to the importance of document preservation. This year, your Genealogy Center decided to focus on photographs, and we have named the week of April 26th through May 2nd as “Preservation Week—Pass It On . . . Through Photography.”

Many of us don’t do that well when it comes to consistently identifying and properly storing our photographs, whether those photographs are actually physical items or virtual images. Those who still like to print images on photographic paper tend to forget that printing the images is only the first step. Identifying everyone in the picture and recording the time and place it was taken are important activities that should be done for every photograph. Organizing the physical photographs into groups and storing them in acid-free sleeves, folders, and other containers away from light, dust, and dirt is important as well. Providing for those photographs long after we are gone should also warrant some of our best thoughts and well-executed actions.

With our virtual photographs and electronic images, I fear we are even more inattentive. It is so easy to capture images of literally everything—selfies, family and school reunions, parties of all sorts, sunrises and sunsets, children’s and grandchildren’s accomplishments, baptisms, weddings, funerals, letters, certificates and diplomas, contests, sports games, and any event of great or small consequence. We share them on our Facebook pages and blogs, we tweet them, we post them on Instagram and pin them on Pinterest. And sometimes we just keep them on our iPads and iPhones because they’re safe there . . . forever, right? Well, not so much.

If we want to share our photographic images with our great grandchildren’s grandchildren long after we are gone, we need to be much more active about appropriate backups and strategic sharing of our images. Have we thought about what would happen if our iPads with our entire collection of images were stolen? Or if the devices we have our images on became damaged and our images were not retrievable? Does our estate planning include the sharing of logins and passwords so our cloud-based storage of pictures and documents can be accessed after we’re gone? There is certainly much to be done to preserve and pass on.

Starting April 26th and ending May 2nd, The Genealogy Center is offering a program each day about some aspect of photography. The week starts with John Beatty’s informative look at the history of photographers and photography in Fort Wayne. Day two will have Kay Spears presenting a program on organizing and analyzing photographs to find clues about time periods and geographic locations. Sara Allen will follow on Tuesday of that week with ideas about scrapbooking with photographs. Local genealogical society member Bob Albertson will share his experience and expertise in taking better photographs on Wednesday. Dawne Slater will follow on Thursday discussing preserving photographs on social media and in the cloud. That Friday, May 1st, is our “Day in Allen County”--look for details further in this ezine. The week ends with an informal discussion about the preservation and care of photographs. So many more details about these events are found later in this publication. Be sure to click on your Outlook or other calendar and block out time that week to attend these engaging sessions.

The clicking of keyboards and touchpads brings to mind yet again a topic about which I remain very passionate--preserving living memory. Each of us carries so much information in our heads about our families. And we all have the best of intentions--we all are going to start being more active in recording that information, in writing those things down. But then something gets in the way, we get distracted, and for many of us nothing gets accomplished. This goes on for months, and then years. How do we break this cycle?

I suggest that one way we could break it is to adopt Nike’s legacy motto: Just do it! Pick a consistent time of day and location. Reserve no more than five minutes (and it doesn’t have to be that long). Record a recollection, experience, or musing you have about one of your parents.

You must commit to writing or recording something *every* day. Use as many days as you need to record what you know about that parent and then move on to the next parent. If there is only one parent to write about, or when you’re finished writing about both parents, move to the grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins of all types until you have covered all the family members you can recall. Another strategy is to simply write about yourself in light of all those individuals who influenced your life, e.g. family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coworkers, mentors, buddies, etc. Write about the touchstone events that influenced your life, e.g. first day of school, first date, first fight, first kiss--firsts of all types, proudest moment, war experiences, successes and challenges in your career, deaths of people close to you, etc.

I believe it is important not to let perfection get in the way of progress. No one is going to grade your work. There is no minimum or maximum length to which you have to adhere. There are certainly no right or wrong memories--no right or wrong feelings. It’s your story, and as such, it can only be wrong if it is not recorded.

If you have, or create, or stumble upon a different or better strategy than the ones listed above, definitely go for it! Clearly the best strategy is the one you are comfortable engaging. Do you hear clicking? I sure hope so--and I hope it is yours!

“Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology”
by Dawne Slater, CG(sm)*
The more a genealogist digs into his or her family, the higher the possibility of eventually discovering an ancestor or collateral relative who spent time behind bars for some offense – major or minor. Some of us celebrate these findings – if they are far enough in the past, of course – because at least our criminal ancestors were likely to have left behind a record trail!

“Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology” by Ron Arons (GC 929 AR674w) is a guide to locating records pertaining to criminals and crimes, and a handbook on how to use them. The guide covers prison records, criminal court documents, parole records, pardon records, executions, investigative files, and police files. The information in the book is arranged alphabetically by state and identifies what records are available in some detail, with the name and contact information for the repositories in which they can be found. Users should be aware that some of the contact information, in particular website URLs and email addresses, could be out-of-date, since the book was published in 2009.

As an example of content, the guide notes that Maryland Penitentiary prisoner records are housed at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis. These records include such details as the prisoner’s name, birth place, age, complexion, hair type, stature, eye color, usual place of residence, occupation, distinguishing marks, county where convicted, crime, date and length of sentence, release date, occupation while in prison, and details about discharge. Also, a name index to the Nevada State Prison inmate case files for 1863 to 1972 can be found at the Nevada State Library and Archives in Carson City. And Indiana Women’s Prison admission books, prisoner history books and commitment papers for 1873 to about 1960 are at the Indiana State Archives in Indianapolis.

In a section at the beginning of the book titled “Sources and Research Methodology,” author Arons points out that it’s important to do research in “regular” genealogical records that are not included in the book, as well as in the types of records named in the volume. These regular records include newspapers, census records, vital records, city directories and other kinds of sources. He also notes that the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, might have state and local court records on microfilm that could complement the criminal records identified in his guide and suggests readers do a search by place in the Family History Library Catalog at The Genealogy Center also might have court records on microfilm or indexes and abstracts of court records. Search The Genealogy Center Catalog and the Microtext Catalog from the website at under Databases>Free Databases.

The author also mentions some caveats, including these and others:
• Many records have privacy restrictions
• Some records may no longer exist
• Employees at some repositories might not be aware of some of the records they have
• It might take a long time to get certain kinds of records

This volume should prove very helpful to those who have identified ancestors or collateral relatives who had a brush with the law, and who would like to research the event more in depth.

*“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.

Genealogy Gophers (Beta)
by Cynthia Theusch
Earlier this month, both Dick Eastman’s and Family Tree Magazine’s blogs mentioned a new Beta database for searching for your ancestors in digitized books. This free database is Genealogy Gophers, Currently the Genealogy Gophers library has approximately 40,000 family histories and regional genealogy books, which amounts to more than a terabyte of data. The site plans to add at least a thousand books each month.

At this point, nearly all of the books included on the Genealogy Gophers site are out-of-copyright volumes that have been digitized by FamilySearch. Many of these are books in The Genealogy Center’s collection, as a FamilySearch digitization partner. All of the FamilySearch digital books are also available at, but Genealogy Gophers is in the early stages of adding volumes from other sites that have free digital books, such as Internet Archive ( The goal of Genealogy Gophers is to become “the premier website for genealogy books.” The site describes itself as being like Google Books, but with a focus specifically on genealogy.

Each search result includes the title of a book or periodical, along with a snippet of the page where the name appears. Some of the results may show only the surname, given name, or an initial. When you find a result you are interested in viewing, you can click on the title link.  At this point, you can view the full page or download the pdf file.

My first search was for Josiah Sawyer and New Hampshire, and I received 38 results.  The first result was an article in an issue of the “Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine” listing Josiah Sawyer among the “Marked Graves of Revolutionary Soldiers or Patriots (which were inadvertently omitted from the last issue). “

Another result was the “Register of the Society of Sons of the Revolution in the State of Missouri.” The list began with the great-grandson of Josiah Sawyer. Josiah was a private in the Company of Captain Josiah Crosby, Colonel James Reed’s Regiment, a New Hampshire troop in 1775.

Listed below are the “search hints” provided by Genealogy Gophers for searching the database. You can find these under the “search hints” link to the right of the Place box on the search screen.

• Everything you enter must be found in the text, so fewer fields yield more results.
• First name(s) can include a middle name.
• Place must be a US State, Canadian Province, or Country
• Start and End year are rounded to the decade.
• Relative’s names must be found near the searched for name.
• See the FAQ for more information.

As you search this new database, remember that this is a Beta version. The site will be changing as it improves search techniques and links to more digital books. Remember to check back often.

Technology Tip of the Month--Adobe Elements 12 New Tools
by Kay Spears
This month we are going to look at some of the new tools that are in Adobe Elements 12 – at least they are new to me. We are going to start with the Content-Aware Move Tool. This tool is located in the Expert tab, then on the bottom left hand side of your Tool Bar. The icon looks like two swords that are crossed.

This tool is handy if you happen to have a photograph which has a large area missing. For those of you who have Creative Suite-Adobe Photoshop there is a tool similar to this one called the Patch tool. If you have an older version of Adobe Elements, there will not be a Content-Aware Move Tool and you will have to do a work-around maneuver involving copy and paste to fill in the patch. It is my understanding that Creative Suite 6 has the Content-Aware Move Tool.
Let’s open an image that has an area we can patch. Click on the Content-Aware Move Tool. The Tool Option dialog box will open at the bottom. Your options are: New, Add to Selection, Subtract from Selection, Intersect Selection, Move Extent, and a sliding Healing bar.
What you do to create the patch depends on the area you are trying to repair. If it is just a simple background fix, select New from among the options and make sure Extend is checked. Also I have found that I get a better result if my Healing slide is all the way to the left. Make sure your cursor looks like two swords crossed and draw around the area you are going to “sample” to fix your patch. “Sample” is a copy. Now move your selection to the area needing the patch. I usually check to make sure that it is going to match where I’m dropping it by adjusting the Contrast/Brightness. I might also have to feather the edges to make sure it blends better. Then I release the selection. It should cover the area. If I have a large piece of my photograph missing, I usually work with small patches. When everything is done, I may have to “clone” around the area for better blending.
Now let’s Move something. Just to see what this tool can do, open up a photograph with two people in it. Select the Content-Aware Move Tool again, but this time select the options of New and Move. Now draw around one of the people in the photograph. When you are finished, you should see a broken line around that section. Move your Crossed Sword Cursor over to the area you have selected, hold the left mouse button down and drag your selection to someplace else on the photograph. Release the mouse button. What you should see is that the person you selected is someplace else on the photograph, and where that person was has been filled in. This option isn’t perfect. You may have to tweak the filled in location. However, you should be able to see what some of the possibilities are with this tool.
Next month’s article: The Recompose Tool.
Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Advice from Expert Websites on the Preservation of Textiles
by Dawne Slater, CG(SM)*
Two sites that have information on the care and preservation of your cloth heirlooms – clothing and textiles – are those of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Antique Works, and the Smithsonian Institution’s website:

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Antique Works, “Caring for your Treasures – Textiles.” [Note: This link brings back a “404 error code” when you click through directly. Instead, copy and paste into your browser.]

Smithsonian Institution Division of Textiles, “How Do I Store Antique Textiles at Home?” Encyclopedia Smithsonian.

Tips for textile storage from the two sites include:
• Store textiles in a clean, cool, dry and dark location
+++ Light can fade fabrics, so store in a dark place
+++ Store away from heat
+++ Store away from humidity, which can cause mold and mildew to grow
+++ Try to keep the temperature at a generally constant level – avoid extremes
+++ Avoid pollution
• Store textiles flat, if possible
• Store them in containers to keep them protected and away from insects and other harmful environmental factors
• Use archival safe boxes and tissue to store textiles
• Air fabric heirlooms periodically
• If they must be folded, refold them occasionally so that fibers don’t stress and break along the folds
• When handling textiles, be sure to have clean hands and avoid lotions and creams that can stain the fabric, as well as jewelry that can snag the fibers. Wearing white cotton gloves is another option for the safe handling of precious fabrics.

Two places to purchase archival storage materials for clothing and textiles are:
The Container Store,
Light Impressions,

*“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.

Preservation Week: Pass It On . . . Through Photography
The American Library Association’s “Pass It On” Preservation Week will be highlighted in The Genealogy Center with a focus on photography. What better way to pass along personal, family, organizational or community history than in photographs? The Genealogy Center has a great week planned, with sessions that discuss how to take better photos, organizing and scrapbooking, posting pictures on social media, and historical photographers in Fort Wayne. And a highlight of the week is “A Day in Allen County 2015,” a chance for everyone to contribute images of the events that take place in a single day (Friday, May 1st) to ACPL’s Community Album. Attend the sessions, take photographs, and Pass It On!

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 1 p.m., Meeting Room A: "Photographers and Photography of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1843-1930" by John Beatty.

Monday, April 27, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “How to Look at Your Photographs, Analyze & Organize” by Kay Spears.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “Scrapbooking Your Photographs” by Sara Allen. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Meeting Room A: “Taking Better Photographs” by Bob Albertson.

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Meeting Room A: “Preserving Photos on Social Media & in the Cloud” by Dawne Slater.

Friday, May 1, 2015: A Day in Allen County – Picture sharing event. See below.

Saturday, May 2, 2015, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Meeting Rooms B & C: A Preservation and Care of Photographs Discussion.

To register for any or all of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

A Day in Allen County: May 1, 2015
We invite you to capture a day in Allen County, Indiana! On Friday, May 1, 2015, take pictures of anything and everything that is happening in our county in that twenty-four hour time period, and send them to us! What is your view of Allen County that day? These pictures are not limited to marquee events. We want to capture what is going on throughout the entire community, so pictures can be of people at work, children at play, sporting events, weather and blooming flowers, homes and buildings, traffic scenes, hikers and bikers, and people just hanging out. Include a description you would like put with the picture. If it’s happening in the twenty-four hours of May 1st, it’s worth capturing! Choose any channel below to share your images.
Email pictures to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info
Twitter #DayinAllenCo2015 @GenealogyCenter
Upload pictures at
Instagram #DayinAllenCo2015 @GenealogyCenter

Global Family Reunion – Satellite Location Events
On 6 June 2015, a Global Family Reunion will take place at the New York Hall of Science on the grounds of the World’s Fair in New York, New York. This event is the brainchild of author A. J. Jacobs, who hopes for it to be “the biggest, most extraordinary and most inclusive family reunion in history.” All seven billion members of the human family are invited. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to causes related to Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Genealogy Center will be hosting our own free events Friday through Sunday, 5-7 June 2015, as an official satellite location of the Global Family Reunion. Local events are in the planning stages now. Watch this e-zine, as well as our Events calendar, Twitter, Facebook, and The Genealogy Center’s blog for more information about the Global Family Reunion! For more information about the New York event, visit the Global Family Reunion page at

Out and About
Curt Witcher:
April 10, 2015 – Marshall County Historical Society and Museum, Plymouth, IN, 12 p.m. Presentation: “From Boyhood Home to Final Journey: Lincoln in Indiana through”

April 17, 2015 – Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement for Indiana, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN, 9:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. Presentation: “Genealogy and Prospect Research.”

April 18, 2015 – Digital Public Library of America’s DPLAfest, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, IN, 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Presentation: “Families at Our Fingertips: DPLA & Other Online Family History Resources.”

April 24, 2015 – Indiana Genealogical Society Management Seminar, Vigo County Public Library, Terre Haute, IN, 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Presentation: “The Changing Face of Genealogy.”

Area Calendar of Events
DAR Research Help
1 April 2015 – 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 Meeting
8 April 2015 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m. Randy Harter will present “Antique Postcards of Fort Wayne.”

George Mather Lecture
12 April 2015 – History Center, 302 East Berry, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2 p.m. William Heath will present “William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest.” Lecture & book signing.

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Genealogy Technology Group
15 April 2015 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

Early Modern Muster of Arms: Soldiers of Pike and Shot, 1580-1610
18 April 2015 – The Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

13th Pennsylvania Drill, 1776-1782
25 April 2015 – The Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave., Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Diplomacy of the War of 1812
Through 30 April 2015 – Diplomacy of the War of 1812 and other related exhibits – The Karpeles Manuscript Library, Fairfield Hall, 2410 Fairfield, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

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, CG & Curt Witcher, co-editors
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