Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 141, November 30, 2015
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 22:45:47 -0500
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 141, November 30, 2015

In this issue:
*Celebration and Commemoration
*Great Migration Directory
*Digitalarkivet--National Archives of Norway’s Digital Archives
*Technology Tip of the Month--An Excel Snafu
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Your Digital Assets
*Winter is Coming! And With It WinterTech!
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Celebration and Commemoration
by Curt B. Witcher
I trust your Thanksgiving holiday celebrations were filled with family, friends, stories, and both old and new memories. Certainly there is much for which to be thankful. Among of my blessings are the many instances in my life when I have been fortunate to work with really terrific individuals. One of many 2015 instances is being able to work with talented and dedicated people planning Allen County events to celebrate Indiana's bicentennial. A number of these events should spur creative thoughts in all of us looking to celebrate and commemorate our ancestors.
I believe the state bicentennial commission wisely chose to have a yearlong celebration, kicking-off with activities in every county on December 11, 2015 and concluding with some fanfare on December 11, 2016. While not surprising, it is certainly amazing to see all the different activities celebrating the hard work of those who came before us. There are plans to commemorate the contributions of the many cultures and peoples who have traveled through and settled in this "Crossroads of America" state, along with activities to celebrate and honor who we are today. So many times when we celebrate, we are really remembering and commemorating. And of course, that draws thoughts and attention to what we do as family historians.
It would be so worthwhile, and I believe quite meaningful, if we used the last month of 2015, and all the celebrations associated with those days, as a beginning of celebrating our families' histories and heritage. Further, why not mirror Indiana's celebration, and make telling and sharing family stories a yearlong activity. Such activities engage younger generations in learning about and enjoying their past. Further, and as important, sharing our stories is a big part of converting living memory to something we can pass along. In sharing stories about the past, we at least move that living memory from being in our minds alone to being in many minds, and if we digitally record the stories we will have a tangible entity to preserve and pass along for generations.

When we gather over the next several weeks, let's commit to having some version of "story time"—times when we can talk about "Do you remember . . . ?" things with a smile. Avoid the unpleasant, painful memories in getting started if you want. Stories with smiles invite wider participation as those stories make everyone feel more comfortable and safe in contributing. One can always work up to "the rest of the story" if and when there is more to the story. Articulating stories with some passion and your feelings almost always engages the young people at our family gatherings and celebrations.
The History Center and Artlink are doing a couple of neat Allen County, Indiana bicentennial activities. Through 2016, the History Center is going to display and tell the story behind two hundred significant artifacts that represent key individuals and activities that made our county what it is today. Artlink is planning a juried exhibition of two hundred creative pieces from Fort Wayne and Allen County artists. I like that a lot--the old meeting the new in celebration.
We can engage in similar activities with our families. If your family is planning its twenty-second annual reunion, find twenty-two different new or little known facts about the family's history; or even better, challenge attendees to come with twenty-two new or little known facts, documents, and/or images of their immediate family or their parents' immediate families. Whatever birthday or wedding anniversary a family member or couple is celebrating, challenge those attending the party to bring a corresponding number of stories, photographs, and documents.
Participate in "throwback Thursdays," and be a little creative with this rather popular social media activity. Bust out of the photograph routine by having "throwback Thursdays" represented in cycles of different mediums, e.g. old photographs, old recordings, old letters or pieces of writing, old stories, and back to old photographs. Wouldn't that be an awesome family challenge to see how many different mediums you can represent?
Fort Wayne's University of St. Francis was thinking creatively when they got their downtown campus expansion and renovation approved as official bicentennial projects. Capturing the stories, images, and documents that go with our families' dwellings over the generations could be a creative way of stimulating interest in each family generation from a different perspective. I must admit that I thought it was pretty cool when I discovered that a Witcher lived at 417 East 14th Street in Jasper, Indiana for the majority of the twentieth century. Matching various pictures of the dwelling taken at different times chums memories of my times visiting relatives in that house.
I challenge you to use the holiday season to begin a year-long (at least!) active celebration of your family!

Great Migration Directory
by John D. Beatty, CG
The term “Great Migration” in colonial America refers to the mass influx of English immigrants to New England between 1620, when the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, to roughly 1640, the start of the English Civil War. In the February 2006 edition of “Genealogy Gems,” we discussed the importance of Robert Charles Anderson’s “Great Migration” series as the seminal work for researching this period. The New England Historic Genealogical Society has now completed publishing the series through 1635 in 10 volumes (974 An23g and 974 An23ga) and two revisions: “The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633” (974.402 P74an) and “The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England, 1629-1630” (974.4 An13wi). For genealogists researching ancestors in this period, these volumes have become the essential place to begin. Anderson plans additional volumes in the next few years that will expand the series to 1640.

A preview of sorts for that next installment can be found in Anderson’s latest volume, “The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1640,” published in 2015 (974 An23gr). He states in his preface that he developed a new list of immigrants after consulting all available records generated in New England from 1636 to 1640, and then merging it with brief entries of those from his previous volumes. Unlike the earlier volumes, the directory entries are brief. The format includes the immigrant’s name, his or her place of origin (if known), the year of arrival in New England, the places of residence, the departure date from New England (if applicable), and occasional comments. Each entry is tied to a specific source or set of sources, and a list of books and articles with their abbreviations appears at the beginning of the volume.

Some entries are more substantial than others and reflect research that Anderson has already undertaken on those individuals. For example, the entry for Jose Glover lists his origin in Sutton, Surrey, his arrival in 1638 on the ship, John, and his family’s settlement in Cambridge, with references to thirteen sources, though no mention that Glover died on the voyage over. In another entry for Edward Spalding, who settled at Braintree in 1639 and later at Wenham and Chelmsford, Anderson notes that a proposed connection with Virginia was “highly unlikely.”

The greatest value of the directory is the glimpse it offers of these later immigrants, whom Anderson will study in much greater detail, with likely revisions, when the next installment of Great Migration volumes appears. For those who can’t wait, this volume is a must-read.

Digitalarkivet--National Archives of Norway’s Digital Archives
by Sara Allen
Genealogical researchers with Norwegian origins should be sure to peruse the online Digitalarkivet or Digital Archives of the National Archives of Norway at: <>. Here one can search databases, and read transcripts of or browse digital images of documents in the archives, as well as volunteer to help index and transcribe records. This free site is in the Norwegian language, but many portions of it can be translated to English by clicking on the word “English” or on the British flag at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Digitalarkivet features many record sets that are searchable by personal name or by property (address or farm name), including the following:
• Norwegian federal censuses: 1801, 1865, 1870, 1875, 1885, 1891, 1900, 1910
• Municipal censuses, 1920-1934
• Baptisms
• Communicants
• Marriages
• Burials
• Migration into and out of Norway
• And more

In addition, the following scanned documents may be browsed page by page, but are not yet fully searchable by name:
• Real estate records
• Probate
• Tax
• Cadastral maps
• And more

The ability to search major record groups by name is a great option for those who know their ancestors came from Norway, but do not know the specific town, farm or parish. The following example demonstrates this website’s usefulness in finding an immigrant ancestor’s parents’ names and birth place in Norway. Norwegian-born Christian Wold died June 11, 1914 in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa at age 39. According to his Iowa death record abstract, his parents were Hans Wold and Anna Gvale; while his children’s Iowa birth record abstracts list his wife as Marit Flaa. Multiple searches of the Digitalarkivet website, under several alternate spellings of Christian’s first and last name and the names of his supposed parents, revealed a birth for a Paul Odin Kristian Vold on August, 28, 1875 in Bakklandet parish, Trondheim, Norway, with parents, Hans Peter Vold and Anna Kvaale. Further, a marriage record showed that this same Paul Odin Kristian Hansen Vold was wed to Marit Sivertdtr Midtflaa on March 16, 1902 in Domkirken parish, Trondheim. This couple subsequently immigrated to the United States on March 4, 1905, according to Norwegian emigration records, and can be found on a U.S. passenger list arriving in New York on March 22, 1905, emigrating from Trondheim. The 1910 census for Woodbury County, Iowa shows them as having emigrated in 1894, but the 1920 census gives the correct 1905 date for Marit. 

In this case, Digitalarkivet’s databases helped trace the family back another generation into Norway and identified the locations where the family lived prior to immigration, making this a remarkable source for researchers to consult. Try it today!

Technology Tip of the Month--An Excel Snafu
by Kay Spears
There are two kinds of people in this world: Access people and Excel people. I'm a Microsoft Access person. I just believe that Access is a little bit more stable and maneuverable than Excel. The drawback to Access is that you have to do a lot of work building a database before you can actually put any information into it. With Excel, you can just open it up and start typing away. This is what Microsoft says: "If it is your goal to maintain data integrity in a format that can be accessed by multiple users, Access is your best choice, whereas Excel is better suited for complex numerical data that you want to analyze in depth." If I'm doing anything that has to do with calculations, I use Excel. However, for maintaining large databases of names, addresses, etc., I use Access. The most important consideration for me is whether I can set up input screens which protect the integrity of the underlying data tables.

What follows is a sad story and it isn't about any kind of an Excel glitch. This is more about how easy it is to lose information. Once upon a time, someone created a "database" in Excel to record index information. As everyone who has ever done research can tell you, index information can be a life saver. An index can certainly save some time when trying to locate a long lost great-great grandmother Myrtle in a thousand page tome. Anyway, this index contained a list of names in one column and page numbers in another. This was a huge index listing thousands of names, and all very easily inputted. It was a very simple database. Then disaster struck.

Someone decided to "sort" the names. They used the A-Z sort method which is in the top right corner of Excel. But they highlighted the first column only - you probably know what's coming. When they selected Sort A-Z, a dialog box appeared. There are two options in that dialog box: Expand the Selection and Continue with the Current Selection. Not knowing which to choose, they selected Continue with the Current Selection. For all who don't know, when you select that option you only sort the column that is selected. In this case, it was the "Name" column and only the names were sorted. The result was that the names no longer matched the correct page numbers. Then they saved the change and closed the database. Once this database was saved and closed all the information was technically lost. There were still names and pages, but they were not correctly matched. This does not happen in Access because each record is unique. You can sort any column you like and the entire record stays together.

Remember, in Excel, if you sort using the A-Z Tool make sure that you "Expand the Selection.” You may also sort using the Custom Sort option, which gives you more choices.

Next Article: The Bit Problem in Photoshop

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Your Digital Assets
by John Beatty
Most family historians have accumulated a significant number of digital images over the last few years. Our digital cameras and smart phones capture digital images of events in our lives, and hopefully, most of us have made a significant dent in scanning our ancestral photographs and documents, and then storing them as TIF images. As we have stated in earlier editions of this newsletter, we advise that you make back-ups of all of your digital images and store copies in a Cloud format. If your only copy is on your computer hard drive, consider that your computer may crash and your images could be lost.  Dropbox and Google both offer inexpensive online storage options that will give you peace of mind. Finally, as we acquire more digital images, it is important to think of them as assets. We have taken a lot of time to scan and archive these images, and we need to give serious thought about how they will survive us. Make an inventory of the digital assets you own (Cloud storage websites, passwords, etc.), and keep that list with your will. If another copy of your will is on file with a local attorney, make sure he or she also has a copy of that list. Many states have been slow to recognize the importance of digital assets, and many attorneys don’t even consider them when doing estate planning with their clients. That may change in the future. In any case, be ahead of the curve and make preparations for preserving and passing on your digital images.

by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
The books on our shelves at the Genealogy Center are organized into sections.  The largest of these groupings are historical and genealogical works sorted by geographical area.  A large section of family histories occupies an entire room and is sorted by primary surname.  An impressive collection of U.S. city directories is sorted geographically.  Smaller sections cover how-to topics, heraldry, peerage, name dictionaries, church denominations, Native Americans, military topics, ships, etc.

Just as our book collection is divided into groups, so are the article citations cataloged in PERSI.  The bulk of the material we index is categorized by place.  A smaller, yet substantial, portion is indexed by primary and sometimes secondary surnames.  The smallest portion covers methodology topics.  Before searching, decide which to seek:  a place, a surname, or a how-to topic.

At the top of the FindMyPast PERSI search page are three search boxes called ‘Who’, ‘Where’, and ‘What Else?’.  While a researcher may be tempted to fill in the first two or all three of these boxes with search terms, doing so is counterproductive.  We recommend not using the ‘Who’ and ‘Where’ boxes at the same time.  Further, we suggest using as few search terms as possible to get a manageable set of article citations to peruse. 

To search for a place, use the ‘Where’ and ‘What Else?’ boxes.  To search for a surname, use the ‘Who’ and ‘What Else?’ boxes.  To search for a how-to topic, use only the ‘What Else?’ box.

If you are interested in the surname Gerber, you would type ‘Gerber’ in the ‘Who’ box and click ‘Search’.  Seventy-seven articles is a manageable list.  Order the results in a way meaningful to you and browse through the list.  Click ‘Clear Search’ between searches.  Searching the surname ‘Jackson’ in the ‘Who’ box produces over 3,500 results.  To narrow these, add a search term in the ‘What Else?’ box.  This might be a given name, a related surname, the abbreviation of a state or country, or another term like ‘Bible’ or ‘obit.’ or ‘obituary’.

To research White County, Indiana, type ‘White, Indiana’ in the ‘Where’ box.  Fifty-five articles show up.  Order them how you like and browse away.  If a location search like ‘Ontario’ in the ‘Where’ box produces more results than you are able to browse, add a term or two in the ‘What Else?’ box to narrow the list.  Consider adding a city or county name there like ‘Kingston’ or ‘Perth’, a topic like ‘military’, ‘tax’, or ‘school’, or some other item of interest like ‘suffrage’, ‘liquor’, ‘contest’, ‘railroad’, or ‘railway’.  Don’t forget to click ‘Clear Search’ between searches.

For finding how-to topics, type your topic of interest in the ‘What Else?’ box.  Try ‘cemetery mapping’, ‘prison research’, or ‘DNA’.  To filter out non-methodology articles, scroll down and check the ‘Yes’ box under ‘How To’ on the left.  An alternative to checking the ‘Yes’ box is simply adding the word ‘Yes’ to the ‘What Else?’ box.

Be persistent and try various combinations of search terms.  There is much to be found in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) online at

An effective PERSI search can yield useful lists, informative histories, curious news items, and colorful characters.  Here are some references to the latter two:

Capleville (TN) High School principal Fannie B. Smith expels girl, too much hugging and kissing, 1909
Craighead County (AR) Historical Quarterly, v.49n.2, Apr. 2011

Captain Henry Blake Hayes photos, his moustache of epic proportions, and military service, 1829-1881
Military Images, v.31n.1, Jul. 2011

Cat, monkey, and rooster fight on Main Street, Italian organ grinder chased from town, 1903
Latrobe (PA) Historical Gazette, Win. 2011

Winter Is Coming! And With It WinterTech!
WinterTech’s December offering will be the program, “Where Art Thou, PERSI?” on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 2:30-3:30 p.m., in Meeting Rooms B&C. Melissa Tennant will talk about where one can find PERSI, the differences between the new and old versions, how to get copies of articles cited in the periodical index, and the dramatic things that are happening with PERSI at FindMyPast. Remember, WinterTech is offered in the afternoons of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana’s monthly meeting, so stay until 7 p.m. to hear Marge Graham talk about “Wills and Probate Records,” in Meeting Room A.

Cynthia Theusch will present the next program in the WinterTech series, “Technology Tour of The Genealogy Center,” on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 2:30–3:30 p.m., in Meeting Rooms B&C., and Delia Bourne will finish the series on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 2:30–3:30 p.m., in Meeting Room C, with “Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Using the African American Historical Newspapers Databases.” For more information about each session, see the brochure at To register for any of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Area Calendar of Events
ACGSI Meeting
09 December 2015 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 7 p.m. Margery Graham will present, “Wills and Probate Records.”
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
16 December 2015 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m. George R. Mather Lecture
03 January 2016 – History Center, 302 East Berry St., Fort Wayne, IN, 2 p.m. Mike Keefer will present, “Poached Yeggs: (Or, the Story of the Robbery of Broadway State Bank, August 20, 1930).”

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.

Curt Witcher, co-editor and Steven Myers, guest co-editor

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