Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 142, December 31, 2015
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:15:53 -0500
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 142, December 31, 2015

In this issue:
*Rounding the Bend and Charging into the New Year—Come Join Us!
*Colonial Families of America
*Genealogy Software Review
*Technology Tip of the Month--Excel Snafu (revisited)
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Holiday Traditions
*WinterTech in the New Year
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Rounding the Bend and Charging into the New Year—Come Join Us!
by Curt B. Witcher
December was an exciting month for The Genealogy Center, and that's in addition to the family-filled holidays! It was a nice way to end 2015.

Construction on our two new spaces in The Genealogy Center is moving along quite nicely. The build and finishing work is largely done in our Discovery Center, with the look and feel of the space tempting us with all kinds of learning, presenting, and networking possibilities. The wiring and technology will be the last to be added, with work on those two important aspects of the space already underway. The new Life Stories Center is also built out, with brighter, controllable, energy-efficient lighting and sound-dampening panels next on the installation schedule. Early in the New Year both of these spaces should be ready for prime time.

Just a couple of weeks ago on December 11th, in all ninety-two counties as well as in our capital city, Indiana kicked-off a year-long celebration of this state's bicentennial. From December 11, 2015 to December 11, 2016, when Indiana turns 200 years old, many hundreds of activities will be taking place across the state to “celebrate history and ignite the future.” There is a great team of colleagues at the library and throughout this community who is planning engaging events filled with meaning, excitement, and engagement. We are growing a website,, to highlight events throughout 2016.

One of the bicentennial projects of The Genealogy Center is an image-gathering initiative called “Who's A Hoosier? Who and What Makes Indiana Great!” In addition to the notable and famous, The Genealogy Center invites Hoosiers and those with any connection at all to Indiana to contribute images of “life lived in the small places” as that is what makes, and has made, Indiana great. We are interested in old and new images of daily life and the people of Indiana that showcase Hoosier life. These can include children at play, people at work, people hanging out, sporting events, church buildings and gatherings, homes and factories, and so much more. The Genealogy Center will collect Who’s a Hoosier? images through December 11, 2016.

So do you live in anywhere in Indiana? Have you ever resided in Indiana? Do you have family who once made Indiana their home? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you know someone who is a Hoosier. To show pride in the Hoosier state as it celebrates its 200th birthday, please contribute an image along with a description detailing who and what makes Indiana great! Use our web form to upload pictures at, email pictures as attachments to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info, or upload pictures at Share information about this initiative with family and friends near and far by sending them a link to the an informational flier:

There will be an amazing number of groups and organizations meeting in Fort Wayne and engaging The Genealogy Center in 2016. Below is a list of some of the highlights.

April 15-16: The Indiana Genealogical Society’s Society Management Seminar and Annual Conference will be held at the Allen County Public Library. This year is a special bicentennial conference with two national speakers presenting a total of eight terrific programs.
Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG is a professional researcher who helps the U.S. Army identify next-of-kin for missing soldiers from World War II on. Her topics will be:
•Miracles, Mysteries & Mayhem: Online Family Trees
•The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women
•You're Not in Kansas Anymore: Essential Resources for Urban-Area Research
•Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections
Jen Baldwin is the Outreach Manager US/Canada for Findmypast. Her topics will be:
•Being More Than Social on Social Media
•Paperless Genealogy
•Preserving Your Personal Archives
•Go Back to School: Utilizing University Resources
Jen Baldwin's sessions are being sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana.
Mark your calendars now to attend this spring, and check the Indiana Genealogical Society's website early in the New Year to register.

June 8: A Day with John Philip Colletta will be held at the Allen County Public Library and is sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana. This ticketed event promises to be extremely enjoyable and informative. Colletta's four presentations are listed below.
•Breaking Through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD
•U.S. Naturalization Records, 1790-1930: Sources and Strategies
•Passenger Arrival Records: Colonial Times to Mid-20th Century
•The Keepers of the Records and I: Tales of Accessing Historical Sources
Register today at The links are half way down this main page on the left-hand side.

July 10-14: The Midwest African American Institute (MAAGI) will be held at the Allen County Public Library over the course of this week. Started in St. Louis, Missouri, 2016 is the first year this well-recognized institute has moved to another research location. It is extremely well-presented and engaging. More details about the robust course offerings can be found at

August 10-11: International Federation of Library Associations’ Genealogy & Local History Preconference is being hosted by the Allen County Public Library. Though the main conference is in Columbus, OH the following weekend, dozens of librarians and archivists from around the world will gather in Fort Wayne to learn about digital conversion and preservation as well as preserving living memory. Specific details will be forthcoming early in the New Year. 

September 22-24: The Association of Professional Genealogists’ Professional Management Seminar will take place in Fort Wayne at the downtown facilities of the Allen County Public Library. Having this highly regarded multi-day seminar at our library will afford many opportunities to learn from the best in the field. Check early in 2016 at for specific details and to register.

All of the terrific 2016 educational and networking opportunities listed above are being held in addition to The Genealogy Center's regular annual offerings of “March Madness Genealogy Style,” ALA's “Preservation Week,” and “Family History Month” in October, as well as the program of the month throughout the year.

It promises to be an exciting year in 2016. Join us as often as you can—in person and online. Best wishes for a terrific New Year!

Colonial Families of America
by Cynthia Theusch
If you have roots in colonial America, you may want to consult Colonial Families of America [Gc 929.11 L43c, oversize], a 29-volume set edited by Ruth Lawrence and published between 1928 and 1933 by the National Americana Society. Individual family histories within the volumes were contributed anonymously by members of hereditary societies, apparently under Lawrence’s editorial guidance.  Each volume contains an index of individuals along with a table of contents listing surnames and associated page numbers.

The contents of each family history may include a record of the earliest-known English ancestor along with references to armorial bearings, if any.  The sketches show the direct lineage, with added information about siblings, down to someone living in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Some of the chapters also make reference to other surnames contained in the volume. None of the sketches include documentation or references to original sources. Hence, the information in these volumes needs to be treated cautiously.

For example, the sketch on the Kingsley family in Volume One contains historical information, engraved portraits, and color illustrations of coats of arms. The family traces its alleged origin to Sir Rannulph de Kyngesleigh, who was the grantee of the Forest of Mara and Mondren from Randall Meschimes in 1128 and occupied his township and estate of Kingslea in Chester. The American line begins with two brothers, John and Stephen Kingsley. The writer details nine generations from Stephen to his 8th great-grandson, Darwin Pear Kingsley.

Another example in Volume 11 is the history of Mark Prime (or Pryme), who settled in Rowley, Massachusetts, sometime before January 1644/5. His earliest known ancestor is alleged to be Alexander, who accompanied Philip of Alsace in the Second Crusade of 1176. For his services, he received a patent of gentility and a grant of arms.

The lack of references makes these volumes useful only as guides. Some of the portraits, especially from the colonial era, have research value and may not be found in other sources. However, all of the genealogical information will need to be verified in original sources such as land, tax, church, and probate records, in order to be considered trustworthy.

Genealogy Software Review
by John D. Beatty, CG
Ancestry announced in December that it plans to discontinue sale of its desktop genealogy software, Family Tree Maker, though the company will continue to offer tech support through 2016.  Family Tree Maker has enjoyed years of popularity for its ease of use and as a tool for syncing in a private format the information that one posts on a Public Member Tree. Many genealogists consider it their software of choice.

We are often asked in the Genealogy Center about the best software programs for family history research. Fortunately, even with the discontinuance of Family Tree Maker, many other options exist. You can read reviews of the top ten genealogy programs on the website, “2016 Best Genealogy Software Review: Reviews and Comparisons” If you plan to shop for a new desktop genealogy software program in 2016, you should visit this site.

The “Best Genealogy Software Review” analyzes ten software programs: Legacy Family Tree, Family Historian, Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, Ancestral Quest, Heredis, Family Tree Heritage, Brother’s Keeper, GenBox Family History, and WinFamily. Each of them are evaluated by six different criteria: web capabilities, creating connections, charting capabilities, citations & organization, help & support, and supported configurations. Within each of these topics are a series of specific sub-categories that allow you to see at a glance the capabilities of a particular program. The website also provides direct links to each of the software sites, where you can learn more about each product. By a large margin, the reviewers like Legacy Family Tree best, but RootsMagic and Family Historian are also popular.

Undoubtedly, more news will appear in 2016 regarding the demise of Family Tree Maker and the best alternatives for replacing it. Ancestry has already announced that it is exploring possible relationships with other software publishers about providing full integration to its website. Stay tuned for more developments. If you use Family Tree Maker, it may be wise to wait awhile for new software announcements before choosing to purchase an alternative.

Technology Tip of the Month--Excel Snafu
by Kay Spears
I know I promised you an article on the bit problem in Photoshop, but a vigilant reader brought something to my attention concerning my Excel Snafu article. Evidently, there is more to watch out for when using the “Sort/Expand” option in Excel than I knew. (Remember, I am an Access person.) Anyway, let’s say you are adding information to your spreadsheet and you decide you want space between some of that information, maybe space between the name and address. The way you decide to do that is to have a blank column. The “Sort/Expand” will not sort anything on the other side of that blank column. Well, that’s interesting, I thought, so I immediately had to do some experimenting. And, here’s what I found out. Remember: we are talking about columns, not rows.
I created a bogus spreadsheet with five columns. The first three columns had data inserted, followed by a blank column, then one more column with data. Then I tried doing just a normal sort. Well, well, well, only the first three columns sorted. That was irritating. So, I did some more experimenting and found something surprising. If I selected the blank column and did a Custom Sort, all five of the columns sorted. Huzzah, there is a way to do a Custom Sort if you have a blank column! But, what if you have two blank columns? Guess what, the Custom Sort does not work with two blank columns. I did find something else in my experiments, though: Format as Table.
There is a Format as Table option in Excel, and it does look promising as far as keeping data together. Having never used it, though, I do not know what the negatives to that table would be. I was able to create a table and enter information into it. I was also able to do a sort and retain the integrity of my data.  The only downside to the table was that it created some unattractive column headers with drop down arrows. I’m pretty sure those headings can be formatted to look the way you want them.
After all this experimenting with the Sort/Custom Sort/Format as Table, I have arrived at the conclusion that it may be just as simple to highlight everything you want sorted and then just sort using the AZ function – just make sure you have everything selected. And thank you, Vigilant Reader, for the challenge.
Next article: Snafu Bit Problem in Photoshop

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Holiday Traditions
by Melissa C. Tennant
Traditions have become an integral part of our holiday experiences, but many do not know the reasons their family observes or participates in them. Why do we partake of a particular food or beverage, or own a certain decoration? Over the years and generations, the significance or meaning behind these traditions can become lost, and what was once important can instead become routine. I encourage everyone to investigate the origins of your holiday traditions by talking to family members and studying family history. If possible, try to determine who began a custom and why it was important for the family to continue it. Share the stories of these holiday traditions by discussing them with the next generation and documenting them. Write a family tale that can be shared during the holidays. Show old family photos or videos of previous events. Note the story of a family recipe in a cookbook and place descriptive notes in the decorations box that documents the provenance of the items. If any tradition alters in the coming years, write down the reasons for the change so that future generations will understand how it has evolved. Take some time this season to record these traditions so that you can experience them in the future with new appreciation and understanding.

by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
PERSI’s partners at FindMyPast are working to enhance the Periodical Source Index by linking images of periodical issues to the index.  Much of that work is focused on public-domain material published through 1923.  FindMyPast is also working with societies and publishers to secure the appropriate permissions to digitize and link modern newsletters and journals to PERSI. 

Your local, regional, state, and special-interest genealogical and historical societies can work with FindMyPast to digitize and link their newsletters and journals to PERSI.  By entering into agreements with FindMyPast, societies can reach a wider audience of researchers, support our work developing PERSI, and earn royalties or other benefits negotiated with FindMyPast.

Interested societies may contact FindMyPast for more information at:  persi [at]

The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) can be searched online at:

The following articles piqued our curiosity.  If the societies responsible for publishing them were to link their publications with PERSI, then users could learn more with just a few mouse clicks.

Ceraline Killough Reynolds 104th birthday, has third set of natural teeth, 1932, AR
White County (AR) Historical Society News, Jun. 2010

Charles B. James arrest for bigamy and stealing an umbrella, married Emma Wisenant, 1881-1885, IL
Central Illinois Genealogical Quarterly, v.46n.2, Sum. 2010

Charles Earl leaves wife Rosa 12 times in 13 years, she seeks divorce, 1918, Alton, IL
Stalker (Madison Co. Genealogical Society, IL), v.31n.3, Fal. 2011

Chewing gum apt to produce weak minds, girls warned not to develop into imbeciles, 1890
Henderson County Illinois Family History and Genealogy Society, v.9n.4, 2011

Chicago & Alton Railroad conductor forbids honeymoon billing, cooing, and hugging, 1874
Historical Record (Blue Springs Historical Society, MO), v.12n.8-9, Aug. 2011

Christopher Saur almanac excerpt, piglet born with human hand and hat, 1776
Goschenhoppen Newsletter (PA), v.46n.5, May 2012

WinterTech in the New Year
Cynthia Theusch will present January’s offering in the WinterTech series with “Technology Tour of The Genealogy Center,” on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 2:30–3:30 p.m., in Meeting Rooms B&C. She will demonstrate how to use the various technology equipment in the Center, including scanners, printers, and much more! Remember that WinterTech is offered in the afternoon prior to the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana’s monthly meeting, so stay until 7 p.m. to hear ACGSI members “Sharing Unique Finds during Genealogical Research.”

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.

Out and About
Curt Witcher:
January 26, 2016
Fort Wayne Women's Mid-Day Connection, Orchard Ridge Country Club, 4531 Lower Huntington Road, Fort Wayne, IN, 11:30 a.m. Presentation: "Highlights of The Genealogy Center."

Area Calendar of Events
ACGSI Meeting
13 January 2016 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 7 p.m. ACGSI Members will present “Sharing Unique Finds during Genealogical Research.”
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
20 January 2016 – 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 B. Witcher and John D. Beatty, CG, co-editors
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