Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 143, January 31, 2016
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 23:17:24 -0500
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 143, January 31, 2016

In this issue:
*Back Home Again . . . In Indiana!
*Women’s Correspondence during the Civil War
*Researching “The Revenant”
*Technology Tip of the Month--Snafu Bit Problem in Photoshop
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Scanning 35mm Slides
*WinterTech in February
*March Madness: Genealogy Style
*Help Record “A Day in Allen County”
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Back Home Again . . . In Indiana!
by Curt B. Witcher
This past Friday, I had the occasion to visit Jasper, Indiana, the birth place of both my parents, and the town where both of their parents lived, worked, died, and are buried. It was so easy to find my grandparents' graves in Fairview Cemetery this time compared to 1997, the last chance I really had time to walk the cemetery and appreciate all the family buried there. (Yes, I know--almost twenty years ago!) and have made finding the final resting place of ancestors so much easier. I could have been satisfied with the images of the tombstones online, but there is still something special, somewhat spiritual and contemplative, about being right at the gravesites of those we remember--those who touched our lives.

Seeing signs along the roads to and from Jasper pointing the way to Huntingburg and Ferdinand reminded me again of how those three towns are connected by so many families in each including so many families in my family tree. St. Joseph's Catholic Church has been a pillar in the community for so many, and for so many years. Seeing it from afar and up-close, brought back memories of the precious few visits my parents made to this place after I was born and our family moved away in search of better jobs and more opportunities. Walking through the church's cemetery, immediately across from Fairview Cemetery, brought to light additional names that populate my family tree, and more specially, names I can recall my parents and grandparents talking about at reunion gatherings and the all too infrequent visits.

Noticing a sign for Kundek Street, which runs perpendicular to one of the church's side yards, brought to mind part of the history of Jasper I learned many years ago, that a German-speaking priest from Croatia named Fr. Joseph Kundek came in 1838 to populate the entire area with German-speaking Catholics. The west-facing stained-glass windows were ablaze on that completely sunny day, bringing back memories of the fascination and the near-magic spell those windows had, and have, on me. In the side yard farthest away from Fairview Cemetery there is a monument that I saw only once on a previous visit--a monument honoring some of the original families that settled in this area of Dubois County, indicating their arrival date and the German region from which they came.

As I am quite sure most of the readers of this ezine don't care much about my personal family history, it is reasonable to expect that many must be asking, “Why is he telling us this?” There are a modest number of reasons, all with some level of consequence. First, visiting the hometown and the county where so many of my North American ancestors were born and led hardworking lives was on my list of things I simply had to accomplish in 2016. Evidencing the alacrity at which January was nearly a complete memory, I decided on making the visit sooner rather than later. I believe that sooner-rather-than-later strategy should be adopted in some small ways (or larger ways!) by all of us throughout this year. For some, the end of the year brings times of contemplation about things that need to be accomplished. For others, it's the beginning of the year. Call them New Year's resolutions, new year promises we've made to ourselves--it really doesn't matter. What does matter is how we are doing with those promises we've made. These are the best of times for genealogists with amazing resources and outstanding tools available to us. Let's get busy researching, writing, preserving, and sharing our family histories.

This recent hometown trip also demonstrates the importance of going back and reviewing again the research we have done for completeness, accuracy, and context. We frequently lament the presence of “brick walls” in our research. So many of those “brick walls” would begin to crumble if we remembered the strategy of going back--review the research we have done for completeness. Do we only have the records and data that are conveniently available or did we seek the more obscure and more difficult to obtain records? The larger the data set, the better conclusions we typically will be able to make about our ancestors' families. Being able to put our ancestors in context by exploring the local history, the migration and settlement patterns, the monuments and markers, the church and school records, and the newspapers will always serve us well. Make this the year you really do “go back” and focus on completeness, accuracy, and context.

Finally, this is Indiana's Bicentennial year. The year of celebration started December 11th of 2015 and will culminate this December 11th. For those with Hoosier ancestors, make the time to wander Indiana in 2016. It certainly will be an awesome year to connect with your Hoosier roots. As you are wandering this Crossroads of America state, take some pictures of the homestead, the ancestral church, the family graveyard, the old school house, the playgrounds and picnic areas, and those favorite spots you enjoy here in Indiana. Whether you wander in from another state or you wander, as I did, from the northern part of the state to a southern region, there is much to experience and many ways to further document the lives of your Hoosier ancestors and more completely share their stories. I invite you do so, and to share your images with The Genealogy Center through our “Who's A Hoosier?” initiative.

Women’s Correspondence during the Civil War
by Melissa C. Tennant
Evidence of our female ancestors varies greatly, especially before the twentieth century. Often as researchers, we struggle to find detailed information about them in sources beyond federal censuses and other legal sources. However, the lives of women are sometimes detailed in such personal documents as family bibles, diaries, and letters. The Civil War era was an important time for women, since the war prompted some to serve as nurses, while others maintained their homes and families when their husbands were away on the battlefield.  A number of publications in The Genealogy Center transcribe and preserve the personal letters of these women. They can be found by searching the catalog using “Civil War women correspondence” as keywords.

One such publication is titled “Letters of a Civil War Nurse: Cornelia Hancock, 1863-1865” (973.7 H191LE). The volume includes letters written to and from Cornelia, who served as a nurse for the Union Army, 2nd Corps. They are filled with descriptions of the conditions she faced in hospitals treating the wounded, along with her impressions of the friends and colleagues she met. One letter even describes President Lincoln’s visit to the hospital.

Another source is “Wanted--Correspondence: Women's Letters to a Union Soldier” (973.74 AA1WANT). Edwin Lewis Lybarger, who served in the 43rd Ohio, received more than 150 letters from women after he posted an advertisement requesting correspondence. Those from thirty-six different women residing in Ohio and Kentucky detail their daily lives as well as stories they overheard about the war front and about other soldiers from the region. Some are flirty and teasing in the hopes of lifting his spirits.

Another volume, “Write Quick: War and a Woman's Life in Letters, 1835-1867” (973.74 M38WQ), contains the correspondence and diary of Eliza Bean Foster. This work includes more than 150 letters written by Eliza’s family, including members of the Bean, Foster, and Fox families, as well as her diary, which is also rich with detail. The letters report activities at home as well as war-time experiences, and they often include the correspondents’ deepest thoughts and concerns. In one letter, Henry C. Foster, who served in the Massachusetts infantry, discusses temptation while away from his wife, Eliza, and how it gave him a deeper appreciation of his wife and family. Another letter from Charles Richardson, who is mentioned in several of Henry’s letters, notified Eliza of Henry’s death.

Although the lives of women who lived during the turbulent Civil War years are not as well-documented as we would like, one can find a variety of publications that illumine the experiences of at least a few of them.

Researching “The Revenant”
by Delia Bourne
One of the top dramas currently gracing the movie theaters is “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular “ghost.” The movie is based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Michael Punke, which was, in turn, based on the account of the real Hugh Glass, an early nineteenth-century fur trapper who was left for dead after an encounter with a grizzly. Glass’s 1823 adventure was reported across the United States, including in a July 2, 1825, article in the Sandusky “Clarion” that reported, “An old man appeared at Fort Atkinson, in June last… His name was Hugh Glass.”

There are a number of sources in The Genealogy Center that can help one delve more deeply into the Glass story. The oldest of these is “Back-trailing on the Old Frontiers,” illustrated by Charles M. Russell, 1922 (978 R9905B). The stories in this volume, including “Adventure of Hugh Glass,” appeared originally as Sunday features in newspapers published by the Cheely-Raban Syndicate in the early 1920s. This volume is also available online at .

“Historical Essays on Montana and the Northwest” (978.6 H62S), published in a limited edition in 1957, includes “Hugh Glass Tells His Story,” by Aubrey L. Haines. The chapter outlines various discrepancies in the accounts of Glass’s experience and cites for the first time details that were published in “The Port Folio” in 1825. It also includes a transcription and English translation of a German version of Glass’s account by Friedrich Wilhelm von Wrede. Detailed footnotes add to the analysis of the story.

“Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West,” by Dale L. Morgan, 1953 (978 M821JE) offers an extensive biography of Smith, an early western explorer, and includes a chapter titled “Adventures of Hugh Glass – and Others.” This volume contains more detail concerning the others involved in the legend, even naming the men who abandoned Glass. There are extensive notes in the appendix that cite the sources Morgan used for his chapter.

John Myers Myers’s biography, “Pirate, Pawnee and Mountain Man, the Saga of Hugh Glass,” 1963 (978 M992P) covers more than the 1823 incident and compares the differing sources. The volume also contains a useful bibliography of both folklore and historical sources.

“Those Good Old Days in the Black Hills,” by George Moss, 1991 (978.3 M853T) is a small volume containing many stories, and the Glass tale, at seven pages, is one of the longest. Appealing more to a curious reader than a serious researcher, Moss recounts the story in a slightly flamboyant manner.

Finally, “The Mountain Men,” by John G. Neihardt, contains “The Song of Hugh Glass,” an epic poem first published in 1915 and reprinted in 1971, together with “The Song of Three Friends” and “The Song of Jed Smith.” Epic poetry is a classic form of storytelling. This volume includes a map of the West showing the path of Glass’s movements.

For anyone interested in more than just the Hugh Glass story, The Genealogy Center has many volumes about the North American fur trade and the people who participated in it: trappers, mercantile families, settlers, and Native Americans who variously aided or hindered this enterprise.

Technology Tip of the Month--Snafu Bit Problem in Photoshop
by Kay Spears
Bits and Depths and Channels – Oh My! When I decided to talk about this snafu, I hesitated. This snafu involves words like bits, depths, channels, alpha, etc. - Words which give me a headache when I look up their definitions to try and understand them. But I’m going on with the snafu, and I am going to try and stay away from the technical side.
It all started with a program called CONTENTdm (content management program). Here at the library we use CONTENTdm to post our images online. One day I received a phone call from one of the people who loads the images to CONTENTdm. For some reason, some of the images were not downloading; they were being rejected by CONTENTdm. I, of course, said I don’t know anything about CONTENTdm, but send one of the rejected images to me, and I’ll look at it, which is what they did. When I received the image, I opened it with Adobe Photoshop. It was a TIFF image, it looked normal, nothing jumped out at me until I tried to save it as a JPEG/JPG. When the Save As dialog box opened up for me, the option of JEPG/JPG was not there for me to choose. Well that’s interesting, I thought. I then took the image and opened it up in “Paint.” I was amazed that “Paint” allowed me to change the TIFF to a JPEG/JPG while the more expensive software of Adobe and CONTENTdm had a problem with this particular image. Why? I opened the original image back up in Adobe and noticed that in the layer palette, instead of having one layer that said “Background,” I had a layer which said “Layer1”. That should not be, I thought. The only time I’ve seen that is if I’ve done the changing myself or there is “Alpha” channel (transparency.) Then I looked at the “Mode.” The “Mode” said “Bitmap”. This indicated to me that somehow this particular image was scanned at a low depth, which creates a low bit, which creates a TIFF that doesn’t turn into a JPEG/JPG. The way I solved the problem for this image was to change the “Mode” to “Grayscale”. When I did that, the image was changed to an 8 bit/channel image, and I was able then to save it as a JEPG/JPG. That was CONTENTdm, now on to Adobe Photoshop.
Sometimes we are given large quantities of images which need to be converted to JPEG/JPGs so we can post them online. Occasionally, the message “The Command ‘Convert Mode’ is not currently available” will appear. When this message appears, the first thing to check on your images is the “Mode.” More than likely the image will say “Bitmap,” instead of “Grayscale” or “RGB”. There may be more than one reason for this happening, but in most of the cases here, the original images have been scanned using the “Black and White” option on the scanner. The easy fix is to convert the “Bitmap” to “Grayscale” or “RGB”. I will also add this, even after converting from a Bitmap to Grayscale or RGB, the quality of the image is probably not the best. The best solution, if possible, is to scan the image over again using the correct settings.
If you don’t care about changing TIFFs to JPEG/JPGs or you don’t care about the quality of the image, then how you scan an image doesn’t really matter. But, if you are interested in archiving or preserving those images, how you scan them is very important. Stay away from the “Black and White” options on most scanners. Here at the library we scan our photographs at no less than 300 dpi/ppi (verbiage depends on the scanner). Sometimes we scan at a higher dpi/ppi depending on the photograph and what we may want to do with that photograph. If we know we want to enlarge it or maybe use it for printing in a high quality book, we will “up” the resolution settings. We also scan all photographs as color images, even so-called black and white photographs, and we always save them as TIFFs.
Next article: A look at Microsoft Access.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Scanning 35mm Slides
by John D. Beatty, GC
Many of us have collections of 35 millimeter slides, which were a popular alternative to conventional photographs throughout the twentieth century. Converting them to digital format requires several considerations. If you have a standard flatbed scanner, you will need a special attachment that fits around the slide and draws light to the image. These attachments are sold by Hewlett-Packard and other companies. You may want to look up your scanner to see what type of attachment is recommended for your particular model. The attached websites offer some scanning tips:

The Genealogy Center has recently installed two new digital microfilm copy-scanners, which will also digitize slides and save them to a flash drive. Feel free to ask a staff members about their operation. Some companies will digitize old slides for a fee. The scanning process can be time-consuming, but if you do them yourself, you can choose which images you wish to save and which are simply not worth it.

WinterTech in February
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.” Discover the vast riches that can be found in African American historical newspapers and learn effective search strategies for finding the information you want. For more information, see the brochure at To register for any of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info. 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 Delia again at the ACGSI meeting as she discusses “Using Online Newspaper Databases at The Genealogy Center.”

March Madness: Genealogy Style
This year’s theme for our annual March Madness is “Brick Walls: Overcoming Barriers in Your Genealogical Research.” Rebound with your research the first week of March as The Genealogy Center gives you an assist with these classes in our new Discovery Center. Classes include:

Sunday, March 6, 2016, 1:00 p.m., Discovery Center - “Common Sense Problem Solving: Two Case Studies”
Presenter: Delia Bourne

Monday, March 7, 2016, 6:30 p.m., Discovery Center - “Forenames: First and Foremost—First Names, Nick Names, Called Names, Initials, and Clues to Further Your Research”
Presenter: Michael Clegg

Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 6:30 p.m., Discovery Center - “Breaking Through the Brick Wall: 14 Steps for Re-thinking and Solving Genealogical Problems”
Presenter: John Beatty

Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:00 p.m., - ACGSI Meeting “Gaining Insight into a Life with School Research”
Presenter: Adam Barrone

Thursday, March 10, 2016, 6:30 p.m., Discovery Center - “Breaking Through the Brick Wall”
Presenter: Melissa Tennant

Friday, March 11, 2016, 10 a.m., Discovery Center - “Surnames: Last, but Not Least—Surnames and Clues to Further Your Research”
Presenter: Michael Clegg

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 10 a.m., Discovery Center - “Working with a Single Record”
Presenter: Cynthia Theusch   

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

Help Record “A Day in Allen County”
Sunday February 14, 2016 is the first of three designated “A Day in Allen County” events for 2016. What does that mean? You are challenged to record images of life in Allen County on that day, from sporting events, religious services, family outings, work scenes, and of course, Valentine’s Day events with Your Special Someones. Take a photo (or photos!) with your camera or cell phone and send or upload with your name and a brief description to help us document a special – or regular – Day in Allen County. It’s a great way to contribute to the community’s photo album hosted at the Allen County Public Library!
**Email them to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info
**Upload pictures on our
**Twitter #DayinAllenCo2016

Out and About
Sara Allen:
February 10, 2016
John Chapman Kiwanis Club at the Sun Rise Café, 10230 Coldwater Rd., Fort Wayne, IN, 7 a.m. Presentation: “Finding the Family of James Beavers.”

Allison Singleton:
February 10, 2016
Indiana Historical Society, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN, 6: 30 to 8:30 p.m. Presentation: “Beginning Genealogy for Boy Scouts.”

Feb. 26, 2016
Indiana Historical Society, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN, 6: 30 to 8:30 p.m. Presentation: “Beginning Genealogy.”

Area Calendar of Events
ACGSI Meeting
10 February 2016 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 7 p.m. Delia Bourne will present “Researching Newspapers.”
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
17 February 2016 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

George R. Mather Lecture
07 February 2016 – History Center, 302 East Berry St., Fort Wayne, IN, 2 p.m. Dr. Timothy Lake will present, “Finding Things Left Behind: Indiana’s African American Public Markers.”

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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