Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 145, March 31, 2016
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 22:36:47 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 145, March 31, 2016

In this issue:
*Musings from the Field . . . and a Smile
*A Great Mid-April Learning & Networking Opportunity--The Indiana Genealogical Society Seminar and Conference in Fort Wayne
*Immigrating to Indiana 
*FamilySearch’s Learning Center & Other E-Learning Opportunities
*Technology Tip of the Month--Microsoft Access, Begin at the Beginning
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation—Information at Archival Supply Sites
*History Tidbits: Euphemisms for Death
*Preservation Week, April 24 – 30, 2016 – Pass It On!
*Summer Events!
*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
*Out and About
*Area Calendar of Events 
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for The Genealogy Center

Musings from the Field . . . and a Smile
by Curt B. Witcher
Let’s take a couple of moments to think about our future, particularly the future of the research we are doing, the documents we have gathered, and the digital assets we have created and shared. I’d like to begin by considering some definitions. 

**rust proof: to prevent or delay rusting on iron and steel objects, or the permanent protection against corrosion.

**water proof: to make objects relatively unaffected by water or resistant to the ingress of water under specified conditions; waterproofing describes making an object waterproof or water-resistant.

**future proof: to prevent or delay the appearance of the future, or permanent protection against the future; to make objects relatively unaffected by the future.

What??!! Typically, “proofing” something has been seen as a process to inhibit a perceived negative effect, action, or reaction. Even though we know that such is not the definition of “future proofing,” I fear our familiarity with the “proofing” concept leads us to at least subconsciously view “future proofing” as making something resistant to future changes, activities, and even realities. And that is just silly--definitely wrong thinking, arguably even dangerous thinking. 

Now you may better understand why I have such a dislike for the phrase “future-proofing.” It’s a most annoying, but also very in vogue phrase. I believe the very use of the phrase entices us to be less creative, less evaluative, and less aggressive in truly ensuring our data is preserved and shareable. 

Future-proofing should be the process of anticipating the future, developing methods of minimizing the effects of shocks and stresses of future events, and becoming more adaptable to take fullest advantage of newer and better technology. More specifically, future-proofing should mean that we actively engage in activities that have the best chance of ensuring that our data can be migrated to new hardware and software platforms that we absolutely know are being developed and deployed.   

Some had their worlds rocked when the cadillac of genealogical data management programs, The Master Genealogist, decided to close-up shop a number of years ago. There were exclamations of “What?!” and “How could they . . . ?!” Yet, we all know absolutely nothing is forever--nothing. Still, there was surprise and alarm as users of the software scrambled to find and adopt the next best thing. Time passes and we are way too easily coaxed into complacency. We find that the lessons learned really weren’t.

Hark! Late in 2015 our world was rocked again with an announcement from Ancestry that they were completely discontinuing Family Tree Maker. And again the chorus belted-out the ol’ familiar tune: “What?!” and “How could they . . . ?!” That software had the largest market share by far of all the genealogical data management programs; people depended on it to help them deal with, sort, and manage data dumps from the Ancestry site; and on and on. Thousands of individuals ranted and complained on the Ancestry blog (as is their right if such an opportunity is presented). Ancestry relented, brought the program back from the grave, and sold it to one of their contractors. Many breathed an almost prideful sigh of relief. “We won . . .” But really?! We won?! What did we win? I believe what we actually won was another lesson is being responsible for our own data.

Earlier this very week, I read the following post in “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.” It was from our friends at 

“As you may know, the RootsWeb site was recently unavailable as the result of a hardware failure in our datacenter. Our development and web operations teams worked diligently and carefully to address the issues, and as a result, the site is now available again.

“Regretfully, despite their best efforts, our teams were not able to retrieve all of the data associated with the site. Specifically, we were unable to retrieve content from FreePages added after the summer of 2015. We understand these pages are important to you and are very sorry that we are not able to recover the data that was lost as a result of the hardware failure. Going forward, we are adding additional technical resources to support the site and ensure such an issue does not occur again.

“If you have a backup of your own please upload it to the site so that you have the most current version of your pages. If you have any concerns, please contact our Member Services through our support form. The RootsWeb Team.”

Wait for it! Wait for it! Ah, yes, there it is again, getting louder and louder--the persistent chants of “What?!” and “How could they . . . ?!” It would take hours, maybe even days, to carefully unpack what Ancestry is telling us and, as importantly, not telling us in their announcement. But it really doesn’t matter, because I believe there is a bigger takeaway.

So what is the takeaway some, perhaps many, seem to be missing? For me, clearly it is this--we are responsible for our own family history data--totally, completely, continuously, without end or exception. It’s just that simple. Nothing great and wonderful is going to come into our lives that will abdicate our complete responsibility for our own data. Great things assuredly will happen in the technology space. How can they not with technology doubling every eighteen months? 

I still passionately believe we live in the best of times for genealogists and family historians. We can do so much, and we have such amazing access to records and data. The best of times, though, brings with it some of the greatest responsibilities, particularly that of managing the preserving, sharing, and archiving of our own family history data.

We have heard some advice for so long that I fear we are numb to it, and then choose to ignore it. “Back up your files” and “Lots of copies keeps stuff safe” are but two. Let’s commit to doing those basic activities that will demonstrate that we have some level of responsibility for our own family history data. Figuratively, let’s not put all our eggs in the RootsWeb basket, or any basket. Can the indices, images, and other data posted on RootsWeb be shared with the libraries in the areas the indices, images, and data cover? Can we work together to create collaborative virtual spaces organized by geographic area, ethnic group, religious belief, surname, occupation, etc. to post data that we might have previously just posted on RootsWeb or some other site? Why not send a copy of your electronic files with normalized data as well as your image files to The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library and/or your favorite family history research facility that you believe might be equipped to handle it--to preserve it, present it, and pass it on to newer technologies and new generations of researchers. 

Our history is in our hands. That’s the way it should be—the way we want it to be. Now let’s take responsibility for it. 

An Awesome Experience

Just a couple of days ago, a colleague and I had an amazing opportunity to interact with a 10-year old customer who brought his grandmother into The Genealogy Center to explore a little family history. That’s right--he brought her! It was a wonderful experience to provide some assistance and listen to them interact with each other. For a bit more than an hour, they had a really good time looking for people in a number of our online resources. The last snippet of conversation I caught ended with the grandmother telling her grandson, “. . . yes, we can come back.” Awesome! The gift of your time in sharing your family’s history with children and grandchildren is truly priceless.

A Great Mid-April Learning & Networking Opportunity--The Indiana Genealogical Society Seminar and Conference in Fort Wayne
On April 15th and 16th The Allen County Public Library and its Genealogy Center are hosting the 2016 Indiana Genealogical Society annual seminar and conference. The Society Management Seminar is scheduled for Friday, April 15th and provides learning and networking opportunities for those who are actively working (paid or volunteer) in genealogical and historical societies as well as those working in libraries and archives. These are challenging times for nearly all in the genealogy and family history space. Why not take some time to sharpen your skills and hear how others are facing situations and challenges similar to yours. Here is the line-up for the seminar day:

Putting the Customer Back in Customer Service - Curt Witcher
Our societies succeed more when we view our members as customers.
Fraternal Groups: Doable Projects with Limited Volunteers - Ron Darrah 
Hear good strategies for engaging in meaningful projects.

Reaching People on Social Media Without Spending All Day on Facebook - Amy Johnson Crow
Social media should be a critical tool for a society and its members. Hear about best practices to ensure good results.

Issues and Answers Discussion
Share the challenges and successes your society is having and hear what others are doing.

A tour of The Lincoln Collection as well as a “Behind The Scenes Tour of the Genealogy Center”  will take place mid-afternoon, followed by an Indiana County Genealogists meeting at the end of the day. 

The 2016 IGS Conference is set for Saturday, April 16, 2016, and presents one with an amazing line-up of presenters and topics. Thanks to the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (a chapter of the Indiana Genealogical Society), and the Doug and Joni Lehman Charitable Foundation, this IGS conference features two national speakers, Jeanne Bloom and Jen Baldwin. Together they present a powerful lineup of eight top-shelf presentations. The lineup of sessions is listed below. 

Miracles, Mysteries & Mayhem: Online Family Trees - Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
We want to build on the research of others but those online family trees often contain miracles, mysteries and mayhem. Does the tree need to be pruned? Learn effective techniques to determine if branches on a tree are diseased or if they are healthy.

Being More than Social on Social Media - Jen Baldwin
A good social media plan will go a long way toward promoting your family history research, genealogy society, or business. Understanding how to put that plan together, however, is a bit more than just being “friendly” on Facebook. 

The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women - Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
Like using negative space in art, the successful identification of women is often accomplished by using the records of friends and family.

Paperless Genealogy: Eliminating the Binders, File Cabinets and Post-It Notes - Jen Baldwin
Have you ever found yourself in a library or archive only to be without that one essential document you need to evaluate a new piece of evidence? Going paperless can solve that problem and allow you to take every shred of your research with you in mobile form... but how do you actually accomplish this seemingly overwhelming task?

You're Not in Kansas Anymore: Essential Resources for Urban-Area Research - Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
Urban-area research is challenging but not impossible. Begin with what you KNOW. Determine the GOAL. Develop a Research Plan. The successful researcher needs to understand what records are available and where those records might be located.

Preserving Your Personal Archives - Jen Baldwin
The technology we need to digitize our family collections is all around us, and it can be stunningly simple. Take away easy-to-apply methods, great hacks for getting the job done, and action items you can start on today!

Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections - Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
Learn how to locate and how to use manuscript collections. Case studies show how these underutilized collections can bring an ancestor to life.

Go Back to School: Utilizing University Resources - Jen Baldwin
The local college or university can be one of your best tools for family history research. What they offer, how they are interconnected and how you can access these materials will all be covered in this lecture, as well as examples of using some of the unexpected or untraditional genealogical resources.

Spend a great day or two at the IGS Seminar and Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Allen County Public Library. Registration information can be found at the following two links.
April 4th is the early registration deadline. I hope to see you in a couple of weeks!

Immigrating to Indiana 
by Allison DePrey Singleton
“Peopling Indiana: The Ethnic Experience,” edited by Robert M. Taylor and Connie A. McBirney (GC 977.2 P39), represents a valuable example of ethnology written in a statewide context. Ethnology - the study of the characteristics of a group of people and their relationships - can encompass specific communities, but in this case it refers to a statewide study of groups of ethnic populations who traveled to Indiana and made it their home.  While other studies of Indiana’s ethnic groups exist, Peopling Indiana is the most comprehensive.  Many ethnologies have been written for other states, and when searching the library catalog for these volumes, a good strategy is to use the terms “ethnology,” “history,” and the state’s name as keywords.  

“Peopling Indiana’ resulted of a multi-year ethnic history project and took almost ten years to complete, beginning with the Northwest Ordinance Bicentennial celebration in 1987.  The volume contains thirty essays that discuss more than fifty groups.  They range from Chinese to Greeks to Peoples of the Pacific to Swiss.  Each chapter covers the historical context of the group and answers why it left its ancestral home for the United States and specifically, why it came to Indiana.  The chapters explain the political, cultural, and economic influences that prompted these groups to emigrate and then trace the routes that many of the immigrants took to reach Indiana.  The book also discusses the cultural influences that these immigrant groups had on their respective communities.  It offers insight into the question of ethnic identity versus assimilation in their new homes.  The book highlights the stories of many influential immigrants and their descendants, and lastly, it provides tables and maps showing the number of immigrants of each ethnicity that lived in the state at a particular time.  

The authors of each section were given two books to serve as models for their writing: “They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State's Ethnic Groups” (1981) and “Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups” (1980).  Both books are renowned comprehensive ethnic histories of their appointed geographic areas and inspired the editors of Peopling Indiana to organize the chapters alphabetically by ethnic group.  

For genealogists, Peopling Indiana provides a useful historical context for research by helping to explain why immigrants came to Indiana and what life was like for them.  It also outlines the influences these groups have had on Hoosier history and its present culture.  While Peopling Indiana focuses on Indiana immigration, it may prove helpful for understanding in a larger context why these immigrants moved to the United States.  

A second work, Elliott Barkan’s  four-volume Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration (973.004 Im63b) provides a general history of immigration to the United States and, like Peopling Indiana, is also arranged by ethnic group.  Volumes in the series include: Migrants to America, to 1870; Immigration from 1870 to 1940; Immigration from 1940 to the Present; and Issues in U.S. Immigration. By taking a larger perspective, it represents another valuable source for genealogists seeking to place their ethnic ancestors into an American historical context.  

FamilySearch’s Learning Center & Other E-Learning Opportunities
by Cynthia Theusch
How many times have you wished you could view genealogy classes from home any time of day according to your own schedule?  Genealogical societies and libraries offer a variety of live classes throughout the year that may interest us, but after looking at the dates and times they are offered, we may find that we are unable to attend. 

FamilySearch has put together a variety of videos (online training sessions) to help us succeed in researching our family history.  Handouts are included for each video session. You may choose from beginning courses or select a topic or country. These online classes are available to you at any time.  They are especially helpful if you are unable to attend live genealogy classes or workshops. 

You can view a list of available courses by going to and selecting “Get Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. A pop-up box appears, revealing the Learning Center link under the “Self Help” section. Within the Learning Center, you will find a list of courses by Place, Skill Level (Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced), Subject, Format, and Subject Language. 

In the center of the screen, you will find sections marked “RootsTech 2016,” “Most Popular Courses,” “New Courses,” and “Beginning Genealogy Courses” videos.  These beginning sessions are short and last just five minutes. For example, the “5 Minute Genealogy Episode 1: Quick Start Lessons” explains how you can find information about an ancestor in just five minutes or less.  To do this, your ancestor or family member must have been born before April 1, 1940. 

Another course is “An Introduction to Castle Garden – Your Ancestors’ Gateway to America.” You can find it by clicking on a few links (under place, “United States,” under subject, “Migration and Citizenship”), or you can type in the search box the words “Castle Garden.”  The presenter gives a brief history of Castle Garden and how to search for ancestors who arrived in New York City before the opening of Ellis Island. also has a learning center. To access it, just click on “Learning Center” in the banner at the top, or type in You will also see a box titled, Ancestry Academy. For the list of courses, click on “All Categories” or “see all.”

You may also find genealogy classes on You Tube ( Do a search on genealogy. Classes from 10 minutes to over an hour are available. 

The Genealogy Center also has some “How To” videos. You can access them from our home page under the “Who We Are” section or We are planning in the near future to add more short-length “How To” videos as well as videos of some of the classes we offer.

Technology Tip of the Month--Microsoft Access, Begin at the Beginning
by Kay Spears
Begin at the beginning; what an interesting turn of phrase. When dealing with Microsoft Access, it’s a phrase which is easier to say than to do. I’m not saying that to scare anyone away from Access, because I’m a big fan of the program. It’s just that Access requires a little bit more pondering than other Microsoft packages. In Excel, all one as to do is start typing away and everything is magically there. Access is a different animal. When Excel was created eons ago, its purpose was/is the ease it provides doing formulas and calculations. That ease is not found in Access. It’s very simple to use a spreadsheet. However, the more information one puts in Excel, the harder it becomes to manage over time. Access is a database, and its purpose was/is to manage information – lots of information. There are five components in Access: Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, and Macros, and we will be covering all of them – some more than others.  

As I said earlier, Access requires pondering, aka using the little gray cells. I also recommend if you are an Access beginner, you start out with a very simple database. First step: before you start to construct your database, you need to determine just what it is you want your database to do. Ask yourself some basic questions, such as: what do I want my database to do? Do I want to do mailings? Do I want reports? Do I want to track information by years, names, places, etc? Do I want to separate individual items out? Everything you want your database to do should be thought out before you start to do the actual construction of the database. Sure you can add things to it at a later date, but it’s easier if everything is there from the beginning. Once you think you have everything thought through, you are ready to start, and we start with Tables. 

Tables are the brains of the database. A Table or multiple Tables are where all of our information will be stored and because of that we do not want to enter our information directly into the table; we will create a data entry form for that.  

Let’s start with a very simple database. We want to create a database with names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. One of the things for which we will be using this database is to do mass mailings. If you look at what I want in this database, you might say that I want four fields – well that would be wrong. For my database I will create the following fields: ID, LName, FName, Street Address, City, State, Zip, Phone, Email, Remarks, and Merge, for a total of eleven fields. The separation of names and addresses allows for easier future manipulation we might do. The Merge field is one which I put in all of my databases. I like to refer to it as my “I’m lazy” field. More on that later.  

Now that I know what I want my database to do and I know what fields I want in it, I’m ready to do the actual building of Kay’s Address Database. 

Next Article: Access Table Design Mode

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Information at Archival Supply Sites
Some may not think of archival supply websites as sources for general information about caring for valuable family documents and heirlooms; however, they are sources of basic guidelines and principles. Though we should expect the supply sites to push their products and services, there is typically solid information to be gleaned. Talas has a free online newsletter; Hollinger Metal Edge offers tips under their “Resources” tab; and Gaylord Archival has an even more extensive “Resources” tab. You don’t need to buy from them to read their materials. Our records and documents are history in our hands—worth preserving and passing on.

by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
Due to passion and excitement, genealogists sometimes get carried away.  Some lessons learned by a young and overzealous family historian:

•Don’t conduct deed research in a county office filled with police officers on senior-skip-day.
•Don’t list bankruptcies, criminal convictions, or excommunications of living relatives in family histories which they might read.
•Don’t drive with excessive speed after digging up your ancestor’s toppled gravestone with your bare hands.
•Don’t threaten a township trustee with a class-C infraction when he fails to clean up your ancestral cemetery.
•Don’t carry a vintage suitcase containing a photo scanner into the funeral of a murder victim.

When faced with the temptation to go overboard in your genealogical research, consider channeling your energy and excitement into some productive and harmless periodical research with PERSI:

Be forewarned, though.  PERSI references tales of individuals who, for reasons of passion or recklessness, engaged in some rather inadvisable behavior:

Custom of kissing from horseback custom laid aside, led to broken teeth, news note, 1760
Septs (Irish Genealogical Society), v.31n.2, Apr. 2010

Dave Barnard death notice, took gunpowder and cayenne pepper for stomach ache, d. 1894, WA
Mason County (WA) Historical Society Newsletter, Jan. 2011

Edward Van Duyne injured back sliding down banister, age 103, n.d., NY
Muskogee County (OK) Genealogical Society Quarterly, v.27n.1, Jan. 2010

John Melhuish caught alligator in Susquehanna River, charged five cents to see it, 1861, PA
Lest We Forget (Wyoming Co. Historical Soc., PA), v.30n.1, Sep. 2010

Onion party description, one lady out of six eats onion, man kisses them all to find which one, 1883
Adair County (IA) Anquestors, v.21n.4, Dec. 2010

Sue Clark Shields recalls the Walkerton Town Dump, shooting rats with her date, 1950s
Voice of the Past (Walkerton Area Historical Society, IN), v.13n.4, Nov. 2011

Workers wanted to slide hogs over on ice, newspaper advertisement, 1845
Stalker (Madison Co. Genealogical Soc., IL), v.32n.1, Spr. 2012

History Tidbits: Euphemisms for Death
by Allison DePrey Singleton
Death is never a happy subject, unless you happen to be talking to a group of genealogists and the deceased has long since died.  As genealogists, we seek out death records, obituaries, and cemetery markers, since in some cases they represent the most information we are able to find about those individuals.  Indiana did not require birth and death records until 1882; therefore, it is impossible to find the official records for many people.  This is why obituaries and cemetery markers are so important to researchers.  

Genealogists read more obituaries than the average person and have seen more ways to describe death than you can imagine.  There are an amazing number of euphemisms for death: some incredibly creative and others rather mundane.  It is a sad and stressful task to write an obituary for a family member or friend.  Luckily, many people wrote their own obituaries before their demise, asked creative people to pen them or had journalists write them.

I am sure you can think of several death euphemisms off the top of your head.  The more common are included almost every day in the local newspaper.  They include “passed away,” “lost,” “went to be with the Lord,” and many others. (1)  While these expressions are the most common, you may be surprised to discover that there are hundreds more.  

Some ways of reporting a death contain added meaning.  The obituary of a dancer might say that he or she “danced their last dance.” (2) The obituary of a member of the Salvation Army might say that he has been “promoted to Glory.” (3) Some euphemisms have more than one meaning, like “passed suddenly” or “died at home.”  These terms may refer simply to death from natural causes, or they may be code for a death from suicide or a drug overdose. (4)  

A multitude of humorous death euphemisms exist as well.  These are utilized more often when the deceased writes his or her own obituary beforehand or had a tremendous sense of humor.  Examples include “winning one for the reaper,” “baste the formaldehyde turkey,” and “became living-challenged.” (5)

More grandiose euphemisms are more likely to turn up in older obituaries.  In prior generations, death was a more common feature of everyday life, and death culture became an accepted part of it, especially in the Victorian Era.  People collected death cards and for entertainment went to funerals of people they barely knew.  Because of this fascination with death, the Victorian Era had such curious expressions as “Yielded His Spirit to Its Benevolent Author,” “Bid Adieu to Earthly Scenes,” and “Departed This Stage of Existence.” (6)

The next time you come across an obituary in your research, take time to appreciate any euphemisms for death and how the author wove them into the story of the person’s life.  It is an art to be able to discuss a person’s life and death in a short paragraph or two.  

1. "Thomas W. Anson's Obituary in The Indianapolis Star." The Indianapolis Star. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 15, 2016.
2. "Nora Margaret Fowler Fike's Obituary on The Tennessean." The Tennessean. October 15, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2016.
3. "Muriel Mae Ross' Obituary." Mission Family Mortuary. Accessed February 17, 2016.!/Obituary.
4. Soper, Susan. "Suicide and Obituaries." LegacyConnect. February 2, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2016.
5. Conzelmann, Ashely, Marissa Hernandez Hernandez, and Tenzing Sherpa. "Death Dying & Beyond." LVC RSS News. Accessed February 15, 2016.
6. Fernández, Eliecer Crespo. "The Language of Death: Euphemism and Conceptual Metaphorization in Victorian Obituaries." SKY Journal of Linguistics 19 (2006): 101-30. Accessed February 15, 2016.

Preservation Week, April 24 – 30, 2016 – Pass It On!
To celebrate the American Library Association’s annual Preservation Week, The Genealogy Center is bringing you a week full of opportunities to learn how to care for your family treasures. Classes include: 

Sunday, April 24, 2016, 1:00pm, Meeting Room A & Maker Lab
“Using the Maker Lab to Preserve Family History”- Sara Allen
Learn how ACPL’s Maker Lab can be used to preserve your family history. Join us as we tour the Maker Lab and learn how to convert family wedding videos to DVD; transfer family vacation slides to digital files; make 3-D replicas of family memorabilia, sports and company logos, and more. Space is limited. Call or email to reserve spot.
Monday, April 25, 2016, 6:30pm, Discovery Center
“Your Home Museum: Websites to Aid in the Preservation of Personal Memorabilia”- Delia Bourne
Most of us have personal items we wish to preserve, either for monetary or intrinsic value. These personal heirlooms can be jewelry and silver, vinyl record albums, collectible cards, art and much more. This session will introduce a number of websites that can provide guidance to the novice in the care and conservation of personal memorabilia.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 2:30pm, Discovery Center
“Beyond the Family Bible: Using Heirlooms in Genealogical Research” - John Beatty
This session will discuss how to analyze a variety of inherited items - books, textiles, photographs, jewelry, paintings - and how they can aid in genealogical research. Often there are clues imbedded in such items that researchers can use to their advantage if they know where and how to look. The talk will also discuss a variety of printed sources for heirloom evaluation and mention some ways of preserving them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 6:30pm, Discovery Center
“Preserving Family Documents”- Tamara Hemmerlein
Family records are an invaluable source of information. Caring for them can be a challenge for any family historian. Learn simple, effective techniques for preserving family documents and while still keeping them accessible for research. Tamara Hemmerlein is currently Director of Local History Services at the Indiana Historical Society.
Thursday, April 28, 2016, 3:00pm, Discovery Center
“Scanning Demo” - Kay Spears
Join us for a short scanning demonstration. So, you finally have that scanner and you’re itching to start preserving your family photographs, but you don’t know where to begin. This program will be a short demonstration on how to get started with your scanning project. Attendees are invited to bring their photos for this demonstration.

Friday, April 29, 2016, 10:00am, Discovery Center
“Preserving Precious Paper: Conservation Techniques for Paper Materials” – Allison Singleton
As genealogists, we all have a large amount of historic family documents.  Learn how to safely repair tears, properly store, and care for your paper materials in this session.  No supplies are needed.  

Saturday, April 30, 2016, 10:00am, Discovery Center
“Life Stories” - Curt Witcher
Come see what our new Life Stories Center is all about and learn some of the best practices for interviewing family, friends and community members!

For more information, see the brochure at Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to register for any of these free events.

Summer Events!
Are you interested in getting started on your genealogical research? Or have you already begun, only to get waylaid with everyday life? Well, this summer, The Genealogy Center would like to help you in Beginning, or Beginning Again, your family history research. We are offering four opportunities to learn about important research sources, on the last Saturday of each month, June through September, in The Genealogy Center’s Discovery Center. Classes are:

June 25, 2016, 10:00am, Discovery Center: Beginning or Beginning Again, Court Records 
“Discover the Treasure Trove of Records Found at the County Courthouse” - Sara Allen
Learn about the types of records typically found in a county courthouse and how those records can further your genealogical research. Includes discussions of vital records, probate records, civil and criminal court case records, and more.  
July 30, 2016, 10:00am, Discovery Center: Beginning or Beginning Again, Land Records  
“Land Records: An Integral Tool in Your Family History” - Cynthia Theusch
Property records can provide much more to your research than just locations. Learn how to locate and utilize these great resource documents.

August 27, 2016, 10:00am, Discovery Center: Beginning or Beginning Again, Newspapers
“Finding & Using Newspapers” - Delia Bourne 
“All the news that’s fit to print” is what you will find about your ancestors in local and regional newspapers. Learn what can be discovered and how to locate these terrific historical records. 

September 24, 2016, 10:00am, Discovery Center: Beginning or Beginning Again, Software
“Genealogical Data Management Program Exposé” - Technology Interest Group of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana
Join us for an overview of genealogical software and bring your experiences and questions on your favorite content management program to share with your fellow family historians.
To register for any of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
Do you want to know what we’ve got planned? Are you interested in one of our events, but forget? We are now offering email updates for The Genealogy Center’s programming schedule. Don’t miss out!  Sign up at  

Out and About
Curt Witcher
April 22, 2016
ILF District 6 Conference, Jackson County Public Library, 303 West 2nd Street, Seymour, IN, 11:05 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Presentations: “Pain in the Access: Getting More from the Internet for Your Genealogy” and “Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery.”

Sara Allen
April 20, 2016
Anderson Public Library, 111 East 12th Street, Anderson, IN, 6 p.m.
Presentation: "Introduction to DNA for Genealogy.” 

Melissa Tennant
April 2, 2016
Indiana Historical Society, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN, 10 a.m.
Presentation: “Indiana Genealogy: Crossroads to America.”

Cynthia Theusch
April 23, 2016 
Family History Seminar, Lansing Family History Center, 431 East Saginaw St East Lansing, MI, 10:15 a.m.
Presentations: “Using Clues in the 1880 Census to Solve Earlier Challenges” and Question & Answer forum. 

Area Calendar of Events
ACGSI Meeting
April 13, 2016 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, 7 p.m. John Beatty will present, “Fort Wayne and Allen County Maps.”
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
April 20, 2016 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m. 

George R. Mather Lecture
April 3, 2016 – History Center, 302 East Berry St., Fort Wayne, IN, 2 p.m. Chuck Knox will present, “The Discovery Development & Abandonment of the Lima-Indiana, the World’s First Giant Oil & Natural Gas Field.” 

British Garrison (Seven Years War)
April 9, 2016 – Historic Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave Fort Wayne, IN, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

13th Pennsylvania Drill: 1776-1782
April 16, 2016 – Historic Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave Fort Wayne, IN, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Early Modern Muster of Arms: Soldiers of Pike and Shot, 1580-1610
April 23, 2016 – Historic Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave Fort Wayne, IN, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Driving Directions to the Library
Wondering how to get to the library?  Our location is 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the block bordered on the south by Washington Boulevard, the west by Ewing Street, the north by Wayne Street, and the east by the Library Plaza, formerly Webster Street.  We would enjoy having you visit the Genealogy Center.

To get directions from your exact location to 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, visit this link at MapQuest: 

>From the South
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 102.  Drive east on Jefferson Boulevard into downtown. Turn left on Ewing Street. The Library is one block north, at Ewing Street and Washington Boulevard.

Using US 27:
US 27 turns into Lafayette Street. Drive north into downtown. Turn left at Washington Boulevard and go five blocks. The Library will be on the right.

>From the North
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 112.  Drive south on Coldwater Road, which merges into Clinton Street.  Continue south on Clinton to Washington Boulevard. Turn right on Washington and go three blocks. The Library will be on the right.

>From the West
Using US 30:
Drive into town on US 30.  US 30 turns into Goshen Ave. which dead-ends at West State Blvd.  Make an angled left turn onto West State Blvd.  Turn right on Wells Street.  Go south on Wells to Wayne Street.  Turn left on Wayne Street.  The Library will be in the second block on the right.

Using US 24:
After crossing under Interstate 69, follow the same directions as from the South.

>From the East
Follow US 30/then 930 into and through New Haven, under an overpass into downtown Fort Wayne.  You will be on Washington Blvd. when you get into downtown.  Library Plaza will be on the right.

Parking at the Library
At the Library, underground parking can be accessed from Wayne Street. Other library parking lots are at Washington and Webster, and Wayne and Webster. Hourly parking is $1 per hour with a $7 maximum. ACPL library card holders may use their cards to validate the parking ticket at the west end of the Great Hall of the Library. Out of county residents may purchase a subscription card with proof of identification and residence. The current fee for an Individual Subscription Card is $70.

Public lots are located at the corner of Ewing and Wayne Streets ($1 each for the first two half-hours, $1 per hour after, with a $4 per day maximum) and the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Harrison Street ($3 per day).

Street (metered) parking on Ewing and Wayne Streets. On the street you plug the meters 8am – 5pm, weekdays only.  It is free to park on the street after 5pm and on the weekends.

Visitor center/Grand Wayne Center garage at Washington and Clinton Streets. This is the Hilton Hotel parking lot that also serves as a day parking garage.  For hourly parking, 7am – 11 pm, charges are .50 for the first 45 minutes, then $1.00 per hour.  There is a flat $2.00 fee between 5pm and 11pm.

Genealogy Center Queries
The Genealogy Center hopes you find this newsletter interesting.  Thank you for subscribing.  We cannot, however, answer personal research emails written to the e-zine address.  The department houses a Research Center that makes photocopies and conducts research for a fee.  

If you have a general question about our collection, or are interested in the Research Center, please telephone the library and speak to a librarian who will be glad to answer your general questions or send you a research center form.  Our telephone number is 260-421-1225.  If you’d like to email a general information question about the department, please email: Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Publishing Note:  
This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and is intended to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library.  We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.  All precautions have been made to avoid errors.  However, the publisher does not assume any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, no matter the cause.  

To subscribe to “Genealogy Gems,” simply use your browser to go to the website: Scroll to the bottom, click on E-zine, and fill out the form. You will be notified with a confirmation email.

If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at the very bottom of the issue of Genealogy Gems you just received or send an email to kspears [at] with "unsubscribe e-zine" in the subject line. 

Curt B. Witcher and John D. Beatty, CG, co-editors

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