Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 148, June 30, 2016
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:23:16 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 148, June 30, 2016

In this issue:
*2016 Mid-Year Musings
*Sanborn Maps
*Historic Map Works
*Technology Tip of the Month--Changing the Look of our Access Form
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--What to Do with Your DNA
*History Tidbits: Land Boundaries
*More Summer School for Family Historians
*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

2016 Mid-Year Musings
by Curt B. Witcher
In just a few moments the second half of 2016 will start. I hope you have engaging and inspiring plans for the rest of this summer. Why engaging and inspiring? This could be the summer that your research activities take you in a surprising new direction, and you find yourself engaging with professionals in a new research facility or engaging with newly found family members. This could be the season when your commitment to documented, deliberate, and thorough research inspires you to look at just one more record, to examine again the evidence you have gathered, to discover a new lead or a new way of approaching an old challenge. May it be so.

July is a month full of amazing opportunities. Please make a commitment to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible. The opening holiday weekend should cause us to turn again to documenting our military ancestors in ways that honor their service to our country and to us. Finding and documenting our military ancestors is clearly of great consequence. Preserving our research and ensuring it's available to future generations by sharing it with libraries, archives, and other historical research facilities is an even greater level of honor and commitment. I have written and spoken with some regularity about the immense challenges facing family historians when we leave the preservation of the records that document our heritage in the hands of disinterested others. The best defense against that perennial challenge is to do research supported with as much documentation as possible, and then write the stories, including copies of all that documentation. The Genealogy Center will host your compiled research for free, on our shelves or online, and make it available to all without charge.

Early in the month, on July 12th at 6:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library in Meeting Room A, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL – "The Legal Genealogist," lecturer, educator, and writer—will present "Just Three Generations." In this presentation, Judy will show how our oral family history can be completely lost in just three generations. Following genealogy's best practices can help us keep those losses from happening in our families – and with our own stories. If you have ever heard Judy, you know what a top-shelf, engaging speaker she is. If you have not heard Judy, there cannot be a better presentation in which you get to know her. Her knowledge, passion and message will motivate you to act. A small fee of $10 is payable at the door.

This year, July has five Friday-Saturday-Sunday combos. That appears to be an almost irresistible invitation to make at least one three-day weekend devoted to a family history outing or research trip. There so many great opportunities--both official and unofficial. Summer is a great time to do research in The Genealogy Center with the Center and the library being open on Sundays year round. Head to Fort Wayne on a Thursday afternoon or evening and have a Friday-Saturday-Sunday fun time of researching in the Fort.

This year one of those Friday-Saturday-Sunday combos finds the Indiana Historical Society sponsoring their always popular "Midwestern Roots: Family History and Genealogy Conference." The two-day conference is being held in Indianapolis at the Marriott East on Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, 2016, with a pre-conference taking place on July 14, 2016. Conference speakers include Jennifer Alford, Jen Baldwin, Lisa Louise Cooke, CeCe Moore, and Juliana Szucs as well as this author. This year's theme is #YourStory, and many sessions focus on the technologies that are changing the ways that genealogists research and share their family history.

The conference also hosts the Family History Market and Book Fair, featuring products and books unique to your interests. Indianapolis is just a short trip from many Midwestern metropolitan areas. The conference center is conveniently located off I-465 with free parking and two hotels. Multiple registration options are available so that you can plan on attending all three days or just the portion of the conference that fits your schedule. There are so many worthwhile sessions in the pre-conference and the conference itself that three days will feel like barely more than a few moments.

These wonderfully long summer days give us extra moments of daylight in the late evening. Take those moments to record some of your stories and write-up some of your research. You might be surprised at how quickly it becomes an enjoyable habit. And you will as quickly experience what a benefit it is to you and those who will come after you.

Sanborn Maps
by Allison DePrey Singleton
The D.A. Sanborn National Insurance Diagram Bureau was created in 1867 when Daniel Alfred Sanborn saw the need for a fire insurance map company.  Insurance underwriters required detailed diagrams of buildings that stood on city blocks in order to provide adequate coverage and to have a point of reference in order assess losses after they were damaged by fire. Sanborn, an engineer and surveyor, began working on fire insurance maps in 1866.  After working for a company that created maps for cities in Tennessee and Boston, Massachusetts, he decided that this form of map making would make a profitable business venture and formed his own company. 

While the D.A. Sanborn National Insurance Diagram Bureau is one of the best-known fire insurance map companies in the United States, it was not the first.  The insuring of buildings began shortly after the London Fire of 1666.  As time has progressed, so have the methods used to insure buildings.  The first fire insurance company was established in 1710 by The Sun Company.  A London company, Phoenix Assurance Company Ltd, extended fire insurance coverage to American buildings after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.  The company commissioned Edmund Petrie to produce the first known fire insurance map to be drawn for Charleston, South Carolina, in 1790.  The company required the map due to its distant location from the city.

The War of 1812 ended many insurance policies covered by London-based companies.  This caused smaller fire insurance companies to gain traction in the United States.  Since many of the companies were now local, underwriters could easily visit and inspect properties without the need for a map.  The fire insurance companies then began using street registers, which were printed lists of the properties insured. 

George T. Hope, Secretary of the Jefferson Insurance Company, created a large scale map of the business district of New York City in 1850.  This map assisted him in seeing at a glance the areas of the business district more heavily insured by his company and therefore a greater risk in the event of a widespread fire.  The map proved so helpful to Hope and the company that he had maps of the entire city drawn up by William Perris.  The success of the fire insurance maps of New York City prompted other insurance companies to create their own maps for cities across the country.  Thus, the need for a specific company to create these fire insurance maps was born. 

Sanborn maps are an amazing resource.  They can span decades and are incredibly detailed.  They are useful to anyone doing historical research that may need to look for old buildings or street layouts, such as for land use projects, genealogy, and historic preservation.  Each Sanborn collection begins with a key to abbreviations, an overview map of the city with the sections labeled, and then maps of each section broken down into smaller sections.  For example, if showing the city of Fort Wayne, the section might include several neighborhoods and the smaller section would just have a few streets.  This is so the details can be shown on the buildings.

Among the reasons genealogists find these maps so helpful is the fact that many streets have changed names over the years along with address numbers. In some cases entire neighborhoods have been destroyed in the name of progress.  Sanborn maps help researchers find the exact location a house, business, or other property.  They help place our ancestors in historical context by showing where they were living, prompting further research on the neighborhood itself to gain more insight into the ancestors’ lives. 

The Genealogy Center has the physical copies of the Sanborn Maps for Fort Wayne if you would like to see a copy.  Luckily for many of us, Sanborn maps are being digitized across the country.  Cyndi’s List has a great list of Sanborn and other fire insurance maps available online.

The Library of Congress is included on this list as having a wonderful collection of Sanborn maps online.  They also have other great resources for those researching Sanborn maps.

You can find more about the Sanborn maps through several books in our collection including, Description and Utilization of the Sanborn Map and Fire Insurance Maps: Their History and Applications  (GC 929 SA539).

Historic Map Works
by Cynthia Theusch
Recently, I was searching for historic maps from where my ancestors lived in Gratiot County Michigan, and came across a new website of plat maps entitled “Historic Map Works, Residential Genealogy” ( The site has over one million historic maps and images. You are able to browse or search a historic digital map database of North America and the world.

When using this website, you can view the entire county plat map for a particular year. When you click on that map, you will see images of the townships. Just above the images are two tabs, Map and Directories.

By clicking the Directories, you will get images of all pages within the plat book. The directories list patrons or subscribers who help offset the cost of printing the atlas.

Upon viewing the 1889 map for Gratiot County, I located some ancestors and other family members who owned land in Arcadia, Pine River, and Seville townships.  The best find was locating the estate of my second great-grandfather, J. Ludwig Muhn, in Arcadia Township. Ludwig died in September 1865 on his way home from the Civil War (he was discharged in Little Rock, Arkansas). Approximately twenty-four years later, his estate had not been settled.

Another find in the 1889 map for Seville Township (Gratiot County) was Ludwig Muhn’s brother-in-law, Michael Koffenberger. He owned 50 acres, and the plat map showed where his saw mill and home were located. Koffenberger paid to have his name added to the Directory of Patrons, and it included his name (M. Koffenberger), post office (St. Louis), occupation (Farmer and Saw Mill), nativity (Germany), and the year he settled in county (1864).

The Historic Map Works Residential Genealogy is designed for individuals, offering three options for membership with three payment choices. The first option is free with a Basic Pay-Per-Use print and download cost. The second has a monthly charge of $29.99 with limited print and download capability. The third option includes a yearly fee of $124.99 and allows users to download unlimited watermarked prints. The “Membership Benefits and Pricing” chart can be found at Another option is to purchase the image license.

This web site is a wonderful resource for locating where your ancestors lived and how much land they owned. By viewing maps from various dates, you can compare and document changes in these holdings.

Technology Tip of the Month--Changing the Look of our Access Form
by Kay Spears
In the last article we created a form by using the Microsoft Access Wizard tool. It was just a simple form, and I thought it might look a little boring. Let’s add a little excitement to our form by adding color, changing the fonts and maybe exploring some other tools. Let’s open the database we have created. I don’t know what you may have named your database, but I named mine Kays Address. So far in Kays Address we created a table and a form – let’s open up our form. You will be able to locate your form in the Navigation Pane on the left hand side of your database. I have All Access Objects checked, so everything I create will show in my Navigation Pane. For those of you who will share a database and may not want everyone to have access to the Navigation Pane, there is a way to disable it. However, since we are still in the learning process, we will save that for when I talk about securing your database.

Your form, by default, will open in Form View. To modify a form, it must be in Design View. This is located in the Ribbon on your Home Tab under View. Click on the Arrow under View. Three options will be available: Form View, Layout Form, and Design View. Choose Design View. You should see a ruler, dots on your background, a form header, detail and all of the fields that we added to our table previously. Let’s break down what we are actually looking at. The Form Header is exactly that, the header or name of your form. Located under details are two kinds of rectangle shapes: Labels (located on left, at least in this form), and Text Boxes (located on right). Notice that when your form is in design view, the Field names show in both Label and Text Box – when your form is in Form View, only the Label has the Field names. The Label is linked to the form, while the Text Box is linked to a Control Source. In this case the Control Source is our Table. Now, let’s change some fonts.

Starting with the Labels: A long, long time ago, before the Microsoft Ribbon, the only way to change items in your form was to open up the Property box. That is still an option, but now some (not all) formatting is available in the Ribbon as well.  Because we are in Design View, the Format Design Tools are available for you, they are Design, Arrange and Format – click on Format. Click on one of the Labels. To make sure you have selected a Label, look in the top left hand corner of your ribbon under Selection. The field name and the word label should appear. Once you have selected a Label box, the appearance of that box will change. The border around the box will become bold and change color, and there will also be resize points on the corners and in middle of the border. To begin the change we will use the Ribbon.  Make sure your label is still selected and you are still in Format. In the ribbon will be the options: Font, Background and Control Formatting. These are the tools you can use to change the size, color, weight of the font, plus the background color of the label. Go ahead and experiment changing your label by clicking on the tools. There are more tools available in the Properties Sheet, but we will save those for a later time.

Text Box. In this form the Text Boxes are defined as Bound Text Boxes. This means that they are tied to our table; they have a source. All of the information associated with a Bound Text Box can be found in the Property sheet, but right now we are only changing Fonts. Yes, that was another “we will save that for later” moment. Go through the same steps you did when you changed the Labels. If you want both the Labels and the Text Boxes to look the same, you may Select All using the Selection option located on the ribbon, then do your changes the way you want. If you want your Labels to be different from the Text Box, select just your labels by holding down the Shift key and using you mouse to click on each one – same method applies to the Text Box. You may return to Form View to see what you’ve done. If you are happy with what you have done, save it.

So, now we have created a Form by using the wizard and then changed a little in the appearance of our form. Are you ready for the next big step? Of course you are. Next time we will create a form without using the wizard.

Next article: Create a Form in Access without using the Form Wizard.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--What to Do with Your DNA
by Sara Allen
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogical purposes? How can your DNA be preserved for the future? Who will inherit your DNA and test results after you are gone? One reputable testing company, Family Tree DNA ( in Houston, Texas, has answers to these questions.  They guarantee to keep your DNA on file for at least twenty years; and they allow you to designate your chosen beneficiary to inherit your account, DNA test results and any stored DNA samples.  To set this up, go to their website and login to your account with your user name and password. Once in your account, go to myFTDNA and then to Account Settings in the menu on the top left hand side of the screen. In account settings, go to Beneficiary Information in the tabs, and fill in the name, telephone number and email address of your chosen person. There is also a printable form that you can fill out, get notarized and file with your will or personal papers.  While and 23andme do not have a formal process for this currently, we advise that you plan ahead for the disposal of your DNA results with these companies as well. At the very least, be sure to leave your user name and password with your personal papers so that your heirs can continue learning from your DNA after you are gone. 

History Tidbits: Land Boundaries
by Allison DePrey Singleton
Compared to European nations, the United States is a new country.  As the population has grown and spread from coast to coast, America’s external and internal boundaries lines have evolved.  There are some fabulous infographics online that show how state boundaries have changed over time, such as this one from the Newberry Library:  A number of wonderful books in our collection show how land boundaries altered as states were formed and new counties created, including Land & Property Research in the United States by E. Wade Hone (GC 973 H755L).  Others depict how the boundaries of counties evolved over many decades, such as The Family Tree Historical Maps Book: A State-By-State Atlas of U.S. History, 1790-1900 by Allison Dolan (GC 973 D685f). 

These resources will benefit any research involving land use as it relates to genealogy and local history.  When searching for government records, one needs to know what jurisdiction covered the area where the land or person might be based during the specific year in question.  For example, if I were searching for government records in Indiana in October 1800, I would look for Indiana Territory records.  If I were looking for records on Jennings County, Indiana, from January 1817, I would need to look in Jackson and Jefferson counties.  However, if I needed records from Scott County, Indiana, in December 1819, I would search in Jennings County. 

Check out the boundary lines for the counties, states, and even countries you are researching.  While the United States is a relatively new country, many of the older European countries changed names and boundaries when they underwent unification, such as Germany.  A great book in our collection that shows the boundary changes in Europe is The Family Tree Historical Maps Book Europe: A Country-by-Country Atlas of European History 1700s-1900s by Allison Dolan GC 940 D68fa).  It includes such Eastern European countries as Romania, Bulgaria, The Balkan States, and Poland, as well as the Russian Empire. 

More Summer School for Family Historians
Have you gotten out of doing genealogical research and wonder how much may have changed in the past few years? Do you know someone who would like to start working on their family history, but don’t know what steps to take first? You’re both in luck! Our summer series for 2016, “Beginning… or Beginning Again,” continues.

Our July offering features Cynthia Theusch presenting “Land Records: An Integral Tool in Your Family History.” This presentation will be July 30, 2016, 10:00 a.m. To register for this free event, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Other classes in the series are: “Finding & Using Newspapers,” presented by Delia Bourne, August 27, 2016, 10:00 a.m.; and “Genealogical Data Management Program Exposé,” presented by the Technology Interest Group of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana on September 24, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

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
July 14-16, 2016
Midwestern Roots, Indiana Historical Society, Marriott East, Indianapolis, IN,
Thursday, July 14:
“Buildings, Books, Bodies, and Bytes: The Best of Times for Genealogy Librarians” and “Something for Everyone: Genealogical Reference Service in the 21st Century”
Friday, July 15:
“Your Story, Our History: The Power and Value of Story” and “Beyond Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched: Methods for Finding Our Families’ Stories”
Saturday, July 16:
“Why the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center? An Overview of Resources for Research”

July 18, 2016
Wabash County Genealogical Society, Winchester Senior Center, 239 Bond Street, Wabash, Indiana, 6 p.m. Presentation: “New Sites and Sources for Military Records and Research”

July 25, 2016
Downtown Rotary Club, Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing St, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 12:30 p.m. Presentation: “Lincoln in the Fort: A Look at the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection Curated at the Allen County Public Library”

July 27, 2016
Allen County Fair, Home and Family Arts Day, Allen County Fair Grounds, 2726 Carroll Rd, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 a.m. Presentation: “Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration”

Area Calendar of Events
ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
July 20, 2016 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

Miami Indian Heritage Days
July 2, 2016 – Chief Richardville House, 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Cookware from Local Clays: Making and Using Replica Native Style Pottery with Erik Vosteen.

1816: Camp Allen Muster: 1861–1865
July 9–10, 2016 – Historic Fort Wayne, 1201 Spy Run Ave, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 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

  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.