Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 155, January 31, 2017
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 21:49:26 -0500
Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 155, January 31, 2017

In this issue:
*Newspapers Abound
*History for Genealogists
*Locating Closed Colleges and Universities
*Technology Tip of the Month--Relationships and Sub-reports, Part IV--What Do I Do with It?
*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--6 Ways to Save Webpages in the Internet Archives Wayback Machine
*History Tidbits: Babies are Cute in Blue or Pink--Gender and Baby Clothes 
*Late Breaking Programs in February’s First Days
*DNA and Genealogy Interest Group
*Live Streams from RootsTech 2017
*Warm-Up with WinterTech
*Join The Genealogy Center for Black History Month
*Keep Up with Upcoming Events
*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Genealogy Center Queries
*Publishing Note

Newspapers Abound
by Curt B. Witcher
My colleagues and I have written many times in this e-zine about various newspaper databases available for researchers to use. We have explored the holdings of and, and we have written about successfully accessing the tens of millions of newspaper page images in just those two sources alone. More than once attention has been given to the Library of Congress’ “Chronicling America” website which provides the researcher with nearly twelve million newspaper pages dating from 1924 and earlier. Chronicling America is available for free from anywhere with an Internet connection. 

The three mega sites listed above, though, really only should be the beginning of one’s newspaper research. As we try to build the most robust contexts possible for our ancestors in order to find as much information about them as we can, we should keep in mind that there very easily could have been newspapers published during their lives by a company, factory or other work place, a particular military regiment, unit, or division, a school, a church or denomination, and an ethnic group to which they belonged. These typically smaller, and most certainly more focused, newspapers truly support the adage that newspapers chronicle the lives and times of an area or group during a particular era. There are so many different types of newspapers, and access to them gets better and better. Weekly one finds mention on various forums, institutional announcements, in ResearchBuzz and the like, of various types of newspapers being published online, many of them for free. Be creative with your use of Google, Bing, and other search engines to find these valuable canisters of history.

An attention-grabbing website called “Old Fulton New York Post Cards” - - provides one with the ability to search more than thirty-seven million newspaper pages for free. (One wouldn’t necessarily guess that from the title of the website!) The number of freely accessible pages is more than triple the number of newspaper pages available for free at the Library of Congress. In the October 4, 1957 issue of the “Tully Independent,” from Tully, New York, on many of the pages one easily finds dozens upon dozens of names in some kind of context. E.g. Mrs. Elmer Crew recently had a heart attack while Mrs. Doris Pettengill recently returned home from the hospital; Adam Oot and family of Syracuse were callers of Bernard Rowley; and Richard Gardner recently entered the National College for Christian Workers at Kansas City, MO after graduating from Tully Central in 1956. Also of note is that fact that the newspaper is nearly one generation more recent that the offering of “Chronicling America.”

We often use school yearbooks in our research as another kind of directory. With equal interest and ferocity, we also should look for school newspapers. While perhaps not as plentiful and a bit more challenging to find, this type of newspaper can often provide contextual images if not actual pictures of our ancestors. South Side High School here in Allen County (IN) has been publishing the ÒSouth Side TimesÓ since 1922--nearly a century’s worth of news about one of the earliest, and still active, high schools in the area. Among the archives of many colleges and universities are the newspapers published by their respective institutions, and increasingly, many if not all of the issues are available online.

Jeff Hoffman, a former Genealogy Center staff member and current Archivist for Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, recently sent me an email describing the Catholic Research Resource Alliance (CRRA). The website is  According to Jeff, the newspaper project on the Catholic Portal has been up and running for just a few years, but has expanded greatly in its content in the past year.  He pointed me to a description of the goals of the newspaper project and its history. Though the main concentration of the CRRA at this time is the Vatican II era, some institutions have digitized whole newspapers.  Examples of such newspapers are the ones that Duquesne University has done that were published in the Pittsburgh area. A fortunate fact when looking for newspapers in the CRRA is that one will “bump into” other documents like Civil War era letters.

Early in the New Year, let’s renew our commitment to creating the most robust contexts possible for our ancestors by seeking and using all kinds of newspapers. The search can be exciting, and the discovery can be most rewarding.

History for Genealogists
by Melissa C. Tennant
Understanding the historical context of our ancestors’ lives enhances our ability to do research. By gaining insight on the events that influenced their lives, we can appreciate them more fully as people, write better family histories, and perhaps find records in unexpected places. Judy Jacobson’s book, “History for Genealogists: Using Chronological Time Lines to Find and Understand Your Ancestors” (Baltimore: Clearfield, 2016) (GC 929 J151HIA), expands this concept. The book serves as a useful guide for documenting the historical events that influenced the places where our ancestors lived and shows how to create timelines as a way of visualizing our ancestors within a larger historical setting.

“History for Genealogists” touches on the scenarios and timelines that may have affected the lives of our ancestors. It begins with an explanation of how to create timelines and use online timeline products, and it features a helpful case study that incorporates timelines. Jacobson divides each of the chapters into scenarios that feature explanations of various historical circumstances and relevant timelines. For example, in one scenario she discusses the possible causes influencing an ancestor’s decision to migrate, including military battles and engagements, riots, political and religious motives, diseases and epidemics, economic influences, and natural disasters. Another entry notes transportation options available at a particular time, including road development, railways, water, and air passage. Another section discusses the influences on the major internal migration and immigration patterns of various time periods. Jacobson dedicates one chapter to methods and considerations for researching such diverse topics as name changes, females, slaves, orphan trains, and those residing in isolated societies. In another chapter she discusses place name changes, ghost towns, and boundary changes that can impact a record search. She also mentions the organizations, associations, and unions associated with various ethnic groups, any of which our ancestors could have belonged, as well as religions, occupations, and military events. The final chapters include timelines of major state and regional events. An addendum provides a broad view of the early twentieth century and focuses on the influences and events from the Depression to the World Wars, 1907-1948.

The numerous timelines presented in the “History for Genealogists” provide a thoughtful way to analyze the circumstances that may have motivated and prompted our ancestors’ decisions. These timelines represent only a beginning path to discovering the richer and more complete story of our ancestors.

Locating Closed Colleges and Universities
by Delia C. Bourne
Most of our ancestors were common laborers, but a few may have received higher educations and pursued such professions as doctors, lawyers, clergy, and teachers, or they had access to college educations for the love of knowledge. Most of these students were men until the nineteenth century, when some institutions began opening their doors to women. As genealogists, we may discover through such historical sources as letters and diaries that a particular ancestor matriculated at a college, university, or seminary. However, that institution may have long since closed or changed names, and their records may be difficult to find. Several websites may assist a researcher to discover information about these schools.

America’s Lost Colleges profiles more than 250 defunct colleges, universities, and medical schools. Arranged by state, the website provides a history of each college along with information about their campuses, sports teams, and resources for further investigation. Another website, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, offers a Closed School List for the New England area. It includes addresses, accreditations, and information about any actions, such as mergers or closures with dates that affected the school, as well as the location of records.

The College History Garden has an Index of Colleges and Universities that have “Closed, Merged, or Changed Names” . The website allows you to search for a closed school by state or country, and offers an alphabetical list which provides the institution’s name, location, when it opened and closed, its affiliation (church, etc.) if any, and the source of the information. For example, Jeremiah Behm opened Behm’s Commercial College of Evansville, Indiana, in 1852 and sold it in 1866. One of the sources for this information is an advertisement in the Evansville Daily Journal dated September 15, 1863.

The Urban Intellectuals website features “11 Historically Black Colleges & Universities That Have Closed”
This article provides brief histories of the schools, usually with opening and closing dates, and the cause of their closing. For example, Daniel Payne College in Birmingham, Alabama, was founded in 1889, but closed in 1977 after a tornado damaged the campus.

There are even state-oriented lists, such as the Wisconsin Education Approval Board’s Listing of Closed Wisconsin Postsecondary Institutions
This site provides the school’s name, dates of opening and closing, records contact, accreditation, and notes, which may include information on accessing records.

If these websites do not include the institution sought, the U.S. Department of Education has an online Excel file of Closed Schools that covers about 1984 to 2013, listing only the school name, date closed and location. Wikipedia also offers a list of Defunct Universities and Colleges in the United States , which includes links to universities and colleges for women, as well as those affiliated with the Roman Catholic and Nazarene churches, and other schools.

If information about a school remains elusive, try investigating the city directories and newspapers for the location of the school, which may offer clues and other avenues for research.     

Technology Tip of the Month--Relationships and Sub-reports, Part IV--What Do I Do with It?
by Kay Spears
Before bidding a fond farewell to Microsoft Access, let’s talk about the database we have created. Mainly, what do I do with it? I have found that when I have a lot of records, it is easier and cleaner to have them in an Access database as opposed to an Excel Spreadsheet. Both applications maintain the information, but when I create a form for my database, I can be specific in just what information in the underlying table I want to see. Maybe I only want to see the fields for imputing addresses and not everything else; hence, I would create a form which has only what I need to populate the table beneath it. By using different forms for different information, everything looks cleaner and it’s easier to navigate. Access declutters.

What about my sub-report form? I can use the information imputed into that form to my two tables beneath it to do queries, reports, mail merges, etc. Let’s take a look at running a query.

You can practice with a Query Wizard or create one of your own. In the Access Ribbon, go to Create>Query Design and select Query Design. This brings up a Show Table dialog box. In my case I will see both of the tables I created. I will select both and “Add” them to my query. Because they have a relationship, you should see a line drawn from one to the other in your query. Now we will select the field we want to run. In this case I want to see only Lname, address and the surnames. I will double click on those three. Notice when you double click, they are inserted into the query. Now I will click on the Run tool in the ribbon. This tool is located at the top in the Results section and looks like a big exclamation mark. When you click on it, only the information for which you asked appears. You can also set up parameters in your query. Maybe I only want to see people with the last name of Smith. So, in the LName section of the query on the Criteria line I will type in Smith, click on the Run, and only the Smiths will show up. I can do a variety of criteria and sorting in a query. Remember in the very beginning when I said I always add a field called Merge? Well here’s what I use that for.

There are multiple ways of doing Mail Merges; here’s mine. I put an X in the Merge field whenever I want to send anyone letters, labels, invoices, or envelopes. I have found it’s just simpler to do this than to go through a lot of formulas to create what should be a simple procedure. One of the problems with Excel and Access is that you cannot create a mail merge from two tables. There are some work arounds, one of them being a query, which would use the Merge field to identify who gets a letter. However, there is also a problem there. Let’s say we have Joe Smith, and Joe has written 500 books. Well, we have all of Joe Smith’s information in one table and all of his books in another table, and we can send him a letter about one of his books. But we cannot send him one letter listing all 500 of his books. Oh sure, we could do some copy pastes (and that is an option). Or we could create a report in Access (a frustrating procedure). Since we use Microsoft Word to do mail merges, there is no “easy” way to create one letter that lists all 500 books. There is always a macro or visual basics, but that isn’t simple. I understand that the old Word Perfect application had a way to combine two tables, but Microsoft Word doesn’t. What Microsoft Word gives you is 500 letters going to Joe Smith thanking him for each of his books. As Daffy Duck says, “We hatesssss Microsoft Word.” (He may not have actually said that). What is required to do this is a program/application/database/report which will Sort and Group based on a specific record. Microsoft Word is just not sophisticated enough to do that.

But, all is not lost. I have been looking for a way around this problem for a long time and just recently found an online Tutorial showing an option. This involves a little bit of coding, but the person in the tutorial made it look sort of simple. He also provided a link to Microsoft, which has the same instructions.
Microsoft Instructions:

And, now it time to say adieu to Microsoft for a while. Next month: Reviewing Scanning Procedures and Archiving Our Family Photos, Journals, Diaries, etc.

Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--6 Ways to Save Webpages in the Internet Archives Wayback Machine
Recently there was a post in an Internet Archive blog entitled, “If You See Something, Save Something – 6 Ways to Save Pages in the Wayback Machine.” In an era when so much of what we care about lives on the web, and further, so much of what we care about can be gone in an instant, this is certainly a worthwhile article. Not only are there specific things one can do to ensure web pages are accessible in the future, the article and its comments provide some food for thought.

by Adam Barrone and Michael Hudson
The circus is in the news.  We have heard reports that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, founded in 1871, will cease operations this spring.  Over the weekend, the Shrine Circus held their annual shows at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.  Reports of family fun and animal-rights protests made the news.

Consider the role of the circus in oral, local, and family history.  Ask your elderly relatives about their experiences when the circus came to town.  Investigate rumors of the relative who ran off with a traveling show.  Read news reports of the excitement that followed the circus train.  We found nearly 700 articles about the circus in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI).  Try a search here:

Here are few of the circus gems we found:

Barnum circus train accident articles, 1876
Tama County (IA) Museum News, v.20n.3, Jul. 2005

Flea circus fleas die of heat prostration, owner combing dogs for new talent, 1957
Track and Trace (Hardin Co., OH), v.29n.3, Spr. 2011

James Edward Jarrett and the anatomy of the Lord George Sanger Circus census entry, 1901
Bedfordshire (England) Family History Society Journal, v.14n.8, Dec. 2004

Jane Barnell, bearded lady, anecdotes and encounter with Cole Porter, 1940
Miami County (IN) History Bulletin, n.84, Aug. 2010

Jocko the monkey escape, monkeys in Wabash history, 1910-1977
Peek at the Past (Wabash Co., IN, Historical Society), v.4n.3, 2011

Levying taxes on hawkers, circuses, etc., 1874
Pope County (AR) Historical Association Quarterly, v.6n.4, Jun. 1972

Lynn Chamberlin Miller re involvement in children circus for polio, 1952, Miamisburg, OH
Tavern Log (Miamisburg,OH, Historical Society), v.15n.5, Oct. 2006

Mort Gamble recalls fascination with and working for the circus, 1950s+
Goldenseal (Charleston, WV), v.35n.3, Fal. 2009

History Tidbits: Babies are Cute in Blue or Pink--Gender and Baby Clothes
by Allison DePrey Singleton
In light of Valentine’s Day, what better way to celebrate February than an article about babies? Cupid is often shown as a baby dressed in his nappy and no other clothing. Speaking of baby clothing, how were our ancestors dressed as babies? Have you ever wondered why there are so many photographs of your female ancestors as children and not of the male ancestors? Do we have a treat for you!

The history of baby clothes in America is fascinating. Many reasons exist as to why not much is written about baby clothes the further back in history you go. One reason is that baby clothes were just a natural part of life and not something that was documented thoroughly. Another is that baby clothes were not colorful or eye-catching. Traditionally, baby clothes were white so they could be easily bleached.

In the 1600s, babies were “swaddled” and not in the current sense of the word. They were wrapped tightly in cloth so their legs and arms would stay straight. It was thought that if the baby’s limbs were bent, they could become physically deformed. The swaddling went from the head down their entire body to keep it still and straight. You can see a depiction of a swaddled baby in Jan Steen’s painting, Celebrating the Birth: The child is being held at an awkward angle, and since the child is swaddled so firmly, the head does not need to be physically supported. 

Another fascinating seventeenth century practice is the use of “stays” on babies. Once a baby left the swaddling period, he or she was put into a tiny corset, or stays, to keep straight and stiff. The era placed a great deal of emphasis on the positivity of an erect and straight posture. Parents dressed their children in long skirts, regardless of sex, to prevent crawling, which was consider barbaric and unnatural. The long skirts were significant indicators of age and not sex. A depiction of a child in stays and long skirts can be seen in the painting, Mrs. Freake and Baby Mary:

The 1700s brought new ideas about allowing physical freedom for babies. Firm swaddling went out of vogue and so did the infant stays. Parents still dressed their babies in little dresses, but they were now ankle length after about six months. As the centuries went by, baby clothes became more ornate and frilly. Social norms considered babies to be beautiful, no matter the sex, and no concerns existed about differentiating the gender at a glance. Boys and girls alike could have long ringlets and dresses. This makes identifying boys and girls in photographs more difficult. There were small nuances that separated the boys from the girls. Boys would have one style of dress while girls could possibly have a more ornate dress. Clothes were not distinct to gender until children reached a certain age. Boys would then be “breeched,” or allowed to wear breeches, sometime between four and seven years of age. As the decades passed, the age to be “breeched” became younger and younger. This painting of Two Boys in a Garden shows a boy who had been “breeched” and a younger boy who had not:

With the advent of washing machines in the mid-1800s and the expanded availability of store-bought fabrics, baby clothes began having a bit of hue to them. Initially, there were no colors assigned to either sex, but this changed in the mid-1800s. Originally, boys were assigned the color pink and girls the color blue. Check out this adorable pink and red shirt for a baby boy in The Autry’s Collections Online: This vintage baby announcement is also a great example of the use of pink for boys: Various articles, books, and newspaper articles show this opposite color assignment for babies, including this article from 1897:
“On Friday, when she had read the papers and learned of the event at Princeton, Mrs. McKinley smiled, but her smile had a trace of discomfiture. The booties which she had sent to Mrs. Cleveland were blue, and as all the world which has had experience in such things well knows, blue booties are for girls and pink for boys.”  - The Wilkes-Barre Telephone (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), Saturday, November 6, 1897
To read the full article this quote came from and other pieces following this topic, please access them through:

The mixed beliefs about the correct color for each gender continued well into the 1900s. In the 1925, the Betty Bob’s Family paper doll book came out with a Baby Bobby in it, featuring some feminine looking clothing: The Times Magazine featured a chart on which ten popular department stores labeled the gender of clothes for which sex. Six stores listed pink for boys and only five stores showed pink for girls (one store even had pink for both sexes). You can view this article through the same access link as for the other articles.

Not until after World War II did the custom of assigning pink for girls and blue for boys become set. One thing to note is that even in today’s society, baby girls can wear blue or pink, but baby boys generally are not dressed in pink. Since the color assignments became set, it has become an insult to many mothers to call a child by the wrong gender. You will see most babies with some kind of indicator on them, such as a bow headband or a little blue blanket or toy, even if their clothes are not a female shade or male shade of color. It is a relatively new phenomenon to have gender-assigned clothing instead of just age-assigned clothing. Take another look at your family photos and those vintage baby clothes. You might see something new from a different perspective. 

Baumgarten, Linda. What clothes reveal: the language of clothing in colonial and federal America: the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. Williamsburg, VA: Colonial Williamsburg.
Calvert, Karin Lee Fishbeck. Children in the house: the material culture of early childhood, 1600-1900. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992.
F., José Blanco, Mary D. Doering, Patricia Hunt-Hurst, and Heather Vaughan Lee. Clothing and fashion: American fashion from head to toe. Vol. 1-3. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2016.
Hiner, N. Ray., and Joseph M. Hawes. Growing up in America: children in historical perspective. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985.
Paoletti, Jo B. "Clothing and Gender in America: Children's Fashions, 1890-1920." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 13, no. 1 (1987): 136-43. doi:10.1086/494390.
Paoletti, Jo Barraclough. Pink and blue: telling the boys from the girls in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012.
"When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?" Accessed January 10, 2017.

Late Breaking Programs in February’s First Days
“Genealogy Research in Poland & Eastern Europe and Visiting the Country of Your Ancestors!”
On Thursday, February 2, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., come to the Discovery Center for your chance to learn from experts from Poland! Join Tom Szymkowiak and Adam Zalewski from Wroclaw, Poland to learn about research in Eastern Europe.  They will spend an hour educating us on research in Eastern European countries. The outline for their presentation is below.
I. Introduction of
II. The process of doing the genealogy research in Poland/Ukraine
II-a. What to start with?
II-b. Five most important questions
II-c. The place of origin of one’s ancestor
II-d. Misspelled names of the towns
II-e. Sources of information about one’s origin
II-f. Parish records as the most useful source
II-g. Confusion about the nationality under the Partions of Poland
II-h. Metric system in Poland
II-i. How to locate the right parish on-line.
II-j. Availability of records in Polish State and parish/diocesan archives
III. “Local research” in Poland/Ukraine.
IV. Visiting the country of your ancestors.

“Learning Lincoln's Legacy: A Day for Youth”
On Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Main Library, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza in Fort Wayne, young adults are encourage to spend the morning learning about one of the greatest presidents ever, Abraham Lincoln.
Registration is at the door. The program is free and open to all youth. Participants will rotate through the following activities.
• Tour the Lincoln Collection
• Take a look at Lincoln in the movies
• Hear a conversation between Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, with Civil War reenactors from the 30th Indiana
• Play a game of Lincoln Conspiracy
For more information call: 260-421-1378 or email: Lincoln [at]

DNA and Genealogy Interest Group
Have you done a DNA test for genealogical purposes? Do you completely understand the results you received? Do you need advice in interpreting your results? Are you interested and wonder what the best test is for you? Come to the DNA & Genealogy Interest Group Meeting on the 1st Thursday of the month from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. to share and learn from each other! The next meeting is Thursday, February 2, 2017! Come in and share!

Live Streams from RootsTech 2017
Have you heard about RootsTech, the annual family history and technology conference in Salt Lake City put on by FamilySearch? Do you want to go, but just haven’t made arrangements? Experience the excitement, share the knowledge, and see what everyone will be talking about for the next year!

Join us as we livestream RootsTech 2017 In the Discovery Center! Come and go as you
please! Sessions are:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Innovator Summit General Session - Speakers: Steve Rockwood, Liz Wiseman
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Industry Trends and Outlook - Speakers: Craig Bott and Guest Panel
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Innovation—Best Practices and Applications - Speaker: Cydni Tetro

Thursday, February 9, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon - RootsTech General Session - Speakers: Steve Rockwood, Jonathan & Drew Scott
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Getting Started in Genealogy - Speaker: Kelli Bergheimer
2:15 p.m.–3:15 p.m. - DNA: The Glue That Holds Families Together - Speaker: Diahan Southard
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - DNA Matching on MyHeritage - Speaker: Dana Drutman
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available - Speaker: Lara
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Family History Is Anything but Boring - Speakers: Crystal Farish & Rhonna Farrer

Friday, February 10, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon - RootsTech General Session - Speakers: Levar Burton, Special Guest Panel
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals
2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Mothers, Daughters, Wives: tracing Female Lines - Speaker: Judy Russell
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Censational Census Strategies - Speaker: Mary Kircher Roddy
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage -
Speaker: Sunny Morton

Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon - RootsTech General Session - Speakers: Cece Moore, Buddy Valastro
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Journaling Principles That Work - Speaker: Steve Reed
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher - Speaker: Crista Cowan
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Creating Google Alerts for Your Genealogy - Speaker: Katherine R. Wilson

Warm-Up with WinterTech
WinterTech 2016-2017 will conclude with Melissa Tennant’s presentation of “Where Art Thou, PERSI?” on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. in the Discovery Center. This presentation will talk about where one can find PERSI (the Periodical Source Index), the differences between the sites, how to get copies of articles cited in the periodical index and the dramatic things that are happening with PERSI at FindMyPast.

Since WinterTech is on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., on the same day as the monthly meeting of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI), come to WinterTech and then stay for the ACGSI program at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, see our brochure at To register for any or all of these events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Join The Genealogy Center for Black History Month
February 9, 2017
The February monthly meeting of the African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne takes place at 6:30 p.m. in Studio A. Officers of the society continue to provide useful tips and methods for successfully engaging in family history research..

February 19, 2017
We invite the community to enjoy Heartland Sings: We Are The Dream, A Musical Commemoration to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, February 19, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library Theater. Prior to and following the musical, visit our Life Stories Center to record your personal memories of the “I Have a Dream” speech. The Life Stories Center will be open noon to 5:00 p.m. that day.

February 25, 2017
Nichelle M.  Hayes will provide a two-hour seminar beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 25, 2017 in The Genealogy Center’s Discovery Center on African American Genealogical Research. Nichelle is the Librarian in charge of the Center for African-American Literature, Culture and Black Experience at IndyPL, the Indianapolis Public Library.

For more information, see our brochure at . To register for this event, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Keep Up with Upcoming Events
Join The Genealogy Center as we offer a week of programs Sunday, March 5, 2017, to Saturday, March 11, 2017, to tip off your family history research with March Madness! Score with talks that will provide clues to information and events in your ancestors’ lives! Events will be held in the Discovery Center.

And be here as The Genealogy Center celebrates Women’s History Month! We will be paying tribute to the numerous contributions women have made through the generations, featuring sessions on women in the military, female detectives, and more. There is much to celebrate at The Genealogy Center on Saturday, March 25th!  Sessions will be held in the Discovery Center.

Preservation is part of family history: preservation of family and community history; preservation of family and community documents and heirlooms; preservation of written and spoken word. The Genealogy Center will celebrate Preservation Week from April 23 to April 29, 2017, with information on the care and preservation of your family and your community’s stories. Sessions will be held in the Discovery Center every day the last week of April.

For information about these events, watch our Events page at

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

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc. (ACGSI) Monthly Program
February 8, 2017 - Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Refreshments at 6:30 p.m., program at 7 p.m. Curt Sylvester will present: “Being a Genealogical Detective.”

ACGSI Genealogy Technology Group
February 15, 2017 – Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 7 p.m.

Mary Penrose Wayne DAR Chapter Library Help Day for Prospective Members
February 1, 2017 - Allen County Public Library, The Genealogy Center, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 12 - 4 p.m.

Mary Penrose Wayne DAR Chapter Meeting
February 11, 2017 - Allen County Public Library, Room A, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1 p.m.

The George R. Mather Lecture Series
February 5, 2017 – The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2 p.m.
Anthony Conley will present: “War as a Tool for Group Uplift: African American Thought & Wartime Military Service in the 20th Century.”

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 302.  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 312.  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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