Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 164, October 31, 2017
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 22:44:22 -0400

Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library

No. 164, October 31, 2017


In this issue:

*Remembering in November

*London: A Life in Maps

*World War I Compilations for Your County

*Technology Tip of the Month--Exploring Old Photographs

*Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Rescuing a Water-Damaged Book: A Short, Handy Primer


*History Tidbits: Prohibition

*DNA Interest Group

*Winter Is Coming! And With It WinterTech!

*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming

*Out and About

*Area Calendar of Events

*Driving Directions to the Library

*Parking at the Library

*Genealogy Center Queries

*Publishing Note



Remembering in November

by Curt B. Witcher


Let’s talk about remembering. It seems appropriate as there are so many opportunities for us to recall the importance of memories and remembering in the new month that is dawning. In the first half of the month, we have an opportunity to remember our nation’s veterans--brave young people who have served and continue to serve from every corner of our country. In the second half of the month, preparing for and celebrating Thanksgiving gives us more opportunities to recall previous Thanksgiving days, other family gatherings, and all the celebrations in our lives that have strong food and family components.


It might be interesting as well as engage more family members if we thought about Veterans Day as more than a day. What if we thought about it this year as a weekend--Veterans Day weekend, Friday through Monday, Nov. 10-13? The federal holiday on Friday could be when we recall the veterans in our families. We could set about locating photographs and documents related to their days of service—organizing those special papers with an eye toward scanning them and putting copies in numerous different locations for preservation and sharing. We could remember stories we have heard about our families’ veterans, and make a little time writing or recording those stories.


On Veterans Day itself we could commit to engaging outside our homes in honor of our veteran ancestors. Visit some of the cemeteries where they are buried. Make sure images of their tombstones are in the online sites Find-A-Grave and BillionGraves. Visit the courthouse and pay respects at the military memorial plaques that honor those who served and died from your town or county. Take images of those plaques so the names they honor can be more easily shared. Take your children and grandchildren with you so they too can learn more intimately of their proud heritage.


On Sunday, November 12th, begin creating your own 2017 Veterans Day e-booklet, gathering and organizing the stories and photographs from your home setting and placing them with the gravestone and memorial plaque images from your community exploration. Use the following Monday to finish your compilation, and finally, to share your work with other relatives as well as a research repository like The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. Honoring one’s military ancestors includes not only finding and documenting their service through records and documents, but also ensuring they continue to be honored for generations by placing the information where it will be both preserved and presented for others to use.


After our Veterans Day activities, our attentions should turn toward Thanksgiving and how we can make that holiday a special time for remembering, and recording our family stories. Recall how, for the last several years, Story Corps has designated the days around Thanksgiving as national days of listening. What an awesome concept for us to embrace. Though the benefit of gathering family stories during holidays has been articulated many times in recent years, still many go year after year without taking advantage of these remarkable opportunities.


There are two things that make Thanksgiving gatherings so special for listening to life stories and interviewing family members about yesteryear--many relatives and friends are gathered in one place and typically much food is prepared and enjoyed. Having significant numbers of interested individuals in the same place can mean that one person’s stories can be complemented by another’s. One story can be enhanced, clarified, and heightened by another story. What one person can’t remember clearly about an event can be richly described by another. Many storytellers and numerous perspectives often make a more complete story.


Much good cooking and legacy recipes made with fresh herbs, spices, and sauces means that kitchens and dining areas, indeed entire houses, will be brimming with rich smells of all kinds. And many may recall that smell is by far the strongest memory trigger in humans. Roasting chicken, simmering marvelous mashed-potatoes, baking pecan and peach pies, brewing coffee, steaming corn, and baking the obligatory green bean casserole--all serve to stimulate memories for those fortunate enough to enjoy those culinary delights.


Once one begins to remember, often the memories seem to cascade upon themselves. One memory triggers another, until an entire afternoon or evening are overflowing with stories begging to be shared, both today and tomorrow. Before completing this piece tonight, I helped my 81-year-old mother enjoy this year’s trick-or-treaters. I couldn’t help remember my older brother and I having the most awesome trick-or-treating evening when I was in the third grade in Saginaw, Michigan. It was such a good time, and we were oh so bad! And I am now nearly drowning in memories!


Let the remembering begin, followed by the telling and the recording.



London: A Life in Maps

by Delia Cothrun Bourne


To most Americans, London, England, is almost as much a part of America’s story as are Washington, D.C. or Boston. Through deep ties of shared tradition, culture, and ethnicity, London has changed through its long history while remaining a constant in our minds. “London: a Life in Maps,” by Peter Whitfield (942.1202 L84WP) is a fascinating look at London through the centuries from medieval times to modern day.


The volume is divided into four sections. Each section provides a brief history of the city, with notes on what classes lived where, interspersed with many engravings, historical information and detailed maps. Each section is further divided into chapters detailing events and places.


“London before the Fire” includes chapters on coronation processions, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, Civil War London and the Great Fire, as well as specific maps. The section on Maritime London includes a chart of London and the Thames, and a sketch of the Great Docks of Deptford, and a recounting of a few of the many explorers and traders who used them.


“The Age of Elegance” contains chapters on St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. James, Bedlam, Vauxhall and Ranelagh Gardens, fashionable suburbs and the Chelsea Waterworks. The history contained in the Whitechapel chapter discusses how the area went from a working class area to one where only the poorest lived. The City and its Institutions chapter offers an 1851 ground floor plan of the Bank of England, and Hogarth’s London provides images by William Hogarth and highlights some of the places he would have frequented.


“The Victorian Metropolis” offers chapters on Buckingham Palace, the Railway Age, Trafalgar Square, cemeteries and parks, and London’s vanished rivers. One chapter maps wealth and poverty based on Charles Booth’s map, which appeared in several parts from 1889 to 1903, and Dickens’s London provides a detailed map of the London seen and lived in by Charles Dickens


“The Shock of the New” highlights 20th century and later architecture, the Underground, and the Blitz, as well as sections on road and city planning, and the transformation of the docklands, with a final panoramic photo of London viewed at night from Waterloo Bridge, showing the London eye, Houses of Parliament and Charing Cross Station.


This volume is valuable to anyone researching family in London at any time, but also could be very useful to anyone reading history or even fiction centered in London-town.



World War I Compilations for Your County

by Melissa C. Tennant


With a swift vote by Congress on 6 April 1917, the United States entered World War I, declaring war on Germany. In the twenty months following this declaration of war, more than four million people served in the U.S. military forces. A century later, family historians seeking records for those who served need to be creative with their search. A fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1973 destroyed nearly eighty percent of the U.S. Army Personnel Records, including the World War I files. Fortunately, researchers can find compilations, alternative sources, and recreated documents that replace these missing service records.


Several individuals and organizations within a variety of towns, counties, and states have created World War I compilations for their areas, such as Isabelle Taylor’s sixteen volume set “History of Allen County in the World War” (977.201 AL5TA). The first volume chronicles the war-related activities taking place in Allen County, Indiana, covering military recruitment and camps, war manufactures, Liberty Loans, war relief work, muster rolls, and much more. Volumes 2-16 are the World War I service records for nearly 3,500 Allen County soldiers and sailors, arranged alphabetically by the surname. These records are filled with genealogical and military information. For example, George E. McGill, who was born in 21 February 1895 in Findlay, Ohio, was a laborer in Fort Wayne prior to enlisting in the service on 1 May 1917 as a Private in the Infantry for Replacement Troops Company E. He trained at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Camp Shelby in Mississippi and embarked from Camp Merritt on 26 June 1918. He fought in Argonne and Chateau Thierry, but was wounded in July 1918. Other details found within these records comprise his parents’ birthplace including town, state, and country, marital status, discharge details, and residence prior to and following the war.


To locate other World War I compilations in the catalog, use the search phrase “World War, 1914-1918” along with the county and state. Examples of similar titles for other states include “Honor Roll and Complete War History of Genesee County, Michigan, in the Great World War, 1914-1918” (940.410 M58HO), “Hocking County (OH) Veterans” (977.101 H65PC), “Wheeler County, Oregon, World War 1 Oregon War Records: Personal Military Service” (979.501 W56CU), and “Berrien County, Georgia: Men Who Were in the Army During World War I” (975.801 B45BE).


With the 100th commemoration of the War, this is the time to learn more about the materials available to family historians. In honor of the men and women who served in the Great War, take some time to discover what World War I books and digital records The Genealogy Center has available at



Technology Tip of the Month--Exploring Old Photographs

by Kay Spears


Where to begin, where to begin. Old photographs – what do we do with them? Maybe you’ve spent years and years working on your pedigree chart and your family group sheets, but that box of old dusty photographs you’ve sort of ignored. Well, we are going to open that dusty old box and have an adventure. We are going to find ways to identify some of these photographs and then learn some ways to put them away safely.


Let’s start at the beginning with the daguerreotype. Now, the daguerreotype isn’t necessarily the first type of photograph. Inventors had been trying for centuries to capture images, but we are going to start with the daguerreotype. Introduced to the public in 1839 by Louis Daguerre, and thanks to the French government declaring it public domain, it gained immediate popularity.


How do you know you have a daguerreotype? They are pretty easy to recognize. Daguerreotypes are made from copper plates, then coated with silver which is then polished to a high sheen. After using a camera and a lot of chemicals, an image will appear on the surface of the mirror-like surface. And, that mirror-like image is how we know we have a daguerreotype. In some daguerreotypes, the gross is so high the image is hard to see. Hopefully, if you have one, it is still in its original case because these type of photographs tarnish and deteriorate rather quickly. Most daguerreotypes were originally encased in cases, with mattes, a glass covering. If you have one in a case, leave it in the case. If you have a daguerreotype which is still in its case, you can wrap it in tissue paper, then put in in an envelope or box – face down. Putting it face down protects the image from being further damaged by the glass which is protecting it. Some older glass deteriorates. That doesn’t mean you should remove it from its case though. Unless you are an archivist or a conservator, you should not do anything other than store.


Try to keep the times you are touching it to a minimum, and record anything about it in the initial scanning and examination. Also, remember everything you use to store it in should be archival material. Do not attempt to clean the surface of the image. There are a number of organizations that offer help, tutorials, lectures, and information on the preservation of daguerreotypes – here are a few: Society of American Archivists, Getty Research Institute, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration. I also highly recommend a book called for more detailed information: Photographs, Archival Care and Management by Mary Linn Ritzenthaler and Diane Vogt-O’Connor.


Next stop: Ambrotypes



Quick-Tip of the Month for Preservation--Rescuing a Water-Damaged Book: A Short, Handy Primer


The Syracuse University Libraries released this video: "Rescuing a Water-Damaged Book: A Short, Handy Primer." Posted on 20 October, 2017 by Nate Hoffelder in Book Culture, Books as Art


We all know how to use the rice trick to recover a waterlogged gadget (hint: oatmeal works better), but have you ever had to deal with a book from a watery demise? The Syracuse University Libraries published the above visual primer where they share a few of the tricks - some obvious, some less so - they use to repair library books that have been returned in less than pristine condition.




by Adam Barrone and Michael Hudson


In the course of our work to catalog articles of historical and genealogical interest for PERSI, we encounter a multitude of names, both ordinary and extraordinary.


As researchers, we often have the need to distinguish between multiple individuals with the same or similar names at particular place and time.  This type of research is complex, but it is especially difficult in places like Swiss villages where many children were named from small sets of given names and surnames.  In the village of Langnau in the Emmental Valley of Canton Bern, you will find an astonishingly large number of infants baptized Ulrich Gerber or Anna Rothlisberger.


Hats off to the parents who exercised some creativity in the naming of their children.  Those children grew up to become ancestors who are easier to track than John Smith and Anna Miller.


Whether your ancestor’s name is unique or usual, be sure to use the Periodical Source Index (PERSI).  After searching for the name of interest, conduct additional searches for the places the person lived, worked, and worshipped.  Try a search here:


Here are a few less-conventional names which caught our eye:


Artful Snushall baptism notice, 1847, Wisbech and Tholomos Drove, England

Cambridgeshire (Eng.) Family History Society Journal, v.6n.3, Aug. 1987


Aurelius Powhatan Bohannan-Anna Deal family, Calico Ball invitation, 1880s

Surrey Side News (Surry Co., VA, Hist. Soc.), v.11n.4, Win. 2011


Clotworthy Birnie diary excerpts, immigration and slave-owner activities, family notes, 1810-1813

Carroll History Journal (Carroll Co., MD), v.3n.3, Fal. 2010


Japanese postcards received by grandmother of Heather Feather, pre-1945

Essex (Eng.) Family Historian, n.149, Sep. 2013


Peverill Everill-Margaret Kennedy family note, his departure on a plea of jealousy, 1870-1871

New Zealand Genealogist, v.23n.214, Mar. 1992


Turnerica Henrica Ulrica Gloria De Lavinia Rebecca Turner burial, age 7 months, d. 1840, Mold, Wales

Hel Achau (Clwyd Family History Society, Wales), n.12, Spr. 1984



History Tidbits: Prohibition

by Allison DePrey Singleton


Many times in history our ancestors were surrounded by national and local events that colored their personal lives and choices. One such time was the era of national Prohibition.  National Prohibition should be distinguished from the variety of other prohibition laws that many states, including Indiana, adopted during the same period. It is interesting to see how changes in these laws affected the impact of the Great Depression, and how they led many of our ancestors to circumvent the laws. 


At the time of its enactment, national Prohibition was considered to be progressive and reflected part of the liberal agenda that aspired to assist people in improving their lives. Reformers saw alcohol as the source for many of the evils in society. If husbands and fathers were prevented from drinking, they would not become abusive and lazy and would not drink away their incomes. Without alcohol, women’s morals would be lowered, and children would fare better in a stable home.  Overall, reformers hoped that that prohibition would rid the nation of family disorder, political corruption, workplace inefficiency, crime, child and spousal abuse, and poor health. 


Congress voted to pass the Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition, on December 18, 1917. It still needed to be ratified by state legislatures, but more than half of the states were already dry. On January 16, 1919, Nebraska became the thirty-sixth state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment. After ratification came the need for legislation to enforce it, which is what the Volstead Act, more commonly known as the Prohibition Act, accomplished. 


The Volstead Act had three main goals:


- To prohibit intoxicating beverages

- To regulate the manufacture, sale, or transport of intoxicating liquor (but not consumption), and

- To ensure an ample supply of alcohol existed for its use in scientific research; in the development of fuel, dye, and other lawful industries; and for use in religious practices and rituals.


Sponsors introduced the Volstead Act to Congress on June 27, 1919, and it passed in the House on July 22, 1919. Passage followed in the Senate on September 5, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the bill on October 27, 1919, but Congress overrode the veto. Prohibition moved full steam ahead.


Prohibition began at midnight on January 17, 1920, and it soon began to fail. One of its goals had been to reduce crime, but it skyrocketed as bootleggers began making and distributing illegal alcohol and selling it at speakeasies. Murders rose, as did the overall level of debauchery. Families were broken up through alcoholism. Poorly-made alcohol had disastrous results. Arrests and other crimes increased. Political corruption worsened, with police officers on the beat taking bribe money and political figures turning a blind eye to the crime in their area. 


On February 20, 1933, Congress proposed the Twenty-first Amendment, and the nation was on the road to ending Prohibition. Michigan became the first state to ratify the amendment on April 10, 1933. The thirty-sixth state to ratify it was Utah on December 5, 1933, and Prohibition officially ended ten days later. 


How did the Prohibition era affect your family? Was anyone in your family on the right or wrong side of the law, and were they arrested? You can find a lot of information on this era by searching newspapers, court records, and other government records. By researching how your family was affected by national Prohibition, you will gain a better understanding of how they experienced the 1920s.


Sources and further reading:

Amendments. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

Blocker, J. S. (1989). American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne.

Blumenthal, K. (2013). Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. New York: Square Fish.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message to Congress on Repeal of the Volstead Act. - March 13, 1933. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

Lerner, M. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

McGirr, L. (2016). The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Okrent, D. (2011). Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. New York: Scribner.

Primary Documents in American History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

The Volstead Act. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

The Volstead Act. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from



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, November 2, 2017. Come in and share!



Winter Is Coming! And With It WinterTech!


WinterTech’s November offering will be the program "Using Google Earth for Genealogy" on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., in the Discovery Center. John Beatty will demonstrate how family historians can use Google Earth to customize satellite images, overlay them with historical maps, and use them for illustrating family histories or conducting land research. Remember, WinterTech is offered in the afternoons of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana’s monthly meeting, so stay to hear Adam Barrone talk about "ACGSI: What We’re Up To on the Web," in Meeting Room A at 7:00 p.m.


Cynthia Theusch will present the next program in the WinterTech series, "Using Evernote for Your Genealogical Research," on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., in the Discovery Center. Delia Bourne will continue the series in January with "Finding Free Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Online" and Melissa Tennant will finish the series with "On the Record: African American Newspapers" in February. Information about each session will be available soon at 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


Melissa Tennant

November 4, 2017 - Detroit Society for Genealogical Research & Oakland County Genealogical Society Joint Autumn Meeting, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 5500 N. Adams Rd, Troy, Michigan from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Presentation: “Researching Your World War I Ancestor.”



Area Calendar of Events


IPFW Presentation

November 1, 2017 - at 101 Neff Hall, Indiana University-Purdue University campus, 101 Neff Hall, Fort Wayne, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Carla L. Peterson of the University of Maryland will deliver "Struggling for Racial Equality: African American Literary and Political Activism in the Antebellum North."


Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc. (ACGSI) Monthly Program

November 8, 2017- Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, refreshments & networking begins at 6:30 p.m., program at 7 p.m. Adam Barrone will present “ACGSI: What We're Up To on the Web.”


The George R. Mather Lecture Series

November 5, 2017 – The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2 p.m.

Dr. Timothy L. Wilkerson presents "Walking Backwards: Fort Wayne's Colonial French Past and the Writing of History.”


Miami Indian Heritage Days

November 4, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & November 5, 2017, 12 p.m. 4 p.m. – Chief Richardville House, 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, “Traders’ Days.” Shop for traditional crafts, goods & wares, and enjoy hands-on demonstrations & interactive educational programs. Free to the Public.


Festival of Gingerbread

November 24, 2017 - The History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, “Festival of Gingerbread” opens.



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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