Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne, No. 176, October 31, 2018
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 21:45:53 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne
No. 176, October 31, 2018

In this issue:
*Finding & Telling Our Stories One Step at a Time
*The Ancestor Hunt
*Virginia in Maps
*Technology Tip of the Month: It’s Time for a Kodak Moment
*PERSI Gems--Learning from History
*History Tidbits: Social Security History
*Library Catalog Insider--Finding Genealogy How-to Books
*DNA Interest Group
*Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society Seminar
*WinterTech 2018-2019
*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
*Area Calendar of Events
*Genealogy Center Social Media
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Genealogy Center Queries
*Publishing Note

Finding & Telling Our Stories One Step at a Time
by Curt B. Witcher
It’s hard to believe but the holidays are upon us. (Some retail establishments actually were sporting holiday decorations weeks ago!) For family historians, holidays can be among the best of times for finding our family stories through living relatives. Holiday gatherings of all types are golden opportunities for engagement. There may be so many opportunities that one gets overwhelmed; or, perhaps this is the first year in many when we will have some time to spend with a special or distant relative. Whatever the circumstance, doing the small, simple things will ensure success in finding more of your story, your family history.

A few days ago I was part of an email blast articulating a “Gratitude Challenge” as a way maintaining good mental health—and good overall health. The idea is to have one positive thought about a different item on the list for thirty days in a row. When I read it, I immediately thought this list also would serve as a collection of super writing prompts *and* super interviewing prompts. The timing is great—just ahead of the holidays. As you look through the list below over the month of November, take the time to write just three sentences about each prompt. In addition, pick three to five prompts that you will use during the holidays to interview family members.

*Something in nature (no animals)
*A household item
*Some type of technology
*A personal quality you have
*A physical quality or trait you have
*A skill you have
*A food item (sweet)
*A specific book
*A person no longer living
*Something about the work you do
*A critter of some sort
*A specific person and why
*Weather that you love
*A smell or scent
*A specific song
*A specific season and why
*Another personal quality
*Another physical quality
*A past trial or problem you learned from
*A location
*An unexpected kindness someone did for you
*Something common you take for granted
*A food/meal (not dessert)
*Someone you've never met who inspired you
*Something of great comfort
*Something about your health
*A hobby
*A memory
*A favorite place (big or small)
*A holiday and why

Take full advantage of the National Day of Listening the Friday after Thanksgiving. Doing so will be the best gift you could possibly give and get on Black Friday.

The Ancestor Hunt
by Melissa Tennant
When researching family history, many prefer using websites that provide access to a wide variety of materials and locations. This centralized access means researchers can be more efficient rather than having to check multiple websites in their family quest. It is exciting when we discover a clearinghouse for genealogical records, such as “The Ancestor Hunt” website <>.

Created by Kenneth R. Marks, a genealogist interested in sharing the resources and lessons that are available for family historians, “The Ancestor Hunt” site features a blog, articles, and recommendations on family history research, and a bibliography of website links specific to birth, marriage, and death records, digital photo collections, yearbooks, obituaries and newspapers. These website lists are organized primarily by state, then county or city, or by province for Canada. The site has a disclaimer that the lists are not inclusive, but that they are regularly updated. For example, the “Newspaper Links” page of 26,300 links was updated in May 2018.

The “Newspaper Links” page is extremely beneficial for those needing to determine where to locate a digitized newspaper. The page is divided into four classifications: state, special collections, Canada, and the world. Once a state is selected, the collections are divided into several categories based on whether they are available on free or subscription sites. The newspaper title, location, and years that are digitally available are provided, and they link directly to the digitized newspaper collection. For those seeking digitized ethnic newspapers for African Americans, German Americans, Hispanic Americans, and much more, this site is an excellent centralized source to begin a search. Access to religious, American Farming, American Labor and Union, and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) newspapers are also chronicled on this site.

When searching for digital collections in a particular area, consider “The Ancestor Hunt” website as a guide to more historical materials. And the next time you are trying to locate a newspaper online, check the “Newspaper Links” page to see what might be available.

Virginia in Maps
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
While the history of a location is usually told in words, historic maps also tell a detailed history to which researchers should pay attention. The history of Virginia, through colonial days, Revolution, Civil War and division, is rich in detail, and those details show through in “Virginia in Maps: Four Centuries of Settlement, Growth, and Development,” by Richard W. Stephenson and Marianne M. McKee (975.5 V818MP). This oversized (29 x 39 cm) volume, published by the Library of Virginia in 2000, contains the images of 187 important maps that range from the 1585 map of Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks to the 1998-99 edition of the state highway map.

The maps are accompanied by five essays: "Westward Vision: The Seventeenth Century;” "Colony to Commonwealth: The Eighteenth Century;” "Building Virginia: The Antebellum Years;” "An Unfamiliar Country: The Civil War;” and "From Saddle Bags to Satellites," which interlace with the maps to provide a rich and detailed history. Included among the maps are a plat of Gloucester County Town, 1705, showing landowners and lot numbers; bird’s eye views of various cities; selections from Sanborn and Beers city maps; Civil War battle maps showing troop movements; relief maps indicating land formations; maps for agriculture, rivers, highways and soil composition; and aeronautical maps for pilots and satellite maps.

Discussions of survey maps are interspersed with photographs, such as one of Generals U.S. Grant and George Meade examining a map in 1864 while at Massapomax, images of aeronaut Thaddeus S.C. Lowe and his balloon Intrepid in 1862, and illustrations of laying out early automobile roads using horse and buggy to facilitate the survey! The volume includes West Virginia until that state seceded from Virginia. Each map is referenced in the back of the volume with publication information and the current location of the original. The index will assist in locating maps and subjects of interest.

This very fine volume is a valuable resource to anyone researching Virginia history and residents and is a visual treat to all.

Technology Tip of the Month: It’s Time for a Kodak Moment
by Kay Spears
You press the button…we do the rest. Save Your Happy Memories with a Kodak. Kodak Film: For the Times of Your Life. Share Moments, Share Life/ Let Kodak Keep the Story. And, at Christmas: Open Me First. Any of those slogans sound familiar to you? If you are of a certain age, at least a couple of them should. They were all slogans from the Kodak Company over the years, and we can say this about the man behind Kodak, George Eastman (1854-1932) – he knew how to market a product. But what wonderful products George Eastman brought to us. He opened up all kinds of worlds for us and allowed us to capture our stories – right in our own back yard.

Between the years of 1900 and 1999, Kodak received close to 20,000 patents. Patents are a useful tool when it comes to placing an image into a timeline. However, I am not going to go through each of Kodak’s patents, just a few. Around 1895 the first pocket Kodak camera came into use. And, as the name implies, it was rather small, which also means the negatives were small as were the photographs it produced. The negatives were 1 and a half x 2 inches. I happened to come across one of these photographs, and I was instantly thrilled. The photograph itself is the same size as the negative, but it is mounted on an off-white card stock, so the entire artifact measures 2 3/8 x 3 and a half inches. The white card stock is stamped “Kodak”. It’s very small, but the image is still quite clear and I can see a woman with extremely large sleeves in it, and I would date the photograph around 1895-1897. Most early photographs were still contact prints, which means they were the size of the negative.

The Brownie, not the one you eat, was initially marketed for children and cost $1.25. Brownie number 0 was produced in 1900, and its popularity lasted until the 1940s. Brownie number 0 had images sized 2 and a quarter x 2 and a quarter. Brownie number 2 came along in 1901 – image size 2 and a quarter x 3 and a quarter inches. The folding Brownie, introduced in 1905, had a photo size of 3 and a quarter x 4 and a quarter inches. Stereo Brownie, introduced in 1905, was discontinued in 1910, and yes, it had two lenses, took two photographs, and would have been viewed using a stereoscope. Its initial cost was $12.00. Size of the each photo is 3 and a quarter x 2 and a half inches.

Around the 1920, an “autographic feature” was introduced, which allowed the person taking the photograph to write on the margin of the negative at the time the photograph was taken. The writing would appear as white when the photo was developed. It was no longer produced after 1932.

George Eastman was a busy guy. He had ideas and surrounded himself with people, who could bring his ideas to life or create their own. By producing stuff cheaply, he gave us the ability to capture moments in time. Those moments which are captured on pieces of paper are our stories. Thanks, George.

Next article: Cars

PERSI Gems--Learning from History
by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) is as useful to historians as it is to genealogists.  When one seeks to understand the historical underpinnings of today’s social issues, researching in local and regional sources can provide a great deal of insight.  The newsletters and journals indexed in PERSI come from historical and genealogical societies across the country (and beyond) which seek to preserve the stories of their people so that others might learn from them.

Search for historical topics of interest to you here:

In light of recent acts of violence, we list here, for your consideration, citations of articles about violent acts in houses of worship and crimes fueled by hate.  We, as a people, have much to learn:

Alleged hate crimes at Nosh Deli, Alisa Turtletaub-Young owner, John W. Ng arrest, statistics, 2014
Legacy (New Mexico Jewish Historical Society), v.28n.3, Fal. 2014

Arson attack on historic chapel, c. 2012
A Bridge in Time (Rotherham Fam. Hist. Soc., Eng.), v.12n.2, Jun. 2012

Immigrant Luis Ramirez killed by high school football players, hate crime charged
Somos Primos (Society of Hispanic Historical & Ancestral Research), Aug. 2008

J. M. Chandler shot and killed Professor Lawrence in Congregational Church over bill, 1888
Whitley (IN) Branches, v.57, Apr. 2011

Jewish boys attacked by anti-semites during a baseball game, 1933
Shem Tov (Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada), v.25n.1, Mar. 2009

Michigan State College riot, antiradicalism and antisemitism, 1935
Michigan Historical Review, v.30n.1, Spr. 2004

Quaker, Wicaco Church Riot, 1829
The Friend (PA), v.4n.25, Apr. 1831

Saint Sauveur settlement, French Jesuits attacked by English, Fr. Pierre Biard account, 1613+
Chebacco: The Mazazine of Mount Desert Island (ME) History, v.12, 2011

T. T. Moore attacked by John and James Boling and ruffians during church services, 1921, AR
Madison County (AR) Musings, v.29n.1, Spr. 2010

Vaughan Brothers murder of Clem Griggs at Sandy Plains Church, 1879
Genealogical Society of Anson County (NC) Newsletter, Spr. 2012

White Men attacked Bonaparte Vaughan negro boarding house, 1871
Estill County (KY) Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter, v.28n.7-8, Nov. 2008

History Tidbits: Social Security History
by Allison DePrey Singleton
Throughout our nation’s history, the issue of providing for our aged, disabled, and poor has been a constant source of conversation. There have been organizations, government movements, and a variety of ideals based on how to help them. Associations such as the Freemasons were created to assist their members when they were disabled. Typically, the government worked on a local level to assist the poor by providing poorhouses and almshouses when they needed shelter. Various groups would develop ideas on how to address the problem of poverty, but few would get any further than benevolent organizations. 

With onset of the Great Depression, the need for providing assistance to the aged, disabled, and poor increased. The federal government passed the Social Security Act of 1935 to assist with this growing need, but it represented only the tip of the iceberg of what the Social Security Administration would eventually become. The first recorded Social Security number went to John David Sweeney, Jr., but it was not the lowest. That honor went to Grace Dorothy Owen with 001-01-0001. 

Each decade brought amendments to the Social Security Act and how it worked. Cost of Living Allowances (COLAs) were added for the first time in the 1950s. Prior to this date the amounts did not change because of inflation. Medicare was added in 1965. The government added Supplemental Security Income in the 1970s to assist more disabled adults, but it was not until 1983 that Social Security covered federal employees. 

The most misused Social Security number of all-time belonged to Hilda Schrader Whitcher. She was the secretary at a company that made wallets. The company decided to have sample Social Security cards in the wallets to show how well they fit. It was decided to use Hilda’s real Social Security number on the sample card with the word SAMPLE in red ink across it. Despite this fact, thousands of people thought that the number was theirs. Over 40,000 people have used this Social Security number as their own. In fact, there were still 12 people using it in 1977. Hilda had no end of trouble due to this carelessness and had to have her Social Security number changed. Still, the FBI investigated her to see why so many people were using her number. 

Social Security records offer a valuable 20th and 21st century genealogical source for researchers.  You can request copies of original applications from the Social Security Administration for a fee. The information may not be the most revealing for finding ancestors further back in a family tree, but it will definitely add to the story of your more recent family members. Also try looking for employee records even if you cannot find Social Security information. Remember that the Railroad Retirement Board Records are separate from Social Security records. Hopefully, this history of Social Security will inspire you to research the retirement history of your more recent ancestors. 

Library Catalog Insider--Finding Genealogy How-to Books
by Kasia Young
Happy Fall Y'all!

We hope you were able to participate in all of our Family History Month programs in October! This month, let’s take a refresher on finding the genealogy how-to books to help you enhance the knowledge you gained from last month’s programs.

Genealogy is defined by the Library of Congress as the study of family history and the accounts and records of the ancestry and descent of persons, families, groups, etc. Because most of the books in The Genealogy Center’s collection are concerned with genealogy, our catalogers use “GENEALOGY” as a subject heading only for general information materials and how-to guides.

The subject heading GENEALOGY encompasses the following terms:
Family history (Genealogy)
Family trees
Genealogical research
Genealogy--Handbooks, manuals, etc.

If you search the word “GENEALOGY” is our catalog, you will get 315,810 results!

You can narrow your search significantly, if you search for the subject heading “GENEALOGY” with a name of a country, county, city, etc.:

GLH + genealogy

*GLH stands for geographic location heading (see Genealogy Gems No. 168, February 28, 2018).

For example: Fort Wayne (Ind.) + GENEALOGY (yields 359 results)

It is also possible to use subject heading “GENEALOGY” with a specific ethnic group (see Genealogy Gems, No. 175, September 30, 2018):

Ethnic group + GENEALOGY

For example: African Americans + Genealogy (yields 2050 results)

You can further narrow your search by adding GLH to your search:

Ethnic group + GLH + GENEALOGY

For example: African Americans--Indiana--Fort Wayne + GENEALOGY (yields 12 results)

Here is the list of other useful genealogy headings that you can search for in our catalog:

Genealogical libraries (259 results)
Genealogy--Archival resources (569 results)
Genealogy--Authorship (60 results)
Genealogy--Bibliography (1123 results)
Genealogy--Charts, diagrams, etc. (4 results)
Genealogy--Computer network resources (128 results)
Genealogy--Computer programs (104 results)
Genealogy--Data processing (93 results)
Genealogy--Dictionaries (69 results)
Genealogy--Forms (174 results)
Genealogy--Juvenile literature (5 results)
Genealogy--Law and legislation (7 results)
Genealogy--Library resources (496 results)
Genealogy--Publishing (148 results)
Genealogy--Societies, etc. (468 results)
Genealogy--Software (48 results)
Genealogy teachers (104 results)

Bonus tip for November:

Use subject heading: “Genealogy--Study and teaching” to locate instructional materials on genealogy (yields 51 results).

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 Meetings on the 1st Thursday of the month to share and learn from each other! Basic information meeting is from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., followed by a more advanced discussion from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The next meetings are Thursday, November 1, 2018 in the Discovery Center. Come in and share!

Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society Seminar
On Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2:00 p.m., Avraham Groll will speak about JewishGen and how it can help with family history, including techniques for using the website. Following that presentation, at 3:30 p.m., he will discuss Jewish Migration Patterns, “How Did Jews Get to Europe?”  Exploring patterns of Jewish migration, this second talk will focus on the background of the Jewish community prior to our genealogical records, including the creation of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities. This free event is open to all.

Mark your calendars for two upcoming programs, both at the Genealogy Center’s Discovery Center:
February 17, 2019 – Lara Diamond will speak on Jewish Genealogy and DNA.
May 5, 2019 – Dr. Elizabeth Anthony will discuss the International Tracing Service.

WinterTech 2018-2019
Family History Month may be over, but we still offer opportunities to tune-up your research techniques through the cold months with WinterTech 2018-2019. Held on second Wednesdays from November to February in the Discovery Center, these programs address strategies and technology. These afternoon events are followed by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana’s monthly meetings at 7:00 p.m.

The first event on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. in the Discovery Center, is Delia Bourne presenting “Hard-Learned Tips & Tricks for Searching Ancestry.” Discover what years of assisting others with finding their family on has taught one of The Genealogy Center librarians!

In December, just in time for purchasing holiday gifts, is the presentation “Which DNA Test Should I Order?” on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 2:30 p.m., in the Discovery Center. Are you planning to buy DNA kits for yourself or others during this holiday season?  How can you decide among the variety of options?  Join Sara Allen for this informative program where she will discuss the three different types of DNA testing for genealogy, and the six major companies that offer tests for the consumer. Pros and cons will be presented to help you with your decision.

To register for 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

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc. (ACGSI) Monthly Program
November 14, 2018 - Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, refreshments & networking begins at 6:30 p.m., program at 7 p.m. John Beatty will present: “Breaking Through the Brick Wall: 14 Steps for Re-thinking and solving Genealogical Problems.”

Mary Penrose Wayne DAR Chapter Library Help Day for Prospective Members
November 7, 2018 – The Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 10 - 4 p.m. Members of the Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will provide help to those interested in joining the D.A.R. who would like advice and assistance in their research. No appointment is necessary.

Miami Indian Heritage Days
November 3 & 4, 2018 - Chief Richardville House, 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Traders Days. 10am to 5pm on Saturday, November 3 and 12pm to 4pm on Sunday, November 4. This two-day event will feature fine quality hand-made Native American arts and crafts for sale by locally and nationally known Native America artists and crafters. Among the items for sale will be fine art, gourd work, beadwork, carved wooden pieces, cornhusk dolls, Christmas ornaments, Native American shields, jewelry, clothing, feather work, and more. Taste the fry bread and buffalo stew cooked outside and enjoy the ambiance of native drumming and singing. Free admission.

The George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series
November 4, 2018 - History Center, 302 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2 p.m. Lecture presented by Tony Garel-Frantzen, who will speak on “Hoosier Aviator Paul Baer: America’s First Combat Ace.”

Genealogy Center Social Media

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.  The meters take credit cards and charge at a rate of $1/hour. Street parking is free after 5 p.m. 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 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

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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