Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne, No. 184, June 30, 2019
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2019 21:39:12 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne
No. 184, June 30, 2019

In this issue:
*Our Veterans in Their Own Words
*German Family Name Registers
*Online Research for Records of Puerto Rico
*Technology Tip of the Month: Elements 2018, Guided Tabs: Black & White Tab…continued
*PERSI Gems--Bears
*History Tidbits: Guglielmo Marconi
*DNA Interest Group--Special Meeting Notice
*Laze the Summer Away with Digital Daze!
*Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center/Family Tree Maker Event
*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
*Area Calendar of Events
*Saturday Hours at the Indiana State Archives
*Genealogy Center Social Media
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Genealogy Center Queries
*Publishing Note

Our Veterans in Their Own Words
by Curt B. Witcher
Independence Day--a day highlighting the celebration of our country declaring its status as a free, independent, self-governing country. Getting to that day in 1776 was not easy; preserving and enhancing that freedom has not been easy either. As we celebrate our nation’s independence, I encourage the recognition of those who have directly contributed to that freedom. If you have a Revolutionary War ancestor and have not yet shared his story, I encourage you to do so. Share with family and interested colleagues, and most importantly, share with libraries and archives that have an interest in such history. The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library certainly is one such library with a strong interest in veterans’ letters, diaries and biographies.

An interesting and engaging way of recognizing those who have pursued and preserved our freedom is to explore their lives in their own words. The letters and diaries of our military ancestors provide wonderful insights into their lives. In addition, their experiences in their own words resonate with so many on numerous levels to this very day. While the number of letters and diaries from the Revolutionary War era is modest compared to other American engagements, they are still worth pursuing and reading. There are a number of resources to lead one to personal narratives and diaries. Among them is a resource linked on the Genealogy Center’s website,

Veterans’ letters and diaries from all engagements and time periods have much to offer family histories as well as those wanting to appreciate our veterans’ stories in their own words. And those words can be amazingly powerful. At a recent American Library Association meeting in Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to listen to Andrew Carroll, the founding director of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University.

From the website: “The Center for American War Letters is a unique and extensive manuscript collection of war letters from every American conflict, beginning with handwritten missives composed during the Revolutionary War and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan. These personal war-related correspondences are a vital record of the collective memory of the American people, as witnessed and articulated by service members, veterans, and their loved ones, who experienced these wars firsthand.”

Andrew has been collecting war letters for years. Even with all that exposure to veterans and their families, and the many tens of thousands of pages he assuredly has read, the words of our soldiers still move him. From the reporting of simple every day activities to the profound hardships that come from being away from loved ones and truly fearing for one’s life, nearly every letter touches one in a surprisingly deep way. Here are two examples of war letters in the Genealogy Center’s digital archive:.

During this Fourth of July holiday, take time to read some soldiers’ letters and diaries. And certainly for those with soldiers’ letters and diaries, loan them to the Genealogy Center for scanning and then consider the Center for American War Letters as their forever home.

German Family Name Registers
by Cynthia Theusch
Family name registers offer another way to search for ancestors who lived in Germany and Eastern Europe. The Genealogy Center has two sets of family registers: “Deutsches Geschlechterbuch” (Gc 943 D48), and “Deutsches Familien-Archive” (Gc 943 D49).

The “Deutsches Geschlechterbuch” was originally titled the “Genealogisches Handbuch bürgerlicher Familien” for its first 119 volumes, after which it appeared under its new title from volumes 120 to 213. According to James M. Beidler, author of “Family Tree German Genealogy Guide,” this set of compiled genealogies began printing in 1889, tracing middle-class individuals and often looking for descendants in America. Some sketches trace families to the seventeenth century, and some include portraits. The set has a wide geographical coverage. Under its later iteration it published information in volumes divided into German provinces and states. For example, at least 19 volumes cover families in Hessen, yet these volumes are not grouped together but are interspersed throughout the series with the geographic location listed on the spine. The first 119 volumes were printed in an old German Gothic type that can be difficult to read and translate. Familysearch offers a useful handwriting guide to Gothic available online at Using this guide will assist in translating the information from German to English.

 Accessing genealogical information contained in the volumes can be challenging. A surname-only index is included at the back of each volume, while two different sets of stand-alone indexes are also available. The first covers only the first 50 volumes and is titled “Gesamt-Namensverzeichnis Umfassend” (Gc 943 D48a). The other covers volumes 1 through 119 and is titled “Stammfolgen-Verzeichnis des Deutschen Geschlechterbuches” (Gc 943 D48aa).

“Deutsches Familien-Archive,” another set of compiled German genealogies, began publication in 1952. The first 150 volumes have general indexes printed after each 25 volumes. These six indices with yellow covers are titled Gesamtregister zum Deutschen Familienarchiv (Gc 943 D49). The remaining ten volumes (151 through 160) have indexes in the backs of each book.

An online database titled Ortsfamilienbücher (local heritage books) is one of the databases included under and can be found at This German language website lists hundreds of local family registers by town that are linked to a corresponding European map. Clicking on the town leads to other pages with more information about the families listed in that source.

As genealogists and family historians, we need to look at all resources available to us. These secondary sources of German family information can be useful, especially when we have found the original spelling of a surname and possible location. Collections such as Deutsches Geschlechterbuch and Deutsches Familien-Archive are great ways to jump the pond.

Online Research for Records of Puerto Rico
by Allison DePrey Singleton
Puerto Rico has a rich history with ties to a multitude of people with different ethnicities. The earliest inhabitants, the Taino, were forced to become laborers for the Spanish conquerors who arrived in 1493. Christopher Columbus had discovered the island on his second trip to the new world, and by the sixteenth century, the Spanish had colonized it. After many of the Taino died from diseases introduced by the Europeans, the Spanish brought African slaves to the island to make up for the lost labor force. Centuries later during the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States invaded Puerto Rico. At the Treaty of Versailles the following year, Spain ceded the island to the United States. Since that time Puerto Rico has been a U.S. colony; its citizens received U.S. citizenship in 1917.
With all of Puerto Rico’s rich history, there are multiple places where one can find various types of records, including local archives. When beginning research, one of the first places you should look is the FamilySearch Research Wiki. It offers information about the various types of extant records as well as online resources: Some records are held by the Family History Library and are available on FamilySearch, while others are available on such genealogy websites as Ancestry. These resources include passenger lists, military records, slave registers, and civil registrations.
In the United States, the National Archives in New York City ( serves as the principal U.S. repository for Puerto Rican records. While many of these records are not available online, the repository that holds them should be a major research destination for any American interested in island history and genealogy. A useful guide for Puerto Rican records can be found online:

Turning to Spain, the country that controlled Puerto Rico from 1493 to 1898, many pertinent island records have been digitized and can be accessed remotely through a couple of Spanish resources. The first is El Portal de Archivos Españoles, un proyecto del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (the Portal of Spanish Archives, a project of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports), also known as Portal de Archivos Españoles (PARES): Another is La Biblioteca Nacional de España (the National Library of Spain) through their Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Hispanic Digital Collection):

Finally, it is always wise to go to the source, Puerto Rico, for additional research. Archivo Digital Nacional de Puerto Rico (National Digital Archive of Puerto Rico) is a great place to start:  If you are seeking cultural and music history to add to the social history of your family, Archivo General y Biblioteca Nacional de Puerto Rico (General Archive and National Library of Puerto Rico) is for you: There is a digital collection about halfway down the page leading you into videos, archives, documents, and music (via Pandora).
A tip for those researching in countries where the language is not familiar to them: use Google Chrome as your browser. It will translate the pages automatically.

Technology Tip of the Month: Elements 2018, Guided Tabs: Black & White Tab…continued
by Kay Spears
It’s time to continue our journey through Elements. By the way, yes, I know there have been upgrades since my version came out. I gave up trying to keep up.

The next tab is the Black & White tab, and in my version there are Black and White, B&W Color Pop, B&W Selection, High Key, Line Drawing, and Low Key. In the last article, we left off at the High Key, so let’s take a look. Open a color photograph.

The description for High Key says: Add a soft, bright effect to your photo. We will see what that statement actually means. There are two steps on this palette. Step number one is selecting a Color High Key Preset or a B&W High Key Preset. When I did this, I noticed that the very colorful photograph I had chosen changed into a somewhat foggy, dreamy photograph. My guess is this is supposed to be an artistic effect. There is also an Add Diffuse Glow tool in the palette. And when that button is clicked, it does exactly what the name implies - it adds a glow to the photo. The more you click on the button, the more the glow. You are also able to add the glow without doing step one.

Line Tool. The description for this tool says that it will “easily convert your photo into a pencil sketch.” Let’s see if the word “easily” means the same for me as it does for Adobe. Step one, click the Pencil Sketch Effect. Well, when I clicked my button it changed to a black and white image, which was trying to be a sketch – it did not quite succeed. I suspect the overall effect depends on the photograph used. I started with a landscape but did not like the effect, so I switched to a portrait with higher resolution. That seemed to work better. There is also a button to “adjust Layer Opacity.” This tool seems to bring back some of the original color in in the photo. There is also a Levels tool, which makes the lines darker – at least that is what the definition says. Based on my own personal experience, it is probably better to do this effect in the Expert mode than the Guided. You would have more control over the end product in the Expert mode. However, we will do that later.

Low Key. The description for this tool says: Add a dark and moody effect to you photo. Oooooo, scary. The palette for Low Key is similar to High Key, but let’s take a look at the presets. Well, when clicking on both, the Color and B&W preset certainly make the photograph darker. Below the presets is a Brush tool. This tool allows you to do some drawing on your photo, and you have complete control over what the brush does. This tool will release the artist within you. The third option in this palette is another brush. Once again, you have control over what the brush does. This brush decreases the effects. After experimenting with the Low Key a while, I arrived at the conclusion that this tool did what it was supposed to do.

As before, don’t be afraid to experiment with these tools. You may find yourself having a lot of fun.

Speaking of fun, next month we will start the Fun Edits Guided Tab.

PERSI Gems--Bears
by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
The Periodical Source Index cites a multitude of tales of encounters with wildlife.  These tales range curious and amusing to perilous.  The involvement of bears in such stories raise the stakes and make the situations more memorable. 

Try a search for a memorable story in PERSI here:

In the immortal words of the National Park Service, “Don’t feed the bears.”

Bear in Harris Theater, 1923
Tarentum (PA) Times, v.1n.12, 1978

Bear meat at Peter Allendorf shop, advertisement, St. Joseph Gazette excerpt, 1848
Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society Journal, v.37n.2, Fal. 2017

Dancing bear on Amersham High Street photo, 1909
Origins (Buckinghamshire Fam. Hist. Soc., Eng.), v.40n.2, Jul. 2016

J. L. Cruch, pioneer, escapes hugging match with bear, 1860
Kentucky Explorer, v.26n.9, Mar. 2012

Jail demolition release swarm of bees, bears brought in to control them, Brazil Gazette item, 1965
Clay County (IN) Researcher, v.33n.3, Jul. 2012

Loula Smith, aka Granny Lou, outwits angry bear, printed 1985
Kentucky Explorer, v.29n.4, Sep. 2014

Pioneer spanked a bear by mistake, Charles E. Brown anthropological study anecdote, 1930s
Log Cabin News (Taylor Co. Hist. Soc., WI), v.18n.2, Apr. 2012

Twelve inebriated black and grizzly bears found cavorting in fermenting corn pile, 1987
Fighting 69th Infantry Division Association, Inc., Bulletin, v.42n.1, Sep. 1988

Welsh-speaking teddy bear launched by BabogBaby, 2013
NINNAU:  the North American Welsh Newspaper, v.38n.1, Jan. 2013

Wojtek the bear, mascot of Polish II Corps 22nd Artillery Supply Co., photos and notes, 1944-1963
World War II (Weider History Group, VA), v.27n.3, Sep. 2012

History Tidbits: Guglielmo Marconi
by Allison DePrey Singleton
There are multiple men whose names are synonymous with being the father of radio. Honestly, it depends on the type of radio (radio for telegraph, radio for entertainment, radio for other forms of communication) and the type of invention we are discussing. For our purposes, we are going to discuss one of those fathers, Guglielmo Marconi. If you ever have the time, studying the history of radio in general is fascinating but might require a few timelines to break down.

Guglielmo Marconi was born in Italy on 25 April 1874, to Giuseppe Marconi and Annie Jameson. You might recognize Annie’s surname, since she was the granddaughter of the founder of a whiskey distillery by the same name. Giuseppe was a landowning aristocrat, and Annie came from a wealthy family. Marconi, his brother, and a step-brother grew up well educated and connected in high society. Young Marconi developed an interest in science with his family’s encouragement. He created some of his early experiments in his home with the assistance of his butler. He eventually married Beatrice O’Brien, daughter of the 14th Baron Inchiquin, in 1905 and had four children, Lucia (1906), Degna (1908), Guilio (1910), and Gioia (1916).

Since the science and development of the radio was a group project, Marconi spent much of his time improving upon the inventions of others. One such improvement is the Coherer, a radio signal detector. Another was being able to transmit radio signals longer distances. In 1894, the distance of a signal was a half a mile, but Marconi worked to increase the distance by increasing the height of his antenna. Every improvement he made to this project increased the distances until the signals were transatlantic.

Marconi is credited with helping to save many lives on the Titanic. The ship’s owner, White Star Line, did not own the telegraph on board the ship. Instead it was owned and operated by Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, founded in 1897. For the 72 hours that communication occurred between the Titanic and the Carpathia, Marconi’s technology and employees arranged the rescue of the passengers who survived. Only one of the telegraph operators survived, Harold Bride, and he was greeted personally by Marconi upon arriving in New York City.

As Marconi aged, so did many of his inventions. By the mid-1910s and 1920s, others were improving upon his work. During this period he received many honors and made some major personal life changes. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics (1909), made a Senator in the Senate of the Kingdom of Italy (1914), awarded a Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Medal of Honor (1920), made a Marquis in Italy (1929), awarded a John Scott Legacy Medal and Premium (1931), and awarded a Lord Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Civil Engineers (1932). He joined the Fascist Party (1923) and became President of the Royal Academy of Italy (1930). He also divorced his first wife in 1924 and had the marriage annulled so that he could marry his second wife, Maria Cristina Bezzi-Scali, on 12 June 1927. they had one child, Maria Elettra (1930). On 20 July 1937, Marconi died in Rome.

DNA and Genealogy Interest Group--Special Meeting Notice
Special Alert! Our DNA and Family History Interest Groups will be on Thursday, July 11, 2019, since the library is closed on July 4th! 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 Interest Group Meeting to share and learn from one other! The basic information meeting is from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., followed by a more advanced discussion from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The next meetings are Thursday, August 1, 2019, in the Discovery Center. Come and share!

Laze the Summer Away with Digital Daze!
The summer program series for The Genealogy Center will focus on how to get into the many digital options for Genealogists!

July’s programs feature Joan Hostetler of the Indiana Album presenting “Care and Identification of Historic Family Photographs Workshop,” on Saturday, July 27, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Discovery Center. From boxes of unidentified photographs to discs of digital images, we all have family photographs that need attention. Join us to learn how to identify and care for your photos. Presenter Joan Hostetler of the Indiana Album will discuss how to examine and interpret historic photographs. Participants are encouraged to bring interesting photographs for a show and tell.

The Genealogy Center will host an Indiana Album Scan-a-Thon on Saturday, July 27, 2019 (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) and Sunday, July 28, 2019 (12 noon – 4:30 p.m.)! The Indiana Album's online community archive brings hidden gems from the attic to the web by scanning, cataloging, and sharing historic items that are normally hidden in family photo albums or shoe boxes. Indiana Album's volunteers will make high resolution scans with all documents being carefully handled and immediately returned to the owners. Make a reservation or learn how to submit your own scans by contacting info [at] or (317) 771-4129.

On Saturday, August 17, 2019, at 2:30 p.m., John Beatty will present “Find My Past: A Tool for British, Irish, and American Ancestry,” and, to finish the summer, Delia Cothrun Bourne will present “All the News That’s Fit to Digitize: News Sentinel Text Archive & Other Fort Wayne Digital Newspapers,” on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

For more information see the brochure at .

Except for reserving time for the Scan-a-thons, you can now register online at! Just search Genealogy to find any of our programs. You can also register for any of these free programs by calling 260-421-1225 or emailing Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center/Family Tree Maker Event
Family Tree Maker (FTM) is joining up with Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center to bring you a fantastic “how to” seminar on FTM and partner products. Come join Family Tree Maker at the Allen County Public Library on Monday, July 15, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Theater for a night of learning about what Family Tree Maker has to offer! With the new upgrade coming out soon, you’ll want to know what new features have been added to an already-handy tool in your genealogy tool box. FTM will also present on their partner products, Charting Companion and Family Book Creator. You’ll also have the chance to take advantage of our special conference pricing of these awesome products. To register for this free event, go to .

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
Mary Penrose Wayne DAR Chapter Library Help Day for Prospective DAR Members
July 3, 2019 - Allen County Public Library, Genealogy Center, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Miami Indian Heritage Days
July 6, 2019 - Chief Richardville House, 5705 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Saturday. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cookware from Local Clays: Making and Using Replica Native Style Pottery with Erik Vosteen.

Saturday Hours at the Indiana State Archives
The Indiana State Archives will be open on Saturday, July 27 from 10-4. Executive Director, S. Chandler Lighty, announced they are opening that day for a small group, but wanted to extend the opportunity to other researchers who might take advantage of a Saturday research day at the Archives. "We’re using this opportunity, and probably a few other dates later in the fall, to gauge whether or not folks will take advantage of Saturday research hours." Please spread the word. RSVPs to the Archives would be helpful, especially so records of interest could be pulled from the stacks beforehand. RSVP to Complete the top required fields on the online form and then scroll down to the subject section and key in "Saturday Hours Attendee. July 27."

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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