Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne, No. 197, July 31, 2020
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 20:07:33 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne
No. 197, July 31, 2020

In this issue:
*On Loss, and Continuing On
*Kinship Books
*Mayflower 500: Five Hundred Notable Descendants of the Founding Families of the Mayflower
*Technology Tip of the Month: Adventures in Adobe Elements 2018, Guided Tab--Photomerge
*PERSI Gems--Historical Context Found in Periodical Publications
*History Tidbits: “Our State Fair is a great state fair, don’t miss it or even be late!”
*Library Catalog Insider--Finding History Press Publications
*Genealogy Center Virtual Programs
*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
*Genealogy Center Social Media
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Genealogy Center Queries
*Publishing Note

On Loss, and Continuing On
by Curt B. Witcher
Great sadness was visited upon the Genealogy Center in early July. We lost a long-time colleague on July 9, 2020 with the unexpected death of Delia Bourne. Delia worked at the Allen County Public Library for well more than forty years, with thirty-seven of those years spent serving customers in the Genealogy Center. Delia was a perennial favorite with our customers. Her numerous presentations were well received as she typically mixed in a bit of humor with all the good strategies and sources she shared. Delia was happiest when she was searching databases, interpreting handwriting, and pondering research challenges for customers. Many in the library profession claim to do that, but Delia lived it. She almost took it as a personal failure if she couldn’t provide some answer, some new strategy, or some fresh perspective to a customer’s research dilemma. Thirty-seven years of helping individuals find their families’ stories--that is amazing.

Often when faced with tragedies, whether sudden, in the case of an unexpected death, or prolonged, such as the pandemic we are currently enduring, one can feel adrift wondering the best path forward. I suggest that some of the messages that were received from across the country at Delia’s passing might provide some wisdom for all parts of our lives, including our family history research. I want to share a few with you.

“She was always friendly and helpful” and “We will miss her friendliness, the cheerful sparkle in her eye, and the many wonderful suggestions about new genealogical research strategies to try.” As individuals who continually seek to discover more of our family stories, why not be friendly and helpful? It puts a sparkle in everyone’s eyes. We can accomplish so much more and influence so many more individuals with a friendly, how-can-I-help-you outlook. And isn’t that what it is all about--finding more of our stories and making everyone who interacts with us happy and grateful to share those stories?

“In all my years of going into the library to use the directory collection Delia was always very kind to me.” To never tire of the routine--now that is a challenge equal to always being one’s best and doing one’s best. We can tire of helping that distant cousin understand our shared lines; we can tire of explaining for seemingly the millionth time how to find a record on Ancestry or use FamilySearch. But what’s the point in expressing that? Engaging family members, customers in libraries and archives, and colleagues wherever we find them pays the biggest dividends in the end.

“I especially enjoyed her Tues/Thurs Zoom presentations which were full of information as well as fun!” To inform and delight--I would offer that is a great way to continue on, and a near-perfect template for sharing our family stories with our relatives near and far. And don’t forget the importance of embracing the new. Six months ago, we knew Zoom and other sharing platforms existed but we didn’t really care that much. When such platforms became vital for sharing information and enjoying a new kind of “social,” Delia led the way in learning Zoom and reformatting her presentations to present best in this medium. We all can get really comfortable with what we have always done. Doing what we’ve always done in our research may very well prevent us discovering new resources and exploring new strategies. Find the good and worthwhile in the new so we can discover more of our robust family stories.

“I always admired that she didn't let her physical limitations get in the way of work and attending conferences and just living life.” And so that’s how we continue on, how we continue building those family trees and sharing those family stories. Live life, make new discoveries, and share what we know. In our hearts and with our actions, we will remember and do.

Kinship Books
by Melissa Tennant
Kinship Books, a publishing company owned for more than fifty years by Arthur C. M. and Nancy Kelly, is known for publishing transcriptions of New York records, such as church records, ledger books, vital records, and much more. Though the volumes have an emphasis on the Hudson River Valley area, they comprise of more than fifty New York counties covering an early time period that pre-dates the collection of many New York vital records. These titles can alleviate some of the difficulty in researching New York ancestors, since many of them fill the gap in access to records for such an important state.

Even if you don't have direct New York ancestors, your family may have collaterals and connections to other individuals with New York ancestors. With the extensive history of the Hudson River Valley area, a region of New York that had early settlement, it is still likely that someone in your family connects to or traces back to that geographic footprint of the Hudson Valley because of its history and importance.

Many vital records can be discovered through the transcribed church records, such as the “Vital Records of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Ossining, New York, Westchester County, 1834-1959: Baptisms 1834-1959, Marriages 1834-1921” (974.702 OS7KEA), which is a transcription of the original two volumes that were maintained by the church. One can learn that Walter and William Eager were twins born on 14 July 1835 to Thomas and Lucy Eager. They were baptized 29 August 1835 with Arthur Springer being their sponsor. Early church marriage registers for African Americans can be found among these transcriptions as well such as Francis Slater and Ruth Groft who were married 14 September 1835 with Richard R. Voris as their witness.

Other record sets are available, such as the “Pupils, Parents and Others in Niskayuna School Records, Schenectady County, New York, 1859-1900” (974.702 N634K), which provides a listing of parents or guardians along with the children’s names or number of children, year of birth, school district and years the children attended. Another type of record available is the “Peter J. Schultz Account Book, 1824-1846: Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY” (974.701 D95KBA), which chronicles the transactions from the Schultz family store, storehouse, and blacksmith operations that were utilized by many members of the community.

Kinship Books are now available through the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. To discover if your family name is in this set of published books, visit the Kinship site and select the “Search by Surname” tab to discover which title has the family name. Another option is to select the “Browse by Location” tab to see which titles cover specific areas of interest. Currently, the Genealogy Center owns 209 of these titles, which can be searched in the catalog by the book title or by Arthur C. M. Kelly.

Mayflower 500: Five Hundred Notable Descendants of the Founding Families of the Mayflower
by John D. Beatty, CG
Have you ever wondered whether you are distantly related to someone famous? Those of us who have deep roots in colonial America, especially New England, are likely to have many distant kinships to presidents, celebrities, and other historical figures. The challenge comes in knowing exactly who these cousins are and how they relate.

This year, as we observe the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing and the establishment of New Plymouth, we welcome a new volume by Gary Boyd Roberts titled “The Mayflower 500: Five Hundred Notable Descendants of the Founding Families of the Mayflower,” (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2020) Gc 974.4 R54n. Roberts presents the lineages of 585 people that he has traced to the Mayflower. As with other of his publications, the lineages are only minimally documented with no dates of birth or death for the interim generations. Hence, it is not a book that will likely be that useful in tracing your own family.

That is not really this book’s purpose. Rather, it is to help the reader find connections and kinships to the famous, and in that vein, “The Mayflower 500” is an entertaining read. The book has two principal sections. In the front is an alphabetical listing of each of the Mayflower passengers that have descendants. After each is another alphabetical list of all of their famous descendants. In the second section, you can find the famous person and view their lineage to the passenger.

What constitutes a “famous” person is rather widely defined and can include spouses of the famous as well as the famous themselves. The group includes U.S. presidents and First Ladies, foreign figures, political figures, literary figures, artists, entertainment figures, product developers, tycoons and business leaders, military figures, explorers, college presidents, physical scientists, social scientists, religious figures, activists and reformers, persons associated with the arts, sports figures, and a miscellaneous category. The appendices include descendants of siblings of the Mayflower passengers (Henry and Arthur Howland and Josiah and Kenelm Winslow); descendants of Ruth Bassett whose children (through DNA evidence) are descended from Samuel Fuller (including the actor John Wayne); and the Mayflower kinship of various employees and trustees of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

The value of this volume can be found in the talking points it can give you about famous relatives if you have a Mayflower line. I go back to William Brewster, and some of my very distant cousins include Bing Crosby, Ted Danson, Bette Davis, Richard Gere, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Zachary Taylor, Cokie Roberts, and more than 100 others. If I were at a cocktail party and I declared that Bette Davis and I are ninth cousins once removed, it is doubtful anyone would be impressed. Still, it is a fun way to celebrate the 400th anniversary and to see how far Mayflower kinship has spread within our culture.

Technology Tip of the Month: Adventures in Adobe Elements 2018, Guided Tab--Photomerge
by Kay Spears
My fellow Photoshop sufferers, I have arrived at a conclusion. Adobe Photoshop (in all its incarnations) was not made for people who only want to restore old photos. No, no, it was made for photographers and graphic artists, and photo restoration is a by-product. Why do I say that? Well, I just examined the Photomerge functions of the guided tab, and I had that epiphany. So, let’s take a look at what I found.

First of all, the photomerge function has been around for a long time. It seems to have appeared with Version 8 of Adobe Photoshop (not to be confused with Adobe Photoshop Elements). That’s about twenty years. Elements has had a photomerge function for almost as long as there has been Elements. Just so you don’t panic as I did, know that in the later versions of Elements they have put the photomerge tools in the Guided Tabs. At one time the photomerge function was in the Expert menu. I am done with my brief history lesson - on to my examination of the Photomerge tools located in the Guided Tab. The merge options are: Photomerge Compose, Photomerge Exposure, Photomerge Faces, Photomerge Group Shot, Photomerge Scene Cleaner, and Photomerge Panorama. I will do a brief description of all but Panorama, because Panorama is the one that taps into preservation.

Photomerge Compose: If you have a person in one photograph and you want to put that person into a photo with other people, this is the one you use. I found the “how to” instructions inadequate.

Photomerge Exposure: This blends different light exposures. Because I didn’t understand what I was going for, I was never able to make this work for me.

Photomerge Faces: Say you want to put cat eyes and ears on a photograph of your sister…this is the one you use. It requires you to align the faces, do a little circling with the pencil tool, and then save it. I bet there will be lots of fun at family get-togethers.

Photomerge Group Shot. This function is for all those times when you have gathered the family together for a group shot. Each photo you take is different because some people move, some people close their eyes, and the dog walks in front of everyone. This function allows you to pick the best images from all of the photos and combine them into one shot.

Photomerge Scene Cleaner. This is for the photographs you take on a trip…maybe to the Sphinx. You have taken 50 photographs of it, and in every single one, there are other tourists. This allows you to clean all of those tourists out, and leaves only the wise lion.

All of those functions are for people who like to take photos, and their functionality is hard to apply to the restoration of old photos, except in the case of Photomerge Panorama. The Panorama feature comes in handy when you have one of those really long panorama views of a group of Civil War Veterans, a family reunion from 1901, or any long rolled up photograph. The problem with most of these photographs is that they are too big to fit on a flatbed scanner. The trick is to scan the photo in sections with at least an inch overlap on both sides. Place all of your sections into Photoshop, and Elements will “stitch” the matching pixels together. Then you have a digital copy of an old panorama shot.

Make sure you have scanned your sections with at least an inch overlap on the sides. There needs to be matching pixel images for this to work. Open all the sections in Elements, and select all of them. Now open Photomerge Panorama, if your bin disappears, open it again. You should see all of your photograph sections in the bin. Make sure you have selected all the photo sections. On the right side is a Task Pane, which has a drop down tab; the default is Auto Panorama. The other options are: Perspective, Cylindrical, Spherical, Collage, and Reposition. In most cases, you will want to leave it at Auto Panorama. Below this option are the Settings: Blend image, Vignette Removal, Geometric Distortion, and Content Aware Fill. Keep the setting at Blend Image. At the very bottom of the Pane are the words Create Panorama. Click on it. At this point, your computer will become very active as Adobe grabs all of the images and stitches them together. For a short time it will open in Expert, but when it’s finished it will be in Guided. You may now save it in Guided or go to Expert and save. It is advisable when you are doing the Photomerge function that everything else on your computer is closed. This is an automated feature, and it will use a lot of memory to complete its function.

Now we have gone through all of the Guided Tabs. It is now time to turn our faces to Expert. In the next article we will explore some of the tools in Adobe Elements Expert.
PERSI Gems--Historical Context Found in Periodical Publications
by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of genealogy and historical societies, there is an enormous amount of information found in their periodicals, and PERSI is just the tool to use.  Not only family connections, but also a great deal of background historical information can be discovered about your ancestors’ times and places.  By focusing on an area where your ancestors lived, you can find a wealth of information pertaining to their history, schools, churches, crimes, jobs, daily triumphs and tragedies.  

In order to show the range of information found in these periodicals, this month we will focus on a specific area, Wabash County, Indiana, as found in “Family Branches,” the newsletter of the Wabash County Genealogical Society (PERSI code INFA):

Wabash Eastern Star ladies Bloomer Social causes disappointment, wore roses, news note, 1897  (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 20:11 July 2015)

No dancing for teachers, Wabash County Board of Education ban, 1924 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 20:12 Aug. 2015)

Mrs. William Working has a four-legged chicken, Plain Dealer excerpt, 1910 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 21:10 June 2016)

Son of A. C. Wohlgamuth had 16-foot tapeworm, Plain Dealer excerpt, 1910 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 21:10 June 2016)

Katie Votaw cut eye with paper, Container Corp. employees, Wabash Concora News, Apr. 1945  (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 19:5 Jan. 2014)

George Bolsover flu, teeth removed, Container Corp. employees, Wabash Concora News, Apr. 1945 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 19:5 Jan. 2014)

Young lady should adjust her bustle before her next promenade, Somerset Bugle excerpt, June 1883 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 24:3 Nov. 2018)

Zach Albaugh biggest, heftiest, lengthiest radish on display at drug store, Somerset Bugle, 1883 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 24:3 Nov. 2018)

Keep in mind when you are searching PERSI, the index can only provide a brief description of an article.  The article itself can go into considerable detail.  Below is an example from Wabash County.

Skinny dipping cartoon, article excerpts, arrests, Wabash Plain Dealer, 1911-1920 (Wabash Co. (IN) Family Branches 23:12 Aug. 2018)

The arrests noted in the description were for a group of young men and women after two patrolmen came upon this scene:  "the women were dabbling their feet in the water, supposedly to cool them off, while one of the men was preparing to make his first plunge, the pose resembling the painting "Venus at the Bath," and the men being covered with only the hazy shades of early dawn..." (Wabash Plain Dealer, June 24, 1913, via Family Branches).  

All pleaded guilty and “begged not to be put in jail.”  These young folks nabbed by the patrolmen are all named in the article. Are you related to one of them?  

History Tidbits: “Our State Fair is a great state fair, don’t miss it or even be late!”
by Allison DePrey Singleton  
This lyric from the musical “State Fair” by Rodgers and Hammerstein embodies how important state fairs are to millions of people across the United States. August and September would normally be the middle of State Fair season. Due to the current circumstances, many State Fairs have cancelled or modified their fairs. Despite this current set back, many of us can think back to previous State Fairs we have attended or even heard about. We know they have existed for a long time, but what is the history of state fairs? When did they begin?

The first known State Fair was in 1810 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The how and why can be answered through the history of one man, Elkanah Watson (1758-1842), who witnessed the Revolution and who stayed with Benjamin Franklin in France and George Washington at Mount Vernon. Throughout his lifetime, he traveled the colonies and abroad. He owned land in New York, Virginia, and Michigan. He helped organize the State Bank of Albany in New York. Once he made enough money, he retired in 1807 to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to follow his interest, agriculture. When traveling, he studied how others were employing different methods of agriculture and began to experiment with different methods of cultivation and livestock breeding. He even introduced new livestock to the United States, such as the Merino Sheep.

In order to encourage others to try his methods and introduce them to the new breeds of animals, Watson and some neighbors created a livestock show in 1810 that became the first modern state fair. He even launched the Berkshire Agricultural Society in 1811 so he could present an annual livestock show. He left his farm and returned to Albany to lobby for agriculture in the government. He also traveled to Detroit, Michigan, where his daughter and son-in-law lived, which in 1849 became the site of the second known state fair.

So now, when you head to the next local state fair, you can remember that the roots of the fair are almost as old as the country itself. We can enjoy our fair food, rides, exhibits, and merchandise while taking part in a national tradition of supporting and furthering agriculture in the United States. We have Elkanah Watson to thank for many things, especially this one that we enjoy each summer.

Sources and Further Reading:
“American Traditions: A Short History of Agricultural Fairs.” Arcadia Publishing, Aug. 2018,
“Elkanah Watson Papers, 1773-1884.” New York State Library,
Mastromarino, Mark A., "Fair visions: Elkanah Watson (1758--1842) and the modern American agricultural fair" (2002). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539623398.
Mastromarino, Mark A., "Cattle Aplenty and Other Things in Proportion"" The Agricultural Society and Fair in Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1810-1860 (1984). UCLA Historical Journal, 5(0).
Watson, Elkanah, and Winslow C. Watson. Men and Times of the Revolution; or, Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, Including Journals of Travels in Europé and America, from 1777 to 1842, with His Correspondence with Public Men and Reminiscences and Incidents of the Revolution. Dana, 1856.

Library Catalog Insider--Finding History Press Publications
by Kasia Young
Last month, we shared with you how to explore one of Arcadia Publishing's popular series: “America through Time”. This month, we will focus on publications issued by The History Press, the Arcadia Publishing imprint, which was founded in 2004. The focus of The History Press are text-driven publications on local and regional history and culture. Their cornerstone series are Haunted America and Hidden History. They make a wonderful addition to your family history research.

To access the library catalog go to The catalog search box is located right on the top of the page, indicated by the fuchsia FIND button.

There are several ways to search for The History Press publications. Our catalog default setting is always SEARCH ALL, but sometimes it might not be the most efficient way to find what you are looking for. Right next to the FIND button, there is a down arrow displaying other available search categories:  TITLES, AUTHORS, SUBJECTS and SERIES. We think it is best that you use TITLES and SERIES categories to uncover The History Press publications. As always, use BRANCH filter GENEALOGY to only display our holdings.

Below are some examples of searches performed using ALL, TITLE and SERIES categories:

“Hidden History” yields 196 results when searched as ALL
“Hidden History” yields 159 when searched as TITLE
“Hidden History” yields 37results when searched as SERIES

“American Chronicles” yields 247 results when searched as ALL
“American Chronicles” yields 8 results when searched as TITLE
“American Chronicles” yields 181 results when searched as SERIES

“Wicked” yields 126 results when searched as ALL
“Wicked” yields 91 results when searched as TITLE
“Wicked” yields 2 results when searched as SERIES

The History Press series owned by The Genealogy Center are:
American Chronicles
American Heritage
American Legends
American Palate
Brief History
Fading Ads
Forgotten Tales
Haunted America
Hidden History
Murder and Mayhem
On This Day In, and

We hope these resources will aid you in discovering something new about your family history and beyond!

Genealogy Center Virtual Programs
August 4, 2020, 2:30P, “Our Ancestor’s Immigration Records" with Melissa Tennant
August 6, 2020, 6:30P, “ DNA 101” with Sara Allen
August 11, 2020, 2:30P, "Building My Hoosier Story; Online Collections with the Indiana Historical Society" with Teresa Baer and Amy Vedra
August 13, 2020, 6:30P, “Evaluating Ancestry’s Public Member Trees” with John Beatty
August 18, 2020, 2:30P, “Adam Matthew: Enrich Your Research with Digital Primary Sources” with Alexandra Burnsides
August 20, 2020, 6:30P, “Connecting with the Ohio History Connection” with Liz Plummer
August 25, 2020, 2:30P, “Using the Periodical Source Index (PERSI)” with Adam Barrone
August 27, 2020, 6:30P, “From Farm to Factory: Researching Polish Immigrants to the Midwest” with Greta Fisher

Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
Do you want to know what we have planned? Are you interested in one of our events, but forget? We offer email updates for The Genealogy Center’s programming schedule.  Don’t miss out!  Sign up at  

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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