Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne, No. 205, March 31, 2021
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 21:15:59 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne
No. 205, March 31, 2021

In this issue:
*Taking a Break, Breaking a Routine, and Experiencing a Breakthrough
*“Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck” Website
*Using Hoopla to Assist with Your Research
*Technology Tip of the Month: Adobe Elements 2018 Enhance Tools
*PERSI Gems: Smiles
*Library Catalog Insider: Scottish-American Heritage Month
*Genealogy Center’s April Programs
*Indiana Genealogical Society 2021 Annual Conference
*Staying Informed about Genealogy Center Programming
*Genealogy Center Social Media
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Genealogy Center Queries
*Publishing Note

Taking a Break, Breaking a Routine, and Experiencing a Breakthrough
by Curt B. Witcher
Historically, this time of year finds many families thinking of Spring breaks. Now we’re a lot more cautious about where we go and with whom, and for some it’s getting creative with stay-cations. Watching this year’s different migrations of people looking for a break from winter doldrums, COVID craziness, and just simply seeking some more sun and warmth left me with a couple of thoughts.

First, seeing folks engage in one kind of a break or another makes me think of how important breaks are in many aspects of our lives. Certainly, as genealogists, many of us have experienced some of our best finds when we put things aside for a while, sometimes even working on a completely different line. A fresh perspective can be such a useful thing. If you find that your research isn’t going as well as you would like, perhaps you need a genealogical break. Plan a little old fashion “research road-trip” to a county of interest to visit a cemetery, walk an ancestral homestead, or take in a Zoom presentation on a genealogical topic that doesn’t touch your current family history at all. A break from the usual can be the reset you need.

And believe it or not, this is one of the better times to get away to the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center. With 1.1 million physical items, a number of the best databases around, and access to some really talented librarians, discoveries are waiting for you. You’ll have the run of the place, and you’ll be safe with all the cleaning and safety protocols we follow. Take a look at our “Welcome Back” video.

Second, observing the break from school, homework, term papers, and studies reminds me of how important, yet so under-utilized, school records are for genealogists. Well beyond yearbooks, schools and their alumni associations often kept or published other annuals, alumni booklets and special publications, enrollment records, attendance and grade rosters, and records of teachers’ contracts.  The records generated by educational institutions of all types are so significant. The Genealogy Center contains many school records, and continues to aggressively build that collection of materials, both in print and on our website at

Finally, taking a break and breaking a routine might just give you the different perspective you need to make a breakthrough with your family history research.

“Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck” Website
by John D. Beatty, CG
The valleys of the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers in Virginia’s so-called “Northern Neck” is a rich area of history and early colonial settlement. Many settlers in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries arrived in this area comprising the counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, and King George on Virginia’s northernmost peninsula. Some researchers define the Northern Neck more loosely and incorporate all of northern Virginia in its scope, including the counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Rappahannock, Culpeper, and Stafford. Many settlers populated these counties after living previously in Maryland in the mid-seventeenth century.

“Prosopography” is a word that describes the study of a population and the investigation of its common characteristics. Genealogist Mike Marshall undertakes such a study with his website, “Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck Counties.” Marshall is well known among Maryland genealogists for his series of books abstracting the early land records of Prince George’s County and the will and land records of Charles County, Maryland. With his website, he takes his work a step further by investigating the genealogies through two, three, and sometimes more generations of early settlers living in these and other Maryland counties, as well as those in the Northern Neck region. He often makes connections between the two areas as settlers moved from one area into the other. His scope is mainly the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The website is fully indexed, and one can even google a name and county and be taken to the appropriate family sketch. Marshall documents birth and death dates often using church and probate records, and what is most valuable, he includes record abstracts of deeds, wills, and court documents that support his findings. These abstracts are a treasure trove for genealogists wishing to locate original records supporting their ancestors’ lives in this region.

For example, if I select my ancestor John Summers, who died in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in 1705, I will find a documented family group chart listing his wife Rebecca (maiden name unknown), their four known children, and I can access the extensive notes field with abstracts of wills, land grant records, rent rolls, and other documents that will take me back to original sources. By clicking on the children, I can find group charts for them and can trace descendants through four generations, each one with an array of record abstracts.

Marshall’s website is far from finished (he calls it “under construction” as he works to abstract more records), but there are already thousands of searchable names, making it one of the best online sources for genealogies in this region. Moreover, he is more than willing to dialog with people about his findings and make necessary corrections, if well documented. The website is a most welcome research tool for anyone with roots in this region.

Using Hoopla to Assist with Your Research
by Cynthia Theusch
During the winter, most genealogists struggle with ways to continue their research or find information on how to locate records while being “housebound.”  Currently, with the Covid19 pandemic, several libraries are closed or open only a few hours a day. You are probably wondering how to access books to help provide more ideas and skills in doing research. The answer is Hoopla. Hoopla is a lending service which, through your local library, gives access to a very large collection of digital titles. It is a new way of checking out eBooks, audio books, and videos through your library without leaving your home.

You have two ways of accessing Hoopla. One is by using your computer to access Hoopla by going to  The other is by downloading an app on your tablet or smart phone. Once you have Hoopla open, it will ask you to type/select the name of your local library. Next, you will need to input your library card number, an email address, and create your password. Each local library determines how many items can be downloaded each month. When you have downloaded the item(s), Hoopla will tell you how many days you have before it is automatically returned.

When doing a search, you can search for everything, or you can narrow the search by selecting a format from audiobooks, movies, music, comics, eBooks, or television. Another option is to select author/people, categories, publishers, or series. Yes, there are several books and resources to assist you in your genealogical and historical research. One example is Kenyatta D. Berry’s “The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy. You will find Kenyatta listed with only one t.  

Some topic keywords will help you find genealogical books and videos: ancestors, ancestry, family history, family tree, genealogy, and maps. You may think of other subjects to use such as military, loyalists, patriots, etc. After typing “ancestry” and pressing search, you will get eleven results; here are three of them: “Ancestry and Autobiography of Daniel John Garber,” “Scottish Ancestry,” and “Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary.

If one of your results shows that it is a part of a series, it will have a link where you can see the complete list.  For example, when I searched genealogy, one of the results was “Genealogy and the Law in Canada” by Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson. When I clicked on it to see what it was, just below the author’s name was a link, Part 3 of the Genealogist’s Reference Shelf series. When you click on it, you will get the complete list of the series.  There are currently nine books in this series.

If your library doesn’t have Hoopla, see if they have Overdrive or Libby. These sites also offer digital services, allowing you access to eBooks, audio books, and videos or movies.

Technology Tip of the Month: Adobe Elements 2018 Enhance Tools
by Kay Spears
Now on to some of the most powerful tools in Adobe Elements/Photoshop. Probably you have a photograph in your collection which has dirt specks, unidentified mold, cracks, or pencil scribbles made by an artistic six-year old. So, how do you get rid of them? Well, I’m going to tell you. There are three tools in Adobe which I like to lump together. Basically, they all do the same thing, just differently. These tools are just simple copy/paste tool, but thanks to Adobe’s coding, they have become so much more. The tools are the Healing Brush, the Spot Healing Brush, and the grand-daddy of them all, the Clone Tool. In this article we will be exploring the Spot Healing Brush.

Where do we start? First, open an image that has some damage. If you’ve never used these tools before, I suggest you start with an image that only has a few defects. You will also need to have your Layer Palette open. To open your Layer Palette in Adobe, go to: Window>Layers.  Make sure “Layers” is selected. The Layer Palette should appear on the right-hand side of your work space. If you have opened your image, you should see it in two places on your screen: your work space and a thumbnail in your Layers Palette. We are going to add a layer to our Layers Palette. Depending on the version of Adobe, the location of the Create New Layer tool may be located at either the top or bottom of the Layers Palette. Version 2018 has the Create New Layer at the top. You should see a row of little icons at the top of the palette. If you run your cursor over them, pop-up text appears, telling you what each one is. In version 2018, the first icon is the one we are looking for: Create New Layer. Click on it. Now in your Layers Palette, you should have two layers: Layer 1 and Background. It is best practice to rename Layer 1. There are a number of different ways to do that; click twice on the name, or click right on the layer. When you click right, a menu appears, and rename is an option. Let’s name our layer, “Sample.” A word of warning: when working with layers, make sure that the layer you are working on is actually the one which is selected. You should be able to tell because that layer will be highlighted. Now, select the Spot Healing Brush tool from the tool bar. It’s in the Enhance group, and the icon looks like a band-aid.

Spot Healing Brush. Once you have selected the Spot Healing Brush, you should notice a tool option menu at the bottom of the work space. Before we go on, in the older versions of Elements the Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush had separate icons. To continue. In this version, you will see two icons in the option box at the bottom: The Spot Healing Brush (default) and the Healing Brush. The options available to you with the Spot Healing Brush are: Type, Proximity Match, Create Texture, Content Aware, Brush, Brush Size, and Sample All Layers. The first thing we are going to do is check the Sample All Layers.

Sampling all layers allows us to work on the layer we created, but we will be taking information from the Background image. Best practice is to avoid working directly on the Background image.

The three Types are: Proximity Match, Create Texture, and Content Aware. (Some older versions may not have Content Aware.) When you do any of these enhancement tools, remember, you may have to use all the options available to you. The Proximity Match is the default. When it is checked, your tool is going to look for Pixels in the proximity of the defect you are going to correct. The Texture tool tries to match the texture of the image. I have found that some older photographs have a rough textured surface. I often go back and use the Texture tool to tweak my other corrections. The Content Aware tool looks all over the image to try to match the area where the defect is.

Brush Tool: Select the brush and size. I have found that a brush with soft edges is the best one to use when using any of the Cloning/Healing tools. As far as the size of the brush, in most cases, you will want the size to be just a little bit bigger than the defect. This means that you will be changing the size occasionally.

When you are Cloning/Healing you will be doing a lot of zooming in and out. There will be occasions when you zoom in so close you will only see the pixels. By the time you are done with your image, you should be quite proficient in using the zoom function. Now zoom in on an area you want to correct.

Your cursor should be a circle, and the size of that circle should be just a little bigger than the defect. Click on the defect. When you click on it, the defect should disappear. Experiment with the Proximity, Texture, and Content Aware settings to see which one is best, or use them all. Now start clicking away. If there is a straight line, you may drag your cursor.

Remember a few things. In some cases, this will be a slow process. Take frequent breaks from the project. Also, remember, when you are finished you don’t want to see the marks from the tools you have used. You also don’t want to see patterns caused by dragging your cursor. You don’t want anyone to guess that this photo has been retouched. You may have to retouch your retouches. Practice.

And that’s the Spot Healing tool. By the way, the Spot Healing brush is one of my favorite tools.

Next article: Continuing with Adobe Elements 2018 Enhance Tools: Healing Brush.

PERSI Gems: Smiles
by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
This month, we at the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) bring you a few smiles.  Literally.  Enjoy!

Albert Morgan thrashed for smiling, Devauden School punishment book excerpt, Feb. 1914
Gwent (Wales) Family History Society Journal, n.119, Sep. 2015

Eugene Skinner wore overalls and smiled
Lane County (OR) Historian, v.21n.1, Win. 1976

Fred Mills military service and Smiles 'n Chuckles candy career, name plate artifacts, 1944-1970s
Newsleaf (Ontario Genealogical Society, Can.), v.44n.3, Aug. 2014

Jep Hostetler re food makes him smile
Mennonite Historical Bulletin, v.63n.2, Apr. 2002

Smile contest at the Benton Co. Fair photo, 1957
Benton County (AR) Pioneer, v.56n.2, 2011

Smile during the Bulge, Frank P. Leathers, 80th Inf. Div., 317th Inf. Reg. memories, Dec. 1944
Bulge Bugle (Battle of the Bulge Assn., PA), v.22n.1, Feb. 2003

Smile post office history
Past and Present (Rowan Co. Hist. Soc., KY), Mar. 2001

Smiles Day carnival scam with wooden fish, first-hand account, 1937
Schuylerite (Schuyler County Jail Museum, IL), v.40n.1, Spr. 2011

Using Photoshop to add a smile to photos, Berte Serine Kristiansdatter case study, 1870, Norway
Splitting Heirs (Vernon & District Family History Society, BC, Can.), v.26n.1, Mar. 2010

Library Catalog Insider: Scottish-American Heritage Month
by Kasia Young
Did you know that April is Scottish-American Heritage Month?

The number of Americans of Scottish descent today is estimated to be 20 to 25 million and Scotch-Irish 27 to 30 million. Some of the most famous Americans, including Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, and Johnny Cash, have Scottish heritage!

This month we will show you the best way to search for materials on Scottish-American history and genealogy. For this purpose, we will be using the official Library of Congress subject headings. Currently, the term “Scottish Americans” is the approved subject heading for Americans of Scottish descent. The old subject headings include: Scotch in the United States and Scots Americans.

*All examples shown are based on keyword search in The Genealogy Center’s catalog:

For example:

Search: Scottish Americans yields 143 results, Scots Americans 58 results, and Scotch in the United States 6 results.

The authorized subject heading for descendants of Ulster Scots is “Scots-Irish”. Scotch Irish is the outdated version of the subject heading.

For example:

Search: Scots-Irish yields 150 results and Scotch Irish 20 results.

Bonus tip for April 2021:

If you would like to find materials on tartans or Scottish clans, use search terms: “Tartans”, and/or “Clans Scotland”.

For example:

Search: Tartans yields 38 results and Clans Scotland 58 results.

Until next time!

Genealogy Center’s April Programs
Participate in these engaging virtual presentations in April!

April 1, 2021, 6:30pm: “Using Wanda’s DNA Matches to Uncover her Immigrant Roots” with Sara Allen -
April 6, 2021, 2:30 pm: “French-Canadian Migrations Out of Quebec: Francophones in North America” with Judy Muhn -
April 8th, 2021, 6:30 pm: “Preview the IAAM Center for Family History” with Toni Carrier -
April 13, 2021, 2:30 pm: “Uncovering Family Histories with the Tenement Museum” with Dave Favaloro -
April 15, 2021, 6:30 pm: “Over There - Civilian Service in WWI” with Sarah A. V. Kirby -
April 20, 2021, 2:30 pm: “Using German Church Records: An Introduction” with John Beatty -
April 22, 2021, 6:30 pm: “Finding Your Ancestors in Company Employee Magazines and Trade Magazines” with Dennis Northcott -
April 27, 2021, 2:30 pm: “Preparing Your Family History for Publication: A Writing Workshop” with Teresa Baer -
April 29, 2021, 6:30 pm: “The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing Your Family History” with Teresa Baer -

Please register in advance for each program.

Indiana Genealogical Society 2021 Annual Conference
There is still time to register for the Indiana Genealogical Society’s FREE 2021 Virtual Annual Conference, generously sponsored by VIVID-PIX. Lisa Louise Cooke will be giving four presentations on Saturday, April 10th beginning at 9 a.m. EDT. Lisa Louise Cooke is CEO of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy education company featuring The Genealogy Gems Podcast, available on iTunes, and the Genealogy Gems app. Her books include Mobile Genealogy, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox Second Edition, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and she has published 100+ videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel. She also produces The Family Tree Magazine Podcast, regularly writes for the magazine, and teaches for Family Tree University. Learn more here and register in advance for the Saturday program: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the program.

As an added benefit, there is a pre-conference day on Friday, April 9th beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT featuring speakers from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. As with the conference, this will be virtual and FREE. Learn more here and register in advance for the Friday pre-conference: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the program.

The conference is being sponsored by VIVID-PIX ( and is free to everyone. We hope to “see” you all there!

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 $85.

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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