Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne, No. 206, April 30, 2021
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 21:18:07 -0400
Genealogy Gems: News from the Allen County Public Library at Fort Wayne
No. 206, April 30, 2021

In this issue:
*Musings on Conferences, Connecting, and Collaborating
*“Atlas of the Irish Revolution," part 2 of 2
*Runaway Advertisements
*Technology Tip of the Month: Continuing Adobe Elements 2018 - Enhance Tools - Healing Brush
*PERSI Gems: Oh Rats!
*Library Catalog Insider: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
*Genealogy Center’s May 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

Musings on Conferences, Connecting, and Collaborating
by Curt B. Witcher
This is definitely the seminar and conference time of year. April 2021 kicked off with the Genealogy Center supporting the Indiana Genealogical Society’s 2021 virtual conference on April 9 & 10 with four well-received programs. The Saturday keynoter, Lisa Louise Cooke, filled the day with both worthwhile strategies and specific tips. It was so exciting to see how going virtual ballooned this conference’s participation to more than more than double the usual number of attendees!
The society (IGS) did a number of things differently. Not only did the conference planners fill the two days with eight great sessions, one of their board members embraced some out-of-the-box thinking and sought conference sponsorships. Because of this creative thinking, IGS was able to offer the conference for free due to the generosity of sponsors VIVID-PIX and Visit Fort Wayne. The attendees were able to experience a top-notch conference for free; both sponsors received an amazing amount of positive exposure; and the society picked up donations and new memberships. In a very real way, free pays.
Back in February, the Genealogy Center supported another amazing genealogical event. Sunday, February 14, 2021, the Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society engaged Mark Halpern to present a couple of programs on “Research in Poland and Galicia.” Before the pandemic, meeting only in-person at the Genealogy Center, the society would have drawn 55 to 70 individuals and been quite pleased with that. Each program that was virtually presented by the society this particular February Sunday drew more than 300 participants. Participants joined from literally around the world, something most could have never done in-person. The society, like IGS, also picked up memberships, and not just from northeast Indiana but from much more distant places.

There is another great set of virtual programs this coming Sunday with Steve Morse. Check them out by registering at: Also, check out the Genealogy Center’s May virtual offerings further on in this ezine.
In both the IGS conference and local Jewish genealogical society conference, participants shared amazing amounts of information and assisted in answering each other’s questions in the Zoom chat. That’s a brand new experience in our programs. And during the question and answer sessions, we benefited from a more varied pool of questions.
Why do I mention this bit of current history? I believe there are some lessons here for both us individual researchers and the family history societies to which we belong. First lesson, let’s not look for things to get back to normal. I believe that is unrealistic and sets us up almost assuredly for disappointment. Rather, we should look forward to, and plan for, and be open to a “new normal.” Yes, I understand some of you already may have tired of that phrase--new normal. I encourage you, though, to embrace the impact of that reality.
Working our way through the pandemic has taught us how to better leverage technology and how doing things differently can actually be remarkably better than what we were doing before the pandemic. “Because we’ve always done it that way” has never been a great excuse or reason for doing something. Now, as we’re emerging from this pandemic, it’s an even worse reason to do a particular task or engage in specific activities. We have experienced how to be more intentional in our learning, connect with more individuals who can assist us with our research (both program presenters and program participants through Zoom chat and other similar virtual features), and appreciate the worlds that are virtually within our reach through our Internet connectivity. Indeed, there is so much available to us electronically that we really need to develop new “search and evaluate” strategies so we find what we really need rather than just settle for what populates the first several result screens after an executed search.
Finally, we are just a few short weeks away from celebrating a holiday that was bought and paid for by the brave actions of our ancestors in military service. Make this Memorial Day special beyond cookouts and unmasking by really getting to know your military ancestors. From the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the French and Indian wars of colonial times, our military ancestors have paid the price for what we enjoy. Discover their lives; write their stories; preserve the knowledge of their actions and memories; share their unique place in your family story and in our history. Do something tangible and immediate. Share a digitized service or pension record with The Genealogy Center, so we can post that information on the military heritage portion of our website. Tell the stories of their lives by making available letters they wrote and received from the war front and the home front. Truly celebrate our military ancestors at the end of this month.

“Atlas of the Irish Revolution," part 2 of 2
by Elizabeth Hodges
When researching family history, it is easy to become hyper focused on names, dates, and locations, but a family’s story is more than names and dates on a sheet of paper. Aside from the extremely fortunate, many researchers do not have firsthand accounts of their ancestors’ lives, but social history can help fill in the blanks of a family’s life to help explain major life decisions such as emigration, marriage, or their choice in profession.  When blending traditional genealogy research within a societal and historical context, family history research grows into something more than names and dates on a page— it becomes a living, breathing, story. For those researching Irish ancestry in the early twentieth century, one resource that can help fill in those blanks is “The Atlas of the Irish Revolution” (941.5 AT651CR) because it offers a unique perspective to understanding Irish life in that era.

Due to the volume of information contained within the “Atlas”, this article is divided into two parts—each focusing on either the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. The first part of this article, which appeared in the January issue of Genealogy Gems, focused primarily on the nineteenth century. As stated in part one of this article, the “Atlas” presents not only a broad historical view of Ireland, but it also utilizes over three hundred original maps and hundreds of historic photographs, paintings and drawings, and original textual documents to examine Irish life from a provincial, city, town and village lens.

For those fascinated by the impacts of historical events on our ancestor’s choices and personality/behavior, the final two sections of this volume, “After the Revolution: Impacts, Outcomes, and Legacies'' and “Memory and Culture,” are particularly interesting. In the section on the impacts of the Irish Revolution, researchers can learn about fatalities, economic impacts such as living conditions and mass unemployment between 1914-1922 (which can tell family historians much about a family’s financial situation), and cultural impacts such as the Irish Protestant decline in the south and the status of women after the war.

The final section of the “Atlas,” titled “Memory and Culture,” contains useful information about how this era has been honored and remembered in Ireland and abroad. There are two chapters in particular that would be of special interest to family historians would— “The Bureau of Military History” by Eve Morrison and “The Military Service Pensions Collection” by Marie Coleman. Both of these chapters explain the creation of each program, what these collections can tell us (which can be found on the Irish Military Archives website and will be discussed in a later Gems issue), in addition to detailing some of the potential issues a researcher might encounter when working with a collection of oral histories created by the Irish government.

Additionally, the Bureau of Military History chapter is a great example of the unique ways the “Atlas” uses maps to create a visual representation of each chapter’s topic. The chapter includes an incredible map showing a county breakdown of 1,707 witness statements by 1,571 individuals (roughly 96 percent of the total) (p. 880). If a researcher was able to find a family member’s witness statement from Donegal or Antrim, for example, they would be able to quickly look at this map and see that there were very few witness statements from those areas of Ireland. This can give us an idea of what the political climate would have been like for an ancestor involved in republican militancy.

Even if you cannot find family within the Military Service Pension Records or a Bureau of Military History Witness Statements, these are just two examples of a really important section of the “Atlas” that can offer insights into how this generation of Irish people processed the traumas of war—something often done in silence. While the “Atlas of the Irish Revolution” does not contain all of the answers to your family’s story, this beautifully detailed volume can be an excellent starting place to uncover the world your Irish ancestors lived in.

Runaway Advertisements
by Melissa C. Tennant
Joseph Lee Boyle has compiled a set of books with intriguing and catchy titles, such as “Fond of Liquor, Dancing, and Gaming” (974.7 F732B), “Drinks Hard and Swears Much” (975.2 B697DR), and “Great Lovers of Drink” (974.9 B697GR). The titles are based on the rather descriptive remarks found in runaway advertisements. Each of the volumes cover a state during the colonial and Revolutionary eras, with transcribed runaway advertisements for the states of Delaware (1 vol.), Maryland (4 vols), New Jersey (2 vols), New York (2 vols), Pennsylvania (6 vols.), and the New England region (1 vol.), ranging from 1704 to 1783.

Reading each volume’s introduction is imperative, as it provides details such as how misspelled names were indexed, geographic inclusions, whether African or Indian slaves were included along with the indentured servants, and a listing of the newspapers reviewed for the volume.

The advertisements typically name the runaway and the person seeking the runaway; physical description including age, sex, complexion, hair color, height, and any scars, marks, or unique features; occupation; behavioral description; detail of the clothing last worn; reward; newspaper; and date. Additional details in the ads can name previous owners of the indentured and enslaved and claims of items stolen or other improper behavior.

An example from “‘Much Addicted to Strong Drink and Swearing’: White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1769-1772” (974.8 B69W) is an ad posted in “The Pennsylvania Gazette” by William Gibson of Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who was willing to pay 40 shillings reward if Francis Obrian was returned to him. Obrian was described as 26 years old, fair skin and hair, five feet and nine inches and “is fond of strong liquor and when in his cups behaves very ridiculously.” Obrian had been in debt, but instead of going to prison, became indentured to Gibson, who paid Obrian’s debt.

Judah Hays had postings for two runaway slaves in the “‘Stiles Himself a Prize Fighter’: New York Runaways, 1706-1768” (974.7 R87B) volume. In February 1751, Hays posted a reward of 40 shillings in “The Pennsylvania Gazette” and “The New-York Gazette” for the return of Sarah, a 30 years old mulatto. Sarah is described as dressing and speaking well. She is from Amboy and had been with Colonel Hamilton’s family. She was accused of robbing Hays of fifty pounds and clothing. In October 1763, Hays placed notices in multiple New York papers seeking a runaway slave named Aron, Aaron, or Hiram. Aaron was described as a “lusty fellow” who hopes to be a sailor. His former owner was the deceased Captain William Murray.

The Runaways books compiled by Joseph Lee Boyle are beneficial for both those seeking indentured and enslaved servants. The brief advertisements transcribed in these volumes can provide just enough detail to lead to another path of research.

Technology Tip of the Month: Continuing Adobe Elements 2018 - Enhance Tools - Healing Brush
by Kay Spears
Now we continue on with our Enhance tools. In the last article I talked about Adobe’s Spot Healing Brush. In this article I will cover the Healing Brush. You may scratch your head in puzzlement and ask, “Don’t they do the same thing?” My answer will be a resounding, “Well, sort of.” The Spot Healing brush does your thinking for you and is great for small areas. Let’s pretend you have a rather large area which needs correcting, or maybe the area that needs correcting is located where the texture or contrast of the photo is changing. The defect could be in a tricky area of the photograph, maybe where hair meets the face. Sometimes, the Spot Healing Brush just isn’t enough. The Healing Brush is the tool you want to use when you are the one in control of the corrections. If you have an older version of Adobe Elements, these two tools may be located elsewhere on the tool bar.

Open your image. In the Enhance section of the tool bar, click on the default Spot Healing Brush. Notice that you have two options available for this tool: Spot Healing Brush and Healing Brush. Select the Healing Brush. You will have the following functions available to you: Size, Brush Settings, Aligned, Source, Mode, Clone Overlay, and Sample All Layers. Let’s look at those settings. My personal preference with some of these settings is to leave them alone, but I suggest you experiment with them to see what they do. In Brush Settings there is Hardness, Spacing, Roundness, Pen Pressure/Stylus Wheel, Angle, Aligned, Source, Mode, Clone Overlay, and Sample All Layers. Aligned: Aligned is one of the options I use. If you do not check Aligned, your “sampled” area will remain in place. If you want your sampling to follow you, check the Aligned. Before I continue, I will try to explain “sampling.” I admit it is easier to show what sampling is rather than telling. In simple terms, “sampling” is the copy part of copy/paste. You are taking, or sampling, the good pixels and putting them on the bad pixels. You are doing this with your mouse and keyboard. Now that you know what sampling is, we will move on to some of the other settings.

Make sure you have checked Sample All Layers. In Source, select Sampled. In all my years of using Adobe Elements, I have never used any setting in the Source other than Sampled. Mode: the same applies to Mode; I have always used the setting of Normal. The Clone Overlay: I have a love/hate feeling with the Clone Overlay. Sometimes I have found it to be distracting. If the Clone Overlay is checked, your cursor will have a miniature preview of what the area you are trying to fix will look like when you click on it. Brush Settings: You notice that I skipped over the Brush Settings area. There’s a reason for that. I normally don’t do too much with any of the functions in there. The only one I use occasionally is the Hardness setting. I use that when I want to build up layers over a defect. I suggest you play with the Brush Settings to see what they do.

Unlike the Spot Healing Brush, which does the work for you, the Healing Brush will require two hands. Look at the area surrounding the defect. Analyze what you see, select areas that you think might match the area where the defect is. Remember what I said earlier about sampling? Well, we are going to do that now. You are going to take the “good” pixels and put them on top of the “bad” pixels. Place your cursor over the Source, hold the Alt key down, and click left on your mouse. You now have a “Sample” waiting for a place to go. Move your cursor to the defect and left click again. Your defect should either be gone or diminished. You hold your Alt key down only when Sampling/Copying, and you release the Alt key when you paste/click your left mouse. Continue with this process until the defect is corrected to your satisfaction. Sometimes you have to do a number of Samplings/Copying, and moving of your cursor to get the desired effect. For Mac users the keystroke to use is the Command key.

As with any of the Clone tools, you need to watch your results. If you can see that it doesn’t look right, or you can tell that the image has been “retouched,” you should Redo your image. Remember, don’t work directly on the image; make sure you are working on an added layer in the Layer Palette. I recommend that you memorize the keystroke for Redo, which for Windows is Ctrl+Z. I believe for Mac the Redo keystroke is Command Z, but you might want to verify that.

One more thing about the Healing Brush: like the Spot Healing Brush, it blends the pixels/samples. This is different from the brush we are going to discuss in the next article: The Clone Brush.
Next article: Continuing with Adobe Elements 2018, the Clone Brush

PERSI Gems: Oh Rats!
by Adam Barrone and Mike Hudson
This month, we lament those unfortunate ‘Oh Rats!’ moments in genealogical research. Researchers might make such an exclamation when encountering a local records loss, when a research inquiry is fruitless, when a path of investigation leads to the wrong family, or when access to surviving records is hindered by restrictions or by distance.

The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) aims to reduce speed bumps and brick walls along the way by pointing researchers to lesser-used but content-rich newsletters, magazines, and journals. PERSI should be in every family historian’s toolbox and might just keep the research rats at bay. Try a search here:

Capt. Hartman ridded place of rats when Charlie Stoddard made music, note, 1874, MI
Blue Water Family Backgrounds (St. Clair County Family History Group, MI), v.28n.1, Spr. 2008

George Bull report of rats kidnapping his chickens, 1899
Perry County (AR) Hist. & Gen. Soc. Newsletter, v.14n.4, Dec. 2012

George Sutherlen had dynamite stolen by pack rats, 1932, CA
Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert (CA), v.28n.7, Sep. 2011

James Morrison, Theodore and Luther Squires watch a hawk eat 12 Rats, 1896, KY
Green County (KY) Review, Win. 2010

James Sykes swears rat did not smell after being dead for 3 months, Rat-Snap ad, n.d., NJ
Whitley Branches (Whitley Co. Hist. & Gen. Soc., IN), v.16, Jan. 2001

Joe Garland re cat aboard a submarine that beat rats with its wooden leg
Polaris (U.S. Submarine Veterans Of WWII), v.48n.3, Jun. 2004

Lines Pangburn suffered rat crawling up his pants, 1896, Ripley, OH
Our Heritage (Adams Co. Gen. Soc., OH), v.28n.3, Fal. 2006

Rats stole trap which then trapped a cat, 1932
Mason Co. (WA) Historical Society Newsletter, Jan. 2007

Rats worn in women's hair, 1908
Oak Leaves (Warren Co. Hist. Soc., NJ), v.22n.3, Win. 2007

Sue Clark Shields recalls the Walkerton Town Dump, shooting rats with her date, 1950s
Voices of the Past (Walkerton Area Historical Soc., IN), v.13n.4, Nov. 2011

South Fork school children kill 1,047 rats, with list of students and school history brief, 1919
South Central Missouri Genealogical Society Newsletter, v.29n.3, Jul. 2009

Library Catalog Insider: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
by Kasia Young
Did you know that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?

Asian Americans comprise 6.5% of the United States population with Chinese (5 million), Indian (4.3 million), and Filipino (4 million) Americans making up the largest share of the Asian American population. Pacific Islander Americans make up 0.5% of the United States population, which translates to approximately 1.4 million people.

This month we will show you the best way to search for materials on Asian American and Pacific Islander history and genealogy. For this purpose, we will be using the official Library of Congress subject headings.

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

For example:

Search: Asian Americans yields 70 results

Search: East Asian Americans yields 6 results

Narrower terms for Asian Americans include: Bangladeshi Americans, Burmese Americans, Cambodian Americans, Chinese Americans, East Indian Americans, Filipino Americans, Hmong Americans, Indonesian Americans, Japanese Americans, Korean Americans, Laotian Americans, Nepali Americans, Pakistani Americans, Singaporean Americans, Sri Lankan Americans, Taiwanese Americans, Thai Americans, Tibetan Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and Yao Americans (Asian Americans)

Search: Pacific Islanders yields 6 results

Narrower terms for Pacific Islanders include: Melanesians, Micronesians, Palauans, and Polynesians.

Happy discoveries!

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

May 4, 2021, 2:30 p.m.: “Meet the Genealogy Center Online Portal Version 2” with Melissa Tennant -
May 6, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: “Using Wanda’s DNA Matches to Uncover Her Immigrant Roots, Part 2” with Sara Allen -
May 11, 2021, 2:30 p.m.: “Find Your American Ancestor Using Canadian Records” with Kathryn Lake Hogan -
May 13, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: “Reverse Genealogy: Finding Cousins and Chasing the Living” with Nicka Smith -
 May 18, 2021, 2:30 p.m.: “Are There ‘Black Sheep’ in Your Family?” with Cynthia Theusch -
May 20, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: “Researching Your Civil War Ancestors” with Amy Johnson Crow -
May 25, 2021, 2:30 p.m.: “Researching Your Quaker Roots in Ireland” with Elizabeth Hodges -
May 27, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: “Michigan Digital Collections at the Archives of Michigan” with Kris Rzepczynski -

Please register in advance for each program.

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
  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.