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  • The Goodenow Photographs: Researching the Origins of Photos

    Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

    By Kay

    Recently we received a rather large donation full of wonderful treasures. Let me introduce you to two of these treasures: Elias and Cynthia Goodenow. How do I know these people are Elias and Cynthia? Well, I’ll tell you. Their names are on the back of a photograph. I found myself asking some questions: What kind of photograph was this and just when was it taken? Let’s look at some of the clues in front of us and arrive at some “sort of” answers. Why sort of? While it may be possible to figure out the kind of photograph we are looking at, we probably will never be able to have the exact date – only a close proximity.
    Zywock_Tin_001a
    Zywock_Tin_001b
    Now for the clues. When trying to date photographs you need to look at everything – front and back. We will start with the back. On the back of the images in the upper right hand corner, written lightly in pencil, in squiggly cursive, are the names “Mr. Elias H. Goodenow, Clarendon, Orleans Co. NY” and “Mrs. Cynthia Goodenow, Clarendon, Orleans Co. NY.” But we are not done with the back yet. On the back of Elias’ image there are more clues. We have “At E. Parker’s Gallery Only. Opposite Village Hall, Brockport, NY.” Now, we know who the photographer was (sort of). In the 1863 Rochester City Directory there is a Mrs. E. Parker listed as a photographer at 64 Main, Brockport, NY. But that’s not all that’s on the back. There is also a declaration: “Made with Wing’s Patent Multiplying Camera.” The name Simon Wing is famous in the world of historical photography buffs. Besides being a Socialist, Simon loved to take out patents for cameras, renew those patents and file infringement lawsuits. I found an article online stating June 1862 as a date for his patent on the “multiplying” camera. I was not able to confirm that. What I did find was a request for a patent renewal in 1860 which I believe was responsible for an infringement lawsuit. In 1847, Albert Southworth had patented a multiplying camera for daguerreotype processing. He allowed that patent to expire. Then along came Simon. In 1855 he purchased that patent and refiled on December 4, 1860. Southworth sued, but Wing won. So, at some time after 1860, Wing started selling his Multiplying Camera. This camera could take up to 72 little images on one metal plate – they were called “gem tintypes.” We have a number of dates revolving around this camera, but I’m going to pick the date which has Wing’s name on it – 1860. Remember that just because Wing had a patent for the camera in 1860, doesn’t mean that’s when the photos were taken. What it does mean is that the photos probably cannot be older than 1860. I also found another patent filed by – guess who – Simon Wing in 1863, for a better photographic mounting paper. I believe this is the type of paper used in the Goodenow images. I’m also adding the photographer’s directory date of 1863 to our clues. We now have 1860 and 1863 added to our bucket of clues.
    size
    Now to the front. First of all, the tiny images are “gem tintypes.” It is matted with thin foil and mounted on a CDV (Carte de Visite).  The CDV was at its most popular between 1863 and 1877, although it made its first appearance in 1859. There is a design around the photograph called a “cartouche.” These were popular between 1862 and 1864. These two images are also tinted; the better tinted images were made during the Civil War.  Let’s add another date, 1864.
    Tint

    Last we will look at the people themselves. The problem here is that we are limited as to what we can see. Cynthia’s hair is so dark in the image it’s hard to tell just what style it is, but she either has a large bun or her hair is contained in a snood. There is also something – a ribbon maybe – circling a portion of her hair. She is wearing a broach which has a touch of gold-leaf added to it, and that makes it hard to tell what the broach is. It’s hard to tell what kind of shoulders or bodice she’s wearing, but I would guess that if we saw the entire dress there would be a big puffy crinoline.  If we could see how full the crinoline was, we could arrive at a more accurate date. Elias has on a wide lapel jacket with a vest. It was hard for me to see if the shirt had a collar and whether he was wearing a tie or a cravat. When I zoomed in, the tie/cravat appears to be tucked into the shirt.  Of course, Elias has facial hair and that had also gained popularity during the Civil War, but then, my husband has facial hair and he wasn’t in the Civil War. Cynthia and Elias also show up in the 1860 census. Their approximate ages at that time were 32 for Elias and 26 for Cynthia. Because I think this photograph was probably taken around the Civil War, I’m adding 1865 and 1866 to the group.

    After all of that, we still do not have an exact date, we only have a guess. We know that the multiplying camera was patented in the 1860s, the photographer was in business at least in 1863, we know that Cynthia was 26 in 1860, though she and looks a few years older in this image, and we know that the gem tin-types were popular during the American Civil War. So, here’s my guess – 1863/64/65/66.

    You never know just what path research will take you down or what pieces of information you will pick up as you go. I don’t know too much more about Elias and Cynthia. What I do know is that they were captured by a camera for a brief moment in time and I find that fascinating.

    And just so you can bore your friends at parties I have included some of the sources I used:
    * 1860 and 1880 Federal Census records for New York
    * PhotoTree.com
    * Photo-Sleuth.com
    * Langdon’s List of 19th Century and early 20th Century Photographers
    * 1863 and 1864 Rochester New York Directory
    * Library of Congress
    And I also found the Goodenow Family Association.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Yizkor Books & Jewish Research

    Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017

    by Delia

    World War II was a desperate time for Europe’s Jews, with millions slaughtered in the Holocaust and more fleeing the Nazi death machine, resulting in the wholesale disappearance of Jewish communities. After the war, the dispersed survivors created Memorial (Yizkor) books to commemorate these lost communities and their residents. The original volumes were in Yiddish, and The Genealogy Center has had a collection of these Yizkor Books for many years.

    JewishGen has undertaken the Yizkor Book Project to republish 800 of these volumes with added translations for ease of use. The Genealogy Center has recently acquired the first 52 of these newly published resources. Read more about the project and come in to take advantage of these wonderful sources.

    Congregation Achduth Vesholom, has also created the Madge Rothschild Resource Center at 5200 Old Mill Road in Fort Wayne, with their Grand Opening scheduled for Sunday April 30, 2017. Join them for an Open House at 2:30 p.m., and keynote speaker, author David Laskin on “One Family, Three Journeys: How One Family Embodied The Sweep Of 20th Century Jewish History,” at 4 p.m. Laskin's family's journey began with a Torah scribe and his family in Russia 150 years ago. Events around the family scattered them to America, to Palestine and into Germany to to fall prey to the Holocaust. Join them for this inspiring lecture!
    Jewish

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Indiana Databases

    Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017

    We have some great new Free Indiana Databases!

    Golden Moments of Hoosier History by Milford E. Anness was published in 1966 for the Sesquicentennial of Indiana’s statehood. The sixteen page booklet highlights some more unusual bits of Indiana’s history, such as information on the utopian community of New Harmony, the lyrics of “Naptown,” a song in praise of Indianapolis, and closes with William Miller’s poem “Ain’t God Good to Indiana.” Aint Good good to IN

    The 98-page booklet Indiana Basketball Handbook, 1975-76 really touches on what’s important in Indiana. Produced by Citizens National Bank of Columbia City, this item contains the basketball out look for Indiana for the 1975-1976 season with high school and college game schedules, tournaments, All-Stars for Indiana and Kentucky, photos of players and general information on and sections on the ABA and NBA.
    IN Basketball 

    Tippecanoe was published by the Tippecanoe Sesquicentennial Committee in Battleground in 1961, and includes fictionalized accounts of the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

    Hope, Indiana has a rich history dating back to 1830, when the Moravians settled in the northeastern corner of Bartholomew County. In 1975, the Yellow Trail Museum opened. This museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the town's history for the public. Forty years after opening, the facility has expanded with a bigger showroom and is currently developing a genealogy research room to focus on the local history and families. Although the new research room won't open until mid-2017, some old Church Records are being preserved and made available to the public via the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center website, including Clifford Christian Church, covering 1897 to 1982, and Hawcreek Baptist Church Records, covering 1830 to 1920,

    Maria Creek Baptist Church in Knox County Indiana, was founded in 1809 and abandoned in 1947, although former members returned for annual meetings for about a decade. In 1963 the building was relocated to the campus of Vincennes University to serve as an interdenominational chapel. This booklet recounts a brief history of the congregation.

    William M. Williams supplied his Richland Christian Church, Record Book 1825-1875, Monroe County, Indiana. This item provides a list of members from 1864 to 1975 and Mr. Williams also compiled an every name index to this handwritten document.

    We also have the Annual Report of the First Baptist Church, 1977, Bluffton, Wells County, Indiana, which includes a message from the pastor, a church schedule, lists of new members, losses and deaths, and information about various groups within the congregation.

    The Spencerville High School, Beacon, 1942 from DeKalb County, Indiana, was published by the Senior Class and is dedicated for former Spencerville students away in the war. It includes individual photos of the seniors, class photos of grades 1 through 11, staff, activities, and an alumni roll from 1909 to 1940.

    And, finally, another cemetery indexed and made available from Jim Cox, this one is Elizabethtown Cemetery in Delaware County, Indiana. Each entry provides name, dates, and occasionally, notes, such as “son of,” “wife of,” or military notations.

    We thank everyone for helping us make our website robust and free to all!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our Military Heritage – New 20th Century Documents

    Friday, Apr 14, 2017

    Our friends have been very generous lately with military records. This time we will look at new 20th Century records.

    We have Story of the Thirty-Third Division in World War I. This regimental history was published by the Chicago Daily News and mentions many of the soldiers by name. Third Squadron Air Service: September 15, 1918 to January 24, 1919 consisted of 152 men, mostly from the Midwest. Each man is listed with his rank and home address. 
    We have a high resolution image of a photograph of the 375 Co., 409 M.S.T., Lt. Morris Knapp, Commanding, also from World War I. Finally we have an update consisting of “Letters Received” and “Miscellaneous Documents” for the Alois Masbaum WWI collection.

    We have images of W.A. Clarke’s V-Mail from Europe in 1945 to his family in Crown Point, New York. We have records for Allen Henry Wisely and Walter Wisely, of Fort Wayne, both in the US Navy in World War II. The records were scanned by family friend and Genealogy Center volunteer, Don Weber, and contain photographs, Christmas and post cards and clippings.
     
    Ornell Stauffer, US Army Air Corps, was a hero in World War II. This Hoosier was shot down over Japan in 1944 in his plane. “Calamity Sue,” named for his baby daughter. His widow and daughter finally received his medals in 2015.

    Images of War: The Pacific Theater, published by the World War II Memorial Society offers pages of photographs of events in the South Pacific. And we have a commemorative booklet for Aro Equipment Corporation, Bryan, Ohio, in 1943 when the company won the Army Navy E for Excellence Award, which includes a list of all employees serving in the military.

    We have a history of the 3rd and 14th Field Hospital in the Korean War. Besides a history of the combined units, there are photographs of the officers and enlisted personnel.

    Donald G. Allen of Bedford, Indiana served in the United States Navy from 1951-1955. He was a fire control technician third class on the battleship USS Wisconsin and saw combat in the Korean War. Sara Allen donated his photograph collection from his time in service, including other service members at work or play and visitors to the ship.

    Geo & Don 
    Finally, we have various military records of our fabulous volunteer, Don Weber, who served in the US Navy during peacetime. These documents include ID cards, evaluations, shore patrol assignments, examinations and much more. Don also provided the World War II records of his father George Anthony Weber, who served with the US Army in Europe. These records include his discharge, ration cards, Christmas cards, post newsletters, post cards, and letters. One photo, shown here, is of George holding hands with his young son, Don, all dressed up in his miniature uniform. It’s a beautiful family moment!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Even More Free Family Resources

    Tuesday, Apr 11, 2017

    Let’s start with the Asia Rohn Family, which includes the 1849 appointment for Asia as First Lieutenant of the 68th Pennsylvania Militia. The Slaughter Family Materials are photos of this Kansas family.

     

    Dennis McClurg donated his Massey Osborne and Runnymede Farm which deals with Massey Osborne who married first Hugh Ferguson then William Castleman, and the farm (house pictured below) located in what is now Frederick County, Virginia. Dennis has also donated his Eleanor Harbin (1736-1840): Woman of the American Revolution. Eleanor was born in 1736 and married William Triplett in 1757. He died in 1782. Her husband and at least three sons fought in the American Revolution and she supplied more than a thousand pounds of beef to the North Carolina Militia.
    Runnymede   

    We have Descendants of John Porter and Sarah Null Porter & Copy from Porter Family Reunion Minutes, 1917-1946. This scan of handwritten material is not searchable, and will have to be browsed but if you are connected to these families, the effort may be worthwhile as the minutes not only include the business part of the reunions, but also vital record notes for family members.

     

    Luigi Castiglione: L’uomo di Pazienza was written by Louis Luardo Castiglione about the Luigi and Maria Castiglione family of Italy and Pennsylvania and New York, and adds memories concerning family and neighbors. We also have Ancestors of Dahlia Marguerite Helm and Louis L. Castilian by Louis Castilian includes information on the Castiglione, Helm, Stockton and Rodes families, as well as a transcription on the diary of Margaret Norman Miller of Walthourville, Georgia as General Sherman’s troops marched through her village in 1864.

     

    In 1976, Robert W. Marhenke (1931 - 2014) of Lincoln, Nebraska received a letter from his young son asking him about his ancestors and grandfather. This began a 40-year project of researching his family's history, leading from Germany in the 1700s to various states in the USA today, including Indiana, Illinois, and Nebraska. Found here are the records, notes, documents, and photos he accumulated during his search, as well as information on intermarried families. The Marhenke Collection was brought to us through Mr. Dan Replogle, who took care of the collection after Mr. Marhenke's passing. Mr. Replogle connected with Mr. Marhenke while researching his own ancestor, Frederich Marhanka (relationship unconfirmed).

     

    William Krause II, Ph.D, provided Krause: Ancestry of William John Krause (Johnny) (June 17, 1915-October 19, 2001) and Hazel Ruby (Nelson) Krause (August 28, 1918 - June 10, 2006), Krause: Beyond Dakota, and Krause: Coming of Age on the Northern Plains, following the Krause, Richter, Peters, Nelson families of Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and California.

     

    And since we started with a family with a military appointment, let’s end with the image of a 1912 Italian military document for Andres Da Maren. This Foglio di Congedo Illimitato is a discharge paper. 

    Thank you to everyone who contributed!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Our Military Heritage Documents!

    Saturday, Apr 08, 2017

    We’ve had a number of additions to Our Military Heritage!

    Dennis McClurg has donated his Life and Times of Lt. David Randol (1724-1763). David Randol was born in Connecticut and married Temperance Price in 17433. He died at the Battle of Bushy Run in Pennsylvania in 1763, during the French and Indian War. Dennis also donated Private David Randol (1765-1835): Revolutionary War Veteran, who, at the age of 14 years, enlisted in the 2nd New Jersey Regiment of the Continental Army.

    The correspondence, affidavit and summary of Eliphalet Patee’s Revolutionary War service from  Massachusetts includes various documents testifying to his service in the 1830s and several inquiries as on that service in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
    The file for Edmond Pattee, 7th Massachusetts includes service record, affidavits, widow’s record, and the family Bible.

    Sara Allen generously donated War of 1812 records for Jacob Graves, Tennessee Militia. Jacob was born about 1780 in Virginia or North Carolina. He was married to Catherine "Caty" Black on November 17, 1809 in Sumner County, Tennessee. He enlisted in the War of 1812 on November 13, 1814 and was discharged on May 13, 1815, serving in Capt. Neal's Company Tennessee Militia. He died in February of 1838 in Sumner County, and according to family legend is buried in an unmarked grave in Clark-Mandrell Cemetery on Clark Hollow Road. His presumed brother William Graves also served in the War of 1812 from Sumner County, and another presumed brother Frederick Graves served from Allen County, Kentucky.

    Sara Also donated War of 1812 records for James Willison, New York Militia. James was born Nov. 10, 1790 in New York State and died Sept. 9, 1866 in Barry County, Michigan. He was married twice, first to Betsy Williams around 1810 in NY, and second, after Betsy's death, to Margaret Borthwick on June 5, 1825 in Allegany County, NY. James enlisted in the War of 1812 and served with Capt. James Mack's Company of New York Militia. His second wife Margaret applied for a widow's pension after his death.

    We have also posted War of 1812 Pension Records for Jeremiah Slaughter. Jeremiah served in Captain Luther Leonard’s Company of Ohio Militia and received his pension in 1871. Thomas Patten was a midshipman in the War of 1812 on the ships General Pike and the Superior. He applied for bounty land in 1855 and for a pension in 1871. The records posted on our website include his service record, affidavits of service and various correspondence.

    John Archer served in the 32nd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. We have his volunteer enlistment record, prisoner of war memorandum, service and pension records, discharge paper, and a photo, seen here, of John and his second wife, Katherine. The records for Aaron Hull, 119th U.S. Colored Troops, includes his pension, widow’s and minor children’s pension records, and proofs of marriage. Records for Johnson Merritt, 117th U.S. Colored Troops, include service and pension records, a history of his disability, various affidavits and widow’s pension records.
    Archer

    William Hinkle served in the 44th Indiana, the 152nd Pennsylvania and the 26th Pennsylvania during the Civil War. The documents we have for him contain discharge records from all three regiments, his journal and some letters.

    We have Civil War records for several members of the Treece family. Records for Isaac Treece, 9th Michigan Infantry consist of his pension file including the questionnaire and various affidavits. The records for Joab Treece, 31st Illinois Infantry, offer pension records, including a declaration for children, marriage record and family Bible. And the records for John Treece, 38th Indiana Infantry, include his pension records, marriage and death records.

    Also added were pension records for several members of the Tharp(p) family. Records for James Tharp, 8th Kansas Infantry, Abraham Thrapp, 24th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Bennet Thrapp, 130th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Elias Thrapp, 155th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, James Thrapp, 63rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and Simeon Thrapp, 4th U.S. Artillery.

    Thanks to everyone who donated! 
     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Free Family Databases!

    Wednesday, Apr 05, 2017

    Today we are highlighting some of new Family Resources in our Free Databases!

    We will start off with Barbier Family Ancestry, but there’s so much more than just the family of Jacque (Jacob) Barbier and Mary Duprey family of France. It also includes Grant, Richardson, Darling, Smith and Boger families, with photos and copies of original documents.
     
    The Bowen Record Book Images were made available through the generosity of Laura Baird Ray, daughter of Janice Nimke Baird who was the daughter of Caroline Miller Bowen Nimke. The original owner of this work was Herbert Bowen of Detroit, MI in 1892. This unique record book details the family and descendants of Richard Bowen. A number of way-points are created to provide direct access to sections of this largely handwritten work. To appreciate the document you are encouraged to browse through the images

    Mary Louis Johnson Mahar has allowed us to post Dawson Claypool Genealogy, detailing of the James Albert Dawson and Margaret Claypool/Cleypool of West Virginia and Ohio, and the King/Collinson Genealogy, on the Corwin Samuel King-Mary C. Collinson family of Ohio. David Sprunk allowed us to post From Berkshire to Elmore: An Introductory History of the Deacon Family which also includes Brunson, Nutt, Gilbert and Humphries families.    
     
    Leslie F. Larson provided a copy of her Zion in the New World: The Lubarskys Find the Goldene Medina which follows the family from Russia, to Philadelphia and on to San Francisco. Below is a photo of the family after they settled in California. Mahar Family, 1810-2016 follows the family of James Mahar and Anna Carrigan from Ireland to Illinois.
    Lubarsky family

    Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Levi Osborn and Catherine (Ashburn) Osborn was compiled by Cressa Obsorn Parker in 1981, revised by Bernard and Caroline Osborn in 1993 and updated again in 2016 by Carolyn Keel Osborn and Glenna Osborn Raber, and includes minutes of the Osborn Reunions from 1928 to 1983.

    And, finally, we have several additions to previously posted materials including more from Brian Paul Kaess with New Addition of Notes on the Kaess Family and Addendum 2 to  “Kaess Ochiltree Swartz Family History”  and more on the Ewing Family: William Ewing Riddle Collection.

    Thanks to everyone for contributing!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Database Additions

    Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

    We have an interesting selection of items that have been added to our Free Databases recently. 

    Thanks to regular contributor, Jim Cox, there are a number of Adair County, Kentucky cemeteries now online to search or browse. These include the A. B. Turner Cemetery, A. Leach Cemetery, Abrell Cemetery, Absher Cemetery, Acree Cemetery, Adkins Cemetery, Allen Cemetery, Andrew Cemetery, and Asper-Yates Cemetery. All may be found at our Other States Databases page under Kentucky.

    We have also posted a four page booklet for Plans for Erecting and Maintaining a Memorial in the Old Cemetery at Cadiz, Ohio (Harrison County). This 1934 booklet presents the plan and pleads for funding, as well as listing the names and years of those known to be buried there and an elevation of the planned memorial.
    Cadiz Cemetery

    Finally, we have Washington: Baltimore and Ohio Guide, a 32-page tourism booklet for the District of Columbia, published by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1929. It contains visitors information and photos of many area attractions, including the Lincoln Memorial, Union Station, and the White House, as well as information on tour trips conducted by the railroad, a history of the B&O, and a listing and map of the locations of the railroad’s passenger ticket offices from New York and the east to Chicago and St. Louis. The photos alone are a fabulous treat!
     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Swiss Church Records Website

    Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

    by John

    The church records of Canton Bern, Switzerland, are among the most complete genealogical resources for any place in continental Europe. Many registers are unbroken back to the sixteenth century. Finding the appropriate register involves knowing the town where a family held citizenship or voting rights. Church registers, at least in theory, contained the record of the births, marriages, and deaths of all those that held hereditary citizenship in that town, even if they resided elsewhere. In most cases, church officials maintained separate registers for hereditary citizens who lived in the town and those living out-of-town (typically called “Auswärtige Bürger”). Sometimes a third set of registers were maintained for town residents who were not citizens (called “Ausbürger”).

    For a number of decades the Family History Library has made the Canton Bern church registers available on microfilm for borrowing. Later, when the microfilms of the registers were digitized, Swiss officials placed restrictions on the images, making the digital versions viewable on Familysearch only to LDS Church members with valid logins or from computers specifically located in LDS Church libraries (not member public libraries). The late genealogist Lewis Rohrbach offered DVDs of the registers at expensive prices, but with his death and the closing of his publishing house, Picton Press, the DVDs are no longer available for sale. The lack of an easy way to view the registers has made it frustrating to Swiss researchers seeking full, convenient access to a large body of material.

    Very recently the State Archives for Canton Bern has made the images of the records available free from its own website. To access the records, go to this link, and click on the small box with the plus-sign to the immediate left of the word “Kirchenbücher.” If the parish you want starts with the letters A through N, you will see a list displayed. If it falls later in the alphabet, click on “Open the next 100 entries,” and an additional 77 towns will appear. In either case, to view the options, click again on the tiny box with the plus-sign immediately to the left of the town you want to view. A list of specific books will appear with ranges of dates. Baptisms are included in books marked “Taufrodel,” marriages are in “Eherodel,” and deaths are in “Totenrodel.” Make note of the Auswärtige registers that recorded the out-of-town citizens. To view the records, double-click on the book you want. A further breakdown of the registers will appear, and you will have to click again on a separate link marked “PDF.” Once you do so, a file of the entire roll will display. Be patient for the download, since it is not instantaneous, especially for larger files.
    Swiss

    The registers are still not indexed. Some names and vital record events can be searched separately through the link to the International Genealogical Index (IGI), available on Familysearch. These references are not linked to specific images and represent only a fraction of the total names. However the IGI can sometimes be helpful for translating a particular surname, since some families in some towns have been extensively researched.

    While we are unable to say when the registers will be made searchable for every name, the fact that they are available at all, freely online, makes this a happy day for genealogists researching this part of Switzerland.  An added bonus is the easy access to the large collection Swiss coats of arms, called “Familienwappen,” also available from the archives’ website. These images display in full color and show the date and town where the arms were granted.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Indiana Databases

    Monday, Mar 06, 2017

    We have an interesting mix of new Free Indiana Databases that have been added recently.

    First up, we have two Hancock County, Indiana school related items. Students and Teachers, Schoolhouse at Fortville, 1881-1887 is just what it says, a list of people connected with the Fortville Schoolhouse. Each entry includes the name of the student or teacher, the exact dates of the school terms attended, and occasionally, the age of the person. The other item is a list of graduates of the Vernon Township Schools Commencement, 1898, held 28 May 1898 at the Methodist Church in McCordsville. The announcement was found in the belongings of Andy H. Denney. The information in both of these were made available through the kind generosity of Rebecca Crowe and the Fortville-Vernon Township Public Library.

    Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, 1958-2004 is a data file contributed by Earle Swanson, and was also published in book form under the title “Gethsemane Family.”  The data is from the Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1505 Bethany Lane, Fort Wayne. Each entry provides the congregant’s name, and varying information including birth date, place and parents’ names; baptism place, date and sponsor; confirmation date and place; marriage date, place and spouse; admission and/or release dates; and membership status.

    We have another title abstract in Allen County, this one in the Elizabeth Hanna Addition, part of Lot 55. The abstract begins in 1824 and runs through 1980, and is a fascinating document for the history and biographical detail it includes.

    Our last item is the City of Fort Wayne--Community Development Library. So far, it contains 852 documents consisting of 47,897 pages. With records dating back to the 1850s, the Community Development Library is a digitized collection of city government documents that cover a variety of subjects, with an emphasis on downtown development and revitalization, annexations, neighborhoods, urban planning and economic development. It also contains information on such diverse topics as flood control, transportation, housing and the environment. For anyone researching any aspect of history in Fort Wayne, this is an important resource. More will be added to this collection as it becomes available


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Additions to Our Military Heritage

    Friday, Feb 03, 2017

    Take a look at some of our newest additions to Our Military Heritage!

    The John Silvis Civil War letters are difficult to read, but for anyone searching his regiment, the 11th Pennsylvania might be rewarded with some useful information from these 1861-1962 documents.

    We have a portrait and other documents relating to Alfred Boerger, U.S. Army soldier with Company F of the Quartermaster’s Department in World War I. He died after being exposed to poison gas. His remains were returned to Fort Wayne in 1921 and he was buried with honors in Lindenwood.

    Brian Paul Kaess has allowed us to post two World War I letters from Talmage Dawson to his family in Kansas. Unlike Alfred, Talmage made it home and lived until 1974.

    Finally, we have the World War I draft record and discharge papers of Fred Suiter of Michigan. Fred also made it home and lived in Michigan.

    Richard Wells Shorter was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and served in World War II in the Army Air Corps in India serving as an air traffic controller. His letters have been made available for preservation by his sister, Sheila Shorter, of Fort Wayne.

    Brian Paul Kaess has also made available photographs and military information on Paul Swartz, a World War II sailor and Francis Swartz, an Air Force pilot during the Korean War.
    paulrudolphswartz

    And finally we have a photograph and military experiences for William E. Haste, who served in the Korean War from 1950 to 1952.

    Remember that you, too, can memorialize relatives in Our Military Heritage by submitting scans of photographs and documents, or a biography.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Alexandre Dumas

    Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

    by Kay

    In February we will be celebrating Black History Month. We always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, advertisement. But have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use. Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

    Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as Alexandre Dumas (March 25, 1762 - February 26, 1806) was a general in Revolutionary France and the highest-ranking man of African descent ever in a European army. He was the highest ranking black man in any Western world military until 1975, when Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. became a four-star general in the United States Air Force.
    BHM Dumas

    Born in Saint-Domingue, Thomas-Alexandre was of mixed race, the son of Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a white French nobleman, and Marie-Cessette Dumas, an enslaved mother of African descent. His father brought him to France for his education. Slavery had been illegal in France since 1315, this meant that any slave born out of the country could be freed while in France, but he struggled in his later years and fell into poverty.

    It could be that you have never heard of Thomas, but I bet you may have heard of his son - author Alexandre Dumas. It is said that Alexandre Dumas based a number of his books on his father’s exploits. To learn more about Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, read "The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo," by Tom Reiss.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Revealed - Cotton, Slaves & Rice

    Saturday, Jan 28, 2017

    By Kay

    As we remember Black History Month in February, we always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, or advertisement. Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use. Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.
     
    "I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceases to be a man." Frederick Douglass.

    Slaves picking cotton. I cannot even imagine working in a field of sticky cotton from sun-up to sun-set. There were no breaks, no lunches. The average slave had to fill a bag strapped to their shoulder with 200lbs of cotton. They were bent over daily, whether it was sunny or rainy. If they didn't make their quota, they were whipped. When a slave’s day ends it doesn't, he or she has their own house to tend to.
    abeslide5

    For more information visit:
    Twelve Years a Slave:  Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped
    and Life on a Southern Plantation, 1854, or read "A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia," by Richard S. Dunn.

    There is an image of a stone table used by auctioneers to display a slave from the Green Hill Plantation, located on Long Island, Virginia. The plantation was built by Samuel Pannill, who first bought 600 acres from William and Moses Fuqua in 1797, and added to and developed the plantation until his death in 1864. According to tradition, these original stone features were used in the auction and sale of slaves. The smaller of the two elements was used by the auctioneer while the stone table was used to display the best qualities of the slaves. The authenticity of this story has not been documented. Both auctioneer's stone and table are in good condition, and are presently used by the owners to hold milk buckets, etc. The auctioneer's stand is a solid stone block, approximately 1'-2" x 3'-0" x 10" high. The stone table approximately 3' square and 3' high, and is supported by four rectangular stones set upright into the ground. A bottom stone is shaped as a cross to fit between the posts at each corner. Top stone about 3" thick; bottom stone about 2-1/2" thick. No mortar was used.
    Slave_auction_block_Green_Hill_Plantation

    Learn more about Greenhill Plantation or read "Northern Money, Southern Land: the Lowcountry Plantation Sketches of Chlotilde R. Martin," by Chlotilde R. Martin.

    The Rice-Raft image is one of 269 from South Carolina that are part of the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views at the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections. The original image was used in a stereoscopic viewer. Stereoscopic viewers make the 2-dimensional images appear 3-dimensional when viewed through the stereoscope. But even without the stereoscope this image has always haunted me. Just called Rice-raft, this image was published in 1895 and shows a boatload of rice-straw which was used for fodder, bedding and paper-stock. Standing on top of this rice-straw is a large group of African-American people. What was going through their minds? Were they irritated with the cameraman, dreading the work that was to come or enjoying the breeze which was ruffling their skirts? Were these individuals part of the Gullah Geechee culture which inhabited South Carolina?

    Rice was very profitable for the Carolina colonies. There is a debate on how the rice arrived at our shores. Did it come as part of the "Columbian Exchange" or did the slaves bring the rice grains from Africa and supplement their diets with it? However it arrived on our shores, eventually it would take a lot of people to work the rice plantations which developed. Those slaves would do everything from making the fanner baskets, building canals to carry water, to standing in stagnant water all day, bent over, planting rice seedlings.
    16.0415.riceraft

    Learn more about the Gullah Geechee culture, Low country life, or this image specifically, or read Philip Morgan's "African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: the Atlantic World and the Gullah Geechee."

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Family Resources

    Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

    We have added new material to our free Family Resources files. The largest of these is additions to the Ewing Family Association and Related Materials. This large addition includes 21 separate Ewing family files, including Brief Account of the Ancestry of the Kentucky and Indiana Descendants of Putnam Ewing, Descendants of John Ewing of Carnshanagh, Descendants William Ewing of Stirling, Ewing Family Chronicles 1629-1979, Harvey Canterbury Klemann, Ewing-McCulloch-Buchanan Genealogy, Grandfather’s Farm: Life on the Chantey Plantation of Squire Maskell Ewing, and One Hundred Years for Christ: Tome Memorial United Methodist Church, Port Deposit, Maryland as well as many others. Many are keyword searchable or can be searched with the federated search from our home page. If you have any interest in Ewing families, browsing would be advisable.

    The next item is Arthur Hastings Grant’s The Grant Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Matthew Grant of Windsor, Connecticut. 1601-1898, which was published in 1898. This volume was almost 600 pages to Grant family research and is keyword searchable and also has its own index as part of the volume.
     
    John B. McCaleb was a lawyer and judge in northeastern Arkansas, starting out in Sharp County, then moving to Independence County, although he was also well known in Arkansas in the legal community. The Diaries of John Bell McCaleb: The Times & Travels of a Northeast Arkansas Lawyer have been transcribed for the years 1906 through 1925 and many of those years have their own surname index. His notations include the petition for the naturalization of Richard Mead, formerly of England, various murder cases and his own business notes. If you are researching northeastern Arkansas, this could certainly be a treasure trove of information.

    Susan B. Vanarsdale, daughter of Peter and Charity (Demaree) Vanarsdale, was born in Kentucky in 1824 and died in Missouri in 1856. The Susan B. Vanarsdale Diary 1847-1855 covers the time spent in Missouri, courtships and friendships, family and visits.

    These are all terrific additions to the free resources that we are pleased to make available to you!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Joseph de Bologne Saint-Georges

    Thursday, Jan 19, 2017

    by Kay

    In February we will be celebrating Black History Month. We always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, advertisement. But have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use. Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

    Joseph de Bologne Saint-Georges was born December 25, 1745 on a plantation near Basse-Terre, on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. His father was a nobleman by the name of George de Bologne de Saint-Georges and his mother was Anne Nanon, a black slave and mistress of George. Joseph was educated in France, where his father was a Gentleman of the King's Chamber. Joseph started fencing at the age of 13 and by the age of 17 he became Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
    BHM Chevalier_de_Saint-Georges

    Because of his fencing, Saint-Georges earned the nickname of "the god of arms." It was also at this time he became a skilled musician and composer. He played the harpsichord and violin, and he composed and conducted. His string quartets were among the first in France and were first performed 1772 and published starting in 1773, when he was became conductor of Le Concert des amateurs.

    Not all was rosy for Saint-Georges, three female singers objected to a "mulatto" directing and he fell on hard times. However, he had friends in the Duke of Orléans and England’s George, Prince of Wales. He was friends with the Marquise de Montesson and Queen Marie-Antoinette. What's that saying about "with friends like that?" Maybe Joseph's timing was off because along came the French revolution and things fell apart. He then became the colonel of 1,000 volunteers of color and helped halt some treasonous activity during the French revolution. But, then again, his timing was off and he was imprisoned for 11 months on false charges, before being acquitted. At least he avoided the guillotine. He then returned to music and founded the orchestra of Le Cercle de L'Harmonie in 1797. He died on June 10, 1799.
     
    Listen online to his musical compositions.

    To read more about This fascinating man, read "Before There was Mozart: The story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George," by Lesa Cline-Ransome and "Monsieur de Saint-George : Virtuoso, Swordsman, Revolutionary, A Legendary Life Rediscovered," by Alain Guede.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Homegoing Programs

    Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017

    A homegoing (or home-going) service is an African-American Christian funeral tradition marking the going home of the deceased to the Lord or to heaven, and is a vibrant part of African American history and culture. Although there may be sadness at a parting, it is also a celebration of a life and the end of suffering in the mortal realm. These observations often include prayers, hymns, scripture, and eulogies, and a program is often printed so attendees can follow the service or to keep as a remembrance. Several groups in our area have been collecting the programs of their communities for inclusion in our databases, and we have recently added new memorials to each of these collections.

    Genealogy Tracers of Cleveland, Ohio, whose members are Alfreda Spratlen Barnes, Clancy Ware-Simpson, David Simpson, Carmine Vaughn Stewart, Gwendolyn Wynne Strayhan, and Henrietta English-West, have recently added 478 new memorials, containing 2597 new images. This collection also includes the Finney Memorial Collection, which have contributed an additional 33 memorials.

    And, here in Fort Wayne, Roberta Ridley, founding chairwomen of the African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne, contributed an additional nine memorial cards to the Marsha Smiley Collection, which also added an additional 63.

    These programs consist of wonderful personal and community histories, and we encourage anyone with a small, or large, collection to provide scans for inclusion in our collection, or contact us about having our volunteers scan them for you.
    Homegoing

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Databases!

    Saturday, Jan 07, 2017

    We’ve added a number of new Free Databases recently that we hope you will find useful.

    From our own back yard, we have the McKee Miles Funeral Home Records, Garrett, DeKalb County, Indiana. Carl McKee opened the funeral home in Garrett around 1972, branching out from his father’s furniture store and funeral home in Avilla. Dick Miles bought into the funeral before Carl McKee retired to Florida in the 1980s. The funeral home closed in 1999. A number of the records here pre-date the McKee-Miles funeral home and are from other funeral homes, though they were among the records of the McKee-Miles funeral home. This was a cooperative project of the Garrett Public Library and The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. One can browse the folders or search for specific names. Information included ranges from the deceased’s birth and death dates and parents’ names, biographical information and the names of people seated in various funeral cars.

    From Indianapolis, we have the Twenty-fifth anniversary history of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Published in 1944, this booklet includes a list of charter members, a photo of the choir, descriptions and photos of the windows, a 1944 Communicant list and a list of the congregation’s men and women in service to their country. For one interested in the history of the church it’s a vital source, made more accessible by the keyword search function.
     
    Several items have come to us from Valparaiso University in Porter County, Indiana, including Baccalaureate Service and Conferring of Degrees booklets for 1950 and 1953; the Baccalaureate Service booklet for 1952; the 25th Anniversary of Ordination of Otto Paul Kretzmann in 1944; and the Gamma Phinian for 1952, which includes pledges for Gamma Phi for 1948-1952. This, too, is keyword searchable.

    From a little farther east, we have the 12 Year History of Community United Methodist Church of Maryland City, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, written in 1975. This short volume includes brief descriptions of all facets of the congregation’s history including church buildings, officers and pastors, Christmas programs, banquets, members and more. And the keyword search makes it a breeze to use.

    Finally, from Wayne County, Michigan, we have the 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 yearbooks for General Motors Research Laboratories. Each yearbook has photos and names of employees by research area and a roster of personnel. The keyword search allows one to search for a specific person, or browse through to see what hip engineers were wearing in 1976.
    Research lab 3




    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Chuch and School Material

    Sunday, Dec 04, 2016

    We have some great church and school records added recently to our Free Databases, starting with ten volumes of AME Women’s Missionary Society Materials: Illinois Conference Branch books for 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007; and Michigan Annual Conference 1999, Devotional Service 1999, Flint Area Report 1999, West Detroit Area Report 1999, Societies Report 1999, and the Big MAK Implementation Manual. All are name and keyword searchable and these are a good reminder that tomorrow’s history is now!

    From Bartholomew County, Indiana, we have Sharon Baptist Church Records. There are 17 scanned volumes consisting of 1782 pages of Meeting Minutes 1874-1927, Sunday School records to 1934 and the B.Y.P.U 1922-1923. While these records are not searchable, chronological browsing is easy and, if u for those with ancestors in the county, could be very rewarding.

    We have the Official Membership Record of Mount Pleasant Methodist Church in Kosciusko County, Indiana, contains children’s baptisms, records of members, and a list of inactive members. These records are browseable.

    There are also 18 volumes of Lima Presbyterian Church records from Howe, LaGrange County, Indiana, which includes Benevolent Fund Records, Deacons’ Records, Sessions Minutes and more, covering various years between 1833 and 1960. Again, not searchable, but the volumes’ titles will make browsing easier.

    The records for Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, which covers the 1950s to 1998, are not searchable either, but once can browse through rolls of members, communions, baptisms, confirmations, marriages and funerals by date.

    And, finally, for church records, we have the St. Joseph Catholic Church Directory of Dubois County, Indiana, which includes a history of the parish, photos of the current staff and committees, and a family photograph directory. It is searchable by keyword or name.

    The Manchester College (Wabash County, Indiana) Alumni Directory, 1947 is another nice addition. It contains an alumni directory, a list of four year graduates from Manchester College from 1900 to 1945, and a list of alumni from Mount Morris College, of Mount Morris, Ogle County, Illinois, which merges with Manchester College in 1932.

    Like the Manchester College Alumni Directory, the Topeka (Kansas) High School Sunflower, 1946 is name and keyword searchable. The Sunflower is typical of yearbooks of the era, with lots of photos and advertisements for local businesses. The program for the Spring Concert is an added feature.

    Finally, many items have been added to the Deborah Edison School Collection including Norwoodville School, Polk County, Iowa; Prairie High School, Lucas County, Iowa; Edwards School from Ogemaw County, Michigan; Maple Grove School and Ogilvie School from Osceola County, Michigan; School District 34, Traverse County, Minnesota; Guilford Union School, Chenango County, New York; Harpersfield School, Delaware County, New York; Wileytown School, Hartwick School, School Districts 7 and 12, and the State Normal School from Otsego County, New York; Raymond School, Niagara County, New York; Pardus School, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania; Plank Road School, Mercer County, Pennsylvania; Schortz School, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania; and Pumpkin Hill School, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Browse to view these school souvenirs under Other States Resources and use the search function at each to look for specific names.

    Thanks to everyone who gathers these items and allows us to scan them for all to use!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Family History Materials!

    Thursday, Dec 01, 2016

    We’ve added a number of new Family Resources to our Free Databases recently that you might find useful.

    Bredemeyer family history--Chronik und Genealogie der Familie und Sippe Bredemeyer (Chronicle and Genealogy of the Family and Clan Bredemeyer) was written by Karl Bredemeyer in 1966 and contains maps, coats of arms and photographs. It is in German but is keyword or name searchable.

    The Frederic Hyde fan chart is a large chart that has been in our collection for many years, but has now been scanned and posted for all to see. It is faded and is not indexed, so making it available to view is the best way for others to use it.

    Spencer Coffey has allowed us to post three of his genealogies: The Kilgore Family of Mount Sherman & Low Gap, Arkansas, Amos Burrel Lackey [1818-1896] of Low Gap, Arkansas, and The Spencers of Mount Sherman, Arkansas and its supplement, An Ancestral Supplement to the Spencers of Mount Sherman, Arkansas. These of these families were in Newton County, Arkansas and includes information on the Kilgore, Stevenson and Culpeper families. All of these can also be searched by name of keyword.

    Carl Mumford has provided permission for us to post his Mumford's of the New World: James Mumford, Sr. and John Mumford, Sr., which he compiled in 2016, and we were given permission to post Eugene Perry’s Grogan--A Record of the Grogan Family. Margaret McCarthy has also supplied McCarthy--McCarthy Family History, and Ralph Knee provided Knees in the Civil War, which includes biographical information on the descendants of Philip or George Knee, brothers who arrived from Prussia about 1763. All of these, also, are name and keyword searchable.

    We also have images and transcriptions of the William A. Holladay-Winona Pearl Litton and the James Montgomery-Esther Wood Family Bibles, as well as Nellie Doyle Prack’s My Life as I Remember It, containing the early reminiscences and activities in Chicago. 

    Brothers Ernst August Oehrling and Carl Heinrich Constantine Oehrling immigrated from Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany to Wisconsin, United States, in the 1840s. As the families grew and separated, letters were exchanged to maintain the familial connection. We are happy to be able to post these letters, as well as family journals, photographs, greeting cards and pedigree charts. While these records are not searchable, the material has been divided into sections to make browsing a breeze.

    We also have three documents from the Valentine family of Allen County, Indiana, including the marriage records for James Valentine and Janet (Nellie) Parks, and their daughter Elizabeth to Ralph Fast, as well as a sketch of the John Valentine homestead.

    Margo Butner has allowed us permission to post her Butner Welty Family file in Next Generation presentation format. Other surnames included are Camp, Clare, Gray, Jolliffe, Lindsay, Lyon, Stewart and Ward. Using the Next Generation features, one can search not only by name but by birth, christening, death and burial date and place.

    We also have updates to several previously posted collections, including an Addendum to “Kaess Ochiltree Swartz Family History” and Kaess/Dawson Family History Addendum, both from Brian Paul Kaess,

    Take a few minutes to browse these new collections to see what you might find!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Thankful

    Thursday, Nov 24, 2016

    by Delia

    Thanksgiving in America is devoted to giving thanks for all that we, personally and as a country, have. Through the years, we have all had many things for which to be thankful, from soldiers returning from war, financial difficulties averted or survived, to medical crises cured or endured. We are thankful for family, friends and home. But as a genealogist of many years (whose mother did family history research even earlier), there are things for which I am thankful, and I hope you will go to our Facebook page and express your thanks for genealogical blessings, too.

    Some of mine are:
    1. Records. When Mother was doing research in the 1940s and 1950s, not many records had been published. She could only go to court houses and go through records. Thank you to everyone who had gather records for publication.

    2. Indexes. Even when I started to do research in the 1970s, many older county histories were not indexed, and most of the 1860 and 1870 federal census had not been indexed. Thank you to everyone who has every worked on an index, either for something small, or for a large indexing project.

    3. Computers and the Internet. What a leap forward! Indexes available online! Optical character recognition (OCR)! Scanners to enable records to be examined! States, counties and private groups placing information online to be searched from home! Or from my phone! And speaking of which…

    4. Smart phones. Storage of information, ease of searching and free calls to court houses, libraries and long lost relatives!

    5. People. Friends and contacts that I’ve made within the genealogical community and all of the wonderful people that come to visit The Genealogy Center, either in person or virtually.

    6. USBs. So that I can save images of documents or copies onto a small device that I can carry with me.

    7. And, finally, that, after 33 years in the department, photocopies are still just ten cents! Plus the prints are on archival quality paper, so no nasty surprises in a few years!

    So, now it’s your turn. Let us know on Facebook what you are thankful for!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center