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  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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

  • One-on-One Consultations for February 2017

    Sunday, Jan 22, 2017

    Have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? The Genealogy Center is offering 30-minute personal research consultations with a staff member on some troublesome aspect of your research, from 2PM to 4PM on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 and Friday February 17, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your Consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    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

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Dido Elizabeth Belle

    Monday, Jan 16, 2017

    by Kay

    In February, we will be celebrating Black History Month. We always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, or advertisement to mark the month, 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, starting with this one.
    Sometimes when people see something, they don't actually look at it. Around 1779, a painting was finished which requires a closer look. Originally titled "The Lady Elizabeth Murray," it hung in Kenwood House, located in England - at least until 1990. Then someone looked at it and started to ask questions; I know I did when I first saw it. I remember saying to myself, "There's a story behind that painting."

    At first your eyes encounter a young white girl with a slight smile on her face. She’s seated on a bench, she has a ring of flowers on her head and a book on her lap. She is quiet. Then your eyes wander to the other girl in the portrait. This girl is not quiet. She is actually laughing, she's up to something, she's in motion; it appears that she has been caught in the act of standing up. She seems to be having fun. It’s almost as she has a secret and she’s not going to tell us what it is. And, she is black. Oh sure, there are other old paintings with black people in them, but there is a difference with this one. To me, this painting suggests the two girls are on equal footing; there is a shared affection between them. They are both dressed in the height of fashion in some very luxurious dresses and they are both also wearing pearls. This is more than just a painting of a slave and her mistress. This painting forces us to ask questions. Who are these two? Where is the black girl hurrying off to? Why is she pointing to her cheek, why does she have basket of fruit in her arms? Is the white girl gently holding her back or urging her onward?

    Here's what we know: This is a portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. At the time of this painting both Dido and Elizabeth were around 18 years old. They grew up together, were cousins, companions and friends. Dido and Elizabeth were left with their uncle, William Murray, the first Earl of Mansfield after their mothers died. They both seemed to have arrived on their uncle’s doorsteps around 1766 - separately. The big difference was that Dido was illegitimate and her mother was a black slave while Elizabeth's mother was white and married. It seems that the Earl had great affection for both of his nieces, making sure that they were both well cared for.

    It was during the time Dido lived in the Earl's household that he made some landmark judgements in England. You see not only was he a Lord, he was also Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. One of the cases which was brought before him was the Somersett Case (1772). He held that slavery had no basis in common law and had never been established by legislation in England, and therefore was not binding law. This case paved the way for ending slavery in England. Did Dido play a part in his decision? We will never know.

    "Belle," a movie loosely based on Dido’s, life was released in 2013. There are not too many facts out there about Dido's life, she left no journals or diaries that we know of. What we do know is she married and was the mother of three boys. And, we know she died at the age of 43. Sad to say, we can only visualize her life based on the lives of the people around her and an intriguing painting which was left behind. The portrait of the two girls now hangs in the Murray families Scottish residence, Scone Palace.

    For more about Dido, read Dido Elizabeth Belle by Fergus Mason and Belle: the Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne, or check out the movie, Belle.

    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.

    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 Family Resources

    Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016

    We have added a number of new free Family Resources!

    Linda Eder contributed Reverend Nathaniel Clark, Pioneer Preacher. Clark, the first pastor of the First Congregational Church in Elgin, Illinois, in 1833, traveled as a preacher in the area, establishing Sabbath Schools and temperance societies. This volume not only includes a biography for Clark, but also an alphabetical list of the places where he preached, with dates and scripture citation, Letters Written to the American Home Missionary Society from 13 March 1833 to 3 Sept 1838, and a list of funeral sermons he delivered, with the deceased’s name, date and scripture citation.

    Ann H. Emory has supplied Frederick Emory: Promise Unfulfilled. Frederick Emory was born in 1828 in Maryland, served in the Coast Guard, traveled to California during the gold rush, moving to Kansas during the contentious years in the last 1850s before joining the Confederate cause. He lived a quiet live there, dying at the Confederate Home in Missouri. This is a fascinating life told my an interested descendant.

    Harvey Edison Hicks was born Dec. 27, 1879, Tahlequah (Reservation), Oklahoma, son of Homer Hicks and Sylvia Ann Bogle though his father's family were pioneer settlers of Clay County, Indiana. He became an attorney in Brazil, Clay County, and served in several capacities in public service. We are pleased to have Harvey Edison Hicks’ Journal for 1932, in which he kept notes on his various legal activities for the year.

    “Holmes-Porter & Collateral Lineages” is a newsletter published by Paul D. Holmes, who kindly provided us permission to post volumes 1 through 4 (2013-2016). Each issue provides current family events, such as births and marriages, memories, Bible transcriptions, biographies, photos and more. We thank Mr. Holmes for his contribution, which should serve as an inspiration to anyone to create a family publication.

    Connie Jean Ramsey and Dennis McClurg have provided several publications for the Free Family Resources: Jones and Related Families, Volume IV: Jones Ancestors;
    Leland and Related Families, Volume II: Leland Ancestors; and  Ramsey and Related Families, Volume I: Ramsey Ancestors. All three detail the various lines of ancestors of Carol Jean Ramsey. Each volume provides an introduction and charts to explain how the fit together, and all are keyword searchable.

    Jim Reinhart provided us with his work Schindler: Meine Reise Fur Meine Kinder: Stefan und Anna Maria Schindler, which details the family from Germany to Indiana, and includes Civil War pension documents, photos, various records and details of various family connections.

    Finally, Family and Ancestors of Anna Adeline Johnson Wells details the family of “Addie’, who lived from 1865 to 1953, with details of her descendants. It, also, is keyword searchable. 

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New & Updated Records for Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana

    Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016

    We have added great information to our free Allen County, Indiana Resources page!

    For North Side High School, we have Class of 1956 Reunion Booklets for 2011 (55th Reunion) and 2016 (60th Reunion), Class of 1970 Reunion Booklets for 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 200, 2005, 2010 and 2015, as well as Key Club Booklets for 1967-1968, 1968-1969 and 1969-1970.

    We have added 12339 records to the Allen County Marriage Index, bringing the total number to 79715 records, and we’ve added 187,79 records to the Fort Wayne and Allen County Area Obituary Index, bringing the total to 722,375 obituaries.

    There is also an 1812 era map of Fort Wayne came from the cartographic collection of David Rumsey, which shows the three rivers, the Portage, the Wabash Trail, Wayne Trace and more early locations of interest to local historians.

    Log Cabins in Allen County, Indiana was a collection of 31 photographs that, at some point in the past, had been collected into a small scrapbook. No photographer is identified, nor is any information of when they were collected included, but each photo was loosely identified as to location, such as “Log Smoke House; Auburn Road,” “Detail of House Built by Eugene Corneille in 1861,” or “First Frame House Built In St. Vincent Settlement; Auburn Road,” but the images preserved and shared here are amazing.
    Log Cabin

    Finally, sever more Abstracts of title have been added: Fleck’s Subdivision in LaGro Reserve, Lot 8; Forest Park, Block 15, Lot 10; and Windsor Woods, Section II, Lot 80. As usual, these abstracts provide vital information, not only about the single piece of property described, but each will also reflect information concerning property in the area.

    Take time to browse through these great additions!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Holiday Closings

    Saturday, Dec 17, 2016

    by Delia

    We at The Genealogy Center love when you come to visit. We enjoy the research challenges you have and helping to solve them. But, we have to admit, we also love spending holiday time with family and friends. This year, since the holidays are on the weekends, our closings are a bit longer than usual, and we hope you understand.

    Like all Allen County Public Library locations, The Genealogy Center will be closed Friday, December 23rd through Monday December 26th. We will be open our regular hours before then, and will reopen on Tuesday, December 27th at 9 a.m.

    Also like all ACPL locations, we will close on Saturday, December 31st at 5 p.m., and will remain closed Sunday and Monday, January 1st and 2nd. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd, at 9 a.m., ready to help you address all of your research issues!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations - January 2017

    Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016

    Have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? The Genealogy Center is offering 30-minute personal research consultations with a staff member on some troublesome aspect of your research, from 2PM to 4PM on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 and Monday January 23, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your Consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    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

  • One-on-One Consultations - December 2016

    Monday, Nov 28, 2016

    Have a brick wall in your research? Would you like a greater understanding of some aspect of your research? The Genealogy Center is offering 30-minute personal research consultations with a staff member on some troublesome aspect of your research, from 2PM to 4PM on Wednesday December 7, 2016 and Monday December 19, 2016. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your Consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    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

  • Thanksgiving

    Monday, Nov 21, 2016

         Thanksgiving Day is often considered the most “genealogical” of holidays. Generations of family members gather together, remembering stories and enjoying treasured food traditions. Those of us with Pilgrim ancestors often like to remember their connections to Plymouth Colony on this day. Indeed, Thanksgiving remained a most New England holiday well into the mid-nineteenth century, and it only took hold slowly and cautiously elsewhere in the United States.
         The first Thanksgiving was observed in Indiana on December 7, 1837, when Governor Noah Noble issued a proclamation for its observance. Fort Wayne was still a frontier town, and while some of its New England settlers remembered the way the holiday was observed in their former home, they found the experience to be very different here.
         A glimpse of the difference can be seen in the letters of Hugh McCulloch, a native of Maine who headed the Fort Wayne Branch of the Indiana State Bank, and his fiancée, Susan Man. The two had gotten engaged earlier that year, and Susan, a school teacher, had returned to her home at Plattsburgh, New York, to make plans for their wedding and to visit with her family. That year, Susan enjoyed a huge gathering with extended relatives, while Hugh attended a church service without mentioning any special meal or celebration. Susan wrote of her feast, “Genl. Moore, the aged Father & Uncle sat at the head of the table, and between 40 & 50 relatives were seated at the same table.” (Susan Man to Hugh McCulloch, 2 December 1837, McCulloch Papers, Lilly Library, Indiana University). She made no mention of the menu, but she added, “After we had dined, his grandchildren gathered around his chair and while one played on the accordeon [sic], the other sang Thanksgiving hymns & anthems.” 
        Hugh, in his reply weeks later, appreciated the spirit of Susan’s celebration. “There is something in that day observed as it is in New England & some parts of N. York, which excites in my mind peculiar interest. The uniting of families & friends who have long been separated, the good feeling & liberality which seems to fill every breast have ever made me regard it as the best day of the year.” (Hugh McCulloch to Susan Man, 31 December 1837). Not until 1863 did Indiana join other northern states in a coordinated observance of the holiday, and it was only after the Civil War that families regularly feasted on that day.
         May your Thanksgiving be a genealogical one. 

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Additions to Our Military Heritage

    Sunday, Nov 13, 2016

    We have more additions to Our Military Heritage!

    For the Civil War, we have the service records for Isaac Allyn and Laban Gurley, both of Company F, 25th Indiana Infantry, the pension record of John Holbert, Company D, 2nd Tennessee Infantry (U.S.), who died at Flat Lick, Kentucky in March of 1862 which includes the Widow’s pension for his mother, Elizabeth, and the letters of William B. Parker, 2nd Michigan, May 1864 through April 1965. Most are to his wife, Polly, whom he left behind in Clinton County, Michigan. Also included at the letters to Polly from her brother, Alvin B. Wonsey, of the 27th Michigan.

    We also have the World War I letters of William Tursman of Chicago to June Beck in Goshen, Indiana.

    The Good Ol’ Days: Remember Our Time in Pearl Harbor and Between the Tours of Duty, by Frank John "Jack" Zwolinski, Jr. provides biographical information on his parents Frank, Sr., and Agnes Zubris Zwolinski, the family and Frank senior’s memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Battle History 473rd United States Infantry provides information on that unit’s experiences in Italy in 1945. It begins with a list of the unit’s men killed in action, along with their home addresses. Following are six chapters detailing the events of the campaign, a list of awards to the unit, messages from various commanding officers, and maps of the theater of operations.

    And we have the Fort Sam Houston, Texas Telephone Directory, December 1944. It includes phone numbers for the various units on the base, and the residents with their ranks, units, address and phone numbers.

    We thank all those who donated the materials so that we can bring them to you!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The Emergence of Lincoln: Because of or In Spite of his Hoosier Roots? A Lincoln Symposium

    Thursday, Nov 10, 2016

    In celebration of the bicentennial of Indiana statehood and the arrival of the Lincoln family in Indiana, historian William Bartelt, Dr. Brian Dirck, and Dr. Nicole Etcheson will present a program on "The Emergence of Lincoln: Because of or In Spite of his Hoosier Roots?"  Each speaker will briefly explore an aspect of Lincoln's Indiana experience:

    • William Bartelt, Lincoln historian, will speak on "The Impact of the Ohio River on Lincoln's Experience."
    • Dr. Brian Dirck, Anderson University, will present "Lincoln's Indiana Experience of Death and Mourning."
    • Dr. Nicole Etcheson, Ball State University, will discuss "Politics as a Pivot for Lincoln's Relationship with Indiana."

    The presentations will be followed by speakers' responses and questions from the audience.

    The Symposium will be held on Thursday, November 17, at 7:00 p.m., in Meeting Room A of the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne.  The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana and is free and open to the public.

    Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 7:00 pm

    Allen County Public Library, Main Library, Meeting Room A

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Indiana and Allen County Free Databases Additions

    Monday, Nov 07, 2016

    We have a few more additions to our Free Databases to share!

    Pioneer Families and Descendants of Tobin Township in Perry County, Indiana contains a list of the Heads of Households form the 1820 and 1830 censuses, then information on families in alphabetical order. Some of this material is searchable by name or keyword, but as many of the pages are handwritten, they are not included in the search. Browse for more information.

    We have the Lot 16 Abstract in the Deer Trail Addition in Marshall County, Indiana. The property was originally owned by William C. VanHorn in 1843, and the abstract lists the owners to Clarence and Marilyn Gay who purchased it from Francis and Delores Bergeron. As usual, the abstract is a fascinating read.

    We have three other Abstracts of Title, these from Allen County for (1) Lot 84 of Eliza Hanna’s Addition, (2) Lot 32 of Johnson’s Addition, and (3) for Range 11E Township 31N Section. These, and many more abstracts, are linked on the following website.

    A commencement booklet for Fort Wayne’s Central Grammar School for 1894 is now available. The booklet lists and contains photographs of the graduates and the teachers.

    And, finally, we have a 1935 Map of the Fort Wayne Business District. The map covers the area of the city bordered by Clinton, Lewis, Harrison and Main Streets, and notes the location of each business.

    Have fun searching and browsing these collections!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center