printer icon Print this Page
A A A

This Website was paid for by - Auer Endowment -

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Our Blog

Blog Search

Search our genealogy center's blog

Categories

Please select a category below

Meet Our Librarians Expand your search with our team.

More

Make a Donation You can help with the growth of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Make a Donation
  • Fmily History Month Week 4: Nancy Hanks, Homeschoolers & Midnight Madness!

    Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017

    Week 4 of Family History Month 2017 is right around the corner! Mark your calendars for:

    Sunday, October 22, 2017 – 2:00 PM – Meeting Room A
    The Search for Nancy Hanks: A Historical Wild Goose Chase, Mitochondrial DNA, and the Maternal Ancestry of Nancy Hanks Lincoln - Richard Hileman
    Abraham Lincoln was conspicuously silent about the family of his mother, Nancy Hanks. Her ancestry has been the subject of intense interest and has been hotly contested. In 1909, false names for her parents were carved into the granite of the Lincoln Birthplace Memorial. The most recent biographies of Lincoln still give mistaken accounts of her ancestry. The Nancy Hanks Lincoln mtDNA Study and new historical evidence reveal the surprising truth Lincoln concealed about his mother's family and ancestry. Richard Hileman, a retired trial lawyer and avocational genealogist, will give this presentation sponsored by the Friends of the Allen County Public Library.

    Monday, October 23, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Using Vital Records & Their Substitutes – Delia Cothrun Bourne
    Vital records are the Holy Grail of genealogical sources. However, birth and death records were not commonly recorded until the 20th Century, and even the availability of marriage records depends on the locale and culture. This presentation will explain what can be found in a vital record and what other sources may be used when the official record is missing.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Evaluating Published Genealogies and Family Histories – John Beatty
    When reading a family history, how do you know whether the information it contains is valid? This presentation will offer some critical tools for evaluating published genealogies and family histories, providing a framework for testing the information they contain against other sources.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Using FamilySearch for Your Family History – Melissa Tennant
    Learn the search techniques that can maximize your FamilySearch.org experience and discover the millions of records available on this free website.

    Thursday, October 26, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Discovery Center & The Genealogy Center
    Family History Morning for Homeschoolers – Allison DePrey Singleton
    Many parents want their children to be interested in their families’ histories, but fostering that interest may be a challenge. The Genealogy Center can engage parents and children alike with a Family History Morning. It is a program with one classroom-style lesson and guided research time to explore the collection. Each child will receive a worksheet to complete, tailored to his or her age, experience, and grade level.

    9:00 AM – 9:10 AM – Arrival, Getting to the Discovery Center – 2nd Floor Main Library, The Genealogy Center
    9:10 AM – 10:30 AM – Beginning Genealogy Program: Online and Printed Sources – Discovery Center
    10:30 AM – 10:40 AM – Break
    10:40 AM – 11:50 AM – Individual research with assistance from librarians
    11:50 AM – 12:00 PM – Sharing coolest discoveries and prizes

    HomeschoolerBlog2017 
    Friday, October 27, 2017 – 6:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight – Discovery Center & The  Genealogy Center
    Midnight Madness Extended Research Hours
    Ever wished to be locked in the library at night with all of the goodies at your fingertips? Well, stay up late with The Genealogy Center staff for extra research time and a little bit of learning!
    6:30 PM – Be Prepared! – Delia Cothrun Bourne
    After years spent on your family history, have you considered what will become of your research after you can no longer continue? Get some simple ideas for organizing your material for a future donation.
    7:30 PM – What’s in the Collection? Tour and Introduction to The Genealogy Center Collection – Allison DePrey Singleton
    Join us on a brief tour of The Genealogy Center where you will be introduced to our massive physical collection. This tour will give you a better idea of where to look for that fantastic book you located in our catalog. *Please be prepared to stand and walk for half an hour.
    8:30 PM – Who Went Where and Did What: A Look at Directories – Curt Witcher
    This presentation will highlight various directories in The Genealogy Center collection and the types of data one may find.

    Midnight-Madness

    Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 10:00 AM – Discovery Center
    Why Should I Look at Revolutionary War Pension Records? – Melissa Tennant
    Pension records are a valuable source for learning more about your Revolutionary War ancestor. Understand Revolutionary War pension records better by discovering how to access these files and what information is available in the documents.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • What's Next In Family History Month 2017?

    Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017

    It’s time to plan for Week 3 of Family History Month 2017! Mark your calendars for:

    Sunday, October 15, 2017 – 1:00 PM – Discovery Center
    Genealogical Research in Colonial New England – John Beatty
    The New England states hold some of the earliest and most complete records of any American region. Many Americans can trace their ancestors to the Mayflower or to other early immigrant ships. This presentation will feature numerous records available, both in print and online, that will help you explore the history of this area.

    Monday, October 16, 2016 – 6:30 PM – Computer Classroom
    GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program, Part 2 – Kay Spears
    Explore a FREE option to Adobe Photoshop. We will look at GIMP and the tools which may be used to change, restore, and touch up your old photographs. First session was on Monday, October 9, 2017. There will be hands-on time, so bring a USB drive containing your photos and be prepared to have some fun.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Migration Routes & Trails Across America – Delia Cothrun Bourne
    Learn the routes of your roots—where your ancestors traveled and how they got there! This presentation will discuss major migration trails and sources to learn more about them.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 – 7:00 PM – Meeting Room B
    Computer Interest Group Meeting – Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana
    Attend this meeting to discuss your technological discoveries and issues.

    Thursday, October 19, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Explore the Life of a Parent or Grandparent – Sara Allen
    This session will include a case study on how to research the life of a person who was alive in the early twentieth century, such as a parent or grandparent. We will use timelines and checklists, as well as delve into how to use online databases, print materials, and records in archives and court houses to complete the project.

    Friday, October 20, 2017 – 2:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Digitization in The Genealogy Center – Cynthia Theusch
    Take a virtual tour of the equipment in The Genealogy Center that one may use to scan documents. Five different types of machines will be featured.

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 – Anytime from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM – The Genealogy Center
    Genealogy Scavenger Hunt: Family Fun in The Genealogy Center – Allison DePrey Singleton
    Scavenger Hunt
    Have you heard of The Genealogy Center but haven’t had the chance to check it out? This is your chance to introduce you and your family to what The Genealogy Center has to offer in a fun and unique way. The scavenger hunt will show you different aspects of the Center while teaching how to get started in family history research. You are welcome to complete the scavenger hunt anytime from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. There are prizes for completing the hunt.

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 10:00 AM – Discovery Center
    Finding Johnny Reb: Researching Your Confederate Soldier – Delia Cothrun Bourne
    Locating information on a Confederate soldier can be difficult, but not impossible. Explore some of the standard and not so standard sources that are available to assist in your search.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Family History Month Continues!

    Thursday, Oct 05, 2017

     Week two of Family History Month 2017 has almost arrived and it’s time to mark your calendars for:

    Sunday, October 8, 2017 – 1:00 PM – Discovery Center
    Immigration Process Before Entering in the United States – Cynthia Theusch
    Participants will learn what their ancestors experienced at Castle Garden, and later Ellis Island, before being allowed into the United States. This part of the immigration experience can shed new light on our ancestors’ lives.

    Monday, October 9, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Computer Classroom
    GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program, Part 1 – Kay Spears
    Explore a FREE option to Adobe Photoshop. We will look at GIMP and the tools which may be used to change, restore, and touch up your old photographs. The second session will be on Monday, October 16, 2017. There will be hands-on time; so bring your photos and be prepared to have some fun.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discover Center
    A Rare and Valuable Gem: PERSI – Melissa Tennant
    This presentation will highlight where one can find the “Periodical Source Index” (PERSI), the most comprehensive subject index to genealogical periodicals. Discover the terrific indexing and images available at the site, how to get copies of articles cited in the periodical index, and the dramatic things that are happening with PERSI at FindMyPast.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017 – 7:00 PM – Meeting Room A
    Resources for Researchers: Today and Tomorrow – Curt Witcher
    Hear about new materials—print and virtual—in The Genealogy Center as well as shifting strategies for enhancing access to family and local history resources wherever they may be. The focus will be knowing about the resources available and how to access them.

    Thursday, October 12, 2017 – 6:30 PM – Discovery Center
    Finding Pre-1850 Era Ancestors – Sara Allen
    We know how challenging it can be to trace pre-1850 ancestors due to the lack of data in the census and the scarcity of sources identifying women and children during this time frame.  This session will explain cluster research and the use of sources such as tax records, different census records, and probate records to find these elusive ancestors.  
    Speakeasies
    Friday, October 13, 2017, 7:00PM – 9:00 PM – HT2, 10212 Chestnut Plaza Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46814.
    Speakeasies, Juice Joints, and Blind Pigs: Prohibition History and YOU! – Allison DePrey Singleton
    How did Prohibition affect producers of alcohol, drinking establishments, and the Average Joe who wanted a cocktail?  Learn about the history of Prohibition, how it affected Hoosier producers and establishments, and sample a few period appropriate cocktails made from better stuff than Bathtub Gin!  Grab your fedora and feather boa, and dress the part to learn, have some giggle water, and be over the moon. Register for this event at Eventbrite.

    Saturday, October 14, 2017 – 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM – Discovery Center
    Beginner’s Day – Delia Cothrun Bourne
       9:30 AM – 10:30 AM – Beginning Your Family History Exploration
    Join us as we discuss beginning steps and sources, such as census, vital records, and more!
       11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Continuing Your Family History Exploration
    Explore more useful sources from the court house, as well as military records and passenger lists. Learn the importance of documenting what you find and how to verify information.
        1:30 PM – 2:30 PM – Introduction to Ancestry & Family Search
    The largest subscription database and the largest free database! Discover the basics of using these two great sources for family history research!
       3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Other Online Sources
    Now that you have been introduced to the big online sites, meet some of the other subscription sites The Genealogy Center offers, as well as our own free databases!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Family History Begins Sunday, October 1st!

    Thursday, Sep 28, 2017

    The Genealogy Center has made Family History Month one of the highlights of the year for more than a decade, and 2017 continues this tradition with a slate of exciting events that will expand your knowledge base and pique your interest. Here's an overview of the first week:

    Sunday, October 1, 2017, 2:00 PM, Discovery Center
    An Afternoon of Storytelling – Curt Witcher & Aaron Smith
    Spend an afternoon enjoying a variety of stories. Hear firsthand the power of story and how we can help each other tell the stories of our lives. It may just inspire you to tell your stories!
     
    Monday, October 2, 2017, 6:30 PM, Discovery Center
    Beginning Genealogy in the 21st Century – Delia Cothrun Bourne
    Learn the importance of organizing information you already know and learn how the data in records helps make a more complete picture of your family. Also explored in this session will be the most important online sources – free and subscription – available in The Genealogy Center.
     
    Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 6:30 PM, Discovery Center
    Pennsylvania Genealogy: Doing Research in the Keystone State – John Beatty
    Pennsylvania is an important state for genealogical research. Many families entered through Philadelphia and lived in the outlying counties before migrating to other colonies and states. This introductory-level presentation explores the basic digital and published sources for Pennsylvania, including vital records, religious congregational records, land, military, tax, and probate records, and secondary sources.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 6:30 PM, Discovery Center
    Top 10 Historical Records Collections on Ancestry.com – Melissa Tennant
    This presentation will highlight the Historical Records collections available on Ancestry.com. Advice on how to effectively use the largest genealogical website will benefit your efforts to find the most information about your ancestors.

    Thursday, October 5, 2017, 6:30 PM, Discovery Center
    DNA Interest Group Meeting – Sara Allen
    Have you done a DNA test for genealogical purposes? Do you completely understand the results you received? Do you need advice in interpreting your results? Are you interested and wonder what the best test is for you? Come to the DNA & Genealogy Interest Group Meeting to share and learn from each other!

    Friday, October 6, 2017, 2:00 PM, Discovery Center
    Repeating Recipes: Food and Family History – Allison DePrey Singleton
    Food can be directly related to remembrance. An old family recipe can illicit memories of family gatherings, holidays, and/or a particular family member. This presentation will explore why family recipes are important to family history and how to preserve them for future generations.

    Saturday, October 7, 2017, 9:15 AM – 4:00 PM, Meeting Rooms A, B, C
    A Day with CeCe Moore
    See https://www.acgsi.org/event.php for more information and to register.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Closed for the Day: Friday, September 29, 2017

    Saturday, Sep 23, 2017

    The Genealogy Center, as all Allen County Public locations, will be closed all day Friday, September 25, 2017 for Staff Development Day. We will reopen for regular hours on Saturday, September 30th, at 9 AM.
    Untitled

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Help Us Plan for the Future!

    Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017

    As the Allen County Public Library undergoes the strategic planning process, we are beginning to seek out information. We will be asking a lot of questions to people and organizations who use our libraries and services, as well as those who don’t. We are also asking for your feedback on matters about the larger community that we serve.  We want to know what kind of community you want to live in.

    The Genealogy Center's community is much larger than the boundaries of Allen County, but we need the input of our long-distance community also. Please take a few minutes today to take the survey, and let us know your thoughts! The survey closes September 17, 2017, so take this opportunity now!
    Onlinesurvey004

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for September 2017

    Friday, Aug 18, 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, September 12, 2017 and Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info 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!

    The Genealogy Center, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • A Tintype by Any Other Name – Is Still a Tintype.

    Monday, Aug 14, 2017

    by Kay

    Ah, the lowly tintype.
    While they may not be as rare as an ambrotype or as dynamic as a daguerreotype, their importance to the history of photography cannot be ignored. Why? The tintype was an affordable method of recording history, and it opened up vistas in the United States like no other photography method before. You may know the term tintype by other names and there is a reason for that. Maybe you have heard them referred to as melainotypes or ferrotypes. Well, either name is ok to use. Why all the different names? In 1852 Adolphe Alexander Martin invented the tintype, but he didn’t patent it. Early photography was continually growing and reinventing itself. In 1854, a chemistry professor from Kenyon College in Ohio, Hamilton Smith, was working with a process he called melainotype – he patented that process in 1856. Around the same time a rival manufacturer, Victor Griswold, came up with a similar product which he had named ferrotype. When Griswold took out his patent in the U.S, he used the name tintype. In the United Kingdom it was still the ferrotype.

    The tintype was a variation of the ambrotype, but instead of a glass plate, a thin sheet of iron (ferro) was used. This inexpensive sheet of iron proved to be less fragile than either the ambrotype or daguerreotype.

    Now, let’s take a look at some of our tintypes. And, just so you know, I have no idea who any of the people are in the images. The most we can hope for is to establish approximate dates for our tintypes. Before we begin our examination of our tintypes, remember that we have the patent date of 1856 as a starting point. The height of their popularity was between 1860 and 1870, but tintypes continued to be used long after the 1880s.

    The first tintype we are looking at is an earlier one and I’m basing that on two things: the clothing the people are wearing and the fact that the tintype is in a metal frame. When tintypes were first produced, they were encased in frames just like an ambroytype or daguerreotype. Later on these frames became paper. There were even special tintype albums created for inserting the photograph. The couple in this photograph are wearing clothing which can be dated between 1863 and 1865. She is wearing a dress with an obvious hoop skirt, her sleeves are narrow at the shoulders and fuller as it reaches her wrist. Her hair is parted down the middle and she is wearing some sort of headdress. She may have curls on the back of her head or that could be part of a headdress, it’s too dark to tell. The man is wearing a long jacket which was popular during the Civil War. Combining the clothing with the frame of the tintype leaves me to conclude this was taken between 1863 and 1865.



    The next photograph is of a woman and a baby. As you can tell this photograph has been damaged over time. The glass was broken and there was some kind of grunge covering the frame. After removing the glass, it became obvious how much the glass protected the image. The left side of the image, which had been covered by glass, remained in pretty good shape. There is the beginning of corrosion where the image was exposed. This is also an early tintype. Based on what the woman is wearing – the bonnet, lace cap, and bell shaped sleeves – I would say this image was taken between 1863 and 1865.

    The next two photographs I have grouped together, however I’m only guessing that they belong together. The reasons I believe they are a couple is because of the backdrop, the chair and the carpet are the same. I’m dating the photographs between 1883 and 1884. Those dates don’t allow for much wiggle room, but I’m basing my guess on the woman and her amazing bustle. For some inexplicable reason, the bustle was popular for a long time, from approximately 1869 to 1890. All through that time the bustle was constantly changing and it can be categorized into the early, middle, and late bustle periods. If you have a woman who is wearing a bustle in one of your photographs, you can come awfully close to pinning down a date. Of course, this all depends on how current her fashion sense was. She could always be lagging ten years behind current fashion styles. There are numerous fashion plate books which can be used as references, Godey, Journal des Demoiselles, and Revue de La Mode. Our woman’s dress has a high collar, fitted bodice, and a bustle which is high in the back. The sleeves of her dress do not have the little puff at the shoulder which became popular in the late 1880s and eventually morphed into mutton sleeves. While her hair isn’t as elaborately coiffed as was popular during this period, her bangs are frizzed. Men are a little harder to place in a time period based on their clothing. But I believe this man could fit into the 1883-84 time period

    Now for some interesting images. The first one is of a man and woman and it appears to have been taken outside, not in front of a fake backdrop. The couple are leaning against a fallen tree. He has a bowler hat, which was popular in the 1880s. He also is wearing a tie, not a bowtie and the knot in the tie is small. She has a hat with giant feathers. Her bodice is fitted and she appears to be sitting on her bustle. I’m going to place this image sometime between 1880 and 1884, but because the top of her shoulders do not have any puff, I’m not placing it later. I’m not sure why this image was cut into its shape. Was there someone else in the photograph they cut out or did they have some kind of odd shaped frame? I guess we will never know.

    The next interesting image is of a baby. The reason I picked this image is because when you look at old photos don’t take everything at face value. Look closely at the cloth behind the baby – do you see the bottom of a dress? Now look at the top – do you see the shoulders peaking from behind the dark cloth. I am assuming that is the mother standing behind the baby holding it up. Rather innovative.

    Let’s talk a little about the traveling photographer. Once it was discovered that the tintype process was so much easier than the others, the business of the traveling photographer appeared. These people traveled the country, over land and water taking numerous photographs of people and the scenery. Some even traveled the big rivers and even had large houseboats with all the conveniences of a studio. Often they were called Professors. These photographers could reach people who were not able to visit cities where photography studios were available. This brings me to our next group of photos.

    When going through the photographs I started to notice some similarities. Look at these three photographs – notice anyone familiar? Yes, the guy with the mustache and cocky hat is in all three photographs. And, I might add, with different women. Could mean nothing, they could be related – who knows. These three photographs along with a number of others all have the same feel about them. I suspect they were all taken by a traveling photographer, maybe at a fair. Notice in the one photograph our mustache man is seated in a fringe chair. Well, that fringed chair was a widely used chair with a sliding back and could be purchased for $15.00. It was widely used until around the late 1870s when it lost its popularity, however traveling photographers still used it. Those bustles the different women are wearing lead me to think these photos were taken between 1883 and 1885. And, the mystery of who the man with the mustache is will continue on.

    Now on to the last image. And, who said our ancestors didn’t have a sense of humor. I know you’ve seen something similar at fairs and exhibits that are still around today. You stick your head into a hole behind a bad painting of a guy lifting weights, take the photo and everyone has a laugh. Well, I bet there are some interesting things you may not know about this “drop” cloth. There is a patent. Yes, someone took out a patent for the "Photo-caricature backgrounds." That someone was a man by the name of Cassius Coolidge, who also went by the name Kassius Koolidge and signed some of his art works “Kash.” The patent number is 149,724 and it’s a page long. Included with the patent is an illustration which shows just how to go about putting someone's head through a hole. The interesting thing about the patent is that in the sketch is a drawing of some kind of little animal, probably a dog. When Mr. Coolidge presented his patent, he also presented 158 drawings which were to be used and I am guessing that the backdrop in our photo is one of those. There is a patent number of 23 on our photo and a date of April 14, 1874, which is when Mr. Coolidge’s patent was granted. There is also that strange little dog or cat in this image. I have seen several tintypes with comic backgrounds and a number of them have that strange will animal in them. I suspect that the ones which have that particular little animal in them were Coolidge’s design. I am assuming a photographer would have to purchase copies of Coolidge's backdrops. I’m guessing that this photograph was taken between 1875 and 1890. Oh by the way, you may have seen some other famous pieces of art created by Cassius Coolidge – the Dogs Playing Poker series. You just never know what you’re going to find when you look at old photos.

    Sources used:
    Photographs Archival Care and Management by Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Fiane Vogt-O’Connor
    The American Tintype by Floyd Rinhart, Marion Rinhart & Robert W. Wagner

    Hairstyles, 1840-1900 by Maureen A. Taylor
    Bonnets and Hats, 1840-1900 by Maureen A. Taylor
    More Dating Old Photographs, 1840-1929 by Maureen A. Taylor
    Godey, Journal des Demoiselles and Revue de La Mode fashion plates
    C.M. Coolidge, Process of Taking Photographic Pictures patent No. 149,724
    George Eastman Museum, https://eastman.org/
    PhotoTree, http://www.phototree.com/

     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • A Grave Matter in Indiana

    Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

    Cemeteries tell us much about who came before us. The size, shape and documentation vary by religious groups, time period, and location, but all cemeteries are important outdoor museums. Jeannie Regan-Dinius, Director of Special Initiatives for the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, will discuss the state of cemeteries in Indiana, what is being done at various levels to protect and restore them, and what we can do to help. Join us for this informative program on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 10:00AM in the Discovery Center!

    For more information, see the brochure.

    To register for this free event, call 260-417-5462, or send an email.

     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for August 2017

    Sunday, Jul 16, 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 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info 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!

    The Genealogy Center, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Digging Into a Daguerreotype

    Thursday, Jul 06, 2017

    by Kay

    I think it’s always a thrill to find objects you’ve only read about – to actually be able to look at them close up. This is what is happening as I continue to explore a wonderful box of donated photographs. In my previous article, I talked about the ambrotypes which were part of the donation. This time I am going to talk about the grand-daddy of photographs, the daguerreotype. Of course there aren’t any identifying marks or accompanying papers which would tell us who the man is in our daguerreotype. The best we can do is to figure out an approximate date of the photograph.

    When trying to date old photographs it is sometimes important to know the history behind that particular method of photography. So, here’s a quick history of the daguerreotype. The daguerreotype is one of the first widely used methods of photography. It is named after the man who perfected it in 1839: Louis-Jacques-Mande’ Daguerre. One of the reasons for its popularity was that upon it being presented to the French government the process was declared “free to the world.” There were of course other people involved in the discovery of the process and a man in England by the name of William Henry Fox Talbot who had invented the calotype process. Talbot prevented his invention from mass production by copyrighting it. In later years his invention would be the prototype for modern film – but that’s another story. Anyway, even though the process for the daguerreotype had been around for a while, most historians and camera buffs point to the date of 1839 as the beginning of daguerreotypes. The daguerreotype retained its popularity from the late 1850s to the early 1860s, when cheaper methods such as the tin-type came along. How do you know when you have a daguerreotype? Simple – they are shiny, very shiny. In fact, a lot of the time you have to do some angling and tilting of the photograph to see the image. A daguerreotype “plate” is made with a highly polished silver-coated copper plate. Sometimes there is an almost 3-D feel about an image created using the daguerreotype process. If you have trouble distinguishing between an ambrotype, tin-type and daguerreotype remember, the daguerreotype is the only one which has a mirror-like quality about it. 

    caseOnce again when we try to establish an image date, we must consider the entire artifact, not just the image itself. Let’s start with the case our image is housed in. Early photography was a busy time. There were tons of accessories which cropped up and most of those accessories had patents, so there are actual dates which can be used as a starting point. I’m going to throw out two dates – 1856 and 1859. Just what about these dates are going to help me arrive at my conclusion? Well, I’ll tell you. In 1856 a patent was approved for hidden metal hinges in photography cases. Then in 1859 a process for molded thermoplastic Union cases was patented. I bet you thought plastic was a modern invention. Wrong. Anyway, the photographic case in our collection does not have the hinges nor is it made out of the thermoplastic. This means our case is older than 1856. Our case was made first by making a wooden box, then gluing really thin embossed leather to it. The leather was probably from a sheep. The hinging mechanism on our case is made by gluing strips of heavier leather to the outside and inside of the case – this hinge piece is called an “inside-outside back”.  While the embossing on our case may appear pretty elaborate, it is nothing compared to later cases. There is also a tiny little hook and eye-like fastening used to shut the case. Sometimes cases had two of these little fastenings.

    When the case is opened, the one side is covered with padded embossed red velvet. Red was the most popular color, but not the only one used.  The use of embossed velvet became popular after 1840. On the other side of the case is the photograph. In our case there is the daguerreotype, then the matte, the cover glass, preserver, and a frame of velvet covered cardboard. All of this, along with some glue, created quite a tight fit. By the way, a preserver is a thin pliable sheet of brass. The early ones were embossed but not as ornate as later ones. The preserver was a standard way of sealing the daguerreotype in the United States from around 1847 on. 

    Even with all of the velvet, embossed brass and leather, our case would be considered simple, which is another reason for placing the date of the case as an early one. Here’s the tricky part – I’m going to date the case between 1848-1855; but does that mean the photograph is from the same time period? Not necessarily. People in the 1800s did the same thing as 21st century people, they switched frames. You have a picture frame you like, you use it for different photographs. However, after closely examining our case and photo, I strongly suspect that this particular photo is in its original case.  The fit is still tight and doesn’t appear to have been disturbed.

    Something else which you may run across, occasionally: photographers embedded their signatures in the embossed covers of the cases, in tricky little spots. Sometimes they would write their names backward and blend it in with the foliage of the design. I pulled out my handy dandy magnifying glass but alas could not find any tricksy photographer signature. Another photographer trick was to place some kind of identification behind the photo. Of course, the only way to see if there is something there is to take the artifact apart – we will not be doing that.

    manMaybe we can find more clues in the photograph of the man. Before I get started on my clues I will say this, while the photograph is a pretty nice image, the contrast between light and dark is limited. It would be nice to have an image in which I could see every minute detail, but alas, ‘twas not to be. Here is what I have. I have a frowny-faced man with fiery, light-colored eyes and longish hair. The fiery eyes was my interpretation of this stern man. In fact, I found him to be really quite fascinating and suspect he might have been quite dynamic. If only we knew who he was. Anyway, let’s look at his hair. He has rather long hair, which was still popular in the 1850s. He also has what appears to be sideburns, but not what I would call mutton-chops (think Chester A. Arthur). Mutton-chops became more popular in the 1860s onward. He may have a light dusting of whiskers, or that might be an imperfection caused by polishing the daguerreotype.  I’m always a little leery of using hairstyles for exact dating; you just never know what someone will do to their hair. Another place to look for clues in photographs is the clothing. Well, in this particular photograph we have a slight problem. As I mentioned before, the black and white contrast in this photograph is a little off. Because of that I cannot make out the details of his coat. I cannot tell what the buttons look like or what kind of lapels his jacket has. The only thing I have to work with is his shirt, collar, and cravat (tie).  I will focus on the collar and cravat. The collar is a stand up collar with a wide gap, which was popular in the late 1840s. The cravat appears to be a wrap-around and tied in the front, but not as intricate as the cravats of the early 1800s.  In the later 1850s, the collars begin to be turned down – at least Prince Albert’s were turned down.  I can also discern that he is holding a book in his hands, however I haven’t a clue as to what kind of book it is or whether it means anything or maybe it’s just a photographer’s prop.

    After putting all my clues together, the fact that this is a daguerreotype (after 1839), the early leather case combined with the high collar and cravat which he is wearing indicates to me this photograph was probably taken sometime between 1848 and 1855. Not very exact, but that’s about as close as I can come. One more thing - I learned an awful lot about early photographic cases.

    Sources used:
    http://www.phototree.com/
    https://maureentaylor.com/
    https://www.si.edu/ (Smithsonian)
    https://www.vam.ac.uk/ (Victoria and Albert Museum)

    Floyd and Marion Rinhart. American Miniature Case Art, published 1969
    Diane VanSkiver Gagel. Windows on the Past, published 2000
    William E. Leyshon. Photographs from the 19th Century, 2001
    Bates and Isabel Barrett Lowry. The Silver Canvas, Daguerreotype Masterpieces from the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998
    Paul K. Berg. Nineteenth Century Photographic Cases and Wall Frames, 2003


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Researching Crispin Fuller

    Thursday, Jun 22, 2017

    by John

    Not all work with genealogical records is confined strictly to the pursuit of one’s own family history. Sometimes records that fall under the heading of “genealogical” are also of interest to the antique collector and dealer. My wife is a Certified Estate Specialist and works as an agent for selling personal property through estate sales. She recently offered for sale an exquisite Regency sterling silver tea service, and from hallmarks on the silver she was able to determine that it was made in London in 1814 by Crispin Fuller. Who was Crispin Fuller, she asked me. The answer, at least at first, was not altogether clear cut.
    Crispin_Fuller_silver[1]
    My wife did a preliminary search using Google, as any researcher would. There, online, were numerous references to Fuller’s work being sold at auctions, being offered for sale, mostly in English galleries, and listings of a few pieces on display in museums for its fine quality. However, very little appeared about Crispin Fuller the man or the artist, despite the acclaim he seems to enjoy among silver collectors. (Many of his pieces sell for more than $4,000). Books did not prove especially helpful. Montague Howard’s 1903 work, Old London Silver, available digitally, contained only a passing reference to Fuller with a depiction of his hallmark.

    Fortunately, the wealth of online genealogical sources more than compensates for the lack of biographical information about Crispin Fuller in print. Searching Find My Past, we find Crispin’s birth and baptism on 4 December and 27 December 1755 at St. John the Evangelist Church, Westminster, London, the son of Richard and Sarah Fuller.
    Crispin_Fuller_baptism[1]
    From Ancestry, we discover that he married at St. Andrew’s Church, Holborn, on 5 October 1781, Sarah Clarke.
    Crispin_Fuller_marriage[1]
    He was buried at St. Luke’s Church, Finsbury, on 19 October 1824, aged 69, and at least three children, Richard, Peter, and Esther, were baptized there between 1787 and 1792, with a likely third son, Jeremiah, born in 1798 at an unknown location.
    Crispin_Fuller_burial[1]

    Where and how was Crispin apprenticed, and how did he become a master silversmith? These questions are less easily answered. Crispin appears as a master goldsmith at Windsor Court, London, in 1803 when he agreed to take James Shallis as an apprentice (“U.K., Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures, 1710-1811, Ancestry.com). However, Crispin does not himself appear as an apprentice. English taxpayers show Crispin paying taxes variously at Cripplegate Without, Dowgate, and Farringdon Within, all in London, between 1798 and 1824 (“London, England, Land Tax Records,” 1692-1932,” Ancestry.com). Pigot’s London Directories show him at 3 Windsor-court, Monkwell Street, between 1822 and 1825.

    The above is only a fraction of what can be found in English records, doing only a preliminary search on a silversmith with an unusual name. More digging in English archival records would likely yield more clues. These records have value to more than just the genealogist. They enhance our understanding of history and art.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for July 2017

    Monday, Jun 12, 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, July 11, 2017 and Thursday July 20, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info 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!

    The Genealogy Center, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • My Adventures with Ambrotypes

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    By Kay

    I have been going through some old photographs which are part of a donation. What treasures I've found! I am going to talk about three of those treasures in this article. At first I didn't notice anything different about these photographs and the tintypes surrounding them. Then I picked one of them up and looked at it closely. It was an ambrotype! I was very excited! I became even more excited when I spotted two more. Not only was I looking at three ambrotypes, they were all in pretty good shape. “Wait a minute! Wait a minute!” you shout. “What’s an ambrotype?” Glad you asked. Without going into copious amounts of detail, here are the basics. An ambrotype is a wet collodion negative on glass. Different photographers used different techniques when creating these. Remember the days before digital cameras? There used to be things called negatives. We used to take those negatives to photo shops and those photo shops would develop those negatives, put them on paper and give them back to us.  Well, that’s not an ambrotype. However, think of that negative if it was on a piece of treated glass. Ambrotypes were not transferred to paper; inventors hadn’t quite reached that plateau. What usually happened was that a dark lacquer/varnish was but on the back. This allowed the negative-looking image to appear as a positive. Most ambrotypes are reversed laterally; which means they are like your reflection in the mirror - reversed. But not all. Sometimes the ambrotype was painted on the other side. Some were varnished on the face and some were sandwiched between glasses. When looking at an ambrotype you need to examine carefully to see which side has the emulsion. Ambrotypes became pretty popular for a short time. They were a cheaper than a daguerreotype, but as you might guess, they were extremely fragile.
    OldestGirl

    sickgirl
    boy
    On to my three ambrotypes and my attempt to establish a time period for them. But before I continue my adventure, a word of warning. Treat an ambrotype as an artifact – all of it. This artifact includes not only the glass image, but the mat, preserver (foil strip), and the case it is in. A careful examination should be done. Measurements, description and the condition it’s in should all be compiled. In this case all the images were scanned, front and back, then put away - more on that later. All further examination of these three images was done by using my TIFF scans, not the fragile artifacts.

    Problems right away. There wasn’t anything on any of my ambrotypes which indicated who these people were. I could not find any photographer information. There was nothing, except the ambrotypes. So I have named them Unidentified Teenage Girl, Unidentified Young Girl, Unidentified Young Boy.  I know, I know, I’m going out on a limb.
    girlChair
    I immediately jumped to the conclusion that these people were related. I don’t know why I did because the only provable connection between them was that the ambrotypes were in the same box together. But when I did some comparison of the three, I did find some slight connections.  The mat on two of them is the same and very similar to the mat on the Unidentified Teenage Girl. The foil strips are all slightly different. I also noticed the chair in each one. I believe that is the same chair in each one of the photographs, even though it is shot at different angles. So, what does that mean? What that means to me is that these three young people were maybe related, knew each other or used the same photographer. I will be honest, when I look at their faces I don't see any resemblance between them. My guess is that they are probably related, but I cannot prove it.

    The adventure continues – trying to establish a date. Remember when trying to date photographs, everything has to be taken into consideration.

    I started with the history of the ambrotype technique. In 1850, Frederick Scott Archer introduced the wet plate collodion process. He did not take out a patent on it. Then in 1854 James Ambrose Cutting submitted the first official patent. Needless to say there were numerous photographers who were a tad bit upset with Mr. Cutting; seeing as how he didn’t actually “invent” the process. In the United States, the ambrotype lasted from about 1850 to 1870; it lasted longer in Europe. Could these images be from 1850 or 1854? Let's do a little deeper searching. Oh boy – more adventure!
    BackNegative

    While scanning the images, I noticed the backs didn’t look as if they were lacquered. So, I did an experiment. I happen to have access to a flatbed scanner which can scan slides and negatives. I scanned the back using the negative setting. I was very pleased with the results, and, on top of a nice negative, another path opened for me. All three of the images had a lovely "ruby" color to them. More digging. I found a really big article on glass (which gave me a headache), but in that article I found that beginning around 1858 some photographers started to use colored glass for their ambrotypes, the most prevalent being “ruby-colored.” My ambrotypes are definitely "ruby-colored" glass. You see what just happened? I have another date to work with. 1858.

    But the ambrotypes holds more clues. These particular ambrotypes were not in a case, but the mat and strip of foil were still intact. Guess what – even this part of ambrotypes have a history. Early ambrotypes had pretty plain mats and foil strips. The foil strips of the early ambrotypes did not have reinforced corners. Around 1859, the designs became more intricate and the corners reinforced. All of my images have pretty elaborate designs on both the mat and foil strip. So, let's move the date up to 1859. Now, let's look at the people in the photographs.

    Dating photographs based on what a person is wearing is always tricky. There are so many variables involved. Are the people in the photo able to keep up with the latest fashion? Are they wearing hand-me-downs? Are they expressing themselves by going rogue? This is why exact dating of an object isn’t always possible, unless there’s a date written across it. Even with a date on it, one should tread cautiously. That is why the whole artifact has to be taken into consideration when trying to put a date on it. Let’s look at our individuals. (INSERT sick girl arrows, boy arrows)
    sickgirlarrows

    BoyArrows
    Both of the girls are wearing off-the-shoulder dresses. This trend lasted on and off throughout history; it was in use between 1840s-1870s. In all probability, these dresses had drawstrings in the back which allowed for easier dressing - especially with the youngest girl. They are both wearing bell-like sleeves and the eldest girl has a fitted bodice. Looking through Godey’s, I found similar clothing dating from 1858-1864. The girls have their hair parted down the middle, but neither have sausage curls. Also, the youngest one’s hair is short. This could indicate any number of things. She may have been a feminist, or maybe she supported the Confederate cause. But, I think she was probably ill. Women cut their hair when they became ill. The hair was easier to take care of and it was believed that cutting it helped reduce a fever. If you look closely at the younger girl it appears that she may have lost some weight. Her arms look almost skeletal and the dress she is wearing appears to be too big for her. If you look closer at the bodice of her dress, it is tapered. Now to the young boy – yes, that boy has a dress on. It was normal for young boys to wear dresses until they were either 4 or 5 years old. How do I know this is a boy and not a girl? A couple of things. Buttons. Around the 1860s boys wore little jackets with buttons on the front. Notice that there are also buttons running along the bottom of the jacket. These buttons were attached to the skirt. Parting of the hair. The other hint which leads me to think this is a boy is that his hair is parted on the side. Usually, girls parted their hair down the middle while boys wore their hair parted on the side.  All the skirts in the photographs appear to be full. All three of them are dressed in some kind of plaid, gingham or checkered material. Plaids were in vogue after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria went mad for all things Scottish around 1856. 1856 also saw the introduction of the "Buffalo check" shirt from Woolrich (which is red and black). Plaids and checks were in vogue.

    These images may have been taken together or separately or there may be no connection at all. I fancy that the Unidentified Teenage Girl may have been taken on a separate occasion, then the other two followed. Why? Just because her mat is a little bit different than the other two. My guess for a time period for all three images (it truly is a guess) would be between 1859 and 1863.

    Storing ambrotypes. Ambrotypes are very fragile. When you store them they should be separated from all the other photographs you have. There are heavy-duty archival paper boards called four-flap paper which can be used, but the ambrotype must not be able to move inside that paper. What I have done here is what we do for glass negatives. I cut heavy-duty archival card stock the same size as the photos and tied them with archival linen string. The knot of the string is on the bottom edge, not the middle of the photos. I also wrote all the pertinent information about the ambrotype on an archival paper sleeve and placed the wrapped images inside the sleeves. They were then put in a box and are being stored in a room where the temperature does not fluctuate. At no time should bubble-wrap touch these. Bubble-wrap is for entertainment, not ambrotypes.
    Wrapped Ambrotype
    closeupGirl

    Cleaning. While I was studying my scanned images, I did a lot of zooming in and out. There are two pieces of glass, one with the image on it and one covering the image. On close inspection one can see a lot of what appears to be particles of "stuff." This "stuff" could be anything - gold-leaf, dust, white crystals caused by bad storage. The only way to remove that stuff from the ambrotype itself is to take it apart. We will not be doing that. Why? Because we are not qualified. If one really wants to clean any kind of old photograph, they should contact a conservator/archivist. Do not take any of these treasures to your local Walgreens.

    And, that was my adventure with ambrotypes – who knows what else is in those mysterious treasure boxes.
     
    I have enclosed a list of conservators who may be able to help or give advice:
    Indiana Historical Society
    450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46202 • (317) 232-1882
    Ramona Duncan-Huse is senior director of Conservation
    Stephanie Gowler, Conservator, Book & Photograph 

    Northeast Document Conservation Center
    100 Brickstone Square
    Andover, MA 01810
    Phone: 978-470-1010
    Fax: 978-475-6021
    Email: info@nedcc.org

    ICA Art Conservation
    2915 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113
    p 216.658.8700

    Sources I used for my adventure:
    Websites:
    Phototree
    Maureen Taylor
    Getty
    Library of Congress
    Godey’s fashion plates
    Photographs, Archival Care and Management by Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Diane Vogt-O’Connor


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Fort Wayne & Allen County Resources

    Saturday, May 27, 2017

    We have a few nifty new items on our Fort Wayne and Allen County Indiana Resources page!

    There’s a great Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Home Office Organization, Fort Wayne, Indiana, April 21, 1942 Photograph. You can click for a high-resolution image and can scan round the image. Everyone is sitting, standing and crouching on the steps of the Lincoln National Life Insurance building. There are eleven rows with about 40 to 45 people per row, so it's quite a crowd. It was a sunny day, as people are squinting into the light, but still a bit cool, as you see by all of the fur collared coats the ladies are wearing. I wonder if they knew the photo would be taken that day. Most look like they are wearing their best, and a few ladies have elaborate hats. Most of the gentlemen wearing coats and ties, but maybe against the more relaxed dress codes of today, they just look like they’ve dressed up!
    LNLIC

    We have a Street Map of New Haven, Indiana, from the 1990s. It not only shows streets and annexations, but also subdivisions and the numbered lots in those subdivisions,

    We also have updates to the Marsha Smiley African-American Memorial Collection, with 21 new memorials and 75 images. The collection now has 2527 memorials, consisting of 9172 images. And three additions to Marsha Smiley’s Crossing Opportunity’s Threshold section for Garry Hamilton, Richard Ridley, Jr., and Richard Stevenson.

    There is a new category in the General Electric Collection: General Electric Memorabilia. These images show all types of GE personnel souvenirs and advertising tchotchkes, such as mugs, pens, key chains, service pins, caps, badges, buttons, aprons, replica engine parts, matchbooks and records, such as this image of a souvenir musical 45 RPM record from the General Electric Progressland, part of the 1964-1965 New York City World’s Fair which was mailed to Donald Harrington at the Fort Wayne GE Plant on Broadway Street here in Fort Wayne.
    GE record
     
    Finally, we have new Life Stories in the “Community Interviews.” Donald Doxsee has produced 17interviews concerning the legal profession here in Fort Wayne, including various judges and lawyers. And, also in the Life Stories, Patricia Hatcher was interviewed about her memories about Martin Luther King.

    These are great examples of the variety of sources we are collecting about Fort Wayne and Allen County.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Family Resoources!

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    We have some great new Family Resources on our Free Databases that might just help you in your research.

    We start with Roger Blocks’ Block and Eaton in 2009: A Family History. This 876 page document contains an exhaustive account of the Eaton and Block families in Europe, early America to modern day, with tables of unique surnames, places where family members were born, photographs and an excellent bibliography.

    Ancestors of Charles Salomon; Descendants of Charles Salomon in the 20th Century by Judith Trinklein Cunningham includes a hand-drawn family tree and the family of Charles and Martha Rahdert Salomon family of Fort Wayne.
    Eden
    Here we have a photograph of Frank Eden (1866-1961) and wife Mary (Myers). Frank was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and became a Unitarian minister. He served churches in Kansas and Oklahoma before moving to California, where he died. We also have Alfred and Sarah Walker photographs, including the reverse sides of the photos.

    Jackie Weeden and Ruby Nelson began collaborating in 1989 and both encountered Whaley records that did not necessarily dovetail into their direct lines, but might for someone else. The nearly 1,000 family group sheets of the Weeden/Nelson Whaley Family Group Sheet Archives were forged from their diligence and generosity. Both Jackie and Ruby are now deceased, but their research lives on at The Genealogy Center’s website!

    Michael Lutz has donated seven new items to the free Family resources, starting with From Benjamin Franklin to Mary Morell Folger to Scottish Royalty to Carmen Linda Lutz which follows the line from the Folger family through the Colemans and Cathcarts to the Luce-Lutz family. Next is From Charles Martel to Charlemagne to Carmen Linda Lutz, which follows the Trowbridge-Prowse family to the Lutz family and From Colonel Israel Angell to Joel Burlingame to Carmen L. Lutz  which includes Burlingame, Hinman, Luce and Lutz families. From Eli Willard Benway to Carmen Linda Lutz covers the Benway, Ratliff and Lutz family, and From Rev. Roger Williams to a Lot of Angells to a Couple of Luce Women to Carmen Lutz (Another Angel), which covers the line from Roger Williams to the Angell family and then to the Luce-Lutz family. From Judge Bowling Green, Abraham Lincoln's Friend and Mentor to Carmen Linda Lutz connects the Green-Batchley family to the Benways, and From Mayflower Ancestors to Carmen L. Lutz connects the Cooke, Warren, Taber, Earle and Baker families into the Burlingames.

    Finally, we have two new Ewing photo albums and three additional sources in Ewing Legacy Images. Few of the photos are identified in the two photo albums. The other sources include a Memoranda book containing addresses, "Recollections of Malvern" (England), containing sketches from in and around Malvern, and the Enfield Public High School Class of 1901 graduation program from Hartford County, Connecticut.

    As always, we greatly appreciate all of these wonderful donations!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations for June 2017

    Friday, May 12, 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 Thursday June 8, 2017 and Thursday June 22, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info 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!

    The Genealogy Center, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    To register, call 260-421-1225 or send us an email.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • More Free Family Bibles!

    Tuesday, May 09, 2017

    We have four new Family Bibles for your research needs!

    The copies of the Bashline-Fahler Family Bible was provided by Paul  Knieser to Pamela L. Pletcher Speis, who provided the transcription. It deals with the family of John Michal Fahler and Catherine A. Bashline, who were married in 1856. A portrait is included, which may be Catherine’s parents, Samuel and Mary Ann Beishlein.
    bashline9

    The transcription for the John and Catherine McElravy Family Bible was also contributed by Pamela L. (Pletcher) Speis, from a Bible owned by William David Neese.

    The first Pyatt and Anna (Knox) Williamson Family Bible was published in 1828, but records contained therein go back to the 1780s and forward to 1963. The Pyatt and Anna (Knox) Williamson Family Bible, published in 1847, also starts at 1789, but stops at 1956.
    williamson18472

    Thanks to all who donated these great sources!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Beautiful Books & City Architecture

    Saturday, May 06, 2017

    by Allison

    Occasionally we come across books in our collection that are unique by virtue of their age, content, beauty, or size.  Showcasing a book of interest can sometimes spark an idea or another way to look at a historical problem.  A lovely book that was recently added to our collection is Detroit is No Dry Bones: The Eternal City of the Industrial Age by Camilo Jose Vergara. 
    Allison 2
    “In the late 1970s, Camilo Jose Vergara set out to reinvigorate the tradition of critical urban photography that dates back to Jacob Riis’ How the Other Half Lives (1890) and to adapt it to what he called “the new American ghetto.” Like Riis, he wished to combine image and text into a synthesis that would both shock and educate.” – Robert Fishman from Detroit is No Dry Bones

    The book is stunning.  It is a poignant photographic journey through Detroit that showcases the fall and more recent rising of the city.  It can show in one photograph a crumbling remnant of a building and the art of a movement to beautify the city.  The art is expression of the people of Detroit, past and present.  The juxtaposition of beauty versus ruin is both thought-provoking and indicative of a city rising. 

    Perhaps finding books like this on your ancestral city might teach you about where the city has been and where it has the potential to go.  It is a beautiful book that shows the love that people have had and still possess for Detroit.  It would be amazing to find a book that evokes such a sense of love for a city.
    Allison 1


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free databases from States Other than Indiana!

    Wednesday, May 03, 2017

    School records dominate our most recent additions to our Free Databases, so let’s start there!

    We have Gainesville High School Radiator of 1930 from Hall County, Georgia. It’s a typical annual form the time period, with individual photos of seniors and group photos for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, faculty, athletics and advertisements. A nice look at that time these young people’s lives.
    GainesvilleHS_1930_094

    The Mackenzie High School Stag, 1949, Wayne County, Michigan is another yearbook, but this one has many more photographs of activities and no individual or group photos of underclassmen.

    Buckhannon High School’s Rhododendron of 1923 from Upshur County, West Virginia not only has seniors, juniors and “sophs,” but also includes junior high as well as sports and activities.

    And the West Virginia Wesleyan College Murmurmontis of 1924 from Upshur County, West Virginia is divided into five primary sections: Administration, Classes, Organizations, Athletics, Sports and Advertisements, although there are also smaller groupings of features, including a Humor section for “those who never smile.”
    WestVirginiaWesleyan_1924_138

    There are other items besides schools though, starting with the Early History of St. Paul Lutheran Church, North Tonawanda, Niagara County, New York from 1861 to 1925, divided into chapters delineated by minister. Also included are Congregational Minutes from 1921 to 1927, compiled in 2008 with a continuation of the history for those same years.
     
    We have a large group photo of the International Association of Machinists Staff Conference Photograph, March 10-11, 1954, Chicago, Illinois. If one clicks on the photo at the database, one can enlarge sections to view the faces more clearly.
    Machinist_Union_0001
     
    And finally, we have 109 new Genealogy Tracers Memorials. The collection now has 5274 memorials consisting of 26042 images. These Memorials are terrific sources for African-American research!
     
    Thanks again to everyone who contributed. We really could not do it without you!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center