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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • New Diaries on Our Free Databases

    Sunday, Apr 30, 2017

    We have posted four diaries recently on our Free Family Resources pages.

    The Diary of Ichabod Borror and Madison Ford, partners, of Shadesville, Franklin County, Ohio was written by Borror as the two set out to explore the west and do some prospecting. The diary covers March 1864 to September 1865 and begins as the two travel to Illinois and form a company to share expenses and for safety to head west. This company consisted of Borror and Ford along with R.A. Bowie, Middleton, IL; J. Strader and S. Gipson of Tennessee; and A. McGowan, A.G. Thompson, S.C. Harrell, I. McParks, and A. Emerson of “Gailsburg,” IL, but that partnership dissolved and a new company made up of the two partners with Simeon and Jacob Strader,  David Winner, C. C. Horrell, William Kinkade, J.M. Parks, W.M. Crisp, A. G. Thompson, Marion McCown, Andrew Roberson, and R.A. Bowie, all of McDonough County, IL, and left for Idaho and points west to prospect. Aboard a steamship heading west, Borror notes the death of another prospector, Thomas Parker, on June 4, 1864, before arriving in Virginia City area. The company split up in August, leaving Borror and Ford to go their own way. The two worked over the winter, but by the next summer, the adventure had grown tedious, and many of the area prospectors talked of returning east. Borror and Ford agreed and they left, arriving in late September of 1865. The diary is filled with descriptions of the land and the people Borror encountered. Ichabod, see photo below, settled to farm in Franklin County, Ohio, and married in 1869, living with wife and family until his death in 1920.
    Ichabod Borror

    Dorothy Beuth was born on a farm east of German Valley, Illinois. She was the fourth child of Andrew and Mattie Dahlmeier Beuth in 1905. She was of Ostfriesian German ancestry. Her mother died when she was only 8 years old of Typhoid Pneumonia. Her oldest sister, Amanda, age 18 became the homemaker from then on. Dorothy married Earl Kappenman in 1930, and farmed in in the area. We have the Diary of Dorothy Beuth Kappenman from 1932 till 1945, and is filled with information on friends and neighbors in the Ogle County, Illinois area.

    Elizabeth Sophia Paxton was born in 1861 in Jay County, Indiana. She married William Edmundson in 1879 and they had seven children over the next fourteen years. The Mrs. William Edmundson Diary, Jay County, Indiana covers 1928 to 1932 and in it Libbie records life and the interactions within the family in the book given to her by her youngest daughter, Nila Edmundson Ervin.

    And we have the Diaries and Records of Dale and Wileta Wortman. Dale Wortman and Wileta Emery were married on March 8, 1931 in Van Wert County, Ohio. These materials include a family ledger of important events and purchases from 1931 to 1958; diaries, calendars and expense ledgers for various vacations and business trips from 1938 to 1973; a diary for the cottage in Curtis, Michigan purchased in 1946; and letters by Dale Wortman sent by Mariann Parker Laing sent to Carol Lee Wortman Moellering after the deaths of Dale and Wileta.
    Wortman_Diaries_0022

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • The Goodenow Photographs: Researching the Origins of Photos

    Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

    By Kay

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Yizkor Books & Jewish Research

    Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017

    by Delia

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Indiana Databases

    Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017

    We have some great new Free Indiana Databases!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Our Military Heritage – New 20th Century Documents

    Friday, Apr 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Even More Free Family Resources

    Tuesday, Apr 11, 2017

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    Thank you to everyone who contributed!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Our Military Heritage Documents!

    Saturday, Apr 08, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks to everyone who donated! 
     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Free Family Databases!

    Wednesday, Apr 05, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks to everyone for contributing!


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Database Additions

    Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Swiss Church Records Website

    Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

    by John

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

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

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

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

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


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Indiana Databases

    Monday, Mar 06, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center