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  • 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

  • Historical Weather

    Sunday, Apr 02, 2017

    Have you ever wondered what the weather was like in past years?  There is a way to look at the average temperature for a month at a time beginning in 1895: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/.  The Farmers’ Almanac website has the history of the weather each day going back to 1945: http://farmersalmanac.com/weather-history/.  You can also get the history of the weather going back to the 1700s through the National Weather Service: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/.  The website only requires payment if you request a certified copy of the documentation.  However, you will still need to make a selection and add it to your cart.  When you check out, an email address is required in order to send the information.  You will not get the information right away but they will email you when the information becomes available.
     
    For more weather history, check out: http://www.weather.gov/timeline

    Henson, Robert. Weather on the air: a history of broadcast meteorology. Boston (Mass.): American Meteorological Society, 2010.

    Mergen, Bernard. Weather matters: an American cultural history since 1900. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2008.

    Moore, Peter. The weather experiment: the pioneers who sought to see the future. London: Vintage, 2016.

    Williams, James Thaxter. The history of weather. Commack, NY: Nova Science Publ., 1999.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Allen County Databases

    Friday, Mar 31, 2017

    We’ve recently added a cornucopia of good items to our Allen County Free Databases!

    We start with The Old Fort - 1816: Frontier Fort to Statehood, a bicentennial publication about the reconstructed Old Fort Wayne, which is located just across the St. Mary’s River from downtown Fort Wayne. This 16-page, booklet provides a history of the Fort of 1816 as well as the Reconstructed Fort, information about life in the area in 1816, a full-color 1817 map of Indiana, a sketch of Fort Wayne in 1816 and a nifty recipe for rhubarb custard pie!

    Moving into the 20th Century, we have the 1983 History of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, by Kathleen Kearns Brita. The Wayne Club and the Commercial Club merged to form the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and construction began on the Wayne Street building in 1926. The history and photos tell just part of Fort Wayne’s great story!

    We always love yearbooks, so next we have Hoagland School Yearbooks, 1957 and 1958. These are for the elementary school, and includes photos of the students by class, teachers photos, activities and an autograph section on which special friends wrote their names or pasted photographs.
     
    Speaking of yearbooks, we also have the Fort Wayne Art School, Art Lights,1929 yearbook. It includes photos of various people connected with the Art School, as well as personal mementos of Anna Marie Woomer of Marion.

    We also have an Exhibit Catalog: Of Growth and Form. The 1976 exhibit at the Allen County Public Library displayed various pieces of art in wood, as well as biographical information on the artists.

    The West Central Home and Garden Tour and ArtsFest booklets from 2012 to 2016 include histories of Fort Wayne’s West Central Neighborhood and highlights various properties in the area with histories and photos.
     
    Thanks to the generosity of Greg Renno, we have the Susan Mann McCulloch Materials: Autograph Book, 1849 Letter, Commonplace Book. It includes autographs, a letter from Susan to her sister, and notes of her studies.

    And thanks to Marsha Smiley, we also have a Scrapbook from the Bahai Community in Fort Wayne. The scrapbook includes photos, telegrams concerning the Dedication Service in 1943, newspaper clippings and various communiques. Thanks also to Marsha for continuing to collect Memorials of local African American residents. Due to a recent donation of 186 additional Memorials, there are now more than 2500 in the collection!
     
    Small, but extremely valuable donations include the Ethel Bell Appreciation Program, 1990, and a Rainbow Club article and Christmas group photo. The Rainbow Club is an offshoot of the Order of the Eastern Star.

    A few new items have been added to our growing General Electric Collection Page. This time they are press releases for February 13, 2017. G.E. was a huge employer in Fort Wayne in the 20th century, and our growing collection consists of archives, photographs and Elex Club materials.

    And to end on a sweet note, we have Wayne Candies Business History, by Randy Harter. Wayne Candies made the beloved Bun Bars here in Fort Wayne and this short article, with a photo of the plant on East Berry, provides a concise account of the business transactions of the company through the twentieth century.
     
    Thanks to everyone for assisting us to expand the collection

    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

  • Celebrate Women’s History – Saturday, March 25, 2017

    Thursday, Mar 02, 2017

     We all have just as many female ancestors as we do male, but often women’s activities were considered too prosaic or unimportant to record. But many women lead vital, active lives. Commemorate Women’s History Month by attending our day devoted to examining some of these dynamic women. Sessions include:

    10:00 AM, Discovery Center
    Clubwomen and Music in Gilded Age Chicago: Frances Macbeth Glessner, Mozart, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Melanie Bookout
    Melanie Bookout examines the work of a major music patron, Frances Macbeth Glessner (1848-1932), patron and friend to many of the best musicians, artists, poets, and writers who lived or worked in Chicago. Glessner was an accomplished pianist, and her activities as clubwoman and patron offer a rich glimpse of music-making in “frontier” America.

    11:30 AM, Discovery Center
    Mommy, What Did You Do During the War? - Delia Bourne
    How did women participate in the military efforts during war time in the United States? How did this change from one war to the next? Discover answers to these questions and how your female ancestors could have contributed to the military efforts through the years.

    1:30 PM, Discovery Center
    Dames and Darbies - Female Detectives - Allison DePrey Singleton
    Learn about women detectives, a most unusual profession for the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Women like Alice Clement, Kate Warne, Mary Shanley, and Frances Glessner Lee (daughter of Frances Macbeth Glessner) paved the way for women doing detective work today.

    For more information, see our brochure. To register for any or all of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • One-on-One Consultations - March 2017

    Monday, Feb 27, 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 Monday March 13, 2017 and Tuesday March 28, 2017. Call 260-421-1225 or send an email for an appointment, requesting a Consultation and providing basic information concerning the nature of your quandary. A staff member will be assigned and a time established for your Consultation. Be sure to bring your research notes to your consultation. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register today!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • March Madness – Out of the Box Genealogy

    Friday, Feb 24, 2017

    Join us as we celebrate our version of March Madness as we investigate Out of the Box Genealogy – a full week of events and classes to improve your research skills and enhance your life! Events include:

    Sunday, March 5, 2017, 1:00 PM, Discovery Center
    Skeletons in the Closet: Discovering a Difficult Past - Matt LaFlash
    Every family has skeletons in the closet. This case study addresses the challenges of uncovering a difficult past and examines the process used to identify the father of a girl born out of wedlock with only a profession and nationality as a starting point.

    Monday, March 6, 2017, 6:30 PM, Discovery Center
    What Doesn’t Kill Us: Historical Illnesses and Causes of Death - Delia Bourne
    This is an overview of the medical conditions that plagued our ancestors and how to find what some of those causes of death listed in newspapers and on death records really meant.

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6:30 PM, Discovery Center
    An Ancestor's Death -- A Time for Reaping - Curt Witcher
    Typically, no other time in our ancestors’ lives is the record creation potential as high as it is at their deaths. This talk, complemented with many record examples, spotlights numerous “happenings” surrounding an individual’s death that can generate records.

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:30 PM, Discovery Center
    Using the Genealogical Proof Standard and DNA as Power Tools and Problem Solvers - John Beatty
    This talk will discuss the various tenets of the Standard, show how to apply it in an actual case study, and show how both autosomal and mitochondrial DNA can be used to support or refute genealogical theories.

    Thursday, March 9, 2017, 6:30 PM, Chapman’s Brewery Taproom, 819 South Calhoun Street,
    Fort Wayne
    Genealogy of Beer and Beer Styles with Chapman’s Brewing Co. - Allison DePrey Singleton and Chapman’s Brewing Co.
    Discover the genealogy of beer and how the brewers’ home country influenced the style of beer they originally produced. The specifics of the beer itself will also be discussed: aromas, style, taste profile, things to consider when drinking, and how these have changed over time.

    Friday, March 10, 2017, 2:30 PM, Discovery Center
    Out of the Box Questions and the Methodology to Answering Them - Allison DePrey Singleton
    What are some of the unusual questions the librarians at The Genealogy Center receive and how do we answer them? Come and find out the methodology for answering “out of the box” questions.

    Saturday, March 11, 2017, 10:00 AM, Theater, Allen County Public Library
    Moody, Tearful Night Come Alive - 30th Indiana Civil War Re-enactors, Inc.
    Have you ever seen a statue come to life? This is your chance! “Moody, Tearful Night,” the statue at the entrance to The Genealogy Center will be brought to life by a group of talented re-enactors from the 30th Indiana. The last day of Lincoln’s life will be brought to life followed by the re-enactors answering your questions about what occurred that fateful day.

    For more information, see our brochure. To register for any or all of these free events, call 260-421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed -

    Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017

    By Kay

    Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we used in our flyer for Black History Month 2017? Let's take a look.

    Susan Baptist, of Whitehaven, Tennessee, was a projectionist, showing training films for the troops as well as more popular motion pictures. At the time of this photo, taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps for morale purposes, she had been in the WACS nine months and learned to operate the projector since enlisting. This image is part of the Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records (Library of Congress). I was unable to find anything else about Ms. Baptist.
    00794u

    For further reading on African American women’s contribution to the war effort, read “When the Nation was in Need: Blacks in the Women's Army Corps during World War II,” By Martha Putney.

    And finally, three African American women at a polling place, one looking at a book of registered voters, on November 5, 1957, in New York City or Newark, New Jersey. This image is from the digital collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Read more about the challenges African Americans faced to vote in “Blackballed: the Black Vote and US Democracy,” by Darryl Pinckney.
    08063u

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Harlem Hellfighters

    Sunday, Feb 19, 2017

    By Kay

    Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use on our advertising for Black History Month?. Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

    The 369th Infantry Regiment, aka the Harlem Hellfighters, formerly known as the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, was an infantry regiment of the United States Army National Guard during World War I and World War II (1913-1945). The Regiment consisted mainly of African Americans, though it also included a number of Puerto Rican Americans during World War II. It was the first African American regiment to serve with American forces in World War I. Before that, if an African-American wanted to fight, they would have to join the forces of France or Canada. This unit was given numerous nicknames: The Black Rattlers, the Men of Bronze and Hell Fighters.
    369th_15th_New_York

    In the beginning, the regiment was relegated to labor service duties instead of combat.  On April 8, 1918, the unit was assigned to the French Army, and finally, on May 8, 1918, the 369th was sent to the trenches. From then on they fought. The unit was awarded two Medals of Honor and a regimental Croix de Guerre. The most celebrated man in the 369th was Pvt. Henry Johnson, a former Albany, New York, rail station porter, who earned the nickname "Black Death" for his actions in combat in France. “While on night sentry duty, May 15, 1918, Johnson and a fellow Soldier, Pvt. Needham Roberts, received a surprise attack by a German raiding party of at least 12 enemy soldiers.

    “While under intense fire and despite his own wounds, Johnson kept an injured Needham from being taken prisoner. He came forward from his position to engage an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Wielding only a knife and gravely wounded, Johnson continued fighting until the enemy retreated.

     “For his valor, Johnson became one of the first Americans to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, France's highest award for valor. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 2002, with the official ceremony taking place in 2003.” (from the Army website.)

    For more information, visit BlackPast.org, Harlem’s Blog, American National Biography Online, ArmyMil, and the U.S. Army website, or read "Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War: the Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality" by Jeffrey T. Sammons.



    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Stephen King lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana

    Thursday, Feb 16, 2017

    Written By: John

    A reference question came to us recently about the author Stephen King and the exact location of his childhood residence in Fort Wayne, Indiana. King, who was born in Portland, Maine, in 1947, was the son of Donald and Nellie Ruth (Pilsbury) King. The father was born “Donald Pollock” in Peru, Indiana, and later changed the family name to King, and he separated from Stephen’s mother not long after Stephen’s birth. At the age of two Stephen moved to Delafield, Wisconsin, with his mother and brother, and later, about 1949, they came to Fort Wayne to live with relatives. But where specifically did they live?
        David King, Stephen’s older brother, provides some sketches details in an account published in George Beahm’s Stephen King Companion: Four Decades of Fear from the Master of Horror (p. 9). “After Wisconsin, we then went to live with my father’s sister Betty, and a lady she lived with named Rudy. We have a picture of that, too – Stevie and I sitting on a lawn in front of a house. That was in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area. Aunt Betty was a schoolteacher … After that we lived in an apartment of our own in Fort Wayne … We shared the apartment with a number of cockroaches. It was an apartment house, but I’m not sure if it was a single-family dwelling or if there were a number of apartments in it.”
         Most references to Stephen’s childhood lack specifics due to the family’s difficult economic circumstances. However, from the above account and other biographical references, we have enough information to identify Donald Pollock and his sister Betty on the 1920 census. Going forward and looking at the Fort Wayne city directories, we can locate Betty L. Pollock in 1951, living at 1227 Lake Avenue in Fort Wayne and working as a teacher at the Hamilton School. In 1954, she resided at 3529 Lake Avenue, then outside the city limits, and was teaching at the Hanna School. Undoubtedly, the Kings spent time at these two addresses, but the identity of their apartment house remains uncertain. The 1954 directory lists a Mrs. Ruth King living at 1234 Ewing Street, but this was a residence, not an apartment house, and it is not certain this was Stephen’s mother. The family later moved to Stratford, Connecticut.
         It is worth noting that none of King’s residences are marked or celebrated in Fort Wayne’s historical literature. Perhaps more specific information will come to light about his time here.  We were able to find an image of the 1227 Lake Avenue house.  It is a multi-family home.  


     

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Malcolm X & Martin Luther King

    Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017

     By Kay

    As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, or advertisement. Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use. Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

    "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” 
    Malcolm Little, May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965, was also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, but most of us are probably more familiar with him by another name: Malcolm X. Malsolm was an African-American Muslim minister, a human rights activist, and a controversial person. To some he was a courageous advocate for African-Americans, while others accused him of preaching racism and violence. In either case he was one of the most influential African Americans in our history. He was assassinated on February 21, 1965. Read more about him on Biography.com, U.S. History.org, or read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X, With the assistance of Alex Haley.” You can also view the Spike Lee movie Malcolm X.
    Malcolm X


    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
    Martin Luther King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968, was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He used nonviolent disobedience to lead the civil rights struggle in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968. For more on his life, read “The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Leader for Civil Rights,” by Michael Schuman.
    MartinLutherKingJr

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Mary Church Terrell

    Sunday, Feb 12, 2017

     By Kay

    As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, or advertisement. Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use? Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

    Mary Church Terrell, September 23, 1863 to July 24, 1954, was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree. She was a teacher and an activist for civil rights and suffrage, as well as a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1896, Terrell became the first president of the newly formed National Association of Colored Women.

    On October 18, 1891, in Memphis, Church married Robert Heberton Terrell, a lawyer who became the first black municipal court judge in Washington DC. Her autobiography, “A Colored Woman in a White World,” is her autobiography, which she finished in 1940. She also lived to see the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, holding unconstitutional the racial segregation of public schools.
    3b47842u

    Read more about Mary Church Terrell at Biography.com and Black Past.org, or read “Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation's Capital,” by Joan Quigley.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Dred Scott

    Monday, Feb 06, 2017

    By Kay

    As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, or advertisement. Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use? Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

    Dred Scott, c. 1799 – September 17, 1858, was an African American slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom, and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857. Dred Scott's journey to freedom took 10 years and numerous trials. In the end, the Supreme Court’s majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a staunch supporter of slavery. It stated that because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The decision also declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820, legislation which restricted slavery in certain territories, to be unconstitutional.

    Following the ruling, the Scott family was deeded to Taylor Blow, who freed them on May 26, 1857. Scott worked as a porter in a St. Louis hotel, but his freedom was short-lived. He died from tuberculosis in September 1858. Scott was survived by his wife and his two daughters.
    Dred_Scott_photograph_(circa_1857)

    For more information about the case, see Missouri Digital Heritage. For more information on Dred Scott and other African American History, visit the PBS Resource Bank. Or read “Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery's Frontier,” by Lea VanderVelde.


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Additions to Our Military Heritage

    Friday, Feb 03, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • RootsTech Livestreaming in the Discovery Center!

    Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

    Have you heard about RootsTech, the annual family history and technology conference in Salt Lake City? Do you want to go, but just haven’t made arrangements? Experience the excitement, share the knowledge, and see what everyone will be talking about for the next year!

    Join us as we livestream RootsTech 2017 In the Discovery Center! Come and go as you please!

    For a list of sessions and times, see the brochure!

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Images Revealed - Alexandre Dumas

    Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

    by Kay

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

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • Black History Month Revealed - Cotton, Slaves & Rice

    Saturday, Jan 28, 2017

    By Kay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center

  • New Free Family Resources

    Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

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

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

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

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


    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center