Presenting Civil War topics at Allen County

I am thrilled to be the featured speaker at the ACPL Genealogy Center’s Military Symposium this year. With the upcoming sesquicentennial of the Civil War, this year’s symposium will revolve around Civil War topics. I will present one of the lectures on Friday and all four on Saturday.

The symposium is sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc.

On Friday, October 8:

  • 2:30-3:30: “Using Military Records for Genealogical Research” by Curt Witcher
  • 4:00-5:00: “The Last Full Measure: Military Burials” (I have some cool examples that I’m very excited about!)

On Saturday, October 9:

  • 9:30-10:30: “Researching Your Civil War Ancestor Online”
  • 11:00-12:00: “State and Local Records for Civil War Research”
  • 1:30-2:30: “After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans”
  • 3:00-4:00: “For Benefit of the Soldier: Civil War Fraternal Organizations”

All of the sessions will be in meeting room A-B at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Cost is $25. Make checks payable to ACGSI and send to:

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana
PO Box 12003
Fort Wayne, IN 46862

For more information, visit the Genealogy Center’s programs page or call (260) 421-1225. I look forward to seeing you there!

Lincoln Collection at the Allen County Public Library

Ever since the announcement that the documents from the Lincoln Collection at the former Lincoln Museum would move to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, I’ve been anxious to see just what treasures are in the collection. If the first round of digital images are any indication, the collection is beyond “cool.”

When the Lincoln Museum closed, the Lincoln Financial Foundation gave the artifacts to the Indiana State Museum and the records to the Allen County Public Library. Work has begun on digitizing the records and posting them online. The images that they’ve posted so far are rather tantalizing. My favorite is an undated note written by Lincoln: “Let Master Tad have a Navy sword. A. Lincoln”.

Although not part of the Lincoln Collection, the Genealogy Center at ACPL also has posted an image of a silk ribbon commemorating Lincoln’s death. As they note on the website, it is a rare glimpse into life in Fort Wayne at the time, as the newspapers from April 1865 have been lost.

A recent article in the Journal Gazette has some behind-the-scene photos and more detail about the Lincoln Collection at ACPL. It will be interesting to watch as more and more images are posted on the Lincoln Collection website.

Our Military Heritage

The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana has done it again. They’ve come up with another wonderful resource for genealogists: Our Military Heritage

Our Military Heritage has numerous digitized books that are full-text searchable. They range in subject from the Lucky Bag (the Naval Academy yearbook) for 1906 to The United States Navy in the World War (an awesome collection of photos from the War Department) and the Valley Forge Orderly Book of General George Weedon. One book I was particularly impressed with was Woman’s Work in the Civil War. It contains dozens of biographies of women who served as nurses, aid society organizers, etc. (I particularly liked the section titled “Ladies Distinguished for Service in Soldiers’ Homes and Volunteer Refreshment Saloons.” (Funny, I thought the latter were called “bars” :-) )

There are also original documents, such as the Civil War diary of Robert E. Best of the 36th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, letters of John C. Potts of the 95th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and a World War II diary of George P. Martin, a purchasing agent in Brazil.

Most of the resources can be found in the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library. (The website even gives the call number when it’s available.) They are encouraging people to submit their own material, too.

With materials ranging from the Colonial Wars to World War II (with material for the Korean War, Vietnam and, one would presume, more recent wars to be coming soon), there is something for everyone on Our Military Heritage. This is definitely a site worth keeping an eye on and checking often!