*[Q: What do you do? A: I do genealogy.]
Note: The newly revised Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules of the WCGS (Indiana) passed during the November 2023 meeting are posted here in html and here in pdf.The previous constitution is posted here in html and here in pdf.
Membership in the Wells County Genealogy Society entitles one to receive the newsletter published six times a year and an annual membership directory. Annual membership dues are $25.00 and renewals are due in January; new memberships begun anytime during the calendar year will receive all six issues for that year. Mail a check with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and surnames of interest for the annual membership directory to WCGS, P O Box 54, Bluffton IN 46714-0054.
A membership application is available here for download as a pdf.
The newsletter of the Wells County Genealogy Society is named the Wells County Tracer. As with some other publications, the material printed is research or data known as of that date. Ongoing research after that date of issue can be presented in a variety of ways. A newsletter that has six issues per year and a limited number of pages cannot continue to provide updated information in subsequent issues and still keep printing additional, new material. (However, errors will be noted in the next available issue after discovery.) Newsletter articles that reference continuing research that is being done will be reprinted here and updated versions will be added as revisions are made.
Where the printed publication notes internet sites, links will be provided here. Both the full address and the redirect address will redundantly be shown. The genealogy links page is no longer accessible at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~thomasliby/wcgs/wcgslinks.html and will not be updated. Some of it may be merged with this page.
In addition, related and supplemental material, which space limitations prevent from being printed, will be presented here.
A name index for the Wells County Tracer is here.
The index for the first twenty years of the newsletter, 1996 - 2015, consisted of 18,810 lines of names.
The index for the twenty-five (25) volumes through 2020 had 25,782 lines of names.
An update through March 2021 contained over 27,000 lines of names, 27,009 to be exact.
This last update covering the twenty-seven (27) years through November 2022, has 28,415 lines.
It is anticipated that there may be an update after the November 2023 issue is published.
CAMPING AT BOILING SPRINGS.A party of boys, including Kenneth Huyette, Lawrence Zehrung, William Thoma, George Erexson, and William Buckner are camping out at Boiling Springs, enjoying a fine vacation.
With the reduction in the number of pages this year, but especially with this last issue, there has been a lack of explanation for the contents. The newspaper articles about wrecks on the railroad were prompted by a discussion at the Museum and from the slide show in the Museum during Bluffton's Free Street Fair showing pictures of a train falling into the Wabash River. The contents transitioned into fires at the depot and schools. Pages concluded with articles on other fires, the subject of Connie Brubaker's fall sessions on Wells County History as part of the Parks Department's Senior Snippets classes. The WCHS's book on Wells County Schools should be released this year.
What follows is some of the overflow that had been included in drafts of the last newsletter, but did not fit into the final copy.
Don't panic, you may be paid for 2023. This is only a notice that your editor is resigning effective this issue. Hopefully, your subscription will continue without interuption when someone volunteers to be editor. But, based on the experience of the Historical Society when I resigned after the first two quarters' issues in 2021, I am aware of only a couple of flyers from them announcing event dates.
While editor of the WCGS newsletter since my inaugural September 2012 issue, I tried to maintain the standards set by Linda Thomas, a previous editor with her twelve (12) page format. It was an ideal "sweet spot" length as the six sheets weighed at an ounce, qualifying for one first class stamp. My filler of old newspaper articles attempted to match hers. The record sixty-two issues produced this editor will hopefully be exceeded in the next ten+plus years by the next editor.
It was my fantasy for the various organizations for which I was an editor to have a monthly newsletter and a quarterly journal -- a newsletter for reports, announcements and minutes and a journal for lengthy scholarly articles. That is not going to happen for the three or four groups, but it is still my fantasy and having collected a wealth of material on the seven dozen themes organize on my computer and since loving doing this, I may have a personal monthly electronic publication to share some of this material. More on this later.
You may now panic.
Of course, all members of the WCGS should be aware of the ACPL pages (acpl.lib.in.us/genealogy). Another resource is the New York Public Library Digital Collections (https://digitalcollections.nypl.org). It, like other libraries, has books, magazines, maps, images and postcards online. Specifically, it has NY City Directories, atlas and photographs of New York as part of their over 922,000 items.
A noteworthy feature of their digital collections is that some items can be filtered in searches as 'public domain or no known U.S. copyright restrictions.'
An interesting companion article to the one appearing in the newsletter unfortunately had a long gash through many of the microfilmed pages on the Wells County Public Library's roll. The long streak on the microfilm made some lines illegible.
A suggestion has been made that the city team be used in doing much of the street work that has to be about the city. This it is argued w give the iv of exercise Oppos it is shown that the team was bought to protect the city and the property of the citizens in case of fire by getting the fire fighting apparatus on the site as quickly as possible. This end it is said would be defeated if the team was worked on the streets. For example the horses might be hauling a scraper clear out on the end of Main street when a fire alarm would sound. They would have almost a mile to run before they would reach the city building and the fire might do serious damage before they could get the wagon on the scene.Bluffton, Indiana: The Bluffton Banner VOL. LV, NO. 3 Wednesday Evening, January 13, 1904 p. 2, col. 2.
After a session lasting from nine o'clock in the morning until 1:30 p. M. Tuesday, the township advisory board of Rockcreek township, who met with Township Trustee Frank Fishbaugh and property owners at the office of County Superintendent Huyett announced that they did not deem it advisable to grant the petition for a new graded school building to be erected at the center of the township. This decision
Farmers of Rockcreek township, among other things believe that the "safety of the republic depends upon its schools." and the best equipment for the boys and girls as they go out from their homes to do for themselves is that heart and intellectural training so necessary in the hustle and sharp competition of the twentieth century. Tuesday a petition containing the names of citizens and taxpayers of the township, was presented Trustee Frank Fishbaugh asking for a moder commodious and hygienic building to be erected in the center of the township, for high school purposes. The list was large, the request was explicit and urgent, and that it will receive favorable action is believed. The house, in the minds of the promotors, will cost approximately $15,000. A judicious investment of this sum should outrival any structure of this kind in the county. When this is built Jackson will be the only township without a high school in its borders.Bluffton, Indiana:
The Home Insurance company made a settlement Monday for the Arbaugh school fire. The building was situated in Union township. Four hundred dollars was allowed on the structure with one hundred on the contents, making a total of $500.Bluffton, Indiana: The Bluffton Banner. VOL. LI, NO 4 Wednesday Evening, January 25, 1905. p. 5, col. 2.
We learn that George McFarren has bought a lot of Joseph C. Silver, just opposite Lee Kapp's residence, on which he intends to erect a fine dwelling. The size of the lot is 100x140 and the price paid is $1,190, cash. It is perhaps the most desirable place for a residence in town.Bluffton, Indiana: Bluffton Weekly Chronicle. VOLUME XII. NUMBER 34. Thursday, March 17, 1881. p. 3, col. 2.
Levi (Lee) S. Kapp, Bluffton Mfg. Co. President was living at 106 W. Central and Albert L. Kapp, Bluffton Mfg. Co. Treasurer, was at 518 S. Main. Across the street would be G. F. McFarren, a clothing merchant, at 505 S. Main.
McFarren, G F (Martha J) Clothier McFarren & Son, 505 South Main. Phone 246 McFarren, Earl, 505 South Main Kapp, L S (Nancy) President Bluffton Mfg Co, 106 West Central Ave Kapp, A L (Nellie) Treasurer Bluffton Mfg Co, 518 South Main. Phone 109 Kapp, Hugh M (Henrietta) Secretary Bluffton Mfg Co, 521 South Marion. Phone 329Bluffton City Directory May 1, 1902. Compiled by Will B. Gutelius, P. A. Allen. Bluffton, Ind.: The Banner
Kapp, Levi S. (Mrs. Lee S.) Bluffton Mfg. Co., 106 W. Central; O. Kapp, Albert (Nellie G.) Bluffton Mfg. Co., 518 S. Main; O; phone 109. Kapp, Dwight. Kapp, Robin. Kapp, Naomi. Kapp, John G. McFarren, G. F. (Martha) clothing merchant, 505 S. Main; O; phone 246.Directory of Wells County and City of Bluffton, 1908., p. 100 [Kapp], p. 108 [McFarren].
So, McFarren's house is on the southeast corner. Across the street, on the southwest corner, is Levi Kapp's house facing Central, thus the 106 address. (At other times the house number is 104.) The next house south of Levi's on the west side of Main is Albert Kapp's at 518.
The newsletter had an additional news item pertaining to South Main homes.
Several large residences will be erected in the city this summer. Mike Dailey is building the foundation, and is also having plans made for an eight room house on South Main street. It will have all the modern improvements. Plans are also being made for A. B. Cline's home on Market street. It will be large and roomy and one of the finest in Bluffton when completed, as Mr. Cline is going to spare no expense in its construction. Sam Bender will add a large piazza on the front and side of his Central Avenue home.Bluffton Chronicle. VOLUME 29. NUMBER 43 Wednesday, April 27, 1898. p. 2, col. 4.
In addition to the 1898 newspaper report on the South Main house, A. B. Cline's house (southeast corner of Market and Williams) was previously noted in earlier newsletters several times and Samuel Bender's house was highlighted on the West Central House Walk with Jim Sturgeon as well as previous newsletters. [see Name Index]
Amos Hale is off duty from the C. E. Baumgardner grocery on account of sickness.
MORE FREE WEBSITES
The Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records site contains Federal land patents and other records.
Finding those serving in the Civil War on either side.
Specific interest in Civil War, significant for Wells County casualites, i.e., Col. William Swaim.
Example of images available from the Library of Congress.
Another valuable resource from the Library of Congress to search newspapers.
The state version of a list of Indiana newspapers.
Scroll down to click on Bluffton Chronicle or Bluffton Weekly Chronicle from the variety of newspapers from around the world. The editor's preference is to show: Month and date: type year to search.
Had been the go to site for a quick and dirty search of what's out there. So many duplications from before change in format when it was easy to download a gedcom, attach it to one's own and then upload it again. Less user friendly now.
The Indiana Historical Society website has a section on donated family records.
After making a selection, a pop-up will give you a choice: click ok.
List of submitted records. Survey the list of files posted and consider sending your own contribution. The Wells County Historical Museum has a collection of family bibles that may have genealogical information to transcribe if your own family bibles do not contain such pages.
A resource from the LDS
Search records, images, genealogies, books, etc.
General resources from the New York Public Library, but can be used for genealogical research.
How to Become a Professional Genealogist
Association of Professional Genealogists https://www.apgen.org/
ProGen Study Group http://www.progenstudy.org/
Board for Certification of Genealogists http://www.bcgcertification.org/
International Commission for the Accreditation of Genealogists http://icapgen.org/icapgen/
For those into podcasts and webinars, The Genealogy Professional is one of a baker's dozen listed on Cyndi's List of podcasts. Cyndi Ingle, herself, was on TGP 33 podcast last Fall.
Practice makes Perfect
Ericsson / Gladwell 10,000 hours for expertise idea qualified http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140728094258.htm
Online Genealogical Learning
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness http://www.raokg
A Noteworthy High School Research Project
If you don't click on any other link, click on this one!
John Mock, the mayor of Bluffton a hundred years ago, is the subject of this segment in an irregular series of articles on Bluffton mayors, one of several series (businesses, cemeteries, churches, and social organizations, etc.) proposed for future issues. A biographical and genealogical sketch about John is the introductory article accompanying several newspaper articles pertaining to him and his wife.
This issue is dedicated to the Old Bluffton Cemetery. Family information on three buried in the old cemetery is offered in articles
by Bruce Sonner on Silas Burnside, Joe Patterson on Nathaniel DeHaven Sr., and Susie Szynalski on Erastus K. Bascom. The Bascom
article has links for further resources:
"Read more stories about Bascoms on the Bascom Reunion and Genealogy site on Facebook. The Online Bascom genealogy has over 6,200 researched Bascom descendents of the original Thomas Bascom who arrived on our shores in 1634. http://bascomgenealogy.com/"
The Indiana Herald newspaper, Huntington, IN.
Dates: 28 Aug 1850, 14 Jan 1852, 25 Apr 1852, 12 May 1852, 21 July 1852
Biographical and Historical Record of Adams & Wells Co. IN, Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co 1887 pp 956-957
Gen Forum: History of Jasper MI: Capt. Douglas E McDowell
History of Bluffton: The City of Bluffton, Indiana
Laws of the State of Indiana, 1851 Session Laws, p. 518 e book
Report of the Debates and Proceedings of the Convention for the Constitution of Indiana, 1850, on openlibrary.org"
Notice was made that the "A List of Transfers from Old Bluffton to Fairview Cemetery" was updated online as part of the introduction to the article "A Partial Chronological List of Burials at Old Bluffton Cemetery", which is revised and annotated here.
The theme of this issue is the Six Mile Church, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this month. A number of newspaper articles relating to the Six Mile church are included as well as a couple of references to the M. E. church also celebrating its anniversary this year. Transcribed newspaper articles referring to the G. A. R. trip to Chattanooga TN and an Old Settlers meeting during Street Fair a hundred years ago are included. Contributed material includes an article on "Legal Property Descriptions" and a notice for the 2013 Ditzler Reunion. A couple of somewhat humorous 'legal' articles round out the issue. An additional Six Mile church article can be found here.
Newspaper articles on the Presbyterian church in Bluffton and on Poneto, its press, its fair and it banks are beginning material in this issue. Articles from 1913 on the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and some articles on the drinking fountains in Bluffton complete the 'A Hundred Years Ago' articles.
Two contributors share unpublished works. Suzanne Spindler has some Civil War letters from John T. Cartwright and Henry Cartwright of Ossian. Typescripts and photocopies of the letters are provided to the Wells County Tracer. Tom Eversden offers more research on the Civil War travels of Lawrence R. VanEmon. Two chapters of his work are published in this issue.
Regular columns include the January 2013 meeting minutes, the President's Corner, and the Editorial column. An obituary of WCGS member, June Ann Shrock, a book review of the Swaim Civil War letters, and newspaper article transcriptions by the editor on floods, the county orphan home, and a precursor on the income tax. Vi Tester supplies an article on a newer resource at the public library, microfilm of Wells County marriage records. Also note that the Wells County Public Library offers genealogy classes.
This issue has two special articles: Tom Eversden (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is researching his wife's ancestor L. R. VanEmon, a civil war veteran. A report on their
travels to visit sites where the 101st Indiana Infantry were during Pvt. VanEmon's first year of service is very informative. Three very
interesting letters written by Lawrence VanEmon during the war were transcribed by Mr. Eversden and printed in this issue. A Brief History of
the Six Mile Cemetery, the Cemetery Column for this issue, is authored by Scott Shoup, secretary of the Six Mile Cemetery Association, and
required reading for any family historian or genealogist whose family members are buried here. The Book Review column discusses two books
that published the Civil War diaries of William Bluffton Miller (75th Ind. Inf. Co. K). [See also,
Links within the feature article, Civil War letters of Pvt. Lawrence R. VanEmon, 101st Ind. Inf. Co. B:
Links within the Cemetery Column: Six Mile Cemetery:
After the minutes of the previous meeting and the President's column, the Book Review discusses the outline of the 2003 publication of the WCGS, Early Settlers of Blackford & Wells Counties 1837-1898. A list of the Family Group Sheets in the "First Families of Wells County" section is included. An introduction to an irregular series of articles on Wells County social clubs prefaces the article about the Bluffton Psychical Society. Several prominent residents of Bluffton were associated with this group, among them being Levi Mock, a Bluffton mayor. This then leads into another series of proposed articles on Bluffton mayors. A Short Biographical Sketch of Levi Mock initiates the serial. An rearrangement of data combines burial sites with a list of veterans of the 101st Indiana Infantry, Company B to continue the attempt of the previous issue's handling of the 47th Ind. Inf., Co. A.
Co B 101st Regt.
The July minutes, the President's column, the Editor's column and a Short Biographical Sketch of David Hathaway Swaim begin this issue. The first edition of the Cemetery Column has the Old Bluffton Cemetery as its subject. Associated articles are on transfers from Old Bluffton to Fairview Cemetery and military veteran burials in Old Bluffton. A list of Civil War veterans who served in the 47th Regiment, Company A is printed with an attempt to identify the cemeteries where they are buried.
Good Bye outgoing 1888 Chronicle editor
Greeting incoming 1888 Chronicle editor
Old Bluffton Cemetery 1841 land donation Commissioners' records
Old Bluffton Cemetery 1841 survey Commissioners' records
Lancaster Section 33 patents land patents prior to 1841 Old Bluffton Cemetery survey
Old Bluffton transfers (article in v.17, n.5 issue of WC Tracer)
GAR in OBC
Co A 47th Regt.
Version 3.16 Revised on Monday 22 January 2024
2012 - 2024