TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Brief Genealogical Notes

Actually, I will be racing UP the Ohio River from Evansville to Cincinnati in just a few minutes. We are going to see the grandkids for Christmas, but we have to be back Sunday night. I wanted to leave this message: “The Kentucky Historical Society will continue to add all volumes of Kentucky Ancestors up to the four most recent issues on a periodic basis on this page for general use.” Go here:

The Kentucky Historical Society has some neat stuff planned for Kentucky's Abraham Lincoln. Go to their index (home) page: http://history.ky.gov/index.php

It is sort of unique that TSGS covers the three home states of President Lincoln, all of which have great Lincoln celebrations going on for his 200th. Year celebration of his birth in 1809. I grew up near the Spencer County line in Warrick County, not far from Lincoln's boyhood home. - by John G. West

Friday, December 19, 2008

“Tri-State Links”

Going out of town this weekend to see the grandkids, so I thought I would put together something kind of easy to pass along. I will try to get something posted on Sat. & Sun., too. TSGS covers the tri-state area; so, here are some basic state-wide links, that most of you already have, that might be nice to be in one list ~

Genealogical Society - http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilsgs/
ILGenWeb - http://ilgenweb.net/
State Government - http://www.illinois.gov/
State Library - http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/
State Archives - http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/archives.html

Genealogical Society - http://www.indgensoc.org/
INGenWeb - http://www.ingenweb.org/
State Government - http://www.in.gov/
State Library - http://www.in.gov/library/index.htm
State Archives - http://www.fisa-in.org/

Genealogical Society - http://www.kygs.org/
KYGenWeb - http://www.kygenweb.net/
State Government - http://kentucky.gov/Pages/home.aspx
State Library - http://www.kdla.ky.gov/
State Archives - http://www.statearchives.us/kentucky.htm

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Our poll “Why Do You Do Genealogy?” attracted eleven participants. Many said their reason was to learn more about their ancestors (54%) or 6 of the 11 while 27% (3 voters) said that they wanted to “know who I am.” The poll was modified from the one Brenda Jerome sent me. You can still vote even though the poll has closed by simply clicking on the comments at bottom of this blog and posting your choice: honor ancestors, know who I am, like puzzles, learn about ancestors or other. Check out the latest poll (in the right-hand column) - of the listed who would you pick as your favorite ancestor!

Hey, the Packet (our members' quarterly journal) came in the mail yesterday... everyone will get theirs tomorrow if not in today's mail. Another nice looking Packet put together by our Editor, Brenda Legate. Good job by Brenda and all who submitted articles to publish. The next deadline for submissions for the March issue of the Tri-State Packet is January 15. See what the cover of our quarterly looks like – scroll down the right-hand column to the yellow copy of the Packet. You can also send something to be published in this blog.

A new feature for our regular Web Site is near the top of the index page. It is called ClustrMaps that shows visitors locations on a world map. You need to click on it for a larger version of the map that shows where our visitors accessed our sites (probably where they live or work). This morning we had 50 visitors since 14 December. Out of the 50, there were 17 outside the tri-state area including one from Ireland and one from Canada. I will report the results on the blog from time to time, but you can check it out yourself by going to our site (we have a link to our site under the graphic of our TSGS Cruiser in the right column). - by John G. West

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tech Info

“What's the Scoop on This Blog?”

In the right-hand column of this blog I composed a welcome message to visitors wherein I state that “I have no idea of what I am doing!” Well, that has changed just enough to make me dangerous. I have looked at other blogs to see what they are doing and I have done a lot of experimenting with this blog. First, why the term “Blog?” It is short for “Web Log.” And the idea behind a log is to just publish a daily, weekly or other regular interval journal or diary of events, stories, information or thoughts. Well that is ok, but what is all of this nautical nonsense? Our members' quarterly journal is named the Tri-State Packet after the Ohio River packet line that delivered cargo along the river. The society meets at Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana on the Ohio River. The quarterly has a sketch of one of those old cargo packet line boats (see the yellow cover of our journal in the right column). The quarterly has regular features such as “The Ship's Log” (President's column), “News From the Deck” (Willard Library & TSGS news), “The Pilot House” (from the Editor), etc. So, I have used some nautical terms for features for this blog and updated the name from the old Packet boat to a cruiser. I found a neat graphic of a “cruiser” to represent the TSGS Cruiser Blog. Tell me what you think about it?

The TSGS Cruiser Blog is for anyone interested in genealogy and in particular the Tri-State Genealogical Society (TSGS). Anyone can send me ideas or articles to publish in this blog, click on one of the “submit ideas” links to send me an email. You can also make a comment about an article. Click on the word “Comments” at bottom of each article to make a comment about that article and your thoughts will become part of the interaction that a blog can generate. So far, this blog does not have a large following and has only a few comments. These comments provide feedback as to what interests our visitors and stimulates discussions about various topics and ideas. Please make a comment when you read these articles. Hopefully, you will come back on a regular basis to read the blogs that have been posted on this site, which is a daily log of various types of messages. The articles will always be in the left-hand column. Just below where you can post comments is a list of labels for the article which represents the subjects that label what the article is about. Anyone that contributes an article will get a “by-line” plus their name will be one of the labels. A long list of labels can be found in the right-hand column and number of articles for each label. Click on the label name and all of the articles with that label will appear in the left column. Above the labels is a list (archive) of each article's title that you can click on for it to appear on the left side. The archives is open for the current month's articles. Each month has a small pointer that you can click on to open the list of articles or close it (same for each year). Click on the name of the month and it will load all of the blogs for that month in the left side. In parentheses is the number of articles for that month or year. At the bottom of the left-hand column there is a link for “Newer Posts” “Home” “Older Posts” that will take you through all of the posts from the first to the last one. At the top of the right-hand column is our survey/poll that runs for about a week. You can only vote once, but each time you visit you can check the current vote results. I create the question and choices for it... I need visitors to give me some ideas or a complete poll. I will report the final results of each poll under the heading of “The Captain's Log – TSGS News.” After the poll closes voting is stopped, but you can click on comments later to post how you would have voted.

I would like to encourage everyone to become a follower of the TSGS Cruiser and to make comments, vote in our polls, send in an article or an idea for an article. Help us make this a great interactive site for TSGS members and other genealogical friends and visitors. We hope to make this a great communications tool to keep our members informed and a tool for our members to keep the rest of us “in the know.” Lets have some fun, learn some things and interact with one another. -by John G. West

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

“Like Father, Like Son”

When I was growing up, Dad would say that what belonged to him and Mom belonged to all of us... the whole family. However, I was somewhat different than Dad, as I felt like what was mine was mine and what belonged to the family was mine, too! As a kid I was basically selfish and ambitious (so, what's new, right?). I remember Dad and I walking through the woods behind our home in rural Warrick Co., IN. I was about 10 years old and full of questions. “Dad, is this YOUR woods?” He said that it was OUR woods. So, Wow! This was MY woods!!! Later that year, for Christmas, we went to Florida to visit Grandma Gilkey, who lived near Miami. It was a little too cool to swim – we went to an island to collect shells instead. From the island we had a great view of the Miami skyline with the beautiful tall buildings. Dad said, “Look kids, there is Miami.” It was really impressive. I asked Dad, “Is it MY Ami, too?”

I was not like my father, but my middle son was a lot like his father... selfish and ambitious. If you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, the answer was “Rich!” When the 3 boys were young, my wife stayed home to raise them. So, money was, generally, kind of tight. Sometimes when one needed something, we had to wait, at least until payday. This middle son (age 5 to 7) would ask for things he needed, as well as, things we really did not want him to have. When we could afford to get him what he asked for, we just got it for him. When I didn't have the money right then or I did not want him to have something, I would simply say, “When I get rich, I will get it for you.” He was happy & content with that and went along to play. It was amazing how well this worked! This went along fine for about 2 years and solved a lot of problems. One day when he was about 7 years old, he came up to me while I was going over some genealogy notes, “Dad... Dad... DAD!” I said, “WHAT?” He asked me, “you are never going to get rich, are you?” - by John G. West

Monday, December 15, 2008

“Twins & Genealogy”

Have you ever thought about twins and genealogy? They have the exact same family history. So, is it easier? I suspect it could only be easier, if the two team up to research together. And, when you think about it, all siblings with the same mother & father would have the same family with twins just starting at the same time. I brought this up because I thought about one of TSGS former Presidents, Ken Franks. Ken has joined his ancestors now, but around 20-25 years ago, I talked him into being a 4-H Family History Project judge at the county 4-H fair. Carol Lantaff and I were in charge of the project. The project was somewhat involved with 5 generation charts, family group sheets and individual “additional information” sheets. All of this required listing documentation/sources. In addition the 4-H'er was asked to include photos, some birth, marriage applications or death certificates and other actual (photocopied) records. Since some 4-H members might have someone that had done extensive family research and the scope of the project was limited to completing a five generation history, the project called for an annual 2-page written activity or story. This was to ensure that each year there was something that had to be done and help balance out the kids that were starting from nothing and the ones with 5 generations already done by Aunt Lucinda. The project required so much to be completed in 3 divisions set-up by age – all was cumulative.

Some of you have probably already figured out what I will be telling you. The year Ken judged these projects, we had a set of twins. We had 3 judges one for each division – Ken had the twins in his senior division. Since they were born on the same day and had all the same ancestors, the only things that were different was the given names for the charts and on their birth certificates. Since they were twins all of the photos that included one of them, included both of them. These twin boys had older sisters and a mom that helped them type, proof read and check sources, etc. The girls had been in the project several years and this was the boys seventh year or so. Everything was nearly perfect. They were required to write about the same subject; and, although, they approached the subject differently, they were equally well done. These two notebook exhibits were clearly the best two, the judge needed to select a champion and a reserve champion. Ken asked me if it was permissible to give two champions for that senior division. I said that he would have to pick one as champion and the other as reserve. He said, “but, they are almost exactly alike!” I told him the twins competed in a lot of projects in a lot of years and generally was chosen as the top two – they were used to one beating out the other. Ken needed to flip a coin or look for typo errors. I am not totally sure how he picked the champion, but Ken refused to judge again! - by John G. West

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Special Interest Groups (SIG's)

The TSGS Board had authorized the establishment of a TSGS Celtic SIG (Special Interest Group), but before it could be organized, the volunteer leader was no longer available. However, the SIG idea was well promoted as a way to increase involvement and provide a service for our members.

Many of our local TSGS members were members of the South West Indiana PC Users Group (SWIPCUP) that just recently disbanded. Perhaps TSGS could more effectively organize a TSGS Computer SIG, now that SWIPCUP is no longer available. SWIPCUP provided a lot of information, help and sharing of common problems with some excellent programs. TSGS has had a Computer Interest Group for 4 or 5 years, but it was limited in its scope with 2 sessions a year and was part of the HELP Sessions before the meetings. I led the group for several years, but it was just mostly a 30-minute presentation with some “questions & answers” time at the end. What do some of you bloggers out there think about a full-fledged TSGS Computer SIG? A group that would meet 4, 6 or more times a year and maybe have some hands-on workshops to show how a lot of simple, basic things are done on computers that many just have trouble figuring it out by reading the instructions.

Another excellent idea, that I found on the Internet last night came from the Southern California Genealogical Society Web Site (SCGS) who have developed a Genetic DNA SIG and have created a group with Family Tree DNA to provide group discount in testing costs. This group can share information about genetic DNA testing and encourage others to participate. I would appreciate comments be added to this blog concerning SIG's in general and what you think of a Computer or DNA SIG. Click on the word comments at bottom of this blog and submit what you think. Our Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) could use your opinions.

What do you all think about our new TSGS Cruiser graphic in the right-hand column?

John G. West, TSGS President