TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, January 17, 2009

“A Heavy 4-H Project”

Yesterday, I wrote about judging different levels of the 4-H Genealogy Project. It reminded me of a little story that I would like to share. One of the 4-H young ladies was in her ninth year of 4-H Club work (they can only be in for 10 years or when they reach the age limit for members). One of the more outstanding 4-H'ers had been taking the Genealogy Project from her first year when it was called the “Family Tree Project.” Her name was Kendra Maasberg, her mother Cynthia was an active TSGS member and once served as TSGS Recording Secretary. Kendra did a thorough job of gathering all of the documents photocopied for her exhibit notebooks. She had birth, marriage applications, military records, death and obituaries. She had a photo of when someone was young, about the time of marriage and sometimes an later in life photo and a picture of their tombstone. She had deeds, census records, wills, education and church records for each person going back 8 generations. There were Generation Charts, Family Group Sheets, Additional Information Sheets, an essay for each year. Everything was placed in plastic protector sheets. As you can imagine this filled up several 4 inch loose-leaf notebooks – she had four that ninth year. When it was time to enter the exhibits, I was at the fair grounds to sign in the exhibits as the Genealogy Project Superintendent. Here comes Kendra using a cart to haul her notebooks in. After nine years, we knew each other fairly well and seeing that cart, I decided to kid her about it. I told her that there was a rule on weight limits for the project – no more than 50 pounds per 4-H'er. She laughed assuring me it did not weigh that much at all.

In Kendra's tenth year (her last), she comes in with five of those big notebooks and quickly asks what that weight limit was for the projects. She stated she looked through everything and could not find that rule. At first, I did not know what she was talking about (I had forgotten about my little joke). She said didn't you say that the total weight had to be under 50 pounds? I remembered and said yes that is correct. She smiled really big and proudly stated the total weight of her five notebooks was 49.7 pounds! The joke was on me that year. - Submitted by John G. West

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Judging 4-H Genealogy Fair Exhibit Notebooks"

I got a letter from the State 4-H Office at Purdue yesterday appointing me a State Fair 4-H Genealogy Judge which reminded me that 2008 was a good year since I judged for the first time for the State Fair! Despite having my appendix removed, 2008 was not so bad... I went to a y-DNA West family reunion in Nashville meeting a lot of my DNA-proven cousins. But, I guess the highlight was judging at the Stat Fair. 4-H has been a big part of my life since I was 9 years old and that was over 50 years ago. I served for 25 years as the Vanderburgh 4-H Genealogy Project Superintendent and have judged the project in area County Fairs for over 20 years. So, getting to judge at the State Fair is a "big deal." The project requires the 4-H member to properly document their work and follow standard genealogical procedures. In the top left photo I am judging at the Indiana State Fair; and, yes, all those notebooks for Division 3 in the shelves behind me were for 2 judges (over 50 county champion exhibits). The next photo down (centered) was taken at the Vanderburgh County 4-H Fair. When I was the Project Superintendent, I did not normally judge any of the projects, this year was also my first year to judge in my home county. In the background you see Connie Conrad, TSGS Treasurer judging notebooks, too. The notebook I am judging went to the State Fair and was in the top 5 exhibits to be the State Fair Champion of all the Genealogy Notebook Exhibits. The last photo to the right is of me at home judging surrounding county fair exhibits. I have been judging county exhibits beginning with Warrick County about 24 years ago. - Submitted by JGWest

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tombstone Thursday - Jimmy Shawn Lee

Maple Hill Cemetery, New Harmony, Indiana

These are the front and back views of this very beautiful coal black marker. I took these photos on a cool day in April of 2006. It moved me very much reminding me of the sacrifices soldiers and families must endure during time of war. The black stone was greatly polished making it like a mirror. You can see me taking the photo as a reflection on the marker below. Notice how "Go with God" seems to be written on the grass. - Submitted by JGWest

[Tombstone Thursday is dedicated in memory of Donald G. West 1952-2000]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Last night's TSGS meeting at Willard Library was actually well attended for a very cold January night. Becky West had a group of 7 set in on her HELP Session & Connie Conrad gave her power point presentation for a group of 17. We normally have between 30 & 50 people to make our monthly meetings, but January & Febuary are lucky to get 10 to 15. The above photo was taken by me as I was explaining this blog. I told them that if they hung their heads or tried to otherwise hide themselves that I would single them out - everyone is looking at the camera! Three individuals are along my right side and the Secretary is to my left and were not included in this photo. BTW, that is not my teleprompter, but rather Connie's laptop for her upcoming power point program.

The Society voted last night to authorize the Book Acquisition Committee to purchase up to $2,000 of research materials for the library... this is the standard amount allocated to this committee.

It was announced that the Board voted to postpone our annual seminar for 2009 until 2010. This move was made to decide if we should continue having seminars or try to attempt another method of providing genealogy related programs. It was noted that the economy would likely have an adverse effect on this year's attendance.

The ClustrMaps Counter shows that we just got a hit yesterday from the ninth country outside of the USA on our regular TSGS Web Site! See our site at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~intsgs/index.html

John G. West, TSGS President

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TSGS Meetings/Events

Tonight is the first meeting of our new year 2009 for the Tri-State Genealogical Society... that is a lot of letters to type, so we usually just use "TSGS." Our meetings are held at Willard Library on the second floor in the main room of the Special collections Department (Genealogy & History). We will have a HELP Session at 6:30 PM featuring Becky West's "A Journey to the Beginning: My Adoption Story." Our regular Monthly Membership Meeting will start at 7:30 PM with our program conducted by Connie Conrad. She presents an informative & entertaining power point presentation "So You Think It Doesn't Exist." You do not need to be a member nor is there any charge to attend the HELP Session or the Membership Meeting. Come out to enjoy two great programs and meet some of our members (who just might be able to help you find a lost ancestor!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Brief Genealogical Notes

More Notes...

From Chris Myers ~ The Evansville Public Library has some very high resolution scans of Photos and a couple of early City Directories online.

Don Counts honored as a "HERO" in The Veteran's Voice [December 2008]. http://www.theveteransvoice.com/Hero.html

Reminder ~ Tomorrow night TSGS will hold its monthly membership meeting. Please come meet with us , you do not need to be a member to attend our meetings. At 6:30 PM for the HELP Session, Becky West will make you laugh and make you cry as she tells you her "Journey to the Beginning" - her adoption story. She has a lot of "how to" and some entertaining short stories. Connie Conrad will present the program for our regular meeting that starts at 7:30 PM. Her power point presentation "So You Think It Doesn't Exist" will entertain and inform you of ways to find elusive records. Stop by our meeting at Willard Library and tell me what you think about our blog.

Follow-up on the photo submitted by Don Counts concerning J.D. Ritzy's Fantasy of Lights, the annual event raised $142,000 for the Easter Seals Foundation for the Evansville Rehabilitation Center.

The ClustrMaps counter on our regular TSGS Web Site tells us that the site has been visited by people from 8 countries outside of the United States since 14 December 2008. And the old counter registers over 54, 660 "hits" since it started in 1997. The site usually gets fairly low hit numbers, but since we developed the blog and added a few more things to our site, the numbers have climbed significantly. Around Thanksgiving we reached the 52,000 mark which means that in about 6 weeks, the site has had over 2,660 hits! See our site at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~intsgs/index.html

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brief Genealogical Notes

The Photo Album on the TSGS Web Site has a new page for the 14 Jun 2005 Flag Day TSGS Monthly Meeting. The program was “Flags Over America” presented by John G. West and assisted by Becky West & Don Counts. The above photo shows some of the fun at a TSGS meeting. Becky pokes the flint lock musket at John surprising John while Bettie Cook laughs on the left. There are several photos of the program with photos of the Color Guard presenting the Colors for the Pledge of Allegiance and the installation of the 2005-2006 TSGS Officers. Take a look at the officers and see all the flags at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~intsgs/photos3.html

Former TSGS President Virginia Aldridge released last night that there are now 100 images from Vanderburgh Co., IN Marriage Applications Volume 25 online.

Former TSGS President Don Counts suggests that when reading old records this might help to know what the definition of words and terms were during that period of time. Entire 1828 dictionary online at:

- Compiled by JGWest