Sunday, December 26, 2010
Below is a picture of our little dog... Ollie!
He is very hard to photograph because he is super hyperactive! They say that Terriers are naturally very active dogs and they say West Highland White Terriers (WESTIES) are exceptionally feisty! So, what does this have to do with genealogy and where is the story?
In this case it is hard to know what the story is since it is just a photo taken at some unknown time somewhere with only the dog. If you know much about digital pics, you would be able to tell it is a modified digital photo, probably taken in the last 10 years or less (it could be older, but not likely). You have good enough features to realize that it is a Westie, which is generally an expensive dog to obtain and to some extent to maintain. You might think the owners had a little bit of money... but not in this case. Ollie was a gift from friends that had too many other dogs to maintain (someone gave Ollie to them). One thing is for sure, the owners took this photo because they loved the dog or they wanted to find it another home by showing the photo to others. In this case the owners loved the little dog.
Why did I select this picture for this blog? Well, I just told you that we love our dog... just like all pet owners. We are all proud to show off our pets. How many pets do you see in the photo Christmas greeting cards with the whole family & the pets? We would have been in the photo with Ollie, but it is almost impossible to catch him not moving. Ok, again what is my point? All of us, including our ancestors, are/were proud of our pets, cars/trucks, horses, pistols, rifles, farm animals, homes, etc. You know someone was a hunter or fisherman because they took pictures of themselves with the "catch" which was so important to them and a source of pride!
Just take a look at the older pictures in your family and you will see these items in most of the photos... it tells you about the person and what was important to them. You may not be able to know what the story is behind a lot of these photos, but you can learn a little more about the people in them. I will say that people did not have digital cameras until just the last 10-15 years - which means they were using film that cost money to buy it & develop it. You did not always have film for the camera without going somewhere to buy it. Which the genealogical detective in me suggests that they had film because there will be a special event to take photos or there was still film in the camera after such a special event. More often than not, people took photos to finish out the roll to take it in to get it developed. They would pick things that had some value to them or to ensure they had a recent photo of everyone.
Like most of us that take photos, we generally make sure what is in the background is appropriate or has some meaning to it. On the farm, you will see the tractor, the barn, cows, horses, chickens or other animals. You might see crops, flowers, a wagon of hay, or other items signifying pride in the farm like a basket of eggs! There is a story in those photos about these people. You may not know what kind of farmers they were, until you see the tobacco leaves hanging in the barn.
During your Christmas Holiday & New Years, it might be a good time to look through some old photos to see what stories you can learn from them. Look at the people you know well to see how they told you a lot about themselves in their photos and then apply what you have seen to the ones that you did not know as well. Anyway, it should be a good time to reflect on your family.
Happy Holidays, looking forward to a great new genealogical year!
- Written by JGWest
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
This would be a genealogy Christmas present, of course!
It could be a new computer or genealogy software to record my family data... maybe even a new scanner to scan documents & photos for the history of my family. Maybe a research book with data about my ancestors & relatives. Perhaps a good gift would be a subscription to a genealogical magazine, society or to an Internet service like Ancestry.com. I could send off for military records or vital records. Or, even, hire a professional genealogist to research for me in a far away location.
I could upgrade my y-DNA testing or test for my mt-DNA. That WEST researcher in Texas and I still can not prove we are related (even though we both feel that we are). I can pay for half or all of a y-DNA on him to see if we match - just to find out one way or another on our families being related.
But, I think what I will give myself for Christmas is to find all of my ancestors with missing dates of birth and/or death dates... then find documents to establish a window frame of when the event happened and then try to make that frame as small as possible. Merry Christmas to me!!!
And a Very Merry Christmas to all of you!
- Written by JGWest
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thanks to Karin Schueler Donato for finally & officially retiring the age-old debate: is it pronounced "Reading" or "Red-ding?" The answer is that it is pronounced as "Red-ding" which is the way this PA city & railroad pronounce it. A cousin, Clint Hadden, said that the way the locals say it, is the way it is!
I hated to give in on this, as we always called it "Reading Railroad" saying it as it looks. The debate grew as my son tried to hold on to our tradition and his wife, Christie Schueler West - yes, Karin's sister! - fought, with Vigor and a few other people, against us! Christie resorted to having all of her friends on FaceBook to vote for her precious "Red-ding" version of the name.
Alas, as a true West, we will show our honorable side by admitting that we were
For a time in the 19th Century, Reading was the largest corporation in the world. As the coal business declined and truck competition increased, Reading's revenues signficantly declined. Reading entered bankruptcy in 1971. I wonder if they had pronounced the name correctly, would they still be prominent & powerful today?
- Compiled by JGWest
PS: The Schueler sisters are from Cincinnati for whatever that is worth.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
The Tri-State Genealogical Society has decided to cancel the Christmas Social for Tuesday night due to cold & icy weather conditions. Please help spread the word.
John G. West, TSGS President
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Parker County Genealogical Society of Texas
has decided to dissolve after 41 years!
According to the article by Crystal Brown in the 10 Dec 2010 edition of the Weatherford Democrat, leadership of the society decided to disband due to decreasing membership and failing health of of others along with the lack of new, younger researchers joining the group. Many were in their 30's when they started with attendance of 50-60 members at each meeting during their peek years. The membership began declining in the 1980's with only as few as six attending meetings in recent years on Tuesday nights at the library.
- blog from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter for 10 Dec 2010 for the complete newspaper article go to the Weatherford Democrat.
Unfortunately, this is becoming a trend of genealogical societies folding due to declining memberships and leaders to keep the groups going. The Tri-State Genealogical Society started 41 years ago just like this Texas group. We may have been a little larger than they were, but we are facing the same problems: declining membership, low meeting attendance, active members dropping out because of age or health and a lack of new, younger members joining. TSGS has done several things to attempt to avoid these shortcomings or to at least lessen its impact. Times are changing and in the field of genealogy it is becoming a rapid change! Technology and the Internet is changing everything... the Internet & computers are significant tools for researchers - even the beginners or "newbies" as we have labeled them.
I just sent out comments to about 14 researchers on Ancestry.com that have incorrect data on my ancestors! Two responded thanking me for the correction... I sent them proof for my information in addition to proof that what they had was not correct. Like all of us that research our family histories we assume that if their is enough details, the information must be true; especially, if there are many others with the same exact information! It does not dawn on many of the new "genealogists" that everyone got the same data from the same one person. New and too many experienced researchers take "facts" at face value without questioning its validity. About 10 of the researchers that I sent a message listed a man that died in 1714 as being the father of another man born in 1718. If you do not see what is wrong with that data, you need to attend our genealogical society meetings to become a better detective & researcher.
I got off subject somewhat. The key is that genealogical societies provide a great deal for family historians and each society needs to do whatever it can to stay active.
- written by JGWest
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Christmas Holiday Social
The Tri-State Genealogical Society will host an informal Christmas Holiday Season Social at Willard Library (second floor) on Tuesday night 14 December 2010. Come & go as you please, we will be here from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. Refreshments & fellowship... good time to ask someone a research question! There will be several little items given as attendance gifts - must be present to win. Looking forward to seeing everyone.
John & Becky West
P.S.: I apologize for not posting much lately... besides not having much time, I have not felt well and then I fell down at work. I did not break anything, except my pride! I have been sore for over a week with one shoulder that wants to give me a lot of pain. I am ok and blessed to not have been injured enough to need medical attention! JGW
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to NBC on January 21
NBC is overhauling its schedule for mid-season. However, one program returns to its old time slot: Who Do You Think You Are? will air on Fridays at 8 PM Eastern time, beginning on January 21. Details may be found on many web sites that carry entertainment news. Start with Google News at http://goo.gl/15uG0
Sunday, November 7, 2010
TSGS Meeting Notice - Attendance Prizes
November 9, 2010 - 7:00 PM
Speaker John G. West
Friday, November 5, 2010
On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States, defeating John C. Breckinridge, Stephen A. Douglas, and John Bell. He was the first Republican to hold the office of President. Just four months into his first term, the nation fell apart. Lincoln successfully led the United States through one of its greatest crises, the American Civil War, and was assassinated just days after the war ended.
See more Abraham Lincoln documents:
1860 Chicago Tribune Election results
Lincoln and his Family in 1860 US Census
Mathew Brady photo of Lincoln
Where was your family 150 years ago?
Search the Civil War Collection
Email promotion from Footnote.com
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This came off of FaceBook today as posted by Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams (unopposed in today's election). It tells how just one vote can really make a difference. I wanted to post this earlier to encourage everyone to vote, but even though the polls just closed, this information is interesting!
In 1844, in the backwoods area of Switzerland County, Indiana on election day, a farmer named Freeman Clark lay seriously ill in bed. He begged his sons to carry him to the county seat so he could vote for David Kelso to become a state senator. David Kelso had defended old Freeman Clark on a murder charge and obtained his acquittal. The old farmer Freeman Clark got to vote for Kelso, but Clark died on his way back home. Kelso won the election by one vote. Both Freeman Clark and David Kelso were long-time Andrew Jackson supporters.
In 1844, when the new Indiana senate convened, Democrats had a majority of one counting David Kelso. At that time, state senates had the task of electing the state's United States Senator. The Indiana Senate Democrats held a caucus where it developed a majority of the party delegation favored a man who would vote against the annexation of Texas if elected to the U.S. Senate. David Kelso refused to vote for the Democratic Party choice and a deadlock resulted between the Democratic and Whig candidates. This continued for days. Finally, Kelso made his move. He proposed a new candidate: Edward A. Hannigan. In his party caucus, Kelso notified his Democratic associates he would bolt and vote with the Whigs thus electing a Whig to the Senate — unless the Democrats supported Hannigan. The Democrats felt constrained to accept Hannigan who was then elected as Indiana's U.S. Senator by one vote — that of David Kelso.
In 1845, Texas was admitted to the union as a state by one vote — that of Edward A. Hannigan from Indiana. The 1844 and 1845 excerpts on the series of single votes leading to Texas statehood are from the book Magnificent Destiny.
See more at Florida's Elections Division: Every Vote Counts
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Halloween at the West Home in 2009.
I just do not have the energy this year to set-up our large cemetery. Our Letter Carrier last year loved the tombstone on the upper right. It says: "BILL, the Letter Carrier... Too many Bills! 2004-2008"
Friday, October 22, 2010
Footnote Sells Out to Ancestry.com
[Press Release via My Email - JGWest]
Several weeks ago Footnote.com (as part of iArchives) agreed to be acquired by Ancestry.com and that transaction has officially closed today. As we join forces with Ancestry.com there is a huge opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and move even faster toward our goals. You may be curious about how this deal effects members of Footnote.com? The plan is to continue to run Footnote.com the way we have always run Footnote.com — continuing to do what we believe is best for our customers, our business and our brand.
Now that the deal is officially closed we are excited to leverage some of Ancestry.com’s resources and expertise to take Footnote.com to the next level. It has been exciting to see Footnote.com grow over the past 4 years. Footnote.com started with only 5 million historical documents and today we have nearly 70 million searchable documents, over 1 million members, nearly 100,000 Footnote Pages, and over half million annotations added. We couldn’t have done it without our members and the great team at Footnote.com and we are excited for Ancestry.com’s support in the next chapter.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I was wondering if you have any information or references on the old Diamond Coal mine that once stood near the intersection of Stringtown Road and Diamond Avenue? My grandfather worked there from about 1910 to 1922. I have checked Willard Library without success and an unsuccessful internet search. Also checked your general index but no references found. Are you aware of anything available? Tom Howell.
Can anyone help Tom with information about this coal mine. I am wondering if it would be mentioned in the city directories. Is there any histories about Indiana coal mines? - JGWest
Patty Frey found a photo of the Diamond Coal Mine (click on the name).
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
My Haynes Story!
This is the story of my accidental find on my Haynes family! My youngest son, James, was working on his Division Two of the 4-H Genealogy Project that required photos of tombstones for his ancestors and other relatives. Since most were buried in Kentucky in about 6 counties, it seemed wise to plan a route to go from cemetery to cemetery and to know who we wanted to get a photo of their grave marker. Best way to do that was to go to Willard Library and check the "Cemetery Inscription" books. These generally had the name of the cemetery with location and listed everyone's information on their personal little monument. I sent James back to get the Christian County books while I got out our charts & records of who we were looking for.
Odd that someone had left a book on the table instead of placing it on the cart as requested by the library. Coincidentally, it was a cemetery inscription book for Ohio County, KY. I didn't know the library had this book... they only had one book for this county for years - a marriage record book. This marriage book listed the marriage of my ancestors William Allen Kimble to Hannah Haynes 25 Aug 1825. According to the census records, they lived in Grayson County, Ky adjoining Ohio Co. to the east. So, while I had this cemetery book in my hand, I checked for Kimble's in the index. To my amazement there were many listed! Quickly, I looked for Haynes... there were even more! I found the cemetery that William & Hannah were buried. This book is what some call "annotated" version which meant (to me) that it was a notable work (possibly blessed by a Priest or Rabbi) or that it contained notes appended thereof. I think the latter is correct! ;) The note for Hannah stated she was the daughter of John Barton Haynes & Rhoda Huff. RHODA?!!!? So, that is where the name "Rhoda" came from! The daughter of Hannah & William Kimble was Rhoda Kimble who married William Wood (my great-great grandparents).
Of course, I needed to prove all of this. I visited the graves of all those I just mentioned and the library in Fordsville. They suggested that I go to the Grayson Co. Library in Leitchfield where I found a booklet on the Haynes of Grayson, Ohio & Breckinridge Counties of Kentucky. Information from the census & the John Barton Haynes Bible listed all of his children including Hannah married to William Kimble. Now, this library suggested going to the one in Owensboro. There I came out with close to 300 pages of copied data documenting this Haynes/Huff family costing about $40! And it was worth every penny... I had discovered five new generations and eight new surnames of direct ancestors. Incredible find!
I remembered seeing in the TSGS 5-Generation Book that someone else had Haynes in Kentucky. It was Joan Parker (former Special Collections Librarian for Willard Library & currently at the Newburgh Public Library) and her ancestors were John Barton Haynes & Rhoda Huff, too!!! Later, I learned that the late Sam McDowell descended from this family of Haynes. Sam published a lot of genealogical books for Kentucky researchers and attended most of the TSGS Seminars as a vendor. We had become friends over the years through these seminars.
I want to add this little story to this. After I learned that Joan & I had the same ancestors, we exchanged information each had. And I was surprised at all that she had that was different than what I had found! I went by the old Newburgh Library by the river to give Joan copies of what I had. I was telling her that it just seemed like we could just pick up any file, folder or book and get more information. I reached out grabbing a book off of the shelf we happened to be near and stated: "I could pick up any book look in the index and find our Haynes family" (while turning to the index). To my surprise there was John Barton Haynes!!! Joan did not believe me when I said I just picked this book at random. Becky was there and said that I had not looked at any books, we were just standing there waiting for Joan to show up after she was called to meet us! And, that is the truth!
- Written by JGWest
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I just discovered that the link to the Evansville City Cemeteries has changed! I was making a list of links for a handout for an introductory program on Wednesday. Joan Elliott Parker asked me to make a short presentation to about 40 librarians at the Newburgh Public Library on 20 Oct 2010. I wanted to send this handout to Joan ASAP so she could get the copies made for everyone. I almost went into a panic, as I view the databases for the 2 cemeteries to be prime examples of excellent information that you can get on the Internet.
Luckily, Chris Cooke, Superintendent of the cemeteries is a friend on FaceBook... Isent him a private message from FaceBook and he responded quickly giving me the revised new URL for the cemeteries. Chris said that the city was making changes to their network of department web sites the last few weeks. It looks great and on the left hand column you can find various links including the link to the searchable database.
For our blog readers, here is the new URL for the Evansville City Cemeteries: http://www.evansvillegov.org/Index.aspx?page=1334
John G. West, TSGS President
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Speaker: Robert Hall
"The Legend of Washington Irving"
with glimses of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
featuring Ichabod Crane.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
One of my favorite local speakers will be presenting one of his best programs: "The Legend of Washington Irving." Robert N. Hall will give the program for our October TSGS meeting. I heard this program nearly 20 years ago and can not wait to hear it again. In the program, Bob tells us about this famous author and then discribes two of his best remembered classics: Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. Bob dresses as Ichabod Crane to give the whole program some character!
Speaker: Robert Hall, "The Legend of [Author] Washington Irving" with glimses of Rip Van Winkle & The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Ichabod Crane.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
On 20 Sep 2010, I had some fun with listing a number of tracks of land that belonged to the Wheatley family that sounded like names of race horses!
Today I found some more of these land tracks that could be good race horse names. These came from Robert West of Harford County, Maryland between about 1700 thru 1770. In 1704, he patented 78 acres of "Poor Man's Beginning." Then 500 acres called "Westwood" and 400 acres of "Maiden Mount" that was later called "Bald Friar." I like "Daniel's Neglect" (75 acres) & "Dear Bought and Nothing Got!" Then there was "Paradise" & "West's Addition." He sold "Gash's Purchase" to Thomas Gash in 1740... was it named after it was sold?
Son, Robert West, Jr. continued the tradition with "West's Beginning" and "New Westwood." Later, "West's Long Acre" and "West's Double Cost."
I just realized that this naming of tracks of land, just may be a family thing. Like Mom's Wheatley's & Dad's West families they named the 7.5 acre track of land we lived on when I was growing up in north eastern Warrick County, Indiana. Dad used part of his middle name, Glennis, and the last part of Mom's name, Bernadine, to make the name "Glenadine Acres!"
- Compiled by JGWest
Saturday, October 2, 2010
36th Annual Conference
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Hilton Garden Inn, St. Charles, IL
For Details and Registration Information:
Visit http://www.dcgs.org,select/ Conferences, or DCGS, P.O. Box 3, Wheaton IL 60187
International Genealogy: [German, Irish, French-Canadian,Scotch-Irish, French Ancestry], Military Service Records, Several Methodology Talks, Cemetery Research, Naturalization Records, WWI Draft Cards, “Passage Express” Workshop
Conference: Connecting the Dots – A Genealogical Blockbuster
Presented by: The DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society
Date: February 26, 2011 - St. Charles, Illinois
Their 36th annual conference can help researchers of all levels.
George K. Schweitzer, John Philip Colletta, Jeffrey A. Bockman,
Timothy N. Pinnick, Michelle Bray Wilson, Carole Magnuson.
George Schweitzer & John Colletta are two of the best lecturers in the country.It is strongly recommended that you attend at least one of each of their programs!
This all-day event has three simultaneous lectures in four sessions. There will be exhibitors, vendors, and a hot lunch.
Lectures include the following topics:
International Genealogy: [German, Irish, French-Canadian, Scotch-Irish, French Ancestry]Military Service Records, Several Methodology Talks, Cemetery Research,
Naturalization Records, WWI Draft Cards, "Passage Express" Workshop.
Cost: $45-non-members (if postmarked by Feb 12), $40-DCGS members
$50 after Feb 12 and at the door
Please Sign-up Early - Note that 290 people is the Maximum number of registrations.
For more information see http://www.dcgs.org/ and select "Conferences," phone: 630-665-6599, or email DCGSRegistrar@aol.com.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The Family Bible is typically 12 x10 by 4 inches. The Bible was most likely published between 1840 and 1900. In the beginning of this Family Bible period the covers were flat with little embossment if any. Later Family Bibles from 1870 are most often deeply embossed and have panels stamped in gold. More often than not the later Bibles’ paper can be more embrittled than earlier Bibles. Paper was mass-produced with more harsh chemicals after the beginning of the industrial revolution. Earlier Bibles tend to be single columned content where newer ones of the late Victorian will be double columned. These later Bibles often have glossaries, maps and illustrated sections in the front of the Bible.
Why is this family relic in poor condition? Family Bibles like everything else suffer the passage of time, but the biggest threats to the Bible are heat, humidity and light. That is not to say that some of these venerable giants have simply been worn-out by use. There are usually many forensic signs of heavy usage such as, food and debris in the gutters, ear-marked pages from heavy use, hair braids to corsages stuffed between pages, torn and bumped covers and finally the general rubs and abrasions of prolonged use. But suffering all this, again a Bible’s great enemies are heat, humidity and light.
The effects of these three conditions do more to age and breakdown the substance of Bibles than anything else. From what materials are a Bible made? First, the papers in earlier Bibles are a cotton, linen or a mix of the two. These fibers are very long lived and as an example a pure linen paper can easily last over 500 years. Later, the pages were pulped using tree fibers and harsh chemicals. That’s why I said older paper is likely to be in better condition because of the quality of materials. Older Bibles may have one or two different papers, typically one kind for illustrations and the other for text. Later Bibles have a change of papers like a model in a fashion show. For example the illustrations, the title page and interleafing tissue, the text paper, the Family Record pages, more text paper and at the back heavy paper lined board where photographs are inserted.
Family Bibles are made with leather. Again owing to radical changes in the production techniques, earlier Bibles tend to have longer lasting leather and newer ones can become powdery and tattered. For the most part all Bibles were covered in calf. There are examples of cloth bindings for Bibles, too. These were the poor families’ option. In late Victorian clothbound Bibles there is a likelihood of poor paper, too.
Hide glue was used to along with linen thread to bind the Bibles. Hide glue is only good for about a hundred years before it becomes brittle. Hide glue also can be acidic. It is not unusual to see the spine of the Bible parting from the glue having shrunk and separated from the paper. Because of the shear weight of the Family Bible, all these materials bound together properly can last for centuries, if one fails the whole Bible will soon fall apart.
With the ingredients of leather, cotton, hide glue and linen we see in its composition that this is a rather organic system. In some ways it is miraculous they don’t get eaten by vermin and pets! Take any of these materials and nail them to an outside post and you’ll witness a rather quick degradation to dust!
So then, what can we do to prolong these precious heirlooms?
*Never put a Bible in the basement, garage or attic.Never put a Bible upright without lateral support.
*Never leave a Bible opened for prolonged periods.
*Never let sunlight or harsh lighting contact the Bible.
*Never keep a Bible in either a humid or extremely dry environment.
*Never keep a Bible in an extremely warm environment.
*Do keep a Bible at room temperature 68 to 72 degrees.
*Do store a Bible flat but make sure it’s kept to its form not canted.
*Do maintain humidity as close to 50% as possible.
*Do contain the Bible in an archival box.
*Do store the Bible near bottom of the closet. [Not the floor (flood) not on top (fire)].
*Do keep the Bible Record updated with a note inside front cover with family names.
*Do choose a responsible guardian to transfer the Bible when you are ready.
Nothing lasts forever, at least in a physical form. Family Bibles after 100 years generally can use the services of a professional bookbinder. With the proper restoration and conservation, this heirloom can reasonably last another 100 years. Use caution in selecting a good conservator and your family will enjoy and treasure your Family Bible for many more generations.
- Written by Max Marbles www.maxmarblesbookbinder.com
Max Marbles email@example.com
1313 Mill St. SE
Salem, OR 97301
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Leather Post Card!!!
John, this leather post card depicting Willard Library may not be that unusual but I found it unique and thought I'd share it with you. It was post marked Evansville, Ind. 06 Sep 1909, and sent to my maternal grandmother in Henderson, Kentucky by one of her suitors at that time. She eventually married Herman Klauder Kreipke in 1911 and they had two children, one being my mother, Minnie Louise (Kreipke) Crane.
Allan M. Crane
Monday, September 27, 2010
Evansville's First Mayor...
James G. Jones was Evansville, Indiana's 1st. Mayor from 1847-1853. This plaque is placed on his grave at Oak Hill Cemetery. Click on the photo to get a larger image. James Jones was a lot more than just Evansville's Mayor! He served as Indiana Attorney General 1860-1861.
Below is Colonel Jones Civil War marker.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
As you look at this flagpole at the Lincoln Boyhood National Park in Spencer County, Indiana, you realize that this is a tall pole.
And as we get closer it does seem tall, indeed.
Friday, September 24, 2010
This is a true story about a very dark night in a cemetery!
Back in the 1980's I served a short tenure as the City Cemetery Manager... the job had been called City Cemetery Superintendent before I started and returned to Superintendent after my service! So, I guess I made a slight footnote in city history for being the only City Manager of the City Cemeteries (Locust Hill & Oak Hill). I think I may have served the shortest term of office, as well! At the time, the Cemetery Board would meet in the conference room of the Administrative Building at Oak Hill Cemetery after normal office hours. In the winter months it would get dark, very dark in the cemetery... lighting was almost non-existent, but there was adequate lights on the building for everyone to see to leave after the meeting. It was the policy to save on electricity by not leaving lights on. This meant that I would stay behind to let everyone leave, then I would turn the lights off.
Someone asked me if I was afraid to be in the cemetery, alone, after dark with no lights. I would just laugh and say that I was not afraid of the cemetery "residents" it was the "living" that generally made me nervous. This night was the first Board Meeting since being named Manager. Later, I watched the last of the Board Members drive out the front gate and off went the lights. Wow! The cemetery was very, very dark... pitch dark! I needed my cigaret lighter to see my way to the car. I turned on the engine and joked to myself that I hoped there were no ghosts in the cemetery with a grudge against the cemetery or the administrators! Then, I was in for the biggest shock of my life... I turned my head lights on and the cemetery seemed to light up! I was surrounded by polished tombstones reflecting my car head lights!!! I just about jumped out of my skin!!! I took off for the gate to get out of there. At the gate I had to get out and lock the padlock and I felt "spooked" fumbling with the gate & the lock. It felt like someone was there in the shadows. I jumped back into the car, locked all of the doors & sped off. Then I took a deep sigh of relief & started laughing at myself.
- Written by JGWest
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Bluff City Pow Wow
at Lincoln Pioneer Village – Rockport IN
Carmella Raurk Head Female and Don Counts Head Male Dancers. Read more about this event in the City-County Observer... http://city-countyobserver.com/?p=2127
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Genealogy - The Next Level
Presented by Terry Prall
The free all-day workshop was organized by Willard Library and sponsored by the Tri-State Genealogical Society. About 60 to 70 people attended one or more of the four power point sessions that were conducted by Mr. Prall of Avon, Indiana near Indianapolis.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The Tri-State Genealogical Society
is proud to sponsor "Tree Roots: Genealogy - The Next Level" conducted by Willard Library... tomorrow Saturday, September 18, 2010 - (9:00 am to 4:00 pm). Speaker will be Terry Prall. This is a free workshop with vendors selling & promoting genealogy products & organizations. For more details visit the TSGS Web Site.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
We all have a few famous ancestors or cousins, as well as, a few that are infamous. I have a few of each, but I seem to have quite a few "celebrities"... Lester Flatt of Flatt & Scruggs; Doris Troy: "Just One Look" (Pepsi theme song); local DJ Tex Justus, WBNL radio Boonville, IN; Baseball Star Don Mattingly; local artist Calvin Maglinger. Today I want to talk about Mom's third cousin from Dale, IN. Mom descends from Joseph O. Lewis and Margaret Mattingly that were married on 01 Jan 1843 in Breckinridge, County, KY. Margaret was Joseph's second of 5 or 6 wives (who all died young). They were Mom's Catholic side of her family. Ann Hinton was Joseph's first wife. Mom's cousin from Dale descended from Ann & Joseph Lewis. She got into the entertainment business early in life and she eventually became one of America's favorite TV mothers on the show "The Brady Bunch." Florence Henderson will be one of the "Stars" on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars" that will start this coming Monday, September 20th. We can all vote to keep dancers coming back for the next week's show. I would like to ask anyone that watches to consider voting for Mom's cousin to stay longer on the show.
- Written by JGWest
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
... last night's TSGS meeting.
We had about 20-25 attend our meeting! We are trying to get more of our 425 members to attend, with a slight increase noted over some meetings of our last fiscal year of 15-20 attending. We would love to have more members & guests to come join us.
Our guest soeaker was Ken Gilkey, Presideent of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. Ken gave an interesting account of George Rogers Clark capture of Ft. Sackville (Vincennes, IN). The after meeting comments were very good. Thanks, Ken!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
TSGS Meeting tonight!!!!!
The Tri-State Genealogical Society will hold its first meeting of the 2010-2011 year at Willard Library on the second floor. The meeting will begin at 7 PM... this is a change from 7:30 PM. The society voted to start the meetings 1/2 hour earlier to ensure leaving a little earlier for the library staff.
Ken Gilkey will be our guest speaker from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution where ken serves as President and is a member of the chapter's Speakers Bureau. He will tell us about the Indiana Revolutionary War battle where George Rogers Clark captured Ft. Sackville. It is an interesting story! I have attended Ken's program twice and enjoyed learning about this part of the war that most do not know about.
John G. West, TSGS President
Monday, September 13, 2010
The Lincoln Boyhood
is located in Lincoln City (Spencer County), Indiana. It is Indiana's memorial & tribute to President Abraham Lincoln. It is the site where he grew up and where his mother died and is buried. The museum has an artist's rendering of how she might have looked (below).
Read about this painting of Lincoln's mother.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Chris Cooke, Superintendent of the Oak Hill Cemetery, asked me to drop by when I got a chance to take a look at some small sawhorses that he found in the Administration Building basement. They had the letters "G.A.R." on each one. I counted at least nine of them, but there might have been a couple more; some were being used like stands for some planks that were marked "Oak Hill Cemetery." Chris speculated that the planks were used to stand on when lowering a coffin into the grave... that was just a guess. All of them had water stains on the legs and were dirty from being stored in the basement undisturbed for many years! Below is a picture of one of the legs with the letters stenciled on it with the "G" being at the bottom.
We used a 16"x 25"x 1" filter to show the approximate size. They were about 12 to 15 inches tall and about 15 inches long.
The mystery has four parts. Why are they so small, why do they have the letters "G.A.R." on them, what does "G.A.R." stand for, and what were they designed to be used for?
The initials, immediately, point to the "Grand Army of the Republic." Or could they be the initials of someone or a funeral home (or even a vault company)?
The small size might be to use as a platform or even a stage. Maybe they were used like barricades to block off some of the streets during some funerals or special ceremonies. They seem too short for using as benches.
Were they donated to the cemetery or simply just abandoned? Anyone have any ideas, let us know, please!
- Photos taken & submitted by JGWest
Saturday, September 11, 2010
was found in the basement of the Administration Building at Oak Hill Cemetery while the Superintendent Chris Cooke & I were in this basement storage area looking at something that is a mystery for both of us (look for that mystery tomorrow... we need your help!). The poster was used at some sort of ceremony at the cemetery, apparently. The poster board is warped, but it conveys the important message just the same. Click on the photo for a larger, better image.
- Photo taken & submitted by JGWest
Another reminder of our TSGS meeting Tuesday, 14 September at 7PM at Willard Library, 2nd. floor.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Indiana State Fair 2010...
Becky & I attended the State Fair as we do most years. We are a 4-H family and I judge state fair exhibits each year for the 4-H Genealogy Project.
One of the attractions each year is the sand sculpture in the Ag Building... this year it is a copy of the State Fair Shutter Train that goes all the way around the fair grounds. It is pulled by a tractor. In the sand sculpture, it is farm animals riding around the fair.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Summer Vacation time for TSGS
has come to an end...
... the society is ready to begin an exciting new year!
Our first meeting of the 2010-2011 year will be next Tuesday night - 14 Sep 2010 at 7PM (notice we are meeting at a different time, one half hour earlier... our new time to be able to leave a little earlier for the library employees). We always meet on the second Tuesday of each month except for the vacation months of July & August.
Kenneth Gilkey of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will be our guest speaker. He will tell us about the exciting, interesting tale of the capture of Ft. Sackville in Vincennes during the Revolutionary War.
Another important event will happen just 4 days after this first TSGS meeting on Saturday, 18 Sep 2010 at Willard Library... a free all-day genealogy workshop proudly sponsored by the Tri-State Genealogical Society. The event begins at 8AM and goes through 4PM. It is called "Tree Roots" with the four sessions presented by Terry Prall, a retired teacher; his genealogical adventure began in 1990. He attended the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University in 2001 and The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, 2000-present.
John G. West, TSGS President
Sunday, September 5, 2010
From today's Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter...
"People are connected in surprising ways," says Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA -- arguably one of the most influential genealogist of our time. She describes the many connections in a new video that is part of the NGS Online Video Series, produced by award-winning filmmakers Kate Geis and Allen Moore.
Click here [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY42QvEaV88] to see this video and take a look at the many related videos in the right-hand column.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Here is a photo of my youngest son,
James William Warner West.
James got 3 given names since his two older brothers got my middle name (Phillip Gregory West) and my first name (John Jefferson West). I ran out of names to give a third son from me, so we just ended up naming him after all of my other ancestors: (Warner West... my grandfather); (William Wood, William Ellis West, William Huff, William Allen Kimble, William Allen, William Lewis, William Haynes, William Gardner, William H. Woodis, William Allen Long [this William was my Uncle Bill, Mom's brother, who died not long before James was born]) and (James Tobias Long & James Henry Wood).
Interestingly, the lady in the oval frame over James' right shoulder (left side in this photo) is Donna Isabelle Mayes who married James Henry Wood. James Henry Wood is buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Evansville and except for my mother & father is the only ancestor buried in Evansville and in Indiana!
- Photo taken on James' 32nd. Birthday - 2010 by JGWest
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The Frog Follies was in town...
with over 4,000 street rod cars in and about everywhere this past weekend. Linda Young-Niemeier took photos of these cool vehicles while the members of the Scott Township Fire Department collected for the MDA!
Jeff Niemeier is collecting a donation from the driver of this great car! Below is a poster to identify the workers for MDA along that intersection. (Click on photos to get a larger, clearer image.)