TSGS Cruiser Blog

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Do You Have a Popular Surname?" - Just for Fun


How Popular is Your Surname?

Back when I was giving my live demonstrations of my favorite genealogical sites on the Internet, for fun (and to add a break to get everyone involved), I would go to this site called Hamrick's U.S. Surname Distribution based on the U.S. Census reports. This site is still online at http://www.hamrick.com/names/ . The site would show a sliding scale of color according to the number of your surname as compared to others and this would be shown on the U.S. state map with each state having the distribution color. If the colors were mostly blues in the map your surname is not a common one, while on the other end if the map was mostly red or orange, it was a common name.

I just learned of another site on Eastman's blog Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter This one is on PublicProfiler.org and shows some different data about surnames and their popularity. For example some of my ancestors were named FLATT not a very common name... in the world the frequency of the name was only 18.9 per million surnames. The neat thing is that of the top five cities with the largest concentration of Flatt's the one in the U.S. is Cookeville, Tennessee - which is the area where my Flatt's lived! Here is this surname site:

Check them out... you might learn something about your family!

- Compiled by JGWest

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"How to Spot an Email Hoax!"


As we travel along our journey to find our ancestors, most of us are going to begin using the Internet to help us make connections with distant relatives, find some documents/photos, read U.S. Census & other records published online. We will decide to subscribe to email lists, maybe get a paid subscription to Ancestry.com or some other commercial genealogical organization. We will often get involved with all sorts of things on the Internet: FaceBook, Twitter, Blogs, Websites... we may even volunteer to be a County Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project. We will begin to get quite a few emails daily including junk mail, generally called "spam." Sooner or later (mostly sooner), you will start getting messages from well meaning people warning you of the latest disasters which generally are mostly false if not totally untrue. You will get messages that urge you to forward whatever message to everyone in your mailbox... some will even state that good fortune or bad luck will happen if you send it off (or not forward it) within a short time span. Most if not all are hoaxes based on rumors or partial truth - often total falsehoods!

I found a nice short (about 2 minutes) video "How to Spot an Email Hoax!" by Jonathon E. Stewart http://video.about.com/urbanlegends/Spotting-E-mail-Hoaxes.htm?nl=1

This is on About.com: Urban Legends. Another great site to check possible hoaxes is Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/

Before you forward a message to everyone you know... it might be wise to check and see if it is valid. There is nothing worse than one of your friends proving that you were a big, gullible fool passing on false information. Sadly, from then on you are guilty of spreading hoaxes. Remember to just think a little... if it sounds unbelievable, it probably is false! Most of these messages are designed to damage a person's reputation (usually for political purposes). It amazes me that too many genealogists will forward on these hoaxes without checking for documentation. There are a lot of family history hoaxes that you need to track down & prove or dis-prove before you pass it along to others. Your reputation hinges on passing along information that is as factual as reasonably expected... not just because you want it to be true or worse that you suspect it to not be true, but wish to pass it along anyway!

-Compiled by JGWest

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oak Hill Cemetery Superintendents


Newly updated plaque
(last update was 30 years ago)

(Click on image to enlarge)

The plaque for a listing to honor the city's Superintendents of Oak Hill Cemetery was updated 30 years ago when the Cemetery board started a new plaque... the older one faces visitors as they walk into the office building. This past Monday, Superintendent Chris Cooke sent out photos to everyone listed. They were beginning to combine the two city Cemeteries in Evansville under one Superintendent when Jack Jones held the position. When they combined the two they created a new position called Cemetery Manager and I was the first to hold that title and officially manage both cemeteries after the two had been separate for about 135 years. When I left in early 1987, the job title went back to Superintendent. So, I was possibly the shortest tenure Cemetery Head and the only one to be Manager. It is an honor to be listed on the plaque. The cemeteries had a lot of problems that needed correcting or resolved when I started and before I left all was turned around... I am very proud to have that opportunity to resolve those problems and return these 2 large cemeteries back to the status they deserve.

- Photo submitted by Chris Cooke

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hal Kasper

Hal Hon Kasper

Born: February 19, 1926
Died: May 1, 2010

Hal Hon Kasper, 84, of Evansville, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 1, 2010, at 4:04 AM. He was born to William Henry Kasper and Mary Hon Kasper on February 19, 1926, at his grandparent's home. A graduate of Bosse High School, he was inducted into the military upon graduation and sent to "Tankers School" at Ft. Knox, KY and then to France. He was a member of Co. B 23rd Tank Battalion - 12th Armored during WWII. He was a recipient of the Occupation Medal – Germany, American Theater Ribbon, EAME Theater Ribbon, WWII Bronze Stars and the Victory Medal. He served from August 9, 1944, until July 3, 1946. On April 15, 1945, he was sitting on top of his tank and was hit by a missile near Burcheim, Germany and was issued a Purple Heart. He served under General Patch and was part of General Patton's "Mystery Division." Hal and Edna Ruth (Edwards) were married November 4, 1950, and celebrated their 50 years together with a special party. He drove new Plymouths from the factory to the shipyards and helped load them on barges to be sent down the Ohio for southern distribution. His father and he founded "William Kasper and Son Painting and Decorating" which was in business for 35 years; then he retired after 12 years as Maintenance Supervisor at Oak Meadows Country Club. Hal loved traveling, fishing and camping. Many summers were spent boating on the Ohio and lakes around. He also enjoyed farming with his father-in-law, Ernest Edwards, in Illinois and also raised cattle. After retirement, he and his wife Edna Ruth traveled all over the United States and across Canada. He especially liked Florida and North Carolina. He was a member of the American Legion Funkhouser Post #8, life member of VFW Post #1114 and Purple Heart. He was past president of the Ohio Valley Chapter Sons of the American Revolution and a member of the 12th Armored Division Association "Hellcats." He volunteered as a driver for the Disabled American Veterans for about eight years and logged over 200,000 miles from Evansville to VA hospitals for Veterans. Hal was preceded in death by his parents, William Henry and Mary Edna (Hon) Kasper; grandparents, George and Dora (Hon) Hon and William and Frances (Wintz) Kasper; and uncles, Kenneth, Donald and Harold Hon and "Babe" Kasper. He is survived by his wife, Edna Ruth Kasper; aunt, Aletha Hon; cousins, Tom, Bill Hon, Judy Dahlem of Ft. Smith, AR, John Hon and family of Houston, TX, Gwen Crowe and Jackie Harlan of Evansville; and niece, Sarah Rose of Quincy, IL.The family would like to give special thanks to the nursing staff and aides who cared for Hal at Golden Living Center Woodbridge. Services will be 1:30 PM Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at Alexander West Chapel, officiated by Rev. Gene Backes with entombment at Oak Hill Mausoleum. Friends may visit Tuesday from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. James Methodist Church - West, 3101 Hillcrest Terrace, Evansville, IN 47712.
[Note: Edna Kasper was the first President of Tri-State Genealogical Society - JGW]

Monday, May 3, 2010



The May monthly membership meeting will 11 May 2010 (second Tuesday of the month). Join us at Willard Library.

7:30 p.m. Regular Meeting (Election of Officers & Directors)

Meeting & Discussion Groups (choose one): (A) TECH TALK (computers, photography, etc.) led by Larry Goss; (B) WILLARD LIBRARY COLLECTION & SERVICES, led by Lyn Martin; (C) PITFALLS led by Mary Lou Bevers.

John G. West, TSGS President