TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This is a First for Me!


Oak Hill Cemetery
Evansville, Indiana
Jesse Todd Boles
Section A, Lot 66, Grave 3

Notice the framed door in the middle. First time I ever saw one of these! I hesitated to open it, but finally decided that it would be ok for me to look (see below).
The little door protected his photo from the sun and other weather elements... I have not seen this feature on a tombstone before. Do not worry, I safely snapped the door in place. What a great idea, for more reasons than I have stated.

- Photos taken by JGWest

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Memorial Markers"


I was talking with some employees of a local cemetery a few days ago and the conversation turned to people saying that they know that a person is buried in the cemetery because there is a tombstone on their grave... yet there is no burial record available for this person! This may be a "memorial marker" to remember the person at this cemetery, even though, they may be buried elsewhere. Many times this occurs because a spouse dies and a marker is erected for both the deceased and the surviving spouse, but the surviving spouse ends up marrying another time and is buried with the 2nd. spouse somewhere else. Other times a grave and marker are bought early in life and the individual moves away and forgets about the grave & marker. Other times the family will have a marker made to be put in the cemetery with the rest of the family, but the person died elsewhere and is lost or buried far away. Many drownings or soldiers who die in wartime are often not found, but the family will place a marker in the local cemetery to remember them. One other possibility is cremations of the deceased that are not buried in the existing lot that happens to have a marker or one is erected to remember them and the cremains are not buried there.

Perhaps there are many other situations that a person will not be buried where there marker exists. Can anyone suggest other possibilities?

- Written by JGWest

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Researchers: Please be Polite!


As I go around to places looking for genealogical data, clues or general information... I am learning more & more that today's "researchers" are somewhat rude and argumentative to the people who are employed to maintain records and other information that help us build our family histories. Does it make sense to be difficult towards those who control access to what you want to find? Being considerate, nice & polite to people that you are requesting information seems to be a "no brainer" - however, many will demand information. If the information is not to their liking, they call the person (who is trying to help them): "liars," "lazy," "incompetent!" I heard one lady say that the clerk in the County Clerks Office was "stupid, if she thought that was correct!" "Researchers" insist that the spelling of a name is always spelled only one way... any other spelling should be corrected immediately - I hope everyone realizes that the way it is spelled in the record (right or wrong) is the way it must stay!

If anyone trying to discover their family history acts this way to those we ask to help us... it hurts the next person that is polite trying to get information. Most of these employees are working with a different agenda than us "genealogists" - their jobs are to maintain records not try to break down brick walls in our research or try to discern how our families existed. Most of these offices are understaffed and are very busy. Sometimes these employees are rude & grouchy when another "genealogists" comes in to bother them and keep them from getting their work done. If you try to be nice, cheerful, polite & considerate, that person just might be less inclined to be rude & grouchy.

Here is just a few thoughts on how you can get what you want and make the person who helped you glad to be of service to you. Try to contact the office in advance by mail, email or phone requesting information using as much info as you can to make the search easier for the clerk. Do your research first by checking what is available online, what is available in the office you are requesting info, etc. Remember to say "please" & "thank-you" - treat these people like friends, not servants!

If you are rude enough, you will likely get very little help. But, if you try to be considerate, you may get someone that leans over backwards to help you get more information that you really want to get!

- Written by JGWest

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

USGenWeb Project

An Internet resource that I have not mentioned lately is the USGenWeb Project. This project began as an idea by a man named Jeff Murphy about 1996 as a way to gather important information and data for genealogists into one web site for Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Jeff was quickly joined by others to do the same in each county of Kentucky. As word spread others jumped in to begin other state projects and in early 1996, the USGenWeb Project was in a race to see which state would be first to have a county coordinator for every county in the state.

Around April of 1996, I read an interview of Jeff Murphy in Everton's web page via AOL, I was very impressed and volunteered to be a county coordinator for LaRue Co, KY that was available. I did not know anything about creating & maintaining web sites (I often stated that I did not know my FTP from my HTML). I was taught in about 4 weeks how to make web pages all by email from Holly Fee Timm. It did not take long for every state to have a County Coordinator (CC) for every county in the United States. Although there are some minimum standards required for each county, the CC's put up data as they submit and other researchers submit. So, the information for each county is significantly different. Besides data, you often can learn where to research in the county, hours for the library or courthouse, maybe a list of the cemeteries (sometimes including photos of the tombstones), etc.

Now, that every county is online, the goal is to keep them updated. The project has always been free to all researchers and will remain that way.

Here are links to the project:
USGenWeb Project - http://www.usgenweb.org/
ILGenWeb Project - http://ilgenweb.net/
INGenWeb Project - http://www.ingenweb.org/
KYGenWeb Project - http://www.kygenweb.net/

- Compiled by JGWest

Monday, May 17, 2010

Armed Forces Day Weekend

Are you aware of Armed Forces Day...
Many Americans are not familiar with the holiday unless they are a veteran or had someone in the military service. It is celebrated on 15 May of each year. Saturday was the day this year. The Ohio Valley Chapter of the Indiana Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a meeting on Saturday and marked the day by displaying flags of each of the five major branches of our Armed Forces.

TSGS member Don Counts was at that SAR meeting. Don is also a member of the Indiana Patriot Guard Riders - members attend military funerals at the request of the families to ensure that protestors are kept away from the funeral ceremony. We do live in strange times! Don went after our morning meeting with the Patriot Guard to tour cemeteries where soldiers that were killed in action are buried in southwestern Indiana.

Don served in the U.S. Marines and is shown above wearing his Patriot Guard shirt saluting the U.S. Flag at our SAR meeting in Willard Library.

- Photo taken by JGWest
- Submitted by Don Counts