TSGS Cruiser Blog

Monday, December 31, 2012

TSGS Hall of Shame - Destroyed Cemetery

From the Minnesota Public Radio web site:
MOORHEAD, Minn. — The last time anyone was buried in the Boerner family cemetery in Grant County was in 1892. For about 20 years before that, it was where early settlers laid at least 10 family members to rest. A small grove of trees at the cemetery was gone. When investigators got a search warrant they found evidence of what Minnesota's state archeologist says is a growing concern, the destruction after years of abandonment of one of the state's thousands of small cemeteries.  The farmer whose field included the cemetery acknowledged clearing the cemetery... damaging a cemetery can be a felony under Minnesota law even if it's abandoned. Even though the farmer owns the land, the cemetery is protected.
Top left cluster of trees has been removed in the lower photo... the Boerner Cemetery WAS in those trees!
Photo below are photos of grave markers that were in this cemetery!!!
Read more about this shameful act of disregard of human dignity and respect:

Pioneer cemeteries fall under plow's threat          by Dan Gunderson,

Minnesota Public Radio                                       

December 28, 2012


TSGS Cruiser Blog reported this article from the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


The Tri-State Genealogical Society wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!

As you visit family & friends today and the days between now and the beginning of 2013, think about getting more information about your more recent family history. 

A great Christmas gift for today or the next few days might be a brief family history from the person you are gifting as far back as you have proven.  Print it out and put it into a loose leaf notebook that you can slide a title page into the front cover of the notebook.  Consider using the clear plastic page protectors so that the pages will last longer... and you will not have to punch holes in the sheets of paper!  I have given several of these as special Christmas gifts over the years, and I will tell you that they were especially appreciated.

John G. West, TSGS Vice-President

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TSGS Christmas Social Tonight!

The Tri-State Genealogical Society invites you to attend tonight's Christmas Social.  Everyone is welcome, you do not need to be a member to come and have some refreshments and enjoy other family historians company.  Tell each other your promblems in your family research.  Tell others about this year's adventures finding new information about your ancestors.

Come & go as you please anytime between 6:30 and 8:00 PM.  Indiana Bones is expected to show up.  Santa has said he will show or send one of his representatives.  Bring your camera and have your photo taken!  Ho! HO! HO!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Social - 11 Dec 2012

TSGS hopes you can attend our 2012 Christmas Social at Willard Library on the second floor.  If you want, you can bring a snack for everyone to enjoy.  There will be snacks & refreshments available.  You do not have to be a member to attend... so, come one, come all!!!

The whole event is informal... allowing time to socialize, brag about your latest family discoveries, ask others about your "brick walls" in your research.  Remember that someone in the society probably has had to deal with a similar problem you may be experiencing and just maybe - they figured out how to get around it!

The get-together is always a great time to get to know some of the TSGS members.  There is an excellent chance that Indiana Bones will make an appearance!  Who knows, maybe Santa might show-up, too!

President Don Counts & Vice-President John G. West

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Very Vital... Vital Statistic!

Recently, I discovered a cousin that I did not know of before. This cousin, Bart Burke, is descended from my Thomas West, Jr. and from that line is my 6th. cousin one generation younger than me. However, he also descends from Joseph Phipps and Margaret G. Woodis making him a 3rd. cousin one generation removed. We made arrangements to meet at Willard Library for me to give him a lot of new information on these lines. While preparing my information & notes, etc. - I remembered some great new information on the Woodis line that I had found, basically by accident.

The incident occurred at least 20 years ago when I learned from Mary Lou Bevers at one of our genealogical meetings – this alone is justification for joining a genealogical society! I often got some great tidbits of information and “secrets” that helped me in my research and especially getting around brick walls. This one was a simple one about all of the Kentucky birth & death certificates available in the State Office of Vital Statistics up to a not so distant date from the current day were listed in large volumes and several counties throughout Kentucky had them available for viewing in the courthouse. Henderson County, KY was one of these wonderful counties which is just across the Ohio River from Evansville where I live. I went rushing over there the next day looking for the death certificate of my great, great grandmother Cincinnati O. Williams the wife of William Ellis West of Christian Co., KY.

She was not listed in any format or variation I could think of. I decided to look up other death certificates for other ancestors. Woodis was always a good one to check first because there were so few of them. The furthermost that I had gone back was Littleberry Woodis and his wife Luvana (maiden name unknown). One of their sons (in my direct line) was William H. Woodis and his wife Amanda. This William was born in 1818 and I suspected that he had died before the 1870 census, since only Amanda and the kids could be found. This William and Amanda had a son William; with this second one having a William, also - making it 3 generations in a row with a William Woodis. In the vital statistics books I found a William Woodis that died in 1913 in Christian County with his death certificate number. Since I was confident that the oldest William had died before 1870 and besides he would have been about 95 years old in 1913! The third William seemed too young and should have lived past 1913... maybe. So, I suspected this to be the middle William that I did not descend, but hopefully he would have his mother's full name (Amanda ?) listed on his death certificate. I sent off for it and was so excited to get it in the mail about a week later. But, when I opened it, I was confused as it said he was born in 1818 and died at age 95 with his father Littleberry Woodis and his mother was Luvana Blalock... this was William H. Woodis who I thought died in 1870 or earlier! Later, I found him in the census in Illinois and back to Kentucky for the other census that he would have been in. He had divorced Amanda Black and married Nancy Cannon before the 1879 Census.
William H. Woodis Obituary: Hopkinsville Kentuckian Mar. 25, 1913 PIONEER CITIZEN

W. H. Woodis Dies Near Laytonsville, Aged 95, among the oldest citizens of the county died Fri. night at the home of his son-in-law W. H. Woodford, near Laytonsville. Death was caused by pneumonia and resulted after an illness of only 5 days. The deceased was born in this county June 9, 1818, and he was therefore nearly 95 years old. His parents were natives of NC . Mr. Woodis had resided in Christian all of his life, excepting about two years which were spent in Illinois. He is survived by three children: Mrs. Woodford, of Laytonsville; W.R. Woodis of Todd Co. and T.A. Woodis of Lewisburg, Logan Co. His wife passed away about a year ago. Mr. Woodis was a member of the Methodist Church, having professed religion during a revival at Vaughn's Grove last summer. He had been twice married, his first wife died many years ago. The interment took place at Ebenezer Saturday.

- Written by JGWest

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Found Another Cousin!

Discovered another cousin...
a double cousin. It is always a pleasure to find cousins, especially ones interested in family history. This one is kind of special because he is also interested in SAR; in fact, he is a member of the Ohio Valley SAR Chapter as one of our very newest members. After Bart Burke was inducted as a new member at our recent chapter meeting, we were causually talking and he mentioned that he had some West ancestors from Christian Co., KY. Note that there are a whole lot of West families that are almost everywhere... many, many are not related as proven by y-DNA results. We have learned that Bart is a direct descendant of Thomas West, Jr. (my SAR patriot), but he also is a decendant of Joseph Phipps and Margaret Woodis, his wife... I am descended from them, as well.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Interesting Thanksgiving Chart

I found this chart on the Internet, but I forgot to save where it came from.  It is a very graphic view of the tragic lives of these first settlers in America in just a year or two.  They must have been remarkable people to be thankful after so many that had died.  We often take our good fortune to live in today's world for granted. The photo was a little blurred, but click on it to get a larger image.

 - Posted by Indiana Bones

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Been very happily busy these last few weeks... having fun doing genealogy related things.  Just today before enjoying a Thanksgiving feast (so glad when Becky does not have to work on this day at the nursing home!), I judged 3 great essays as one of the judges for the Capt. Jacob Warrick DAR Chapter for Good Citizenship Award.  Then right after dinner, I was surprised by a Skype video call from my 2 nephews who are working in Germany.  The call was for my great niece to read me her winning essay concerning what she would ask our Founding Father's if she got a chance... she won $500 and moves up to the next level.  The contest is sponsored by the VFW.  For an 11 year old, I was impressed with her reading of the essay almost as much as the content.  The essay was superb... after judging essays by older 4-H kids for over 25 years, I was really impressed with hers!  Actually, I was also impressed to be able to talk & see the two families all the way in Germany.  They called about 1:30PM Evansville time, it was 8:30 PM their time!  Congratulations Lydia West!!!

I hope all of the genealogists, historians, family and friends are having a great Thanksgiving day and a wonderful weekend!

John G. West, TSGS Vice-President

Friday, November 16, 2012

TSGS Program Reported

"Traveling at 33 RPM in an IPad World"

Retired USI Professor and TSGS Board Member Larry Goss gave a very informative and interesting program entitled "Traveling at 33 RPM in an IPad World".   He presented an interactive program designed to inform about what we need to do to move into the world of technology.   He showed various methods of storage that has been used in the past and currently.   Several members told what other societies are doing.   One example was about going to a seminar and at registration was given a thumb drive with the option of getting printed information for $40.00 which was thick and heavy. A problem that many of us was wondering... how to implement our membership and keep control of our Packet publication?   It seemed to all come together.   We could require all members to have an email address with membership beginning with our next year and the Packet could be emailed each quarter.  This could be announced in the June edition of the Packet and offer for an additional fee to send them a thumb drive with all 30 years of the Packet preloaded, there is a company that can load this for us economically.   With this thumb drive when each edition of the Packet comes out the membership could download it to their thumb drive keeping it current.

- Reported by Don Counts, TSGS President

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Field Trip... What's New?

Yesterday, I decided to make a field trip to Hopkinsville (about 1.5 hours drive from my home) to check on some deed records in the courthouse.  I have made a lot of advances in my genealogical research knowledge about my family since the days that I spent hours and days at the Christian County Courthouse going through indexes and deed books.  I had been recently pairing up deeds... as in, when someone acquired property and then finally when it was passed on to someone else.  I noticed that I was missing one end of that equation or the other on far too many pieces of land for my family!  Thus the reason for the trip.  As I was going through the index books, I discovered some family connections that I did not know before.

While Wills & Probate Records are great for showing relationships, deeds often do the same, in fact, in some cases, deeds are another form of an estate settlement (Will) before the person dies!  Legal abstracts of land ownership are essential to ensure that property is free and clear of any legal rights of others.  The Christian County Clerks Office has the newer deed transactions computerized that you can track back seeing this abstract of previous ownership.  It can map out a wonderful picture of the history of that particular parcel of land and how it might have been sub-divided and merged together over time to the beginning of the county (1797 for this county).  Unfortunately, most do not go back more than about the 1940's for now, but it can help you work your way back on the computer and then through the deeds on your way back to when the person you are interested in acquired the land (and from whom).  Using this approach you will learn the facts behind an acquisition and disposal of the property in connection to the party you are researching.  It can provide you with a history surrounding the land and can provide relationships of the owners over time.

I began this quest in search of "Why is the West Cemetery deep in the middle of the woods, abandoned and mostly forgotten?"  I suspect the cemetery is on the property of the family of some of those buried there.  Who owned the land that this cemetery is located?  Why is access to the cemetery no longer in existence?  The cemetery seems to be only of West family members, perhaps 20 or less graves... it does have seven grave markers in reasonable shape with burials on the markers from 1875 to as late as 1934.  These dates are not all that old as cemeteries go.  Being exclusively family members, it suggests that this was not a church or even a community cemetery. This cemetery is not even on the topographic maps. I have lots of questions with no answers... yet!  Perhaps some of our readers can make a few suggestions to help me discover the story about this cemetery.

But this was not what I intended to share with everyone.  After the courthouse closed, I stopped by the public library a few blocks away.  I have not been here for a while - nice library!  They have some great new resources and records.  I only had about one hour before they closed, too.  I discovered a great, very large, wall-mounted, 1878 Farm Plat Map of the property owners of all of Christian County.  With my brand new Droid Razor cell phone camera, I took many photos of the map in the area of Wilson Precinct around Ovil, Kentucky where this cemetery and several others that my family are buried is located.  By the way, I took many photos at the courthouse of the deed records... a quick, inexpensive way to copy printed data.  The library now has most of the county's marriage records and lots of the deed records, wills & county court order books.  The library is open all day on Saturdays!  The courthouse is only open during the business week: Mon - Thurs 8AM-4PM, Fri 8AM-4:30PM.  Look for me in Hopkinsville at the library on Saturdays and in the courthouse on a few Mondays or Fridays (my days off from work).

A tip for all researchers, especially those of us that have been at this family history stuff for a while, is to go back to the places you have not been to for a number of years and see what is new.  More records are available & accessible than ever before, plus changes have been made due to advances in technology.  Plan for a field trip in the near future before it gets too cold or there are too many threats of snow or icy roads.

- Compiled by Indiana Bones

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cyndi's List Has Been Copied for Profit

Article by the lady that created and maintains Cyndi's List ~

I've spent the last two days documenting and laying the foundation for a lawsuit because my entire web site was copied and put on another person's for-profit site. This has been gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. I'm exhausted and upset. And in the end it hurts all of you too because I didn't get any other work done on Cyndi's List during this time.

This makes me wonder if people really understand what it is that i do. I spend 12 to 14 hours a day working on maintaining the site. By myself. I've had some help here and there over the past 16 years. But this site was literally built by hand, by me. I visit each web site, determine a title, description and categorization. I attempt to keep up on new trends. I do what I can to fix broken links. And last year I spent $40,000 of my own money to upgrade the site in order to make it easier to maintain and easier to use. The site is free for all of you to use. And thanks to you very generous people who donated money, 39% of my expense has been made up. I'm still working to pay off that bill.

I am a single mother. This is my sole source of income and I am not rich. I keep the site free for you to use, but earn the money on advertisements and commissions. I can't afford to spend a lot to maintain the site or to fight big legal battles. When I found that this person had just TAKEN 16 years worth of my blood, sweat, and tears I was absolutely stunned. I still am.

Thanks for taking the time to read my venting. I'm going to go create a new category now...  - Cyndi Howells       Like Cyndi's List on Facebook
Dick Eastman reported on his online newsletter:

Cyndi's List versus the Rip-off Artist

A sad event is unfolding on the popular Cyndi's List web site. As Cyndi Howells has written, "Be sure to read the blog article on copyright below. I've spent the last two days documenting and laying the foundation for a lawsuit because my entire web site was copied and put on another person's for-profit site. This has been gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. I'm exhausted and upset. And in the end it hurts all of you too because I didn't get any other work done on Cyndi's List during this time."

Some people are ignorant of copyright laws. Others simply don't care as these freeloaders will do anything to make a buck off someone else's hard work. I am not sure which excuse is appropriate here but, either way, it is no excuse. - Eastman's EOGN

I have been using Cyndi's List since just a few months after she started in 1996.  Several of my genealogical sites and Becky's Adoption Page were submitted to her list in 1996.  All of my KYGenWeb sites were linked on her site... the same with the TSGS and SAR web site.  It is not the links that are copyrighted - it is the collecting, organizing, listing and presentation that can be protected under law. Same with publications of public records in books or on Internet sites like Ancestry.com or Heritage Quest... the records can not be copyrighted, but the compilation and work to present them can be protected by law. One could argue, "well my work looks like theirs because I copied the same public records from the same public source." However, many compilers insert a few obvious mistakes that are usually copied in total from their work proving that the material was not copied from the records or collected other than from the hard work of the compiler. Stealing is stealing! It is immoral and illegal!! - JGWest

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just in Time for Halloween!

This is an interesting story in The Washington Post from the news about superstorm Sandy:

Skeleton believed from Colonial times found when Sandy uproots historic tree in Conn.

Police spokesman David Hartman says a woman who was with other bystanders looking at a fallen oak tree called police Tuesday after she saw bones in the upturned roots.  Hartman says the tree was planted on the green in 1909 on the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth. He says the remains likely belong to one of thousands of people buried there in Colonial times. The remains will be evaluated by the state medical examiner.

Read more here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ancestry.com Announcing Being Sold


PROVO, Utah, October 22, 2012 –Ancestry.com (Nasdaq:ACOM), the global leader in online family history, and Permira, the European private equity firm with global reach, today announced that a company owned by the Permira funds and co-investors has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Ancestry.com for $32.00 per share in cash in a transaction valued at $1.6 billion. Tim Sullivan, Ancestry.com’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Howard Hochhauser, Ancestry.com’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, will maintain a majority of their equity stakes in the company as part of the transaction. Spectrum Equity will also remain an investor in the company.

[Part of the press release by Ancestry.com... read more about this story on Eastman's EOGN.]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Indiana Law - Cemetery Vandalism

Douglas Keller of the Whitewater Valley Pioneer Cemetery Group on Facebook posted:
"Now that Halloween is almost upon us, and being a Board Member of the Fayette County Cemetery Commission, I felt it imperative to post the Indiana State Law regarding vandalizing a cemetery, whether it be public or a Pioneer Cemetery.

Indiana Code 35-43-1-2.1 states:

(b) A person who recklessly, knowingly, or inten


1. Damages a cemetery, a burial ground (as defined in Indiana Code 14-21-1-3), or a facility used for memorializing the dead,

2. Damages the grounds owned or rented by a cemetery or facility used for memorializing the dead, or

3. Disturbs, defaces, or damages a cemetery monument, grave marker, grave artifact, grave ornamation, or cemetery enclosure, commits CEMETERY MISCHIEF, a CLASS "A" MISDEMEANOR. However, the offense is a CLASS "D" FELONY if the pecuniary loss is at least $2500.00

If you witness anyone vandalizing a cemetery, or have knowledge of someone vandalizing a cemetery, PLEASE contact the Fayette County Sherrif's Department at 765-825-1110."
Indiana Bones states that if any of us witness vandalism of a cemetery to contact that county's Sherrif's Department.  Cemetery Vandalism is one of the most destructive immature acts that people can commit. I know that alcohol & drugs play a role, in addition to childish acts of passing, in many of these cases... besides the physical (& costly) damage to these grave markers, the crimes affect the emotions of family members and the memory and honor of those who have gone on before us. A civilization is judged by how they care for their dead!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TSGS Meeting Report

For those who could not attend our last TSGS Monthly Meeting, I offer this report...

We had 20 people attend last Tuesday night's meeting.  I sincerely believe that it was the shortest meeting in our over 35 year history - total time about 32 minutes after the meeting was called to order by President Don Counts.

Diana Davis, Treasurer, presented the following report:
Balance on 31 August 2012 - $2382.79
September income - 2075.86
Expenses -1017.76
Balance on 30 September 2012 - $3440.89
Membership: 187 individuals + 10 library subscription

Lyn Martin gave the library report on the following:
- New multi-generation family charts are available for $1 each
- New Kentucky death records arrived recently
- Circulating collection is going well

Greg Hager, Willard Library Director, made comments encouraging the society and offered the library's email database as a way to promote the society more.

John West made a motion to begin future meetings at 6:30 P.M. Sue Hebbeler seconded the motion. A majority vote approved 6:30 P.M. as starting time for future meetings.  The society membership also voted to cancel the TSGS Annual Dinner meeting in April.

Don Counts presented the program on Bio-Terrorism and Biological Warfare in the Revolutionary War.  Diana Davis’ name was drawn for the attendance prize which was a membership to TSGS for 2013.  John West called attention to a Facebook page for the TSGS a link to it can be found on the TSGS Cruiser Blog (above).

- Reported by John G. West, TSGS Vice-President

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

TSGS Meeting Tonight!

Tri-State Genealogical Society
Meeting Tonight!

When: Tuesday 9 October 2012 - 7:00 PM
Where: Willard Library - 2nd. Floor
What: Monthly Meeting & Program

A drawing for an attendance prize will be awarded at the close of the meeting... you must be present to win.

The Tri-State Genealogical Society will have a brief business meeting with a short presentation from Willard Library's Director, Greg Hager, followed by our program:

“Bio-Terrorism-Biological Warfare in the Revolutionary War” by TSGS President Don Counts.

This is a program you will not want to miss. We usually think of Biological warfare as something that happens or could happen in modern warfare. Our ancestors suffered biological attacks.

We will be looking forward to seeing you at the meeting and enjoying a very interesting and entertaining program.

You do not have to be a member to come and enjoy the society’s monthly meetings.

- Posted by TSGS President Don Counts

Monday, October 8, 2012

Info Concerning Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries

Lorraine Doty posted in Indiana Pioneer Cemetery Restoration Project (INPCRP)
After being asked so many times who's permission you need, what permits you need etc. Here are steps to doing work in pioneer cemeteries in Indiana. 1) find out who owns cemetery. Ask the trustee. 95% chance they know. 2)get permission in writing from the owner to do work there. 3)if cemetery does not touch a public road, find out who owns land around the cemetery. Tax mapping office at the county level has this info. 4) get permission in writing from owner to cross their land. 5) with these documents in hand contact Jeannie Regan-Dinius at DNR, Division of Historic Preservation. She is in South Government Building on Washington St. (Behind the State Capitol) in Indianapolis. She is one who issues permits. She will not issue permit for some one to just go out and probe around for something to do on a Saturday afternoon like a treasure hunt. You have to have the ability to properly preserve what is found.

- Submitted by Indiana Bones

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TSGS Meeting Notice

TSGS (Tri-State Genealogical Society)
Meeting Notice!

When: Tuesday 9 October 2012 - 7:00 PM
Where: Willard Library - 2nd. Floor
What: Monthly Meeting

A drawing for an attendance prize will be awarded at the close of the meeting... you must be present to win.

The Tri-State Genealogical Society will have a brief business meeting followed by our program:

“Bio-Terrorism-Biological Warfare in the Revolutionary War” by President Don Counts.

This is a program you don’t want to miss. We usually think of Biological warfare as something that happens or could happen in modern warfare. Our ancestors suffered biological attacks.

We will be looking forward to seeing you at the meeting and enjoying a very interesting and entertaining program.

You do not have to be a member to come and participate at the society’s monthly meetings.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This time of the year, weather conditions may cause the society to cancel meetings... the decision to cancel usually is determined the day of the meeting, providing short notice. Since a bad weather system may develop later in the day (or that night), check our blog (http://tsgsblog.blogspot.com/) for cancellation notice or call Willard Library (812-425-4309).

Don Counts,
TSGS President

Monday, October 1, 2012

What is Digital Archiving?

Is "Digital Archiving" becoming the big buzz phrase for genealogical societies, libraries and other organizations?  It is with TSGS and many other organizations everywhere!  Our genealogical society has been talking about this subject for several years now, but have not done much more than say we need to talk about it.

Our society is very fortunate to have an experienced, knowledgeable person in the computer/electronic/media field who works with data storage.  University of Southern Indiana Retired Professor Larry Goss has been trying to get us more into the electronic age.  Larry has been digitally archiving past issues of our members quarterly journal, The Tri-State Packet, for several years now.  He is wanting the society to consider other alternatives to archiving these quarterlies.

It is amazing how many other groups are going to digital newsletters and quarterlies.  But, actually, it should not be all that amazing since going digital will reduce storage space and costs.  With all of the personal media electronic devices like smart phones, Kindles, Ipads, etc.  Digital data is the way everything will be available and at our fingertips in seconds.  A 20-yr-old is working with me.  He has this cool app on his Droid that when placed near the speaker of the truck radio, it will tell him all about a song that is playing: name, artist, album, recording date and more!  He can type in a tree or insect name and in a second have a photo of it and just everything you could ever want to know about an Elm tree or a June Bug!

This very morning, Dick Eastman has on his blog Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter (EOGN) a good article on going paperless with digital archiving.  He has a link to another very good article that both are very good for us less knowledgeable and possibly a little to a lot electronically challenged.  I suggest everyone should read both of these short articles to reduce storage of paper and make retrieval so much easier & faster.  Here are the links to the two articles:



Let us know what you think about "Digital Archiving."

- Written by JGWest

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tri-State Genealogical Society - Which One?

I was looking through Cyndi's List for some information on "Digital Archiving" and found myself looking in "Societies & Groups" and thought I would check to see if we were listed, Cyndi only has 7280 links for this category.  Good news, we were listed and with a separate link for this blog.  But the bad news is that there are four "Tri-State Genealogical Societies" listed... which one are we?  Well, that is not difficult to see which one represents Indiana, Illinois & Kentucky as each one lists which tri-state is represented by that organization. 

Besides the 4 tri-state groups, there are 3 tri-county societies and a tri-city.  Bear in mind that these are listed because they each have a web site of one sort or another... there may be more tri-state, tri-county or tri-city groups that do not have a web site or have not ensured that they were listed.  As I said our TSGS represents IN, KY, IL... there is one for 3 counties in WV, OH, PA (they could have called themselves "tri-county" as well!).  The other 2 TSGS's cover South Dakota, Montana & Wyoming with the second one covering Arizona, California and Nevada.

We can boast about being around for a long time being organized in 1977, but Tri-City Genealogical Society was founded in 1961.

Here is a link to our web site: TSGS: IL, IN, KY

You can "LIKE" us on Face Book
Tri-State Genealogical Society

- Compiled by JGWest

Saturday, September 29, 2012


This morning, as I do each morning, I checked my email and the many newsletters and other formats of info that comes in my email inbox hourly.  I found this very interesting new advancement in "electronic genealogy."  It has been called "Digitising the Deceased!"  This comes from Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter EOGN

"Radio4 in the UK has an interesting report about placing QR Codes on tombstones. (See the picture to the right for a typical QR code.) Edward Stourton of the Sunday morning religious news and current affairs programme, recently interviewed Steven Nimmo, a funeral director from Dorset, to find out how digital 'quick response' codes are being placed on gravestones. Scanning the code with a smart phone directs people to a webpage where they can find a wealth of information about the deceased.

You can listen to the audio from the radio programme at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00z02tn."
This audio link is worth about 2.42 minutes of listening... it is a really cool way to remember love ones.  It is similar to the "Memorial Madallions" we heard about in the last few years.  Technology and genealogy marches on!
- Compiled by Indiana Bones

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From the Firdt Mate's Photo Album - Willard Library

Very Large Portrait
of George Washington
with Horse
Hangs midway on the stairs to the second floor.
This photo and excerpts below are from the Willard Library website: Washington's Portrait. [Click on the link to the left for this photo and story.]

This copy of Gilbert Stuart’s “George Washington at Dorcester Heights” (which hangs at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts) is believed to have been painted by William Edward West.

The painting has been with Willard Library since its opening, but how it came to the Library was a mystery until 1954.

At that time, Julia Evans Stephens Shea, a resident of Hollywood, California, and descendent of General Robert M. Evans, was visiting Evansville. During her stay, she read a newspaper article by Bish Thompson on the cleanup and minor restoration of the painting.

Shea was the only living heir to the painting in 1954, and she determined it should be left on display at Willard Library. It hangs there today.

Willard Library Director Greg Hager told me an interesting story about this painting that maybe I will be able to get him to share on this blog!  My middle son, JJ, who just turned 37 lives in Cincinnati and asked me about this painting that he remembers as an 8 or 9 year old.
- Compiled by JGWest

Monday, September 24, 2012

Link Changes to Evansville City Cemeteries

I go to the City Cemeteries (Oak Hill & Locust Hill) almost every day to search for a grave.  Last night, I could not get to these great genealogical databases... I got instead a re-direct to a login page.  I went to the Oak Hill Cemetery Face Book site and asked what was happening.  The City/County web sites just recently went through some revising which included some changes in the URL's to the various governmental departments.  For some unknown reason the old links bring you to the login page instead of a re-direct to the new URL address or simply inform you that the sites have been revised with new Uniform Resource Locator (URL) addresses.  Oak Hill management quickly provided all that I needed just a few minutes after 8 AM... special thanks to Chris & his staff!

This is one of the biggest problems with the Internet that after you find a great site... you bookmark it and then that bookmark becomes a bad link because the site changed servers or simply just changed the URL within the site. I have worked 16 years on the Internet and have figured out ways to find these elusive new addresses for the sites I want to visit.  Fortunately, I found a way to get to the cemetery databases late last night when I wanted to get a little info about a Gus Mattingly that had drowned trying to save others!  His grave marker was featured on a "Tombstone Thursday" on this TSGS Cruiser Blog (check the labels to the right for a link to that blog -"Gus Mattingly").

Anyway, I got a quick response this morning from that Cemetery Face Book page which I appreciate very much!  They gave me the new URL's to use on the links for the Tri-State Genealogical Society's web site for those who visit our site.  They have been updated on our site.

If you would want to bookmark the new URL's, here is the two cemetery databases and the Evansville City Cemeteries' home page

Locust Hill Cemetery Database Search http://www.evansvillegis.com/cemeteries/locusthill.aspx

Oak Hill Cemetery Database Search  http://www.evansvillegis.com/cemeteries/oakhill.aspx

Evansville City Cemeteries Home Page  http://www.evansville.in.gov/index.aspx?page=1334

Now, that fall is upon us, you might want to visit the city cemeteries, especially Oak Hill, to see all of the beautiful trees as they change colors.  I have spent hours photographing the breath taking beauty of this cemetery!

- Compiled by JGWest

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Genealogy is Like a Very Big Puzzle"

I have always liked to solve mysteries and to put together puzzles.  I was making a comment on one of MyFamily.com groups of many of my West family and other related families.  We have pooled our resources and what we already have learned to attempt to fill in the gaps of our family history.  I suddenly wrote that it was like we were all working on one very big puzzle.

We are finding the puzzle pieces, but we need to be able to put them all together. As with puzzles, many of us start by finding the flat edged pieces to put together the outer edges (frame) and then concentrate on areas of similar characteristics putting the pieces in one by one until they all connect and the puzzle is complete. This is what we are trying to do, except it is hard to make that frame and there are so many pieces that seem to be the same! :) Also because we can not find some documented records, the pieces are not complete or some of the image of the piece was damaged (lost). No matter what, it is very hard to put together a puzzle if you do not have all of the pieces.

When we first start researching our families, there are just a few that we know who may be of help to us.  As time goes on we build a network of researchers and resources.  We use libraries, DNA, courthouses, friends & family, genealogical societies, the Internet.  Many now are using resources like Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest, bulletin boards, USGenWeb, MyFamily.com and so many others.  What we are doing are looking for the pieces of the puzzle and trying to connect the pieces.

The group I mentioned is a good sized group of cousins that are trying to find these puzzle pieces and then try to put them together as a large diverse group of people.  When I work on a picture puzzle, it seems to get put together so much faster when there are several working together.

Genealogical societies provide resources to help us put together our family puzzles.  Working with others who are researching the same family can increase your chances of finding missing pieces and then connecting them.

My point is that our family puzzles have been scattered about and some pieces are lost or damaged beyond recognition.  We can not rely on just one resource or one person to gather most of these pieces.  We need to work together as much as we can and we can put together that family puzzle.  Of course, once we get that puzzle done, we start expanding the frame!  Hopefully, putting together the puzzle will be fun and enlightening as you go.

- Written by JGWest

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TSGS Meeting Report

TSGS Meeting
Willard Library
Bayard Room
11 Sep 2012
Since this was 911 Patriot's Day, President Don Counts brought in his "Flag of Honor" with all of the names of those killed in the 911 attack in New York.  The names are used to make the stripes.  Vice-President John G. West helped Don show the flag at the meeting.  With about 30 people present the Bayard Room was a little crowded.
Earlier in the meeting, Special Collections Director Lyn Martin gave the library report mentioning up-coming events and informed the society that due to costs and security, all patrons needed to be out of the building no later than 8PM.  Since we have been meeting at 7PM this put pressure on us to get everything in and adjourn the meeting before 8 O'Clock.

The Finance Committee with approval of the TSGS Board of Directors proposed the 2012-2013 Budget which was accepted by the membership.

Indiana Bones presented his "Cemetery Stories" for the program.  The program was cut short in order to be out by 8PM.  The society may have to meet earlier or meet on weekends to avoid cutting meetings short.

John G. West, TSGS Vice-President

Monday, September 17, 2012

TSGS on Face Book

Check us out and click "LIKE" so we can move ahead just a little more into the tech world!!! Click on this link to see our site: Tri-State Genealogical Society Face Book Page.   We have 31 likes since the page was launched late last night.  We have 250+ members... it would be great to see this number of likes into 200 or more.  Quite a few of these first 31 are not TSGS members.  They are giving us some great support and comments!  After you "like" us then come back often and make a comment or contribute something to the page.  Help make this a success!  It will be another great tool to help all of us with our genealogy and history.

John G. West, TSGS Vice-President
TSGS Web Master
TSGS Blog Master
TSGS Face Book Admin

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TSGS Meeting - Tonight!

Tri-State Genealogical Society
(TSGS) Meeting Notice!
When: Tuesday 11 Sep 2012 - 7:00 PM
Where: Willard Library - 2nd. Floor
What: Monthly Meeting
A drawing for an attendance prize will be awarded at the close of the meeting... you must be present to win.
The Tri-State Genealogical Society will have a brief business meeting that anyone can attend.
Program will feature TSGS Vice-President John G. West
as Indiana Bones presenting his "Cemetery Stories!"
- Released by Donald R. Counts, TSGS President

Friday, September 7, 2012

TSGS Meeting Notice!

Tri-State Genealogical Society
(TSGS) Meeting Notice!
When: Tuesday 11 Sep 2012 - 7:00 PM
Where: Willard Library - 2nd. Floor
What: Monthly Meeting

[Photo credit: Becky West - Artwork: Chris Lantaff]
Guest Speaker for the September Meeting of the Tri-State Genealogical Society will be Indiana Bones. He will present stories about some of his adventures concerning cemeteries. The Evansville Courier & Press has dubbed TSGS Vice-President John G. West as a "Self-proclaimed Cemetery Geek!" a title he is proud of with his very active pursuit of genealogy over the last 50 years.
 His wife, Becky, gave him the name of "Indiana Bones" and the character evolved to help share his interesting and oftentimes humorous tales about cemeteries and other related genealogy subjects. Whether you are a family historian, genealogist, a history buff or just like to listen to story tellers... you should enjoy these "Adventures of Indiana Bones - Cemetery Stories!" You do not need to be a member to attend TSGS meetings - everyone is welcome!

John G. West (AKA: Indiana Bones)
 [Photo credit: Don Counts]
A drawing for an attendance prize will be awarded at the close of the meeting... you must be present to win.

The Tri-State Genealogical Society will have a brief business meeting that anyone can attend.
- Donald R. Counts, TSGS President

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tombstone Thursday - Norton

Oak Hill Cemetery
Evansville, Indiana
James Earl Norton
Frances Helen McBride
Married for 65 years!
(Section D, Lot 2, Graves 8 &9)
Great Grandparents of Ryan Lurker who works with JGWest.
- Photo taken by Indiana Bones.
[Tombstone Thursday is dedicated
in memory of Donald G. West 1952-2000]

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tribute Tuesday

Evansville's largest and one of the very oldest cemeteries
has been recognized by the
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
as a Historic Cemetery!
Oak Hill Cemetery
Established 1853 
- Photo taken by Indiana Bones

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day 1908

From the
Here's what Labor Day looked like back in 1908. These anthracite coal miners parade with their simple float and one very large chunk of coal.

Our blog digs up the making of Labor Day in the United States: http://s.si.edu/dnyd1

- submitted by Don Counts

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Local DAR News in the Courier

News about
The Captain
Henry Vanderburgh
 NSDAR Chapter
(Evansville, Indiana)
[Click on photo for larger image to read caption]
[from The Evansville Courier & Press 09/02/2012, Page D07]
- Submitted by Don Counts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tombstone Thursday - Wyman

Indiana Bones ran into Pat Coselett in Rural King last night and had a delightful conversation.  I showed him the cool knife that I had just bought and showed him where I got it so he could buy one, too!  Then he told me about an interesting man by the name of Gunner Wyman and about Gunner's tombstone.
 Indiana Bones
 Highland Park Cemetery
Mayfield, Graves Co., Kentucky
Orlando "Gunner" Wyman
1925 - 2008

"I had rather be here than in Jasper, Ind." - Gunner Wyman put on his marker as a reminder of the great rival basketball teams at Vincennes Lincoln with Jasper teams!  Mr. Wyman, a native of Palmersville, Tenn., served as a teacher and basketball coach at Wingo, Nortonville and South Hopkins high schools and schools in Indiana, including Vincennes Lincoln, where his team won the 1981 state championship. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. 
Created by: Gabriella
Record added: Jun 19, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial #38530476
-tombstone photos by Craig Thweatt
-Photo of Indiana Bones by Don Counts

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Plaque, Marker, Monument Monday

This plaque is posted here just west of the Newburgh Lock and Dam.  Becky and I had been at the Evansville Frog Follies on Saturday and decided to run over to the Newburgh Fiddler Festival to see what was happening there.
[Click on photo to get larger image to read.]
"Co-operative project for a public
access site which was partially
funded by 'Indiana Waters'
a fishing and boating
access program..."
Dated 1989
We had a great time and ran into several great folks and my friend Terry White.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

From the First Mate's Photo Album - Zoo Pics

"Lets Go to the Zoo!"
Here are a few pictures taken at the Louisville Zoo on 24 Aug 2012... there are a lot of photos, click on one of them (suggest the bear above) to get another window with larger images of all in this blog.  The duck below was just a few inches from my leg when I took this photo!
The below photo was the best that we saw of the botanical gardens at this zoo on this trip.

Above left is a giant turtle... these guys are big & heavy!  This is a close-up of a sea lion just before the big show.  Upper left shows Becky making contact with this big guy.  Upper right is a very nice looking jaguar... just beautiful!  Below is one of Louisville's young Polar Bears.
 And in the middle of the zoo is a Pioneer Cemetery and here is a list of who is buried there.  An African and an Asian Elephant working together for a very nice show that we were lucky enough to catch.

That cannot be me with angel wings... it is not me, it is Indiana Bones who might be an angel! Wrestling a Kamoda Dragoon is not what an angel would do, but TSGS Director Becky West is not a typical angel... she is my wife!  Below is Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo photos... taken on Monday, 20 Aug 2012.  Look at the botanical garden near the zoo entrance and close to the Amazonia Exhibit.

 Above is some kind of Spoon-billed bird.  Below to the right is a wild snake crawling around in the temporiarily closed Praire Dog exhibit.  And just look at the teeth of that small gator!

 One of my favorite exhibits since I was just a little kid when it had monkeys on it, is Mesker Park's "Monkey Ship!"  They use it now for kiddie bumper boat rides.  Great new use for one of the zoo's older great exhibits!!!  OK, how many of you can have a leaf with your name on it as adopting a Zoo animal?  Anyone can... it only takes $25 for the smallest donation.  Actually, I represented the Ohio Valley SAR Chapter in adopting an American Bald Eagle and they put my name on the leaf instead of the Chapter - that will be corrected tomorrow!

 Below is one of the two most playful otters at the zoo... a favorite with the kids and for me and Becky.  The Jaguar is young and not yet full grown, but is a nice looking animal.


Above in these last four photos in upper left is a beautiful Tiger, then to the upper right is an old Rhino with missing tusks.  Lower left is one of the Gibbons monkeys that just love to swing around showing off!  Here are two large, but not giant turtles, posing for my camera.

- Photos taken by JGWest & Becky West.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Message to Heaven"

The following message to my birth mother was written almost 48 years after my birth. At that time she had no choice about my adoption. She had too many kids, little help from my father; she did as best as she could. I was taken from her at birth (17 Nov 1949). I finally learned about my birth family on 1 Jan 1992 (I was 42). By 4 Jan 1992, I knew 5 generations of most of my birth family, both my birth parents had already died (in the late 1970's). I went to visit the gravesites in January 1992. Now, each year I visit the graves and leave flowers on Memorial Day. Their names are: Lucinda Aurelia Peach (b. 20 Feb 1915 - d. 14 Mar 1978) who married (9 Feb 1935) Robert H. Meredith (b. 30 May 1907 - d. 2 Jun 1977). Then in 1997, five years after learning about my birth family, I felt the need to send this message to my birth mother, Lucinda Aurelia.  - Written by Rebecca L. West

Message to My
Birth Mother

I want to thank you, Mother
For bringing me into this world
Even though you didn't know me
I am still your little girl

You were not there to nurse me when I was sick
Or dry my tears when I cried
But, I wish I could have hugged you
Just once before you died

I wanted to touch your gentle hand
Put my arm around your shoulder
I wish we could have been together
To watch each other grow older

I wanted to see your smiling eyes
To hear your gentle voice
But, Mother, I truly understand
You really had no choice

Mother, even though we were not together
You have a special place within my heart
And when I see you in Heaven
We will never again have to part

Copyright 31 May 1997 by Rebecca L. West

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jumping to Conclusions

Do Not Let the Trash Can Get in Your Way!”

While working at a business recently, I went into a small room that had swinging doors. The entry way was partially blocked by a large plastic trash can. I moved it slightly and slipped past it pushing one of the doors into the small room. Within a few seconds I was heading out of the room, pushing the same door I went through before. It was blocked by the trash can. I reached through pushing the can back so I could open the door to get out. I just went through the same door seconds earlier, I thought how in the world did this can get in the way? Did someone come along and move it? My first, immediate thought was that someone must have moved it! So, what were the facts?

When I went into the room, I pushed the door in and away from the trash can that I had moved a little to get by it. Then as I was going out I pushed the door away from me toward the trash can. I had not moved the can far enough for the door to swing both ways. So, it turns out that I was the only one that moved the can. I had to laugh at my thought that someone moved the can in my way. It was a foolish conclusion based on circumstantial information.

In our genealogical research, we often do not find solid documented evidence; and we have to make reasonable conclusions based on circumstantial information that often leads to false assumptions and conclusions. This is also compounded when you want the evidence to prove these conclusions to be true facts! When we have only circumstantial evidence, we need to ask what are the facts? Then try to piece all of the evidence together to reach a reasonable conclusion. Accepting weak evidence for fact can cause you some serious stumbling blocks to go back in time about your family.

- Written by JGWest.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tombstone Thursday - Wood

St. Joseph Cemetery
Evansville, Indiana
Patrick H. Wood
1903 - 1958
My mother's Uncle Pat, brother to her mother.  I just barely remember going to the funeral home (I was about 11 years old).  He was only 55 years old... the same age that my father was when he died.

[Tombstone Thursday is dedicated
in memory of Donald G. West 1952-2000]
- Photo taken by Indiana Bones

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Genealogy on the Web!"

Just something to make you smile this morning!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TSGS Membership Dues

Our Membership Dues are...
still only $12/year!!!

If you have not paid your renewal dues for fiscal year 2012-13, please fill out the Membership Form on the TSGS Web Site and send in your dues before 01 Sep 2012. 

The cost of sending out the member's quarterly journal The Tri-State Packet to individuals not included in the bulk mailing is very high... so we have to charge extra for late memberships.  After 01 Sep 2012, membership dues go up to $14.  Please send in your dues ASAP!

Interested in joining the Tri-State Genealogical Society for the first time, just fill out the membership form and send in the $12 dues... it is that simple!

Donald R. Counts, TSGS President

Monday, August 20, 2012

From the First Mate's Photo Album - Counts

TSGS President Don Counts sent this photo for our blog.  John Counts is my Grandpa and served on the Evansville Traffic Squad.  I saw the following article "Evansville Police Department 150th Anniversary"
http://westside.14news.com/news/news/61534-epd-seeking-old-photos-memorabilia and called Brad Hill.  He came by and borrowed the picture.  He couldn't find a scanner big enough then found a person with a hand held scanner that worked.

[Click on photo for a larger image.]
From Left to Right: Gilbert Underdown, John Counts, Norman Clark, Chris Humphreys, George Gamble, William Hudson, John Hamrush, William Schulte, Walter Fisher, Charles Ohning, Clyde Roebling, Ralph Plummer and William S Perrett

My Grandpa is the 2nd from the left on his motor cycle.  My Dad was born in 1920 and he was a policeman when Dad was little so this is probably in the 1920s.

Brad and the police department were impressed and they are going to make this a wallpaper to go in the entrance to the police department.

- Photo submitted by Don Counts.