TSGS Cruiser Blog

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