(Chuck) I have been involved with genealogy since the mid 1960’s. My grandmother had a habit of writing down family names and birthdates. She recorded stories and assembled family relationships, many times on the inside of JELLO boxes that she had opened up to write on. She instilled the bug in me and I have carried it for over 50 years. My data is assembled on a computer program instead of the inside of a JELLO box. I print reports for all of my “paper only” relatives. Paper is just easier to view the generations of families. Electronic data is just easier to assemble and add. Both serve us well. Jan and I have been in old court houses, relative’s basements, attics, and even knocked on doors on occasion. It was the addition of computer organization and the World Wide Web that radically changed our abilities to find and organize our family information.
In the early days of the WWW there was a great movement of sharing and providing free resource materials. This seems to have changed with the powerful introduction of Ancestry.com. I resisted this for quite a while because I felt the old way was better. Now I am sure I was wrong. Ancestry may be a lot of things which concern me, but it does provide a great deal of primary records. I have only begun to scratch the surface with the census and I am sure there are many more surprises to find. To have the actual image of the census book is a wonderful resource.
Our exposure to Ancestry began several years ago as a Christmas gift from our son and his wife, Eric and Cheri. It was a good introduction, but I had not explored all of the opportunities. Recently I became re-involved with a problematic 1840-1870 family relationship that I had been dealing for many years. I had written a short examination of this family and shared it with our friends Jerry and Nancy Hurley who are accomplished genealogists. She replied the same day and indicated that I was missing the 1860 census for this family, and to my great surprise, she attached the image of the census takers page upon which they were recorded. !!! I now better understand the benefits. We all know that Ancestry has user submitted family trees that will lead you astray. That is a whole new adventure which I will not touch upon at this time.
We have just stopped in Indiana to visit with Jerry and Nancy and of course we discussed genealogy. Nancy left the next day for the National Genealogical Society conference in St. Charles, Missouri. I started to think about a day trip we might make in the near future. I have a 5thgreat grandfather buried within 60 miles of our friends Bruce and Rita in Ohio. It seemed like a good place to visit and photograph.
Later in the afternoon we were sitting in the motorhome and I was looking through some research notes. In 1970 Wilma VanDeman had published a booklet and she recorded that Mary’s stone indicated her birthdate. When I read this, I thought that it seemed unlikely that the stone had deteriorated to the extent that nothing could be read on it. A light bulb came on and I said to Jan “I bet her stone is turned over on its face”. Jan immediately said “Let’s get gloves and find out.” We went back to the gravesite and I carefully worked my fingers under the side of the stone and we turned it over. What a sight it was to see the wonderfully preserved stone. There was a small area at the bottom where ants seemed to be causing a track in the marble, but other than that it was very good. We photographed the stone and returned it to the position that we found it. It was exciting and I am very happy that we recorded the stone with a high quality photograph.
The next day we visited the South Salem Cemetery, Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio and the Hixson Cemetery in the same township. We came away with more photographs and a better understanding of our pioneer ancestors.
Chuck’s ancestral names of interest are: Moore, Grundmeier, Vandeman, Jensen, Dales, Holmes, Koepke, Jebsen, Richards, Gauley, Dearinger, Wright, Oberegge, Dohrn, Christiansen, Klindt, Harvey, and others.
Jan’s ancestral names of interest are: Riesselman, Ocken, Muhlbauer, Anstoeter, Eischeid, Schillinger, Schmieding, Schlicte, Zumbahlen, Walterscheid, Stoiber, Fuser, Sprenger, Husling, Tauke, and others.
Please feel free to contact us by leaving a comment on our Blog for any questions or additions concerning these families.