Thursday, December 18, 2008

Genealogy databases

Well its that time of the year again, the holidays. Tomorrow is my birthday and with a winter storm coming through I don't expect to be doing anything special. But I don't mind, because it usually snows on my birthday anyway.

The genealogy databases that are available keep growing. One I happen to like comes from FamilySearch, which is the Latter-Day Saints, or more commonly the Mormons. They have a site called FamilySearchLabs, which is their indexing site, where you can help bring more records online for FREE to fellow genealogists. I have done some indexing and am proud to say that the records that are continuously updated have been a great help to my research. For example, the Ohio Death Certificate index that they have goes from 1908-1953 and has helped me find dozens of names that I either had but didn't have information on or ones that I didn't expect to find living in the state of Ohio.

The other has to do with my home state, Illinois. They recently put up Illinois, specifically Cook County Marriage license records with IMAGES, which is always a plus. That one isn't complete but there are enough records online already that I have filled some blanks in or confirmed information I obtained elsewhere. I'm hoping that Birth records from Cook County will also come online in the near future.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and I'll probably post after the first of the year.

Here's hoping you have tons of genealogical discoveries in 2009!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Genealogy and trains

I just don't know about my family sometimes. In doing research on my paternal side I have come across more people getting hit by trains than I don't know what. Just today, I got three notices in the mail from a researcher, that described yet another person in my tree that was hit by a train. He, J.C. (John C.) Wilhelm is the second one so far to have something crushed, in this case a leg. He died as a result but that didn't surprise me. In fact, before I even got the articles I had a feeling his death somehow involved a train. His cousin, Charles Wilhelm was also struck by a train and believe it or not 25 years earlier, Charles' brother-in-law and the first husband of my great-grandmother, Jacob W. Freed was ALSO struck by a train, in fact Charles was with him when that incident occurred. It seems that some of the ones I've found worked in the railroad and were killed while working, or in two cases, Jacob Freed and Charles Wilhelm, they met their fates when they were either crossing one track to get to another or was walking along the tracks when struck. Either way it seems that working for the railroad in the early 20th century was indeed a dangerous occupation.


Genealogy beginnings

My first blog, how about that. This blog will contain posts related to my genealogy research in the hopes of solving a few mysteries that I still have and to hopefully break down some brick walls. It will also be posts on discoveries that I've made while doing my research and the many frustrations that all genealogists go through. I've been doing this for almost 20 years, but the first five didn't accomplish much because there was no 'Internet' to assist me.
To begin with my main or direct lines are the following surnames: FRY, GINTHER, WALTON, SIMMERS, DEMUTH and other connecting branches that make up my paternal side. If this blog is boring you, you don't have to read it, but I will be posting what I find and what I don't find in my research.