Showing posts from August, 2016

Making the Most of Your Research Trip - Part 7

I was on the way to visit the home of a minister who had old cemetery records from a previous church that was no longer in existence.  I'm a farmer's daughter so driving down country roads and acclimating myself to finding directions isn't that big of a deal to me.  I was pushing the speed limit, though, as the Reverend had not wanted to meet with me today as he had other plans and I didn't want to hold him up.  In about 20 minutes I whizzed past the turnoff.  I call it a turnoff because it wasn't a named street.  It was a gravel drive that appeared to belong to one family but after making a 3 point turn I realized that several families lived on this lane.  An elderly gentleman flagged me and I rolled down the passenger side window and asked him if he was the Reverend.  He asked why I wanted to know (so clearly, he wasn't or if he was, he had a serious case of forgetfullness.)  I told the man I had an appointment with the Reverend.  He looked skeptical and poin…

Making the Most of Your Research Trip - Part 6

Please check out my earlier blogs about my recent adventures researching in Pennsylvania.  At this point in my travels, I had one afternoon and one morning left in the area and hadn't really found much.  To recap:
No will at the courthouse - only the index of the will; the county archivist will be notified to be on the look out but I did search the entire box and it wasn't misfiled there.No voter's records maintained after 10 years (and I was searching mid- 1800's)No city directory's for the years the family resided thereNo road work ordersNo education records - they were burned during the Civil WarFound several deeds and one mortgage - not all were for my family but the ones that were I found helpful.Found one tombstone but still needed to know where several other family members were buried.If time permitted, wanted to find church records for an unknown church once located between Waynesboro and Gettysburg.  Nothing like being precise!Still needed to finish going t…

Making the Most of Your Research Trip - Part 5

I've been blogging about my recent research trip to Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  My last post told about a cemetery where reinternments of the family I was researching were placed.  I had discovered that the cemetery did not have original records from the first burial site - only derivatives - and that the records that that were available most likely were not accurate as one individual was mentioned in church records but not in the cemetery records.  I was hoping to find the original cemetery records for Union Cemetery so I decided I would drive back to Chambersburg and check out the Franklin County Historical Museum and Library to see what information I could find.
I had tried to make contact via email and phone several times in the past few months with this archive but no one ever returned my query regarding whether or not they had City Directories for Waynesboro from the mid to late 1800's.
On the way, I passed another cemetery and I recalled that the brother of the fa…

Making the Most of Your Research Trip - Cemeteries - Part 4

Last time I wrote about my meeting with the Cemetery Director on a recent research trip I took.  His records did not direct me to the grave stone I was seeking but gave me an area in which to look.  That was due to the re-internments of the stones from an older cemetery, Union, that had been exhumed when the land was sold.
I drove by the building that housed the re-internments.  I thought it was a large shed to contain the tools to maintain the cemetery.  Hmm.  Nothing noted it to be a mass grave.
When the road started turning I knew I had somehow passed where I needed to be so I turned around and looked again.  I parked and decided I might do better on foot.  Very quickly I saw the older stones laying flat on the ground.
The grass had recently been cut and the stones were covered with debris.  Having flown and then taken a rental car, I did not have my cemetery tools with me.  It was about 8:45 AM and already starting to get hot.  I hated to get all dirty and then have to be in that…

Making the Most of Your Research Trip - Cemeteries - Part 3

Today's blog is all about cemeteries!   Actually, I'll have to split the blog as I have too much info!
I like to get an early start when I visit cemeteries in the summer as it gets HOT during the day.
My first stop of my recent research trip was Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesboro, PA.  Opened in the late 1800's, by 1923 it had accepted re-internments from Union Cemetery when the church who owned Union sold the property and the new owners didn't want the bodies.
What saddens me about that decision is the property was sold from one church to another.  Union meant what it said - it was the "Union" of all of the burials of the 3 churches in the town - at that time it was Evangelical Lutheran, German Baptist and Presbyterian.  From histories of the area I read on GoogleBooks, I learned that in the mid 1800's there was only one church in town and that all 3 denominations used it on a rotating basis.  Due to structural problems and it needing repairs, one of t…

I’m officially OFF the Clock

I just submitted electronically my portfolio to the Board for Certification of Genealogists so I’m no longer considered “On the Clock.”  My husband had made me this cute magnet when I first submitted my application:

I’m going to miss it!  Although, at times, the workload was challenging it was do-able. The Google group for On the Clockers was helpful in clarifying requirements, offering suggestions and providing general support during a stressful time. I’m most fortunate that my family was very understanding and supportive.  They were facing their own challenges over the past year – daughter relocated back to our area and became board certified in two areas – pediatrics and internal medicine.  She just finished an acupuncture course and should be certified in that by the end of the year.  Son graduated with another degree and is now working as a chemical engineer.  Hubby is writing a book besides his full time job as a counselor.  I’m proud of their accomplishments and their ability…

Making the Most of Your Research Trip Part 2

By the second day of my research trip in Pennsylvania I was much more familiar with the area and had a better sense of how long it would take me to get from point A to point B, thus I could organize my day efficiently.
Before any trip I plan extensively from home so I don't waste time and miss resources while I'm on the road.  Sometime I get lucky and connect with "boots on the ground" folks who are willing to provide me needed information immediately.  In those situations, I like to take a minute to visit in person when I arrive to personally thank them for their help.  That was on top of my agenda for the day.
I rose early and didn't want to wait around for repositories to open so I drove to nearby Greencastle where a Dunkin Donuts had just opened.  I bought a box of donut holes with the intention of bringing them back to Waynesboro and giving them to the office staff of a church who had so graciously emailed me copies of original records.  Those records took m…

Making the Most of Your Research Trip Part 1

I've been blogging about my recent genealogical hunt in Pennsylvania.  After packing essential research tools and visiting the County Courthouse I was off to the Franklin County Historical Museum.  Problem was, due to my rental car delay, I arrived later than I anticipated and with only a half hour until closing, I didn't want to spend the $5.00 research fee and have to return the following day and pay again.  I opted instead to drive about 20 minutes to nearby Waynesboro where the Alexander Hamilton Free Library was open until 7 p.m.
Lucky for me, there was a parking space right in front of the library and I had coins for the meter in my research bag.  Whenever I enter a new library I always ask where the genealogy section is housed if there was no map online.  The sweet librarian pointed to stairs and told me there were "a few rooms."  More than one, seriously?!  I like that!  The room at the foot of the stairs was awesome, too:

After climbing the stairs I discover…

Researching at the Courthouse

Last blog I mentioned two rules I use to make a research trip rewarding - KNOW BEFORE YOU GO and PACK EFFICIENTLY.  Just back from researching in several states and in various libraries and archives so I'm going to share what worked for me at the different locations I visited.
My first stop in Pennsylvania was the Chambersburg (Franklin County seat) Courthouse.  I had called ahead to verify the times the facility was open and that the old deeds and wills I needed were available.  I knew the cost of the copies and how they accepted payment (cash/credit/debit).  I knew which building (there's an old and new courthouse) and what department and the floor I needed to go to.  I also asked where I should park.  This allowed me to save time and money when I arrived.
I had also previously identified what the deed dates I was interested in finding by using an index on  I had ordered the film for the actual deeds but when it arrived in June, it didn't contain them.…