Friday, September 26, 2008

Obituary : James Wright (1868-1936)

Source : Alexandria Times Tribune, Alexandria, Indiana, October 14, 1936, page 1.


Born South Of City And Had Lived Here All His Lifetime

James Wright, 68, who was born on a farm two miles south of Alexandria and who had lived in this community all of his life, died at 9:15 a.m. today at the family home at 515 South Wayne street after an extended illness with a complication of ailments.

The body was taken to the Davis & Stricler funeral home, and will be returned this evening to the Wright residence, where funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday. The minister who will have charge will be announced later. Interment will be in a local cemetery.

Mr. Wright was a son of the late Joseph and Rebecca Wright, and lived in the county south of Alexandria until eight years ago, when he and his wife retired from active farm duties and came to this city to live. Mrs. Wright was formerly Miss Carrie B. Hicks, and they were married 41 years last November.

She survives him, with four daughters, Mrs. Frances E. Sexton, Mrs. Olivia Jones, Mrs. Mabel Frees and Mrs. Helen McDermott, all living her, and five grandchildren.

He is also survived by three brothers, Charles Wright and John Wright, of Alexandria, and Edward E. Wright, of Fort Wayne. Mrs. Daisy Fox, of Delaware, O., is a surviving sister.

Obituary : Helen L. McDermitt (1908-1995)

Source : Anderson Herald-Bulletin, Anderson, Indiana, March 21, 1995.

Alexandria - Helen L. McDermitt, 86, Rt. 4, died March 18, 1995, at Community Hospital in Anderson after an extended illness.

She was born May 21, 1908, in Alexandria, the daughter of James and Clara (Hicks) Wright and resided in Alexandria all of her life.

She worked at Mullins Shoe Store, Mahoney's Shoe Store and National Gypsum Corp., all formerly of Alexandria.

She was a member of First Christian Church of Alexandria, at one time was secretary-treasurer of Madison County Farm Bureau, member of Alexandria Eagles Auxiliary and Alexandria Senior Guild.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Basil Jr. and Betty McDermitt of Alexandria; two sisters, Olivia Frazier of Alexandria and Mabel Frees of Daleville; four grandchildren, Lisa Daniel of Marion, Mrs. Tom (Rita) Whitsel of Anderson, and Jimmy McDermitt and Mary Smith, both of Alexandria; two great-grandsons, Tracy Pine and Travis Pine, both of Alexandria.

Her husband of 62 years, Basil O. "Jack" McDermitt, died August 21, 1987.

Gravesite service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at IOOF cemetery with the Rev. Jerry Young, pastor of Alexandria Christian Congregation Church officiating.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Owens Funeral Home, Alexandria. Memorial contributions may be made to Alexandria Christian Congregation Church through the funeral home.

Mr. and Mrs. Ord Weldon LeMaster

Source : undated newspaper clipping, believed to be from Muncie Star, Muncie, Indiana

Mr. and Mrs. Ord Weldon LeMaster

The Dec. 7 marriage of Miss Gloria Jean Wright to Mr. Ord Weldon LeMaster of Portland, Ind., is announced by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Wright, 610 W. Broadway, Alexandria, Ind.

The wedding ceremony was read in the Hazelwood Christian Church at Muncie, by Rev. Robert Sulanke.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hurst, of Muncie, served as best man and matron of honor.

A reception followed at the Patio, Muncie, after which the newlyweds left for a honeymoon to Tennessee and the Rice Bowl.

The bride is a graduate of Alexandria-Monroe High School in 1964 and Ball State University in 1967, with a B.S. degree in elementary education. She is employed by the Muncie Community Schools as a third grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School.

The bridegroom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ord W. LeMaster, 1107 W. Water St., Portland, Ind. He is a graduate of Portland High School in 1962 and Ball State University in 1966 with a degree in history and geography. He is employed by Jay County Schools as a history teacher at Dunkirk High School.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

About to be Wed : Wright - LeMaster

Source : Alexandria Times Tribune, November 24, 1967

About to be Wed

Mr. and Mrs. William Wright, 610 W. Broadway, Alexandria, announce the engagement of their daughter, Gloria Jean, to Ord Weldon LeMaster, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ord W. LeMaster, 1107 W. Water St., Portland.

Miss Wright, a 1964 graduate of Alexandria-Monroe High School, was graduated from Ball State University in 1967 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She is a third grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Muncie.

Mr. LeMaster is a 1962 graduate of Portland High School and was graduated from Ball State University in 1966 with a B.S. in history and geography. He will complete his Master of Arts degree next summer at Ball State. Mr. LeMaster teaches history at Dunkirk High School.

No definite date has been set for the wedding.

Source : Muncie Star, November 26, 1967

Muncie Teacher to Wed Ord LeMaster of Portland

The engagement of Miss Gloria Jean Wright to Ord Weldon LeMaster is announced by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Wright, Alexandria. Mr. LeMaster is the son of Ord W. LeMaster, Portland.

Miss Wright is a graduate of Alexandria-Monroe High School and received a B.S. degree in elementary education from Ball State University. She is a third grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary in Muncie.

Mr. LeMaster is a graduate of Portland High School and Ball State, where he received a B.S. degree in history and geography. Attending Ball State graduate school, he is a history teacher at Dunkirk High School.

No date has been set for the wedding.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Facts right under my nose

Sometimes the missing facts that we seek are right under our nose the whole time, just waiting for us to look down and discover them.

When I started researching my family, I was a Boy Scout, eagerly writing down information as given to me by my parents, my grandmother, and any other relatives that I was able to contact either by letter or telephone. I would right down the information, never bothering to give a source, as at that time I didn't realize the importance of sourcing my information. The information was the main thing, not the reliability of the sources.

As I started to input my database onto a computer, first with a Commodore 64 and Rootsoft, then a PC and FamilyTreeMaker, my database continued to grow with each line that was added. The flurry of family trees posted on the Internet helped me to make other connections, or so I thought, and I became a name collector - attaching distant family trees to my own, not considering for a moment whether or not the information was accurate.

Along the way I began to collect a lot of files - so many, in fact, that I had a 5 drawer file cabinet full of family group sheets, census record printouts, and any other tidbit that came my way. As the recognized family historian, others in the family began to send me obituaries, birth notices, etc. over the years until these drawers were overflowing. I had managed to collect much information, but because I had not developed a habit of organization along the way, it was hard to know exactly what information I might have on a family in some instances.

Adding to my dilemma was the fact that I've had a couple of computer crashes along the way that have added to my 'data loss' misery. Backup, backup, backup. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Currently, I'm in the process of going through my scans and updating my database with information that I had in my possession, but didn't input into my files. In some cases, I've found that I've spent time, money and effort researching for facts that I already possessed. For example, I didn't realize that I had information about my 2nd-great granduncle "Mike" Wright's death already tucked away in a family group sheet that I've had in my possession for 10 years, which has led me down other avenues of research I will write about later.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obituary : Erma M. Johnson (1901-1990)

Source : Anderson Herald Bulletin, September 1, 1990

Erma M. Johnson, 88, 909 Alexandria Pike, died Thursday at Americana Healthcare Center following an extended illness.

She was born Sept. 24, 1901 in Alexandria, and was a lifelong resident of Madison County. She retired in 1967 from Anderson Community Schools after 39 years as a teacher.

A member of Bethany Christian Church for more than 60 years, Loyal Workers Sunday School class, past president of Anderson Business & Professional Women's club; past president of Madison County Home Extension Clubs; 50-year member Order of Eastern Star 154, Madison County Mental Health Association, National, State, Local Retired Teachers Association, past president of Toll Gate Home Economics Club and Anderson Senior Citizens Center.

Survivors include her husband of 65 years, John C. Johnson; a son, Jim C. Johnson of Lenoir City, Tenn.; a daughter, Mrs. John (JoAnn) Smith of Anderson; a brother, Paul W. Wright of Alexandria; five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Service with Lanis E. Kinneman officiating. Entombment will be at IOOF Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Friends may call from 11 a.m until time of service Tuesday at the funeral home.

Obituary : Anna L. Vinson (1864-1914)

Source : Alexandria Times Tribune, June 8, 1914


Six Months Illness from Complications of Diseases Results in Death.

Just as the shades of night were beginning to fall Saturday evening, Mrs. Anna L. Vinson, age 50 year, a well known and respected resident of Alexandria, passed to her reward after a lingering illness from a complication of diseases that had kept her confined to her bed for the past six months. For several days in the past week the Vinson home at 702 South Harrison street had been visited by relatives constantly as the death of Mrs. Vinson was expected at almost any moment. The funeral service will be conducted from the First Christian church Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and burial will take place in the Odd Fellow cemetery. Rev. George Winfrey will have charge of the service and the Rev. Wm. G. Smith, of Edinburgh, a former pastor of the Christian church here, and Rev. Whitecotton, of Anderson, will assist.

Mrs. Anna Vinson was born in the State of Ohio and at an early age moved to Madison county. She was married to A.M. Vinson, an Alexandria implement and automobile dealer. Mr. and Mrs. Vinson resided on a farm three miles north of Alexandria for a number of years, finally moving to this city where Mr. Vinson engaged in business. After her removal to this city Mrs. Vinson became active in church and social circles.

Besides the husband Mrs. Vinson is survived by her father, Joseph Wright, south of the city, and one sister, Mrs. Thomas Fox, of Pendleton, and five brothers, James, Edward, John, Charles White [sic] of this city, and Jesse Wright, of Anderson.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Obituary : Thomas Fox (1869-1926)

Source : Anderson Daily Bulletin, Tuesday, Februrary 2, 1926, page 3.

Pendleton, Ind. Feb. 2 - Funeral Services for Thomas A. Fox, age 56, who died at his home five miles west of Pendleton, Monday night, will be held at the home Thursday noon. Services and burial will take place at Alexandria Thursday afternoon. Besides his wife, Mrs. Daisy Fox, he is survived by two daughters, Miss Marie Fox and Mrs. Hazel Collier, and a son, Joseph Fox, all of Pendleton.

Source : Pendleton Times, Thursday, February 4, 1926, page 1.

The death of Thomas Fox, age 56, occurred Monday night at his late home west of here. The funeral was held this Thursday at the home and burial will take place at Alexandria. He is survived by the wife, Mrs. Daisy Fox, two daughters, Mrs. Hazel Colline, Miss Marie Fox, and one son, Joseph Fox, all of Pendleton.

Source : Alexandria Times Tribune, Tuesday, February 2, 1926, page 1.


Former Resident of This Community Passes Away Last Night

Thomas A. Fox, 56, a farmer, died last night at 10:00 o'clock at his home five miles west of Pendleton, after an illness of several years, although he had only been serious for the past two weeks. Mr. Fox was a former resident of this vicinity, having lived on a farm 5 miles southwest of Alexandria. Mrs. Fox, was before her marriage, Miss Daisy Wright, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wright, who were well known in this city and vicinity.

Mr. Fox is survived by the widow, Mrs. Daisy Fox, two daughters, Miss Marie Fox and Mrs. Hazel Collier, a son, Joseph Fox, and two grandchildren.

Short funeral services will be held at the family home at noon Thursday, with the Revs. Cady and Marlowe officiating, after which the funeral party will leave for Alexandria where the services will be held in the First Christian Church in charge of Rev. G.W. Winfrey and Rev. H.H. Wagner.

Source : Anderson Herald, Tuesday, February 2, 1926, page 1.


Special to the Herald. Lapel, Ind., Feb. 1 - Thomas A. Fox, age 56, farmer, died at his home five miles west of Pendleton, at 10:00 o'clock tonight after a lingering illness. Short services will be conducted at the residence at 12 m.[sic] Thursday, followed by services in the Alexandria Christian church. Burial will be made in Park View cemetery.

Mr. Fox is survived by the widow, Mrs. Daisy Fox; two daughters, Mis [sic] Marie Fox and Mrs. Hazel Collier, and a son, Joseph Fox.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obituary : Dorothy Wright (1837-1926)

Thanks to the Anderson, Indiana Public Library, I was able to obtain the obituaries of Dorothy (Palmer) Wright, the second wife of my maternal 3rd-great grandfather. The 1900 census stated that she was born June 1837 in Pennsylvania, the 1910 census stated she was born in Ohio, yet these obituaries give even more clues to check out. One interesting note is that her sisters were living in Brown County, Ohio, which is where her husband, Joseph Wright, was from. Perhaps they knew each other previously or he went back to Brown County to find a wife after the death of his first wife, Rebecca Heaton.

Source : Anderson Daily Bulletin, Friday, March 5, 1926, page 7.

Funeral services for Mrs. Dorothy P. Wright, age 78, widow of the late Josehp [sic] Wright, well known resident of this community, who died of infirmities of old age at the family home, two and one-half miles southwest of the city, at 1:50 p.m. Thursday, will be held at 2 p.m. at the home, in the charge of the Rev. George W. Winfrey. Burial will follow in the I.O.O.F. cemetery. During the winter Mrs. Wright had been ill most of the time. For the last three weeks she was bedfast. She was the daughter of George and Mary Palmer, natives of West Virginia. She was born in Parkersburg, W. Va., June 27, 1847. When a small girl she moved to Ohio. On April 9, 1891, she was married to Joseph Wright in Anderson. Shortly after her marriage she moved to the old home place near here where she lived for 35 years. Mr. Wright died six years ago. The surviving relatives are one step-daughter, Mrs. Thomas Fox, of near Pendleton; four step-sons, John, Charles and James, of near Alexandria, and Edward, of Columbia City, Ind. Two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Wardlow, of Mount Orab, Ohio, Mrs. Sarah Peddicord of Georgetown, Ohio and eighteen grandchildren survive also.

Source : Anderson Daily Bulletin, Saturday, March 6, 1926, page 10.

Near Alexandria

Alexandria, Ind. March 6 - The funeral of Mrs. Dorothy P. Wright was held at 2 p.m. today at the family home, two and one half miles southwest of the city, in charge of the Rev. G.W. Winfrey, and internment followed at the I.O.O.F. cemetery. Mrs. Wright had been a resident of the country southwest of the city for 35 years and was well known.

Source : Anderson Herald, Friday, March 5, 1926, page 9.

Mrs. Wright Dead.

Mrs.Dorothy P. Wright, age 78, died at 1:30 p.m. today at her home two and one half miles southwest of the city. She had been in ill health for several months and bedfast for the past three weeks. She was the widow of Joseph Wright, who died six years ago, to whom she was married 36 years ago in Anderson. She was a native of Ohio. Surviving are one stepdaughter, Mrs. Thomas Fox of Pendleton, four stepsons, John, Charles and James Wright of near Alexandria, and Edward Wright of Columbia City. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday from the home in charge of the Rev. George W. Winfrey, with burial in the I.O.O.F. cemetery here.

Source : Alexandria Times-Tribune, Friday, March 5, 1926, page 1.


Mrs. Dorothy P. Wright, aged 78 years, 9 months and 5 - days, for many years a resident of this community, passed away at her home two and one half miles southwest of the city at 1:50 p.m. Thursday, of infirmities of old age. She is the widow of the late Joseph Wright, and had a wide circle of acquaintances.

Mrs. Wright was a daughter of George and Mary Palmer, and was born in Parkersburg, W.Va., June 27, 1847, coming with her parents to Ohio when a small girl. She was united in marriage to Joseph Wright April 9, 1891, in Anderson, moving to the old homeplace where she has resided for the last 35 years. Her husband passed away six years ago last September.

Surviving are one step-daughter, Mrs. Thomas Fox, of near Pendleton; four step-sons, John, Charles and James near this city, and Edward, of Columbia City, Indiana; two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Wardlow of Mt. Orab, Ohio and Mrs. Sarah Peddicord of Georgetown, Ohio, and eighteen grandchildren.

The funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the family home with Rev. G.W. Winfrey in charge. Burial will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery.

Source : Alexandria Times Tribune, Monday, March 8, 1926, page 1.


The funeral services of Mrs. Dorothy Wright were held Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock at the home two and one half miles southwest of the city. The home was filled to overflowing with friends and relatives to pay their last respects to this well known woman. Rev. G.W. Winfrey, having charge of the services, selected for his text, 1st Sam.1-3, "There is but a step between me and death." The flower carriers were Olive Wright, Louise Wright, Mabel Wright and Zelma Ruth Wright. Pallbearers were Virgil Wright, Charles Sexton, George Hardcastle, Fred Wright, Jack McDermitt and Carl Brown. The singers, Mrs. Girtha Auler and Mrs. Audrey Cripe, sang "Shall We Meet", "Take the name of Jesus with you," and "When they ring the Golden Bells for you and me." Burial was in the Odd Fellows cemetery.

Why Post? Corrections to Data

One of the reasons that I've been glad that I've posted my lines to places like Rootsweb's WorldConnect is the number of corrections and additions to data I've received. I've been fortunate to meet many new cousins and to have others correct errors that have creeped into my database over the years.

When I first started putting my genealogy into the computer and was able to go online, there were many names that were added whose connections have later turned out to be erroneous. In essence, I was a 'name collector', eager to expand my data and certain lines back too far too quickly. It has been and continues to be a tedious process to weed out errors and properly source data. Even though my data may have some errors, I would rather post what I do have online in the hopes that someone would correct me than to leave it incorrectly in my database for someone to find later.

Recently, I received an email regarding the COLLINS line that I had posted earlier. The gentleman questioned my parentage for Jonathan Collins, and he pointed out that it appeared that the line that I was showing in my database was a corruption of another Collins family line. As I didn't have any source data for these additional two generations past Jonathan, I have come to the conclusion that he was correct and have deleted them from my database. One error down, unknown many more to go.

At WorldConnect, I freely admit that my database is a 'work in progress' and that I welcome corrections to the data. Those branches that have been sourced I will stand behind, but will also willingly seek corrections and additions.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Orville E. "Jack" Lambertson & wife

This photograph is identified as Orville E. "Jack" Lambertson and wife. I'm not so sure that this isn't someone else from an earlier generation, since Orville lived from 1902-1983.

Harley Fisher's children & Clemon Lambertson's children

These undated photographs are of the children of Harley Fisher and Clemon Lambertson.

The bottom photograph is identified as back row (L-R) : Clara Fisher, Evelyn Fisher, Imogene Fisher; front row (L-R) Ruby Lambertson, Bonnie Lambertson

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Charles & Pearl (Beals) Lambertson family

This undated photograph is of the Charles & Pearl (Beals) Lambertson family. Front row (L-R) : Pauline Lambertson, Leona Lambertson, Elizabeth Lambertson. Back row (L-R) Pearl (Beals) Lambertson, Charles Lambertson.

Charles & Pearl (Beals) Lambertson family

This undated photograph is of (L-R) Paul Lambertson, Pearl (Beals) Lambertson, Charles Lambertson and Elizabeth Lambertson.

Clemon Lambertson on Whisler Farm

This 1916 photograph is of Clemon Beals Lambertson taken at the Whisler farm.

Clemon & Helen (Duncan) Lambertson

This December 26, 1960 photo is of Clemon & Helen (Duncan) Lambertson.

Gathering Rosebuds

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow will be dying.

Robert Herrick's poem has never rang more true for me in these past few days. Although I have been working on my family history since I was a young Boy Scout, there is much that I've yet to discover, and as each day passes opportunities may be lost.

This year our family reunion was postponed, and then canceled due to too many medical issues in the family. Between surgeries and diagnosis of cancer, my paternal aunts and uncles have been dealing with quite a bit of problems this year. Just last month, my mother found out that she had breast cancer. Fortunately, it was detected quickly, and the tests came back negatively for lymph node spread, but it is still a wake up call for the family.

I need to make a concentrated effort to have my family members write down as much about the family history - the stories that make our ancestors "real" people and not just names and dates. Few in the family are as excited as I am about genealogy, and if I don't do it now, this generation will pass on and more memories will be lost.

This past month the paper in Alexandria had two obituaries in the same edition for members of my extended Pierce family. There are still many twigs and branches on the family tree that I've yet to discover and/or flesh out.

While I have the opportunity to do research on my lunch hours in the hometown library of my maternal ancestors, I need to take advantage of the time and start gathering the rosebuds. The Lord may call me away from this area someday and make it more difficult to research these families. Over the years, I've thought that I had my maternal branches pretty well figured out. Now I'm discovering that there is still more to be gathered.

Gather those rosebuds - today.

Clemon & June Lambertson family

This undated photograph shows the Clemon & June (Gilliland) Lambertson family. Clemon is holding son, Floyd, and standing next to him is son Harold.

Clemon Lambertson family

This undated photograph shows the Clemon Lambertson family. Back row (L-R) Ruby Lambertson being held by Clemon Lambertson, June (Gilliland) Lambertson. Front row (L-R) Floyd Lambertson, Bonnie Lambertson, Harold Lambertson.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tagged with Blogger Love

Recently my blog was tagged by Becky Wiseman at Kinexxions with the I "heart" your blog meme that is going through the genea-blogosphere.

The rules associated with this particular tag include that the tagged blogger can :

  • can put the logo on his/her blog
  • must link to the person who gave the award
  • must nominate seven other blogs and link to them
  • must leave a comment on each of the nominated blogs
The blogs that I've enjoyed reading include :

AnceStories : The Stories of My Ancestors by Miriam Robbins Midkiff
Genealogy Roots Blog by Joe Beine
The Practical Archivist by Sally Jacobs
TransylvanianDutch Genealogy by John Newmark
Donna's Genealogy Blog by Donna Moughty
Life in Possum Holler by Carolyn Earle Billingsley, PhD.
Memory Lane by sashafaith

Obituary : Elizabeth (Poe) Beals (1856-1935)

Source : Tipton Daily Tribune, Tipton, Indiana, September 28, 1935, page 4.


Mrs. Elizabeth Beals, 79, Succumbed to Stroke of Paralysis.

Mrs. Elizabeth Beals, 79, widow of the late N.T. Beals of Cicero, died at the home of a daughter Mrs. Charles Lambertson near Greentown Friday morning death being due to a stroke of paralysis, suffered four weeks ago. Short services are to be held Sunday morning at 10:00 at Greentown and the body will be taken to Cicero where services will be held in the Methodist church at 2:30 o'clock with the Rev. Polly Couch-Bowman in charge.

Mrs. Beals was a long time resident of the Cicero community and aside from the one daughter there are no other close relatives.

Elizabeth was my maternal 3rd-great grandmother. She was buried in the Cicero City Cemetery, Cicero, Hamilton County, Indiana.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

VINE : Vital Information Exchange

The VINE : Vital Information Exchange is a colleciton of vital records and local history from Indiana libraries, historical and genealogical societies and other related agencies. Recently, I was directed to their site and was quite pleased with what I found.

Although not every county in the state was represented, enough of them in my areas of research were, and I was able to find some potential leads for further research. Lately, newspaper research has become an area of concern for me and through the VINE database I was able to locate information regarding an obituary for an ancestor that I didn't know existed.

For example, I searched for records of the BEALS line and was able to determine that the Tipton Daily Tribune had published an obituary for Elizabeth BEALS on 9/28/1935 page 4. Previously, I had only that she had died in September 1935 in my database. By writing to the Tipton County, Indiana library, I was able to obtain her obituary and add another fact to my database. Since Elizabeth was buried in Hamilton County and her death had been listed in my database as "near Greentown, Howard County", I would not have thought to search in Tipton County.

I found it quite easy to search for obituary records for a particular surname, and the number of hits I received in return made it a site that I will be returning to as I continue to research. Particularly for me, ancestors in Hamilton County, Indiana are listed in this database as the Hamilton East Public Library is a participating member.

Hopefully, other libraries in Indiana will join with VINE to increase the availability of genealogical data to the community.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Consistency in Place Names

One of the things that I've been doing recently with my database is trying to structure my place name list in a more consistent manner. In the past, I've always used the two character postal codes used here in the U.S. for state names, such as IN for Indiana. However, I've recently decided that I like the look and feel of writing out my place names : Indiana, USA. So, I've been working for several weeks off and on behind the scenes to update my place names in RootsMagic.

Most of my database is from the United States, and the lines that do stretch into Europe are not fleshed out enough to be of any consequence. By writing out the place names, I will avoid the confusion of such abbreviations as AK (is it Arkansas or Alaska?) and possibly make it easier for search engines to find my data. Once I've updated them all, I will resubmit a new GEDCOM to WorldConnect to see how the database looks.

I have used the country abbreviation, USA, for all events that have taken place in the United States since it was formed, in areas that have always been part of the country. For example, events that occurred in the 13 original colonies or in those states that later became part of the Confederacy, I have just left as they are : Virginia or New York. Later, I hope to be able to go back and look at key facts in these places and on an individual basis give them more detail, i.e. Massachusetts Bay Colony or New Sweden, dependant on the historical time frame.

RootsMagic gives you the option of placing longitude and latitude for each place name. Eventually, I may give that information for places that are used repeatedly in my data. RootsMagic also gives you plenty of room to write a descriptive field about the place, which will come in handy to give the details of the history of how counties, states, etc. were formed.

Perhaps this is just my fancy, but how do others handle their place names?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to School

It has been quite awhile since I've posted anything, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. Between work situations and outside activities (gardening, yardwork, etc.), I've managed to keep myself occupied. Now that fall is here and it's time to go back to school, I'm entering a new phase in my life.

I have decided to go back to school and pursue an MBA through Indiana Wesleyan University's LEAP program. So, for the next two years I will have to learn how to study while trying to maintain some continuity. Fortunately, my wife is behind this decision 100%, as I couldn't do this without her.

Genealogically, I don't know what effect this will have on my research - I do know that some things will have to be put aside in order to study.