Friday, January 08, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge # 1

Amy Coffin at WeTree is challenging us again with weekly genealogy prompts to improve our genealogy research.  This week's challenge is : 
 
Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don’t forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s genealogy collection.

Well, I've already blown it with this week's challenge - I could blame the snowy weather, but really I procrastinated until it was too late and then the snow hit.  So, I didn't make it into the local library, but I did find an interesting database they have online.

The Marion Public Library does have a really nice genealogy section, with a good selection of books not only from local sources but also quite a bit from other regions.  I've been there a few times, and will try to return in the near future to write up a blog post.  Today I want to highlight their database section.


Recently I discovered that they have put together a local genealogy database where I was surprised to find some information about distant relatives.  Although most of my direct family was not in the Grant County area, there were enough collateral lines that crossed paths here that I was able to find mention of their obituaries in the local paper, and with my wife's family records of marriages and cemetery records.

The records are very straightforward and easy to search.  Once you enter the database, you have the option to do wildcard searches and specify what type of records you are looking for.  I was surprised at the number of LEMASTER records that I was able to pull up in this database, some going back to the 1930s.  I thought that most of them would be far distance relatives, but I actually discovered the marriage of a 2nd cousin who was from Jay County took place over here.

Using this handy database, I was able to fill in some blanks on my wife's family and create a 'to-do' list of obituaries, etc. to copy the next time that I'm at this library.
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