Veteran Records Destroyed by Fire in 1973

21 June 2019

Vicki’s note – some information that I ran across today while trying to help my veteran sister by wading through the quagmire bureaucracy that is the Veteran Affairs:

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Veteran Records Destroyed by Fire in 1973

On July 12, 1973, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis destroyed records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army and Air Force.

Records Held for Army Veterans

The fire destroyed 80 percent of the records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960.

Exceptions:  Records for retirees and reservists who were alive on July 12, 1973, were not involved in the fire.

Records Held for Air Force Veterans

The fire destroyed 75 percent of the records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Air Force between September 25, 1947 and January 1, 1964 with surnames beginning with Hubbard and running through the end of the alphabet.

Reconstructing Your Records

If your records were destroyed in the fire, there is a specific request that we submit to the NPRC for any additional service records.  This request provides information that allows the NPRC to research for other types of documents.  The NPRC can attempt to reconstruct portions of the service treatment records from the Surgeon General’s Office using unit records and morning reports, and by looking at extracts from military hospital admission records provided by the Surgeon General.

Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC

Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC

June 7, 2019

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

Screenshot_2019-05-16 Photos - Google Photos

I retired as a Reference Librarian in March, and wanted to continue my work helping people with genealogy and stateline Wisconsin/Illinois local history.  It is important to me that I am able to continue the Stateline Genealogy Club, meeting at the Beloit Public Library that I founded in 2012.

Below is information about the  new genealogy business I formed.  It is from my new Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC brochure that I just created.  ( The actual brochure is not fuzzy like the first snipped/pasted/enlarged version on the BLOG.  I added the brochure in a second clearer, but smaller font as well.)  I can email the brochure to you.

Beloit Public Library has contracted with me to continue organizing, leading, and presenting the monthly (newly named) “Beloit Public Library Genealogy Classes” there.

I will see you at the Library for the June 14 program –

“Crossing the Border, French Canadian Ancestors”, by speaker George Findlen. The steps, resources & aids that one needs to successfully identify the parents of an immigrant who settled in the U.S. from Quebec,

and every second Friday of the month!  The patent/brand “Stateline Genealogy Club”  and logo now belong to me.

I continue to do presentations at various stateline Libraries, and Historical/Genealogical Societies, etc. –  (see tab above “Presentations by Vicki” for the calendar).  I will let you know of other libraries in the area that contract with me for more regular programs.

My work searching an individual’s family genealogy will be limited, as I will concentrate on consultation with teaching/helping people who are researching their own history, doing local presentations, contracting with Libraries, and writing this BLOG.  (As you know, it takes a lot of time to “do” genealogy.)

Most questions about specific Beloit, Wisconsin family/local history questions should be answered by phoning the Beloit Public Library directly at (608) 364-2905.   I have done some basic genealogy training with the staff, and will be doing more training.

Only contact me if more detailed or extensive research is needed.  I will be at the Beloit Public Library after the monthly programs for 1 hour, if someone wants to briefly get help from me in person without paying me a fee.

It is not as easy now that I am not working at the Library 40 hours a week as the “Resident Librarian Genealogist”.  My Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC company will be part-time as I want time to do the many hobbies I enjoy, including researching my own family history!










Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana


Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

5 June 2019

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

(Information and Photographs based on Crown Hill brochures, on-line web page ,,  Wikipedia, and my visit to Crown Hill Cemetery.  Un-credited quotes are from the Crown Hill Cemetery website or brochures.  Un-credited photographs are by me.)

Crown Hill Cemetery summit - Indainapolis IN

Crown Hill Cemetery summit was originally known as Strawberry Hill and was a favorite community picnic place of pioneers before it became a Cemetery.  The City of Indianapolis celebrated its semi-centennial at Crown Hill Picnic Grounds June 7, 1870.

Crown Hill Cemetery James Whitcomb Riley tomb

The tomb of Poet James Whitcomb Riley is on the crest of Crown Hill. It is the highest natural point in the old city limits of Indianapolis.  (photograph from Crown Hill Cemetery postcard.)

Crown Hill Cemetery                                                                                                                             700 West 38th Street
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, 46208 USA


The funeral director explained to us that the Cemetery was begun by farmer Martin Williams burying his daughter on his farm and tree nursery in 1863 – Lucy Ann Seaton, aged thirty-three, a young mother who had died of consumption.

More land was added to make the huge facility.  The funeral director told us that there is enough space for the next 100 years of internment’s.

“1863 First 236 acres of land are purchased from three local farmers for $51,000.”


“Incorporated in 1863 and dedicated in 1864, Crown Hill soon became the area’s largest cemetery. While it aimed to provide burial space for the large number of war dead from Indiana, it also was made to serve the growing community of Indianapolis. Currently it is the third largest cemetery in the United States. It sits upon 555 acres and has roughly 25 miles of road within. Approximately 1500 burials occur each year…

Also on the same grounds is the historic Crown Hill National Cemetery. It is also identified as Sections 9 and 10, but is a separate cemetery. The land was purchased by the US Government on August 27, 1866.”

You can search for the Civil War and other War’s soldier’s names at:

“The national cemetery is comprised of 1.4 acres, and the property was purchased by the U.S. Government in 1866 for the purpose of reburying 707 Union soldiers from the City Cemetery. Those graves were originally marked by headboards, painted and lettered, which were later replaced with upright marble headstones. A bronze plaque on the grounds identifies the national cemetery and a commemorative monument stands within the Crown Hill National Cemetery section. There are 2,135 soldiers representing every war in which the United States has participated, with the last one being made in 1969 for Maj. Robert W. Hayes, an Air Force pilot killed in Vietnam. This cemetery is closed to new interments. However, space may be available in the same gravesite for eligible family members.”


“October 27, 1931
Confederate dead, numbering 1,616 prisoners of war who died at Camp Morton in the city, are reburied from Greenlawn.”

List of Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Who Died at Camp Morton and
Are Buried At Crown Hill Cemetery, Lot 32, Indianapolis, IN

See also:  



My first indication, of how large the Cemetery is, was my GPS showing we had a mile plus to go before we got to the entrance.  I looked up to realize that we were at the start of the Cemetery!  It was a good thing that the funeral director drove us around.  People get lost, even with maps, and a bold yellow line painted on the main road.  It is so big that one has to drive through an road underpass to get to the second part of the Cemetery.


Crown Hill Cemetery map

(Norton on-line map shows Crown Hill Cemetery in green above.)

Pioneer Hoosiers lived in primary growth forests so thick that they could not even see the next cabin from within the area that they would have to clear around their cabins.

The Endless Trees

“It’s hard to picture this part of the country as I first remember it.  Here and there was a cabin home with a little spot of clearing close by.  The rest of the country was just one great big woods and miles and miles in most every direction.  From your cabin you could see no farther than the wall of trees surrounding the clearing; not another cabin in sight.”  A Home in the Woods, Pioneer Life in Indiana, Oliver Johnson’s Reminiscences of Early Marion County as related by Howard Johnson.  Available in the History Market at the Indiana Historical Society.”

The 555 acres of the Cemetery includes a large forested area at the North end that will not be needed for graves.  A herd of deer live in those woods, and have free roam of the entire grounds.  The grave site policy calls for deer-proof plantings and flowers.

The grounds have many trees that make up a significant portion of Indianapolis’s urban forest.  It is hard to imagine how different the original forested landscapes were for the pioneers.  There are tours of the trees and a map that shows the 107 species, including the “Fifty Trees of Indiana” native to the state.  Trees are a fitting symbol:

“In its most general sense, the symbolism of the tree denotes the life of the cosmos: its consistence, growth, proliferation, generative and regenerative processes.  It stands for inexhaustible life, and is therefore equivalent to a symbol of immortally.”  A Dictionary of Symbols.”

For more about the history of the area see this List of other Indiana history books – click here .

“After the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the United States expanded its territory to the land west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Treaty of Paris (1783), which officially ended the war, significantly expanded U.S. boundaries. The native population did not participate in the treaty negotiations, and their interests were not considered, even though the new U.S. territory was on their traditional homelands.

In 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, creating the Northwest Territory. This land included present-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. This region was home to numerous native peoples, who now were threatened by settlers moving westward.”

(Hint – make sure of the history and the historic boundaries of the the location your ancestors lived in.)


The original Cemetery entrance was narrow Gothic arch – built in 1888, and now a National Historic Landmark.  It was very narrow for a car to go through, less so for a horse and carriage.

Crown Hill Cemetery Gothic arch

(Photograph from Crown Hill Cemetery postcard)

My husband and I were there to bury his father Loel’s ashes.  Loel loved art, architecture, and his residence in downtown of the big city of Chicago, .  This cemetery is the perfect reflection of those. It is huge, has many replicas of famous architectures as headstones and monuments (Greek temples, etc.) , and unique art works.  One monument is an oversized concrete picnic table and benches.  Loel had connections to this Cemetery only through his second wife’s family.  Below is the very interesting headstone/art beside their plot.  They probably picked that plot because of it.

(Hint – you never know where your ancestor will end up being buried.  Look at all of their connections to see possibilities.  Another Stateline Traveler.)

Hahn, Loel - headstone, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis IN


There are many infamous, and famous, people buried there.  Criminals, as well as Civil War Soldiers, several Congress people, Senators, 3 Vice Presidents, and the President Benjamin Harris.

John Herbert Dillinger JR, Criminal – born in Indianapolis Indiana, was gunned down by FBI in Chicago, IL.  He and his gang robbed banks, etc., killed many people, and lived  across Illinois, Ohio and Indiana, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as he was on the run. He frequently went back home to get help from his family, was known by a least two other names, married and had a common-law wife,  leader of gangs of other criminals including Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd.

(Hint – be open to searching for your ancestor in other locations, by other aliases, with more than one spouse, and by FAN – friends, associates, neighbors.)

Dillinger, John JR heastone - Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis IN

Several of Dillinger’s headstones were erected since 1934.  They have been stolen, or needed replacement, as souvenir hunters chipped them away until nothing was left. A 3 ft slab of reinforced concrete was poured over the grave to discourage robbers.

This photograph is from my visit on Halloween Day 2018.  You can see how the current headstone (laid flat and cemented in place) still has several pieces chipped out of it.  The funeral director told us that it is one of the most requested and visited sites in the Cemetery.  Visitors leave the coins on his headstone. I imagine that the headstone would get many visitors later that day!

See also   and

President Benjamin Harrison is another person, buried there, who is more worthy of our attention.  I took this photograph showing the family plot and monument.

Harris, Benjamin headstone, Crown Hill Cemtery, Indianapolis IN

See also , and

“23rd United States President, Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, US Senator. Born in North Bend, Ohio , he was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison, and great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.”

And Vice Presidents Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas A. Hendricks, and Thomas R. Marshall are also buried at Crown Hill.


CAGGNI DNA Special Interest Group Meeting June 8, 2019

CAGGNI DNA Special Interest Group Meeting 6-8-2019

29 May 2019

Vicki’s note – (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois meets in Schaumburg, IL.  If you are close, you may want to attend their next meeting to learn more about DNA in genealogy.:

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Announcement: DNA Special Interest Group, 08 Jun 2019
Upcoming event information:
DNA Special Interest Group Schaumburg Township District Library, Roselle & Schaumburg Roads
Date: 08 Jun 2019 10:30 AM CDT

DNA Special Interest Group

CAGGNI’s genomic genealogy group continues into its third year. This group focuses on learning the methods for analyzing DNA test results. We study topics such as autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, Y-DNA and surname projects, X-DNA and ancestral admixture results. We’ll also investigate third party tools for analyzing your raw data and comparing DNA and gedcom data with test kit results from companies besides the one you tested with.

DNA can break down genealogical brick walls once thought impenetrable – but only if you know how.

The SIG will combine short 15-20 minute lectures with interactive workshop-style activities.  

Get ready to put your DNA results to work for you!

Facilitators Dr. David Stumpf and Alan Wilson
For more information: DNA Special Interest Group



FamilySearch Memories App

FamilySearch Memories App

29 May 2019

(Vicki’s note – a new app (to me) that someone just brought to my attention – thanks Becky.  Sounds like a great app to record your family history – photos and audio recordings using your smart phone.  These memories are all stored on the FamilySearch,org site vaults, which has it’s pluses and minuses (the genealogist’s dilemma –  easy to find perpetuity vs possible identity theft/privacy). 

This is what scrap-booking looks like now, plus so much more capability!  Worth looking at on the Google App store.

And look at the other genealogy apps available on the Google Play Store –, FindaGrave, BillionGraves, RootsMagic, and so many more at this link – , or on your smart phone.

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Do you have favorite stories and photos you share at family gatherings? Will your loved ones benefit by learning more about their relatives? Do you feel an urgent need to preserve your memories so they are never forgotten and are shared from generation to generation?

FamilySearch Memories makes collecting, preserving, and sharing your favorite family memories easy and convenient wherever you are. You’ll be the one everyone thanks for saving the most meaningful memories!

• Snap photos of any family moment, such as recitals, dates, graduations, reunions, and memorials, and add them to your family tree.

• Photograph old photos and documents.

• Interview family members, and record the details of their lives and favorite memories.

• Type family stories, jokes, and sayings, or use the microphone key to record what you say.

• Enrich written stories by adding descriptive photos.

• Identify relatives in photos, stories, and recordings. Those memories automatically attach to the Family Tree.

• Take family memories with you wherever you go—the app works even without Internet access.

• Pick up where you left off on any device since the app automatically syncs with

• Store family memories free forever, deep within the FamilySearch vaults.


June 28, 2019 – Bonus 2nd Friday Tour & Research at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society

June 28, 2019 – Bonus 2nd Friday Tour & Research at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society

Vicki Ruthe Hahn

15 May 2019

After the June 14 Program “Crossing the Border, French Canadian Ancestors”, by speaker George Findlen. The steps, resources & aids that one needs to successfully identify the parents of an immigrant who settled in the U.S. from Quebec.

Join us for:

June 28, 2019 – Bonus 2nd Friday Tour & Research at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society.

Van Galder Coach Bus So Beloit IL FastMart/McDonalds 8 a.m. boarding to Madison WI/UW Campus Langdon/Park arrives 9:15 a.m. right beside the WHS building.

Short Tour of WHS starts at 9:30 a.m.

Research and lunch on own.  You can bring a sack lunch to eat in the Library hallway.

Bus returns early evening – we usually leave 5:30 p.m., arrive in South Beloit 6:55 p.m.

You can research the WHS Wisconsin Historical Society catalog ahead of time here –  There are books, maps, etc, from every state.  A new storage warehouse was built nearby for some of them, so you may need to request delivery now to the main WHS Library to have it there in time for our trip.
More Details:
If you are going on the field trip, meet at the South Beloit IL Van Galder Bus Terminal.
Contact me at this email – “” if you have further questions about what we have done previously, or if you want to tell me that you are going.
I will be going on that field trip, and it would be nice to know who else to expect, but not necessary.  No registration needed.
You could drive yourselves, but parking is usually far away.
Those who will be taking the bus, will need to buy the ticket in advance on your own
Walk up fares available at gas station are higher than online prices.
Parking available for $3 for the day at FasMart.
Be sure and leave enough time to pay for parking.
Van Galder Bus Terminal
15766 Manchester Rd, South Beloit, IL 61080
WHS Wisconsin Historical Society
801 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706
Langdon and Park Madison WI
The online bus ticket guarantees the holder transportation to the designated destination; it does not guarantee a reservation on a specific bus..
Your shuttle bus ticket is valid for travel 3 days before your selected date and 180 days after the selected date of travel.
Buses leave South Beloit and Madison about every hour, so you can come and leave when you want.

June 2019 Stateline Genealogy Club – Two Programs and Vicki Ruthe Hahn will be Back!

June 2019 Stateline Genealogy Club – Two Programs and

Vicki Ruthe Hahn will be Back!


15 May 2019

I retired from the Beloit Public Library in March, and I am forming a personal Genealogy business. More information later.

Screenshot_2019-05-16 Photos - Google Photos

The Staff gave me a fabulous farewell celebration with:

PhotoELF Edits: 2019:03:21 --- Resized

Lots of the best cake I ever ate (and I am a pie person) – cake (made with TLC by Debbie Haun) and meal catered by The Blender at the Beloit Public Library.


PhotoELF Edits: 2019:03:22 --- Resized

Lots of praise for 26 years worth of a job well done.  (Even a video from my former supervisor!)

IMG_9848 (2)

PhotoELF Edits: 2019:03:21 --- Resized

Lots of memories.

PhotoELF Edits: 2019:03:18 --- Resized

And lots of camaraderie and kind words from about 60 City employees, Library staff and trustees, former employees, volunteers, friends, and well-wishing library patrons who were able to attend.  Several emails from those who couldn’t make it.

It was a lot of fun.  I will miss them all, and I’m not even sharing all the photos of me hugging, cause I am crying in most of them.

But it was time to retire, for many reasons.

Thanks for letting me do my ideal career.  I grew up wanting to work at a job where I could be a detective, read, write, think, teach, and help people.  It was called “Librarian”, especially “Reference Librarian”, and as I discovered (continuing) “Local Historian” and “Genealogist”.

I have not been attending the Stateline Genealogy Club, or been at the Library.  I live in a different community, but adopted Beloit WI 26 years ago.  (See if you can see the subtle joke I did with this statement.)


Gosh, it sure takes a lot of paperwork to retire.

My extended family think it is great to expand the amount of time that I used to help them while working.  Lots of need lately, so I am looking forward to having genealogy fun with like-minded people.


And I will see you at these two events soon.

June 14 “Crossing the Border, French Canadian Ancestors”, by speaker George Findlen. The steps, resources & aids that one needs to successfully identify the parents of an immigrant who settled in the U.S. from Quebec.

June 28, 2019 – Bonus 2nd Friday Tour & Research at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society.  Van Galder Coach Bus So Beloit IL FastMart/McDonalds 8 a.m. boarding to Madison WI/UW Campus Langdon/Park.  Return early evening.

Prince Hall Masonic Lodge Picture Research – African American, Beloit, Wisconsin

Prince Hall Masonic Lodge Picture Research-

African American, Beloit, Wisconsin

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

15 May 2019

I was very happy and honored to be given the photograph below (as the Beloit Public Library genealogist and historian), so that it could be preserved and more people could see it.  After researching the photograph, I donated both the photo and the research to the BHS Beloit Historical Society, Beloit Wisconsin to fulfill their request for more Beloit African American photographs and artifacts.
“…your gift (photo) to the BHS…wow! what a piece of history for us to have! Thank you!”
That photograph has the best chance of being preserved and properly displayed at BHS, (especially after it’s rough physical history – story below) .
Prince Hall Photo panoramic stitch1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin
I had to scan the 36 x 8 photograph (and back) in 2 sections on the Library photocopier (free for the public).  The panoramic picture above is after I “stitched” the 2 overlapping photographs/scans into one on my computer.  I used the free Microsoft App Image Composite Editor  (more information and download here)
There is an initiative to gather and to archive more materials from Beloit families related to the Black Great Migration to Beloit 1910-1970, and the history of the black community in BeloitBeloit College students under Professor Beatrice McKenzie and the Beloit Historical Society are collaborating to find items that can be digitally photographed and returned.
There was a History Harvest Community Collection event on March 22, 2019 at New Zion Baptist Church Beloit, Wisconsin.  Attendees shared letters, photos, objects, and/or stories of their own or their family member’s migration from the South to work in Beloit’s factoriesStudents digitally captured the artifacts that community members brought to the harvest and are making a digital exhibit that will be housed on the Beloit College and Beloit Historical Society websites.
The 1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin photo (copy) and research will also be filed in the Beloit Public Library Local History Collection Pamphlet File under – GEN – Organizations and Clubs (The Prince Hall Masonic W.B. Kennedy Lodge No. 106 (later #3)
Here is the story of that photograph, which was ironically found in a Beloit African American church!:

Beloit African American Organization Convention Photograph

May 9, 2018

“This photograph comes from the estate of Richard J Walsh, delivered by his trustee and sister Bridget Walsh (to Beloit Public Library.)

Richard found the photo in the rubble of a church being torn down, the old Emmanuel Baptist Church, at Athletic and E. Grand in Beloit.  The photo had slid down a wall.

James Caldwell copied this photo when his family visited our farm (Walsh Family Farm, was Walsh Brothers Farm).  His wife Cheryl Johnson was related to the Ben Gordon family, who lived and worked on our farm for decades.  The Gordon’s had moved here from Alabama.”  Bridget Walsh

Further notes:

– Ben Gordon’s son Jerry Gordon, California, has done his family’s genealogy, per Bridget Walsh.  The Walsh children played with the Gordon children on the farm.

Bridget Walsh identified Ben in the photographs from the Beloit Oral History Project by Louis Koch – African American Up North – Fairbanks Flats (1976).  (Note – the photograph numbers on the on-line Index don’t seem to match the numbers on the photographs now.) Photographs are available world-wide on-line on the Beloit Public Library homepage , and in two Blue notebooks in the Library Local History Collection:

Shelf Location
Shelf Number
Beloit Public Library Genealogy GEN 977.588 K811 V.1
Beloit Public Library Genealogy GEN 977.588 K881 V.2

Bridget Walsh told me the story of  Ben Gordon’s first wife Etta May.  Etta May died from a chicken scratch infection that the doctor mis-treated. .  They lived (in a house provided by) and worked on Walsh Brothers Farm.  Ben moved to Fairbanks Flats and worked for Fairbanks Morse after Etta May died.  He remarried later.


The 134 photo caption says, “Ben Gordon holding photograph of himself & his first wife from Ross Hill 1921” (near Houston, Mississippi)

– On the back of the panoramic 1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin photo is written in pencil – an O symbol with 2 lines through it, the number “380”and “Mr. Creighton”. (Hint – look at the back of historic photographs for clues to their origin or identification.)

Prince Hall Photo back rotated

-The Prince Hall Masonic W.B. Kennedy Lodge No. 106 (later #3) Beloit Wisconsin was chartered by the Grand Lodge in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 1, 1925.  Maybe the 1925 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge African American Convention photograph documents the men that attended that charter ceremony.  Bridget mentioned that she had been told that there were men from several states at this convention.

– Beloit Oral History Project by Louis Koch – African American Up North – Fairbanks Flats (1976) photographs show a similar (later?) Beloit African American Organization photograph with fancier aprons and vestments in photograph 110.

110lThe caption is “Odd Fellows Lodge, including Revered Ogiss Dillon; ca 1940. (AB) This looks like Prince Hall Masonic Organization (see the aprons & white gloves), rather than Odd Fellows, added by K. Simmons 08-01-2006”

I looked at both the 1925 and the 1940 photos to see if I could see any men that were the same, but could not see any resemblances.  The clothing for each year does match the fashion for that year.  (Hint – look at people’s eyes, ears, noses, foreheads, other facial features, and stances to see the same person of a different age.)

How about this for a little known fact? – “In March, 1775, Prince Hall and fourteen other free Negroes of Boston Massachusetts were made Master Masons in an Army Lodge attached to one of General Gage’s regiments, then stationed near Boston.”  (This was the beginning of of the Masonic organization that led to the Beloit Chapter.)”   and “

-James Caldwell may have used the panoramic Organization Convention photograph in their DVD.  “Through their eyes: the history of African Americans in Beloit, WI from 1836 – 1970”, [videorecording (DVD)] Author Caldwell, Jim. Caldwell, Cheryl. Harris, Paulette Ivy. Lamont, Tony.  Publisher Jim and Cheryl Caldwell Foundation, Publication Date 2011; Shelf Location – Beloit Public Library     Non-fiction DVD 977.588 THROUGH vs. vs.


Vicki’s note – is a Volunteers contribution site similar to,and it is worth exploring to see if any of your ancestors may be listed there.  Their contest to increase volunteers photographing/documenting grave sites might be of interest to you.  may have more more graves sites from worldwide cemeteries, as seems to specialize in grave site records for mostly the United States, although they do list worldwide cemeteries.  FindAGrave is now owned by, and is a free on-line site at this time. 

BillionGraves is a free on-line site, and they also have a subscription for enhanced searching – has an APP that you can download on your phone or tablet to use on site. FindAGrave does not have an APP, as far as I have seen. (Correction 29 May 2019 – see comment below.  FindaGrave does have an app.)

BillionGraves has a GPS connection shown on each grave site which helps on-site searching – “A satellite map of the cemetery opens with a GPS marker tagging your ancestor’s gravestone!”

FindAGrave has a designation to the GPS and Latitude/Longitude directions for the cemetery under “Show Map”  (once you look up the Cemetery by name/location).  You still have to find the headstone.

Hint – sourcing the cemetery/grave location site is best done by adding the Latitude/Longitude directions and the full address to the cemetery information on your family tree software and print records.  Following this Genealogical Proof Standard allows anyone to find the same information that you have found.

BillionGraves says –

“Our goal is to preserve precious records found in cemeteries throughout the world. We use modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so users worldwide can access those records anywhere. BillionGraves strives to do just that: preserve at least one billion graves. And we won’t stop there!”

You can read more details on the differences between and by clicking on this link –

This is the information that they sent to my email about the contest.:

“BillionGraves’ 8th annual Million More in May Competition has begun and we have some awesome prizes for you!

Read all about it HERE!

Let’s work together to add a million more records to the BillionGraves database in May! The more gravestone photos you take or records you transcribe, the bigger the prize!

And EVERYONE can be a winner! Come find out here how you can take photos of gravestones or by transcribing gravestone images to win great prizes like these:

  • iRobot Roomba Vacuum
  • WiFi and Cellular iPad
  • $500 of professional genealogical services
  • gravestone cleaning kits
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Echo Dot
  • BillionGraves Plus subscription
  • Bose headphones
  • and more!

Follow the top photographers and transcribers throughout the month of May on BillionGraves’ leaderboard!

We’re grateful for your contributions to bring more cemetery data to the genealogical world!

Thanks a Million (in May)!

The BillionGraves Team

P.S. Cemetery documentation with the free BillionGraves app is an awesome service project idea! If you would like some help planning a group cemetery event, send an email to and we will be happy to assist you!”

Follow-up on Using Evernote vs OneNote

Follow-up on Using Evernote vs OneNote

20 March 2019

Vicki Ruthe Hahn

See the source image

Vicki’s note – At the March 8, 2019 Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program., we talked about using various gadgets, and apps, to assist you in genealogy organization/searching.  The Legacy Family Tree webinar by Thomas MacEntee included using Evernote, which is equivalent to OneNote.  I am looking into using Evernote vs OneNote for myself.

The following articles are helpful, but I still have not decided which one to use. And there are other note-taking apps available.

It may help to read about the few different features, and the comments in the articles below:


1) Evernote vs OneNote: Note-Taking to the Extreme

By Joseph Gildred
— Last Updated: 27 May’18

Both apps are evaluated and compared point by point in the first article.  Andddd – both are good!  They are declared to be the best two of any note-taking apps.

“Microsoft OneNote has 8.2 points for overall quality and 97% rating for user satisfaction; while Evernote has 8.0 points for overall quality and 98% for user satisfaction…. Facebook Microsoft OneNote has 122668 likes on their official profile while Evernote profile is liked by 424835 people.”


2) Compare Microsoft OneNote vs Evernote

by Finances On-line, Reviews for Business, Jan 22, 2019

Wrike is another app which is evaluated and contrasted to Evernote and OneNote in this second article.  The article compares the features of each of the three apps side by side.

3) OneNote vs. Evernote: A personal take on two great note-taking apps

I still have not decided whether to use Evernote or OneNote.  There are free versions (and paid versions) of each, but it would be easier to invest the time into learning and using just one.  However, this third article is by someone who uses both, and has for years.  Why not?  He says:

“Although Evernote and OneNote are both note-taking tools, they have very different emphases and can be used for quite different purposes.

If you’re primarily looking for a tool that lets you easily capture, organize and find content from the web, you’ll want Evernote, because its tools for doing that are exemplary. If you instead want to create notes from scratch and have them in well-organized notebooks, OneNote is the way to go.

Then again, you may be like me. I’ve been using both of them for years. OneNote is my go-to tool for organizing and taking notes for projects such as books and articles. I use Evernote for research.”


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