All posts by statelinegenealogyclub@yahoo.com - Vicki RUTHE HAHN

Vicki Ruthe Hahn - Librarian retired from the Beloit Public Library, Wisconsin. BA and MLIS Degrees - U of Illinois. Blog creator of "StatelineGenealogyClub.Wordpress.com" June 15, 2014 ; founder of Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library April 13, 2012. Stateline Genealogy Club, LLC 2019 I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign campus with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences - Anthropology Major, and Minors in History & Home Economics (clothing history emphasis); as well as a Masters in Library and Information Science;l. I am an unpublished writer. That, and wanting to grow up to be a detective, writer, or helping people in some way, has led me to the unavoidable and satisfying role of Genealogical/Local History searcher, librarian, teacher, presenter, and Blogger. I sort out mysteries, rediscover histories,weave stories, and am lucky to be able to use some of my time and skills to do that for other people and organizations. As the "Stateline Genealogy Sorter" SGS, I help people with their family genealogy and local history, specializing from Central Illinois to Central Wisconsin. (Definition: SORT 1) group of similar things, people, etc.; class; kind. 2) arrange systematically; put in order. SORT OF - more or less, to some extent.)

Searching In The Vital Records Maze

 

Searching In The Vital Records Maze

10Aug2019

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

See the source image

I took the opportunity to go to the Rock County WI Courthouse in Janesville with friend, Debra Ramsey.  Debra has done a lot of research in different vital records offices in several counties/states.  I have not done much other than on-line. Time to get with it!  Only 20 % of the genealogical information that we want is on-line.  80% is in courthouses, churches, libraries, funeral-homes/cemeteries, and people’s homes.

Searching physically on-site takes a whole different approach.  I appreciate learning from Debra’s in-sight and experience.  I arrived first so that I could get an understanding of the facility expectations and assistance.  Each facility has their own rules.

I had to show my ID and fill out a form of personal identity information that is required each yearly visit.  Then I filled out a day visit form including the date and time, and the surname(s) and year (approximate) that I would be searching that day, .  They issued me a locker and key for my purse and cellphone.  I had to turn off my cellphone first as the ring is amplified in the locker.

I had to look on my cellphone first for the search information that I would need.  It was hard to be not be able to have the search information with me from my Ancestry.com Family Tree App, FamilySearch.org, the email client requested names/dates, Google.com, and my Legacy Family Tree TelGen Families app, etc.

Pens, cellphones, scanners, cameras, and photocopying are not allowed.  They do supply sharp pencils with no erasers, and (full-size) scrap paper!  I was able to take my notebook in with me.  It was hard to get used to bringing in only printed out family name/date information.  I quickly realized that pre-printed blank forms for birth/marriage/death would have been easier to fill in rather than transcribing every word from the vital record to my notepaper.  I will be more prepared next time.

There are large index books for birth, marriage, and death records, and grouped by type and by year ranges. The staff member helpfully guided me on how to use their records organization. Debra showed me more details, and how to use the Excel spreadsheet indexes on the computer (which she noticed are sometimes incorrectly transcribed from the hand-written book indexes.)  Key word searches are not easy on the spreadsheet, and the format is clunky to use.  Most of the hand-written book indexes are clearly written and readable except for some letter flourishes.

Marriage records, within a book index,  are listed in parallel columns by surnames for several pages of each first letter.  All of the “C” s for example are listed roughly by year and not exact alphabetical, but as they entered the names.  It is necessary to skim through all of the names.  The same page has a column on the left for Groom’s names – last, first, middle; and on the right for bride’s names – maiden, first, middle.  The names do not necessarily line up with each other as couples.  One has to look at the columns to the right of each name for the month/day/year of the marriage, and then to the next column for the vital record number.

We found one case where the groom’s name was listed three times in a row, within a 3-year span, next to three bride’s names.  Two of the names were apparently the same bride with a different (married) surname.  She must have married the first man again after having been married to a second man.   The usual index arrangement is to have the bride’s name within a list (on a different section) alphabetically by her surname(s).  We may have seen this example in the computer Excel spreadsheet index.

The record number refers to the actual vital records kept in books on space-saving (slightly claustrophobic) bookcases that may need rolled apart.  The order of the books is by type – birth, marriage, death; record # range; and year range.  The actual order was mixed up and didn’t make total sense to this librarian.  Yet we found what we were looking for.  Later amended or years-after-the-fact vital records may be kept in more current books.  (I.E. – people without a birth certificate who wanted later to file for social security.)

We noticed that older records forms have more information required on them than the newer ones.  Older marriage records have date and address of marriage; ages and full names of bride and groom (including birth family maiden name of the bride); township/city where they each live; when the license was issued by which county agency; names of two witnesses that were present at the marriage; marital status, number of marriages, relationship, occupation, nationality, and race of groom and bride;  and birthplace and (maiden) name of mother and father for bride and for groom.  More recent records do not have all that, but what a gold mine to have even most of that information!

One has to rely on a staff member to access Winnebago County vital records in Rockford, Illinois.  (Though I think that they told me by phone that it is possible to search yourself?) It takes a long time for the person to scan and print out portions of microfiche for a record.  They may not have indexes, and may not realize the importance of source information to be attached to that printout.

Well worth the trip to anyplace for vital records, if not available on-line.  Some government entities do have vital records that you can look at on-line.  It will cost you to get an official print copy – $20 in Rock County.

Some facilities require you to make an appointment first.  Most have specific hours or days open, some restrict when genealogists can do research.  Each state may have several different facility locations for where they keep vital records, dependent on how old they are.  When records were legally required, and then actually kept, varies.   Some states may duplicate or rely on County level records. The on-line databases are digitizing more vital records, but it seems disjointed, hit or miss. ( Refer to the chart linked below.)

Local, county, state, federal government offices/agencies can be closed at irregular times with planned furlough days to balance budgets, or in-service days for staff training.  The holidays closures are not uniform across agencies, even within a county.  There may be partial or whole closure days adjoining a regular holiday closure. The hours open may change with what day of the week it is, or closures for staff lunch break, etc.  There may be seasonal variations.

Also keep up with possible un-planned closures due to frozen budget/government shut-downs.  There will be vacations and medical leave absences if you need a particular staff person or specialized service.  You may need to look on-line at the agency homepage, or phone/email ahead.

Rock County Courthouse, 608-757-5650, 51 South Main Street Janesville, WI  53545

 8 – 5 weekdays. Staff assistance is available from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm.
Searching –

Genealogists are often the lowest in order for the busy staff to help.  The day that I was there, the courthouse was very busy with requests from the public for getting current vital records registered, and active current needs.  One request was for a vital record that a sister wanted of a brother – even though she had a different last name, she was able to get the record with proof of her relationship.  (More information on state’s rules is on the chart linked below.)

Too bad most of my family’s records will not be in close-by facilities.  We can appreciate what genealogists only had before computers and Internet – traveling to the agencies/ facilities, and requests for information by mail with payment by check.  I have been actively doing genealogy research for 7 years, and have been able to get by on online computer only so far.  Now I will be more prepared for on-site research.

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(Vicki’s note – click on the title for a link to the full related article from www.familytreemagazine.com ):

Wildly varying access rules and availability make a tangled maze of your ancestors’ state-level vital records. Let us guide you through….
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Also see the handout that I got at the Courthouse on the

Wisconsin law for searching death records:

WI Vital Records Law

Vicki Hahn Presentation today – GIG) German Interest Group, Janesville WI

5Aug2019

Vicki Hahn Presentation today:

Monday, August 5, 2019 at 7 p.m. –

(at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 2921 Mount Zion Avenue, Janesville WI –

“Research Your Overseas Ancestors Without Going ‘Across the Pond”

Handout:

Researching Your Overseas Ancestors – Handout – Countries Links, by Vicki Ruthe Hahn  7Aug2019

Vicki’s BLOG – https://statelinegenealogyclub.wordpress.com  (Tab – “Genealogy Links & Helps”)

Ancestry.com webinars – https://www.ancestry.com/academy/courses/recommended

Translations & Languages in Genealogy:

Google Translate https://translate.google.com/ – free app.

Duolingo.com https://www.duolingo.com/ – free app. “Learn a language for free.

Worldwide:

World Vital Records from MyHeritage.com https://myheritage.com/wvr-fl-redirect  $

Google International- table of search engines listed by country and region & if English translation: http://www.genealogyintime.com/articles/country-guide-to-google-search-engines-page3.html

www.newberry.org/online-catalog-redirect  – collections in Chicago IL.  Bohemian, Czech, Polish, etc.

Professional Genealogists Services $$ (Ancestry.com)   – http://www.progenealogists.com/

Family Tree Tours, Travel Back to Your Roots, Kathy Wurth German-speaking countries, etc. https://familytreetours.com/

RootsWeb Hosted Web Sites Index – https://home.rootsweb.com/sites/siteDirectory

WorldConnect Beta Program – GEDCOMs uploaded – search  or upload family tree – https://wc.rootsweb.com/

Pinterest.com – maps, surnames, genealogy forms, etc. https://www.pinterest.com/

Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Library catalog – Utah collection, online, and @ Family History Centers: https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog

 https://familyhistorydaily.com/free-genealogy-resources/european-ancestry-free-genealogy-sites/

Commonwealth War Graves/ Memorials – WW1 & WWII (154 countries) –  https://www.cwgc.org/

Global Home for Jewish Genealogy – https://www.jewishgen.org/

Castle Garden (Immigration Center 1820 – 1913)  http://www.castlegarden.org/searcher.php

Ellis Island (Immigration Center 1892-1924)  https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger

Passenger Lists, several countries – https://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-list.jsp?cat=GP44

Immigrant Origins – http://genealogy.com/uni-immi.html

One-Step WebPages by Stephen P. Morse   https://www.stevemorse.org/

FamilySearch.org  – Research Wikis  –  https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Main_Page – links for birth, marriage, death, church, immigration, military, probate; biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, maps, native races, naturalizations, newspapers, & obituaries. https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Online_Genealogy_Records_by_Location

RootsWeb.comhttp://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/Oldest & largest free award-winning Internet Genealogical community.  Searchable database.  Submit Your Family Tree free to WorldConnect Project.

Ancestry.com https://www.ancestry.com

My Heritage https://www.myheritage.com/  (database algorithms especially good for Slavic countries.)

Europe:

Other Useful Links – https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Category:Europe

European archival material & institutions – https://www.archivesportaleurope.net/web/guest;jsessionid=7395957D15C32A0D8219D0204A3BE9DB

Europe by countries –  https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Europe

Most common surnames: https://jakubmarian.com/most-common-surnames-by-country-in-europe/

England:

Find My Past – “https://www.findmypast.com” – $ England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Canada, Australia, US

General Register Office (GRO) – Order certificates registered in England and Wales from July 1837 on; Look at parish records to trace back further.  https://www.gov.uk/research-family-history

National Archives -United Kingdom – www.nationalarchives.gov.uk – census returns, wills, military records, etc

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Registeringlifeevents/index.htm
– births, marriages, deaths, adoptions & civil partnerships records.

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a – catalogues of archives in England & Wales dating from the 900s to now.

Ireland :

Five Basic Sources – will get you back 200 yrs. Most Irish people only able to go that far: Census Returns, Civil Registration, Parish Registers, Primary Valuation of Tenements, Tithe Composition & Applotment Books:

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Ireland_Genealogy

National Library of Ireland NLI – https://www.nli.ie/en/family-history-links.aspx

Irish Cultural & heritage Center, Milwaukee, WI – Irish Immigration Library www.igswonline.com

Catholic Parish Registers in Ireland & Northern Ireland digitized Microfilm at the NLI –  https://registers.nli.ie/

Other Ireland religious denominations records – https://www.nli.ie/en/family-history-links.aspx

Anglican Church – Church of Ireland Parish Registers – records at (RCB) the Library of the Church of Ireland; Or in churches – (Griffith’s list) shows dates for each parish, if records survive & where: https://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/pdf/AboutUs/library/registers/ParishRegisters/PARISHREGISTERS.pdf

National Archives of Ireland – http://www.nationalarchives.ie/

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni     https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/ordering-life-event-certificates

Office of the Registrar – General, Dublin –http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/General-Register-Office.aspx/Pages/VariationRoot.aspx– order birth, adoption, death, marriage or civil partnership certificates

Germany:

http://www.genealogienetz.de/genealogy.html

German and American Sources for German Emigration to America http://www.genealogienetz.de/misc/emig/emigrati.html

http://wiki- de.genealogy.net/Hauptseite

http://germanroots.com/ei.html  

Baden-Wuerttemberg area –   http://www.auswanderer-bw.de/auswanderer/

Germans to America – Passenger Lists:

1850 – 1897 – https://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=4432&cat=GP44&bc=,sl&col=1002

http://www.germanimmigrants1850s.com/  http://ww1.germanimmigrants1850s.com/?sub1=4693d2fa-df70-11e8-9c02-c5724761d48c

http://www.germanimmigrants1860s.com/    http://ww25.germanimmigrants1860s.com/

http://www.germanimmigrants1880s.com/  http://iyfnzgb.com/?pid=9PO1H9V71&dn=germanimmigrants1880s.com

Germany / Deutschland Immigration, Emigration & Migration – several sites https://www.cyndislist.com/germany/immigration/?page=1

German Parish records – http://www.kirchenbuchportal.de/inhalt.htm   https://www.archion.de/

German lineage books online – http://www.online-ofb.de/

 

Germany GenWeb –  http://rootsweb.com/~wggerman

Germanic Genealogy Society – https://ggsmn.org/

Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach – Astrid Adler website:   www.tiefenort-emigrants.de

Max Kade Institute for German- American Studies, UW, Madison – https://mki.wisc.edu/about

German translator/ genealogy researcher Amy Koppe – amy@tintenflecken.com ;  www.tintenflecken.com

Scandinavian Countries:

Denmark’s archives: https://www.sa.dk/en/genealogy/?et_mid=772402&rid=250619605   

Norwegian archives from 1867.  Digital Archive of Norway – http://digitalarkivet.uib.no/cgi-win/WebFront.exe?slag=vis&tekst=meldingar&spraak=e&et_mid=772402&rid=250619605

National Archives of Norway – https://media.digitalarkivet.no/en/

Scandinavian, etc. Passenger lists – (NARA) National Archives & Records Administration – https://www.archives.gov/?et_mid=772402&rid=250619605     

Canadian passenger lists 1865 – 1922 – Library and Archives of Canada –  http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/passenger-lists/passenger-lists-1865-1922/Pages/introduction.aspx?et_mid=772402&rid=250619605

Finland Passport Records & passenger lists – Institute of Migrationhttp://www.migrationinstitute.fi/en/publication/how-trace-your-roots-finland?et_mid=772402&rid=250619605

MyHeritage.com Nordic Censuses Summaries – Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland – https://www.myheritage.com/research/category-1700/nordic-census?sac=1

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Scandinavia

Scandinavian Patronymic surnames:

German Ancestors Genealogy Help

German Ancestors Genealogy Help

25Jul2019

Vicki’s Note – at this time, the highest percentage of ethnic ancestry in the United States is from German immigrants.  Of course “German” was actually “Germanic” ancestry until the formation of the country. 

“The unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. Princes of the German states, excluding Austria, gathered there to proclaim William I of Prussia as German Emperor after the French capitulation in the Franco-Prussian War .” (Wikipedia)

I have several resources to assist you in your Germanic genealogy research under the BLOG tab “Genealogy Links and Helps”  at the top of the page, under the alphabetical listing by topics for “Assistance for Genealogy”, “German (Germanic) Ancestors”, and “Translations and Languages in Genealogy”.

One of those resources is Amy Koppe, who I just got an email from.   I have no experience with her work, but offer her information as another resource to explore.

Happy genealogy searching!

German translator & German genealogy researcher:
Amy Koppe
Tintenflecken
Dayton, OH and starting in December 2019, Naila, Germany
Degrees in German (4.0 GPA) & International Studies; master’s degree in education.  Our family has lived in US & Germany. Speaks German & English at home.  Family ties to Thuringia (Thueringen), Bavaria (Bayern) & Schleswig-Holstein, with a wide variety of dialects & cultural experiences.  Will translate historical & modern documents in typeset or in script; both synopses & word-for-word translations.  Beginning in January 2020,  will do in-country research (see my website for more information).

German Interest Group GIG Workshop Saturday July 20, 2019 Janesville WI

German Interest Group GIG Workshop                    Saturday July 20, 2019                                       Janesville WI

Vicki’s Note – Sorry for the late notice.  Here is another conference/workshop close by, inexpensive, and good speakers!

Click on this link to download a copy of the Workshop flyer and Registration form –http://www.gig-wi.com/events.htm 

Green County Genealogical Society (GCGS) Workshop Saturday, September 7, 2019 – Monroe WI

 

Green County Genealogical Society (GCGS) Workshop Saturday, September 7, 2019 – Monroe WI

 

Vicki’s Note – Another Conference/workshop close by, inexpensive, and good speakers. Click on the registration form here –  GCGS Workshop Brochure 2019 (1) :

Green County Genealogical Society workshop to be held on Saturday, September 7.

Morning sessions feature Lori Bessler, Wisconsin Historical Society Reference Librarian, presenting “Organizing & Analyzing Your Research” and “Meet Mrs. George H. James: Writing a Biographical Sketch.”

Afternoon sessions include discussions on “Publishing Ideas and Costs” (Sharon Mitchell) and “Using Social Media, Blogs, Etc” (Ginny Gerber).

Lunch is guaranteed for those who register by the early bird deadline of August 23. The workshop registration fee is $25 before August 23 and $30 after.

Details on the sessions, lunch, directions, and online registration with credit card payment are on the GCGS website www.greencogenealogywi.org.

 

Rock County Genealogical Society (RCGS) 2019 Scholarship* Conference – Saturday September 14

Rock County Genealogical Society (RCGS) 2019 Scholarship* Conference – Saturday September 14

15Jul2019

Vicki’s note – *”All registration fees from this RCGS’s 2nd annual Scholarship Conference fund goes for a 2020 Rock County High School Senior.”  A nice one-day conference nearby, affordable, and for a good cause!  Register by returning form by September 1, 2019.

Click on these 2 links to PDFs for more information and to register:

2019 RCGS Scholarship Conference Poster

RCGS_Conference_brochure_2019FINAL

 

Veteran Records Destroyed by Fire in 1973

21 June 2019, updated 17Jul2019

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.

 

Updated 17Jul2019:

Towards Reconstruction:

As part of the reconstruction effort, the NPRC established a “B” registry file (or Burned File) to index the 6.5 million recovered records. So too, the NPRC established a separate temperature controlled “B” file area to protect and safeguard the damaged records. Later, in April 1974, the NPRC established the “R” registry file (or Reconstructed File) to further assist with reconstruction efforts. Since then, staffers have placed all newly reconstructed records into the “R” registry file and stored them in an area separate from the “B,” or burned, files.

In the months following the fire, the NPRC initiated several new records recovery and reconstruction efforts, including the establishment of a new branch to deal with damaged records issues. As many military personnel records had been partially or completely destroyed by the fire, the new branch’s central mission was to reconstruct records for those requesting service information from the NPRC. While some staffers sought to recover such information from documents and alternate sources outside of the NPRC, others searched through the center’s organizational files for records to supplement the destroyed OMPFs.

These alternate sources have played a vital role in the NPRC’s efforts to reconstruct service files. Some of the more important records used by the NPRC to supplement damage files include: Veterans Administration (VA) claims files, individual state records, Multiple Name Pay Vouchers (MPV) from the Adjutant General’s Office, Selective Service System (SSS) registration records, pay records from the Government Accounting Office (GAO), as well as medical records from military hospitals, entrance and separation x-rays and organizational records. Many work hours were spent making these sources usable. Efforts included: the transfer of records to the NPRC, screening projects and securing access to VA computer records.

In terms of loss to the cultural heritage of our nation, the 1973 NPRC Fire was an unparalleled disaster. In the aftermath of the blaze, recovery and reconstruction effort took place at an unprecedented level. Thanks to such recovery efforts and the use of alternate sources to reconstruct files, today’s NPRC is able to continue its primary mission of serving our country’s military and civil servants.

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!

 

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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 http://www.crownhill.org/history/ , FindaGrave.com,  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

317-925-8231   www.crownhill.org/

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.”

(FindaGrave.com:)

“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:

FindaGrave.com

“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:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3027/confederate_mound  

and http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~indiana42nd/history/campmorton.htm

 

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.”

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Woods-Pioneer-Life-Indiana/dp/0253206162

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 .

https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/8618.htm

“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 https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/283/john-herbert-dillinger   and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dillinger

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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Harrison , and

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/451/benjamin-harrison

“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.:

8 sideways

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