Tuesday, June 07, 2011

My Wish List For FamilySearch

With the massive undertaking of the digitization project by FamilySearch, researchers have been able to conduct more and more research at home with less need for the "big-box" genealogy websites, such as Ancestry.com. It was only back in March of last year that FamilySearch really began adding substantial amounts of new databases to their new website.. and a lot of them having indexes, as well.

FamilySearch has been adding new databases almost daily, and I'm constantly checking back (almost daily!) to see what new databases they have uploaded. I thought it would be fun to create a post containing my wish list of what records I would like to appear on FamilySearch. I know in due time that (most of) these records will appear online, whether it be days, months or even years from now.. but it's still fun to talk and think about.

Doing this wish list Genie style (you only get three wishes!), here is my wish list of records I'm hoping for on FamilySearch!

*1. Hungarian Church records
FamilySearch has done an amazing job with uploading two seperate databases for Slovakian Church records (areas that had previous belonged to Hungary, prior to the Treaty of Trianon). I was told by FamilySearch that they eventually plan on combining these two databases after they fix a few bugs. Although I haven't been able to find anything for my direct line in these records, I have actually found information pertaining to distant cousins.

*2. Polish Church records
Looking at my family tree, I'm mostly Polish. My father being 3/4 Polish! I have high hopes for this database, very very high hopes. They're high hopes, because nearly half of the areas that my Polish ancestors came from, do not have church records preserved on microfilm. I doubt these records will be preserved on microfilm or digitized and put online at FamilySearch.. but I can hope! The priests at these towns are very notorious for being extremely uncooperative with researchers. Even researchers who come in person.

*3. Land Deeds
It would be fantastic for the land deeds we all need for research, to become available online in one location. These records are what we use to track down where our family lived and moved to. They're essential to our research!

What kind of databases or specific records are on your Wish List for FamilySearch? And remember.. only three! Make sure to leave a comment on this post with a link to yours, I'd love to see what your Wish List contains!

What If Your House Was On Fire?

Today, I saw that Kerry Scott of Clue Wagon had made a post called Your House Is On Fire. In her post, she wrote about a treasured family heirloom that was passed down to her as a wedding gift. She said that if she had time to grab only one thing in the house, if the house was on fire and the family was safe, this clock would be it. At the end of the post she asks: What do you grab? Why?

I've thought about this very topic many, many times. I couldn't even count on my hands how many times I've worried about this. While living at my old home, I stressed about knowing what I would take and being ready. But since moving into my apartment in December this past winter, I've been even more on edge about it. Just the fact that a single person burning a candle or smoking a cigarette, could destroy six homes in one building.. and very easily, at that. It's very scary and unnerving!

Since moving into my apartment, I've unpacked most of my things.. for the most part. Some things I have kept in their taped-shut cardboard boxes simply because I don't have the room for the stuff. It's much easier to store them in the few boxes in my closets. One such box is very valuable to me. This box contains ALL the old photographs I have ever owned, with the exception of 5 large oval portrait photographs in wooden frames (roughly 2 feet by 3 feet), which I safely have stored at my aunt's house fifteen minutes away from where I live now.

The first thing I would think of grabbing, is this box full of old photographs. The second thing, is my laptop and it's external hard drive. My life's work is stored on these two things.. If I lost them, everything I've ever worked on, would be lost. I should really consider an online storage website.. :-\

What would you grab, if your house was on fire?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Help Restore Waisner-Rickard Cemetery!

Waisner-Rickard Cemetery is a long desecrated, overlooked and ignored pioneer burial ground that needs help! It was developed on in 1989 and now that the house has burned, Miami County, Indiana is going to let it be built on again.

Waisner-Rickard Cemetery was a pioneer Cemetery in Deer Creek Township, Miami County, Indiana and founded circa 1845 by Thomas Martindale, a pioneer on his farm. The cemetery served as a community burial ground circa 1845-1860 where any pioneer in the area was buried, especially those associated with the "New Light" Christian Church Community. Upwards of 50+ pioneers were buried on the site, with a Native American Miami Tribe burial ground to the north of the site across the ravine of Deer Creek.

The site was neglected for decades and became merely a “lost cemetery” mentioned in write-ups of 1926, 1943 and 1984. Today, Miami County, Indiana says its MERE EXISTENCE was "hearsay". In 1971, Country Development, Inc. purchased the old Martindale property and developed Deer Creek Estates. Although informed of the cemetery’s vicinity, the development company proceeded to develop the site in 1989 as Lot 78!

On April 4th, the home built on the site burned to the ground. Since that time, the State of Indiana and Miami County refuse to do anything to restore, preserve or even determine exactly where Waisner-Rickard Cemetery was – only acknowledging it existed within a “2.5 acre area”. The present property owners have shown interest in selling the property to the county or state. The county or state could then designate it a cemetery or nature preserve, yet still they have not attempted to make a deal. The Miami County Commissioners have merely decided to begin issuing initial rebuild permits stating that the cemetery’s existence is “merely hearsay” and perhaps if the cemetery was not disturbed underground the first time, it would be better to just develop it back AGAIN and take their chances.

How would you like a septic system draining on your ancestors? Or a home on top of them with no acknowledgement of their ever human existence or the lives they lived? STATE OF INDIANA and MIAMI COUNTY - This is the 21st Century – there are right and wrong ways to do things – do ground-penetrating radar, archaeology, whatever means necessary to FIND the exact parameters of Waisner-Rickard Cemetery and its pioneers. Then proceed from there – whether that be purchasing and restoring a “nature preserve” cemetery site, removal of graves for development, etc BUT DO THE MORAL and RIGHTEOUS THING!

Seeking support of genealogists, descendants and people who care!

FamilySearch Find Of The Day: The Birth Record of Joseph Adas in 1882

Today I stumbled upon the database Michigan Births, 1867-1902. I knew that my 2nd-great-grandfather, Joseph Adas, was born in Detroit in 1882, so I gave it a search. His birth record popped right up, along with a few of his siblings! Woo hoo! Here is an extract of the record:

Record Number: 4033
Date of Birth: May 21, 1882
Name: Joseph Adas
Male/Female: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Detroit
Parents: Joseph Adas & Maria Adas
Residence: Detroit, Detroit
Birthplace of Each: Germany, Germany
Occupation of Father: Carpenter
Date of Record: May 31, 1883