29 June 2009

Researching There When You Are Here...

Today as we drove south from Michigan I began to think about all the places along the way that I had researched. I was really quite surprised with the list and how much of my time has been spent researching there...

We left Michigan at about 9:30 this morning. Although I say we have no ancestors in the state we actually have some family members of ancestors who spent time over near Grand Rapids and up in the Traverse City area. Researching in Michigan on those parties was not real difficult as I used the resources at the library of Michigan, primarily birth/death & marriage records and the old newspapers in the newspaper collection. Those vital records are now on line at Family Search

After leaving Michigan we crossed into Ohio. I have more fun researching in Ohio. With friendly county clerks and an abundant supply of online records how can we loose? That same record site I mentioned for Michigan has Ohio death certificates thru 1953 that can be saved to your hard drive or printed and viewed. What an awesome resource. With studmuffins relatives being in Cuyahoga, Lorain & Medina counties and mine being in Montgomery, Preble, Darke & Miami Counties we've always had tons of Ohio research to do. Most of those counties being within driving range, its easy for us to make a weekend run and photograph headstones or spend a day at the library.

Took us a bit to get thru Ohio but after a while we finally got into Kentucky. I have no ancestors in the state of Kentucky but Studmuffin does. Primarily in Hopkins & Christian Counties - with a spattering of Daviess County as well. Ancestry has quite a bit of Kentucky resources and the state of Kentucky has done its own Vital Records project as well. So Kentucky death records are availble on line without you spending a dime!

Tennessee was up next - and again I have no ties to Tennessee but stufmuffin does. Claiborne and McMinn Counties are the primary area's of focus but a few other counties also have area's of interest as well. Tennessee has some records on line, some of the genweb pages are loaded, Ancestry also has some Tennessee stuff. Not alot outside those that I have found so far.

Georgia - the birth place of my father and his ancstors. The research here can be frustrating but rewarding. Finding info on the internet can really be a challenge. George death certificates are on line but only thru 1927, how I wish that number would change. The University of Georgia campus in Athens has an awesome newspaper collection and my semi yearly trips there for newspaper stuff has been a tremendous help. Cemetery photography here can be difficult with its own challenges. Probate courts also offer big challenges.

Florida - very minimal research here but what I have needed I have been able to find, some on line, some with the very helpful staff at the Manatee County public library. Florida has all its Civil war Confederate pensions on line - a great move for them and for those lucky enough to need them!

This is just the tip of the iceberg on our research journey's. I won't go into the coastal states and our research there in this blog, that's material for yet another day.

All in all I have to say, despite the obstacles that researching "there when you are here" (Michigan) seems to toss at us, we still seem to be able to find the things we want and need, it just takes a wee bit of extra work and sometimes thinking out of the box, but it is doable!
Happy researching!


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