So Saturday we ran off to chase a few families that had migrated over to Berrien Springs, Michigan. Berrien Springs is in Berrien County, Michigan which is very close to being on Lake Michigan on the western side of the state. Basically the most Southwestern county in Michigan.
First stop - the library. A nice library, with a genealogy room that clearly needs a bit of tlc. The librarian was helpful. I had printed out group sheets on the two families that were of interest to me. I've included the larger of the two here.
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The family we were working on was that of Jesse Garber & his wife, Amanda Coning. Amanda is a Boomershine descendant. As you can see from my group sheet we were busy. Mark went for the books, I went for obituaries. The first thing I found were several notebooks, arranged alphabetically. I noted the words non-inclusive on the spine with the title. My search of the notebooks yeilded nothing. Very nicely done but didn't have what I was looking for.
Next to the notebooks I found a small six drawer cabinet. I pulled out a drawer and found cards with obituaries that had been removed from newspapers. After a quick search, they were alphabetical as well, I came across the obituary for one of the sons, Vernon Edward Garber. Nice extra - it had his photo! Luckily we had the camera! It named names & places. A very good find. It also stated he was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. We already knew that his parents were there so no surprise really. With his obituary I also noted that one of his sisters had remarried, something we didn't have.
With no further luck I sort of felt a let down. Was that the end? As I turned around to talk with Mark who was still checking out the offerings on the shelf, I noted yet another multi-drawer cabinet on the counter top between us. Quickly pulling out a drawer, I began a search for the surnames in question. BINGO! I quickly located two of the sisters and a niece. I had surnames for the husbands but not first names. These obits yeilded those names as well as other information on locations for the remaing siblings not in Berrien Springs area.
Mark had found the cemetery books and we started to look for burial locations. We found the one for Rose Hill cemetery and it had maps, complete with plot locations, and a listing of burials. With the location of this we were able to locate all that we had found obituaries on. Very cool!
I still had two more that I knew died there, but could not locate any obituary for in the boxes or notebooks. One was from this group sheet, the other was the one on the other group sheet. I checked the cabinet and found the newspapers I needed. Both obituaries were quickly found on the front page of the day after their death. SUCCESS! The downside was that the microfilm reader handle did not work so all film had to be loaded & rewound by hand. Did I mention that the film reader did not print? So both obits were typed into the computer as found. A chore but worth the effort with the location of the two obituaries.
After cleaning up all our books and putting our microfilm away we thanked the librarian, said our good bye's and headed out to Rose Hill. We located all but two of the graves we searched for. They are now photographed, renamed and linked in our software.
A day trip succesfully researching with the love of my life - It's a very good thing!