Thursday, September 24, 2009

Planning my first research trip in a long time

I'm so excited I can hardly keep it together. Next week I get to head out to Indiana and Ohio for a short research trip. I'll only have 2-3 days and while making out my list of things I want to do it'll be hard to get it all done, impossible might be a better word, but when I get back I'll have a ton of info that I didn't have before which will be great.

My first stop is probably going to be the Indiana State Library. I'm probably making a huge mistake but I'm planning on looking at as much relevant microfilm that I can before they close on Wednesday. I probably should follow the rule about going wiht a focus but I feel like since I'm there, I need to try and get as much info as I can. No one piece of info I could gain from there is more important than another so I want to just pick someone to start with and work from there. I'll be spanning the state from Parke County, IN on the West side of the state to Jay and Randolph Counties on the East side and covering both my Gilkison family and my Bromagem side. The microfilm collection at the library is extensive from what I can gather through their website. They have deeds, wills and probate, newspapers, delayed birth records, marriage applications affidavits and records, DAR and WPA reports and all manner of other records for pretty much every county in the state and I plan to see as much of it as I can.

Depending on what I can get from the library, that will tell me what I need and where I need to go on the next day. Much of what the library has on microfilm is held at the county courthouses in Jay and Randolph Counties, but not everything, so I'm assuming visits there may be necessary as well. One of the main targets for these areas is to take a look at the movements of the Bromagems through these towns through land records, tax records if they are available. I already know that tax records for this time in Randolph County are non-existant. They were discarded a long time ago and from what I have gathered from the Randolph County Historical Society, there is no way to piece them back together. I can still check the deeds and see what other types of land records are available. I'm not sure if land was ever owned there or if a mortgage is a possibility so those are all things I can look into. In Jay County, I know that one of the Bromagems owned land so that's a start. I haven't been able to figure out the tax situation in Jay County though, so that may still be an option. Again though, a precise plan for those localities won't be possible until after I figure out what I may already have gotten from the library.

After I've covered Indiana, I need to focus on Darke and Greene counties in the Western portion of Ohio. The two earliest Bromagem generations settled in these two counties and I'd like to dig up whatever I can, especially through land records. I've found that land records, tax records especially, are not only difficult to find sometimes, but they are also pretty difficult to order from long-distance. The same can be said of court records, so all of these types of records are going to have to be searched while I'm there.

The finale to the research trip will be a trip to a cemetery to visit the grave of my Great Great Great Great Grandfather near Union City, IN. This will be the first Bromagem grave that I've been able to actually visit since Mary and Lillian's are missing from Oakwoods in Chicago where they're supposed to be, and James' is in D.C. which I can't get to right now. So I'm pretty excited about that. I was able to pull up the cemetery through google earth which was also pretty cool. I'll see if I can get the screenshot posted here. It's a pretty cool view.

So that's the plan for now. I'll be heading out on Wednesday next week and I'm sure I'll have lots to post about when I get back.

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